3rd of the 10th month 2017/2018
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 62:10-12 “Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Lift up a banner for the peoples! 11 See, יהוה has proclaimed to the end of the earth: “Say to the daughter of Tsiyon, ‘See, your deliverance has come; see, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him.’” 12 And they shall be called, “The Set-apart People, the Redeemed of יהוה.” And you shall be called, “Sought Out, a City Not Forsaken.””
This clear call to ‘pass through’, ‘prepare’, ‘build up’, ‘remove’ and ‘lift up’, is given to a returning Bride that has faithfully responded to the call to come out and be separate. The Good News of the deliverance of the redeemed has come and this now requires our proper response!
What is worth taking note of here is that the term ‘pass through, pass through’ is written in the Hebrew as עִבְר֤וּ עִבְרוּ֙ – iḇru iḇru and is written twice for the clear emphasise of the action that is required. This word that is repeated twice comes from the root word עָבַר aḇar – Strong’s H5674 which means, ‘to pass over, pass through, cross over’, and it is from this word that we get the word – עִבְרִי Iḇri – Strong’s H5680 which in English is ‘Hebrew’ and means, ‘the one from beyond, the one who crossed over’.
Aḇram was the first person, in Scripture, to be called a ‘Hebrew’ (Berěshith/Genesis 14:13) and we recognise this term was given to him by his ‘crossing over’ of the Euphrates River, when leaving his father’s house and going into the Promised Land, at the clear call and instruction of Elohim!
So, what we declare to the world, through our walking in the righteousness of Messiah, by walking according to His Torah, is that we are ‘Hebrews’ – that is, we are ones who have ‘crossed over’, so to speak; as יהוה, the Elohim of the Hebrews, has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light”
Our ‘passing over’ or becoming a ‘Hebrew’ entails our ability to clearly listen to the commands of Elohim and guard TO DO THEM!!
Here in this victorious call of deliverance, the redeemed of יהוה are called to pass through the gates; and we can do this because of the work of redemption that our Master has worked for us, giving us the ability, through His Blood, to be set free from bondage to sin, come out and be separate and be built up in Him as living stones, for we, the redeemed, are the dwelling place of the Most-High! Having been called out of darkness into His marvellous light, we are called to walk as children of light and no linger walk in the darkness of sin and destruction; and in recognising this, we need to be armed in the Truth and be sober and alert as we fix keep watch and fix our eyes on the Prince and Perfecter of our faith!
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:8 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Master. Walk as children of light”
Yoḥanan/John 8:12 “Therefore יהושע spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall by no means walk in darkness, but possess the light of life.”
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of יהושע Messiah His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
As we walk in the Light, we recognise that in order to do so in complete perfection of set-apartness and truth, we are to let His Word light our path, for His Torah is a light for our path and a lamp for our feet, emphasising to us our need to meditate on His Torah day and night, in order to make our way prosperous. This we can only do when our eyes are properly fixed on our Master, in order to be people that can properly pass through… or better yet, be true Hebrews!!! In the letter to the Hebrews, we find the following words, which are fitting for what we are looking at here:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:1-2 “We too, then, having so great a cloud of witnesses all around us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race set before us, 2 looking to the Prince and Perfecter of our belief, יהושע, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the stake, having despised the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of Elohim.”
We are to be ‘looking to the Prince and Perfecter of our belief’!!!
We are told to be ‘looking’ to Messiah – and, as we can see from the verse before this one, in order to be able to properly ‘look’ to Messiah, we need to throw off and lay aside every weight and sin that easily entangles us and run with endurance – looking intently at our King as we run faithfully as servants of the Most-High Elohim!
Many are trying to run, yet find themselves getting tired and unable to endure the hardships and persecutions that comes as a result of set-apart living amidst a crooked generation! The question that you need to ask yourself as you take an eye test so to speak is, “What/Who are you looking at/to?” Are you looking to Messiah?
The two words used here for our Messiah are:
‘Prince’ – ἀρχηγός – archēgos – Strong’s G747 – translates as ‘prince, captain, chief leader and author’ and describes ‘one that takes the lead in anything and thus affords an example, a predecessor in a matter, pioneer’.
‘Perfecter’ – τελειωτής – teleiōtēs – Strong’s G5051) – this is the only place this Greek word and denotes a ‘finisher, completer, perfecter’ and describes ‘one who has in his own person raised faith to its perfection and so set before us the highest example of faith’. This is a description given only to יהושע Messiah who has become the supreme model for us to follow.
The Greek word for ‘looking’ is ἀφοράω – aphorao – Strong’s G872 and means ‘to look/ to turn eyes away from all other things and fix them on something’; and metaphorically speaking it means, ‘to fix the mind upon/ give full attention/ looking intently upon/ to take heed’; and it also means, ‘to consider carefully, attentively look at’ as it comes from the two Greek words: 1) ἀπό apo – Strong’s G575 which is a preposition and participle that means, ‘from, away from, at, in, to’ and 2) ὁράω horaō – Strong’s G3708 which means, ‘to see, perceive, attend to, take heed, see with the mind, beware, to see as in becoming acquainted with by experience’.
We are to look to Messiah and careful consider our ways; and we are at the same time to ensure that are eyes are not looking elsewhere as we ‘take heed’ of the corrupt teachings of man-made dogmas and traditions that lead people astray. We are to also take heed not to get consumed by materialism, as Messiah warns us against these in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 16:6 “And יהושע said to them, “Mind! And beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”
Luqas/Luke 12:15 “And He said to them, “Mind, and beware of greed, because one’s life does not consist in the excess of his possessions.”
The word ‘mind’ in both these warnings given is the word ὁράω horaō – take heed, be watchful that you do not fall prey to the corruption of man’s rules and regulations regarding a form of worship that runs contrary to the Truth and watch out that you don’t get sucked into the need to gain possessions – because your life does not consist in the excess of possessions! Seeing and watching is what we are to be doing as we are to guard ourselves and take heed not to be led astray and end up falling away under the delusion of the lawless!
As we consider the clear instruction given, in the letter to the Iḇ’rim (Hebrews), we can see how we are to be have our eyes fixed upon our Master and His Word in order to properly pass through!
The Hebrew word for ‘pass through’: עִבְר֤וּ iḇru and the Hebrew word of ‘Hebrew’ – עִבְרִי Iḇri – both come from the root word עָבַר aḇar – Strong’s H5674, which, in the ancient pictographic script, is written as follows:
Ayin – עָ:
The original pictograph for this letter is and represents the idea of ‘seeing and watching’, as well as ‘knowledge’. as the eye is the ‘window of knowledge’, and can also render the concept of knowledge revealed!
Beyt – בַ:
The ancient script has this letter as , which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself.
Resh – ר:
The Ancient picture for this letter is , ‘the head of a man’. This letter has the meanings of ‘head or man’ as well as ‘chief, top, beginning or first’.
From this pictographic rendering of one who passes/crosses over, we take note that the meaning given here can be understood as:
LOOKING TO THE HOUSE’S HEAD
THE EYES OF THE HOUSE ARE ON THE HEAD
Messiah, is the Head of the Body, that is us, the assembly; which are being up in Him, as living stones that keep their eyes on the Head of the House!
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:4-5 “Drawing near to Him, a living Stone – rejected indeed by men, but chosen by Elohim and precious – 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up, a spiritual house, a set-apart priesthood, to offer up spiritual slaughter offerings acceptable to Elohim through יהושע Messiah.”
Looking at the pictographic rendering of ‘pass through’ and ‘Hebrew’, we are able to recognise the secure work our Master has done for us:
The pictographic of the word עִבְר֤וּ iḇru – pass through looks like this:
The extra letter that is used at the end of this word is the letter:
Waw – וּ:
The ancient pictographic form of this letter is , a peg or ‘tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items. The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope from slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’.
From this we can see how our ability to properly pass through has been secured, as long as we keep our eyes on the Head of the House!
The pictographic of the word עִבְרִי Iḇri – Hebrew looks like this:
The extra letter that is used at the end of this word is the letter:
Yod – י:
The ancient script has this letter as which is ‘an arm and hand’ and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter!
As true Hebrew’s we have our eyes fixed on the Head of the House, because of His work of redemption, as we look to the revealed arm of Elohim! To whom has the arm of יהוה been revealed? To those who turn to the Master the veil has been removed and are able to properly see the deliverance that our Head has secured for us, giving us the strength to look to Him and pass through the gates!
We are to pass through the gates! This is where our journey of being built up begins, allowing us the ability to properly prepare the way, build up, remove and lift up, as instructed!
The Hebrew word for ‘gates’ comes from the root word for ‘gate’, which is שַׁעַר sha’ar – Strong’s H8179 meaning, ‘gate, door, entrance’, which comes from the root verb שָׁעַר sha’ar – Strong’s H8176 which means, ‘to think, split open, reason out, calculate, reckon, estimate’. Anyone entering into the city gates would be clearly acknowledging their submission to the rules and laws of the city they were entering. In fact, the ancient gates were a kind of check point as well as where proper execution of the laws of the city were administered, teaching us to recognise that we who desire and long to enter into the gates of the kingdom of Elohim must acknowledge, submit to and abide by His Torah and commands.
The door posts of our homes/gates are where we are to write the commands of Elohim, and anyone who passes through our gates must adhere to His standards! Once again, judgement is done according to the right-ruling of the city or house! And in our case, it is according to the Word of Elohim which is written upon the doorposts of our hearts and homes, as we are the dwelling place of the Most-High!
Entering through the gates is the proper place to enter, and we know that any other attempt at gaining entry into a city, other than through its prescribed gates, would be trespassing and be punished.
The Greek equivalent that is used in the LXX (Septuagint) for ‘gates’ is the root word πύλη pulē – Strong’s G4439 and this word is used in describing the narrow gate that we are to strive to enter through:
Luqas/Luke 13:24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, because many, I say to you, shall seek to enter in and shall not be able.”
The city gates can also be understood as being the ‘door’ or entrance point and we know that Messiah is the Door who has prepared the way for us to enter in to His Covenants of Promise, and any attempt at entering in through another way is a thief!
Yoḥanan/John 10:1-2 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter through the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up by another way, that one is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters through the door is the shepherd of the sheep.”
Yoḥanan/John 10:9 “I am the door. Whoever enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and shall go out and find pasture.”
‘Entering in’ or ‘Passing through’ His gates are to be done with great joy and boldness in declaring proper praise and submission to our Master and Elohim.
Tehillah/Psalm 100:4 “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His Name.”
True Hebrews praise and enter with thanksgiving as we bless the Name of יהוה, our Saviour, in all we do, hence our need to give thanks always!
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in all circumstances give thanks, for this is the desire of Elohim in Messiah יהושע for you.”
When our eyes are properly fixed upon our Head, יהושע Messiah, then we can be joyfully equipped to pass through the gates and be about proclaiming His coming reign, as we make ourselves ready and prepare the way for His soon return!
While all has been prepared by our Master, we have a huge responsibility of ‘preparing the way’ for His soon return! It was a common custom in ancient times for people to be sent on ahead of their king’s journey so that they could level the roads and make them passable for their king, and we see this Greek word ἑτοιμάζω hetoimazō – Strong’s G2090 being used in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 3:3 “For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Yeshayahu, saying, “A voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of יהוה, make His paths straight.’”
The Greek word used here for ‘prepare’ is ἑτοιμάζω hetoimazō – Strong’s G2090 which is a verb that means, ‘to prepare, get ready, make arrangements’, and comes from the root ἕτοιμος hetoimos – Strong’s G2092 which means, ‘prepare, ready, ready at hand, prepared, accomplished’.
This is a quote from Yeshayahu/Isaiah 40:3, and the Hebrew word translated as ‘prepare’ is פָּנָה panah – Strong’s H6437 which means, ‘to turn, turn towards a direction’, and in order for us to ‘turn towards a direction’ we must ‘turn from’ another direction! We must learn to ‘turn our backs’ on many things that we picked up in the enslavement of Mitsrayim and all its inherited lies and dogmas of man, especially after the hearing of the Torah, in recognition of where and what we are heading for! A derivative of this word פָּנָה panah is פָּנֶה paneh or פָּנִים paniym – Strong’s H6440 meaning, ‘face, faces’.
What we see here is the need to hear the clear invitation and call of our Master and literally ‘turn our faces toward יהוה’; and keep our eyes fixed on יהושע and walk in Him, as we guard to do all He commands us!
As we turn our faces toward Elohim and fix our eyes upon Him, we are to build up the highway!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘highway’ in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 62:10 is מְסִלָּה mesillah – Strong’s H4546 which means, ‘a highway, course, courses, paths, steps’, and comes from the root word סָלַל salal – Strong’s H5549 which means, ‘to lift up, build, exalt, prize, esteem highly’, which is the root word that is used twice in a row and translated as ‘build up, build up’. The highway that is to be built up is a clear reference to the ‘main way’ that is to be walked upon; and we recognise the clear reference to a highway of Elohim, being that which refers to a steadfast walk of set-apartness where there is no compromise found!
Another noun that comes from סָלַל salal – Strong’s H5549 and is translated as ‘highway’ is מַסְלוּל maslul – Strong’s H4547 and we see this word being used in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 35:8 “And there shall be a highway, and a way, and it shall be called “The Way of Set-apartness.” The unclean does not pass over it, but it is for those who walk the way, and no fools wander on it.”
The highway of the straight is the Way of Set-Apartness!!!
Understanding this makes it clear and obvious that the highway of the straight, upon which no fools wander on it, is a way that keeps one upright and able to properly turn away from all evil, and the one who guards himself to keep himself on the highway, the way of set-apartness, turns away from all evil!
In order to pass through the gates, prepare the way and build up a highway, we need to remove the rubble out of our lives and then lift up a banner to the peoples… in other words, we are to make know the Kingdom Reign and shine the light of His Truth as we raise the proper banner of praise unto our Master Deliverer and King!
Tehillah/Psalm 60:4 “You have given a banner to those who fear You, that it might be lifted up because of the truth. Selah.”
Messiah is our banner, as He had to be lifted up and impaled for our sin, just as Mosheh lifted up the serpent in the Wilderness (Yoḥanan/John 3:14); and was exalted and given the Name above every Name (Pilipiyim/Philippians 2:9). The Hebrew word for ‘banner’ is נֵס nes – Strong’s H5251 which means, ‘a standard, ensign, signal, sign, banner, distinguishing mark’, and is the word translated as ‘pole’ for that which Mosheh put the bronze serpent on.
In Yeshayahu/Isaiah 11:10 we are told that the Root of Yishai would stand as a banner to the people; and this banner would be given for the nations to gather the outcasts of Yisra’ĕl and assemble the dispersed of Yehuḏah – the very work of Messiah our Banner who has by His sacrifice made it possible for us to be accepted in the Beloved, and be a set-apart nation in whom He can take great pleasure!
Shemoth/Exodus 17:15 “And Mosheh built an altar and called its name, יהוה Nissi”
This altar was built after the victory Yehoshua had over Amalěq, and the sure promise given to us that יהוה would fight for us from generation to generation as we walk under His Banner of praise!
While I have simply expanded on the words found in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 62:10-12, what I am presenting to you is more than just a few definitions, but rather, in doing so, I am highlighting our need to be a people who understand what passing through the gates entails and how our ability to do so is only because of eth great redemptive work of deliverance that our Master has brought us, through His life, death and resurrection, proving for us the only way to set-apartness, for which we have a huge responsibility in proclaiming as we live in perfect set-apartness before our Master and Elohim! Passing through the gates is a very powerful picture of our ability to come boldly to the throne of favour and bless our Mighty Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah, in all we do!
Gates carry a wealth of insight for us, when we diligently search and seek the Truth, through a proper daily study and meditation on His Word; and it is with that in mind that I would like to take a closer look at the gates that are mentioned in the Book of Neḥemyah/Nehemiah!
The name Neḥemyah: נְחֶמְיָה Strong’s H5166 means ‘יהוה comforts’. He was the son of Ḥaḵalyah – חֲכַלְיָה Strong’s H2446 which means, ‘whom יהוה enlightens or wait for יהוה’. He was the cupbearer to the king of Persia, with whom he had found favour and who was granted the task of returning to, and rebuilding the walls of, Yerushalayim. Since we are exiles who have crossed over from darkness into the marvellous light of Elohim, and earnestly wait for His return, we recognise that the story of Neḥemyah is not only a historical one, but is also an instructive one, teaching us a great deal on how we are to be about our Master’s business, as we recognise that as we faithfully wait for our Master and Elohim, He is the One who enlightens us and comforts us in the midst of distressing times, teaching us to be fully armed in the Truth, as we are being built up as living stones!!!
Yerushalayim had been destroyed and the walls and gates had been broken down and burned and Yehuḏah had been exiled to Baḇelon for 70 years. With Neḥemyah, Ezra and others being able to return to Yerushalayim in order to rebuild its walls, we are able to be encouraged and comforted in the sure promises we have in our Master; and in order to continue with the theme of this message on our need to heed the call to ‘pass through the gates’, I would like to take a closer look at the gates that are mentioned in Neḥemyah, as they each carry some valuable nuggets of faith equipping truth for us who are preparing the way for our Master’s return!
In Neḥemyah/Nehemiah Chapter 3 there are 10 gates that are mentioned, with each gate having a very unique name, from which we are able to learn some great insights from, in helping understanding the work of deliverance our Master has done and our required response in our need to work out our deliverance with fear and trembling, before the face of our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah!
Let us therefore explore these gates that are mentioned in Neḥemyah/Nehemiah:
Before looking at each gate, it is worth taking note of the words we see Neḥemyah speaking to those who opposed the rebuilding:
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 2:20 “And I answered them, and said to them, “The Elohim of the heavens, He shall bless us and let us, His servants, rise and build, but you have no portion or right or remembrance in Yerushalayim.”
This bold answer of faith stirred the true faithful servants to rise up and build, knowing the clear blessing of Elohim that is on the trustworthy and faithful!
1 – THE SHEEP GATE:
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3:1-2 “And Elyashiḇ the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests and built the Sheep Gate. They set it apart and set up its doors, even as far as the Tower of Me’ah they set it apart, as far as the Tower of Ḥanane’ěl. 2 And at his hand the men of Yeriḥo built. And at his hand Zakkur son of Imri built.”
This Chapter 3 begins with the first gate that is mentioned and it is no coincidence that the first gate to be mentioned in the SHEEP GATE! The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘sheep’ comes from the root word צאֹן tson – Strong’s H6629 which means, ‘small cattle, sheep, goats, flock’.
This first gate prophetically proclaims redemption, and more importantly, it prophetically proclaims who our Redeemer is! What you should be able to notice here is that it was the high priest who rose up with his brothers and built the sheep gate! Do you see this? The high priest built the sheep gate!!! The name of the high priest was אֶלְיָשִׁיב Elyashiḇ – Strong’s H475 which means, ‘El restores’! How awesome is that!!! The high priest, whose name meant, ‘El restores’ built the sheep gate! This is a clear shadow picture of יהושע Messiah, our High Priest, who has restored His Covenant, giving us access through His Own Blood, for He is the Good Shepherd that lay down His life for the sheep! His sheep know His voice!
This gate was the gate that they brought the lambs and sheep to be slaughtered! This gate is mentioned in:
Yoḥanan/John 5:2 “And in Yerushalayim at the Sheep Gate there is a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bĕyth Zatha, having five porches.”
It was at this gate that the pool of Bĕyth Zatha was located, commonly known in English as ‘Bethesda’ from the Greek word Βηθεσδά Bēthesda – Strong’s G964 which means, ‘house of mercy’ or ‘flowing water’, thought to come from the two root words: 1) בַּיִת bayith – Strong’s H1004 meaning, ‘house, home, armoury, building’, often pronounced as ‘beyth’ and 2) חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617 which means, ‘goodness, kindness, deeds of devotion, loving-commitment, faithfulness’.
It was here at this gate that Messiah healed a man who had been sick for 38 years. It was at this pool that the waters would, at a certain time, be stirred, and those who were blind, crippled and paralysed, would come and wait for the stirring of the waters that would be done by a messenger and whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, would be healed. Knowing that this man had been waiting a long time, as he never made it to the waters first, יהושע Messiah heals this man, extending His healing hand of mercy to a broken and sick man!
This sheep gate, that the high priest built up, was set-apart and set up as far as the tower of מֵאָה Me’ah – Strong’s H3968 which means, ‘100 hundred’, to the tower of חֲנַנְאֵל Ḥanan’ěl – Strong’s H2606 which means, ‘El has favoured’ or, ‘El has mercy’ coming from the two root words: 1) חָנַן ḥanan – Strong’s H2603 meaning, ‘show favour, be gracious to, dealt graciously with, given to them voluntarily, shown favour’ and 2) אֵל Ěl – Strong’s H410 which means, ‘Mighty, power, shortened form of Elohim – Mighty One’.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘tower’ comes from the root word מִגְדָּל migdal – Strong’s H4026 which means, ‘tower, podium, watchtower’, and comes from the root verb גָּדַל gaḏal – Strong’s H1431 – and this root word is used 115 times in the Tanak and has the meaning, ‘to grow up, become great, to cause to be large, magnify, boast, lift up, promote’, and is often used as a word to express praise for יהוה.
The reason for me highlighting these two towers that are mentioned here is to expand on the prophetic picture that is related to the building up of this sheep gate that the high priest did. We know that the Name of יהוה is a strong tower:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 18:10 “The Name of יהוה is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.”
These two towers that are mentioned here, in regards to the setting up of eth sheep gate, highlights the loving-commitment of our High Priest and King, who shows His mercy for the lost sheep! With the one tower meaning 100 and the other meaning the mercy/favour of Elohim, we can be reminded of the parable that Messiah gave of the Shepherd who lost a sheep:
Luqas/Luke 15:3-6 “And He spoke this parable to them, saying, 4 “What man among you, having a hundred sheep, and having lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 “And having found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 ”
This parable highlights a shepherd who had 100 sheep and how he would go after one that was lost, until it was found! This is a lesson on the sure favour/mercy/grace that our Good Shepherd has for His lost sheep, which He came to save!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 15:24 “And He answering, said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Yisra’ěl.”
The high priest Elyashiḇ, along with his brothers, set the sheep gate apart and set up its doors! Messiah is the Door!
Yoḥanan/John 10:2 “But he who enters through the door is the shepherd of the sheep.”
Yoḥanan/John 10:7 “יהושע therefore said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.”
The building of the wall and its gates began at the sheep gate and this teaches us the vital lesson of how our deliverance begins at the setting up of the entrance into the set-apart Covenants of Promise, which was only made possible by the Blood of the Lamb.
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 2:11-13 “Therefore remember that you, once nations in the flesh, who are called ‘the uncircumcision’ by what is called ‘the circumcision’ made in the flesh by hands, 12 that at that time you were without Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Yisra’ěl and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no expectation and without Elohim in the world. 13 But now in Messiah יהושע you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah.”
It is only by the Blood of Elohim, our Good Shepherd, that we are able to be restored to favour and be built up in Him as living stones. While sin had caused a destruction the gates and walls, our High Priest and King restored His gates by which we can enter in and be established to praise Him.
This SHEEP GATE proclaims the wonderful work of deliverance that our Mighty Good Shepherd has done for us, and as sheep that know His voice, we must enter in with thanksgiving!
Yoḥanan/John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
The Greek word that is translated as ‘hear’ comes from the root word ἀκούω akouō – Strong’s G191 which means, ‘hearing, listen, give heed, understand’.
Those who have ears to ear, obey, while those who shut their ears to the Truth are disobedient!
The Greek word translated as ‘follow’ in Yoḥanan/John 10:27 is ἀκολουθέω akoloutheō – Strong’s G190 which comes from: Α, α alpha – Strong’s G1 which is the first letter of the Greek language and is used here as a participle of union, along with the word κέλευθος keleuthos – which means, ‘a road, or way’ and therefore this word ἀκολουθέω akoloutheō expresses the intention to ‘follow closely or going behind someone who leads the way’ or ‘to attend, to accompany, to go with or follow a teacher’.
To follow Messiah is not for those who just want to go for a stroll to see what happens – it is a commitment to walk and live as He walked and lived as a perfect example for us to follow! You cannot follow the Master if you are not girded about with truth and have not put on righteousness, as you will be unable to walk as He walked!
The setting up of the SHEEP GATE highlights the clear Truth that our Master has set up the way and it is now time for His sheep to hear, guard and do!!!
2 – THE FISH GATE
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3:3-5 “And the sons of Hassena’ah built the Fish Gate, who laid its beams and set up its doors, its bolts and bars. 4 And at their hand Merěmoth son of Uriyah, son of Qots, strengthened. And at their hand Meshullam son of Bereḵyah, son of Meshěyzaḇ’ěl, strengthened. And at their hand Tsaḏoq son of Ba‛ana strengthened. 5 And at their hand the Teqowites strengthened, but their nobles did not put their shoulders to the work of their Master.”
This second gate that is mentioned – the FISH GATE – teaches us the lesson of how we are to be about the work of our Master, in proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom. Messiah said that He would make His taught ones ‘fishers of men’ and as we look at some of the names that are mentioned here, we can see how important it is for us to be doing what our Good Shepherd has instructed, as this gate speaks to us a huge lesson on taking seriously the commission to go and make taught ones of the nations!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 4:18-20 “And יהושע, walking by the Sea of Galil, saw two brothers, Shim‛on called Kěpha, and Andri his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 19 And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I shall make you fishers of men.” 20 And immediately they left their nets and followed Him.”
This FISH GATE presents to us the mirrored question of whether we have left all to follow our Master, or are we still holding on to things that we should have let go of? Let us take a look at the names mentioned here in Neḥemyah:
It was the sons of הַסְּנָאָ֑ה – Hassena’ah that built this gate. His name means, ‘the thorny’.
Next to him was מְרֵמוֹת Merĕmoth – Strong’s H4822 which means, ‘elevations’, and he was the son of אוּרִיָּה Uriyyah – Strong’s H223 which means, ‘flame of Yah, light of Yah’, who was the son of קוֹץ Qots – Strong’s H6976 which means, ‘thorn’.
Next to him was מְשֻׁלָּם Meshullam – Strong’s H4918 which means, ‘friend/man of peace’, ad he was the son of בֶּרֶכְיָה Bereḵyah – Strong’s H1296 which means, ‘Yah Blesses’ who was the son of מְשֵׁיזַבְאֵל Meshěyzaḇ’ěl Strong’s H4898 – ‘El delivers’.
Next to him was and צָדוֹק Tsaḏoq – Strong’s H6659 which means, ‘righteous’, who was the son of בַּעֲנָא Ba’ana – Strong’s H1195 which means, ‘in affliction’.
And with them were the Teqowites, or in Hebrew, the תְּקוֹעִי Teqo’iy – Strong’s H8621 which means, ‘trumpet blast’.
Glancing through the names of the men that are listed here we can learn the truth of how we are to shine the light of Elohim amidst a dark world, knowing that we serve a Mighty Elohim who blesses and delivers the righteous, in affliction, as long as we are elevation/lifting up the pure fire/light of Yah, who has taking the thorns of sin upon Himself, so that we can be delivered from bondage to go and call others to deliverance and make taught ones of the nations! The term ‘strengthened’ is used here at this gate and continues to be used with the rest of the gates mentioned here in Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3, highlighting for us how we are to be strengthened in the Good Shepherd as we pass through the gates and shine His light, amidst the thorny dark world!
The Hebrew word for ‘strengthened’ comes from the root word חָזַק ḥazaq – Strong’s H2388 and carries the meaning, ‘to grow firm, fasten upon, strengthen, take hold of’ and can have the concept of, ‘grasp between your ears’. In Scripture, we are repeatedly told to be strong and courageous! When we ‘grasp between our ears’ what we ought to, then יהוה will strengthen us to be ‘courageous’, which is the root word – אָמֵץ amats H553 – means ‘to be alert both physically and mentally, be fully alert – awake and not asleep, be steadfast’.
Be strong and courageous is a term we have come to know, especially when we reflect on the book of Yehoshua – well it is these two words that are being used each time – חָזַק ḥazaq and אָמֵץ amats
What we can learn from this is that for us to be ‘strong and courageous’ in Messiah, we need to ‘grow firm’ in the Torah and have the commands of Elohim fastened upon our hearts as we take hold of the Truth and walk in it with boldness, being fully alert and steadfast in walking in the Truth. And it is through the ‘command/s’ of the Torah (Mosheh) that we are commissioned, appointed and strengthened ‘in’ Messiah! While we recognise that in order to be strengthened to build as we should, and give ear to the Torah of Elohim, we recognise that there are some who stubbornly refuse to hear and obey! This gate also warns us against idleness, arrogance, pride and laziness! We are told that the nobles did not put their shoulders to the work of their master! Those who know the trumpet blast sound of our Master, and guard to keep His Sabbaths and Feasts, know how to hear, guard and do, while those who shut their ears are idle and lazy and will be rejected from entering into the reign!
Tehillah/Psalm 89:15 “Blessed are the people who know the sounding! They walk, O יהוה, in the light of Your face.”
Refusing to give one’s shoulder is an expression which highlights one’s stubbornness to accept the easy yoke of our Master.
Mattithyahu/Matthew 11:29-30 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and humble in heart, and you shall find rest for your beings. 30 “For My yoke is gentle and My burden is light.”
This Fish Gate highlights for us the need to be humble servants that do not neglect the duty of guarding the Torah and are strengthened in the Word, equipped to shine, while being on guard against the thorns of the flesh that try to steal our time away from the Master’s work and call on our lives.
3 – THE OLD GATE
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3:6-12 “And Yehoyaḏa son of Pasěaḥ and Meshullam son of Besoḏeyah strengthened the Old Gate. They laid its beams and set up its doors, and its bolts and its bars. 7 And at their hand Melatyah the Giḇ‛onite, and Yaḏon the Měronothite, the men of Giḇ‛on and Mitspah, strengthened the official seat of the governor beyond the River. 8 At his hand Uzzi’ěl son of Ḥarhayah, one of the goldsmiths, strengthened. And at his hand Ḥananyah, one of the perfumers, strengthened. And they restored Yerushalayim as far as the Broad Wall. 9 And at their hand Rephayah son of Ḥur, ruler of half the district of Yerushalayim, strengthened. 10 And at their hand Yeḏayah son of Ḥarumaph strengthened, even opposite his house. And at his hand Ḥattush son of Ḥashaḇneyah strengthened. 11 Malkiyah son of Ḥarim and Ḥashshuḇ son of Paḥath–Mo’aḇ strengthened another section, and the Tower of the Ovens. 12 And at his hand Shallum son of Halloḥěsh ruler of half the district of Yerushalayim strengthened, he and his daughters.”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘old’ is יְשָׁנָה Yeshanah – Strong’s H3466 which is the feminine of the word יָשָׁן yashan – Strong’s H3645 which means, ‘old’ and this comes from the root verb יָשֵׁן yashen – Strong’s H3462 meaning, ‘to sleep (figuratively to die), to cause to sleep’. With this in mind, we can recognise a pattern in these gates being repaired here, as we take note that having been redeemed to serve, we must put to death the things of old that have no place in the life of a true Hebrew. That means that the ‘old man’ of eth flesh must die, in order for the new man to shine forth! We are to put to death the things of the flesh and have the proper authority of our Master, whose yoke we put on, established in our lives! Passing through this gate emphasises a throwing off all that hinders and not looking back put putting one’s hand to the plough!
It was at this gate that the official seat of the governor was strengthened, which is a great shadow picture of how the true and proper authority of our Master is to be properly restored… and while His seat is strengthened here te the old gate, we take note that His seat of authority is from the beginning!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:7-8 “Beloved, I write no fresh command to you, but an old command which you have had from the beginning. The old command is the Word which you heard from the beginning. 8 Again I write you a fresh command, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light now shines.”
What we can learn from these words is pretty clear – The Word of Elohim does not change… the command is now fresh in the renewing of eth Covenant… yet it is still the old command! The old is fresh, in Messiah, because now, in Him, the true light of the old shines brightly!!!
One thing we have come to learn over the years is that the more we study and meditate on the Torah of Elohim, and more specifically, the more we study what has been termed as ‘The Old Testament’, the more we are able to understand the renewed writings, which has been labelled as ‘The New Testament’!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:52 “And He said to them, “Therefore every scholar taught in the reign of the heavens is like a householder who brings out of his treasure matters, renewed and old.”
In a parable of wineskins, our Master highlights how, we cannot put new wine into old wine skins, yet we recognise the goodness of the old, which renews!
Luqas/Luke 5:36-39 “And He also spoke a parable to them, “No one puts a piece from a fresh garment on an old one, otherwise the fresh one makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the fresh one does not match the old. 37 “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins, otherwise the new wine shall burst the wineskins and run out, and the wineskins shall be ruined. 38 “But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved. 39 “And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new wine, for he says, ‘The old is better.’”
What we must remember here is that this is a parable, intended to teach us so that we can grasp the Truth. While this parable may appear to contradict itself as it highlights how the old wineskins cannot take the new wine as it needs new wineskins, yet the old is still better! What is being emphasised is the fact that Messiah did not come to do away with the Torah and the Prophets, but rather that it is only in Him that one is able to enjoy the old and be clothed in the newness of the Spirit of His Word, without discarding His Word, for only in Him, as a renewed man, can we hold the renewal of His Truth, which is from of old and never fades!
This gate can therefore teach us to put to death the ‘old’ self, yet at the same time, not discard what many have termed ‘the old’ and as a result have sadly cast the Torah behind them!
Qolasim/Colossians 3:8-10 “But now, also put off all these: displeasure, wrath, evil, blasphemy, filthy talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have put off the old man with his practices, 10 and have put on the new one who is renewed in knowledge according to the likeness of Him who created him”
4 & 5 – THE VALLEY GATE & THE DUNG GATE
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3:13-14 “Ḥanun and the people of Zanowaḥ strengthened the Valley Gate. They built it, and set up its doors, its bolts and bars – and a thousand cubits of the wall as far as the Dung Gate. 14 And the Dung Gate was strengthened by Malkiyah son of Rěḵaḇ, ruler of the district of Běyth Hakkerem. He built it and set up its doors, its bolts and bars.”
I have put these two gates together, not because they are the same gate, but simply because they are mentioned in the same verse, and as we can see… each of these gates highlight for us great lessons in our much-needed walk of set-apartness in Messiah.
The picture of a valley can have numerous lessons for us, and possibly one of the most predominant ones is that of ‘decision making’, along with the idea of the full assurance of the blessed comfort and support of the Master, for those who call upon His Name and stay in Him as they walk, even as He walked!
A valley can be a picture of being in a low point in one’s life and we need to take comfort in the Word of Elohim that can light our path through the dark valleys!
The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘valley’ comes from the root word גַּיְא gay – Strong’s H1516 which can mean, ‘a valley, steep valley, narrow gorge’, and is also used in:
Tehillah/Psalm 23:4 “When I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil. For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
Herein lies another very powerful lesson for us today! The name of the man who strengthened the valley gate was חָנוּן Ḥanun – Strong’s H2586 which means, ‘favoured, gracious’, and comes from the primitive root חָנַן ḥanan – Strong’s H2603 meaning, ‘show favour, be gracious to, dealt graciously with, given to them voluntarily, shown favour’. There are so many who are walking in ignorance of the truth today, and while they claim to be ‘under grace’, their disregard for the Torah and complete observance of the commands of Elohim, reveal that they show no regard for the needed submission to the Beloved King’s instructions. In the valley we need the Rod and Staff of our Master and Elohim to comfort us and guide us!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘rod’ in Tehillah/Psalm 23:4 is שֵׁבֶט sheḇet – Strong’s H7626 and means, ‘rod, staff, branch, shaft’ and is a symbol of authority and rulership and the Hebrew word that is translated as ‘staff’ is מַשְׁעֵנָה mashenah – Strong’s H4938 which means, ‘staff, support’ and is understood as being a rod, cane, i.e., a sturdy, about shoulder-height, often personalized, stick branch of a tree, with many uses, including herding, punishing by striking, a support for walking on rough terrain or with weak legs, etc.
In our preparation for our coming King, we are to be comforted with the encouragement of the valleys being raised and the high places being made low:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 40:1-5 “Comfort, comfort My people!” says your Elohim. 2 Speak to the heart of Yerushalayim, and cry out to her, that her hard service is completed, that her crookedness is pardoned, that she has received from the hand of יהוה double for all her sins. 3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of יהוה; make straight in the desert a highway for our Elohim. 4 Let every valley be raised, and every mountain and hill made low. And the steep ground shall become level, and the rough places smooth. 5 And the esteem of יהוה shall be revealed, and all flesh together shall see it. For the mouth of יהוה has spoken.”
Many have regarded this as being the start of the second part of Yeshayahu with the first 39 chapters dealing with impending judgement and from chapter 40 onwards we see the clear promise of deliverance that יהוה Himself will bring to those who call and wait upon Him, by repenting and returning to the Redeemer of Yisra’ĕl and walking in His ways.
Yisra’ĕl was in captivity and while the threat of destruction hovered over their heads, here in this chapter there is an encouraging call to the chosen of Elohim to take heart because the promise of sure deliverance was coming!
In verse one we see the repetition of the word ‘comfort’, which here, in Hebrew, we see the following phrase being written: נַחֲמוּ נַחֲמוּ עַמִּי – “naḥamu,naḥamu, ami” – “comfort, comfort, My people…” The repetition of the word used for ‘comfort’ is for emphasis and this word is from the root word נָחַם naḥam – Strong’s H5162 which means, ‘to comfort, console, to be comforted’ and also can express the meaning, ‘to be sorry, to be moved, have compassion, suffer grief, repent’. The original root often seems to reflect the idea of ‘breathing deeply’; hence the physical display of one’s feelings, usually of sorrow, compassion or comfort. It can therefore mean to breathe deeply with sorrow for your sin, or to breathe deeply as you comfort and console someone.
In Scripture we see that the majority of the times that נָחַם naḥam is used and translated as ‘repent’ actually refers to Elohim’s repentance and not man’s. Man’s repentance is most frequently indicated by the word שׁוּב shuḇ – Strong’s H7725 which means, ‘to turn back, return, repent, recover’, meaning to turn away from sin and turn back to Elohim and follow in His ways.
The term ‘naḥamu’ which is a derivative of נָחַם naḥam can give the understanding of ‘to cause to breathe again’ – in other words it is יהוה Himself that would bring the ‘recovery of breath’, and this is His comforting words to His people – and in a sense, could render the encouragement of knowing that Elohim Himself is declaring to a people in exile,
“I am bringing you a recovery of breath”. This recovery of breath that was surely needed is sufficient for His people to get strengthened and prepare the way for His soon return!
The Master יהוה continually called Yisra’ĕl to return, yet they continually turned a deaf ear and did their own thing and He made it clear to Yisra’ĕl in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 30:15 “For thus said the Master יהוה, the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl, “In returning and rest you are saved, in stillness and trust is your strength.” But you would not,”
While Yisra’ĕl would not return we certainly see the clear message given here: In returning and rest you are saved and in stillness and trust is your strength! The word in Hebrew for ‘returning’ is שׁוּבָה shuḇah which means, ‘retirement, withdrawal, repentance, returning’ and comes from the word we have already discussed as the word used for man’s repentance – שׁוּב shuḇ – Strong’s H7725 which means, ‘to turn back, return, repent, recover’. The word used for ‘rest’ is נַחַת naḥath – Strong’s H5183 meaning, ‘quietness, rest’ and comes from the root verb נוּחַ nuaḥ – Strong’s H5117 which means, ‘to rest, cause to rest, set down, leave, depart from’; and the Name of the man who found favour in יהוה’s eyes is derived from this root: Noaḥ – נֹחַ – Strong’s H5146 whose name means, ‘rest, comfort’ as already mentioned.
In turning back to Elohim in true repentance and having turned away from wickedness and self, entering into His rest as we walk in His clear instructions we are saved.
The ‘comfort’ being proclaimed here is also a clear call to repentance in order to find the necessary breath needed to be a voice in the wilderness as the spirit of Ěliyahu must first come again before Messiah returns and this is the spirit that proclaims righteousness and the call to repentance – just as Noaḥ did to a wicked generation!
Ma’asei/Acts 3:19 “Repent therefore and turn back, for the blotting out of your sins, in order that times of refreshing might come from the presence of the Master”
The Greek word for ‘refreshing’ is ἀνάψυξις anapsuxis Strong’s G403 and means, ‘recovery of breath, refresh’ and we see that when we repent and turn back to The Master we may receive a recovery of breath – His Word giving us our very life that we may live and breathe and praise His Name – for everything that has breath praise יהוה!
We see another Hebrew word, in Scripture, being translated as ‘valley’, where we also are able to identify with the picture of a valley being a place of needing to make the urgent decision to choose to follow our Good Shepherd:
Yo’ěl/Joel 3:14 “Crowds, crowds in the valley of decision! For the day of יהוה is near in the valley of decision.”
The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘valley’ is עֵמֶק emeq – – Strong’s H6010 which means, ‘valley, lowland, open country’ and comes from the primitive root verb עָמֹק amoq – Strong’s H6009 which means, ‘to make deep, to be deep, be profound’.
The Valley gate teaches us the urgent need for many to ‘dig deep’ and make the right choice to follow the True Shepherd of Yisra’ĕl and not be held captive in the valley of indecisiveness and be comforted that the Torah of our Master is the very Rod and staff that will lead, guide and light our path out of the valley of the shadow of death!
The next gate that is mentioned is THE DUNG GATE, which is certainly very fitting, as we take note that in making the correct decision to follow our Master and pass through the gates, we need to get rid of all the DUNG!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘dung’ comes from the root word אַשְׁפֹּת ashpoth – Strong’s H830 which means, ‘an ash heap, refuse heap, dunghill, ash pit’. This was the refuse gate, as it was through this gate that the trash was taken out of Yerushalayim, and near this gate was the valley of Hinnom, which is where the wicked practice of sacrificing children to Moleḵ took place.
Outside this Dung gate you would have 3 valleys that would actually come together, and at the end of the 3 valleys would be the place where all the refuse was burnt, and was called the Valley of Hinnom, also known as ‘GěHinnom’, from the two words: 1) גַּיְא gay – Strong’s H1516 which can mean, ‘a valley, steep valley, narrow gorge’, and 2) הִנֹּם Hinnom – Strong’s H2011 which means, ‘lamentation’.
This place represented the place of death and the burning away of all that is to be destroyed and our Master warned against the judgement and death sentence of GěHinnom:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 18:9 “And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it away from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be thrown into the fire of GěHinnom.”
Mattithyahu/Matthew 23:33 “Serpents, brood of adders! How would you escape the judgment of GěHinnom?”
Luqas/Luke 12:5 “But I shall show you whom you should fear: Fear the One who, after killing, possesses authority to cast into GěHinnom. Yes, I say to you, fear Him!”
While we recognise the clear judgement that is coming, when the wrath of the fire of Elohim will consume all who are against Him, we also take note that no matter how much ‘dung’ you have had in your life, and no matter how deep in your own trash you have sunk down in to, our Master’s arm is not too short to save, as He lifts the needy out of the dunghill:
Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 2:8 “He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the dunghill, to sit with princes, and make them inherit a throne of esteem. For the supports of the earth belong to יהוה, and He has set the world upon them.”
The name of the man who strengthened the dung gate was מַלְכִּיָּה Malkiyyah – Strong’s H4441 which means, ‘my king is יהוה’, and he was the ruler of בֵּית הַכֶּרֶם Beth Hakkerem – Strong’s H1021 which means, ‘house of the vineyard’, which is very fitting in the prophetic picture of our Master and King being the ‘ruler of the Vineyard’ – for He is the Vine and we are the branches!
We can therefore learn a great deal in recognising the importance of calling upon the Name of יהוה, the Mighty King who can lift the needy from the dunghill.
Yo’ěl/Joel 2:32 “And it shall be that everyone who calls on the Name of יהוה be delivered. For on Mount Tsiyon and in Yerushalayim there shall be an escape as יהוה said, and among the survivors whom יהוה calls.”
The Dung Gate reminds us of our need to be a people who call upon the Name of יהוה and acknowledge Him as our King, submitting to all His commands, keeping our lives clean and clear of all that profanes His Name and making sure that we stay far from the trash heaps of the sin that leads to the destructive fiery judgement of the second death!
6 – THE FOUNTAIN GATE
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3:15 “And the Fountain Gate was strengthened by Shallun son of Kol-Ḥozeh, ruler of the district of Mitspah. He built it and covered it, and set up its doors, its bolts and bars – also the wall of the Pool of Shelaḥ by the Sovereign’s Garden, as far as the stairs going down from the City of Dawiḏ.”
The Fountain Gate was located near the pool of שִׁלֹחַShiloaḥ – Strong’s H7975 which comes from the primitive root שָׁלַח shalaḥ – Strong’s H7971 which means ‘to send or to bring forth’ or ‘send forth’, and this was one of the principle sources of water supply to Yerushalayim that originated from the ‘Giḥon’ spring which emptied into this pool. גִּיחוֹן Giḥon – Strong’s H1521 means, ‘bursting forth’ and comes from the primitive root word גִּיחַ giaḥ – Strong’s H1518 which means, ‘to break forth, gush forth, labour to bring forth, draw up, take out’. Scripture speaks of the river called Giḥon, that Ḥizqiyahu the king channelled as a water supply for Yisra’ĕl, which enabled them to endure and withstand an Assyrian siege.
Messiah commanded the man who was born blind to go and wash in this pool:
Yoḥanan/John 9:7 “And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Shiloaḥ” (which means Sent). So he went and washed, and came seeing.”
The Greek word that is used here is Σιλωάμ Silōam – Strong’s G4611, a word that means ‘sent’.
The taught ones of Messiah asked if it was because this man’s sin or his parents sin that he was born blind and Messiah said that it was neither, as it was for the sole purpose of manifesting the works of Elohim and declaring that Messiah is the Light. He then proceeded to spit on the ground, make clay with the saliva and then put it in the man’s eyes, after which he instructed the man to go and wash in the pool of Shiloaḥ.
What many fail to recognise here in this miracle of sight being given to a man born blind, was that Messiah defied the sick and twisted oral traditions that had been set up as laws, while He never broke His Torah!
This took place on a Sabbath and the Pharisees accused Messiah of not guarding the Sabbath, as He, according to their oral traditions, had broken their man-made Sabbath laws, which among other things, specifically prohibited one from spitting, making clay and putting spit or wine in another’s eye on the Sabbath! Messiah comes against these three ridiculous man-made laws, while announcing that He is Master of the Sabbath and that He is the Fountain of Life that was sent to bring sight to the blind! He deliberately broke 3 rabbinic laws while establishing the clear authority of His Torah, which proclaims the Messiah, as being the Light and Fountain of life!
The command for the man born blind to go and wash in the pool that is called sent, highlights the prophetic announcement of the washing the Fountain of Life brings to a blind and broken people!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘fountain’ in Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3:15 is עין ayin – Strong’s H5869 which means ‘eye, sight, fountain’, and is often used to depict the spiritual faculties, as when Aḏam and Ḥawwah sinned their ‘eyes’ were opened and they lost their innocence and were aware of their nakedness, both physical and spiritual. Eyes can be blinded to the Truth of the Torah of Elohim through compromise and sin, and eyes can be opened by Elohim, and we are told in Tehillah/Psalm 19:8 that the commands of Elohim enlighten the eyes!
At the command of Elohim, this man that was born blind in a sin-filled world, received sight, as that which had blinded him from birth had now been washed and restored to its original function.
This man was born blind for this purpose of revealing the One who opens the eyes and washes away that which has blinded man!
This FOUNTAIN GATE teaches us that we need our eyes to be enlightened with the Truth and when we turn to the Master the veil of lies and deception is taken away so that we are able to see clearly and know Him. What we notice here in this huge miracle that took place near this Fountain Gate, is that the man had to obey the command to wash in order for his sight to be restored! The miracle was not in the breaking of oral traditions but rather in the obedience to the commands of Elohim, which highlights the need for us to strip away all that is false and obey the Torah of Elohim, so that our eyes are equipped to fully see His Truth and the revelation thereof!
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 3:14-16 “But their minds were hardened, for to this day, when the old covenant is being read, that same veil remains, not lifted, because in Messiah it is taken away. 15 But to this day, when Mosheh is being read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 And when one turns to the Master, the veil is taken away”
Many have twisted these words of Sha’ul into thinking that by reading the Torah of Mosheh and walking according to the Torah, a veil remains, yet this is NOT was he is saying here. In fact, it is the opposite… those who deny Messiah, have a veil over their minds when they read the Torah! When we turn to the Master and acknowledge that יהושע is יהוה in the flesh, then the veil is taken away and our ability to properly understand and walk in the Torah that we are to meditate day and night upon, becomes abundantly clear, as our eyes and enlightened with the Light ofHis Truth!
יהושע is The Fountain of Life and our only source of healing! In Tehillah/Psalm 36 Dawiḏ gives a very clear contrast between the wicked and the righteous and he declares to Elohim:
Tehillah/Psalm 36:9 “For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.”
The Hebrew word for fountain is מָקוֹר maqor – Strong’s H4726 meaning, ‘a spring, fountain’ and comes from the root קוּר qur – Strong’s H6979 which means, ‘to dig’ and we know we are to dig and seek out His kingdom and His righteousness – the question is whether people have found the True well of LIFE and are sitting and learning at it or are they drinking from a muddied counterfeit?
The Hebrew word for life is חַי ḥay – Strong’s H2416 and means, ‘life, alive, living, flowing, fresh, running’.
With יהוה is the FOUNTAIN OF LIFE!!!
Tehillah/Psalm 68:6 “Bless Elohim in the assemblies, יהוה, from the fountain of Yisra’ĕl.”
When we come to the FOUNTAIN OF LIFE and gather when we should, as an obedient flock who know His voice, then that Water of Life becomes a fountain in us as our lives are changed and our speech is renewed enabling us to bring life and healing to the nations!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 10:11 “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but violence covers the mouth of the wrong.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 13:14 “The Torah of the wise is a fountain of life, turning one away from the snares of death.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 14:27 “The fear of יהוה is a fountain of life, to turn away from the snares of death.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 16:22 “Understanding is a fountain of life to him who has it, But the disciplining of fools is folly.”
יהושע is The Living Torah and our source of Life, or rather He is the Life of the Torah – and when we drink of Him – the FOUNTAIN OF LIFE begins to flow out of us as we gain understanding, and walk in the fear of יהוה by walking in the Torah, and our speech becomes a flowing source of life!!!
What gives us our ability to be built up as living stones in the Master, is our continued obedience to walking in that which is our life – His Torah!
Ḥazon/Revelation 21:6 “And He said to me, “It is done! I am the ‘Aleph’ and the ‘Taw’, the Beginning and the End. To the one who thirsts I shall give of the fountain of the water of life without payment.”
When we remain in Him as continually drink of His Living Water as we keep rank and gather at the Appointed Times and are nourished and refreshed by the Living Water of His Word we too become a deep source of His wisdom as His Word becomes an everlasting stream:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 18:4 “The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a flowing stream.”
If we forsake Him and allow His water to become muddied then He will dry up the fountain; and we see this clear prophetic warning given in Hoshěa when the crookedness of Ephrayim is being rebuked:
Hoshěa/Hosea 13:15 “Though he bears fruit among his brothers, an east wind comes, a wind from יהוה comes up from the wilderness, and it dries up his fountain, and his spring becomes dry – it plunders a treasure of all desirable objects. 16 “Shomeron is held guilty, for she has rebelled against her Elohim – they fall by the sword, their infants are dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open.”
A dried-up fountain for rebellion – and that was what Shomeron was guilty of, and at Sheḵem יהושע comes to bring a call of restoration restore a lost Bride at Shomeron and in effect He ‘opened the fountain’ so to speak as a prophetic shadow picture of what was to come!
Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 13:1 “In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of Dawiḏ and for the inhabitants of Yerushalayim, for sin and for uncleanness.”
This ‘fountain’ being spoken of here is a reference to a flow of blood in a woman during her monthly cycle or after childbirth, but also it is speaking of a wellspring that gushes out when opened up.
And in the context of the previous chapter it relates to the piercing of יהושע (Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 12:10 – where they will look on Him whom they have pierced!), after which blood and water flowed from His side (Yoḥanan/John 19:34), as it relates to the purification and cleansing of Yisra’ĕl from her uncleanness, as the FOUNTAIN OF LIFE brings forth the LIVING WATERS that heal, restore and cleanse a lost and broken Bride!
This FOUNTAIN GATE was strengthened by שַׁלּוּם Shallum – Strong’s H7967 means, ‘retribution, recompense’, the son of כָּל־חֹזֶה Kol-chozeh – Strong’s H3626 which means, ‘all seeing’. This is certainly fitting for us, as we recognise the miracle that took place at this gate, of the sight that our Master brought to the man born blind, for in Him alone is there just retribution and recompense for sin!
The FOUNTAIN GATE teaches us to be urgent in our turning away from all falsehood and turn to the Master and have our eyes opened to the Truth that washes away all the filth of sin and lawlessness!
With this in mind, it is fitting that we take note of the next gate that is mentioned in Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3:
7 – THE WATER GATE
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3:26 “Now the Nethinim dwelt in Ophel as far as opposite the Water Gate toward the east, and on the projecting tower.”
It was at this gate where the Giḥon spring originated, as discussed above, where we take note that the water that came forth from the Giḥon spring went to the pool of Shiloaḥ, which was located near the Fountain Gate!
This Water Gate represents to us our ability in passing through the waters, after having turned to the Master, and so between this Water Gate and the Fountain Gate we can collectively recognise our need for immersion (baptism) in the Name of יהושע, as well as our need to be continually immersed in the Word that washes us and keeps us clean!
The Hebrew word that is used for ‘water’ is מַיִם mayim – Strong’s H4325 and is often understood to carry the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture for us that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. Waters can also represent that which cleanses us, and can picture for us His Word that washes us and keeps us clean! The promise that He is with us as we pass through the waters is made clear when looking at the ancient pictographic rendering of this word, which is as follows:
Mem – מַ: and final mem – ם:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture. Knowing this letter represents ‘water’, we are also able to see how this can render for us the meaning of ‘washing’ or ‘cleansing’.
Yod – יִ:
The ancient script has this letter as which is ‘an arm and hand’, and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter! And this letter also pictures for us the outstretched Arm and working Hand of Elohim that is not too short to save!
When looking at this word in its pictographic form and then hearing the clear promise given to us in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 43, we are able to clearly see that the Outstretched Arm and Hand of Elohim is with us in the midst of the waters. He is with us to protect us and to cleanse us with His Word!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 43:1-3 “But now, thus said יהוה, your Creator, O Ya‛aqoḇ, and He who formed you, O Yisra’ěl, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by your name, you are Mine. 2 “When you pass through the waters, I am with you; and through rivers, they do not overflow you. When you walk through fire, you are not scorched, and a flame does not burn you. 3 “For I am יהוה your Elohim, the Set-apart One of Yisra’ěl, your Saviour; I gave Mitsrayim for your ransom, Kush and Seḇa in your place.”
The is נְתִינִים Nethinim – Strong’s H5411 which were the ‘temple servants’ or ‘given ones’, dwelt opposite this gate. They were the ones who served in the temple and often did menial tasks yet their lives were given over to service in the temple under the hand of the Lěwites.
Our Master gave of Himself, in order to give to us that which He had promised to Aḇraham; and in turn, we too are enabled, by His favour through the Blood of Messiah, to ‘give’ ourselves totally over to Him, as a daily living sacrifice, serving Him with our all, in complete set-apartness.
This gate teaches us what our immersion in the Name of יהושע Messiah entails, as we die to self and are raised to newness of life, filled with His Spirit, having been cleansed and set-apart in order to serve faithfully as His trustworthy ambassadors!
In order to do this, we are to allow His Word to wash us, for He is our Husband that washes His Bride with His Word!
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:22-27 “Wives, subject yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Master. 23 Because the husband is head of the wife, as also the Messiah is head of the assembly, and He is Saviour of the body. 24 But as the assembly is subject to Messiah, so also let the wives be to their own husbands in every respect. 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Messiah also did love the assembly and gave Himself for it, 26 in order to set it apart and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, 27 in order to present it to Himself a splendid assembly, not having spot or wrinkle or any of this sort, but that it might be set-apart and blameless.”
Our Mighty Husband, Redeemer and King, gave Himself for us, in order to set us apart and cleanse us with the washing of water by His Word; and our response is made clear: we are to subject ourselves to Him, our Master and keep clean, through the washing that the Word brings!
The Nethinim dwelt in Ophel as far as opposite the water gate toward the east! The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘east’ is מִזְרָח mizraḥ – Strong’s H4217 meaning, ‘place of sunrise, east, eastern, place of breaking forth’, and comes from the primitive root word זָרַח zaraḥ – Strong’s H2224 meaning, ‘to rise, come forth, arise’.
The east also speaks of that which is ancient or from old, and this would be a reminder of the clear promise given and covenant made with Aḇraham, which would be fulfilled in Messiah – the second Aḏam!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 41:2 “Who raised up the righteous one from the east, called him to His foot, gave the nations before him, and made sovereigns submit to him? He gave them as the dust to his sword, as driven stubble to his bow.”
That which Mosheh would look toward would be fulfilled in Messiah, and we can learn a great lesson here in that the Torah (Mosheh) is our trainer unto Messiah:
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:24-25 “Therefore the Torah became our trainer unto Messiah, in order to be declared right by belief. 25 And after belief has come, we are no longer under a trainer.”
The term ‘we are no longer under a trainer’ does not imply that we do not need to follow the Torah, but rather that we now have no excuse not to follow the Torah, as it ‘trains’ us unto Messiah, equipping us to fully walk in Messiah – The Living Torah, and without the Torah we would have no ‘trainer’ as it were. Sadly, many misinterpret these verses and think that the Torah is no longer applicable, yet this is not so! We need the Torah to show us our need for a Saviour and without the Torah we have no means of having ‘faith’ being established in doing the good works prepared beforehand for us.
The Water gate teaches us that we are to walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, as water is often used as a metaphor for the Spirit of Elohim! Walking according to the Spirit, simply means that we are to walk according to the pattern which comes from above and not according to the corrupted earthly pattern of man, typified as being that of the flesh! The circumcision that we receive, at our immersion, is that which is does from above, not by the hands of men! We therefore recognise our need to follow the clear pattern of the Torah of Elohim, which was given through Mosheh and revealed through the life, death and resurrection of Messiah!
Mosheh was shown the clear pattern of the Heavens and told to make exactly according to the pattern above! That pattern has not changed, for Elohim does not change, and therefore our need to be washed by that which is from above teaches us our need to immerse ourselves into the Word of Elohim and be a Bride that is being daily washed in her faithful preparation for her returning King!
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:22-25 “Now that you have cleansed your lives in obeying the truth through the Spirit to unfeigned brotherly love, love one another fervently with a clean heart, 23 having been born again – not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible – through the living Word of Elohim, which remains forever, 24 because “All flesh is as grass, and all the esteem of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, 25 but the Word of Elohim remains forever.” And this is the Word, announced as Good News to you.”
Without water grass, plants and flowers wither and fall away! In Berěshith/Genesis 2:5 we are told that there was no shrub of the field, nor had any plant sprung up because Elohim had not yet sent rain and there was no man to till the ground! Without water nothing can grow and this is a clear prophetic picture of our need to have His Word be the Waters that cleanse us and keep us clean!
It was at this Water Gate that Neḥemyah and Ezra gathered all Yisra’ěl to hear the Torah!
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 8:1 “And when the seventh new moon came, the children of Yisra’ěl were in their cities. And all the people gathered together as one man in the open space that was in front of the Water Gate. And they spoke to Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Torah of Mosheh, which יהוה had commanded Yisra’ěl.”
This highlights the clear lesson of the importance of hearing, guarding and doing the Torah, and that to walk according to the Spirit does not set aside the submission and subjection to the Torah that is clearly required by all who call upon the Name of יהושע Messiah and are immersed in Him!
8 – THE HORSE GATE
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3:28 “Beyond the Horse Gate the priests strengthened, each opposite his own house.”
The Hebrew word for ‘horse’ is סוּס sus – Strong’s H5483 and carries a very clear symbol of power and strength, in Scripture. This can have both positive as well as negative connotations, as we take note that we are not to put our trust in horses and chariots but that we are to trust in יהוה. The ultimate picture of strength in battle is seen in the return of our King, The Word of יהוה, who is coming on a white horse!
Ḥazon/Revelation 19:11-16 “And I saw the heaven opened, and there was a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Trustworthy and True, and in righteousness He judges and fights. 12 And His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns, having a Name that had been written, which no one had perceived except Himself – 13 and having been dressed in a robe dipped in blood – and His Name is called: The Word of יהוה. 14 And the armies in the heaven, dressed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations. And He shall shepherd them with a rod of iron. And He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Ěl Shaddai. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written: SOVEREIGN OF SOVEREIGNS AND MASTER OF MASTERS.”
It was at this Horse Gate that Athalyah was killed:
Melaḵim Bět/2 Kings 11:16 “So they took hold of her, and she went by way of the horses’ entrance to the sovereign’s house, and was put to death there.”
עֲתַלְיָה Athalyah – Strong’s H6271 means, ‘afflicted of Yah’
Athalyah was the mother of Aḥazyahu, who reigned for one year in Yerushalayim and walked in the ways of the house of Aḥaḇ and did evil in the eyes of יהוה, for his mother counselled him to do wrong. Athalyah was the granddaughter of Omri, and daughter of Aḥaḇ and Izeḇel, and she was the wife of Yehoram, the sovereign of the House of Yehuḏah. After he was killed by Yěhu, his mother rose up and destroyed all the offspring of the reign of the House of Yehuḏah, expect for the baby Yo’ash, who was hidden for 6 years while Athalyah reigned as queen.
In his seventh year, Yo’ash began to reign, after Athalyah was put to death and Yo’ash did what was right in the eyes of יהוה, all the days of Yehoyaḏa the priest! (please take time to read of these accounts in Diḇre haYamim Bět/2 Chronicles 22-24)
Why I am mentioning this story, is to highlight the lesson we can take from this Horse Gate; and that is that anything/anyone that exalts itself/themselves above יהוה will be destroyed!
Tehillah/Psalm 20:7 “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we remember the Name of יהוה our Elohim.”
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 31:1 “Woe to those who go down to Mitsrayim for help, and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but who do not look to the Set-apart One of Yisra’ěl, nor seek יהוה!”
Miḵah/Micah 5:10 “And it shall be in that day,” declares יהוה, “that I shall cut off your horses out of your midst, and I shall destroy your chariots.”
In a song of deliverance that was sung by Mosheh and all Yisra’ěl, after the Yisra’ĕlites crossed through the Sea of Reeds, we take note of the words that were sung:
Shemoth/Exodus 15:1 “Then Mosheh and the children of Yisra’ěl sang this song to יהוה, and spoke, saying, “I sing to יהוה, for He is highly exalted! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!”
The horse and it’s rider He has thrown into the sea! Notice here that the horse is mentioned before the rider, as the horse in Scripture is often likened to that which represents strength, and the relying on one’s natural strength and power instead of upon יהוה.
Hoshěa/Hosea 14:3 “Ashshur does not save us. We do not ride on horses, nor ever again do we say to the work of our hands, ‘Our mighty ones.’ For the fatherless finds compassion in You.”
Our victory song is certainly in praise and esteem of יהוה our Elohim who has caused us to overcome the flesh and cause us to trust not in ourselves, but rather put our whole trust in Him.
9 – THE EAST GATE
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3:29 “ After them Tsaḏoq son of Imměr strengthened opposite his own house. After him Shemayah son of Sheḵanyah, keeper of the East Gate, strengthened.”
The Hebrew word for ‘east’ is מִזְרָח mizraḥ – Strong’s H4217, as already discussed with regards to the Water Gate, which we do not need to repeat. I do however, want to highlight another significant lesson we can take from this East Gate, which we are able to do so when looking at the words in:
Diḇre haYamim Bět/2 Chronicles 31:14 “And Qorě son of Yimnah the Lěwite, the keeper of the East Gate, was over the voluntary offerings to Elohim, to distribute the offerings of יהוה and the most set-apart gifts.”
It was at this EAST GATE where the voluntary offerings were kept and distributed from!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘voluntary offering’ comes from the root word נְדָבָה neḏaḇah – Strong’s H5071 meaning, ‘voluntariness, freewill offering, volunteer freely, willingly’ and comes from the word נָדַב naḏaḇ – Strong’s H5068 meaning, ‘to incite, impel, make offerings willingly, volunteers’.
Tehillah/Psalm 54:6 “Voluntarily I slaughter to You; I praise Your Name, O יהוה, for it is good.”
Tehillah/Psalm 119:8 “Please accept the voluntary offerings of my mouth, O יהוה, and teach me Your right-rulings.”
This speaks of our willing choice to offer up our lives in wholehearted devotion to serving our Master – and to do so voluntarily is a great expression of our joy in loving Him as we should, with praise and thanksgiving. This speaks of our eagerness and willingness to freely offer up our lives as a living offering and incite others to do so too!
The voluntary offerings were offerings that were beyond the tithes, contributions and vowed offerings, and were as they are called: ‘voluntary’; and while these offerings were not mandated as a strict requirement, we see that the provision of this acceptable offering to יהוה reflects the call to go beyond the call of duty, teachings us that we too are to go beyond the ‘minimum requirements’, as we voluntarily give our all unto Elohim!
It is believed by some that this East Gate may have been the same gate that is called ‘Yapha’, which means, ‘beautiful’, in:
Ma’asei/Acts 3:2 “And a certain man, lame from his birth, was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the Set-apart Place which is called Yaphah, to ask alms from those entering into the Set-apart Place”
While this man, wo was lame from birth, sought alms, Kěpha gave him more than what money can buy – the Good News, as we see from the following:
Ma’asei/Acts 3:6-8 “But Kěpha said, “I do not have silver and gold, but what I do possess, this I give you: In the Name of יהושע Messiah of Natsareth, rise up and walk.” 7 And taking him by the right hand he lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones were made firm. 8 And leaping up, he stood and walked, and went in with them into the Set-apart Place, walking and leaping and praising Elohim.”
This East Gate was certainly one of the most ornate and important gates as it led to the Tempe courtyard, and it is through this gate that Messiah enters!
Yeḥezq’ěl/Ezekiel 46:12 “And when the prince makes a spontaneous ascending offering or spontaneous peace offerings to יהוה, the gate facing east shall be opened for him. And he shall prepare his ascending offering and his peace offerings as he did on the Sabbath day. And he shall go out, and after he goes out the gate shall be shut.”
Notice how it is at this gate that the spontaneous offerings shall be brought and the gate opened for the Prince!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘spontaneous’ is נְדָבָה neḏaḇah – Strong’s H5071!!!
While the Jews look forward to Messiah entering through this gate, they failed to acknowledge that He already did, when He came riding on a donkey and gave freely of Himself for us all and the next time HE is coming, He is coming on a horse, riding on the clouds!
This EAST GATE teaches us that in Messiah we are fully equipped to give our lives as a daily living offering, for this is our reasonable worship before Elohim!
Romiyim/Romans 12:1-2 “I call upon you, therefore, brothers, through the compassion of Elohim, to present your bodies a living offering – set-apart, well-pleasing to Elohim – your reasonable worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you prove what is that good and well-pleasing and perfect desire of Elohim.”
10 – MIPHQAḎ GATE
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3:31 “After him Malkiyah, one of the goldsmiths, strengthened as far as the house of the Nethinim and of the merchants, opposite the Miphqaḏ Gate, and as far as the going up of the corner.”
The Hebrew word מִפְקָד Miphqaḏ – Strong’s H4662 means, ‘command, appointed place’ and comes from the root word פָּקַד paqaḏ – Strong’s H6485 and carries the meaning, ‘to attend to, call up, muster, appoint, number, call to account, charge’. A derivative of this root word is the term פִּקּוּד piqqud – Strong’s H6490 which means, ‘precepts, commandments, statutes, regulations’.
This gate could give us an understanding of being a gate of inspection, especially as we look intently into the mirror of the Word and meditate on His Torah day and night! Meditating on the orders of Elohim implies a proper inspection of one’s life, as measured by the clear commands and regulations of the Word of Elohim. A proper meditation of the orders of יהוה will bring about a sober assessment of where one’s walk is in terms of the required set-apartness that is called for and sadly many choose to be ignorant of the orders of יהוה so that they can continue in their compromised lifestyles and vainly assume that their path is being kept clean, yet they have no ability to actually keep it clean and will sadly perish through a lack of knowledge that they wilfully choose not to seek and meditate upon!
When we properly meditate on the order of Elohim then we will certainly regard His ways!
The Hebrew word מִפְקָד Miphqaḏ – Strong’s H4662 is translated as ‘appointed place’ in:
Yeḥezq’ěl/Ezekiel 43:21 “And you shall take the bull of the sin offering, and shall burn it in the appointed place of the House, outside the set-apart place.”
Is it possible that this was the appointed gate that Messiah was brought out of and suffered at?
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 13:11-12 “For the bodies of those beasts whose blood is brought into the Set-apart Place by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. 12 And so יהושע also suffered outside the gate, to set apart the people with His own blood.”
This Miphqaḏ Gate highlights the clear lesson on the Appointed Times of our Master, which includes all His Sabbaths and Feasts, by which we are equipped to faithfully enter into His rest. Our ability to pass through the gates relies on our obedience in guarding His Sabbaths and Feasts, lest we are found to b e rejected for works of lawlessness, trying to enter in through some other way that is not prescribed!
This gate reminds us that the commands of Elohim are to be guarded and our true reflection of love for Him can only be seen in our obedience to His commands! Rejecting His Sabbaths and Feasts and rejecting to walk in His Torah will leave one unable to be counted worthy of entering in!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:2-3 “By this we know that we love the children of Elohim, when we love Elohim and guard His commands. 3 For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy”
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:24-27 “And let us be concerned for one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging, and so much more as you see the day coming near. 26 For if we sin purposely after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a slaughter offering for sins, 27 but some fearsome anticipation of judgment, and a fierce fire which is about to consume the opponents.”
The Miphqaḏ Gate reminds us to be a people who count the cost and are counted worthy to serve as they guard the Torah of Elohim and guard to keep His Sabbaths and Feasts, offering their lives up as a voluntary daily offering!
These are the 10 gates mentioned in Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3, and what is worth taking note of in this chapter is that the last verse ends with the SHEEP GATE – emphasising the lesson that clearly declares that our journey of passing through the gates begins and ends with יהושע Messiah, our Good Shepherd, the First and the Last!!!
There are 2 more gates that are mentioned in Neḥemyah/Nehemiah, and we are able to learn some vital lessons from these too:
11 – THE GATE OF EPHRAYIM
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 8:16 “So the people went out and brought them and made themselves booths, each one on the roof of his house, and in their courtyards and in the courtyards of the House of Elohim, and in the open space of the Water Gate and in the open space of the Gate of Ephrayim.”
After Yisra’ĕl had heard the Torah for the first time, the heads of the father’s houses, with the priests and Lěwites were gathered to Ezra, in order to study the Torah and they discovered that they were to keep the Feast of Sukkoth and all obeyed and made booths everywhere, including the open space in front of the Water Gate and the Gate of Ephrayim. There are certainly a number of prophetic parallels that one can deduce from these accounts, especially as we consider how many are coming to the knowledge of the Truth and after hearing the Truth for the first time, as it should be heard, are obeying!
The Name Ephrayim – אֶפְרַיִם – Strong’s H669 means, ‘doubly fruitful’, for Elohim had caused him to be very fruitful in Mitsrayim! The name of Ephrayim is often used to reference the remnant lost 10 tribes of Yisra’ĕl that are returning to the truth (especially in the Book of Hoshěa/Hosea); and his name gives us great encouragement that shows us how we are able to bear much fruit under the severe pressures and trials of life, knowing that in our scattered state, in Messiah we are able to bear much fruit that lasts.
In the last two verses of Hoshěa /Hosea we see the clear truth that Ephrayim must be done with idols and idol worship and therefore cut off the head/leading of compromised truths and walk in the clear straight Torah of Elohim:
Hoshěa/Hosea 14:8-9 “What more has Ephrayim to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after him. I am like a green cypress tree, your fruit comes from Me.” 9 Who is wise and understands these words, discerning and knows them? For the ways of יהוה are straight, and the righteous walk in them, but the transgressors stumble in them.”
The remnant faithful and fruitful will be the ones who put to death the works of darkness and shine the light of the Truth, while the fearful and lazy will stumble and fall!
Romiyim/Romans 13:12 “The night is far advanced, the day has come near. So let us put off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”
In order to properly pass through the gates, we are to bear the fruit of righteousness, walking according to the Spirit as we submit to and obey all our Master’s commands! Chapter 8 in Neḥemyah/Nehemiah highlights for us a wonderful pattern of a true retuning to obedience as one has ears to hear what the Spirit is saying, guarding to do all according to the clear right-ruling of Elohim!
12 – THE GATE OF THE PRISON
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 12:39 “and above the Gate of Ephrayim, and above the Old Gate, and above the Fish Gate, and the Tower of Ḥanan’ěl, and the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Sheep Gate. And they stood still at the Gate of the Prison.”
This last gate teaches us the power of deliverance that our Master has brought to us through His death and resurrection! The court of this gate is mentioned in Chapter 3, between the Fountain Gate and the Water Gate:
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3:25 “Palal son of Uzai strengthened opposite the corner, and on the tower which projects from the sovereign’s upper house that was by the courtyard of the prison. After him Peḏayah son of Parosh.”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘prison’ is מַטָּרָה mattarah – Strong’s H4307 which means, ‘a guard, ward, prison, guardhouse, target’.
It is possible that it was in this court that Yirmeyahu was shut up in prison:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 32:2 “Now at that time the army of the sovereign of Baḇel besieged Yerushalayim, and Yirmeyahu the prophet was shut up in the court of the guard, which was in the house of the sovereign of Yehuḏah.”
It was while he was imprisoned here that the word of YHWH came to him, instructing him to buy a field!
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 32:8 “So Ḥaname’ěl my uncle’s son came to me in the court of the guard according to the word of יהוה, and said to me, ‘Please buy my field that is in Anathoth, which is in the land of Binyamin, for the right of inheritance is yours, and the redemption. Buy it for yourself.’ And I knew that this was the word of יהוה.”
I would like to expand a little on this chapter of Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 32, as it will assist in our ability to recognise how our Master has purchased us with His Own Blood and caused us to be set free from the prison of sin and darkness, giving us strength to hold fast until He comes – for if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed!
חֲנַמְאֵל Ḥaname’ěl – Strong’s H2601 means, ‘El is gracious, El favours, El has favoured’, and שַׁלּוּם Shallum – Strong’s H7967 means, ‘retribution, recompense’. עֲנָתוֹת Anathoth –Strong’s H6068 means, ‘answers to prayer’. With the meaning of these names and this location of this field we are able to see a very powerful message that comes through the Word of יהוה, and that is that with Elohim, who favours, there is retribution and recompense in a clear answer to prayer.
Retribution can have the meaning of ‘the dispensing or receiving of reward or punishment’, and we see that the gracious Elohim who hears our prayers, answers our prayers and shall dispense both the reward for obedience as well as the punishment for disobedience! Yehuḏah was about to go into 70 years of captivity for being disobedient and not letting the land have its Sabbath rests, and in the midst of this very trying time, there is a sure promise and hope that is given to the prayers for the righteous ones, as this promise is expressed practically through the actions of Yirmeyahu. Yirmeyahu would be told to ‘buy’ the field, and the Hebrew word translated as ‘buy’ is קְנָא qena – Strong’s H7066 which means, ‘to acquire, buy, purchase’, and corresponds to the word קָנָה qanah – Strong’s H7069 which means, ‘to acquire, buy, purchase, get, recover’. We see this word being used in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 23:23 “Buy the truth and do not sell it – Wisdom and discipline and understanding.”
The instruction is clear – get wisdom! And what we must recognise here is that it will cost you!
Messiah has paid the cost for our deliverance, yet we must count the cost of following hard after Him and seeking Him with all our heart!
This was indeed a clear picture of ‘faith in action’!!! It was not enough for Yirmeyahu to simply be teaching and proclaiming the Truth – he had to live it out and let his faith/belief be clearly seen in his actions. Picture the scene for a moment: here you have Yirmeyahu who was clearly being a faithful prophet of Elohim and while he continually warned the people of the wrath of Elohim, they rejected his words and locked him up. Now this same prophet who was proclaiming a captivity that was about to happen went and bought a field! For many this would have seemed strange as he was telling everyone that they were about to be exiled for 70 years and here Yirmeyahu was buying a field as his right for redemption to do so was validated by his cousin. Think about it for a moment – would Yirmeyahu live another 70 years? What good would the field be to him? Yet with this clear action of obedience to the Word of Elohim, we see a practical parable being displayed in action! His actions certainly got the attention of the people, and in a manner of speaking he ‘put his money where his mouth was’!!! יהוה spoke and He confirmed His Word through Ḥaname’ěl! His Word is confirmed to us by His favour, or better put – His favour is confirmed to us by His Living Word!!!
Dawiḏ says in:
Tehillah/Psalm 119:58 “I have sought Your face with all my heart; show me favour according to Your word.”
In verse 8 Yirmeyahu says, ‘… And I knew that this was the Word of יהוה’.
Once again picture the scene: this courageous prophet who had been locked up may have had some doubts about hearing from יהוה, especially as it wouldn’t have made any sense to buy a field in a land that was about to be taken away by foreigners. By birth right Yirmeyahu was eligible to perform the duty of kinsman redeemer, and so he does what he is asked, having been assured and confident that this was indeed the Word of יהוה. Yirmeyahu was strengthened by the Word of יהוה and proceeded with great confidence, even when it may have looked like a hopeless situation!
The actions here of Yirmeyahu can speak many valuable lessons to us indeed, especially as we consider that we too must act in obedient faith to His Word, even in what may seem to be the most hopeless of situations! Never let circumstances deter you from doing what the Word so clearly instructs and is confirmed in the hearing of the Truth that brings faith/belief! What we are also able to recognise here is a classic shadow picture of our Kinsman Redeemer, יהושע Messiah, who came in the flesh in order to become our legitimate Kinsman Redeemer who legally has the right to redeem the field – that is the world! In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, who is the likeness of the invisible Elohim, the first-born of all creation and legal Redeemer!
Yirmeyahu bought the field for 17 sheqels of silver, signed the deed and sealed it!
This purchase of the field as the right of redemption in the face of exile and destruction teaches us the power of the great work of redemption that our Master came and brought us when He came in the flesh in order to redeem us from the corruption and wickedness of sin, with the sure promise that our inheritance waits for us and has been sealed by His Blood! In verse 7 the Hebrew word for redemption is גְּאֻלָּה geullah – Strong’s H1353 and simply means, ‘redemption, right of redemption, redemption rights’ and is the passive participle of the primitive root word גָּאַל ga’al – Strong’s H1350 meaning, ‘to redeem, act as kinsman, avenge, buy back, claim, redeemer, avenger of blood, rescue’. This word is also used to refer to our Redeemer in the form of גֹּאֲלִי ga’ali meaning, ‘my Redeemer’ as in:
Iyoḇ/Job 19:25 “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and as the Last shall rise over the dust”
In Tehillah/Psalm 103 Dawiḏ reminds us not to forget the dealings of יהוה – as He Has Redeemed our life from destruction!
The deed was signed and sealed! The Hebrew word used here for ‘sealed’ is the primitive root verb חָתַם ḥatham – Strong’s H2856 which means, ‘to seal, affix a seal, seal up’, and it is from this root that we get the Hebrew noun for ‘seal’, which is חֹתָם ḥotham – Strong’s H2368 which means, ‘a seal, signet ring’. Why I mention this is that we can be reminded that the names of the 12 tribes of Yisra’ĕl were to be engraved on the shoham stones of the High Priest’s garments, like the engraving of a signet – חֹתָם ḥotham! The Greek word used here in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak – O.T.) of this verse in Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 32:10 for ‘sealed’ is σφραγίζω sphragizō – Strong’s G4972 which means, ‘to seal, put a seal on, set’, and we gain a better understanding of what these actions of Yirmeyahu shadow picture for us when recognising the work of redemption that our Master has done for us and the price His blood has paid for us to have the seal of our inheritance secured in Him!
Here are a couple of verses where we can find this word and get a better picture in terms of what we are reading tonight:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 1:13-14 “in whom you also, having heard the word of the truth, the Good News of your deliverance, in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Set-apart Spirit of promise, 14 who is the pledge of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His esteem.”
In Sha’ul’s introduction to the believers in Ephesos he was making clear that we not only have through יהושע Messiah, redemption and forgiveness, but that we have also been sealed with the Set-Apart Spirit of promise, who is the pledge of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession is fulfilled at His second coming!!!
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:30 “And do not grieve the Set-apart Spirit of Elohim, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
Yirmeyahu, after having signed and sealed the deed of purchase for the field, went and gave it to Baruḵ son of Neriyyah, son of Maḥsĕyah, in the presence of his cousin and many witnesses who too had signed the deed of purchase before all the officials who sat in the court of the guard where Yirmeyahu was being held prisoner!
Baruḵ – בָּרוּךְStrong’s H1263 means, ‘blessed’, and he was the son of נֵרִיָּה Neriyyah – Strong’s H5374 which means, ‘lamp of Yah’, which was the son of מַחְסֵיָה Maḥsĕyah – Strong’s H4271 which means, ‘Yah is a refuge, Yah is a shelter’.
These names carry a very powerful message for us too, as we consider how Baruḵ was a faithful scribe to Yirmeyahu, as we see by their names the clear message that: ‘BLESSED IS THE LAMP OF YAH, FOR YAH IS A REFUGE’. We are clearly told in Scripture that the Name of יהוה is a strong tower and the righteous run into it and are safe (Mishlĕ/Proverbs 18:10). In Ḥazon/Revelation we are clearly told that the Lamb, which is יהושע Messiah, is the Lamp, and it is in Him that we are sealed and find our shelter and refuge in times of distress, having the full assurance that our redemption draws near!
Yirmeyahu commanded Baruḵ, according to the Word of יהוה of Hosts, to take both deeds – the sealed one and the open one – and put them in an earthen vessel, so that they remain many days!!! Many days indeed – at least another 71 years as this was 1 year before the exile would take place!
In this clear instruction we are once again given some very powerful pictures indeed! With the two copies of the deed being placed in an earthen vessel we are able to see a picture of the two tablets of stone that were placed in the Ark of the Covenant, which in turn clearly pictures for us the clear words of His Covenant being placed upon our hearts and sealed with His Spirit! One sealed and one open also teaches us that while His word is sealed and is secured in the Master, it is not hidden from us, but it is on our hearts and in our mouths to do it, for He has revealed His Word to us through the life, death and resurrection of Messiah, our Kinsman Redeemer!
We are the earthen vessels upon which He has set His seal and entrusted us with His Word, for many days! Days that we are to endure and hold firm our calling and inheritance in the Master!
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 4:6-10 “For Elohim, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts for the enlightening of the knowledge of the esteem of Elohim in the face of יהושע Messiah. 7 And we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the excellence of the power might be of Elohim, and not of us – 8 being hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; being perplexed, but not in despair; 9 being persecuted, but not forsaken; being thrown down, but not destroyed; 10 always bearing about in the body the dying of the Master יהושע, that the life of יהושע might also be manifested in our body.”
This treasure is our title deed to our inheritance in His land – that is the earth and everything in it, for it belongs to Him and He has redeemed it by His Blood, and the assurance we have in Him is that the meek shall inherit the earth – an inheritance that awaits the faithful set-apart ones who endure until the end! We are the very earthen vessels in which He has placed His Words, which must remain for many days and be preserved in righteousness! Under the right conditions, documents can be kept in earthen vessels for a very long time, as the Dead Sea scrolls that were found are a testimony of this fact, teaching us that we too have this treasure of His promises in earthen vessels!
What I found very interesting is that the Greek word used here for ‘treasure’ is θησαυρός thēsauros – Strong’s G2344 which means, ‘treasure, storehouse, magazine, repository’, and refers to, ‘the place in which good and precious things are collected and laid up’. The English word ‘thesaurus’, in general use, is a reference work that lists words grouped together according to similarity of meaning (containing synonyms and sometimes antonyms). The main purpose of such reference works is to help the user “to find the word, or words, by which [an] idea may be most fitly and aptly expressed”.
Do you see what treasure we have been given – it is not just some random words, but the very living Words of our Master that He has put in us, in helping us ‘find’ the proper words and actions that can be most fitly applied to every situation!
He has put His thesaurus in us, so to speak!!! His Word is so powerful that it enables us to rightly divide and discern the Truth so that we can behave and live as true set-apart ones in complete righteousness, even whilst we are in exile and are faithfully enduring, looking for the blessed expectation and esteemed appearance of the great Elohim and our Saviour יהושע Messiah!
יהוה made it very clear to Yirmeyahu that houses and fields would once again be bought in this land, and this was the sure sign that He was giving to them, through the obedient actions of this courageous prophet who was imprisoned in the court guard and facing exile!
After having signed, sealed and delivered the documents to Baruḵ, Yirmeyahu prayed to יהוה, and began his prayer by focusing on the incomparable greatness and excellency of יהוה, declaring that nothing is too hard for יהוה! He proclaims great and mighty are the works of יהוה of Hosts, who by His great power and outstretched arm He made the heavens and earth, and shows loving-commitment to thousands and repays the crookednesses of fathers into the bosoms of their children after them. He praised Elohim for His might and power, for with a strong Hand and Outstretched Arm He brought Yisra’ĕl out of Mitsrayim and gave them the land promised to Aḇraham! He then acknowledges the fact that Yisra’ĕl had sinned and did not obey the voice of Elohim nor walk in His Torah, and did not do what was commanded. This was the reason they were in the position they were in, with exile facing them in the face and the wrath of Elohim being ready to be poured out through the sword, famine and plague about which they had been warned! Yet despite all of this that was happening and about to happen, Yirmeyahu confirms his faith in Elohim by saying that he did what he was commanded and bought a field in the city that was being taken captive! יהוה then confirms the words of this powerful prayer of praise to Yirmeyahu by asking Him a clear rhetorical question, “Is there any matter too hard for me?”.
Yirmeyahu, while certainly declaring this truth in his prayer, would have certainly been strengthened and encouraged by these words of יהוה, for I am sure that he would have been reminded of the first time that we see יהוה saying these words, when He said them in:
Berěshith/Genesis 18:14 “Is any matter too hard for יהוה? At the appointed time I am going to return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah is to have a son.”
These were the words that יהוה spoke to Aḇraham after Sarah had laughed when hearing that she would have a child! יהוה made it clear that she would have a child at the appointed time spoken by Him, and this too would have been an urgent reminder to Yirmeyahu, as he heard these same words that would give him the full assurance that the Word of יהוה never fails, as His loving-commitment endures forever!
He then continues on and confirms to Yirmeyahu what was going to take place, yet promised that He would gather His people back to this land and put His fear in their hearts and that fields and houses would indeed be bought in this land again, therefore the deed of purchase that Yirmeyahu signed, sealed and delivered to be kept in an earthen vessel for many days was a sure sign and proof of this clear promise! These people had the prophetic word made certain through the clear actions of Yirmeyahu and this called for an endurance of many days! We too have this full assurance of the prophetic words of our inheritance in our Master made certain and would do well to endure and keep shining the light of this Truth amidst a dark and depraved world!
Kěpha made this clear to us in his second letter:
Kěpha Bět/ 2 Peter 1:19-21 “And we have the prophetic word made more certain, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture came to be of one’s own interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the desire of man, but men of Elohim spoke, being moved by the Set-apart Spirit.”
As we consider the event that took place here in Yirmeyahu we are able to grasp more clearly the full assurance we have in our Great Kinsman Redeemer, who has put His treasure in our hearts and set His seal upon us, so that we can continue shining the light of this truth, knowing that no matter is too hard for our Mighty Master and Elohim, יהוה of Hosts!
Our Master and Elohim, Redeemer and King, יהושע Messiah has purchased the field and in His Blood our inheritance is secured! How are you living? Have you counted the cost and ‘sold all you have’ in order to ‘buy that field’? Have you found the pearl of great price – that entrance into the reign, and have forsaken all to follow the One who has paid the price of the field? Or have the current circumstances that you have found yourself in caused you to remain chained in bondage to the things of the flesh and have been unable to see the truth that nothing is too hard for Elohim?
I hope that this message tonight stirs in you the belief/faith that Yirmeyahu displayed, by being a doer of the word and not just a hearer only! He was not just a proclaimer but he showed his belief in works of obedience to the Word, despite the impending exile and his captive state of being held prisoner!
Yirmeyahu could faithfully depend upon the Word of יהוה, even if he did not know or fully understand how it would be physically accomplished! Yerushalayim was going to be burned because of the idolatry of יהוה’s called out one’s, yet Yirmeyahu could put full confidence in the Word of יהוה, and this we can learn a great deal from, as we have the Word made sure for us in the life, death and resurrection of our Master, giving us the sure promise and seal of our inheritance, in His Blood, by which we are grafted into His Covenants of Promise!
The field has been purchased and our inheritance has been secured – how are you living? Is your faith clearly seen in your daily actions of obedience or have you allowed an enslaved mind-set to cause you to doubt the sure promises of Elohim, promises that are yes and aměn in Messiah?
I trust and pray that by this very real and practical parable, as portrayed through the actions of Yirmeyahu, it will stir in you the clear confidence, hope and courage to endure many days as you have this treasure of His Truth in your earthen vessel! You are the salt and light of the world. The Lamp of Yah is in you and may you not hide that lamp but be as Giḏ’on’s men who had a clay vessel with a light in it in one hand and a shofar in the other, and at the command of Giḏ’on broke their vessels and let the light shine while blowing the shofar, and brought about a complete destruction of the enemy, by the Hand of Elohim, which you can read about in Shophetim/Judges 7!
The pictures of the shofars, the jars and the torches can give us a great lesson of how we are to be overcomers in יהושע Messiah, as we read in:
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:19-22 “However, the solid foundation of Elohim stands firm, having this seal, “יהוה knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the Name of Messiah turn away from unrighteous-ness.” 20 But in a large house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some unto value and some unto no value. 21 If, then, anyone cleanses himself from these matters, he shall be a vessel unto value, having been set apart, of good use to the Master, having been prepared for every good work. 22 And flee from the lusts of youth, but pursue righteousness, belief, love, peace with those calling on the Master out of a clean heart.”
We who have cleansed ourselves from all unrighteousness shall be a vessel unto value, having been set-apart and of good use to our Master! Messiah came in the flesh and defeated sin, and He calls us to walk as He walked, and this will take the clear responsibility of a true remnant to break off the things of the flesh, and surrender totally into the hands of our King, becoming a vessel unto value that holds firm the true witness of Messiah and guards the commands of Elohim.
May we all learn from the committed and faithful actions of obedience displayed by Yirmeyahu! There was still much pressure and hardship that he would face and have to endure, yet what would have certainly been a strengthening assurance to him was the sure Word of יהוה, and the promise of His Word made certain through the clear promise of this sealed deed of purchase that was to be kept in an earthen vessel many days! While we too will face many pressures and persecutions, let us hold fast the wonderful seal of our inheritance as we guard His treasure that is in us with great joy and an expectation that will not fail!
Back to the Gate of the prison!
The reason for the expansion of Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 32 is simply to highlight the Good News of how our Master has redeemed us from the prison of sin and death!
When our Master was hear He stood up and proclaimed the following words from:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Master יהוה is upon Me, because יהוה has anointed Me to bring good news to the meek. He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim release to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound 2 to proclaim the acceptable year of יהוה…”
Then He rolled up the scroll, ending before announcing the vengeance of Elohim to come! Our Master proclaimed release and this gives us the freedom to walk in the Torah of Freedom and not be bound by sin, giving us the ability to also release those who are indebted to us!!!
The Prison Gate teaches us about release and forgiveness, and that we are to forgive others as He has forgiven us – for we are a redeemed people!
12 Gates: THE SHEEP GATE – THE FISH GATE – THEH OLD GATE – THE VALLEY GATE – THE DUNG GATE – THE FOUNTAIN GATE – THE WATER GATE – THE HORSE GATE – THE EAST GATE 0 THE MIPHQAḎ GATE – THE GATE OF EPHRAYIM – THE GATE OF THE PRISON
12 uniquely named gates that collectively teach us and remind us of the deliverance that our Master has worked for us, giving us a clear choice to respond faithfully and enter in, or refuse to hear and be cast out!!!
In the vision that Yoḥanan was given of the renewed heavens and earth, the new Yerushalayim which he saw descending out of the heaven from Elohim, had 12 gates:
Ḥazon/Revelation 21:10-13 “And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the set-apart Yerushalayim, descending out of the heaven from Elohim, 11 having the esteem of Elohim, and her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal, 12 and having a great and high wall, having twelve gates, and at the gates twelve messengers, and names written on them, which are those of the twelve tribes of the children of Yisra’ěl: 13 three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 21:21 “And the twelve gates were twelve pearls – each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was clean gold, like transparent glass.”
Each gate was a giant pearl! When I see this, I am reminded of eth parable our Master gave, in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:44-46 “Again, the reign of the heavens is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man having found it, hid, and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. 45 “Again, the reign of the heavens is like a man, a merchant, seeking fine pearls, 46 who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
The Greek word used in the LXX (Septuagint) for ‘found’ is εὑρίσκω heuriskō – Strong’s G2147 which means, ‘to find, get, obtain, learn, discover, understand’, and we see this word used in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you. 8 “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened.”
So many ‘wannabe-believers’ are not willing to ‘seek and find’ the great pearls of wisdom in the Word of Elohim, and when wisdom is brought forth by another, the lazy and ignorant usually pass off the one bringing the message of great Truth as being puffed up with too much knowledge. יהוה tells us that His people are perishing for lack of knowledge, and this is because they are not seeking His knowledge, and will therefore never find it, although they erroneously claim to have found the truth as they hold fast to ear tickling teachings of man that are taught as commands while they do not even know what the word of Elohim actually says! To those who find His words because they are earnestly seeking Him, they will be life and healing to them! What we take note of here is that this parable of the reign of the heavens being described as one pearl of great price being found, speaks of the actual “finding of the entrance to the Reign”, as we take careful note of the description of the New Yerushalayim as described in Ḥazon/Revelation, where we are told that it has 12 gates and each gate is a giant single pearl, upon which the names of the 12 tribes of Yisra’ĕl are written!
The pearl of great price – is a clear parable lesson about seeking the Truth and finding it, which causes the true and earnest seeker to sell all he has in order to secure the pearl, and in so doing they are securing entrance into the set-apart place of the Most-High, as they work out their deliverance and redemption with fear and trembling! This is a lesson on counting the cost and knowing that the gift of life, that is the right of entrance into His eternal presence, will cost you your all, and because He gave His all, He has freely given us access to His gates; and as Ḥazon tells us – it is not all who shall have access but rather:
Ḥazon/Revelation 22:14 “Blessed are those doing His commands, so that the authority shall be theirs unto the tree of life, and to enter through the gates into the city.”
Those doing His commands are given access through the ‘pearl’ gates of the set-apart city, while outside are the idolaters, whores, murders and those who love falsehood! Our right of entrance has been purchased by the Blood of Messiah, and therefore the gift of entrance is available to all who are cleansed in His Blood and stay in Him, by walking in and guarding to do all His commands!
As we consider the gates that we have looked at in Neḥemyah, as well as the pearl gates of the new Yerushalayim, we are presented with the clear choice of life or death – entrance or exit, so to speak!
In order for us to enter through the gates of the city we are to make sure that we are guarding His commands, and gleaning from the 12 gates in the book of Neḥemyah/Nehemiah, we realise that it is only TRUE HEBREWS that can:
PASS THROUGH THE GATES!
Please note that I am not saying that there are 24 gates, for there are only 12… the names of the 12 gates in the Book of Neḥemyah/Nehemiah give us a great prophetic message of the perfect work of deliverance that our Master and Elohim has worked for us, and in the renewed Yerushalayim that comes from above the names of the gates are of the 12 tribes of Yisra’ěl – that represents and declares the complete and delivered body of Messiah.
May you be strengthened and equipped in the Word that washes us and sets us apart for service, and be caused to be able to pass through the gates as faithful children of the Most-High, who has gone before us and leads us, as long as we stay in Him!
Having ‘metaphorically’ passed through the 12 gates of Neḥemyah, we can, with great expectancy, look forward to entering through the gates into the renewed city of Yerushalayim, when our Master, Husband and King comes to fetch His Ready and prepared Bride, who has Her eyes fixed on Him!!!
PASS THROUGH THE GATES!
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show you favour; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you Shalom!