The “entrance” (Heb., peʹthach; Ge 19:11) of a room, a house, or some other building consisting of: (1) the “upper part of the doorway” (Heb., mash·qohphʹ; Ex 12:7), that is, the lintel, a horizontal beam of wood or stone spanning the door-opening at the top and carrying the weight of the structure above the door; (2) the two upright “doorposts” (Heb., mezu·zothʹ; Ex 12:7, ftn), one on each side of the doorway, on which the lintel rests; (3) the door (Heb., deʹleth; Gr., thyʹra) itself; (4) the “threshold” (Heb., saph [Jg 19:27]) lying beneath the door.
The lintel and doorposts of the entrances of Israelite houses in Egypt were obediently splashed with the blood of the Passover victim as a sign for God’s angel to pass over such homes and not destroy their firstborn. (Ex 12:7, 22, 23) According to the Law, if a slave (male or female) desired to remain permanently in his master’s service, the master brought the slave up against the door or the doorpost and pierced his ear through with an awl. (Ex 21:5, 6; De 15:16, 17) The Hebrew word for doorpost (mezu·zahʹ) has come to be applied to a small container called a mezuzah. It is nailed to the doorpost by Orthodox Jews and contains a parchment bearing the words of Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 11:13-21.—See MEZUZAH.
The door was generally made of wood, and many of them turned on pivots fitted into sockets in the lintel and the threshold. (Pr 26:14) Door pivots were often wooden, but the Egyptians sometimes fastened to a door’s lower and upper ends metal hinges having projections that fitted into sockets, these doors thus pivoting in that way. Sockets for the doors of the temple built by Solomon were of gold.—1Ki 7:48, 50.
Doors of average homes were small and not ornate. But the entrance of Solomon’s temple had two, two-leaved juniper-wood doors, and there were two doors made of oil-tree wood leading to the Most Holy, all these doors having carved representations of cherubs, palm trees, and blossoms, overlaid with gold. (1Ki 6:31-35) Large doors having folding sections or leaves were also used elsewhere. For instance, Jehovah saw to it that Babylon’s copper “two-leaved doors” were opened to King Cyrus.—Isa 45:1, 2.
Doors of houses or gates were sometimes fastened by means of bars or crossbeams of wood or iron (Isa 45:2; De 3:5; 2Ch 8:5; 14:7), usually affixed in a way that allowed them to be slid into sockets in gateposts or doorposts. City gates sometimes had both bars and bolts. (Ne 3:3; 7:3) The bolt may have been a rod or shaft that could be moved into a socket in the threshold inside the gate. Some city gates had locks (De 33:25), as did the doors of houses.—2Sa 13:17, 18; Lu 11:7; see GATE, GATEWAY; LOCK.
Metal door knockers were used to some extent, but the Bible does not specifically say the Hebrews employed them. To rouse the occupants of a house, one knocked on the door of the house or of the gateway.—Ca 5:2; Ac 12:13.
Figurative Use. Jesus Christ encouraged persistence, saying: “Keep on knocking, and it will be opened to you.” (Mt 7:7) At Revelation 3:20, Christ states that he is “standing at the door and knocking,” with spiritual fellowship and benefit assured to the one opening the door and receiving him.
If the Shulammite girl had been unsteady in love and virtue, like a door turning on its pivots, her brothers determined to “block her up with a cedar plank,” thus barring the “door” shut and preventing its swinging open to anyone unwholesome.—Ca 8:8, 9.
Leviathan, with its double jaw, is represented as having “doors” in its face. (Job 41:1, 13, 14) The congregator observed that in the case of the aged man “the doors onto the street have been closed,” perhaps to show that the two doors of the mouth no longer open very much or at all to give expression of what is in the house of the body.—Ec 12:1, 4.
Jesus Christ recommended vigorous exertion to gain salvation, “to get in through the narrow door.” (Lu 13:23, 24; Php 3:13, 14; compare Mt 7:13, 14.) On another occasion he likened himself to the door of a figurative sheepfold, Jesus being the right kind of shepherd who leads his “little flock” into a relationship with Jehovah on the basis of the new covenant sealed with Jesus’ own blood. (Lu 12:32; Joh 10:7-11) Jesus’ likening himself to such a door harmonizes with the fact that through him, by virtue of his ransom sacrifice, sheeplike persons can approach God, be saved, and gain life.—Joh 14:6.
Jehovah was responsible for opening to the nations “the door to faith.” (Ac 14:27) Paul remained at Ephesus for a time because “a large door that leads to activity” in declaring the good news had been opened to him there.—1Co 16:8, 9; Ac 19:1-20; compare 2Co 2:12, 13; Col 4:3, 4.
In vision, John saw “an opened door in heaven,” which enabled him to see future things and enter, as it were, into the presence of Jehovah.—Re 4:1-3.