Ezekiel 46:9 MEANING

Ezekiel 46:9
(9) In the solemn feasts.--Different arrangements were required for the great or "solemn" feasts, because at these all the males of Israel were commanded to be present, and therefore the numbers were very large. This affects both the people and (Ezekiel 46:10) the prince. The first provision is one for securing order in the vast concourse of people: by whichever (outer) gate any one enters (the north or the south), he shall pass out by the opposite one.

Verse 9. - But when the people of the land shall come before the Lord. As the preceding verse referred to the prince's entrance into and departure from the inner gate, this was intended to regulate the movements of the prince's subjects when they should enter the outer court at any of the festal seasons - not the high festivals alone, such as the Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles, which are usually denominated חַגּים, but the ordinary appointed feasts (מוְעֲדִים), including, besides the high festivals, the sabbaths and the new moons and such other religions celebrations as were or should be prescribed in the new Torah. In order to prevent confusion, and that all might be conducted with propriety (comp. 1 Corinthians 14:40), no one should depart by the gate through which he had entered, but by the opposite, i.e. he who had entered by the north gate should retire through the south gate, and vice versa. Hengstenberg thinks the reason for this regulation "cannot be sought in the endeavor to avoid a throng," since "in that case it must have been ordained that all should go in by the same gate and go out by the opposite one;" it must, he holds, have been "a theological one," viz. "to signify that each should go out of the sanctuary another man than he came in."

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.But when the people of the land shall come before the Lord in the solemn feasts,.... To worship the Lord, to pray and praise; to honour the Lord, and keep the solemn feast of love, the Lord's supper:

he that entereth in by the way of the north gate to worship shall go out by the way of the south gate; and he that entereth in by the way of the south gate shall go forth by the way of the north gate; that so such as were coming in, and going out, might not meet, and stop and hinder one another in going out and coming in: no mention is made of entering in by the east gate, which was only for the prince, Ezekiel 44:1, and there was no entering in, or going out, on the west:

he shall not return by the way of the gate he came in, but shall go forth over against it; signifying, that those that come to the house of God to worship, and join in communion with the saints, should not return to their former ways and practices; to their former rites, customs, and ceremonies in religion, used by them; and to their former principles and errors in doctrines; and to their former sinful courses of life; but go straight on and thorough stitch with it in their profession of Christ and his Gospel, and in the practice of spiritual and evangelic worship; see Luke 9:62.

Courtesy of Open Bible