Gates of the Bible

Many types of gates are mentioned in Scripture.

Types of gates

Types of gates mentioned in the Bible…

  1. Gates of cities

    All these were cities fortified with high walls, gates and bars… —Deuteronomy 3:5 NASB


    Jerusalem’s gates (Jeremiah 37:13; Neh. 1:3; 2:3; 3:3)

    Sodom’s gate

    Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. … —Genesis 19:1 NASB

    Gaza’s gates

    Now Samson went to Gaza and saw a harlot there, and went in to her. When it was told to the Gazites, saying, “Samson has come here,” they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the gate of the city. And they kept silent all night, saying, “Let us wait until the morning light, then we will kill him.” Now Samson lay until midnight, and at midnight he arose and took hold of the doors of the city gate and the two posts and pulled them up along with the bars; then he put them on his shoulders and carried them up to the top of the mountain which is opposite Hebron. —Judges 16:1-3 NASB

  2. Gates of fortresses and royal palaces

    Neh. 2:8

  3. Gates of the Tabernacle

    He erected the court all around the tabernacle and the altar, and hung up the veil for the gateway of the court. … —Exodus 40:33 NASB

  4. Gates of the Holy Temples of God

    Temple of Solomon

    and two doors of cypress wood; the two leaves of the one door turned on pivots, and the two leaves of the other door turned on pivots. He carved on it cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers; and he overlaid them with gold evenly applied on the engraved work. —1 Kings 6:34-35

    Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord, and from the doorposts which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria. —2 Kings 18:16 NASB

    of the holy place (1 Kings 6:31-32; Ezek. 41:23-24)

    Gates of the outer courts of the temple, such as the Beautiful gate of Herod’s temple

    And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple. —Acts 3:2 NASB

    Gates of Righteousness

    By the “gates of righteousness” we are probably to understand those of the Temple (Psalm 118:19).

  5. Corner Gate

    The Corner Gate of Jerusalem (2 Kings 14:13 NKJV; 2 Chr. 26:9 NKJV) was on the northwest side of the city.

  6. Prison gates

    When they had passed the first and second guard, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city, which opened for them by itself; and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel departed from him. —Acts 12:10

    And the keeper of the prison was awaked, and saw the gates of the prison opened… —Acts 16:27 Wycliffe Bible

    …the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened… —Acts 16:27 NASB

  7. Camp gates

    Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD's side?… “Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp…” —Exodus 32:26-27 KJV

    For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. —Hebrews 13:11-13 ESV

  8. Tomb gates or doors

    “…rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre…” (Matthew 27:60 KJV)

    “…against the door of the tomb…” (Matt. 27:60 NKJV)

    “…against the entrance…” (Matt. 27:60 NASB)

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  9. Gates of New Jerusalem

    These 12 gates will exist during the Millennium (the 1,000 year physical reign of Christ on this Earth) and will be named after the 12 tribes of Israel.

    And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. —Revelation 21:21 NASB

    These pearl gates are obviously large enough to allow passage of people (clearly not ordinary pearls), and one may assume they are iridescent.

    These gates will never be shut (Rev. 21:25), but will each be guarded by an angel (Rev. 21:12). Only those humans whose names are in the Lamb’s Book of Life may enter (Rev. 21:27).

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  10. Gates of Hades or Gates of Hell

    …I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. —Matthew 16:18 KJV, ESV

    …gates of Hades… —Matthew 16:18 NASB; Matt. 16:18 NKJV, NRSV

    This is often interpreted as meaning the power of Satan, but more likely means the power of death, denoting that the Church of Christ shall never be stopped and shall never die.

    This Jewish phrase, then, refers to death. Even death, the ultimate weapon of Satan (cf. Hebrews 2:14-15), has no power to stop the church. The blood of martyrs, in fact, has led to the growth of the Church in size and spiritual power. —Dr. John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible

Gate construction

The materials of which gates were made (or will be)…

  1. Wood (Judges 16:3)

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

  3. Stones and pearls (Isaiah 54:12; Rev. 21:21)

Activites at city gates

Physical gates mentioned

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Article Version: July 17, 2021