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Jerusalem's gates spiritual meaning


In the Bible is also exemplary teaching, in which some issues of the old covenant have spiritual meanings in the New Covenant. In the book of Nehemiah chapter 3 we can find this kind of exemplary. Jerusalem's gates in the book of Nehemiah have very clear spiritual meaning, which we examine in this teaching. Study and test my teaching with the Bible in the prayer.

The Sheep Gate

Neh 3: 1And Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests. And they built the Sheep Gate. They sanctified it and set up its doors. Even to the Tower of Meah they sanctified it, to the Tower of Hananeel.

The high priest Eliashib with his brethren, and priests built the Sheep Gate and set up its doors. This is first gate mentioned. The spiritual meaning of the Sheep Gate is that the high priest was building it and that through the Sheep Gate lambs and sheep were brought to the temple, in which they were offered. The Lord and the Messiah (Christ) Jesus (Yeshua) is the High Priest of New Covenant, who is the Lamb, who was offered for the sake of our sins. Spiritual meaning of Sheep Gate is death and offering the Lamb (the Lord Jesus), which death, blood and resurrection bring us forgiveness of sins and redemption. The high priest was setting up the doors of the Sheep Gate, which means that He is the Door of the sheep. Through the Lord Jesus a man will be saved from the power of death-, sin and eternal damnation to eternal life.

Building of the wall and gates begins from the Sheep Gate in Nehemiah 3, because everything begins from the offering of the Lamb (the Lord Jesus). This is a spiritual meaning, because of salvation and God's kingdom a man will enter through the offering and blood of the Lamb (The Lord Jesus). It is very significant that Eliashib means in Hebrew God restores. All things in the Bible are accurate in their places and have important meanings. It is not an accident that the high priest whose name was Eliashib was building up the Sheep Gate. Jerusalem and the wall and gates were destroyed, so needed Eliashib (HaKohen HaGadol) the high priest who sets up the doors of the Sheep Gate. Same also satan and sin has destroyed the heart of a man and so there is a need for New Covenant High Priest, Jesus Christ (Yeshua the Messiah), who is the Door of the sheep and who can save and restore men back towards the image of God. When men from the grace of God, repent their sins and believe in the Lord Jesus, then a man can receive the salvation. The Sheep Gate proclaims forgiveness of sins through the blood of the Lamb (Jesus Christ). The Sheep Gate proclaims grace of redemption (grace of God), which a man can encounter through the blood of the Lamb (the Lord Jesus). The Sheep Gate has been clear exemplary in the redemption of the Lord Jesus, who is the Door of the sheep.

The Fish Gate 

Neh 3: 3 But the fish gate did the sons of Hassenaah build, who also laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.

The next gate was the Fish Gate. Fishermen brought through the Fish Gate fishes for selling to Jerusalem. The spiritual meaning of the Fish Gate is there that after the Sheep Gate redemption in the blood of the Lord Jesus begins fishing of men; in other words, preaching of the Gospel about the Lord Jesus. Jesus Christ said that He will make from His disciples fishers of men. The Fish Gate means the preaching of the Gospel and fishing, the men to the kingdom of God.

The Old Gate 

Neh 3:6 Moreover the old gate repaired Jehoiada the son of Paseah, and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah; they laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, and the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.

Neh 3:6 Moreover the old gate repaired Jehoiada the son of Paseah, and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah; they laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, and the locks thereof, and the bars thereof. 

After the Sheep Gate and the Fish Gate comes the Old Gate, which spiritual meaning is death of the old man. The Lord Jesus doesn't repair the old man, but makes the new man through the regeneration in the Holy Spirit. In sanctification life, the Lord Jesus sets up "doors and locks" that sin can't get any grip on our heart. 

The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit kills deeds of our flesh. The Holy Spirit rules and leads us in righteousness and by that way we will die to sinful deeds. The Old Gate proclaims us that the old one must die, because the new one has been reborn. The Holy Spirit gives to believer the power to die to the flesh and resist sin and choose the righteousness of God instead of sins. The Old Gate is an important gate, because without death of the flesh believer cannot wander in the will of God. Death of the flesh is God's gracious work and by this work Jesus's disciples have ability to walk and live according to the will of God.

The Valley Gate

Neh 3:13 The valley gate repaired Hanun, and the inhabitants of Zanoah; they built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and a thousand cubits on the wall unto the dung gate. 

The Valley Gate describes wandering of Jesus's disciples. 

Ge 26:19 And Isaac’s servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water.

De 8:7 For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills;

Ps 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Eze 3:22And the hand of the LORD was there upon me; and he said unto me, Arise, go forth into the plain, and I will there talk with thee.

When Jesus' disciple understands, and accepts death of the flesh, so after that he can begin to wander with God according to the will of God. Genesis 26:19 says that by digging in the valley Isaac's servants found well of springing water. As the purpose of digging was to find water, and it spiritually means, that we dig deeper spiritual things than the surface of the ground and we shall find holy and beautiful spiritual gifts of God.

As Jesus' disciples, we must also dig deeper; in other words, we must grow and renew our mind daily according to the will of God. The New Covenant believer grows obeying the truth in love as says letter of Ephesus in chapter 4 and verse 15.

Digging deeper means that we are not only hearers of the word, but we must hear and come doers of the Word, which means that we must live in practice according to the teaching of the God's word by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Bible says: But become doers of the Word, and not hearers only deceiving yourselves. If we have knowledge in the head, and theoretical knowledge about the word of God, but we are not living according to the word of God, we are deceiving ourselves. We must become doers of the word of God from the grace of God, and by His grace, we can do works of faith, because God works in us through the Holy Spirit, that we are able to do the will and the work of God.

By the grace of God, we must give our heart, mind and life as a living sacrifice, which is holy and acceptable to God, and it is our reasonable service. We cannot conform ourselves according to sinful deeds of this world. But we must be in the process of transformation by the Holy Spirit, where our mind shall be renewed to understand and live according to good, acceptable and perfect will of God.

God has made a man as such, that he is sensitive to receive the influence of God, that the good will of God can protect and guide us. But when a man fell in a sin, so he came sensitive to receive the influence of sin and satan. So it is very important, that we fill our mind with the word of God, and do not listen the voice of sin. The Bible warns us about this in 1 Corinthians and chapter 15, and verse 33, by saying.

Be not deceived, evil communications corrupt good manners.

So it is very important, that we fill our mind with heavenly things, and not things of sins. Wandering with God is the same thing as sanctification life. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to every man, that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.

The Dung Gate 

Neh 3:14 But the dung gate repaired Malchiah the son of Rechab, the ruler of part of Bethhaccerem; he built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.

The Old Gate described, death of the flesh, and the Valley Gate described, wandering of believers. The Dung Gate describes, how in practice the flesh will die. Through the Dung Gate, the trashes were taken out of Jerusalem, to a valley of Hinnom, in which those trashes were burnt. In the same way as trashes couldn't, stink and smell bad in Jerusalem, but were burnt in a valley of Hinnom, in the dumpster, so sins must die from the heart of the believer.

The Dung Gate spiritual meaning is that sin, which is smelling bad and destroys, our heart and mind, must put away, by dying of the flesh. In wandering of the life of the faith, we must face concretely issues, which must put away from the heart. Those issues are example: 

Mt 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

Mr 7:
21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

All these evil things come from the heart, and defile the man. All sins, which live in the heart, of a man must die. The Holy Spirit renews our mind, and affect rejection towards sin. We are not going to be perfect, in our wandering, but we will die to our flesh, and grow in righteousness.

Apostle Paul said.

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect, However, I follow after, if that I may apprehend, that for which also I am, apprehended of Christ Jesus.

God washes up the heart of believers through the faith in the Holy Spirit by the blood of the Lord Jesus. And when we understand that we are not perfect, and are not coming perfect at this present time, but are growing toward it, so it can't be an excuse for us to make sin, but the fact that, we need to grow, and that there is the need for growth in righteousness. So we as Jesus' disciples, can't ever accept or support sin, but reject it and grow in the grace of God.

In the old covenant time was the burnt offering, which describes dying of the flesh in the New Covenant. Burnt offering animal's was cut in pieces, and those pieces were burnt, and offering animal's inward part, and feet were washed with pure water. This teaches for us, that dying of the flesh is the process, where we are dying in the flesh piece by piece as the burnt offering was also burnt in pieces. The animal offering inward parts, and feet, which were washed with pure water describes for us, that when our heart is purified with the blood of Jesus in the Holy spirit, and we do the will of God, so our wandering is pure, and acceptable to God. Pure Feet are describing wandering in the will of God by the power of the Holy Spirit. Inward part describes our heart, which must wash with pure water. In the old testament water describes the Holy Spirit, so the Holy Spirit will purify our heart by dying of the flesh, and when our heart is cleansed, and living in the will of God, then we can wander, according to the will of God. We must remember that the blood of Jesus is always there where the sins are washed away.

Ro 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

1Ti 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

The Holy Spirit is working the will and the work according to the will of God in the heart of the believer. God's love washes our heart affecting good conscience, and of faith unfeigned. Like this we can grow in faith according to the will of God through the Holy Spirit.


The Fountain Gate 

Neh 3:15 But the gate of the fountain repaired Shallun the son of Colhozeh, the ruler of part of Mizpah; he built it, and covered it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and the wall of the pool of Siloah by the king’s garden, and unto the stairs that go down from the city of David. 

The Fountain Gate located near the pool of Siloah (Siloam), where water flows. The pool of Siloam is the same place where Jesus said to the blind man to wash up, John 7:9. At the time of Nehemiah and after it many washed (mikveh) themselves before they entered into the temple area. 

The spiritual meaning of the Fountain Gate teaches from the fountain of living waters, and its source, who is God  in the Holy Spirit through the Lord Jesus. 

John 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

When Jesus's disciple  has accepted to die to his flesh and to sin and believe in the Lord Jesus as the Scriptures (the Bible) has said, so in his heart will flow living waters  (the Holy Spirit) according to the teaching of the Bible. Remarkable is that the Holy Spirit works according to the word of God and the word of God tells how the Holy Spirit works. The Fountain Gate proclaims holy and pure life in the power of the Holy Spirit to us. 

It is very important that we understand that the word of God and the Holy Spirit belong together, because Jesus said. You do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. In the life of Jesus' disciples must be the balance with the word of God and the Holy Spirit. If we want only to deal with the word of God, but don't want to receive the power of the Holy Spirit, which change our heart and mind to serve God in practical life, so we have deceived ourselves. This kind of belief is a belief of theoretical knowledge of the head, and it is deception. If we want to live in the spirit, but not according to the teaching of the word of God, we have deceived ourselves. Because in this kind of case false spirits have deceived us, and they want to keep us out about the truth of the word of God. So our life as Jesus' disciples must belong believing in the word of God as it has been written and living in the Holy Spirit according to the power how God works in us.

In the gospel of Luke chapter 4 is a very important teaching to us. Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit, and He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. The devil tempted Jesus there. The devil said to Jesus. If you are the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. Evil spirits want that you concentrate things, which you are not told to do or things which you are not yet ready, but will be in the future. Task of Jesus was not in the wilderness to make for stones as breads. Evil spirits are leading you to reach out miracles and sensations and away from the truth of the word of God. Evil spirits lead you to live according to emotions by the carnal mind, but they want to keep you out from the truth of the word of God. It is important to believe in the word of God.

The devil said to Jesus that cast down from the pinnacle of the temple and then devil said. For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you: And in their hands they shall bear you up, lest at any time you dash your foot against a stone.

Jesus said in the Gospel of John that the devil was a murderer from the beginning, and stayed not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

So how devil can quote the word of God. The devil quoted Psalm 91 verses 11 and 12, but devil left out four words in verse 11 and those four words are in all thy ways. God takes care of us and keeps us in His shelter in all our ways. So you see that satan comes very near to the word of God and twists it that it looks similar as the word of God, but it is not, because satan always leaves out or adds something or twists the word of God.

We must understand that how important is to know the word of God and also the power of the Holy Spirit that the devil cannot deceive us. Psalm 119 and verse 169 says. Your word is true from the beginning: and every one of your righteous judgments endures forever. All the words of God are true, but if we leave out or add something it is not anymore the word of God, but the voice of satan. We must believe the word completely and all His words. So read the Bible daily and pray that God opens to you His truth from the Bible.

The Water Gate

Neh 3:26 Moreover the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel, unto the place over against the water gate toward the east, and the tower that lieth out.

The Water Gate tells about God, who is the source of the Holy Spirit through The Lord and the Messiah Jesus. In old testament water describes the Holy Spirit. The spiritual meaning of the Water Gate is practical life in the Holy Spirit.

Joh 4:
13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

1Pe 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

Through sanctification of the Spirit Jesus's disciples are elected to obey God through the blood of the Lord Jesus. For the grace of God, we have a part in the Holy Spirit, in which He leads us in the way of obedience. Like this we serve God in the Holy Spirit through obedience.

The Horse Gate

Neh 3:28  From above the horse gate repaired the priests, every one over against his house. 

The Horse Gate located next by the horse stables. Horses were used in the wars against enemies. The spiritual meaning of the Horse Gate is spiritual warfare:

Re 19:
11 ¶  And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16  And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. 

When Jesus' disciple lives in the Holy Spirit, he is involved in spiritual warfare. 

Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Heb 12:4 ¶  Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

Jas 1:14  But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

Jesus' disciple lives in the Holy Spirit and is on the spiritual battlefield in a warfare, in which he fights against evil spirits, sin and the lusts of his flesh. Jesus' disciple's mission is not fighting against his sisters and brothers in the Lord Jesus, where to he unfortunately falls sometimes and some even very eager are looking for these fights.

He who has been filled with the Holy Spirit has a part in a spiritual warfare, which power source is the Holy Spirit. When we accept the work of the Holy Spirit in our heart (work of the Holy Spirit is to affect the will and the work in our heart, according to the will of God), so we don't walk into the deceptions of evil spirits, and we can win lusts and desires of sin in our heart. From the grace of God we can achieve all the time more victories in spiritual battlefields when we grow in faith in a healthy way. We have been saved by the grace of God from the power of sin and satan and eternal damnation on that day when we repented and believed in the Lord Jesus by the grace of God. However, by the grace of God, we can fight in the Holy Spirit against evil spirits and sin, not for our salvation, but for the sanctification life that we are capable to avoid sins and snares of the devil.

The East Gate 

Neh 3:29  After them repaired Zadok the son of Immer over against his house. After him repaired also Shemaiah the son of Shechaniah, the keeper of the east gate.

The East Gate is the place, where the Lord Jesus the Messiah of Israel arrives:

Zec 14:4  And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

The spiritual meaning of the East Gate is returning of the Messiah and waiting on the Lord Jesus. 

Re 22:20 ¶  He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

The Gate Miphkad

Neh 3: 31  After him repaired Malchiah the goldsmith’s son unto the place of the Nethinims, and of the merchants, over against the gate Miphkad, and to the going up of the corner.

Miphkad means numbering (census) and appointed place. The spiritual meaning of the Gate Miphkad comes into view from Eze 43:

Eze 43:21 Thou shalt take the bullock also of the sin offering, and he shall burn it in the appointed place (miphkad) of the house, without the sanctuary.

The spiritual meaning of the Gate Miphkad means the place, where is presence of God and His forgiveness by the blood and offering of the Lord Jesus.

Order of the gates

The order of the gates in the book of Nehemiah includes also exemplary dimensions: 

The order of the gates is a clear order of growth in the faith. The life of the faith begins from the Sheep Gate by forgiveness of sins for the sake of Jesus' redemption in His blood. The Sheep Gate proclaims about forgiveness and grace of God. After we have been saved, we want to tell everybody about Jesus Christ (fishers of men); from this the Fish Gate is exemplary. After salvation God speaks to us the death of the old man; from this the Old Gate is exemplary. The Valley Gate speaks us about the new way in Christ, where we can wander. The Dung Gate speaks us for sins that we must reject. The Fountain Gate speaks to us from the source of the living water (God in the Holy Spirit). The Water Gate speaks to us of obedient life in the Holy Spirit. The Horse Gate speaks to us from spiritual warfare. The East Gate speaks us about returning of the Messiah and how His disciples are waiting for the Lord Jesus. The Miphkad Gate reminds us that God dwells in us in the Holy Spirit by the blood and redemption of Jthe Lord Jesus.

In conclusion

Description of the book Nehemiah about repairing the wall and the gates starts from the Sheep Gate and comes to an end to the Sheep Gate, Neh 3:32. Everything begins redemption of the Lord Jesus and forgiveness of sins and comes to an end of it, because it is the foundation of our salvation. Glory and praise to our God!


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Petri Paavola from Finland


Jerusalem gates sources:

- Finnish Bible 33/38
- Biblia 1776 (Finnish Bible)
- Old King James version 1611
- Online Bible Hebrew and Greek Lexicons




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