“high priests.” In Old Testament times the High Priest served for life. However, that custom had been changed for political reasons, such that at the time of Herod (and at the time of Christ’s crucifixion) there was more than one High Priest. Furthermore, it seems that members of the High Priest’s family also could be called a high priest.a
“the People.” The Greek is ho laos, (ὁ λαός). The word “people” can mean different things in the Bible, depending on the context. It can refer to a specific group, and often refers to the Jews, the “people” of God.b When it is used of the people of Israel, it becomes a specific designation of the Jews and as such can be capitalized. Many Scriptures use “people” as a designation of the Jews. (cp. Matt. 2:4, 21:23, 26:3, 47; Mark 14:2; Luke 19:47, 22:66; John 11:50; Acts 3:23, 4:8, 25, 7:17, 26:17, 23; Rom. 15:11; 2 Pet. 2:1) In many cases the REV translation has capitalized “People” to make it clear to readers that the Jews as a specific group are being referred to. However, there are also many scriptures that use “the people” that do not clearly refer to Israel, and when the exact designation is in doubt, we have left “people” in lowercase.
“he inquired of them where the Christ would be born.” Like many leaders, even supposedly religious ones, Herod did not know the Bible and did not know where it said the Christ would be born. The religious leaders knew that the prophet Micah said the Christ would be born in Bethlehem of Judah (Micah 5:2; but at the time of Christ the Bible had neither chapters nor verses; the religious men simply had to know the scrolls well enough to find it).