Beautiful Gate

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According to the New Testament, the Beautiful Gate was one of the gates belonging to the Temple in Jerusalem prior to its destruction by the Romans in AD 70. It was referred to as "beautiful" in chapter 3 of the Acts of the Apostles:

  • την θυραν του ιερου την λεγομενην ωραιαν (the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful) [1]
  • τη ωραια πυλη του ιερου (the Beautiful Gate of the temple)[2]

According to the Acts narrative, there was a habitual beggar there with a congenital disability, who sought alms as people entered and left the temple. Peter says to him, "I have no gold and silver but I have something else". Then taking the man's right hand, he helped the man up and immediately the man's legs and arm became strong again and he was able to walk and move instead of laying there begging.

Attempts by scholars to agree on the identity of the gate by one of its recognized names have met with little success although both the upper inner gate, the Nicanor, and the lower outer gate, the Shushan, have been suggested as candidates. The Greek adjective used to name the gate (hōraios) can be defined as '1. happening or coming at the right time —2. beautiful, fair, lovely'.[3]

Some scholars believe the word may refer more to ripeness than to beauty.[4]