Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Eastern Gate Symbol

Dr. David R. ReaganWatch PDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

Did you know that the Eastern Gate in the Old Walled City of Jerusalem is one of the key symbols of end time Bible prophecy? Did you know that the gate as it stands today is a fulfillment of a prophecy recorded over 2,000 years ago in the book of Ezekiel? Did you know that even Orthodox Jews believe that one day the Messiah will return to Jerusalem through this gate?

The Eastern Gate is a symbol of the soon return of Jesus. Let me explain what I mean. In June of 1967, during the Six Day War, I was serving as a professor of international law and politics at a college in Texas. Those were the days before the Internet, so I had to keep up with daily developments in the war through television and newspaper reports. Shortly after the war ended, I read a newspaper report that brought my attention to the Eastern Gate and to Bible prophecy. It also radically changed my life.

There are eight major gates to the Old City. The first and most important one is the Golden Gate, or the Eastern Gate, the only external gate that gives access to the Temple Mount.

Eastern or Golden Gate

When the Six Day War broke out in June of 1967, the dividing line between Israel and Jordan came from the north, jetted over to the west, and came straight down. That meant that Israel was on the west side and the Jordanians on the east side. That meant that the Jordanians controlled all of the Old City of Jerusalem.

The Jordanians expected that the Israelis would attack from the west hitting the Jaffa Gate. And, therefore, they concentrated all of their fortifications and their troops at that point. However, the Israeli's knowing that the Jordanians expected that, surprised them by sending troops around to the eastern side of the city under the cover of darkness where they launched an attack at the Lion's Gate. The attack was successful. The Israelis broke into the city, captured it quickly, and then they rushed to the Western Wall to pray. It was an extremely emotional moment because it meant that the Jews were back in control of their city for the first time in 1,897 years, all in fulfillment of end time Bible prophecy.

The newspaper article I read about the Six Day War which literally changed my life said that the Jewish military leaders had engaged in a heated debate the day before the attack on the Lion's Gate because someone had suggested that they attack instead by blowing open the Eastern Gate to be even more surprising to the Jordanians. According to the report I read, there was an Orthodox Jew present during these discussions, and he told the military commanders that they could not blow open the Eastern Gate because it had to remain shut until the Messiah returns. Now, that comment caught my eye and it fascinated me. What in the world was he talking about? I had no idea.

So, I got a concordance and I looked up the word "Eastern Gate" and I started running Scripture references. It did not take me long to find Ezekiel 44. In that section of Ezekiel, the prophet is being given a tour of the future Temple to be built in Jerusalem in the end times. And, in the process, it was pointed out to him that the Eastern Gate will be closed and will remain closed until the Messiah returns. I had gone to church all my life and I had never once heard about that particular prophecy.

I next turned to the Encyclopedia Britannica and I started reading about the Eastern Gate. I discovered that it was closed in the 1500's when the Muslim leader, Suleiman the Magnificent, rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem that stand to this day. The intriguing thing is that no one knows for certain why the gate was bricked up. The tradition is that while the walls were being repaired, a rumor swept the city that the Jewish Messiah was coming. Suleiman called in the Jewish rabbis and asked what this rumor meant. They explained that the Jewish Scriptures prophesied that one day God would send a Messiah who would come from the East. He would enter the Eastern Gate and he would rid the city of all the enemies of the Jews and would then begin to reign over all the earth from Jerusalem.

According to the tradition, Suleiman thanked the rabbis, dismissed them, and then ordered that the Eastern Gate be closed and that a Muslim cemetery be placed in front of the Eastern Gate because he felt that no Jewish Messiah would ever be able to step into a Muslim cemetery, and he certainly could not walk through a gate that had been bricked up! I was captivated by this discovery, and I realized that the Eastern Gate is a fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

Just as prophesied in Ezekiel 44, the Eastern Gate is closed and will remain closed until the Messiah returns. Psalm 24 describes how it will be blow open supernaturally to welcome the Messiah when He appears. Psalm 24:7 says, "Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in! Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle."

Every time I go to Israel the first thing I want to see is the Eastern Gate. To me it is proof positive that the Bible is the Word of God and that Bible prophecies can be trusted and can be interpreted literally. It is also a reminder of the promise of Jesus that one day very soon He will return.


Anonymous said...

Love this one... have been reading on this for some time and as a family we have said we want to meet each other by the Eastern Gate in heaven. That is one site I would want to see if I visited Israel too.

Ken said...

This Orthodox Jew said "remain closed until the Messiah returns". That must mean the Messiah was here before. I wonder how many Jews think like this man and believe in two comings of the Messiah. When is/was the first coming according to Jewish people?

Expected Imminently said...


To add to what Dr. Reagan has said, the original gate is below ground level, I managed to wiggle my fingers under the soil and touch the top of it :)

At His return Jesus steps onto the Mount of Olives directly in front of the Eastern or Golden Gate, on the other side of the Kidron valley, Olivet will split in two forming another valley through which the Jews will escape out of Jerusalem to safety. I can imagine the fissure extending across the Kidron to the Temple Mount, throwing away the built up soil of the graveyard, thus exposing the original gate and opening it?

I am unsure of the details, but I think Suleiman did try to interfere with the original gate in some way, but each time a group of Turkish soldiers began to dig, they fell dead on the spot, I think this was repeated two or three times. Also mysterious fires started spontaneously on the mount and fried a few more Turkish soldiers. I THINK this is why Suleiman decided to seal up the gate and leave it alone? I am fairly sure I read this in the Magazine of Peter Marshall Sr. many years ago.

Nathan Jones said...

You've been to Jerusalem, Sue, cool! Jesus will have to blow away the refuse pile behind the Eastern Gate, too, if it's still there and He wants to get in.

We interviewed archaeologist James Fleming for some "Christ in Prophecy" shows airing early next year. He was the one who fell through a grave and landed in front of the underground Eastern Gate and took some pictures. After he got out of the hole and back to get his professor at the time, the next day the authorities had already begun filling up the hole with cement!

Expected Imminently said...


I have been blessed to go to Israel twice in 197? then eleven years later. There was a huge difference in changes in that eleven years, I can only wonder at the changes nearly 20 years later.

Horrors, how creepy, falling through a grave. ~~shudder~~

Dare I tell more of my life story? On my first visit to Jerusalem something really strange happened and I have never been able to explain it.

About 20 of us were walking through the old city one night near to the western wall plaza. Water suddenly began to drip down my face and neck until my hair was clinging to my head. It wasn't raining, there was no mist, and I was the only one out of the entire group it happened to.

Everyone just stared at me, and no one said a word. I put a thin scarf over my head and kept walking but it was a while before the dripping stopped. I didn't know what to make of it and just silently prayed 'Lord what is this'? Don't know what it was, it is still a mystery. :/


Ron said...

Did you know that all languages east of Jerusalem go from right to left and all languages west of Jerusalem go from left to right so I guess that supports Jerusalem as being the center of the nations

Billy said...

The coolest part is we will be there to see it happen!!!

Nathan Jones said...

Weird, Sue! Maybe it was that strange sandy mist that rolls in from the desert and blankets Jerusalem? I've seen fog, mist and smog, but never that sandy fog until visiting Jerusalem.

Andrea said...

My husband and I went to Israel in 1999, on one of Chuck Swindoll's tours. It was wonderful! We had one day to do what we pleased, so we walked around the city. We went on the Temple Mount, and walked down toward the Eastern Gate. There were some stairs on the back of it, so my husband went up, and talked me into it , too. We got a chance to see the view and look straight down on the graves before some guards with guns ran up to us, and told us to get down. We didnt understand the language, but we did understand what they meant! It was very exciting to be able to be there! And the verses you spoke of, I read when I got home, gave me the chills!

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you'll see this as your post about your hair become wet with drops of water was 2 years ago, but I read across your post and thought of this scripture:
"I sleep, but my heart is awake;
It is the voice of my beloved!
He knocks, saying,
"Open for me, my sister, my love,
My dove, my perfect one;
For my head is covered with dew,
My locks with the drops of the night." Song of Solomon 5:2


Anonymous said...

Guys...Hebrews clearly says faith is believing something when we can't see or figure out in our mind something. These prophesies are fun and exciting; however, if someone or something caused me to abandon or readjust my eschatology it would have zero effect on my Romans says the Spirit confers with our spirit that we are His.