The scribes were held in great awe and respect throughout the Jewish world. They were thought to possess vast, secret knowledge of the workings of the Lord's power. They could be recognized on the streets by their long, flowing robes, fringed at the corners with very long tassels. When a scribe passed, ordinary people rose as a sign of respect. They were given the place of honor at important feasts and in synagogues. Bible History Online.