The Eastern Gate in Prophecy

There are eight gates in today's modern Jerusalem, but only seven are open. What about the gate that is not opened? Why is it closed?
It is widely believed that when Christ returns, He will enter Jerusalem through the Eastern Gate, which is the same gate He entered during His triumphal entry in Matthew 21:1-11. This belief is supported by various Second Coming prophecies that depict the Messiah returning from the east, including Psalm 24:7-10, which declares that gates in the Old City of Jerusalem will open to receive Him. The Gate is also seen as a pre-fillment or type of the future Millennial Temple, where the Lord enters through an eastern gate according to Ezekiel 43:4.

The Eastern Gate: Standing Over the Original Entrance Used by Jesus

The Eastern Gate

The Eastern Gate, also known as the Golden Gate, is one of the eight gates built into the walls that surround the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It is the only entrance from the east and provides the most direct access to the Temple Mount. The Gate was destroyed during the Roman conquest of Jerusalem and was subsequently rebuilt by the Byzantines in the sixth or seventh century, making it the oldest of all the gates in the city.

The Gate was sealed shut with sixteen feet of cement in 1540-41 A.D. by Suleiman the Magnificent, a sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Suleiman’s reasons for sealing the Gate remain unclear, but it is believed that he was aware of the Jewish tradition that the Messiah will enter Jerusalem through the Gate and attempted to thwart those plans. He also put a Muslim cemetery in front of the Gate, believing that no Jewish holy man would defile himself by walking through a Muslim cemetery. However, unbeknownst to Suleiman, his actions were “pre-filling” prophecy...

The Muslim cemetery in front of the sealed Gate

A Pre-fillment in Type

Bible prophecies often find a symbolic pre-fulfillment before their actual fulfillment in history. For example, Antiochus Epiphanes served as a symbolic type of the Antichrist, while the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. was symbolic of the city’s future destruction during the Great Tribulation.

Many scholars believe that Suleiman’s sealing of the Gate symbolically fulfilled a prophecy made by Ezekiel over 2,100 years prior. According to Ezekiel 44:1-2:
“Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it was shut. Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut.” (Eze. 44:1-2).
This prophecy describes the gate leading to the inner court of the future Millennial Temple, which will be closed and only the Lord Himself will enter or exit through it when He returns to establish His reign on Earth during the Millennium. Remarkably, the Eastern Gate is the only one among the eight gates in modern-day Jerusalem that remains closed, defying almost five hundred years of turmoil in Israel and numerous attempts to open it! In the last century alone, four attempts to open the sealed Gate have failed.

The first attempt occurred during the Battle of Jerusalem in 1917 when Muslim leaders wanted all but one of the gates in Jerusalem sealed to deter the approaching British army. The gate they chose to leave open happened to be the already-sealed Gate. However, as workmen were about to demolish and open it, British General Allenby’s airplane flew over the city, and the opposing soldiers fled without a shot being fired. The city was delivered into British hands, and the Gate remained sealed.

A second attempt to open the Gate was made in 1967 when King Hussein of Jordan planned to build a hotel over the Magreb Gate, which required opening the Eastern Gate. However, as workmen were preparing to shatter the stones sealing the Gate, Israeli aircraft flew overhead, and the Six Day War began. The workmen were unable to resume their project after the war because the Jews had recaptured Jerusalem. During the same time, some members of the Jewish military suggested blowing open the sealed Gate to catch the Jordanian defenders off guard. However, their Orthodox Jewish leader opposed the idea, stating that the Gate could only be opened when the Messiah arrives. Instead, they launched an attack at the Lion’s Gate.

The last known attempt to open the Gate occurred in 1997 when Israel’s Housing Ministry wanted to reopen it as part of a project to develop the Jewish Quarter. The plan was reported in the Denver Post on October 31, 1997: 
“Israel's Housing Ministry wants to reopen a sealed gate in the wall ringing Jerusalem's Old City...The plan to break through the 15-foot-thick stone wall - part of a project to build up the Jewish 'Quarter and increase its population - also is likely to anger the Palestinians, who oppose any changes in Jerusalem's eastern sector.” 
It is unclear whether the plan was ever implemented, but the Gate remains sealed to this day.


The fact that the Eastern Gate remains sealed is proof positive that the Bible is the Word of God. As prophecy teacher David Reagan said, “The world would call that an 'amazing coincidence.' I call it a 'God-incidence.'” Its sealing is clear evidence that we are living in the end times, and the Gate awaits the return of the Messiah. Only then will it be opened.