Dimensions of the Tabernacle Courtyard, Part 3

“The Tabernacle which God commanded the people of Israel to construct in the Wilderness of Sin, and in
connection with which all their religious services and ceremonies were instituted, was, the Apostle Paul
assures us,
a shadow of good things to come. (Heb 8:5; 10:1; Col. 2:17) This being true, our
understanding of the plan and work of salvation now in progress, as well as their
(i.e. natural
) future development, cannot fail to be greatly enlightened by a careful study of those
shadows" which the Israelites, for our edification, were caused to repeat year by year
continually until the Gospel age introduced their antitypes--the realities.
1 Pet 1:11; Heb 10:1-3

It is not simply to gain a historical knowledge of the Jewish forms, ceremonies and worship that we come
to the investigation of this subject, but that we may be edified by understanding
the substance (the
reality or antitype
) from an examination of the shadow as God designed in arranging it. Realizing
God's care in making the "
shadow" (his exactness in its construction and insistence that every minute
detail associated with its services be exactly performed upon penalty of death
) should not only give us
confidence in its correctness
, that not one jot or title of it shall fail until all be fulfilled (Matt 5:18), but
should also awaken in us so great an interest in God's plan as would lead us to examine closely and
search carefully for the meaning of those shadows.”

The Tabernacle was a house constructed of a series of boards of shittim (acacia) wood, "
overlaid" or
plated with gold, set on end into sockets of silver, and firmly fastened together by bars of the same
wood, also covered with gold.
It consisted of two chambers the first upon entering was designated
“Holy” and the second beyond a veil which divided the two chambers was designated the
“Most Holy” together these two compartments constituted the Tabernacle proper. This structure as a
whole was covered first by a large white linen cloth, interwoven with figures of cherubim, in blue, purple
and scarlet, followed by three additional coverings one of goats hair, another dyed red of rams skins, and
the last of seal skins.

“The Tabernacle was surrounded by a yard, or "
Court," toward the rear of which it stood. This court, 75
feet wide and 150 feet long was formed by a fence of linen curtains…
This enclosure was all holy
ground, and was therefore called the
"Holy Place"--also the "Court of the Tabernacle" (Bible
Students simply refer to it as the “
courtyard). Its opening, like the door of the Tabernacle, was towards
the east, and was called the
"Gate" or “Entrance Curtain” This "Gate" was of white linen, interwoven
with blue, purple and scarlet.” (Excerpts taken from
“Tabernacle Shadows of the Better Sacrifices”,
Pages 11-14

There are several items to be found both within the Tabernacle itself as well as in the courtyard, but we
will not go into any discussion here on these items as it is rather our wish to concentrate specifically on
the “courtyard” and its construction. As with the Tabernacle itself so too with respects to the courtyard,
Moses was given very specific instructions:

See that you make all things according (i.e. Exactly) to the pattern shown you on the
.” (Heb 8:5)

Now our new forum member Alek has suggested some interesting thoughts and comments of his own
with respects to the construction of the courtyard (
both here and in more detail on his blog), ideas which
we should wish to compare with our own to see which is truly in accordance with the Scriptures.
First let us take a look at the basic layout of the Tabernacle as presented both by our friend Alek and
ourselves so that we might gain some perspective as to our differences.

This first design is ours the one below Alek's, enlarged to show detail.)

As you can see the principle difference is evident in the size of the courtyard, both in respects to its
length and its width (we will address this difference shortly), for now let us see where else we differ. Now
the basic geometry of both designs at first glance appears rather sound, but upon further investigation it
will be noted that in Alek’s design the Tabernacle itself resides
4 cubits west of center or west of the
central dividing point of the courtyard, this of course would not be of any major concern or consequence
to anyone lacking a true understanding as to what precisely this central dividing point typifies (
us the antitype or reality is of far greater importance than the mere “shadow”), nevertheless in
order for us to grasp the antitypes correctly the shadows must be precise. In this case
the division line
of the courtyard typifies the division line between the natural and the spiritual
, it is here following
a full surrender or consecration of ourselves
at the “Door” of the Tabernacle that we are begotten of
the Holy Spirit and passing beneath the “
First Vail” (or “screen”) we experience a change of nature’s
becoming “
new creatures in Christ Jesus”, “partakers of the heavenly calling” (2 Cor 5:17; Heb 3:
). Pictured below is a cross section of the entrance into the first chamber of the Tabernacle depicting the
first vail or division line between the natural and the spiritual man, this entrance into the “
holy” is
centered precisely along the center dividing point of the courtyard.

As noted from our previous conversation with Alek it is his position that the “
hangings” or “curtains” if
you will, were each individual pieces or separate curtains each 5 x 5 cubits square and that these were
each attached individually from pillar to pillar all about the courtyard, this of course would naturally
account for the larger dimensions of the courtyard baring the fact that he likewise supposes each of these
pillars to be roughly a cubit each in diameter. It is our belief however that these pillars (or posts) were
much smaller and resided
within the curtain walls as shown in the diagram below and that therefore they
had no effect upon the prescribed dimensions given by the Lord in respects to the length and width of the

Another notable difference is in the Tabernacle itself, which we will address a little later in this study, but
suffice it for now it is perfectly understandable why we find so many examples of the Tabernacle, its
courtyard and etc., erroneously depicted, as not all students of the Tabernacle are spirit begotten and
therefore not lead of the spirit, thus they are subject to the limits of natural man’s ability to comprehend
the things of the Lord. We have no doubt that the natural man is quite competent in figuring out what he
imagines to be the best mathematical composition and layout of the Tabernacle, however lacking the
ability to derive the true
substance (the reality or antitype) from the various "types" and “shadows
instituted by the Lord in the tabernacle picture, felling to factor these in, his presentations usually
incorporate many errors.


  Each grid square is 10 X 10 cubits, or 100 sq. cubits