Gates in the Bible: Gates of Jerusalem, Part 10: The Horse Gate -- By Sue Ramsey and Lyn Chaffart

In last week's lesson on the gates of Jerusalem, we saw that first we must go through the Valley Gate where the trials and tribulations are allowed to uncover the rubbish; then the Dung Gate where the rubbish can be done away with. Next comes the Fountain Gate, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and this brings about the cleansing, the Water Gate. Today's lesson takes us to the next gate mentioned in the series: The Horse Gate.

"Above the Horse Gate, the priests made repairs, each in front of his own house." (Neh 3:28-29 NIV)

The next gate was known as the Horse Gate. The Horse Gate was on the east side of the city, overlooking the Kidron Valley. It seems to have been a gate by which horses approached and left the old palace of David, which lay north of the temple. [1] Due to its approximation to the temple and the Water Gate, it may have also been used to water the horses. Some rabbis suppose that in order to go to the temple, a person might go on horseback to the Horse Gate, but then they would be obliged to dismount and leave their horse here, as a horse could not go any further. [2]

What does the Horse Gate signify for us today?

Horses were never abundant in Jerusalem, [3] and are generally used in the Bible as something symbolic of war: "I saw Heaven opened, and behold a WHITE HORSE; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness does He judge and MAKE WAR." (Revelation 19:11)

Friends, the Horse Gate speaks to us of warfare. Whether we know it or not, we are all engaged in warfare: Spiritual warfare! Take a look at the following texts:

"For our struggle is NOT AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the POWERS OF THIS DARK WORKD and against the SPIRITUAL FORCES OF EVIL IN THE HEAVENLY REALMS." (Eph 6:12 NIV)

"FOR THOUGH WE LIVE IN THE WORLD, WE DO NOT WAGE WAR AS THE WORLD DOES. The WEAPONS we fight with are NOT THE WEAPONS OF THE WORLD. On the contrary, they have DIVINE POWER to demolish strongholds." (2 Cor 10:3-5)

"Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, WHICH WAR AGAINST YOUR SOUL." (1 Peter 2:11-12 NIV)

If we are at war, then we must also be prepared. But how can we be prepared for Spiritual warfare? Let's look at the following texts:

"PUT ON THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the BELT OF TRUTH buckled around your waist, with the BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the GOSPEL OF PEACE. In addition to all this, take up the SHIELD OF FAITH, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the HELMET OF SALVATION and the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, which is the word of God." (Eph 6:13-18 NIV)

". . . DEMOLISH ARGUMENTS and every PRETENSION that sets itself up against the knowledge of God . . . TAKE CAPTIVE EVERY THOUGHT to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Cor. 10:4,5).

Friends, we live in a war zone! We have to be prepared! But the good news is, that if we dress ourselves in truth, righteousness, faith, peace, salvation and God's Word, if we learn to take every thought captive, if we apply the truth found in God's Word to every argument brought to our attention, we WILL BE VICTORIOUS, for "God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." (1 Cor. 10:13-15)

There is yet one other point to be made by the Horse Gate. The last three gates, as we will see in the upcoming two lessons, are prophetic, they speak of the return of Jesus Christ! "I saw heaven standing open and there before me was A WHITE HORSE, whose rider is called FAITHFUL AND TRUE. With JUSTICE he JUDGES and MAKES WAR." (Rev 19:11-12 NIV)

The horse gate speaks of the day of the Lord and the end time judgment. What do we need to do to be prepared? "For you know very well that the DAY OF THE LORD will come like a thief in the night . . . But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but LET US BE ALERT AND SELF-CONTROLLED . . . PUTTING ON FAITH AND LOVE as a BREASTPLATE, and the HOPE OF SALVATION AS A HELMET." (1 Thess 5:2-8 NIV)

Enough to ponder, friends, but do ponder this: The Horse Gate not only reminds us that we are all engaged daily in spiritual warfare, but it also reminds us of the soon coming of Jesus Christ! We need to be prepared for both, and we can do so by putting on Jesus!

Join us next week to take a look at what the "East Gate" and the prophetic message that it has for us.

God bless each of you abundantly.

Sue Ramsey & Lyn Chaffart

Volunteers, Answers2Prayer Ministries,

[1] from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft, on Nehemiah 3:17-30

[2] from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Biblesoft, on Nehemiah 3:28

[3] from Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., on Nehemiah 3:28-32.

(To access the entire "Gates in the Bible" mini-series, please click here.)