deliverance and renewal
Ezekiel 46:1-8 (JDV)
Ezekiel 46:1 “This is what the Lord Yahveh says: The gate of the inner court that faces east is to be shut during the six days of work, but it will be opened on the Sabbath day and opened on the day of the New Moon.
Ezekiel 46:2 The prince should enter from the outside by way of the gate’s portico and stand at the gate’s doorpost while the priests sacrifice his burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. He will bow in worship at the gate’s threshold and then depart, but the gate is not to be shut until evening.
Ezekiel 46:3 The people of the land will also bow in worship before Yahveh at the entrance of that gate on the Sabbaths and New Moons.
Ezekiel 46:4 “The burnt offering that the prince presents to Yahveh on the Sabbath day is to be six unblemished lambs and an unblemished ram.
Ezekiel 46:5 The grain offering will be an ephah with the ram, and the grain offering with the lambs will be whatever he wants to give, as well as a hin of oil for every ephah.
Ezekiel 46:6 On the day of the New Moon, the burnt offering is to be a young, unblemished bull, as well as six lambs and a ram without blemish.
Ezekiel 46:7 He will provide a grain offering of an ephah with the bull, an ephah with the ram, and whatever he can afford with the lambs, together with a hin of oil for every ephah.
Ezekiel 46:8 When the prince enters, he is to go in by way of the gate’s portico and go out the same way.
deliverance and renewal
Craigie writes: “Although worship and sacrifices were offered on a daily basis in the temple, Sabbath days and the first day of each new month (viz. “the new moon”, the calendar being a lunar system) were times of special worship. Throughout the week, the eastern gate of the temple’s inner court was kept closed, but it was opened each Sabbath and on the first day of each month. The people as a whole would worship in the outer court; they could look through the eastern gate to the altar in the inner court where the sacrifices were offered, but they were not permitted to enter. Only the prince could pass through the vestibule of the eastern gate; he was not to go directly into the inner court but was allowed to stand by the inner gatepost and observe the priests offer his offerings. There then follows a list of the various offerings specified for the Sabbath worship and for the first day of the month, which the prince provided on behalf of his people as a whole (verses 4-7)” (Craigie, 306).
The people were not permitted to enter the inner court because their function in the visual prophecy is to receive what God is doing for them. Each Sabbath, they rested. The work of deliverance was by God’s grace and through his coming sacrifice. Each new moon, they celebrated the coming renewal, which was also to be provided miraculously by God’s grace, apart from their actions.
Craigie, Peter C. Ezekiel. Edinburgh: Saint Andrew Press, 1983.