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Jerusalem's Destiny

Some background on the East gate (or Golden Gate) of Jerusalem.

Photos: Gates of the Old City | Views of Jerusalem Gates (East Gate) | The First Jerusalem (City of David)

The Romans destroyed Jerusalem and completely razed it and the Temple after ending the Jewish revolts in 70 and 132 A.D. as Jesus foretold around 33 A.D. (Mat. 24) They rebuilt Jerusalem as a Roman city which they called Aelia Capitolina (the rest of Judea was renamed Palistina), leaving only part of the Temple's outer west wall and two Herodian guard towers from the original buildings. "The sealed gate on the eastern side was built approximately 640 A.D. either by the last of the Byzantine rulers [who would have rebuilt it opened at that time] or by the first of the Arab conquerors [around 810 A.D.]." Gates of the Old City

The Ottoman Turks conquered the city around 1500 A.D and completed construction of the city walls. The British entered Jerusalem in 1917 during WW I. The League of Nations and later the United Nations mandated British administration until the UN voted and approved a partition arrangement for the Jews and Arabs in the land, granting independence to Israel in 1948. Arab armies invaded from the surrounding countries and Jordan took possession of the Old City. Israel ultimately defended and extended its territory and established its sovereignty by 1950, but without the Old City which no Jews were allowed to enter.

In the 1967 Arab/Israeli 6 day war Israel defeated the attacking Jordanian army (along with all other Arab combatants) and entered East Jerusalem, taking possession for the first time since the Hasmonean (Maccabean) dynasty was ended in 63 BC by the Roman general Pompey. Israel declared Jerusalem it's eternal capital and allowed people of all faiths access. However, Israel has allowed the Muslims to maintain control over the temple mount, the eastern wall and gate, and other parts of Old Jerusalem.

Israel has since done extensive clean-up, archaeological research and restoration in much of the Old City, as well as building over decades the modern city of Jerusalem often referred to as New Jerusalem. The Old City's construction over the last 2000 years since the final Roman destruction of 132 A.D. (interspersed with long periods of neglect and decay) consists of Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Crusader (Catholic), Turkish, Armenian, British, and Israeli construction and restoration.

From Visiting the Temple Mount, by Lambert Dolphin

"The present walls around the Old City were built from 1537 to 1541 by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent after the Ottoman conquest of Israel [then called Palestine, ke]. At that time most of the ancient walls were reduced to rubble. Suleiman ordered that Jerusalem be fortified to protect its people against marauding Bedouins.

"The walls were rebuilt upon the foundations of the walls constructed during the time of the Second Temple and the later Roman expansion. For the most part, the modern gates of the city are not closely related to the walls and gates that existed in Roman times or earlier. There is some debate about the correct location of some of the ancient gates and walls. However visitors to the recently restored Jewish Quarter in the Old City can see an uncovered section of the wall built by Nehemiah at the time of the return from the Babylonian exile [around 550 B.C.].

. . .

The Golden [East] Gate

"The Golden Gate is the most important and most impressive gate in Jerusalem, and the only visible entrance to the city of Jerusalem from the East. This oldest of all the gates to the city was the only one not rebuilt by Suleiman the Magnificent in AD 1539-42. Monolithic stones in the wall just above ground have been identified as 6th Century BC masonry from the time of Nehemiah (Biblical Archaeological Review [BAR], Mar/Apr 1992, p40).

"The Golden Gate was walled up by the Arabs in the year 810. It has remained closed now for nearly 12 centuries.

. . .

"The Golden Gate has long interested many Muslims, and most Jews and Christians as the place of the Last Judgment. Historically, judgments were rendered in the gates of the city (Gen. 19:1, 23:10, for instance). Since the Messiah was to come from the East (Matthew 24:27), it was concluded that his judgment would be at the eastern gate. This is one reason for the many Muslim, Christian, and Jewish graves on the Eastern slopes of the Temple Mount, in the Kidron Valley, and on the Western slopes of the Mount of Olives

"Some Muslims place Allah's final judgment at this location also. Jews link the Messiah's arrival with this gate and Christians have for centuries associated the Golden Gate with Palm Sunday and also with the Second Advent (
Luke 19:35-38).

"Jews expect the Messiah to come through the Golden Gate, Muslims also expect Jesus to return to our world at the end of the age to participate in the final judgment. Christians believe it will be Jesus Christ who will conduct that final judgment. Zechariah 14:4-5 clearly states that the Messiah of Israel will return to Jerusalem from the summit of the Mount of Olives and then surely proceed into Jerusalem from the East, in the direction of the Golden Gate.

. . .

"Because of the Messianic association with the Golden Gate - which clearly symbolizes both judgment and mercy because of the Arabic names attached to the gate - adherents to all three faiths have wanted to be buried as close as possible to the Golden Gate. The assumption was that the dead in the immediate vicinity would be the first to be raised. In the Middle Ages the Jews were forbidden to bury on Mount Moriah. Instead they buried their dead opposite the gate and to the South on the Mount of Olives. This Jewish cemetery is the oldest in continuous use anywhere in the world.
...The Muslim burial area covers the eastern Temple Mount hillside up to and surrounding the Golden Gate.

"At the end of the First Temple period the eastern gate was closed (see Ezekiel XLIV, I. "Then he brought me back the way of the outer gate of the sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it was shut.")... [A vision recorded by Ezekiel in Babylon around 600 B.C. MCM website editor].
. . .

"The New Testament (
Acts IlI 2) calls this the Beautiful Gate; it may therefore be assumed to have existed during the period of Aelia Capitolina [after the final Roman destruction in 132 A.D.]. However, its present beauty was not attained until the reign of Justinian, in honour of the Christian tradition which fixes this as the site of Jesus' entry to the Temple courtyard. The gate was probably open during the Byzantine period, and the Emperor Heraclius entered through it after taking Jerusalem in 629. After the Muslim conquest, when the Dome of the Rock and the EI-Aksa Mosque were built, it was blocked to prevent unsupervised access to the mosque area.

"...In the time of the Crusaders it was opened twice a year on Christian festivals: once in the spring, on Palm Sunday, recalling Jesus' triumphal entry to the city through this gate (St. Matthew XXI, 1-8); and once in the autumn, to commemorate the entry of the Emperor Heraclius. The gate was finally closed under Turkish rule.

"Charles Warren examined the gate in 1867-69 and found a wall descending 13 m (42 ft) below the level of the gate, the wall of the Temple Mount at this point is thus 20 m (65 ft) high. 80 m (87 yds) further north Warren found the base of the wall at a depth of 40 m (141 ft). Schick cleaned the gate in 1891. It is to be hoped that this magnificent gate will again serve its original purpose, making possible pilgrimages to the Temple Mount from the Mount of Olives. (Menashe Har-El, This is Jerusalem, Canaan Publishing House, PO Box 7645, Jerusalem 1977)

From "Visiting the Temple Mount" by Lambert Dolphin

From Wikipedia

"The Golden Gate is the oldest of the current gates in Jerusalem's Old City Walls. It was probably built in the 520s CE, as part of Justinian I's building program in Jerusalem, on top of the ruins of an earlier gate in the wall. An alternate theory holds that it was built in the later part of the 7th century by Byzantine artisans employed by the Umayyad khalifs.

"In Christian literature, the gate is referred as the Golden Gate, but in Arabic it is known as the Gate of Eternal Life. Jews used to pray for mercy at the gate, hence the name Sha'ar Harachamim, the Gate of Mercy.

"The gate is located in the middle of the eastern side of the Temple Mount. The portal in this position was believed to have been used for ritual purposes in biblical times.

"In Jewish tradition this is the gate through which Messiah will enter Jerusalem. It was sealed off in 1541 by Ottoman Sultan Suleiman I..."

From Wikipedia, The Golden Gate

For a brief history of Palestine/Israel and Jerusalem, see History of Jerusalem and Israel History - Foreign Domination.

You can see in the photos of the East Gate above that it is sealed shut. "According to Jewish tradition, when the Messiah comes, he will enter Jerusalem through this gate. To prevent him from coming, the Muslims sealed the gate during the rule of Suleiman." [Whether this is the Muslims' or Turks' reason for sealing the gate is questionable. More primary research is needed. The reason for their burial there appears to be for the same hope in their resurrection as the Jews have. MCM Editor] (Jewish Virtual Library) However, the shutting of this gate itself was prophesied by Ezekiel around 600 B.C. -- that it would be shut "because the LORD (Jehovah or Yahweh), the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut."

Jesus entered Jerusalem through the East gate around 33 A.D. (long before the more recent gate was blocked by the Muslims) as he came down from the Mount of Olives and entered the temple according to our understanding of Luke 19:28-48. He would have entered through the original gate built by Nehemiah and enhanced by Herod which, along with the city, was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. and again in 132 A.D. Ezekiel says concerning this gate that it "shall be shut," that "it is for the Prince" (which the Messiah is often called throughout the Old Testament and Jesus is called in the New Testament), and that he shall enter it again.

Ezekiel 44 (A vision Ezekiel recorded around 600 B.C. in Babylon)

1 Then [the LORD] brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it was shut.
2 Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut.
3 It is for the prince; the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same.

Jesus entered the Temple in Jerusalem around 33 A.D. Speaking to the Jews, he said that they would not see him until they acknowledge Him as their Messiah by declaring the well known Messianic reception from Ps. 118:14-29, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD." (See Matthew 23:37-39.)

Matthew records Jesus' words to the Jews in chapt. 23,

36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Will his chosen ones in Jerusalem and from the rest of the nations acknowledge Him as their Messiah, Lord and Deliverer? See Zechariah 12, and his return to Jerusalem according to the prophet: Zechariah 14:1-11 (written approximately 500 B.C.), and according to Jesus: Matthew 24:14-31. Or All passages together.

See Jerusalem's Destiny for the prophetic scriptures regarding the destiny of Jerusalem.

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