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Tuesday, February 28 2017

The Water Gate Readings

"He read therein before the street that was before the Water Gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the Book of the Law"

Jerusalem has known many gates over its long history (see the Fact Finder question below for a complete series of studies of the history of Jerusalem). The Book of Nehemiah (see Nehemiah's Prayer From Shushan and The Arrival Of Nehemiah's Cavalry), which was written when the people of Judah, as a nation, returned to Jerusalem (the original exiles had all died off during the 70 years away i.e. the people returned "home" to a place that they personally had never been before) provides a list of the gates and their relative locations (Nehemiah 3:1-32).

Jerusalem at that time was still in ruins from the devastation that the LORD had brought upon it at the hand of the Babylonians (see Why Was It Desolate For Seventy Years?). The city was rebuilt in stages after that return (see Zerubbabel's Return and Bricks and Swords). Among the gates that were rebuilt was the Water Gate. An excerpt from the gate list to locate its location in relation to the others:

Siloam

"3:15 But the gate of the fountain repaired Shallun the son of Colhozeh, the ruler of part of Mizpah; he built it, and covered it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and the wall of the pool of Siloah by the king's garden, and unto the stairs that go down from the city of David. 3:16 After him repaired Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, the ruler of the half part of Bethzur, unto the place over against the sepulchres of David, and to the pool that was made, and unto the house of the mighty.

3:17 After him repaired the Levites, Rehum the son of Bani. Next unto him repaired Hashabiah, the ruler of the half part of Keilah, in his part. 3:18 After him repaired their brethren, Bavai the son of Henadad, the ruler of the half part of Keilah. 3:19 And next to him repaired Ezer the son of Jeshua, the ruler of Mizpah, another piece over against the going up to the armoury at the turning of the wall. 3:20 After him Baruch the son of Zabbai earnestly repaired the other piece, from the turning of the wall unto the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest. 3:21 After him repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah the son of Koz another piece, from the door of the house of Eliashib even to the end of the house of Eliashib.

3:22 And after him repaired the priests, the men of the plain. 3:23 After him repaired Benjamin and Hashub over against their house. After him repaired Azariah the son of Maaseiah the son of Ananiah by his house. 3:24 After him repaired Binnui the son of Henadad another piece, from the house of Azariah unto the turning of the wall, even unto the corner. 3:25 Palal the son of Uzai, over against the turning of the wall, and the tower which lieth out from the king's high house, that was by the court of the prison. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh. 3:26 Moreover the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel, unto the place over against the water gate toward the east, and the tower that lieth out. 3:27 After them the Tekoites repaired another piece, over against the great tower that lieth out, even unto the wall of Ophel." (Nehemiah 3:15-27 KJV)

Jerusalem

The Water Gate was the place where Ezra (see Ezra's Journey From Babylon) declared the Law of the LORD to the nation upon its restoration.

"8:1 And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel.

8:2 And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month. 8:3 And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law." (Nehemiah 8:1-3 KJV)

The readings continued on through the observance of the Christian Feast of Tabernacles (see Why Christians Observe The Messiah's Feast Of Tabernacles).

"8:13 And on the second day were gathered together the chief of the fathers of all the people, the priests, and the Levites, unto Ezra the scribe, even to understand the words of the law. 8:14 And they found written in the law which the LORD had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month: 8:15 And that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written.

8:16 So the people went forth, and brought them, and made themselves booths, every one upon the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the street of the water gate, and in the street of the gate of Ephraim. 8:17 And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths, and sat under the booths: for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness.

8:18 Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according unto the manner." (Nehemiah 8:13-18 KJV)

Fact Finder: When did Jerusalem become an Israelite city? When did Jerusalem become the capital of the Kingdom of Judah alone?
See the history series of studies for Jerusalem (the links to all studies are in each one) beginning with A History Of Jerusalem: In The Beginning


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This Day In History, February 28

202 BC: Liu Bang became Emperor Gaozu of Han, beginning four centuries of the Han Dynasty of China (see also The First Chinese American War).

China

628 Persian King Khosrau II was assassinated (see also The Decrees Of The Persian Kings).

Persians

1066: Westminster Abbey opened. Originally an abbey church of Benedictine monks, it became a national shrine of Britain.

1525: Aztec King Cuauhtemoc was executed by the invasion forces of Hernan Cortes.

1638: The Scottish National Covenant was signed in Edinburgh.

1692: The Salem, Massachusetts witch hysteria began (see also What Is Sorcery?).

Witch Trials

1759: Pope Clement XIII granted permission for the Bible to be translated into the languages of the Roman Catholic states - provided that it was read and "interpreted" only by Catholic priests.

1784: John Wesley of the Church of England established his "Methodist Church" (also known as "the Wesleyan faith" or "the Methodists").

1825: A treaty was signed between King George IV of Britain and Czar Nicholas I of Russia to establish the border between Canada and Russian America (the official Russian term for what is today known as Alaska). Russia sold the wilderness area to the U.S. in 1867, thereby making it the only U.S. territory in North America to not be seized by rebellion or military conquest.

Alaska

1843: The Great March Comet of 1843 made its closest approach to the sun, only 120,000 km., less than a tenth of the solar diameter. For a few hours that day, the comet outshone any comet seen in the previous 7 centuries. Burning in the daytime sky like a brilliant, tailed star less than 1 degree from the limb of the sun, the comet's astronomical magnitude may have reached -17, more than 60 times brighter than the full moon. The tail eventually reached a length of 68 degrees, 3 weeks after perihelion, estimated to have stretched 300,000,000 km. across the inner solar system. The last time a comet was seen that close to the sun was in 1106.

1844: On the Potomac River, the U.S. navy was demonstrating its new frigate Princeton when one of its guns exploded, killing Secretary of State Abel Upshur, Navy Secretary Thomas Gilmer and some other government officials.

1917: During the First World War (1914-1918), total ships sunk for the month by German submarines: 212.

1922: Britain declared Egypt's independence (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire), while keeping control of the Suez Canal (see also A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).

1940: British Colonial Secretary MacDonald terminated all further land sales to Jews in "Palestine" (see Where Is Palestine?). The move was officially intended to prevent arousing the Arabs, thereby destabilizing the region, which would have benefited Nazi Germany.

1940: The superliner Queen Elizabeth was launched in Britain.

1948: The last British troops left India which had then become independent.

1954: The U.S. detonated its second hydrogen bomb, at Bikini atoll. The expected yield of the weapon of mass destruction was 8 megatons; the actual yield turned out to be 15 megatons (see also Who Would Throw A Nuclear Boomerang?).

1969: A Los Angeles court refused Robert Kennedy's assassin Sirhan Sirhan's request to be executed.

1974: The U.S. and Egypt re-established diplomatic relations after 7 years.

1993: The siege at Waco, Texas, began after U.S. federal agents tried to serve an arrest warrant for weapons charges on Branch Davidian sect leader David Koresh.

1996: Russia entered as the 39th member of the Council of Europe.

1997: An earthquake in northern Iran killed over 3,000 people.

2013: Pope Benedict XVI resigned - the first pope to do so since 1415.





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Copyright © Wayne Blank