The Prophet Ezekiel on the Perpetual Virginity of Mary
Ezekiel 44: 1-3 “Then he brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, which faces east; and it was shut. And he said to me, "This gate shall remain shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it; for the LORD, the God of Israel, has entered by it; therefore it shall remain shut. Only the prince may sit in it to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gate, and shall go out by the same way."
Ezekiel 46:3 “ Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the LORD in the sabbaths and in the new moons.”
We see in this passage that in the New Covenant, a new temple will come. The Lord God of Israel will pass through the gate and no one else shall pass through it. The “prince” is Jesus, and Mary is the “gate”, who remained a virgin before, during, and after the birth of Christ. St Ambrose of Milan writes in the fourth century:
“Who is this gate (Ezekiel 44:1-4), if not Mary? Is it not closed because she is a virgin? Mary is the gate through which Christ entered this world, when He was brought forth in the virginal birth and the manner of His birth did not break the seals of virginity."
This is representative of the Church Fathers’ understanding that Ezekiel’s prophecy referred to Christ’s birth from Mary. In John 7:38-39, Jesus speaks of the rivers of flowing water, which points to the Ezekiel passages in Ezekiel 40-48. Other Fathers who spoke on Mary’s perpetual virginity derived from this passage include Sts. Hilary, Jerome, Proclus, Augustine, Peter Chrysologus, and Gregory the Great. Even the Anglican Divine, Jeremy Taylor, bears witness:
“And He that came from His grave fast tied with a stone and a signature, and into the college of the apostles ‘the doors being shut,’ and into the glories of His Father through the solid orbs of all the firmament, came also (as the Church piously believes) into the world so without doing violence to the virginal and pure body of His mother, that He did also leave her virginity entire, to be a seal, that none might open the gate of that sanctuary; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet ‘This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the Lord God of Israel hath entered by it, therefore it shall be shut.’”