American Tract Society Bible Dictionary
The gates of eastern walled towns were usually of wood, Judges 16:3 , often covered with thick plates of iron or copper, Psalm 107:16 Isaiah 45:2 Acts 12:10 , secured by bolts and bars, Deuteronomy 3:5 1 Kings 4:13 , and flanked by towers, 2 Samuel 18:24,33 . A city was usually regarded as taken when its gates were won, Deuteronomy 28:52 Judges 5:8 . Hence "gate" sometimes signifies power, dominion; almost in the same sense as the Turkish sultan's palace is called the Porte, or Gate. God promises Abraham that his posterity shall possess the gates of their enemies- their towns, their fortresses, Genesis 22:17 . So too, "the gates of hell," that is, the power of hell, or hell itself.
In oriental cities there was always an open space or place adjacent to each gate, and these were at the same time the market places, and the place of justice, Genesis 23:10-18 Ruth 4:1-12 Deuteronomy 16:18 21:19 25:6,7 Proverbs 22:22 Amos 5:10,12,15 . There, too, people assembled to spend their leisure hours, Genesis 19:1 . Hence "they that sit in the gate" is put for idlers, loungers, who are coupled with drunkards, Psalm 69:12 . The woes of a city were disclosed in the mourning or loneliness of these places of resort, Isaiah 14:31 Jeremiah 14:2 . Here too the public proclamations were made, and the messages of prophets delivered, Proverbs 1:21 8:3 Isaiah 29:21 Jeremiah 17:19 26:10 . Near the gate of a city, but without it, executions took place, 1 Kings 21:13 Acts 7:58 Hebrews 13:12 . To exalt the gate of a house through pride, increased one's exposure to robbery, Proverbs 17:19 . To open it wide and high was significant of joy and welcome, as when the Savior ascended to heaven, Psalm 24:7,9; and the open gates of the new Jerusalem in contrast with those of earthly cities carefully closed and guarded at nightfall, indicate the happy security of that world of light, Revelation 21:25 .
These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Gate'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ats/g/gate.html. 1859.