In ancient oriental cities, public life centered at the city gate markets and meetings were held there (2 Kings 7:1; Nehemiah 13:19). It was also a place for settling disputes in a court-like setting (Deuteronomy 21:18-21; 22:15; 25:7; Joshua 20:4; Genesis 19:1 … etc.).
Leaders and those of high rank sat at the gate. These were reputable individuals who could judge wisely and give council. Lot had that privilege (Genesis 19:1). He also was on the look out for travelers to show them hospitality and protect from the Sodomites.
David sat in the gate to show himself to the people (2 Samuel 19:8) and he made many references as to the action and uses of sitting at the gate (Psalms 69:12; Proverbs 31:31; Proverbs 1:21; 8:3 )
Boaz went to the city gate to settle the matter with his nearest kin in order to marry Ruth (Ruth 4:1-11). The gate was where people sought the “truth, justice, and peace” (Zechariah 8:16 also Psalms 127:5). Even in the palaces of kings, the gate was where the royal offices were located and state business was conducted (Esther 2:5-8; 2:19-23).
The Lord gave a physical and spiritual promise to Abraham in Genesis 22:17 saying, that he will “Possess the gate of his enemies.” Here is a reference made to the “enemies” over whom his posterity would finally triumph. This was a prediction that his descendants would be victorious over their enemies in the future conquest of Canaan. And it also foretold of the final spiritual triumph of truth over pagan religious systems of the world, through the missionary labors of the spiritual children of Abraham.
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In His service,
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