Gate

Gate [S]

  • Of cities, as of Jerusalem ( Jeremiah 37:13 ; Nehemiah 1:3 ; 2:3 ; 3:3 ), of Sodom ( Genesis 19:1 ), of Gaza ( Judges 16:3 ).

  • Of royal palaces ( Nehemiah 2:8 ).

  • Of the temple of Solomon ( 1 Kings 6:34 1 Kings 6:35 ; 2 Kings 18:16 ); of the holy place ( 1 Kings 6:31 1 Kings 6:32 ; Ezekiel 41:23 Ezekiel 41:24 ); of the outer courts of the temple, the beautiful gate ( Acts 3:2 ).

  • Tombs ( Matthew 27:60 ).

  • Prisons ( Acts 12:10 ; 16:27 ).

  • Caverns ( 1 Kings 19:13 ).

  • Camps ( Exodus 32:26 Exodus 32:27 ; Hebrews 13:12 ).

    The materials of which gates were made were,

  • Iron and brass ( Psalms 107:16 ; Isaiah 45:2 ; Acts 12:10 ).

  • Stones and pearls ( Isaiah 54:12 ; Revelation 21:21 ).

  • Wood ( Judges 16:3 ) probably.

    At the gates of cities courts of justice were frequently held, and hence "judges of the gate" are spoken of ( Deuteronomy 16:18 ; 17:8 ; 21:19 ; Deuteronomy 25:6 Deuteronomy 25:7 , etc.). At the gates prophets also frequently delivered their messages ( Proverbs 1:21 ; 8:3 ; Isaiah 29:21 ; Jeremiah 17:19 Jeremiah 17:20 ; 26:10 ). Criminals were punished without the gates ( 1 Kings 21:13 ; Acts 7:59 ). By the "gates of righteousness" we are probably to understand those of the temple ( Psalms 118:19 ). "The gates of hell" (RSV, "gates of Hades") Matthew 16:18 , are generally interpreted as meaning the power of Satan, but probably they may mean the power of death, denoting that the Church of Christ shall never die.

    These dictionary topics are from
    M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
    published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

    [S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary

    Bibliography Information

    Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Gate". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .

  • Gate. [E]

    The gate and gateways of eastern cities anciently held and still hold an important part, not only in the defence but in the public economy of the place. They are thus sometimes taken as representing the city itself. ( Genesis 22:17 ; 24:60 ; 12:12 ; Judges 5:8 ; Ruth 4:10 ; Psalms 87:2 ; 122:2 ) Among the special purposes for which they were used may be mentioned.

    1. As places of public resort. ( Genesis 19:1 ; 23:10 ; 34:20 ; 24 ; 1 Samuel 4:18 ) etc.
    2. Places for public deliberation, administration of Justice, or of audience for kings and rulers or ambassadors. ( 16:18 ; 21:19 ; 25:7 ; Joshua 20:4 ; Judges 9:35 ) etc.
    3. Public markets. ( 2 Kings 7:1 ) In heathen towns the open spaces near the gates appear to have been sometimes used as places for sacrifice. ( Acts 14:13 ) comp 2Kin 23:8 Regarded therefore as positions of great importance, the gates of cities were carefully guarded, and closed at nightfall. ( 3:5 ; Joshua 2:5 Joshua 2:7 ; Judges 9:40 Judges 9:44 ) They contained chambers over the gateway. ( 2 Samuel 18:24 ) The doors themselves of the larger gates mentioned in Scripture were two leaved, plated with metal, closed with locks and fastened with metal bars. ( 3:6 ; Psalms 107:16 ; Isaiah 46:1 Isaiah 46:2 ) Gates not defended by iron were of course liable to be set on fire by an enemy. ( Judges 9:52 ) The gateways of royal palaces and even of private houses were often richly ornamented. Sentences from the law were inscribed on and above the gates. ( 6:9 ; Isaiah 64:12 ; Revelation 21:21 ) The gates of Solomons temple were very massive and costly, being overlaid with gold and carving. ( 1 Kings 6:34 1 Kings 6:35 ; 2 Kings 18:16 ) Those of the holy place were of olive wood, two-leaved and overlaid with gold; those of the temple of fir. ( 1 Kings 6:31 1 Kings 6:32 1 Kings 6:34 ; Ezekiel 41:23 Ezekiel 41:24 )
    [E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary

    Bibliography Information

    Smith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Gate'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary". . 1901.

    GATE

    gat (Hebrew normally (over 300 times) sha`ar; occasionally deleth, properly, "gateway" (but compare Deuteronomy 3:5); elsewhere the gateway is pethach (compare especially Genesis 19:6); Aramaic tera`; Greek pulon, pule; the English Revised Version and the King James Version add caph, "threshold," in 1 Chronicles 9:19,22; and the King James Version adds delathayim, "double-door," in Isaiah 45:1; thura, "door," Acts 3:2):

    (1) The usual gateway was provided with double doors, swung on projections that fitted into sockets in the sill and lintel. Ordinarily the material was wood (Nehemiah 2:3,17), but greater strength and protection against fire was given by plating with metal (Psalms 107:16; Isaiah 45:2). Josephus (BJ, V, v, 3) speaks of the solid metal doors of the Beautiful Gate (Acts 3:2) as a very exceptional thing. Some doors were solid slabs of stone, from which the imagery of single jewels (Isaiah 54:12; Revelation 21:21) was derived. When closed, the doors were secured with a bar (usually of wood, Nahum 3:13, but sometimes of metal, 1 Kings 4:13; Psalms 107:16; Isaiah 45:2), which fitted into clamps on the doors and sockets in the post, uniting the whole firmly (Judges 16:3). Sometimes, perhaps, a portcullis was used, but Psalms 24:7 refers to the enlargement or enrichment of the gates. As the gate was especially subject to attack (Ezekiel 21:15,22), and as to "possess the gate" was to possess the city (Genesis 22:17; 24:60), it was protected by a tower (2 Samuel 18:24,33; 2 Chronicles 14:7; 26:9), often, doubtless, overhanging and with flanking projections. Sometimes an inner gate was added (2 Samuel 18:24). Unfortunately, Palestine gives us little monumental detail.

    (2) As even farm laborers slept in the cities, most of the men passed through the gate every day, and the gate was the place for meeting others (Ruth 4:1; 2 Samuel 15:2) and for assemblages. For the latter purpose "broad" or open places (distinguished from the "streets" in Proverbs 7:12) were provided (1 Kings 22:10; Nehemiah 8:1), and these were the centers of the public life. Here the markets were held (2 Kings 7:1), and the special commodities in these gave names to the gates (Nehemiah 3:1,3,18). In particular, the "gate" was the place of the legal tribunals (Deuteronomy 16:18; 21:19; 25:7, etc.), so that a seat "among the elders in the gates" (Proverbs 31:23) was a high honor, while "oppression in the gates" was a synonym for judicial corruption (Job 31:21; Proverbs 22:22; Isaiah 29:21; Amos 5:10). The king, in especial, held public audiences in the gate (2 Samuel 19:8; 1 Kings 22:10; Jeremiah 38:7; compare Jeremiah 39:3), and even yet "Sublime Porte" (the French translation of the Turkish for "high gate") is the title of the Court of Constantinople. To the gates, as the place of throngs, prophets and teachers went with their message (1 Kings 22:10; Jeremiah 17:19; Proverbs 1:21; 8:3;31:31), while on the other hand the gates were the resort of the town good-for-nothings (Psalms 69:12).

    (3) "Gates" can be used figuratively for the glory of a city (Isaiah 3:26; 14:31; Jeremiah 14:2; Lamentations 1:4; contrast Psalms 87:2), but whether the military force, the rulers or the people is in mind cannot be determined. In Matthew 16:18 "gates of Hades" (not "hell") may refer to the hosts (or princes) of Satan, but a more likely translation is `the gates of the grave (which keep the dead from returning) shall not be stronger than it.' The meaning in Judges 5:8,11 is very uncertain, and the text may be corrupt.

    See CITY; JERUSALEM; TABERNACLE; TEMPLE.

    Burton Scott Easton


    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.

    Bibliography Information
    Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'GATE'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.