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 Ezekiel 44:2 ) 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 ) ( 1 Corinthians 16:9 ) ( 2 Corinthians 2:12 ) : 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.