They say nothing unto him (ouden autoi legousin). But only make sneering comments about him ( Mark 7:16 ) in spite of his speaking "openly" (parrhsiai, for which word see Mark 7:13 ; Mark 18:20 ) before all. lt was sarcasm about the leaders, though an element of surprise on the part of "these shrewd townsmen" (Bernard) may have existed also. Can it be that the rulers indeed know (mh pote alhqw egnwsin oi arconte). Negative answer expected by mh pote and yet there is ridicule of the rulers in the form of the question. See a like use of mh pote in Luke 3:15 , though nowhere else in John. Egnwsan (second aorist ingressive active indicative of ginwskw) may refer to the examination of Jesus by these rulers in Luke 5:19 and means, "Did they come to know or find out" (and so hold now)? That this is the Christ (oti outo estin o Cristo). The Messiah of Jewish hope.