This indicates something is missing, there being a weak, vulnerable point. There is no need to break down a whole wall to gain access, just a segment “through which they advance as through a gaping breach” (Job 30:14). God looked for a person who would build up the wall (of Jerusalem) and stand before Him in the gap but could find no one (Ezek 22:30).

Often this thought is used in intercession whereby the prayer warrior stands in the gaping hole, affording a defense against the enemy by praying for others who, for whatever reason, are not aware of their predicament and danger. “The Lord looked and was displeased…He was appalled that there was no one to intercede” (Isa 59:16). Failing to stand in the gap for others is giving authority for the enemy to take advantage and wreak havoc in their lives and situations. Instead may this be true of us, “You will be called a repairer of broken walls” (Isa 58:12). As Christians we are to pray and intercede for others, even as Jesus intercedes on our behalf (Rom 8:34; 1 Tim 2:1,2,5; Heb 7:25; 1 Jn 2:1).

The walls of Jerusalem were being repaired and “the gaps were being closed…and not a gap was left in it” (Neh 4:7,15-23, 6:1). Even once completed and secure there had to be ongoing vigilance to ensure the entry points or gates were monitored to prevent entry by any unwelcome intruders

Will I stand in the gap for the sake of others? – Nehemiah 4:14

(Neh 7:3). The metaphorical walls around our lives must be in good condition, and the entry points consistently scrutinised as Satan and the evil powers of this world are always on the prowl to seize any opportunity to gain the advantage over us and gain access (1 Pet 5:8). This calls for us to be alert to the temptations that we are confronted with and our own vulnerable humanity.

Between the final OT book (Malachi) and the angel's announcement of the birth of John the Baptist in 4 BC there was a gap in God's communication to the Israelites for almost 400 years. This is known as the Intertestamental Period or silent years.

See also: bridge, entry points, intercession, prayer, silent years, vulnerable, walls.