Nehemiah's City Gates

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.

Grid

Tribe Gate
Judah Sheep

1Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priests went to work and rebuilt the Sheep Gate. They dedicated it and set its doors in place, building as far as the Tower of the Hundred, which they dedicated, and as far as the Tower of Hananel. (Nehemiah 3:1 NIV)

1Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel. (Nehemiah 3:1 KJV)

1FEEliashib the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests and they built the sheep gate. They set up its doors and its holy places as far as the tower of the 100, and they made it holy as far as the tower of Hananel. (Nehemiah 3:1 BRB)

Judah makes sense with the Sheep Gate for a couple reasons. Jesus is the ultimate shepherd of the sheep, and he's out of the tribe of Judah.

Reuben Fish

3The Fish Gate was rebuilt by the sons of Hassenaah. They laid its beams and put its doors and bolts and bars in place. (Nehemiah 3:3 NIV)

3But the fish gate did the sons of Hassenaah build, who also laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof. (Nehemiah 3:3 KJV)

3FEBut the fish gate the children of Hassenaah built, who also laid its beams and set up its doors its bolts and its bars. (Nehemiah 3:3 BRB)

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 Old

6The Jeshanah Gate was repaired by Joiada son of Paseah and Meshullam son of Besodeiah. They laid its beams and put its doors and bolts and bars in place. (Nehemiah 3:6 NIV)

6Moreover the old gate repaired Jehoiada the son of Paseah, and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah; they laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, and the locks thereof, and the bars thereof. (Nehemiah 3:6 KJV)

6FEThe 2nd gate Joiada the son of Paseah and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah repaired; they also laid its beams and set up its doors its bolts and its bars. (Nehemiah 3:6 BRB)

Gad as the Old Gate is based on the strength of the rest of the list.

Asher Valley

13The Valley Gate was repaired by Hanun and the residents of Zanoah. They rebuilt it and put its doors and bolts and bars in place. They also repaired five hundred yards of the wall as far as the Dung Gate. (Nehemiah 3:13 NIV)

13The valley gate repaired Hanun, and the inhabitants of Zanoah; they built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and a thousand cubits on the wall unto the dung gate. (Nehemiah 3:13 KJV)

13FEThe valley gate repaired Hanun and the inhabitants of Zanoah; they built it and set up its doors its bolts and its bars and 1,000 cubits of the wall as far as the dung gate. (Nehemiah 3:13 BRB)

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 Dung

14But the dung gate repaired Malchiah the son of Rechab, the ruler of part of Beth–haccerem; he built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof. (Nehemiah 3:14 KJV)

14The Dung Gate was repaired by Malkijah son of Recab, ruler of the district of Beth Hakkerem. He rebuilt it and put its doors and bolts and bars in place. (Nehemiah 3:14 NIV)

14FEBut the dung gate repaired Malkijah the son of Recab the ruler of Beth Hakkerem; he built it and set up its doors its bolts and its bars. (Nehemiah 3:14 BRB)

Naphtali is the Dung Gate because of it's smell. Elsewhere in the grid Naphtali is incense.

Manasseh Fountain

15The Fountain Gate was repaired by Shallun son of Col-Hozeh, ruler of the district of Mizpah. He rebuilt it, roofing it over and putting its doors and bolts and bars in place. He also repaired the wall of the Pool of Siloam, by the King's Garden, as far as the steps going down from the City of David. (Nehemiah 3:15 NIV)

15But the gate of the fountain repaired Shallun the son of Col–hozeh, the ruler of part of Mizpah; he built it, and covered it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and the wall of the pool of Siloah by the king's garden, and unto the stairs that go down from the city of David. (Nehemiah 3:15 KJV)

15FEBut the gate of the fountain Shallun the son of Col Hozeh the ruler of Mizpah repaired; he built it and covered it and set up its doors its bolts and its bars and the wall of the pool of Siloam by the king's garden as far as the stairs that go down from the city of David. (Nehemiah 3:15 BRB)

Manasseh as the Fountain Gate is not exactly clear. 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 Manasseh.

Simeon Water

26and the temple servants living on the hill of Ophel made repairs up to a point opposite the Water Gate toward the east and the projecting tower. (Nehemiah 3:26 NIV)

26Moreover the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel, unto the place over against the water gate toward the east, and the tower that lieth out.dwelt…: or, which dwelt in Ophel, repaired untoOphel: or, tower (Nehemiah 3:26 KJV)

26FEThe Nethanites who lived in Phaal repaired as far as the water gate toward the east and the tower that lies at the end. (Nehemiah 3:26 BRB)

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 Horse

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

28FEFrom the entrance of the horse gate repaired the priests each opposite his own house. (Nehemiah 3:28 BRB)

28From above the horse gate repaired the priests, every one over against his house. (Nehemiah 3:28 KJV)

Levi as the Horse Gate may play to the way levites traveled from town to town teaching. Levi seems apostolic. An example from American history would be the circuit riders/revivalists who rode from camp meeting to camp meeting on horseback. Levi was spread out as city states, and needed to travel by horse.

Issachar East

29Next to them, Zadok son of Immer made repairs opposite his house. Next to him, Shemaiah son of Shecaniah, the guard at the East Gate, made repairs. (Nehemiah 3:29 NIV)

29After them repaired Zadok the son of Immer over against his house. After him repaired also Shemaiah the son of Shechaniah, the keeper of the east gate. (Nehemiah 3:29 KJV)

29FEAfter them repaired Zadok the son of Immer opposite his own house. After him repaired Shemaiah the son of Shecaniah the keeper of the east gate. (Nehemiah 3:29 BRB)

Issachar lands on the East Gate. Elsewhere in the grid Issachar is the entrance/exit curtain to the tent (tabernacle). Since that entrance curtain always faced East this is a wonderful match.

Zebulun Inspection

31Next to him, Malkijah, one of the goldsmiths, made repairs as far as the house of the temple servants and the merchants, opposite the Inspection Gate, and as far as the room above the corner; 32and between the room above the corner and the Sheep Gate the goldsmiths and merchants made repairs. (Nehemiah 3:31-32 NIV)

31FEAfter him repaired Malkijah the son of Zepaniah as far as the house of the Nethanites and of the dealers in herb drugs. 32Opposite the gate at the extreme end and as far as the ascent of the corner which turns toward the sheep gate repaired the goldsmiths and the dealers in herb drugs. (Nehemiah 3:31-32 BRB)

31After him repaired Malchiah the goldsmith's son unto the place of the Nethinims, and of the merchants, over against the gate Miphkad, and to the going up of the corner.going…: or, corner chamber 32And between the going up of the corner unto the sheep gate repaired the goldsmiths and the merchants.going…: or, corner chamber (Nehemiah 3:31-32 KJV)

Zebulun lands on the Inspection Gate. Probably by the word inspection it means the place where genealogical records and similar documents are kept. Zebulun relates to origins so this is quite a strong match.

Joseph Ephraim

16So the people went forth, and brought them, and made themselves booths, every one upon the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the street of the water gate, and in the street of the gate of Ephraim. (Nehemiah 8:16 KJV)

16So the people went out and brought back branches and built themselves booths on their own roofs, in their courtyards, in the courts of the house of God and in the square by the Water Gate and the one by the Gate of Ephraim. (Nehemiah 8:16 NIV)

16FEThe people went forth and brought them and made themselves booths, each on the roof of his house and in their courts and in the court of the house of god and in the street of the water gate and in the street of the gate of Ephraim. (Nehemiah 8:16 BRB)

Joseph aligns with the Ephraim Gate which is obvious since Ephraim is the son of Joseph.

Benjamin Prison
Dan Prison

39over the Gate of Ephraim, the Jeshanah Gate, the Fish Gate, the Tower of Hananel and the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Sheep Gate. At the Gate of the Guard they stopped. (Nehemiah 12:39 NIV)

39And from above the gate of Ephraim, and above the old gate, and above the fish gate, and the tower of Hananeel, and the tower of Meah, even unto the sheep gate: and they stood still in the prison gate. (Nehemiah 12:39 KJV)

39FEand from above the gate of Ephraim as far as the old gate to the fish gate and from the tower of Hananel as far as the great tower even to the sheep gate, and they stood still in the great gate. (Nehemiah 12:39 BRB)

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. "Benjamin Gate" and "Prison Gate" should be considered synonyms.