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.


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 3:1-2 (Nehemiah 3:1 NIV)

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 3:3-5 (Nehemiah 3:3 NIV)

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 3:6-12 (Nehemiah 3:6 NIV)

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 (Nehemiah 3:13 NIV)

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
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 (Nehemiah 3:14 NIV)

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 3:15-16 (Nehemiah 3:15 NIV)

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)

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 3:28-32 (Nehemiah 3:28 NIV)

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)

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)

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 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 8:16-17 (Nehemiah 8:16 NIV)

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)

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.