Eastern Gate

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Eastern Gate

 

Location

 

1. The Eastern Gate is located on the eastern side of the Temple Mount and faces the Mount of Olives.

 

2. It is an important gate because it plays a central role in Scripture and prophecy.

 

3. The Old City of Jerusalem is surrounded by a wall containing eight major gates.

 

  • Lions Gate (Stephen’s Gate)

  • Eastern Gate (Golden Gate, Beautiful Gate)

  • Dung Gate

  • Zion Gate

  • Jaffa Gate

  • New Gate

  • Damascus Gate

  • Herod’s Gate

 

4. The Eastern Gate is unique in that it is sealed shut.

 

5. It is the oldest gate in the Old City.

 

6. The Eastern Gate was in direct alignment with the gate into the outer court, inner court, and main entrance doors of the temple. This is also affirmed by Rabbinical writings found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Therefore, there is strong evidence that the location of the temple was not where the Dome of the Rock is, but to the north of it. 

 

Historical Background

 

1. The original Eastern Gate was named by Nehemiah when he rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem.

 

2. During the time of Christ, according to the Mishnah (collection of Jewish oral laws), there was a bridge which led out of the Temple Mount eastward over the Kidron Valley, extending as far as the Mount of Olives.

 

3. The current Eastern Gate is believed to have been built sometime between 400-600 AD.

 

4. The original gate was discovered in 1969 by James Fleming and is located directly under the current Eastern Gate.

 

5. It is the gate that gives the most direct access to the Temple Mount from the Mount of Olives.

 

6. The Eastern Gate is unique in that it is completely sealed shut. Some commentators see the Eastern Gate’s obstruction as a fulfillment of biblical prophecy.

 

  • It was closed by the Muslims in 810, reopened in 1102 by the Crusaders, and then walled up by Saladin after regaining Jerusalem in 1187. Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent rebuilt it together with the city walls but walled it up in 1541, and it stayed that way until today.

 

  • It’s believed that the reason for the closing of the Eastern Gate was to prevent the Jewish Messiah from gaining entrance to Jerusalem.

 

  • Muslims also put a cemetery directly in front of the gate as an extra layer of precaution believing that the Messiah, being a good Jew, would not walk through it and become unclean in doing so. However, whatever Christ touches becomes clean, so that presents no problem.

 

7. Jewish tradition states that the Messiah will pass through the Eastern Gate when He comes to rule. For Christians, Christ already did this at His first coming and will do it again at His second coming.

Ezekiel 44:1–3: Then he brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, which faces east. And it was shut. 2 And the Lord 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. 3 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.”

 

8. Though it is formally called the Eastern Gate, it is also known as the Golden Gate, the Gate of Eternal Life, the Mercy Gate, and sometimes the Beautiful Gate. The Beautiful Gate, which appears to have been located just inside the Eastern Gate a bit, is the only one specifically mentioned in the Bible.

9. The Eastern Gate does not line up with the Dome of the Rock. This leads many to believe the original location of the temple lied north of it in the open plaza area.

Places of Interest

 

1. Eastern Gate
2. Temple Mount
3. Original location of the temple
4. Inner and outer courts of the temple
5. Mount of Olives
6. Other
gates of Old City Jerusalem

The Eastern Gate in the Bible

 

1. It is the likely gate the ashes of the Red Heifer sacrifice were carried through and then deposited in a clean place outside the city (Num. 19:1–10).

 

2. The glory of the Lord left the temple because of Israel’s disobedience.
Ezekiel 10:18–19: Then the glory of the Lord went out from the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubim. 19 And the cherubim lifted up their wings and mounted up from the earth before my eyes as they went out, with the wheels beside them. And they stood at the entrance of the east gate of the house of the Lord, and the glory of the God of Israel was over them.

 

Ezekiel 11:23: And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain that is on the east side of the city [Mount of Olives].

 

3. The glory of the Lord will return to the temple at Christ’s second coming.
Ezekiel 43:1–5: Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing east. 2 And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. 3 And the vision I saw was just like the vision that I had seen when he came to destroy the city, and just like the vision that I had seen by the Chebar canal. And I fell on my face. 4 As the glory of the Lord entered the temple by the gate facing east, 5 the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the temple.

 

Zechariah 14:4: On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward.

 

4. When Jesus entered Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives on Palm Sunday (Triumphal Entry), He most likely used the Eastern Gate.
Luke 19:37–38: As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

 

Luke 19:45–46: And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, 46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.”

 

5. It is the gate that Jesus would have entered and exited through repeatedly as He taught in the temple and then retreated to the Mount of Olives to rest and sleep.
Luke 21:37–38: And every day he was teaching in the temple, but at night he went out and lodged on the mount called Olivet. 38 And early in the morning all the people came to him in the temple to hear him.

 

6. Just inside the Eastern Gate was where Peter and John healed a lame man.
Acts 3:1–10: Now Peter and John went up together to the Temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour, and a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful to ask alms from those who entered the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. 4 And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” 5 And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” 7 And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. 8 And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

 

Faith Lesson from the Eastern Gate

 

1. The Eastern Gate has seen many prophecies fulfilled.

 

2. There are still more prophecies it will witness.

 

3. Prophecy proves the Bible is accurate and that we can place our full confidence in it.

 

4. If all past prophecies have been fulfilled, then we can rest assured what is still prophesied will come to pass as well.

 

5. Do we fully believe the prophecies in the Bible and are we living in such a way that proves it?
 

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Eastern Gate

 

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