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Revolutionary actions were foreseen but without date.

But as these commandments and justifications were exceedingly numerous, complicated, and often obscure, the needs of popular guidance called into existence a class of men whose special occupation was to study and expound the Law.This description doubtless applies to the subsequent scribes of that period.They were pious men who through love of the Divine law occupied themselves in collecting, editing, and studying the sacred literature of the Hebrews and in explaining it to the people.The earliest mention of the title occurs in I Esdras, vii, 6, where Esdras is described as a "ready scribe in the law of Moses ".What this meant is set forth in verse 10: "For Esdras had prepared his heart to teach in Israel the commandments and judgment".(Greek grammateis, nomodidaschaloi , teachers of the law).

In the New-Testament period the scribes were the professional interpreters of the Law in the Jewish synagogues.

The origin of the profession dates from the return of the Captivity, and its subsequent growth and importance resulted naturally from the formal and legalistic trend of Jewish piety during the post-Exilic period.

The Law was revered as the precise expression of God's will, and by its multifarious prescriptions the daily life of every pious Jew was regulated in all its minute details.

Together with the written precepts it constituted the perfect rule of conduct which every Jew should follow.

But while the scribes devoted their chief attention to the Law, both written and oral, they also elaborated in fantastic and arbitrary fashion, teachings of an edifying character from the historical and didactic contents of the Old Testament.

Under the Asmonean rule they became the leaders of the new party of the Pharisees, and it is with the latter that we find them associated in the New-Testament records.