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Sheep Gate

SHEEP GATE (Heb. sha‘ar ha-tsō’n). A gate of Jerusalem mentioned in Neh.3.1, Neh.3.32; Neh.12.39. It was probably near the NE corner of the wall as Nehemiah built it, but about one-fourth mile (about one-half km.) inward from the present NE corner of the wall.


SHEEP GATE (שַׁ֣עַר הַצֹּ֑אן, the gate of the flock; [ἡ πύλη] ἡ προβατική, the [gate] pertaining to sheep). The easternmost entrance into the N side of the ancient city of Jerusalem, q.v., III, A (Neh 12:39; John 5:2).

The Sheep Gate marked the terminus in the circuit of the walls, as rebuilt in 444 b.c. and as recorded by Nehemiah (Neh 3:1, 32). Almost five centuries later Christ healed the man who had been lame for thirty-eight years at the neighboring Pool of Beth-zatha (Bethesda) (John 5:2-9). This in turn confirms the location of the Sheep Gate, since pilgrim reports of the 4th Christian cent., the mosaic map from Madeba (5th cent.), and modern excavation of the large double pools by the Church of St. Anne, unite to confirm the NE location of Beth-zatha, q.v., and hence of the Gate.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(sha`ar ha-tso’-n (Ne 3:1,32; 12:39)): One of the gates of Jerusalem, probably near the northeast corner. See Jerusalem. For the "sheep gate" of Joh 5:2, see Bethesda; Sheep Market.

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