The Nugget has received requests from subscribers to run a
series focusing on gates in the Bible. The Bible is full of references to gates,
many of which were in relation to the gates of ancient Jerusalem. This ongoing
series, "The Gates of Jerusalem", looks at what these gates can teach us today.
Many thanks to Nugget author and Answers2Prayer volunteer, Sue Ramsey, for
supplying the research that this series is based upon. For previous lessons on
"The Gates of Jerusalem", please see:
The Gates of Jerusalem, Part 9
The Water Gate
In last week's lesson on the gates of Jerusalem, we saw that after the trials
that reveal the garbage in our hearts, God brings us to the Fountain Gate: He
fills us up with His Holy Spirit, so that we will be empowered to live as Christ
would have us to live! Today's lesson takes us to the next gate mentioned in the
series: The Water Gate.
"Moreover the Nethinim who dwelt in Ophel made repairs as far as the place in
front of the Water Gate toward the east, and on the projecting tower." (Neh
The Water Gate was repaired by the Nethinim who lived in Ophel. Ophel was the
slope south of the temple, and the Water Gate was a gate in the eastern wall.
Due to its close approximation to the temple, it is believed that this gate may
have been used as an escape for the surplus water from the temple reservoirs.
Another theory is that when the temple reservoirs of water were low, this gate
may have been used to refill them with water from the Kidron Valley. 
The Nethinim were temple servants. In fact, many translations of the Bible call
them just that: Temple servants. The first mention of temple servants can be
found very early on in Bible history. As Israel began the conquest of the
Promised Land, they were deceived into making an unholy treaty with people of
the land, the Gibeonites. What happened when this deception became known?
"And that day Joshua made them woodcutters and WATER CARRIERS for the
congregation and for the altar of the LORD, in the place which He would choose,
even to this day." (Josh 9:27 NKJV)! It may be that these Nethinim who
repaired the Water Gate may have been none other than the descendents of these
very same Gibeonites, who were appointed to be "water carriers"! 
What does this mean for us today?
Water is used in the Bible as a symbol of cleansing: "our hearts sprinkled to
cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water
. . ." (Heb 10:22); and "to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing
with water through the word . . ." (Eph 5:26-27).
Remember Pilot? He used water as a symbol of cleansing: "When Pilate saw that
he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water
and washed his hands in front of the crowd. 'I am innocent of this man's blood,'
he said. 'It is your responsibility!'" (Matt 27:24 NIV)
And any discussion of water would also naturally lead us to the subject of
baptism: "I baptize you with water for repentance." (Matt 3:11 NIV)
Remember that the preceding gate, the Fountain Gate, is symbolic of the
outpouring of the Holy Spirit on our lives. It is no coincidence that the very
next gate in the series is the Water Gate, because the Holy Spirit and cleansing
go together. The Holy Spirit is the one who makes the word of God come alive for
us personally, thus allowing for the cleansing, the encouragement, and the
direction to take place in our lives.
Enough to ponder, friends, but do ponder
this: First 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.
Join us next week to take a look at what the "Horse Gate" and what it has to
God bless each of you abundantly.
Sue Ramsey & Lyn Chaffart
Volunteers, Answers2Prayer Ministries,
 from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft on
 from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright
(c) 1997 by Biblesoft on Nehemiah 3:26