1. Judges 16:3 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

What is important to know about the ancient city gate?

Judges 16:3 (ESV)

3 But Samson lay till midnight, and at midnight he arose and took hold of the doors of the gate of the city and the two posts, and pulled them up, bar and all, and put them on his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that is in front of Hebron.

The city gate was the most vulnerable point of all ancient cities, as the one opening in the city wall. It was, therefore, the natural target of enemy armies. So, it was a highly fortified unit, at least two stories high, with massive towers on either end. The two gate doors were made of heavy timber (with some estimating they weighed between 5,000 and 10,000 pounds1 ). The posts were on each end of the gate and joined to the wall. And when the gate was shut, a heavy crossbar secured it, and there was no way to open the gate. Leading up to the gate from the inside you had a corridor, a passageway within the surrounding wall. On either side of this corridor were rooms, guardrooms, likely six in total, built into the wall itself, a number of stories high. That is likely where the men were stored away, to fall upon Samson as he tried to exit the city through this passageway.2