Gate

Ruth 4:1-12; Joshua 20:4; 1 Samuel 4:18; 2 Samuel 15:2; Acts 14:13; Psalm 69:12; Isaiah 29:21; Amos 5:10,12; Zechariah 8:16; 2 Samuel 19:8; 1 Kings 22:10; Job 29:7; Lamentations 5:14; Matthew 16:18; Judges 9:52; Acts 12:10; Acts 3:10; Revelation 21:12-25; Matthew 13:46; Matthew 7:13-14
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 4:1-121Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down. 2And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down. 3And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech's: 4And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it. 5Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance. 6And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it. 7Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbor: and this was a testimony in Israel. 8Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe. 9And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi. 10Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day. 11And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The Lord make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem: 12And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the Lord shall give thee of this young woman. (Ruth 4:1‑12); compare Josh. 20:44And when he that doth flee unto one of those cities shall stand at the entering of the gate of the city, and shall declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city, they shall take him into the city unto them, and give him a place, that he may dwell among them. (Joshua 20:4); 1 Sam. 4:1818And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years. (1 Samuel 4:18); 2 Sam. 15:22And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was so, that when any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, Of what city art thou? And he said, Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel. (2 Samuel 15:2); Acts 14:1313Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people. (Acts 14:13)). To “sit in the gate” was a place of honor; “they that sit in the gate speak against me” (Psa. 69:1212They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I was the song of the drunkards. (Psalm 69:12)). It should have been the place of true judgment and justice, but was not always so (Isa. 29:2121That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought. (Isaiah 29:21); Amos 5:10,1210They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly. (Amos 5:10)
12For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right. (Amos 5:12)
; Zech. 8:1616These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbor; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates: (Zechariah 8:16)). It was, at least at times, the king’s chief place of audience (2 Sam. 19:88Then the king arose, and sat in the gate. And they told unto all the people, saying, Behold, the king doth sit in the gate. And all the people came before the king: for Israel had fled every man to his tent. (2 Samuel 19:8); 1 Kings 22:1010And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah sat each on his throne, having put on their robes, in a void place in the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them. (1 Kings 22:10); Job 29:77When I went out to the gate through the city, when I prepared my seat in the street! (Job 29:7); Lam. 5:1414The elders have ceased from the gate, the young men from their music. (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 (Matt. 16:1818And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)).
Doubtless the gates of Solomon’s temple were adorned to agree with the rest of the work. In the New Testament we read of THE BEAUTIFUL GATE of the temple (Acts 3:1010And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. (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” (Rev. 21:12-2512And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 14And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. 16And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. 17And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. 18And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. 19And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; 20The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. 21And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. 22And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 23And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 24And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it. 25And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. (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 (compare Matt. 13:4646Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. (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 (Matt. 7:13-1413Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:13‑14)).