Summary: Understanding the gates of Life points out the significance of openings. Just as you have to be careful of those who come into you home, you must guard against what you watch, read or listen to if you do not want to introduce spirits of sin into your life
By Bode Ayodele
Gates and doors are very significant in the life of human beings. A city without a gate is open to various unwanted things and personalities. Just as in the physical, there are also spiritual gates and doors.
Throughout the bible, roles played by gates, provide an important area of interest.
Both physically and spiritually, gates serve as an entrance to confined areas.
The bible records many important decisions and events taking place at the gates. It was at the gate Abraham negotiated to purchase the cave where he buried Sarah.
(Gen 23:10) And Ephron dwelt among the children of Heth: and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the audience of the children of Heth, even of all that went in at the gate of his city, saying,
(Gen 23:11) Nay, my lord, hear me: the field give I thee, and the cave that is therein, I give it thee; in the presence of the sons of my people give I it thee: bury thy dead.
Gates or doors serve as a notice board for angels to determine whether the inhabitants of a house are children of God, or not.
In Deuteronomy 6:9 the Lord instructed the Israelites to write his word upon their gates.
(9) And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
Also, at the gates, judges sat and gave judgement.
Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment.
Likewise, Deuteronomy 17: 5 records:
Then shalt thou bring forth to thy gates that man or that woman, who have committed that wicked thing, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die. From the scriptures we gather that elders of the land converge at the gates.
The bible says of the virtuous woman:
Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. (Proverbs 31:23)
Also, Deuteronomy 22:15 records:
Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the token of the damsel’s virginity to the elders of the city in the gate.
To prevent what is undesirable from entering through the gates they must be manned:
And he set the porters at the gates of the house of the LORD, that none who was unclean in any thing should enter.
The gates are also a place where praise and thanks was given:
Hezekiah appointed the courses of the priests and the Levites after their courses, every man according to his service, the priests and Levites for burnt offerings and for peace offerings, to minister, and to give thanks, and to praise in the gates of the tents of the LORD.
Not only is a city or house incomplete without a gate, gates require purification:
And the priests and the Levites purified themselves, and purified the people, and the gates, and the wall.
Kind of gates
Having established the significance of gates let us look at the kinds of gates in existence.
There are various kinds of gates. In the bible we have:
The gates of death:
Have the gates of death been opened to thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shades of death?
The Gates of Praise:
Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.
The gates of righteousness
Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will enter them, and I will praise the lord.
We also have the fish-gate, the sheep gate the prison- gate and the old gate as revealed in (Nehemiah 12: 39). This verse alone mentions these four gates.
Likewise, Nehemiah mentions the Dung gate and the Valley gate.
Having looked at the various kinds of gates in the bible lets us examine the characteristics of gates. The bible makes it clear that gates can be good or bad, loved or hated.
Psalm 87:2 states
The lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
Gates may also be named after individuals. Ezekiel 48:31-34 speaks about gates being named after the tribes of Israel.
Isaiah tells us that gates also lament and mourn:
And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she being desolate, shall sit upon the ground.
As seen in Lamentations, when a city is under oppression even the gates are affected. Lamentations speaks about gates being desolate:
The ways of Zion do mourn, because none come to the solemn feasts: all her gates are desolate: her priests sigh, her virgins are afflicted, and she is in bitterness.