Porter

Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

(gate-keepers). Keepers of city, temple, palace, and private gates and doors. The temple had 4000 of them, in classified service (2 Sam. 18:2626And the watchman saw another man running: and the watchman called unto the porter, and said, Behold another man running alone. And the king said, He also bringeth tidings. (2 Samuel 18:26); 2 Kings 7:1010So they came and called unto the porter of the city: and they told them, saying, We came to the camp of the Syrians, and, behold, there was no man there, neither voice of man, but horses tied, and asses tied, and the tents as they were. (2 Kings 7:10); 1 Chron. 23:5; 26:1-195Moreover four thousand were porters; and four thousand praised the Lord with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith. (1 Chronicles 23:5)
1Concerning the divisions of the porters: Of the Korhites was Meshelemiah the son of Kore, of the sons of Asaph. 2And the sons of Meshelemiah were, Zechariah the firstborn, Jediael the second, Zebadiah the third, Jathniel the fourth, 3Elam the fifth, Jehohanan the sixth, Elioenai the seventh. 4Moreover the sons of Obed-edom were, Shemaiah the firstborn, Jehozabad the second, Joah the third, and Sacar the fourth, and Nethaneel the fifth, 5Ammiel the sixth, Issachar the seventh, Peulthai the eighth: for God blessed him. 6Also unto Shemaiah his son were sons born, that ruled throughout the house of their father: for they were mighty men of valor. 7The sons of Shemaiah; Othni, and Rephael, and Obed, Elzabad, whose brethren were strong men, Elihu, and Semachiah. 8All these of the sons of Obed-edom: they and their sons and their brethren, able men for strength for the service, were threescore and two of Obed-edom. 9And Meshelemiah had sons and brethren, strong men, eighteen. 10Also Hosah, of the children of Merari, had sons; Simri the chief, (for though he was not the firstborn, yet his father made him the chief;) 11Hilkiah the second, Tebaliah the third, Zechariah the fourth: all the sons and brethren of Hosah were thirteen. 12Among these were the divisions of the porters, even among the chief men, having wards one against another, to minister in the house of the Lord. 13And they cast lots, as well the small as the great, according to the house of their fathers, for every gate. 14And the lot eastward fell to Shelemiah. Then for Zechariah his son, a wise counsellor, they cast lots; and his lot came out northward. 15To Obed-edom southward; and to his sons the house of Asuppim. 16To Shuppim and Hosah the lot came forth westward, with the gate Shallecheth, by the causeway of the going up, ward against ward. 17Eastward were six Levites, northward four a day, southward four a day, and toward Asuppim two and two. 18At Parbar westward, four at the causeway, and two at Parbar. 19These are the divisions of the porters among the sons of Kore, and among the sons of Merari. (1 Chronicles 26:1‑19)
; 2 Chron. 31:1414And Kore the son of Imnah the Levite, the porter toward the east, was over the freewill offerings of God, to distribute the oblations of the Lord, and the most holy things. (2 Chronicles 31:14)).

Concise Bible Dictionary:

In scripture this word is used in the sense of doorkeeper. The Levites kept the doors of the temple: it was an honorable office (2 Sam. 18:2626And the watchman saw another man running: and the watchman called unto the porter, and said, Behold another man running alone. And the king said, He also bringeth tidings. (2 Samuel 18:26); 2 Kings 7:10-1110So they came and called unto the porter of the city: and they told them, saying, We came to the camp of the Syrians, and, behold, there was no man there, neither voice of man, but horses tied, and asses tied, and the tents as they were. 11And he called the porters; and they told it to the king's house within. (2 Kings 7:10‑11); 1 Chron. 9:17-2617And the porters were, Shallum, and Akkub, and Talmon, and Ahiman, and their brethren: Shallum was the chief; 18Who hitherto waited in the king's gate eastward: they were porters in the companies of the children of Levi. 19And Shallum the son of Kore, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah, and his brethren, of the house of his father, the Korahites, were over the work of the service, keepers of the gates of the tabernacle: and their fathers, being over the host of the Lord, were keepers of the entry. 20And Phinehas the son of Eleazar was the ruler over them in time past, and the Lord was with him. 21And Zechariah the son of Meshelemiah was porter of the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 22All these which were chosen to be porters in the gates were two hundred and twelve. These were reckoned by their genealogy in their villages, whom David and Samuel the seer did ordain in their set office. 23So they and their children had the oversight of the gates of the house of the Lord, namely, the house of the tabernacle, by wards. 24In four quarters were the porters, toward the east, west, north, and south. 25And their brethren, which were in their villages, were to come after seven days from time to time with them. 26For these Levites, the four chief porters, were in their set office, and were over the chambers and treasuries of the house of God. (1 Chronicles 9:17‑26); Mark 13:3434For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. (Mark 13:34)).
In John 10:33To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. (John 10:3) the Porter is the Spirit of Jehovah working in Israel, who recognized the Lord Jesus as entering in by the door into the sheepfold that as the Good Shepherd He might have access to the sheep.

“283. Watch Man Porter” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

1. Even strong walls and double gates would not of themselves secure a city from the enemy. Men were therefore employed to watch day and night on the top of the walls, and especially by the gates. It was thus that the messengers from the army were seen long before they reached the place where David anxiously sat. In like manner the watchman of Jezreel saw in the distance the company of Jehu driving furiously (2 Kings 9:17-2017And there stood a watchman on the tower in Jezreel, and he spied the company of Jehu as he came, and said, I see a company. And Joram said, Take an horseman, and send to meet them, and let him say, Is it peace? 18So there went one on horseback to meet him, and said, Thus saith the king, Is it peace? And Jehu said, What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me. And the watchman told, saying, The messenger came to them, but he cometh not again. 19Then he sent out a second on horseback, which came to them, and said, Thus saith the king, Is it peace? And Jehu answered, What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me. 20And the watchman told, saying, He came even unto them, and cometh not again: and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously. (2 Kings 9:17‑20)). So Isaiah in one of his sublime visions saw a watchman standing by his tower day and night (Isaiah 21:5-125Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield. 6For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth. 7And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed: 8And he cried, A lion: My lord, I stand continually upon the watchtower in the daytime, and I am set in my ward whole nights: 9And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground. 10O my threshing, and the corn of my floor: that which I have heard of the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have I declared unto you. 11The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night? 12The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night: if ye will inquire, inquire ye: return, come. (Isaiah 21:5‑12)). A figurative use of the watchman and his work is beautifully made in Isaiah 62:66I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, (Isaiah 62:6); Ezekiel 33:2,6-72Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: (Ezekiel 33:2)
6But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. 7So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. (Ezekiel 33:6‑7)
; Habakkuk 2:11I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. (Habakkuk 2:1).
2. It was the business of the porter to open and shut the gates at the proper time. In this case the porter, being in a convenient position below, could receive the intelligence from the watchman above and communicate the same to David. In 2 Kings 7:1010So they came and called unto the porter of the city: and they told them, saying, We came to the camp of the Syrians, and, behold, there was no man there, neither voice of man, but horses tied, and asses tied, and the tents as they were. (2 Kings 7:10) this officer is called “the porter of the city.” Porters are spoken of in connection with the rebuilding of the walls by Nehemiah (Neh. 7:11Now it came to pass, when the wall was built, and I had set up the doors, and the porters and the singers and the Levites were appointed, (Nehemiah 7:1)). In Solomon’s Temple there were four thousand of them (1 Chron. 23:55Moreover four thousand were porters; and four thousand praised the Lord with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith. (1 Chronicles 23:5)) who were divided into courses (2 Chron. 8:1414And he appointed, according to the order of David his father, the courses of the priests to their service, and the Levites to their charges, to praise and minister before the priests, as the duty of every day required: the porters also by their courses at every gate: for so had David the man of God commanded. (2 Chronicles 8:14)) and had their posts assigned by lot (1 Chron. 26:1313And they cast lots, as well the small as the great, according to the house of their fathers, for every gate. (1 Chronicles 26:13)).

“818. Female Door Keepers” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

Women were often employed by the ancients as porters. Classical writers make frequent allusion to the custom. It is mentioned also in the account of Peter’s deliverance from prison, wherein it is stated that the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark, had a female porter. See Acts 12:1313And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda. (Acts 12:13).