Back to top

The Gates of Jerusalem

The Gates of Jerusalem. A Walking Tour of the Old City's Historic Gates

Donald D. Binder

New Book Launch!

Front cover of Book The chaplain to the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, the Rev Dr Donald D. Binder, has written a short guidebook on the gates of Jerusalem. Finding himself out for exercise during lockdown, Binder started walking around the Old City walls in Jerusalem and then posting some material about the gates on Facebook. This grew into the current e-book which provides readers with a readable and illustrated introduction to the gates. The walk around the Old City is just under three miles and gives a splendid geographical orientation. The book is peppered with historical and archaeological detail but also connects into present day life in the city and provides prayers at each gate, resulting in a kind of Stations of the Cross focused on the gates.

The book begins with a general introduction to gates in the bible, noting their significance as places of community, business and defence. The walking tour begins at Jerusalem’s main gate, Damascus Gate and walks anti-clockwise around the city walls incorporating the well-known eight gates as follows: Damascus Gate (looking north to Damascus), New Gate (opened in the 19th century), Jaffa Gate (on the road to Jaffa), Zion Gate (on Mount Zion), Dung Gate (associated with the trash and dung taken out to the Gehenna Valley), Golden Gate (closed but associated with the coming of the messiah at the end of time), Lion’s Gate (with its carvings of Lion’s) and Herod’s Gate (associated with one of the famous Herod family). But Binder adds other less well-known gates as well: the Essene Gate, the Tanner’s Gate, the Huldah Gates, the Gate to Zedekiah’s Cave and the Judgement Gate. He also includes walled up gates unnoticed by most visitors.

All the gates have background and significance in the history of Jerusalem and Binder draws out the peculiarities and associations of each one. The book is illustrated with maps of the Old City showing the location of the gates, pictures of the gates themselves and artwork showing associated events.

The author has studied with the New Testament scholar Victor Paul Furnish and with the archaeologist James Strange (famous for his work as Sepphoris in Galilee). Binder himself has written on the Jerusalem temple and on ancient synagogues. He is well-placed, therefore, to lead readers around Jerusalem. The book can obviously be used in Jerusalem but can also be used wherever you find yourself. It is available as an e-book or in hard copy from the author at ddbinder@gmail.com.