Thus said the Lord unto me
Here begins a new sermon or discourse, concerning the sanctification of the sabbath, and a very proper place to begin a new chapter:
Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people;
where there were great numbers of people passing and repassing; and whither the people resorted upon one account or another; or where they dwelt. Some particular gate of the city of Jerusalem seems to be meant; and not the gate of the temple, as Abarbinel. Some think the sheep gate, and others the water gate, ( Nehemiah 3:1 Nehemiah 3:26 ) ; perhaps rather the latter, since the Nethinims dwelt near it, who were the Gibeonites, so called, because given to the congregation of Israel, to be hewers of wood and drawers of water to it; and these were "the children of the people", of the nations of the world, the old Canaanites, as well as they were the servants of the people of Israel: but what particular gate is intended is not certain; it is very likely it was one that was near the court, by what follows:
whereby the kings of Judah come in, and by which they go out;
when they went out to war and returned; or went to their country houses and came back; or on any business and occasion whatever. This shows a reason why the prophet was to go and stand in this gate first; because his message was to be first delivered to these great personages, who had a personal concern herein, and who could influence others by their authority and example:
and in all the gates of Jerusalem;
after he had been in the former, and delivered his message; for it concerned all the inhabitants of the city, high and low, rich and poor, male and female, young and old; and therefore he was to go to every gate, and stand and proclaim there, as being the most public places of resort and concourse, and where people were continually going and coming.