Genesis 24:60 And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, “Our sister, may you increase to thousands upon thousands; may your offspring possess the cities of their enemies.”

Genesis 22:17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies,

Genesis 24:60 - here the family members of Rebecca bless her with this saying. Genesis 22:17 - here Isaac (or Jesus) is blessed with this saying.

Jesus is the 'natural' seed of both Rebecca and Isaac. Wonderfull because the people who blessed Rebecca with this saying, did not know Isaac (or his Seed, Jesus) was blessed with the same!

So, me is trying to find what this means...

Does anyone know if, in the Hebrew, possessing the gates of your enemies, has some kind of symbolic meaning aswell?

Many thanks and kind regards,


UPDATE 02-04-2021 - maybe there is no other meaning than 'be victorious!'in the natural and spiritual aspects of life. Looking for a meaning to this saying that is (exclusively) understandable in Hebrew , but maybe not so easy to find in our languages. @ Nigel: sorry for the 'against the rules short' comment, I tried to edit it but 5 minutes passed already.

  • 2
    The saying is clearly a metaphor. It may be literally applicable to material situations but also has a much wider meaning applicable to any kind of situation involving conflict of any kind. Please see the Tour and the Help (below, bottom left) as to the purpose and functioning of the site. Welcome to BH.
    – Nigel J
    Apr 1, 2021 at 12:00
  • Thankyou for the awnser and welcome Nigel. Apr 2, 2021 at 15:49

2 Answers 2


Deuteronomy 21:18 If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. 20They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” 21Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.

Amos 5:12 For I know how many are your transgressions and how great are your sins— you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and turn aside the needy in the gate.

The gate of a city was where justice (injustice) was conducted. Also, this was where the defense was fortified.

Isaiah 22:7 Your choicest valleys are full of chariots, and horsemen are posted at the city gates.

Genesis 24:60 And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, “Our sister, may you become the mother of thousands upon thousands. May your offspring possess the gates of their enemies.”

In effect, this was a blessing of conquest. The descendants of Rebeka would conquer their enemies.

Is there a symbolic meaning to 'possessing the gates of your enemies' in the Hebrew language?

It means to take over complete control of the cities of their enemies.

  • Just FYI, (2 Samuel 15:2-3) Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way to the gate; and when any man had a suit to come to the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, “From what city are you?” And he would say, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.” ....Even Absalom tried to win the hearts of the people by taking the role of judge at the city's gate. Oct 21, 2022 at 20:56

I think Jesus was probably referring to this very promise when He said:

“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭16‬:‭18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

God promised in Genesis 3 that the “Seed” would crush the head of the devil. This is probably more of the same language, which Jesus later refers to in the aforementioned passage (among many others).

  • 1
    Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Nov 22, 2023 at 4:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.