From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

The oriental resort for business, converse, bargaining, and news ( Genesis 19:1;  Genesis 23:10;  Psalms 69:12), for addresses and reading the law ( 2 Chronicles 32:6;  Nehemiah 8:1;  Nehemiah 8:3;  Proverbs 1:21;  Jeremiah 17:19), or administering justice ( Joshua 20:4;  Ruth 4:1;  Deuteronomy 16:18;  Deuteronomy 21:19).  Proverbs 22:22, "neither oppress the afflicted in the gate," i.e. in the place of justice, in lawsuits.  Psalms 69:12, "they that sit in the gate speak against Me (Messiah), and I was the song of the drunkards," i.e., not only among drunken revelers, but in the grave deliberations of the judges in the place of justice I was an object of obloquy.  Amos 5:12, "they turn aside the poor in the gate," i.e. they refuse them their right in the place of justice; ( Amos 5:10) "they hate him that rebuketh in the gate," namely, the judge who condemns them ( Zechariah 8:16).

 Isaiah 29:21, "they lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate," i.e., they try by bribes and misrepresentations to ensnare into a false decision the judge who would in public court reprove them for their iniquity, or to ensnare the prophet who publicly reproves them ( Jeremiah 7:2). "The Sublime Porte," the title for the Sultan of Turkey, is derived from the eastern usage of dispensing law in the gateway. The king's or chief's place of audience ( 1 Kings 22:10;  2 Samuel 19:8;  Job 29:7;  Lamentations 5:14). The object of a foe's attack and therefore strengthened especially ( Judges 5:8;  Psalms 147:18), shut at nightfall ( Deuteronomy 3:5;  Joshua 2:5;  Joshua 2:7;  1 Samuel 23:7). The market place for country produce ( 2 Kings 7:1;  Nehemiah 13:16-19). The open spaces near the gates were used for pagan sacrifices ( Acts 14:13;  2 Kings 23:8).

Josiah defiled "the high places of the gates in the entering in of the gate." The larger gates had two valves, and were plated with metal and secured with locks and bars. Those without iron plating were easily set on fire ( Judges 9:52). Sentences of the law were inscribed on and above them, to which allusion occurs  Deuteronomy 6:9; an usage followed by Muslims in modern times. Some gates were of solid stones ( Revelation 21:21;  Isaiah 54:12). Massive stone doors are found in ancient houses of Syria, single slabs, several inches thick, 10 ft. high, turning on stone pivots above and below. The king's principal gate at Ispahan afforded sanctuary to criminals (Chardin, 7:368). In Esther's time "none might enter into the king's gate clothed with sackcloth" ( Esther 4:2). "The Beautiful Gate" of Herod's temple ( Acts 3:2) was the outer one, made of Corinthian brass, surpassing in costliness even nine others of the outer court, which were covered with gold and silver.

It was so heavy that twenty men were required to close it, but it was found open unexpectedly shortly before the overthrow of Jerusalem (Josephus, B. J., 5:5, sec. 3; 6: 5, sec. 3; contra Apion, 2:9). The doorway consisted of lintel, threshold, and side-posts ( Exodus 12:7;  Exodus 12:22). In  Genesis 22:17, "thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies," the sense is, shall sit in judgment on them, as in the Assyrian sculptures the king is represented sitting in judgment upon prisoners. Thus the Persian satrap in the Lycian Xanthus monument sits at the gate dictating terms to the Greek ambassadors, and Sennacherib, at his tent door, gives judgment on the Jews taken at Lachish (British Museum, 59). In front of the larger edifices in the remains at Persepolis and Nineveh (Khorsabad) are propylaea, or "porches," like that "for Solomon's throne where he might judge, even the porch of judgment, covered with cedar from one side of the floor to the other" ( 1 Kings 7:7).

The threshold in the Assyrian palaces is one slab of gypsum with cuneatic inscriptions; human-headed bulls with eagles' wings guard the portals, like and probably borrowed from the cherubim which guarded the gate of Eden; besides there are holes 12 in. square, lined round with tiles, with a brick to cover them above and containing small baked clay idols with lynx head and human body, or human head and lion's body, probably like the teraphim, from Arabic Tarf "a boundary," and akin to the Persian "telifin" talismans. (See Teraphim .) Thus the place of going out and coming in was guarded, as especially sacred, from all evil by the inscriptions, the compound figured gods outside, and the hidden teraphim. Daniel "sat in" such a "gate" before the palace of Babylon as "ruler over the whole province of Babylon" ( Daniel 2:48-49) The courtiers of Ahasuerus attended him "in the gate" similarly ( Esther 3:2).

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [2]

Two terms, πύλη and πυλών, are rendered ‘gate’ in English Version, but in certain cases the latter is differentiated by ‘porch,’ ‘portals’ ( Matthew 26:71, Revelation 21, Revised Version margin passim ). The distinction between the two seems to turn upon architectural features. Where the entrance alone is contemplated, πύλη is used; but where the whole complex of buildings bound up with the entrance is present to view, πυλών is the term employed. The pylon is associated mainly with Egyptian Temples, and consists of the imposing towers flanking the gate by which access was given to the court. When the space between these towers was filled in above, the entrance became a portal, and in this sense the term is employed for private houses as well. An interesting example falling within this period is  Acts 12:13, where mention is made of τὴν θύραν τοῦ πυλῶνος. This shows that the portal or gateway was closed by means of a door placed at the end fronting the street. The passage may have been closed in similar fashion at the other end, which opened on the court (see, further, Door). A similar use with reference to a private house occurs in  Acts 10:17. In each case the singular is used. With these we have to contrast  Acts 14:13, where the plural is found. Opinion is divided as to whether a private entrance, or the city gate, or the sanctuary precincts should here he understood. The most reasonable interpretation is that the πυλῶνες go together with the Temple buildings outside the city (Lystra), being near the point where sacrifice was wont to be made. Barnabas and Paul ‘sprang forth,’ or ‘rushed out,’ as probably from the city gate as from a private house. The remaining instances may be classed together ( Revelation 21:12-13;  Revelation 21:15;  Revelation 21:21;  Revelation 21:25;  Revelation 22:14), where the marginal reading ‘portals’ gives the best conception of what is represented.

In cases where the gate of a city is referred to, πύλη is the usual term. It is used thus of Damascus ( Acts 9:24) and Philippi ( Acts 16:13 -here Authorized Versionrenders ‘city’-a not unnatural substitution). With these instances may be ranked  Hebrews 13:12 -Christ suffering without the gate (of. Jerusalem). We remark the singular form in all but one instance ( Acts 9:24, where the plural is warranted). There is one example to be classed alone, which shows how an entrance was filled up. It is found in  Acts 12:10, where the epithet ‘iron’ applied to gate is attached to πύλη (it would not suit πυλών). Modern structures lead us to think of iron throughout, but it is more likely the gate was of wood and faced with iron. That the more solid form was not impossible we gather from the Temple doors (Jos. Bellum Judaicum (Josephus) vi. v. 3; cf. discoveries at Pompeii, and Vergil, aen . vi. 552-4). If we accept the addition of Cod. Bezae, seven steps led down from this gate to the level of the street.

The Beautiful Gate of the Temple ( Acts 3:2;  Acts 3:10) has been treated under articleDoor. Although it is spoken of as a gate (πύλη), we have reason to think this was a portal of ft very elaborate type ( Hastings’ Single-vol. Dictionary of the Bible , article‘Temple’).

W. Cruickshank.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [3]

is often used in Scripture to denote a place of public assembly, where justice was administered,  Deuteronomy 17:5;  Deuteronomy 17:8;  Deuteronomy 21:19;  Deuteronomy 22:15;  Deuteronomy 25:6-7 , &c. One instance of these judgments appears in that given at the gate of Bethlehem, between Boaz and a relation of Naomi, on the subject of Ruth,  Ruth 4:2; another in Abraham's purchase of a field to bury Sarah,  Genesis 23:10;  Genesis 23:18 . The gate of judgment is a term still common to the Arabians to express a court of justice, and even introduced by the Saracens into Spain. "I had several times," says Jacob, "visited the Alhambra, the ancient palace and fortress of the Moorish kings: it is situated on the top of a hill, overlooking the city, and is surrounded by a wall of great height and thickness. The entrance is through an archway, over which is carved a key, the symbol of the Mohammedan monarchs. This gate, called the gate of judgment, according to eastern forms, was the place where the kings administered justice." In Morocco, the gate is still the place where judgment is held. "All complaints," says Host, "are brought, in the first instance, to the cadi, or governor, who, for that purpose, passes certain hours of the day in the gate of the city, partly for the sake of the fresh air, and partly to see all those who go out; and, lastly, to observe a custom which has long prevailed, of holding judgment there. The gate is contrived accordingly, being built like a square chamber, with two doors, which are not directly opposite to each other, but on two adjoining sides, with seats on the other sides. In this manner David sat between two gates,"  2 Samuel 18:24 . Gate sometimes signifies power, dominion, almost in the same sense as the Turkish emperor's palace is called the Porte. God promises Abraham that his posterity shall possess the gates of their enemies, their towns, their fortresses,   Genesis 22:17 .

Jesus Christ says to Peter, "Thou art Peter; and on this rock will I build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,"  Matthew 16:18 . This may mean either the powers of hell, or invisible spirits; or simply death,—the church shall be replenished by living members from generation to generation, so that death shall never annihilate it.

Solomon says, "He that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction." The Arabs are accustomed to ride into the houses of those they design to harass. To prevent this, Thevenot tells us that the door of the house in which the French merchants live at Rama was not three feet high, and that all the doors of that town are equally low. Agreeably to this account, the Abbe Mariti, speaking of his admission into a monastery near Jerusalem, says, "The passage is so low, that it will scarcely admit a horse; and it is shut by a gate of iron, strongly secured in the inside. As soon as we entered, it was again made fast with various bolts and bars of iron: a precaution extremely necessary in a desert place, exposed to the incursions, and insolent attacks of the Arabs." Mr. Drummond says, that in the country about Roudge, in Syria, "the poor miserable Arabs are under the necessity of hewing their houses out of the rock, and cutting very small doors or openings to them, that they may not be made stables for the Turkish horse, as they pass and repass." And thus, long before him, Sandys, at Gaza, in Palestine: "We lodged under an arch in a little court, together with our asses; the door exceeding low, as are all that belong unto Christians, to withstand the sudden entrance of the insolent Turks." "To exalt the gate," would consequently be to court destruction. Morier says, "A poor man's door is scarcely three feet in height; and this is a precautionary measure to hinder the servants of the great from entering it on horseback; which, when any act of oppression is intended, they would make no scruple to do. But the habitation of a man in power is known by his gate, which is generally elevated in proportion to the vanity of its owner. A lofty gate is one of the insignia of royalty: such is the Allan Capi, at Ispahan, and Bob Homayan, or the Sublime Porte, at Constantinople. It must have been the same in ancient days; the gates of Jerusalem, Zion, &c, are often mentioned in the Scripture, with the same notion of grandeur annexed to them."

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words [4]

Sha‛ar ( שַׁעַר , Strong'S #8179), “gate.” This word has cognates in Ugaritic, Arabic, Moabite, Aramaic, and Phoenician. Biblical Hebrew attests it about 370 times and in all periods.

Basically, this word represents a structure closing and enclosing a large opening through a wall, or a barrier through which people and things pass to an enclosed area. The “gate” of a city often was a fortified structure deeper than the wall. This is especially true of strong, wellfortified cities, as in the case of the first biblical appearance of the word: “And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom …” (Gen. 19:1). Within major cities there were usually strongly fortified citadels with “gates” (Neh. 2:8). Certain “gates” were only the thickness of a curtain: “And for the gate of the court [of the tabernacle] shall be a hanging of twenty cubits …” (Exod. 27:16). Later, the temple had large openings between its various courts: “Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the Lord” (Jer. 7:2).

Exod. 32:26 speaks of an opening (“gate”) in the barrier surrounding Israel’s temporary camp at the foot of Sinai. Such camps often were enclosed with barriers of earth and/or rock. Ancient fortified cities had to find a source of water for periods of siege, and sometimes dams were built. Nah. 2:6 apparently refers to such a dam when it says: “The gates of the rivers shall be opened, and the palace shall be dissolved” (i.e., swept away). Both the underworld (Job 38:17) and heaven, the domain of God (Gen. 28:17), are pictured as cities with “gates.”

The “gates” of ancient cities sometimes enclosed city squares or were immediately in front of squares (2 Chron. 32:6). The entry way (2 Chron. 23:15) could be secured with heavy doors that were attached to firmly embedded pillars and reinforced by bars (Judg. 16:3; cf. Ps. 147:13; Neh. 3:3). Palaces could be citadels with strongly fortified “gates” large enough to have rooms over them. During siege, such rooms housed warriors. It was such a room into which David climbed and wept over the death of his son Absalom (2 Sam. 18:33). “Gates” had rooms to house guards (Ezek. 40:7). The rooms bordering the “gates” could also be used to store siege supplies (Neh. 12:25).

The “gates” were the place where local courts convened: “And if the man like not to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband’s brother refuseth …” (Deut. 25:7). The sentence sometimes was executed at the city “gates”: “And I will fan them with a fan in the gates of the land; I will bereave them of children, I will destroy my people …” (Jer. 15:7). In this passage, all of the land of Israel is envisioned as a city at whose “gates” God gathers the offenders for trial, judgment, sentence, and punishment.

The phrase, “within the gates,” means “within the area enclosed.” Thus the sojourner who is “in your gates” is the foreigner who permanently lives in one of Israel’s towns (Exod. 20:10). In passages such as Deut. 12:15, this phrase means “wherever you live”: “Notwithstanding thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all thy gates.…”

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [5]

The gates of eastern walled towns were usually of wood,  Judges 16:3 , often covered with thick plates of iron or copper,  Psalm 107:16   Isaiah 45:2   Acts 12:10 , secured by bolts and bars,  Deuteronomy 3:5   1 Kings 4:13 , and flanked by towers,  2 Samuel 18:24,33 . A city was usually regarded as taken when its gates were won,  Deuteronomy 28:52   Judges 5:8 . Hence "gate" sometimes signifies power, dominion; almost in the same sense as the Turkish sultan's palace is called the Porte, or Gate. God promises Abraham that his posterity shall possess the gates of their enemies- their towns, their fortresses,  Genesis 22:17 . So too, "the gates of hell," that is, the power of hell, or hell itself.

In oriental cities there was always an open space or place adjacent to each gate, and these were at the same time the market places, and the place of justice,  Genesis 23:10-18   Ruth 4:1-12   Deuteronomy 16:18   21:19   25:6,7   Proverbs 22:22   Amos 5:10,12,15 . There, too, people assembled to spend their leisure hours,  Genesis 19:1 . Hence "they that sit in the gate" is put for idlers, loungers, who are coupled with drunkards,  Psalm 69:12 . The woes of a city were disclosed in the mourning or loneliness of these places of resort,  Isaiah 14:31   Jeremiah 14:2 . Here too the public proclamations were made, and the messages of prophets delivered,  Proverbs 1:21   8:3   Isaiah 29:21   Jeremiah 17:19   26:10 . Near the gate of a city, but without it, executions took place,  1 Kings 21:13   Acts 7:58   Hebrews 13:12 . To exalt the gate of a house through pride, increased one's exposure to robbery,  Proverbs 17:19 . To open it wide and high was significant of joy and welcome, as when the Savior ascended to heaven,  Psalm 24:7,9; and the open gates of the new Jerusalem in contrast with those of earthly cities carefully closed and guarded at nightfall, indicate the happy security of that world of light,  Revelation 21:25 .

People's Dictionary of the Bible [6]

Gate. Eastern cities anciently were walled and had gates. They are thus sometimes taken as representing the city itself.  Genesis 22:17;  Genesis 24:60;  Deuteronomy 12:12;  Judges 5:8;  Ruth 4:10;  Psalms 87:2;  Psalms 122:2. Gateways were used:(1) As places of public resort.  Genesis 19:1;  Genesis 23:10;  Genesis 34:20;  Genesis 34:24;  1 Samuel 4:18, etc. (2) For public deliberation, holding. courts of justice, or for meeting kings and rulers or ambassadors.  Deuteronomy 16:18;  Deuteronomy 21:19;  Deuteronomy 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.  2 Kings 23:8. The gates of cities were carefully guarded, and closed at nightfall.  Deuteronomy 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 of the larger gates mentioned in Scripture were two-leaved, plated with metal, closed with locks and barred with metal bars.  Deuteronomy 3:5;  Psalms 107:16;  Isaiah 45:1-2. Gates not covered by iron were 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.  Deuteronomy 6:9;  Revelation 21:21. The gates of Solomon's temple were very massive and costly, being overlaid with gold and carvings.  1 Kings 6:34-35;  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 6:31-32;  1 Kings 6:34;  Ezekiel 41:23-24.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [7]

1: Πύλη (Strong'S #4439 — Noun Feminine — pule — poo'-lay )

is used (a) literally, for a larger sort of "gate," in the wall either of a city or palace or temple,  Luke 7:12 , of Nain (burying places were outside the "gates" of cities);  Acts 3:10;  9:24;  12:10;  Hebrews 13:12; (b) metaphorically, of the "gates" at the entrances of the ways leading to life and to destruction,  Matthew 7:13,14; some mss. have pule, for thura, "a door," in  Luke 13:24 (see the RV); of the "gates" of Hades,   Matthew 16:18 , than which nothing was regarded as stronger. The importance and strength of "gates" made them viewed as synonymous with power. By metonymy, the "gates" stood for those who held government and administered justice there.

2: Πυλών (Strong'S #4440 — Noun Masculine — pulon — poo-lone' )

akin to No. 1, primarily signifies "a porch or vestibule," e.g.,  Matthew 26:71;  Luke 16:20;  Acts 10:17;  12:13,14; then, the "gateway" or "gate tower" of a walled town,  Acts 14:13;  Revelation 21:12,13,15,21,25;  22:14 .

 Acts 3:2Door.  John 5:2 Matthew 16:18

Morrish Bible Dictionary [8]

Beside the ordinary use of gates for the protection of a city, 'in the gate' was the place where many important things were transacted. When Boaz wanted the question settled respecting Ruth and the inheritance, he went up to the gate: the subject was debated with a nearer relative, then concluded, and witnessed by the elders.  Ruth 4:1-12; cf.  Joshua 20:4;  1 Samuel 4:18;  2 Samuel 15:2;  Acts 14:13 . To 'sit in the gate' was a place of honour: "they that sit in the gate speak against me."  Psalm 69:12 . It should have been the place of true judgement and justice, but was not always so.  Isaiah 29:21;  Amos 5:10,12;  Zechariah 8:16 . It was, at least at times, the king's chief place of audience.  2 Samuel 19:8;  1 Kings 22:10;  Job 29:7;  Lamentations 5:14 . From this it would be a symbol of power: thus the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church which Christ builds.  Matthew 16:18 .

The gates of cities were of wood cased with iron to strengthen them and prevent them being burnt with fire. cf.  Judges 9:52 . The prison at Jerusalem had an outer gate of iron, the only iron one we read of.  Acts 12:10 .

Doubtless the gates of Solomon's temple were adorned to agree with the rest of the work. In the N.T. we read of THE Beautiful Gate of the temple,  Acts 3:10; and Josephus relates that Herod made an outer gate of Corinthian brass, costing more than those adorned with gold and silver. The gates of the New Jerusalem are described as pearls: "every several gate was of one pearl,"  Revelation 21:12-25 : the entrances must be in keeping with the rest of the city. The pearls represent the glories of Christ as seen in the church: cf.  Matthew 13:46 .

The gate is used symbolically as the entrance both to life and to destruction: the former is narrow and the way straitened, and alas, there are but few that find it; whereas for the latter the gate is wide and the way is broad, and many there are that enter through it.  Matthew 7:13,14 .

Easton's Bible Dictionary [9]

  • 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;  25:6,7 , etc.). At the gates prophets also frequently delivered their messages ( Proverbs 1:21;  8:3;  Isaiah 29:21;  Jeremiah 17:19,20;  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 ( Psalm 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.

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Gate'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. 1897.

  • King James Dictionary [10]

    GATE, n.

    1. A large door which gives entrance into a walled city, a castle, a temple, palace or other large edifice. It differs from door chiefly in being larger. Gate signifies both the opening or passage, and the frame of boards, planks or timber which closes the passage. 2. A frame of timber which opens or closes a passage into any court, garden or other inclosed ground also, the passage. 3. The frame which shuts or stops the passage of water through a dam into a flume. 4. An avenue an opening a way.

    In scripture, figuratively, power, dominion. "Thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies " that is, towns and fortresses.  Genesis 22

    The gates of hell, are the power and dominion of the devil and his instruments.  Matthew 16

    The gates of death, are the brink of the grave.  Psalms 9

    Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [11]

    Gate, Gates

    In Scripture these expressions are not limited to the doors, or entrances, into an house, or city; but the term is figuratively made use of to denote place, or person, or people. Thus the gates of hell means hell itself; gates of judgment, the place where justice was awarded. "Salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks;" meaning, that all rests upon this bottom, in a way of grace, mercy, and salvation. ( Isaiah 26:1)

    Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [12]

    GATE . See City, Fortification and Siegecraft § 5 , Jerusalem, Temple.

    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [13]

    gāt (Hebrew normally (over 300 times) שׁער , sha‛ar  ; occasionally דּלת , deleth , properly, "gateway" (but compare   Deuteronomy 3:5 ); elsewhere the gateway is פתח , pethaḥ (compare especially  Genesis 19:6 ); Aramaic תּרע , tera‛  ; Greek πυλών , pulō̇n , πύλη , púlē  ; the English Revised Version and the King James Version add סף , ṣaph , "threshold," in  1 Chronicles 9:19 ,  1 Chronicles 9:22; and the King James Version adds דּלתים , delāthayim , "double-door," in  Isaiah 45:1; θύρα , thúra , "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 ,  Nehemiah 2:17 ), but greater strength and protection against fire was given by plating with metal ( Psalm 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;  Psalm 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  Psalm 24:7 refers to the enlargement or enrichment of the gates. As the gate was especially subject to attack (  Ezekiel 21:15 ,  Ezekiel 21:22 ), and as to "possess the gate" was to possess the city ( Genesis 22:17;  Genesis 24:60 ), it was protected by a tower ( 2 Samuel 18:24 ,  2 Samuel 18:33;  2 Chronicles 14:7;  2 Chronicles 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 (Rth 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 ,  Nehemiah 3:3 ,  Nehemiah 3:18 ). In particular, the "gate" was the place of the legal tribunals ( Deuteronomy 16:18;  Deuteronomy 21:19;  Deuteronomy 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;  Proverbs 8:3;  Proverbs 31:31 ), while on the other hand the gates were the resort of the town good-for-nothings ( Psalm 69:12 ).

    (3) "Gates" can be used figuratively for the glory of a city (  Isaiah 3:26;  Isaiah 14:31;  Jeremiah 14:2;  Lamentations 1:4; contrast  Psalm 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 ,  Judges 5:11 is very uncertain, and the text may be corrupt. See City; Jerusalem; Tabernacle; Temple .

    Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [14]

    Copyright StatementThese files are public domain. Bibliography InformationMcClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Gate'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.