The prophet is here brought to review what he had before once surveyed; for, though we have often looked into the things of God, they will yet bear to be looked over again, such a copiousness there is in them. The lessons we have learned we should still repeat to ourselves. Every time we review the sacred fabric of holy things, which we have in the scriptures, we shall still find something new which we did not before take notice of. The prophet is brought a third time to the east gate, and finds it shut, which intimates that the rest of the gates were open at all times to the worshippers. But such an account is given of this gate’s being shut as puts honour, 1. Upon the God of Israel. It is for the honour of him that the gate of the inner court, at which his glory entered when he took possession of the house, was ever after kept shut, and no man was allowed to enter in by it, Ezek. 44:2. The difference ever after made between this and the other gates, that this was shut when the others were open, was intended both to perpetuate the remembrance of the solemn entrance of the glory of the Lord into the house (which it would remain a traditional evidence of the truth of) and also to possess the minds of people with a reverence for the Divine Majesty, and with very awful thoughts of his transcendent glory, which was designed in God’s charge to Moses at the bush, Put off thy shoe from off thy foot. God will have a way by himself. 2. Upon the prince of Israel, Ezek. 44:3. It is an honour to him that though he may not enter in by this gate, for no man may, yet, (1.) He shall sit in this gate to eat his share of the peace-offerings, that sacred food, before the Lord. (2.) He shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, by some little door or wicket, either in the gate or adjoining to it, which is called the say of the porch. This as to signify that God puts some of his glory upon magistrates, upon the princes of his people, for he has said, You are gods. Some by the prince here understand the high priests, or the sagan or second priest; and that he only was allowed to enter by this gate, for he was God’s representative. Christ is the high priest of our profession, who entered himself into the holy place, and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
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