Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

(opening). Those of walled cities made of wood, iron, or brass (Judg. 16:3; Deut. 3:5; Psa. 107:16; Acts 12:10); flanked by towers (2 Sam. 18:24,33); market and judgment places near (2 Sam. 15:2; 2 Kings 7:1; Job 29:7; Deut. 17:5;25. 7; Amos 5:10; Ruth 4:1-12); symbol of power (Gen. 22:17; Isa. 24:12; Matt. 16:18); the city itself (Deut. 12:12).

Concise Bible Dictionary:

Damascus Gate, Jerusalem
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 4:1-12; compare Josh. 20:4; 1 Sam. 4:18; 2 Sam. 15:2; Acts 14:13). To “sit in the gate” was a place of honor; “they that sit in the gate speak against me” (Psa. 69:12). It should have been the place of true judgment and justice, but was not always so (Isa. 29:21; Amos 5:10,12; Zech. 8:16). It was, at least at times, the king’s chief place of audience (2 Sam. 19:8; 1 Kings 22:10; Job 29:7; Lam. 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. 16:18).
The gates of cities were of wood cased with iron to strengthen them and prevent them being burnt with fire (Judg. 9:52). The prison at Jerusalem had an outer gate of iron, the only iron one we read of (Acts 12:10).
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 3:10); 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. 21:12-25): 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. 13:46).
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. 7:13-14).
The Golden Gate, Jerusalem

“15. Gates” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

Genesis 19:1. And Lot sat in the gate of Sodom.
The gateways of walled cities, as well as the open spaces near them, were popular places of resort, being vaulted and cool, and convenient for the meeting of friends, or for a view of strangers, since all who went in or out must pass that way. They often resembled large stone halls, and had sufficient area to accommodate large assemblages. There the people assembled at the close of the day to tell the news, and to discuss various topics of interest. Thus it was that Lot at evening happened to be in the city gate when the strangers came by. In this position he readily saw them as they entered. Allusion to this use of the gate may be found in numerous other passages See Genesis 23:10; Genesis 34:20; 1 Samuel 4:13-18; Job 29:7; Psalm 69:12; Psalm 127:5; Proverbs 1:21.
Other uses of the gate will be noticed further on.

“531. The Open Gates” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

Isaiah 60:11. Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night.
The gates of walled towns are shut at sundown, or shortly after. Travelers often hasten in their journey when they see the sun declining and the shadows lengthen, lest the day expire before they reach the city gates. It not uncommonly happens that, with all their exertions, they are too late; they are then compelled to spend the night outside, exposed to storms and robbers. The prophet represents the Church of Christ with her gates “open continually,” in marked contrast to the custom with which Oriental people are familiar. A similar illustration is given by John in his beautiful description of the New Jerusalem “And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there” (Rev. 21:25).

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