The book of Nehemiah describes 12 unique gates around the city of Jerusalem. We know from Revelation 21 that each tribe has a specific gate into the city. The following table shows how the gates given in order of appearance in Nehemiah 3 and 12 map to the tribes.
This part of the grid has been a real learning experience. When I first put this page together in early 2009 I simply took the gates of Jerusalem listed in Nehemiah 3 and 12 in the order of their appearance and lined them up with the tribes. Thus the first gate mentioned, the Sheep Gate, matched the first tribe listed in Revelation 7, Judah. At the time very few of the matches made sense to me because I just didn't know enough about the tribes. I thought the gate to tribe map was rough and possibly even wrong.
Around the end of 2009 I was adding other columns to the tribal grid and revisted this page and the question of the gates. I realized if I began at the beginning of Nehemiah, rather than at chapter 3, and listed the gates in the order of their mention, the order of the first 6 gates changed and thus their map to the first 6 tribes. This was troubling to me, but I changed this page to this alternative map because I was still having trouble seeing the relationship between the tribes and the gates.
At the same time I spent the better part of a day studying gates throughout the Bible trying to nail down if there wasn't a way to composite the correct sequence of gates before mapping them to the tribes instead of using the simple "list" approach I began with in Nehemiah 3 and 12 originally. What I found is the level of complexity and uncertainty is way higher with trying to reconstruct a historical model, as Scripture reveals it, instead of just using the list of gates as they occur in Nehemiah 3 and 12. After hours of work I could not, for sure, show a list of gates that map to the tribes in a way that makes any sense relative to the 12 tribes or the rest of the grid. So I left this page with the "corrected" first 6 gates as per using the beginning of Nehemiah instead of just chapters 3 and 12.
Today the Holy Spirit buzzed me. I received a thoughtful and well stated write up suggesting some adjustments to how the gates relate to the tribes. After reading the submission and revisiting this page I realized that I was wrong to have adjusted this page end of Decemeber, but that I had the order right originally at the start of 2009. I also realized why most tribes match their gates in this order, something I hadn't been able to see till now.
The long and the short of it is that the table is corrected to it's original sequence and notes have been added below for each gate/tribe match.
Judah makes sense with the Sheep Gate for a couple reasons that were brought to my attention. Jesus is the ultimate shepherd of the sheep, and he's out of the tribe of Judah.
Reuben as the Fish Gate works given that Jacob's words over Reuben mention how he's like the seas, and seas are where you find fish. Reuben became the Nordic nations, all situated on water, and renowned for their exploits at sea. Just makes sense that the fish gate would go here.
Gad as the Old Gate is probably right, though I don't know how to nail this down other than to rely on the strength of the rest of the list for now.
Asher is the Valley Gate since he repeatedly has stuff on the grid related to his feet and other than a canyon, a valley is the lowest kind of land like feet are the lowest part of the body.
Naphtali is the Dung Gate because of it's smell. Elsewhere in the grid Naphtali is incense.
Manasseh as the Fountain Gate is not exactly clear to me. Manasseh is also the plague of boils which occurred when Moses/Aaron threw ashes into the air. Maybe there's some sense of projection that goes with Mansseh.
Simeon as the Water Gate is an amazing match. Nehemiah chapter 8 tells the story of everyone gathering in the court inside the Water Gate, on the 1st day of the 7th month (which is Trumpets). Realize that the Water Gate is Simeon's Gate, and Trumpets is Simeon's Holiday. What happens when you gather in Simeon's place, at Simeon's time? You receive counsel. The story unfolds that the people were shown how to celebrate the soon coming Tabernacles Holiday. This match is powerful because it combines time, place and gifting (or whatever it is when we say Simeon is wired to give counsel).
Levi as the Horse Gate may play to the way levites traveled from town to town teaching. I'm beginning to see Levi as apostolic. An example that I'm familiar with from American history would be the circuit riders/revivalists who rode from camp meeting to camp meeting on horseback. Not sure how this relates to Switzerland's history as the tribe of Levi though.
Issachar lands on the East Gate. Elsewhere in the grid Issachar is the entrance/exit curtain to the tent (tabernacle). Since that entrace curtain always faced East this is a wonderful match.
Zebulun lands on the Inspection Gate. Probably by inspection it means the place where genealogical records and similiar documents are kept. Zebulun relates to origins so this is quite a strong match provided I haven't misunderstood the meaning of Inspection.
Joseph aligns with the Ephraim Gate which is obvious since Ephraim is the son of Joseph.
Benjamin and Dan share the 12th gate such that 13 tribes fit into 12 gates. The Prison Gate makes sense with Dan since he was referred to as the "judge" by Jacob. Elsewhere in Scripture Jeremiah is arrested and thrown in jail by the captain of the guard while walking through the "Benjamin Gate." If what happens at the Benjamin Gate is you are thrown into prison, then I think "Benjamin Gate" and "Prison Gate" should be considered synonyms.