Dimensions of the Tabernacle Courtyard, Part 4

What say the Scriptures in respects to the overall dimensions of the “courtyard?”

The length of the court shall be one hundred cubits, the width fifty throughout, and the height
five cubits
, made of fine woven linen, and its sockets of bronze.” (Exod 27:18)

First let us see how Alek attempts to explain this,

“First and foremost, please note that the overall dimensions of the Courtyard are provided in the
measurements of an overall dimension of the "
Hangings". For example, the Length of the Courtyard is
mentioned as being a one hundred (100) cubits of "
fine twined linen" long - meaning that the
dimensions of the Pillars along the length are not included. Same applies for the Width and Height of the

Of ‘course, one can say that this is exactly what the text implies (i.e. the dimensions of the Pillars were
not meant to be counted toward the overall dimensions of the Courtyard, and thus had to be located
either inside or outside of the perimeter of the Court). However, if you would assume such positioning of
the Pillars, it would create some serious problems.”

Alek then goes on to quote three different suggestions by various students of the Tabernacle in their
attempts at solving this perceived dilemma which he promptly rejects (as do we) before suggesting an
idea of his own. You can examine these other suggestions more thoroughly for yourself on Alek’s Blog


According to Alek,
“The only way to solve the problem would be to understand, that the Actual Total Length of the Courtyard
was 120 cubits and the Actual Total Width of the Courtyard was 60 cubits. Because only this approach
would allow us to put all of the details of the Courtyard together and thus - solve the problem."

This would satisfy the statement from the Baraita (HaMelech Hamishkan) about the location of the Gate
(Masach) being ten (10) cubits further to the East. This would also resolve all difficulties with the
positioning and distribution of the Pillars and the Hangings along the perimeter of the Courtyard. This
would reconcile most of the statements in the traditional interpretations. And this would also put the total
weight of all the parts of the Courtyard within the reasonable range.”

It is Alek’s proposition that “ALL measurements of the Courtyard are provided in CUBITS of HANGINGS

In other words what it appears Alek is trying to say is that the measurements given by the Lord of 100 x
50 applies only to the length of the
curtains themselves, NOT to the overall length and width of the
courtyard when the pillars and their width (suggested to be 1 cubit in diameter) is added to the
equation. In the diagram below showing the southeast corner of the courtyard you can see how Alek
arrives at his conclusion. However this particular design presents some problems of its own, problems
which will become abundantly clear as we proceed.

For the moment let us go back and take another look at
Exod 27:18,

“The length of the court shall be one hundred cubits, the width fifty throughout, and the height
five cubits, made of fine woven linen, and its sockets of bronze.”

To us this scripture is pretty straight forward the courtyard was to be composed of fine woven linen
curtains supported by post or pillars set in sockets of bronze ( i.e. copper). The dimensions for this
courtyard were to be
100 x 50 x 5, a specific length, width and height, no more, no less.

Remember the LORD’S words, “
See that you make all things according (i.e. Exactly) to the pattern
shown you on the mountain.
” (Heb 8:5)

No deviation, no divergence, additions or variations to what I say, just exactly as I tell you.

It should be noted here that often times when discussing the Tabernacle we tend to think of the courtyard
only in
two dimensional terms as simply encompassing the surface area or perimeter upon which the
Tabernacle stood, a 100 x 50 cubit plot of land, sort of like a tennis court or a basketball court, but in
truth we should be thinking
three dimensional as what actually comprised the courtyard was an
enclosure 100 cubit long, 50 cubits wide
AND 5 cubits high.

Now our friend Alek is of the opinion that by placing the pillars within this prescribed perimeter we would
create some serious problems, problems which from his perspective can only be resolved by incorporating
the pillars into the curtain walls, thus increasing the length and width of the courtyard. Let us examine this
a little closer and see if indeed there exist some problems.

Alek states: Since pillars in your design are located on the inside(?) of the hangings perimeter, at the
corners, the width of the pillar (whatever that may be) will "
chew up" some of the distance, and you are
going to end up with say 4.75 cubits of hangings at the corners (depending on the width of the pillars).

Is this a true problem or simply an imagined problem, let’s take another look, once again the southeast

As you can see there is indeed a difference of distance between the pillars at the corners as in
comparisons with the rest of the pillars (highlighted by the red and the blue lines) even as Alek suggested,
however this has no bearing on the prescribed dimensions of the courtyard as stated in the text. Note the
LORD’s words in respects to curtains (or “
hangings” if you prefer), situated on the south side of the
entrance gate or curtain,

“The hangings on one side of the gate shall be fifteen cubits, with their three pillars and their
three sockets.”
(Exod 27:14)

How long did the LORD state the curtains were to be? Why 15 cubits. Have we deviated from
this in any way?
No! We have exactly 15 cubits of curtains. What about the pillars, they’re there
aren’t they?
One, two, three, just as stated. Did the LORD mention anything about the distance
between these pillars?
No, but it seems only right to assume that they were equally spaced along
the 15 cubits of curtains
; take another look at the diagram, this time from the outside, the
designated perimeter of the courtyard
, are they not equally spaced?

(NOTE: we have simply depicted the pillars here as being 1 cubit in diameter in order to better present
our point of view, there is of course no scriptural declaration in support of this particular diameter for
the pillars, nor for that matter their being round or square

Now it is understandable that some who are new to the Tabernacle and its construction may possibly be
becoming a little confused here, that is precisely why we are attempting to precede slowly one point at a
time so as not to lose anyone; therefore we will pause here once again before continuing.