Ezekiel 46:1
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.
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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.

46:1-24 The ordinances of worship for the prince and for the people, are here described, and the gifts the prince may bestow on his sons and servants. Our Lord has directed us to do many duties, but he has also left many things to our choice, that those who delight in his commandments may abound therein to his glory, without entangling their own consciences, or prescribing rules unfit for others; but we must never omit our daily worship, nor neglect to apply the sacrifice of the Lamb of God to our souls, for pardon, peace, and salvation.The prophet beholds in vision people, priest, and prince uniting in most solemn worship before the throne of God. The character of the rites here described is symbolic. CHAPTER 46

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.

It was the east gate of the court next to the temple, or which did lead into the inmost court, where the altar of burnt-offering stood. Shall be shut: this explains that of Ezekiel 44:2. The six working days; or every day that is a working day. On the sabbath; on that holy rest the prospect into the temple and to the altar shall be free. It shall be opened; the priests should open it. The new moon: this one festival is named, but all the rest are included: this gate was to be shut only on working days, therefore to be open on all holy days, which were days of holy service to God. to be open on all holy days, which were days of holy service to God.

Thus saith the Lord God,.... Which is premised, to raise the greater attention to what is about to be said: the gate of the inner court that looketh towards the east; the eastern gate of the inner court; the court of the priests, where stood the altar of burnt offerings, and where they offered the sacrifices for atonement; and seems, in the mystical sense, to design the ministry of the Gospel, which is a ministry of reconciliation; which holds forth Christ as the altar saints have a right to eat of; and who is the sacrifice for sin, and has made reconciliation for it; and, where this is preached, he, the angel descending from the east, comes; here appears the rising sun, the sun of righteousness, who arises on those that fear his name, and love his Gospel, with healing in his wings: this gate

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 46:1Sacrifices for the Sabbath and New Moon

As, according to Ezekiel 45:17, it devolved upon the prince to provide and bring the sacrifices for himself and the house of Israel; after the appointment of the sacrifices to be offered at the yearly feasts (Ezekiel 45:18-25), and before the regulation of the sacrifices for the Sabbath and new moon (Ezekiel 46:4-7), directions are given as to the conduct of the prince at the offering of these sacrifices (Ezekiel 46:1-3). For although the slaughtering and preparation of the sacrifices for the altar devolved upon the priests, the prince was to be present at the offering of the sacrifices to be provided by him, whereas the people were under no obligation to appear before the Lord in the temple except at the yearly feasts.

Ezekiel 46:1. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, The gate of the inner court, which looks toward the east, shall be shut the six working days, and on the Sabbath it shall be opened, and on the day of the new moon it shall be opened. Ezekiel 46:2. And the prince shall come by the way to the porch of the gate from without, and stand at the posts of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt-offering and his peace-offerings, and he shall worship on the threshold of the gate and then go out; but the gate shall not be shut till the evening. Ezekiel 46:3. And the people of the land shall worship at the entrance of that gate on the Sabbaths and on the new moons before Jehovah. Ezekiel 46:4. And the burnt-offering which the prince shall offer to Jehovah shall consist on the Sabbath-day of six lambs without blemish and a ram without blemish; Ezekiel 46:5. And as a meat-offering, an ephah for the ram, and for the lambs as a meat-offering that which his hand may give, and of oil a hin to the ephah (of meal). Ezekiel 46:6. And on the day of the new moon there shall be an bullock, a young ox without blemish, and six lambs and a ram without blemish; Ezekiel 46:7. And he shall put an ephah for the bullock, and an ephah for the ram for the meat-offering, and for the lambs as much as his hand affords, and of oil a hin for the ephah. - Ezekiel 46:1-3 supply and explain the instructions given in Ezekiel 44:1-3 concerning the outer eastern gate. As the east gate of the outer court (Ezekiel 44:1), so also the east gate of the inner court was to remain closed during the six working days, and only to be opened on the Sabbaths and new moons, when it was to remain open till the evening. The prince was to enter this inner east gate, and to stand there and worship upon the threshold while his sacrifice was being prepared and offered. בּוא דּרך אוּלם is to be taken as in Ezekiel 44:3; but מחוּץ, which is appended, is not to be referred to the entrance into the inner court, as the statement would be quite superfluous so far as this is concerned, since any one who was not already in the inner court must enter the gate-building of the inner court from without, or from the outer court. The meaning of מחוּץ is rather that the prince was to enter, or to go to, the gate porch of the inner court through the outer east gate. There he was to stand at the posts of the gate and worship on the threshold of the gate during the sacrificial ceremony; and when this was over he was to go out again, namely, by the same way by which he entered (Ezekiel 44:3). But the people who came to the temple on the Sabbaths and new moons were to worship פּתח, i.e., at the entrance of this gate, outside the threshold of the gate. Kliefoth in wrong in taking פּתח in the sense of through the doorway, as signifying that the people were to remain in front of the outer east gate, and to worship looking at the temple through this gate and through the open gate between. For השּׁער ההוּא roF ., hits gate, can only be the gate of the inner court, which has been already mentioned. There is no force in the consideration which has led Kliefoth to overlook ההוּא, and think of the outer gate, namely, that "it would be unnatural to suppose that the people were to come into the outer court through the outer north and south gates, whilst the outer east gate remained shut (or perhaps more correctly, was opened for the prince), and so stand in front of the inner court," as it is impossible to see what there is that is unnatural in such a supposition. On the other hand, it is unnatural to assume that the people, who, according to Ezekiel 46:9, were to come through the north and south gates into the outer court at all the מועדים to appear before Jehovah, were not allowed to enter the court upon the Sabbaths and new moons if they should wish to worship before Jehovah upon these days also, but were to stand outside before the gate of the outer court. The difference between the princes and the people, with regard to visiting the temple upon the Sabbaths and new moons, consisted chiefly in this, that the prince could enter by the outer east gate and proceed as far as the posts of the middle gate, and there worship upon the threshold of the gate, whereas the people were only allowed to come into the outer court through the outer north and south gates, and could only proceed to the front of the middle gate. - Ezekiel 46:4. The burnt-offering for the Sabbath is considerably increased when compared with that appointed in the Mosaic law. The law requires two yearling lambs with the corresponding meat-offering (Numbers 28:9); Ezekiel, six lambs and one ram, and in addition to these a meat-offering for the ram according to the proportion already laid down in Ezekiel 45:24 for the festal sacrifices; and for the lambs, מתּת ידו, a gift, a present of his hand, - that is to say, not a handful of meal, but, according to the formula used in alternation with it in Ezekiel 46:7, as much as his hand can afford. For כּאשׁר , see Leviticus 14:30; Leviticus 25:26. - It is different with the sacrifices of the new moon in Ezekiel 46:6 and Ezekiel 46:7. The law of Moses prescribed two bullocks, one ram, and seven lambs, with the corresponding meat-offering, and a he-goat for a sin-offering (Numbers 28:11-15); the thorah of Ezekiel, on the contrary, omits the sin-offering, and reduces the burnt-offering to one bullock, one ram, and six lambs, together with a meat-offering, according to the proportion already mentioned, which is peculiar to his law. The first תּמימים in Ezekiel 46:6 is a copyist's error for תּמים.

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