Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut.
Then said the Lord unto me, this gate shall be shut,.... In time to come, as Jarchi interprets it, in the latter day; it was shut, and it should continue to be shut:
it shall not be opened; any more; though it has been, yet hereafter no more:
and no man shall enter in by it, into the house of the Lord,
because the LORD the God of Israel hath entered in by it; the same with the glory of the God of Israel, Ezekiel 43:2:
therefore it shall be shut; no one being to enter after him. Various are the sentiments of expositors concerning this gate. Some of the ancients have interpreted it of the Virgin Mary, by whom Christ came into this world in human nature, being born of her, a virgin, who had never known man, and as is thought never did after the birth of Christ; nor were any afterwards born of her; no man might come into the world by her, by that self-same way the incarnate God did, and for that reason. This sense is approved of, not only by Papists, but by many Protestant writers. Others understand it of the Scriptures, the word of God, which as it is a sealed book to men learned and unlearned, so a gate shut up; it cannot be opened by a mere natural man, or be understood by the light of nature; none can open it but the Lion of the tribe of Judah; who gives the spiritual knowledge of it to whom he pleases, the perfect knowledge of which is reserved to a future state; and there are some things in it which will be always shut, and ever secrets; as the modus of the subsistence of the three Persons in the Godhead; the generation of the Son, the procession of the Spirit, and the union of the two natures in Christ; see Isaiah 29:11, others think that the gate of heaven, or the way to eternal glory and happiness, is meant; which was shut by the sin of man, and could never be opened again by any mere man; but Christ by his blood has opened the way into it; and has entered into it, not as a private, but public person, representing all his people; and none but those that belong to him, that are members of him, shall enter there; as none but Christ personal, so none but Christ mystical: but I am rather of opinion, since this whole fabric, as we have seen, is an emblem of the church of Christ on earth in the latter day, the way into that is designed here; and its being shut signifies, that, as the church is a garden enclosed, a spring shut up, and is only for the use of Christ, and should be a chaste virgin to him, he should have all her heart, affection, and faith; so it should not be pervious unto others; no natural or unregenerate man should enter into it; and when the Lord shall have taken up his residence in the church in the latter day, in a more spiritual and glorious manner than ever, there shall no more come into her the uncircumcised and the unclean,
Isaiah 52:1, and especially in the New Jerusalem state nothing shall enter that defiles, or makes an abomination, or a lie, Revelation 21:27 none but those that are Christ's, that are true members of his, and one with him; and this sense agrees with what follows in this chapter, and receives light and confirmation thereby; in which the Lord complains of the Israel and church of God in these its present declining times, that unregenerate persons were admitted into the sanctuary of the Lord, to communicate with the saints, and officiate there, Ezekiel 44:7 and commends such who are faithful ministers and members, who are established therein, Ezekiel 44:15.