When the princes of Judah heard these things
The tumult there was in the temple; these were the princes of the blood, or the nobles of the realm, particularly the courtiers, and who were of the king's privy council; or else the great sanhedrim, consisting of seventy persons, and were the chief court of judicature: then they came up from the king's house to the house of the Lord;
from the royal palace where they resided; by which it should seem that they were the king's courtiers, and counsellors, and officers of state; unless in those times the sanhedrim sat there; from hence they came up to the temple, where Jeremiah and the priests were, which, being built on a hill, was higher than the king's palace; and therefore are said to "come up" to it: and sat down in the entry of the new gate of the Lord's [house];
as a court of judicature, to hear and try the cause between the prophet and his accusers. This gate of the temple is thought to be the higher gate, which Jotham built, ( 2 Kings 15:35 ) . The Targum calls it the eastern gate; and so Kimchi says it was; and that it was called the new gate, according to the Rabbins, because there they renewed the constitutions and traditions; though he thinks the better reason is, because newly repaired, or some new building was added to it. Jarchi also says it was the eastern gate; and gives this reason for its being called new; that when Jehoiakim was carried captive, and some of the vessels of the temple, Nebuchadnezzar's army broke the eastern gate, which Zedekiah afterwards repaired, and made new; but if so, it is here called new by a prolepsis; or this account was written after that time.