But they held their peace (oi de esiwpwn). Imperfect tense. In sullen silence and helplessness before the merciless questions of Jesus as the poor man stood there before them all. Jesus by his pitiless alternatives between doing good (agaqopoiew, late Greek word in LXX and N.T.) and doing evil (kakopoiew, ancient Greek word), to this man, for instance, to save a life or to kill (psuchn swsai h apokteinai), as in this case. It was a terrible exposure.