They that sit in the gate speak against me
The princes, magistrates, and judges, who sat in the gates of cities, heard and tried causes, and executed judgment there; the elders of the city; see ( Ruth 4:1 ) ( Lamentations 5:14 ) ( Zechariah 8:16 ) ; the civil rulers among the Jews are meant; and also their ecclesiastical ones, the Scribes and Pharisees that sat in Moses's seat; though some think men of lower characters are designed, idle persons that saunter about, and sit in gateways, and corners of streets, and in marketplaces; spending their time, like the Athenians, in hearing and telling of news, and prating about this and the other person, and their affairs; but the former sense seems best, since these are rather intended in the next clause: now such men of rank and figure spoke against Christ; against his person as the Son of God, against his office as the Messiah, against his doctrines and ordinances, and against his people and followers: or they spake together "of him" F26; they confabulated and consulted together how to seize him, and take away his life, as the chief priests and elders frequently did; and when they had taken him they gave their voice against him, and unanimously condemned him, when they sat in judgment upon him;
and I [was] the song of the drunkards;
or "of them that drink strong drink" F1; be it made of what it will; that is, to excess: these, while they played on their instruments of music, as the word F2 here used signifies, sung songs, and Christ was the subject of them; as Job complains was his case, ( Job 30:8 Job 30:9 ) ; very probably the common people that were employed in taking of Jesus might have plenty of liquor given them by the priests and elders, to encourage them; and this being a festival time too, might come at it more easily than usual, and drink more freely; and this might be the case of the Roman soldiers, when they made Christ the subject of their mirth and diversion in Pilate's hall.
F26 (yb) "de me", Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius, Gejerus, Michaelis.
F1 (rxv) "sechar", Montanus; siceram, Tigurine version, Cocceius; "potum inebriantem", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Michaelis.
F2 (twnygn) "cantiones ad instrumenta musica", Vatablus; "pulsationes", Gejerus.