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The Golden Gate

The Golden Gate is located on the eastern side of Jerusalem’s old city wall; therefore, it is known as the Eastern Gate.  It is also called the Beautiful Gate (Acts 3:2, 10).  This Gate was probably built in the 520 CE, on top of the ruins of the earlier gate in the wall by Justinian I ‘s building project or an alternative theory was built in the later part of the 7th century CE by Byzantine.  The Gate was closed by the Muslims in 810CE, reopened in 1102CE by the Crusaders, and then Ottoman Sultan Suleiman walled it up in 1541CE and it stayed that way.  

The present Golden Gate probably preserves the location of the biblical time of the Golden Gate (also called Eastern Gate or Beautiful Gate).  If so, Jesus entered Jerusalem through this Gate in His last week of His earthly life before His resurrection and ascension to heaven.  Also, Jesus’ disciple, Peter, performed a miracle here to cure the lame man (Acts 3:1-10).

Acts 3:1-10

1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, at three o’clock in the afternoon. 2 And a man lame from birth was being carried in. People would lay him daily at the gate of the temple called the Beautiful Gate so that he could ask for alms from those entering the temple. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them for alms. 4 Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” 5 And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.” 7 And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. 8 Jumping up, he stood and began to walk, and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 All the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and they recognized him as the one who used to sit and ask for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

golden gate from the view of the mount of olives

In the Jewish tradition, the Messiah will come through this Golden Gate (Ezekiel 44:1-3).

golden gate from the view of the mount of olives

Ezekiel 44:1-3 The closed gate

1 Then he brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, which faces east; and it was shut. 2 The Lord said to me: This gate shall remain shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it; for the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered by it; therefore it shall remain shut. 3 Only the prince, because he is a prince, may sit in it to eat food before the Lord; he shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gate, and shall go out by the same way.

The Muslim cemetery

The Muslims built their cemetery in order to block the Jewish tradition that the Messiah would come through this gate.


The mystery beneath the Golden gate

According to the Jerusalem Post on Oct 6, 2011, here is the story about the mystery beneath the Golden Gate.  James Fleming was a student of the American Institute of Holy Land Studies, currently named the Jerusalem University College. The Post said: “In 1969, an archaeological student named James Fleming was inspecting the current gate (the Golden Gate).  Suddenly, the rain-soaked ground beneath him opened and he fell and found himself in a pit of bones looking at the top of another gate eight feet beneath the surface.  Fleming photographed his discovery.  When he returned the next day, the tomb had been sealed with a cement slab by the Islamic custodians of the cemetery.” Also, he mentioned that after he found himself in a pit of bones, he saw an old arch which he believed it was connected to an old gate before the Golden Gate was built.  The drawing is provided by the Biblical Archaeology Review (1983 Jan/Feb volume 9 Number 1) based on James’ discovery.  It is still a mystery today what is beneath the Golden Gate. 

view from the mount of olives

The best viewpoint of the Golden Gate is from the Mount of Olives

a full view of the golden gate

The view of the Golden Gate from the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives

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