David is nearing the end of his life and wants everything in order. His main concern is for the new Temple Solomon will build. Gatekeepers are his focus today.
David is systematically getting things in order. He started with plans for the Temple, moved to the Levites, then the priests, next the musicians and today the gatekeepers. He wants to leave nothing out. The gatekeepers were a group of 4,000 of the Levites that David dedicated to this task.
The gates were given out by lot to one family clan at a time. Shelemiah received the east gate. Zechariah, the son of Shelemiah received the north gate as his family’s obligation. Obed-edom’s family by FAR the largest received the south gate. Shuppim and Hoash got the west gate.
The west gate was the one that allowed access to the proposed Temple from the main road. The other gates were important but I believe most people would approach from this direction. The eastern gate had the greatest number of watches. The watch changed six times each day for this gate, while all the others changed four times a day. The gatehouses had the least with two watches a day as did the colonnade on the west. The road leading to the colonnade had four like the other gates.
The west seems the most heavily guarded side with gatekeepers on the road and at the colonnade. From what I can gather from the plans online, there was no gate into the Temple on this side. This was to be the backside of the Temple and it abutted the wall. I’m assuming people would be coming up the road and flowing around the perimeter to enter the Temple.
The Temple would face east, just as the Tabernacle did. The freshest eyes would be watching to main entrance to the Temple on the eastern side. This is where the largest gate would be located. It was the main entrance. The gates to the south and north were for specific purposes. Most people would not be allowed through these gates. The eastern gate was into the Temple courtyard proper.
I was thinking about how this applies to our lives. The gates reminded me of how we are to be on guard regarding things we let into our lives. We need to be on guard against things in our past (behind us) but also looking forward. The backside should have a protective wall built to keep us separated from what was before but NEVER believe that all is quiet beyond the wall. Keep watch but don’t focus your whole attention there.
Be more alert to what is coming ahead. Keep fresh eyes on what you welcome into your ‘main gate’ as it is wide open. At the same time watch for things ‘out of left field’. Things come at you seemingly out of nowhere. We need to have ‘guards’ in place to keep it from hurting us.
Father God, my ‘guards’ are only human. Yours are perfect! Be my rear guard. Be the one who guards against intrusion and harm. Set Your angels around me. Help me guard against what is damaging, no matter how it tries to enter my ‘dwelling.’