Background: The last time Yeshua (Jesus) entered the Jewish Temple was 5 days before his crucifixion or should it also be said about a week before his subsequent resurrection? Read about it in Matthew 21:10-12 and Mark 11: 1-11. It was recorded for a reason and you reader are part of that reason. There is reason also to believe that Yeshua entered through the east gate.
Ezekiel 44 1-3 gives us the reason why the gate was sealed (the God of Isra'el, has gone through it) and more recent history gives us the answer as to why people actually sealed up the gates. This present gate was built or rebuilt by the Byzantines or the Muslims. It appears the wall and gate we see now was built upon another gate. See Fleming. Perhaps that lower gate was also sealed. Until Israel takes over the administration of the Temple Mount and archaeologists are allowed to excavate the site, we may not know. My guess is that it was sealed. Perhaps methods of discovery will be created that can prob the underlying older gate(s) without actually digging, I think this is a possibility.
But from the account in Matthew, the Son of God goes into his Father's Temple for the last time, over turns the money changing tables in the Gentile court and asks, isn't it written in that my house shall be called the house of worship for all people, but you have made it a den of thieves. So 40 years or so later the Temple was destroyed. A Roman temple was erected in its place and later the Dome of the Rock, perhaps originally the Byzantines had built this structure but now it is a mosque. But many question with good reason whether the location of the domed structure was actually built on the Temple site. Regardless, here only Arab monotheism can be practiced and only Muslims can legally pray. So the thieves have taken temporary possession as once had the money exchangers. Perhaps soon this same Messiah will enter through that east gate again drive out the thieves and restore this area as a place of prayer for all nations. The Muslims under the Ottoman Empire had no doubt sealed the gate. The Mohammedans of that time believed the Jewish Messiah would enter by that gate. They placed a Muslim cemetery in front of the gate believing the Messiah would not cross that area. Somehow in all of this they believed to some extent what some followers of Yeshua believe now, that the Messiah would return, clean his Father's house and restore the Temple mount to an area of prayer for all nations and in that process permanently over turn the table of the thieves.
The Muslims have served a purpose for the time being. They have sealed the gate. They have kept both the Jews and other nations from the worshiping at the temple mount. Sadly for them the slaves do not remain in the house forever as do the children. (John 8:35) There is still an opportunity for them to join the family of God. Yeshua said, believe that I am he or you will die in your sins, they still have time to only believe.
For another historical & Biblical description of the east gate and a photo go here
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