The Sheep Gate
"Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests, and they built the Sheep Gate. They consecrated it and set its doors. They consecrated it as far as the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Tower of Hananel. And next to him the men of Jericho built. And next to them Zaccur the son of Imri built.
And Shallum the son of Col-hozeh, ruler of the district of Mizpah, repaired the Fountain Gate. He rebuilt it and covered it and set its doors, its bolts, and its bars. And he built the wall of the Pool of Shelah of the king's garden, as far as the stairs that go down from the city of David. After him Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, ruler of half the district of Beth-zur, repaired to a point opposite the tombs of David, as far as the artificial pool, and as far as the house of the mighty men. After him the Levites repaired: Rehum the son of Bani. Next to him Hashabiah, ruler of half the district of Keilah, repaired for his district. After him their brothers repaired: Bavvai the son of Henadad, ruler of half the district of Keilah. Next to him Ezer the son of Jeshua, ruler of Mizpah, repaired another section opposite the ascent to the armory at the buttress. After him Baruch the son of Zabbai repaired another section from the buttress to the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest. After him Meremoth the son of Uriah, son of Hakkoz repaired another section from the door of the house of Eliashib to the end of the house of Eliashib. After him the priests, the men of the surrounding area, repaired. After them Benjamin and Hasshub repaired opposite their house. After them Azariah the son of Maaseiah, son of Ananiah repaired beside his own house. After him Binnui the son of Henadad repaired another section, from the house of Azariah to the buttress and to the corner. Palal the son of Uzai repaired opposite the buttress and the tower projecting from the upper house of the king at the court of the guard. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh and the temple servants living on Ophel repaired to a point opposite the Water Gate on the east and the projecting tower. After him the Tekoites repaired another section opposite the great projecting tower as far as the wall of Ophel.
Above the Horse Gate the priests repaired, each one opposite his own house. After them Zadok the son of Immer repaired opposite his own house. After him Shemaiah the son of Shecaniah, the keeper of the East Gate, repaired. After him Hananiah the son of Shelemiah and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph repaired another section. After him Meshullam the son of Berechiah repaired opposite his chamber. After him Malchijah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired as far as the house of the temple servants and of the merchants, opposite the Muster Gate, and to the upper chamber of the corner. And between the upper chamber of the corner and the Sheep Gate the goldsmiths and the merchants repaired." Nehemiah 3:1-32
Once Nehemiah announced his plan to rebuild the wall, the work began. There were 42 groups of people working on specific areas of the wall. Everyone got to do their part—the priests, leaders, craftsmen, and even Jews from other cities.
I found it significant that everyone was included in the rebuilding process. The spiritual significance—everyone is included in the Gospel! “For God so love the world…” (John 3:16). No one is excluded. No one stands outside the will of God—all should come to know Him as their Savior. “Who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).
There were 10 gates mentioned in the rebuilding of the walls:
Each gate has its own practical function. But they also have a spiritual significance. The gates give us a better understanding of who Jesus is and what He has done for us. These gates remind us of Jesus’ finished work on the cross. I believe it is significant that Nehemiah and the people built the Sheep Gate first. It's significant because that’s where our redemption begins.
The Sheep Gate was not only the first gate to be restored. It was also rebuilt by the High Priest and his fellow priests. This was the only gate to be consecrated or set apart as holy. This gate has spiritual significance in that it was the gate used to bring in the sacrifices to the Temple.
Hundreds of years later, we find Jesus entering Jerusalem through the Sheep Gate. He always entered the city through the Sheep Gate except for the Triumphal Entry. Another thing to note is that the Sheep Gate also led to Golgotha, the pathway Jesus took to the crucifixion. The Sheep Gate reminds us of His sacrifice. Jesus, the Lamb of God, the ultimate sacrifice, Who takes away the sins of the world. “Behold, the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
In many ways, the Sheep Gate represents our salvation. Salvation is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. The Sheep Gate had no bolts or bars. Salvation through the blood of Jesus has no bolts or bars. It is freely available to everyone who believes and puts their faith in Him.
This gate was built by the High Priest—Jesus Christ is our High Priest. His death opens the way for us and restores free access to the Father. This Sheep Gate is mentioned at the beginning and end of Nehemiah 3. Everything begins and ends with Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. It’s all about His shed blood and His finished work on the cross!
What do you find most significant about the Sheep Gate?
2/28/2023 09:06:58 am
I don't think I ever made that connection with the sheep gate before. Thanks for bringing all that out!
2/28/2023 10:27:41 am
Barbara, I love the spiritual connection the Bible makes with the Sheep Gate. But most of all, I so love the connection it makes between the sheep (us) and the Good Shepherd!! :)
2/28/2023 01:18:07 pm
Beautiful and meaningful connection between the sheep gate and our Shepherd.
2/28/2023 02:05:02 pm
Joanne, I have thoroughly enjoyed studying the spiritual significance of each of these gates of Jerusalem.
3/3/2023 06:13:21 pm
I love this, I've never known about that connecton before, thank you for highlighting this.
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