Thus said the Lord GOD; The gate of the inner court that looks toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)XLVI.
The first fifteen verses of this chapter belong to Ezekiel 45. The prince was required to provide and bring the sacrifices for himself and for the people (Ezekiel 45:17); therefore, as soon as the yearly festivals have been described, directions are given (Ezekiel 46:1-3) for the conduct of the prince at these sacrifices. He was required to be always present, while attendance on the part of the people was obligatory only at the yearly festivals. The prophet then goes on to provide for the sacrifices for the Sabbaths and new moons, for free-will offerings, and for the daily sacrifices.
(1) The gate of the inner court.—It has already been provided (Ezekiel 44:1-3) that the outer gate on the east should be kept closed, except for the prince. The same thing is now commanded for the east gate of the inner court also; and, further, the days are specified, the Sabbaths and new moons, on which it shall be used by the prince.
Eze 46:1-24. Continuation of the Ordinances for the Prince and for the People in Their Worship.Ordinances for the prince in his worship, Ezekiel 46:1-8, and for the people, Ezekiel 46:9-15. An order for the prince’s inheritance, Ezekiel 46:16-18. The courts for boiling and baking, Ezekiel 46:19-24.
shall be shut the six working days; which seems to be the same with the gate of the outward sanctuary, Ezekiel 44:1 said to be always shut, and never opened; but by what follows here it appears that that must be understood with some exception and limitation: the six working days are the six days of the week in which men should labour, and do all the work and business of their callings, that they may thereby provide for themselves and families, and have wherewith to give to the poor; during which time the public ministry of the word is intermitted, that men may not be taken off of their necessary and lawful employments; and that the ministers of the word may have sufficient time to prepare in their studies for their ministerial service:
but on the sabbath it shall be opened; by which is meant, not the Jewish sabbath now abrogated in the times this vision refers to; but the Lord's day, called by this Jewish name: and this being opposed to the six working days, shows that it ought to be kept by abstinence from all civil, corporeal, and servile works, as well as from dead works or sins, and in the exercise of all religious duties, private and public; and particularly in attendance on the ministry of the word, the gate now opened; and which is sometimes expressed by opening the door of faith, and is called an open door; and may be said to be so when ministers have an opportunity without, and great freedom within themselves, to preach it; and when the doors of men's hearts are opened to attend to it, and many souls are gathered to Christ, and into his churches, by it; see Acts 14:27,
and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened; on stated monthly days, in which the churches of Christ meet together for religious service: the new moon, which is an emblem of new light, and an increase of it, is very suitable to express the Gospel dispensation; in which, as Cocceius observes, there are some particular seasons that may be called so; as the coming of Christ into the world; his resurrection from the dead; the pouring forth of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost; the destruction of the temple, and temple service; the peace and prosperity of the Christian churches in the times of Constantine; the morning star of the reformation; and the call of God's people out of Babylon at the destruction of it; at all which times there has been, or will be, an opening of this eastern gate, or a free, and glorious ministration of the Gospel. Some think these six working days design this life, which is the time of working, after which there will be none but an eternal sabbath or rest; and that, for the present, saints live and walk by faith, and not by sight; divine and heavenly things are greatly shut up, and out of sight; but then it will be new moon, as well as sabbath, and all things will be seen clearly; but the former sense I think is best, which yet I leave to the judgment of others. This Kimchi says is a new thing, that will be in time to come.Thus saith the Lord GOD; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Ezekiel 46:1-7. Offerings for the Sabbath and new moon
The prince was under obligation, besides providing for the great festivals of unleavened bread or passover and tabernacles (Ezekiel 45:21; Ezekiel 45:25), and for the special new moons in the first and seventh months (Ezekiel 45:18; Ezekiel 45:20), to furnish offerings also for the sabbaths and the ordinary new moons. The east gate of the inner court was kept shut six days of the week (the outer was always shut), but opened on the sabbaths and also on the new moons (Ezekiel 46:1). On these days the prince came by way of the porch and advanced as far as the door-posts of the inner gate, where he worshipped while the priests were offering the burnt and peace-offerings (Ezekiel 46:2). The gate remained open till the evening. While the prince could come as far as the threshold of the inner gate the people stood without before the inner east gate to worship (Ezekiel 46:3).Verses 1-15. - The supplementary directions contained in these verses relate to the worship of the prince and the people on the sabbaths and the new moons (vers. 1-7) and at the appointed feasts generally (vers. 5-15). Verse 1. - Like the preceding sections which introduced distinctly new enactments in Ezekiel's Torah (see Ezekiel 44:9; Ezekiel 45:9, 18), this properly opens with a Thus saith the Lord God, since it refers to the worship that should be celebrated at the gate of the inner court which looketh toward the east. Ewald, after the LXX. (ἡ πύλη ἡ ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ τῇ ἐσωτέρᾳ), changes the text so as to read the outer court gate, and understands the statement here made to be a qualification of that contained in Ezekiel 44:1-3. It is, however, the inner east gate to which the present clause alludes, and the announce-meat made concerning it is that, like the outer east gate, it should be shut on the six working days; literally, the six days of the business (comp. 1 Samuel 20:19); but that, unlike the outer east gate, it should be opened on the sabbath (literally, in the day of the sabbath) and in the day of the new moon, both of which clays had been marked under the Law, and should in future continue to be marked, by special sacrificial celebrations. Ezekiel 41:23. to the notice of the doors of the sanctuary, the character of which is also described as simply openings (פּתח), since the doorway had been mentioned before. delet דּלת signifies a moveable door, and the plural דּלתות, doors, whether they consist of one leaf or two, i.e., whether they are single or folding doors. Here the דּלתות in Ezekiel 41:23 and Ezekiel 41:24 (לדלתות) are folding doors; on the other hand, the first דּלתות in Ezekiel 41:24 and דּלת ibid. are used for the wings of the door, and מוּסבּות for the swinging portions (leaves) of the separate wings. The meaning is this: the holy place (היכל) and the holy of holies (הקּדשׁ) had two folding doors (i.e., each of these rooms had one). These doors had two wings, and each of these wings, in the one door and in the other, had two reversible door-leaves, so that when going in and out there was no necessity to throw open on every occasion the whole of the wing, which was at least three or four cubits broad. There is no foundation for the objection raised by Kliefoth to the interpretation of להיכל ולקּדשׁ as signifying the holy place and the holy of holies; since he cannot deny that the two words are so used, היכל in 1 Kings 6:5, 1 Kings 6:17, 1 Kings 6:31, 1 Kings 6:33, and קדשׁ in Leviticus 16:2-3, etc. And the artificial explanation, "to the temple space, and indeed to the holy place," not only passes without notice the agreement between our verses and 1 Kings 6:31-34, but gains nothing further than a side door, which does violence to the dignity of the sanctuary, a passage from the side chambers into the holy place, with which Bttcher has presented Solomon's temple. - These doors were ornamented, like the walls, with figures of cherubim and palms. - Other remarks are added in vv. 25b and 26 concerning the porch in front of the holy place. The first is, that on the front of the porch outside there was עב אץ. The only other passage in which the word עב occurs in a similar connection is 1 Kings 7:6, where it refers to wood-work in front of the Ulam of Solomon's porch of pillars; and it cannot be determined whether it signifies threshold, or moulding, or threshold-mouldings. On the shoulders, i.e., on the right and left side walls of the front porch, there were closed windows and figures of palms. The cherubim were omitted here. - The last words of Ezekiel 41:26 are very obscure. וצלעות הבּ may be taken in connection with the preceding clause, "and on the side-rooms of the temple," as there is no necessity to repeat the preposition in the case of closely continuous clauses (vid., Ewald, 351a); and the side-rooms not only must have had windows, but might also be ornamented with figures of palms. But if the words be taken in this sense, the עבּים must also signify something which presented, like the walls of the porch and of the side chambers, a considerable extent of surface capable of receiving a similar decoration; although nothing definite has hitherto been ascertained with regard to the meaning of the word, and our rendering "beams" makes no pretension to correctness.
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