Solomon's Gate at Gezer

On Tel Gezer, archaeologists have uncovered the remains of a huge, six-chambered gate complex, dating to Solomon's time (920 BC). This once huge gate complex stands only 4-5 feet tall today.

With the street pavement partially gone, one can see the exposed sewer channel.' The sewer ran under the street, through the city, and into the valley beyond. It drained seasonal rain and carried away sewage. The sewer emptied into the "swamp," a cesspool of refuse, animal carcasses, and even human bodies.

In Jerusalem, this valley of sewage was called the Hinnon (ge-hinnom in Hebrew, from which the Greek word gehenna comes, which Jesus used to designate hell [Matt. 5:22]). Not only was this valley filled with the city's garbage, but in the Hinnom the worshippers of Baal sacrificed their children by fire (2 Chron. 28:3). To the Hebrews, the valley, with its filth, rottenness, fire, and burning flesh, symbolized a place of torment for those who reject God (hell).

On the right and left of the sewer channel, the remains of each gate chamber can still be distinguished. Based on archaeological remains, the gatehouse at Gezer was over 45 feet wide, nearly 60 feet long, and contained three chambers on each side of the street.

King Solomon fortified the three key cities of Gezer, Hazor, and Megiddo with huge six-chambered gates. Since these cities were at critical places on a major trade route, the Via Maris, Solomon was able to exert significant influence on the nations surrounding Israel at that time.