From my understanding about the # 12 – I see where it stands for Divine power and authority, I don’t want to say it means completion per say because this number has many function that it operates in and if we don’t study carefully we can be easily misled, Our year for instance carry twelve months – which produces us with the breaking down of 4 seasons in some countries, This is what Rabbi Geoffrey Denis said about the # 4 and I quote:
Four is a recurrent number in both exoteric and esoteric Jewish traditions. The Passover Seder is particularly structured around fours: the Four Questions, the Four Sons, and four cups of wine. There are four cardinal directions and there are four Matriarchs. Four is also a common factor in esoteric interpretations: four angels surround the Throne of Glory, there are four kingdoms of the eschaton, and the famous four Sages who enter Paradise.
So we see clearly that every thing on earth has a birth place, so when Esaw pick on himself to give away his birth right he had been saying clearly – hes no longer apart of the house of light and esteem. when we preach another doctrine that’s not scriptural it shows that we have walked away from our true DNA. And this is my point here that from what the Rabbi proven above concerns the # 4 tells us that our entire life being is connected to divine foundation. Let me come back to the # 12 like I had mention above its not only completion and it ends there but it is more to that….from my studies I recognize that it stands for YHWH super powers in bringing wholeness to the body of Mashiach . See what the book of YOVHELIYM (JUBILEES) chapter 25 : 16 said [This is what Ribqah prayed over her son Ya’aqov]
And may he make your sons many during your life, and may they arise according to the number of the months of the year. And may their sons become many and great beyond the stars of heaven, and their numbers be more than the sand of the sea
So from this prayer we can rightly say the months birth stools are the sons of Ya’aqov – which means that these twelve boys represent each month and if we so want to go further we can lookup the meaning of their names and we can see why that month was given the name it carries.. From my studies a birth stool means whatever goes on it is automatically yours – in other words you have just become the owner of this thing that’s birthed out.
In the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible, a different gemstone is listed for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. They are, in the 1st row, carnelian, chrysolite, and emerald; in the 2ndrow, turquoise, sapphire, and amethyst; in the 3rd row, jacinth, agate, and crystal; in the 4th row, beryl, lapis lazuli, and jasper.
Scriptures that mentioned the # 12 below:
Shemoth (Exodus) 15:27 – [ 12 foundations of water ]
Bemidbar (Numbers) 13 [ Mosheh sent out the 12 Spies ]
Luqas (Luke) 2: 41-52 [ When Yahshua was 12 years of age ]
Mattithyahu (Matthew) 10 [ Yahshua sent out the 12 ]
Hazon (Revelation) 21:12 [ 12 gates ]
Nehemyah (Nehemiah) 3 ( the 12 gates)
I put more information below – for those who may want to know what these 12 gates singify
The spiritual meaning of the gates of Jerusalem
As mentioned, the gates of Jerusalem have both a personal and prophetic aspect. I’ll use a table to display this so that you can read which ever column you want.
The Gate of Jerusalem Personal Significance Prophetic/Historical Significance
The very first gate mentioned is the sheep gate. It was called the sheep gate because this was the gate which the sheep and lambs used in the sacrifice were bought through.
Personal aspect: No prizes for knowing that this speaks of the very first experience we come into in our Christian life – that is, a realisation that Jesus was the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. The sheep gate then speaks to us of the cross and the sacrifice that was made for our sins. It is the starting point of everything but you will also notice if you read the entire chapter that the sheep gate is also mentioned at the very end once we have come full circle. That is because everything starts and ends with Jesus’ death on the cross. Prophetic aspect: This gate points to the first coming of Jesus Christ 2000 years ago to be the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). He is the sacrifice foretold in this sheep gate. He is the door by which everyone must enter to be saved (John 10:7-9).
(Neh 3:3 )
The Fish gate was mentioned next. It was called the fish gate because the fisherman of Galilee would bring their catch in through this gate to be sold.
Personal aspect: For us, it speaks of evangelism as we have been called to be ‘fishers of men’ (Matt 4:19). It is a natural progression in our Christian life that after seeing that Jesus died for our sins, we would then want to tell others about it. Surveys have shown that believers who have been saved less than two years win the most people to the Lord. Their simple testimony of what Jesus has done in their lives qualifies them to be great ‘fishers of men.’ So this is the next step in the Christian life. Prophetic aspect: This gate speaks of the church in the first century (the apostolic era) where believers on fire for God sacrificed all and went out to turn the world upside down with the message of Jesus Christ! And that is what happened. Starting with the Jews and then travelling out to the Gentiles in the then known world, the Apostles and disciples of the Lord truly were ‘fishers of men’ and the growth of Christianity spread rapidly during the first century.
Following from the Fish gate was the Old gate. Nehemiah is the only book in the Bible where it is called the Old gate and it may have been one of the original gates made.
Personal aspect: This speaks to us of the old ways of truth. A young Christian having experienced the sheep gate, then the fish gate, soon sees the need for experiencing the old gate. This means learning the old ways of truth that never change. Jeremiah 6:16 states ‘Thus says the Lord, Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls.’ Too many Christian’s today want something new. The latest teaching, the latest experience… Or they try to change truth to make it acceptable with what the world thinks is right ‘today’ (which may not be the same as what it thinks ‘tomorrow’.) But the Ancient of Days calls us back to His long established ways that do not change and remain the same yesterday, today and forever. Prophetic aspect: Prophetically this speaks of the period of the Church Fathers around 100-325 AD (sometimes known as the Ante-Nicene era). This was a period where a defence of the faith and the truth of God were further established to counter attacks and persecution from unbelievers.
Several valleys surround Jerusalem and this gate apparently opened out to the valleyof Hinnom.
Personal aspect: Examining the picture above you notice that there is a long distance before you come to the next gate, which is the valley gate. For a new Christian the Lord allows a ‘honeymoon’ type period where He teaches you and His presence is strong in your life. This can go on for some time as indicated by the positioning of the old and valley gates. But sooner or later the valley gate must come. The valley gate speaks to us of humbling and trials – valley type experiences used by the Lord for our personal growth. Never easy but the Christian needs to remember that in the natural nothing really grows on the mountain tops, but it certainly does down in the valleys. So it is in the spiritual. Never a nice experience but it always produces fruit. Prophetic aspect: In the history of the church the valley gate would speak of the humbling and suppression of the true church following on from when ‘Christianity’ was made a state religion under Constantine (~390AD). Pagan rituals were adapted and brought into the ‘church’ and spiritual regression ensued. This long period continued with the ‘dark ages’ and the further establishment of Roman Catholicism as the face of ‘Christianity’ to the world.
Dung (Refuse) Gate
All of Jerusalem’s refuse and rubbish was taken out through the dung gate, down to the valley of Hinnom, where it would be burned.
Personal aspect: Again there is quite a distance to the next gate indicating that, unfortunately, the valley experience can carry on for some time. But the result of that experience is clearly seen in this next gate – the dung gate. This is where the rubbish is removed and this is what happens in our own life. Valley experiences are used by the Lord to clear away the rubbish so that true faith, refined by the fire, can come forth and produce fruit. Clearing away the rubbish in our lives is never easy but the benefits of this experience can be seen in the next gate. You will notice also that at this point of your Christian life there is a dramatic ‘turning of the corner’ that takes place. From the diagram above, up until this point we have been moving downward and the experiences have been hard, but having come to this point there is a sharp turn in the road and we begin to move upward again. Prophetic aspect: The dung gate speaks of the rubbish that became established within the ‘church’ during the dark and medieval ages leading up to the reformation. Some of doctrinal ‘rubbish’ that needed removing included the teachings of indulgences, purgatory, salvation by various sacraments and works, exaltation of Mary as the ‘Mother of God’ and the man-made church hierarchy and papal authority. There was a lot to be removed!
The fountain gate is located near the pool of Siloah and was often used by the people for cleaning before proceeding on to the temple.
Personal aspect: You will notice from the picture that the fountain gate is located extremely close to the dung gate. In other words, after a valley type experience where rubbish in our lives is cleared out through the dung gate, true faith comes forth and the fountains begin to flow quite quickly! This speaks to us of the living waters of the Holy Spirit that cleanse our lives and empower us for our Christian life. Jesus said: ‘Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” (John 7:38) Prophetic aspect: In church history, this speaks of the period beginning with the reformation (1517-1600). It was a time when the truth of God’s word was established again as Bibles were printed for the common man to read and the key truth of salvation by grace through faith opened the fountains of salvation to flow again.
The Water Gate led down to the Gihon Spring which was located adjacent to the Kidron Valley
Personal aspect: The next gate we arrive at is the water gate. The water gate is a picture of the word of God and its effect in our life. Eph 5:26 states ‘… having washed her by the water of the word.’ Psalm 119:9 states that it is only through God’s word that we can be clean. It is no coincidence that this gate was located next to the fountain gate as the two often go together. The Holy Spirit is the one who makes the word of God alive to us personally, allowing cleansing, encouragement and direction to take place in our life. Prophetic aspect: From 1600-1900 the word of God made a dramatic impact in the lives of many around the world. Some of the great men of God preached the word including John Bunyan in the time of the Puritans, John Wesley, George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon, D.L Moody among others. The preaching and cleansing of the word went forth into countries and continents previously starved of the word through men such as Hudson Taylor, Adoraim Judson and William Carey.
The horse gate was close to the King’s stables and the men of Jerusalem would ride their horses out of this gate to war.
Personal aspect: The horse gate speaks to us of warfare as horses were used in battle and became a symbol of war. Revelation 19:11 ‘I saw Heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness does He judge and make war.’ Spiritual warfare, as we will see in this entire study on Nehemiah, is a requirement of every Christian because we are all in a battle whether we know it or not. It is also interesting that the horse gate follows the water (word) gate for as the word goes forth the spiritual warfare is sure to increase! Prophetic aspect: Horses speak of speed and war. From the 1900’s onwards both of these certainly apply! The speed of medical, technological, industrial and scientific advancements was beyond comparison. And yet with it came two world wars, countless wars between nations and constant ethnic unrest. For the church it has been one battle after another with the rise of the cults, Biblical criticism. Modernism and liberalism leading to an increasing apostasy within the church. The ultimate fulfilment prophetically of the horse gate will be in the Tribulation – the Day of the Lord as described in Revelation 6-19.
The East gate is located on the opposite side of the Mount of Olives.
Personal aspect: Ezekiel 44:1-3 ‘… the gate that looked toward the east, and it was shut. The Lord said to me, ‘This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it, for the Lord God of Israel has entered by it.’ The east gate opens and looks toward the Mount of Olives and we know that when Jesus returns He will return to this mount. (Zech 14:4). He will then enter Jerusalem by the east gate. The east gate then speaks of the return of Jesus Christ. For our Christian life it shows us of our need to live with this hope and to long for His return. A specific crown is even given to those who do this (2 Tim 4:8). Prophetic aspect: Please take note how the last three gates (Horse, East and Inspection gate) in the picture are very close together because so are the events which they symbolise. Prophetically the east gate is very close to the horse gate because the day of God’s wrath ends with the coming of the Lord Jesus to Jerusalem on earth. (See Zech chapter 14).
Also known as the Miphkad gate. The word in Hebrew has a military connection and according to tradition it was at this gate that David would meet his troops to inspect them.
Personal aspect: The final gate is the inspection gate. This gate speaks to us of the examination of our lives by the Lord. This occurs in this life as indicated by Paul in 1 Cor 4:4: ‘For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord.’ The ultimate fulfilment is at the Bema seat of Christ (as spoken of in 1 Cor 3:10-15, 2 Cor 5:10) where our lives are inspected and rewarded appropriately. In our Christian experience we should be living with this in mind. We are called to live our lives with eternity in view, caring more for the things of eternity than the temporal that we see around us. Prophetic aspect: Following the return of the Lord there is a judgement of the nations that will occur as well. This is recorded in the sheep and the goats judgement in Mathew 25:31-46. From here he will separate all the people who survived the tribulation into those that can enter into His kingdom on earth (sheep) and those that are to go into everlasting destruction (the goats). And then the Lion of Judah shall reign in His Messianic Kingdom!
The lives and attitudes of the workers.
There are a few more important points that can come out of a chapter like this, which should be stated. So far we have looked at the gates and their spiritual meaning, but there are other points from the lives of the workers that we can learn from.
THE TWELVE GATES OF JERUSALEM
(Nehemiah, chs. 3 and 12)1
- The Valley Gate (2:13; 3:13). Cp. 2Chron. 26:9.
- The Gate of the Fountain (2:14; 3:15; 12:37), on Ophel at the Gihon spring (that mentioned in 2Kings 25:4. Jer. 39:4).
- The Sheep Gate (3:1; 12:39). North of the Temple.
- The Fish Gate (3:3; 12:39). Cp. 2Chron. 33:14. Zeph. 1:10.
- The Old Gate (3:6; 12:39). Cp. 2Chron. 33:14, and 2Kings 22:14, “college”. Called also the “First Gate” (Zech. 14:10).
- The Dung Gate (2:14; 3:14; 12:31). Probably same as Harsith Gate (Jer. 19:2); sometimes rendered the Gate of Potsherds, from heres, a potter’s vessel. (N.B. Better = Pottery Gate) Leading to Hinnom. See Ap. 68 VIII, where the positions of the gates differ from the above and are more probably correct.
- The Water Gate (3:25, 26).
- The Horse Gate (3:28). Cp. 2Kings 11:16. 2Chron. 23:15. Jer. 31:40. South-east of the Temple, and close to the city and house of David.
- The East Gate (3:29). East of the Temple, and connected with it.
- The Gate of Miphkad (3:31). Probably north-east of Temple. ( = The Registry Gate.)
- The Gate of Ephraim (8:16; 12:39). Cp. 2Chron. 25:23.
- The Prison Gate (12:39), or Gate of the Guard (2Kings 11:6, 19).