International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
DUNG; DUNG GATE
dung ('ashpoth, domen, peresh; skubalon, etc.): Nine different words occurring in the Hebrew have been translated "dung" in the Old Testament. The word used to designate one of the gates of Jerusalem ('ashpoth, Nehemiah 2:13; Nehemiah 3:14) is more general than the others and may mean any kind of refuse. The gate was probably so named because outside it was the general dump heap of the city. Visitors in recent years riding outside the city walls of Jerusalem, on their way to the Mt. of Olives or Jericho, may have witnessed such a dump against the wall, which has existed for generations.
The first mention made of dung is in connection with sacrificial rites. The sacred law required that the dung, along with what parts of the animal were not burned on the altar, should be burned outside the camp (Exodus 29:14 Leviticus 4:11; Leviticus 8:17; Leviticus 16:27 Numbers 19:5). The fertilizing value of dung was appreciated by the cultivator, as is indicated by Luke 13:8 and possibly Psalm 83:10 and Isaiah 25:10.
Dung was also used as a fuel. Ezekiel 4:12, 15 will be understood when it is known that the dung of animals is a common fuel throughout Palestine and Syria, where other fuel is scarce. During the summer, villagers gather the manure of their cattle, horses or camels, mix it with straw, make it into cakes and dry it for use as fuel for cooking, especially in the winter when wood or charcoal or straw are not procurable. It burns slowly like peat and meets the needs of the kitchen. In Mesopotamia the writer saw it being used with forced draft to fire a steam boiler. There was no idea of uncleanness in Ezekiel's mind, associated with the use of animal dung as fuel (Ezekiel 4:15).
Figuratively: Dung was frequently used figuratively to express the idea
(a) of worthlessness, especially a perishable article for which no one cares (1 Kings 14:10 2 Kings 6:25; 2 Kings 9:37 Job 20:7 Psalm 83:10 Jeremiah 8:2; Jeremiah 9:22; Jeremiah 16:4; Jeremiah 25:33 Zephaniah 1:17 Philippians 3:8 (the American Standard Revised Version "refuse")). Dunghill was used in the same way (1 Samuel 2:8 Ezra 6:11 Psalm 113:7 Isaiah 25:10 Daniel 2:5; Daniel 3:29 Luke 14:35 Lamentations 4:5);
(b) as an expression of disgust (2 Kings 18:27 Isaiah 36:12);
(c) of rebuke (Malachi 2:3).
James A. Patch
gat (Hebrew normally (over 300 times) sha`ar; occasionally deleth, properly, "gateway" (but compare Deuteronomy 3:5); elsewhere the gateway is pethach (compare especially Genesis 19:6); Aramaic tera`; Greek pulon, pule; the English Revised Version and the King James Version add caph, "threshold," in 1 Chronicles 9:19, 22; and the King James Version adds delathayim, "double-door," in Isaiah 45:1; thura, "door," Acts 3:2):
(1) The usual gateway was provided with double doors, swung on projections that fitted into sockets in the sill and lintel. Ordinarily the material was wood (Nehemiah 2:3, 17), but greater strength and protection against fire was given by plating with metal (Psalm 107:16 Isaiah 45:2). Josephus (BJ, V, v, 3) speaks of the solid metal doors of the Beautiful Gate (Acts 3:2) as a very exceptional thing. Some doors were solid slabs of stone, from which the imagery of single jewels (Isaiah 54:12 Revelation 21:21) was derived. When closed, the doors were secured with a bar (usually of wood, Nahum 3:13, but sometimes of metal, 1 Kings 4:13 Psalm 107:16 Isaiah 45:2), which fitted into clamps on the doors and sockets in the post, uniting the whole firmly (Judges 16:3). Sometimes, perhaps, a portcullis was used, but Psalm 24:7 refers to the enlargement or enrichment of the gates. As the gate was especially subject to attack (Ezekiel 21:15, 22), and as to "possess the gate" was to possess the city (Genesis 22:17; Genesis 24:60), it was protected by a tower (2 Samuel 18:24, 33 2 Chronicles 14:7; 2 Chronicles 26:9), often, doubtless, overhanging and with flanking projections. Sometimes an inner gate was added (2 Samuel 18:24). Unfortunately, Palestine gives us little monumental detail.
(2) As even farm laborers slept in the cities, most of the men passed through the gate every day, and the gate was the place for meeting others (Ruth 4:1 2 Samuel 15:2) and for assemblages. For the latter purpose "broad" or open places (distinguished from the "streets" in Proverbs 7:12) were provided (1 Kings 22:10 Nehemiah 8:1), and these were the centers of the public life. Here the markets were held (2 Kings 7:1), and the special commodities in these gave names to the gates (Nehemiah 3:1, 3, 18). In particular, the "gate" was the place of the legal tribunals (Deuteronomy 16:18; Deuteronomy 21:19; Deuteronomy 25:7, etc.), so that a seat "among the elders in the gates" (Proverbs 31:23) was a high honor, while "oppression in the gates" was a synonym for judicial corruption (Job 31:21 Proverbs 22:22 Isaiah 29:21 Amos 5:10). The king, in especial, held public audiences in the gate (2 Samuel 19:8 1 Kings 22:10 Jeremiah 38:7; compare Jeremiah 39:3), and even yet "Sublime Porte" (the French translation of the Turkish for "high gate") is the title of the Court of Constantinople. To the gates, as the place of throngs, prophets and teachers went with their message (1 Kings 22:10 Jeremiah 17:19 Proverbs 1:21; Proverbs 8:3; Proverbs 31:31), while on the other hand the gates were the resort of the town good-for-nothings (Psalm 69:12).
(3) "Gates" can be used figuratively for the glory of a city (Isaiah 3:26; Isaiah 14:31 Jeremiah 14:2 Lamentations 1:4; contrast Psalm 87:2), but whether the military force, the rulers or the people is in mind cannot be determined. In Matthew 16:18 "gates of Hades" (not "hell") may refer to the hosts (or princes) of Satan, but a more likely translation is `the gates of the grave (which keep the dead from returning) shall not be stronger than it.' The meaning in Judges 5:8, 11 is very uncertain, and the text may be corrupt.
See CITY; JERUSALEM; TABERNACLE; TEMPLE.
Burton Scott Easton
The expressions are found in Ezekiel: "Even the gate that looketh toward the east" (43:1); "The gate whose prospect is toward the east" (43:4); but the idea of a gate on the eastern side as the principal entrance to the court of the sanctuary goes back to the days of the tabernacle (Exodus 27:13-16). In addition to its use as admitting to the sanctuary enclosure, it may be presumed, in analogy with the general mode of the administration of justice, to have been the place where in earlier times cases were tried which were referred to the jurisdiction of the sanctuary (compare Exodus 18:19-22 Deuteronomy 17:8; Deuteronomy 19:16, 18 Numbers 27:2, 3, etc.).
1. The Tabernacle:
In Exodus 27:13-16 the "gate" by which the congregation entered the tabernacle is carefully described. An embroidered screen of the three sacred colors (blue, purple and scarlet), 20 cubits in width, hung from 4 pillars (really 5 pillars, 5 cubits apart; on the reckoning see TABERNACLE), in the center of the East side of the tabernacle court. This is further alluded to in Numbers 4:26, "the screen for the door of the gate of the court."
2. Solomon's Temple:
Nothing is said of the position of gates in connection with Solomon's temple, but there was an "inner" (1 Kings 6:36), and also an "outer" or "great" court (2 Chronicles 4:9), the latter with doors overlaid with brass, and analogy makes it certain that here also the chief gate (inner or outer court? see COURT) was on the East side. Provision was made by Solomon in his adjoining palace for the administration of justice in a hall or "porch of judgment" (1 Kings 7:7), but graver cases were still, apparently, referred for decision to the sanctuary (Jeremiah 26:10). The trial in Jeremiah's case, however, took place, not at the East gate, but at "the entry of the new gate of Yahweh's house" (Jeremiah 26:10; compare 36:10), probably Jotham's "upper gate" (2 Kings 15:35).
3. Ezekiel's Temple:
In Ezekiel's ideal temple, "the gate whose prospect was toward the east" was that by which the glory of Yahweh went up from the city (Ezekiel 11:23), and by which the prophet in vision saw it return (Ezekiel 43:4).
4. Second Temple:
Nothing is told of an East gate in the temple of Zerubbabel, but it may be assumed that there was one as in the other cases.
5. Herod's Temple:
The great East gate of the Herodian temple, which followed those above mentioned, was that "Beautiful Gate of the temple" where the miracle of the healing of the lame man was performed (Acts 3:1-10).
See GATE, THE BEAUTIFUL; HARSITH; SHECANIAH.
W. Shaw Caldecott
GATE, THE BEAUTIFUL
bu'-ti-fool (he horaia pule tou hierou):
This gate of Herod's temple is mentioned in the narrative of the healing of the lame man by Peter and John in Acts 3:2, 10. Little dispute exists as to the identification of the Beautiful Gate with the splendid "gate of Nicanor" of the Mishna (Mid., i.4), and "Corinthian Gate" of Josephus (BJ, V, v, 3), but authorities are divided as to whether this gate was situated at the entrance to the women's court on the East, or was the gate reached by 15 steps, dividing that court from the court of the men. The balance of recent opinion inclines strongly to the former view (compare Kennedy, "Problems of Herod's Temple," The Expositor Times, XX, 170); others take the opposite view (Waterhouse, in Sacred Sites of the Gospels, 110), or leave the question open (thus G. A. Smith, Jerusalem, II, 212). See TEMPLE, HEROD'S.
The gate itself was of unusual size and splendor. It received the name "Nicanor" from its being the work, or having been constructed at the expense, of an Alexandrian Jew of this name. Lately an ossuary was discovered on Mt. Olivet bearing the Greek inscription: "The bones of Nicanor the Alexandrian, who made the doors."
Its other name, "Corinthian," refers to the costly material of which it was constructed-Corinthian bronze. Josephus gives many interesting particulars about this gate, which, he tells us, greatly excelled in workmanship and value all the others (BJ, V, v, 3). These were plated with gold and silver, but this still more richly and thickly. It was larger than the other gates; was 50 cubits in height (the others 40); its weight was so great that it took 20 men to move it (BJ, VI, vi, 3). Its massiveness and magnificence, therefore, well earned for it the name "Beautiful."
W. Shaw Caldecott
In Nehemiah 2:13 the King James Version, "gate of the valley."
HAMMIPHKAD, GATE OF
ha-mif'-kad (sha`ar ha-miphqadh, "Gate of the Muster"): One of the gates of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 3:31) not mentioned elsewhere; probably situated near the Northeast corner of the Temple area.
MIPHKAD; GATE OF
mif'-kad, (sha`ar ha-miphqadh; the Revised Version (British and American) "Hammiphkad" (Nehemiah 3:31)): A gate in, or near, the north end of the east wall of Jerusalem, rebuilt under Nehemiah. Its exact position is uncertain.
SHALLECHETH, THE GATE
shal'-e-keth, sha-le'-keth (sha`ar shallekheth, i.e. as in margin, "Casting forth"): A gate of the temple "at the causeway that goeth up" (1 Chronicles 26:16)-probably an ascent from the Tyropoeon Valley to the West of the temple. It has been supposed on account of the meaning of the name that the ashes and offal of the temple were cast forth there, but this is very unlikely-they were thrown into the Kidron valley to the East or Southeast. The Septuagint has pastophorion, which seems to point to a building with chambers; in consonance with this Cheyne reads in the Hebrew lishkoth, "(of) the chambers."
E. W. G. Masterman
(sha`ar ha-tso'-n (Nehemiah 3:1, 32; Nehemiah 12:39)): One of the gates of Jerusalem, probably near the northeast corner. See JERUSALEM. For the "sheep gate" of John 5:2, see BETHESDA; SHEEP MARKET.
(sha`ar ha-gay', "Gate of the Gai"): Is placed (Nehemiah 3:13) between the "tower of the furnaces" and the "dung gate"; from here Nehemiah (2:13) set out on his ride down the "Gai" (Hinnom) to Siloam, and, too (12:31, 38), from here the Levites commenced their compass of the city in two directions. It must have been an ancient gate, for Uzziah added towers to it (2 Chronicles 26:9). It was probably near the Southwest corner of the city and near to, if not identical with, the gate found by Bliss near (now in) the Protestant Cemetery.
See JERUSALEM, VI, 13.
E. W. G. Masterman