Appendix 2
Source Material for the Summary
of the Golden Gate’s History

(Copyright © 1975, 2023 by Daniel B. Sedory)


  The Golden Gate ... a Byzantine work of the fifth century A.D., since walled up by the Muslims. — (John Gray, A History of Jerusalem  New York: Frederick A. Praeger, Publishers, 1969; p. 225.)

  The repair and building of the walls of Jerusalem as they stand at the present day on the line of the old Byzantine fortifications of the fifth century must be among the first monuments of the Ottomans in Palestine, built by Sulaymān the Magnificent (1520-1566) between 1537 and 1542, but incorporating materials such as Herodian marginal-drafted blocks and indeed whole sections of Byzantine and Mamlūk work, such as the St. Stephen Gate ... and the Golden Gate in the east wall of the Sacred Precinct, the work probably of the Empress Theodora which now, however, was walled up by the Muslims owing to the tradition that the Messiah of Judaism and Christianity will make his advent through this gate.
(Ibid., p. 261.)

  The work of Justinian marks the culmination of the development of the metropolis of Christendom under the Byzantine Empire, and is commemorated in the Mosaic map of Madaba from the sixth century. The city is depicted as fortified by the wall as constructed under the Empress Eudocia with twenty-one towers and six gates, ... the Golden Gate in the east wall of the Temple area, now walled up, ...
(Ibid., pp. 202-203.)


  She [Eudocia] is also credited, along with Herod, Hadrian, Constantine, Justinian, and others, with the building of the Golden Gate which stands today, though sealed with blocks of stone, on the eastern side of, and below, the present level of the Temple platform. — (Mina C. Klein and H. Arthur Klein, Temple Beyond Time  New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1970; p. 123.)


  To the east of the Temple precinct the Golden Gate, which remains permanently blocked up, would appear to date from the beginning of the Moslem occupation. It is to the Empress Eudocia, however, that tradition attributes the erection of this monument, on the site of the former Susa Gate through which Christ’s procession made its entry on Palm Sunday. — (J. Boudet, ed., Jerusalem: A History  New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1967; p. 207.)


  109. The east wall of the Temple Square. The Golden Gate dates from the seventh century A.D. It is supposed to stand in the spot where the Susan-Gate of the Temple of Herod once stood. The columns are said to have been a present to King David from the Queen of Sheba. Except for a short period during the time of the crusades, this gate has been walled up since the eighth century. — (Hans Reich, Text by Moshe Tavor, Jerusalem  New York: Hill and Wang, Inc., 1969; p. 115.)


  Finally, on the east side, in the direction of Kidron and opposite the Mount of Olives, there was one gate, now called the Susa Gate; today this is on the site of the Golden Gate, and in its present condition probably dates from the early days of Islam. It is approximately the same width as the gates on the south side and its threshold is on the same level; it seems likely, therefore, that the substructure dates from the time of Herod.
  Thus there is reason to believe that it was by this gate that Jesus, coming from Bethphage, entered the Temple on Palm Sunday (Mark 11.11; Matt. 21.12; Luke 19.45). — (Andre Parrot, The Temple of Jerusalem  New York: Philosophical Library, 1955; p. 83.)

  [ Note: This is not true, and such comments at the time Parrot’s book was published helped to perpetuate the belief that the Golden Gate was some kind of fulfillment of prophecy. The gate might rest on top of the site of a gate which Messiah entered, since there is some evidence of such a gate beneath the Golden Gate, but as this paper points out, it has nothing to do with the prophecy found in Ezekiel 44! ]

  Within the barrier, the holy place was divided into distinct areas reserved respectively, from east to west, for women, men, and, finally, priests. This inner court was built on a terrace, circled by walls and entered by nine gates: four on the north, four on the south, and one on the east side. This last was undoubtedly the most imposing. On account of its high doors of bronze imported from Corinth, it was known as the 'Corinthian Gate' [others identify this with the Nicanor Gate, which Parrot places elsewhere]. It may well be that gate which is referred to in Acts 3.2 as the 'Beautiful Gate', ...
(Ibid., p. 88.)


  The level of the sill of the gate is fifty-six feet below that of the platform of the Dome of the Rock. ...     Although the gate is referred to as a single one, it always has been a double gateway, the one on the South called the gate of Mercy and the one beside it on the Northern side, the gate of Repentance. The Jewish concept of the Shekhinah could be defined as being the “Presence of God”. The mystical link of the gates of Mercy and Repentance, with the afterlife, made the association of the Shekhinah with these gates a natural thought process. While there are records that the Shekhinah, dwelling on the sacred Rock, the former Holy of Holies of the Temple, will never remove itself from this hallowed place, it is elsewhere recorded that the Shekhinah left the Holy of Holies, with the destruction of the Temple by the Romans, departing from the Temple Mount and from Jerusalem through the Golden gate. There is an old Jewish tradition that the sealed gate of Mercy will not be reopened until the return of the Shekhinah who, in the Messianic Age, will re-enter Moriah through the same gate through which it left. Jewish belief has it that happy people will go up to Paradise through the gate of Repentance, while the gate of Mercy is there to act as portal for the unhappy to go out to Eden. Similar conceptions about the role of these two gates were adopted by Islam, which holds that the two divisions in the Golden gate were made in memory of the repentance of Adam and Eve for having disobeyed the orders of God in the Garden of Eden, at the same time, in memory of the mercy of God shown to them. The two parts are referred to in the Koran which holds that they are to separate the blessed from the damned who all must go out from this world through the Golden gate, each to the place designated, Heaven or hell. ...belief in the passage of all devout Moslems along a narrow bridge, ... to the houris of Paradise across the Kidron valley ... persists as a widespread article of faith — that at the end of the world, the gates will re-open for the passage of the devout. — (Solomon H. Steckoll, The Gates of Jerusalem  New York: Frederick A. Praeger, Publishers, 1968; pp. 30-31.)

  The Golden gate has significance for Christianity as well and, during the Crusader Kingdom, processions from Bethany to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday always entered the Temple area through the Golden gate which became associated, albeit incorrectly, with the Beautiful gate. The Moslem fear of the re-conquest of Jerusalem by the Christians, together with a strong belief that the next Christian to conquer Jerusalem would not be a lay conqueror only, but would indeed be the Christian Messiah who would enter the city through the Golden gate, led the Turkish Pashas to have the gate sealed ... The name of the gate is a legacy of the incorrect determination that the Golden gate is the same as the Beautiful gate through which Jesus entered the Temple area. The Beautiful gate could not be the same as the Golden gate as the former was a gate set in one of the inner walls of the Temple and while Abbot Daniel, (circa 1106) described the Golden gate as the gate of the Apostles, equating it with the Beautiful gate, the leaders of the Crusader Kingdom in the same century, determined on the older Jewish and Moslem designations for the Golden gate by calling it the gate of Pity. However, the feeling that the present gate stands on the site of the Beautiful gate was strong and the name - Golden - is a result of the confusion between the Latin "aurea" (golden) with the Greek "horaios" (beautiful). (Ibid., pp. 31-32.)

  [ Notice the “traditions upon traditions” from multiple religions in those quotes above; without a single reference to Scripture! ]

  There is as wide a degree of disagreement as to the identity of the person who erected the present gate as there are people expounding theories on the subject. The building has, most frequently, been ascribed to Herod, Hadrian, Constantine, Justinian .... While it is not known who built the Golden gate, we do know that it already existed as it now stands, as early as the sixth century, by the description given by Antoninus Martyr (circa 570) ....
(Ibid., pp. 32, 33.)


  (3) The Golden Gate. This occupies a conspicuous place in the east wall. The present structure is no older than the time of Constantine, but the site is doubtless the same as that of the 'Beautiful Gate of the temple' mentioned in Acts, for in the spacious porch may yet be seen two huge monolithic jambs, now used as pillars, which are vestiges of an ancient gateway. Tradition too, fixes this as the location of the 'Beautiful Gate,' and, strange to say, the Greek word ὡραία [hōraia], beautiful, was incorrectly translated by the Latin aurea, golden, perhaps from the resemblance of the two classical words; and usage has perpetuated the error. The Arabs now call the whole gateway Bâb ed Daherîyeh, the Eternal Gate, the northern arch being called Gate of Repentance, the southern, Gate of Mercy. (Rt. Rev. Samuel Fallows, ed., The Popular and Critical Bible Encyclopaedia  Chicago: The Howard-Severance Co., 1902; Volume 2, p. 938. [ Which can now be examined at]

[ Note: The site of the Golden Gate being identified with that of the “Beautiful Gate” (in Acts 3:2,10) is “traditional” and far from being “doubtless” as Fallows commented above. The evidence of history and archaeology have shown that the Golden Gate site cannot be that of any gate into the Temple of Herod. ]


  On the east side of the courtyard in the direction of the Kidron valley there was but one gate, probably on the site of the present Golden Gate. In its present form it is Byzantine in origin, although it is thought that its substructure dates from the days of Herod. Both Josephus and the Mishna know of only one gate in the east side of the city and it is possible that the gate that Jesus entered on Palm Sunday stood at this point, or not far from it (Mark 11:11, Matt. 21:10, Luke 19:28-48). — (J.A. Thompson, The Bible and Archaeology  Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1972), pp. 339-340. Pages 340-341 have some information about the Temple gates as well.)


  In the wall of Jerusalem as seen from the Garden of Gethsemane. It was blocked up by the Turks in 1530 and is connected by some with the prophecy of Ezek. 44:1-3. Some would identify it with the Gate Beautiful. HFV — (Charles F. Pfeiffer, Howard F. Vos, and John Rea, eds., Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia  Chicago: Moody Press, 1975; Vol. 1, p. 656, picture caption.)


  On the E, opposite Olivet and opening directly into the Haram esh-Sharif, is the Golden Gate (OT, East Gate, Neh 3:29), with its double Byzantine arch. It prob. corresponds to the location of Christ's triumphal entry, or exit, on Palm Sunday (Mark 11:11); and farther inside the Temple area is the site of the Gate Beautiful, (Greek, Ὡραία [Hōraia; beautiful] whence Latin, aurea, "Golden" Gate), scene of Peter's great healing miracle (Acts 3:1-10). With the expulsion of the crusaders from Jerusalem in A.D. 1187, the Golden Gate was mortared in, as have been four other gates ..., prob. for security reasons. According to Arab. legend, it will not be reopened until the resurrection and the final judgment in the Valley of Jehoshaphat (Kidron), the slopes of which around the Golden Gate are crowded with Moslem graves. — (J.B. Payne, "Jerusalem," in The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, Merrill C. Tenney, ed., Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1975, 1976; Vol. 3, p. 488.)

  There was only one gate in the E wall (Middoth I, 4), replaced by the present "Golden Gate" of Byzantine construction (Simons, op. cit., p. 428), and built over an earlier gate. — (H. G. Stigers, "Temple, Jerusalem," in ibid.; Vol. 5, p. 651 [referring to, J. Simons, Jerusalem in the Old Testament (1952)].)

  Whereas the "Beautiful Gate" of the NT Temple is known only from Acts 3, the phrase prob. refers to that entrance way, famous for its imported Corinthian bronze doors, which was the only E gate from the surrounding Court of the Gentiles into the Court of the Women (Josephus, War. V. 5. 3). It was once identified with the single E gate that led from the Kidron Valley, through the outer wall and "Solomon's Porch," into the Court of the Gentiles — a fact that may account for the name of the later entrance way, now itself sealed up, that was built over it and called "Porta Aurea" ([but] Ὡραία [Hōraia in Greek]), the "Golden Gate." — (J.B. Payne, "Gate, the Beautiful," in ibid.; Vol. 2, p. 658. [J. Simons, p. 371.])

  More References Concerning Various Gates in the same Source:

  Scott, J B., "Gate, East," in Ibid.; Vol. 2, p. 658.
  Stigers, "Detail of Herod's Temple," in the article "Temple, Jerusalem," in ibid.; Vol. 5, p. 649. See also: "B. Data," p. 645.
  H.W. Hoehner, "Suggested Plan of Herod's Temple," in the article "Herod," in ibid.; Vol. 3, p 135.


  Little dispute exists as to the identification of the Beautiful Gate with the splendid "gate of Nicanor" of the Mishnah (Middoth 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 E., or was the gate reached by 15 steps, dividing that court from the court of the men. — (W. Shaw Caldecott, "Gate, the Beautiful," in ISBE, II, 1176.)



    This Appendix is part of my paper: Is the Golden Gate A Fulfillment of Prophecy?



First published on: 01 OCT 2023 (2023.10.01).
Updated on: 02 OCT 2023 (2023.10.02); minor corrections, added online reference.

You can write to me here: contact page.


Bible Index Page

The Starman’s Realm Index Page