Tabernacle, it’s Spiritual Significance, Part 3

The Courtyard

As was stated in our previous post the Priest and the Levites associated with the work of the tabernacle
were the only ones permitted within the tabernacle enclosure, the people themselves being separated
from all the holy things not only by distance, but likewise by way of the linen curtain which hindered their
view and access to the holy things within. From their view point all they could see was the top of the
Tabernacle which stood twice as high as the curtains surrounding the courtyard, but even here the true
beauty of the tabernacle was hidden from their sight by the drab colored covering which was draped over
the top of tabernacle, even from the viewpoint of the Levites who were camped adjacent to the enclosure
they could not see what was within the enclosure as from their particular viewpoint being much closer to
the curtain wall it appeared even higher than it appeared to the rest of the camp.


























This is a picture of the Tabernacle which I found on the internet one of the few which accurately depicts
the courtyard as it should be, I have intentionally removed the tabernacle itself and its appointments so
that we might concentrate on the courtyard curtain itself.

The courtyard consisted of five sets of “hangingshang'-ingz: “In English Versions of the Bible this
word in the
plural represents the Hebrew qela'im, the curtain(s) of "fine twined linen" with which
the court of the tabernacle was enclosed. These were five cubits in height (
7 ½ feet), and of lengths
corresponding to the sides of the enclosure and the space on either side of the entrance in
front
, (in other words there were two sets of “curtains” or “hangings” if you prefer which were 100
cubits in length, one set which was 50 cubits in length, and two sets which were 15 cubits in length,
these were the “hanging(s)” plural, of the courtyard all of which
), were suspended from hooks fastened
to the pillars of the court.”

NOTE: In Biblical Hebrew, plural forms of words are sometimes used to denote, not plurality, but rather
an
intensification of a singular. This usage is called by many different expressions, such as “majestic”,
plural intensive”, etc. It is where a plural form is used although a singular is meant. Thus for example
when referring to the “
hangings” located on the south side of the courtyard one should not misconstrue
that there were 20 separate curtains spanned along this side of the courtyard comprising 100 cubits in
length, but rather that it was
one curtain 100 cubits in length even as it is written.

“You shall also make the court of the tabernacle. For the south side there shall be
hangings (plural
intensive
) for the court made of fine woven linen, one hundred cubits long for one side.” Exod 27:9

At the forepart of this enclosure was the entrance curtain or “screen”. “In the King James Version
another word, macakh (the Revised Version (British and American) uniformly "screen"), is
distinguished from the preceding only by the
singular, "hanging" (Exodus 35:17; 38:18, etc.). It
is used of the screen or portiere, embroidered in colors that closed the entrance of the court (
Exodus
27:16; 35:17; 38:18; 39:40; 40:8, 33; Numbers 3:26; 4:26
).” International Standard Bible
Encyclopedia
, Page, 3520  

To those outside the courtyard the linen curtain acts as a “
barrier” (an encumbrance) hindering their
view of the holy things within. This same principle applies to those occupying the courtyard condition,
although they have some access to the holy things of the Lord, i.e. access to some of the fundamental
truths, the first principles or “
milk of the word”, as typified in the brazen altar (Christ’ sacrifice, the
ransom and etc.),
things comprehensible to the natural man, nevertheless they are blind to the deep
things, the hidden things, the “
meat of the word”, once again this is due to a “barrier” which inhibits
them from comprehending
spiritual things, this time it’s the curtain or vail which hung at the entrance
to the Tabernacle itself.

“This
enclosed area was all holy ground, and was therefore called the "Holy Place"--also the "Court of
the Tabernacle
." Its opening, like the door of the Tabernacle, was towards the east, and called the
"
Gate." This "Gate" was of white linen, interwoven with blue, purple and scarlet.”















For the entrance to the courtyard provide a curtain twenty cubits long, of blue, purple and
scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen, the work of an embroider, with four post and four bases
.”
(
Exod 27:16)

Some have exclaimed that this hanging, which represents Christ, was composed of four separate
hangings suspended between each post; this however is contrary to the Word of God which expressly
states it was
one curtain 20 cubits in length, “Is Christ divided?

The entrance curtain or Gate represents Jesus Christ our Lord, it was of white linen, wrought with
blue, purple and scarlet needlework, the
white linen represents his righteousness (his purity), the blue
represents his faithfulness, the
scarlet represents the blood that was shed, and the purple represents
his being highly exalted to the right hand of God (Royalty), and thus the gate to the courtyard pointed to
Christ as the “
Faithful and True” as the “Redeemer” and “Savior” of the world, and as the “King of
Kings
” and “Lord of Lords”.

This was the only entrance, the only gateway in which to enter the Courtyard; the
type thus testifying to
the
antitype that there is but one way of access to God—one “gate” Jesus. “I am the way and the
truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me
.” (John 14:6)

I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and fine
pasture
.”(John 10:9)

Most assuredly, I say to you he who does not enter the sheepfold (the “Holy Place”, the
courtyard
) by the door, but climbs up some other way (circumvents the one access point), the
same is a thief and a robber, but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
To
him the doorkeeper opens
, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name
and leads them out
.” (John 10:1-3)

“The church may be compared to a sheepfold, because it is separated from the world: it is where the
people of God, and sheep of Christ are gathered together; where there is a strict union between them;
have society with each other; keep one another warm and comfortable; and where they are fed and
nourished, and are preserved; and where they lie down and have rest; and which, like a sheepfold (
a
temporary structure, a tabernacle
), will be taken down, and not always continue in the form it now is:
and by "
the door" into it, is meant Christ himself, as appears from John 10:7; faith in him, a profession
of him, and authority from him. Now he that does not come into the church of God, whether as a
member of it, or officer in it, at this door, but climbs up some other way; by hypocrisy and deceit: or, like
the prophets of old, who ran and were not sent; prophesied when they were not spoken to, but took
their place and post by usurpation: the same is a thief and a robber; steals into the church, or into an
office in it, and robs God or Christ of their power and authority; and such were
the Scribes and
Pharisees
(the Blind Guides of today, the Doctors of Divinity and the Law, i.e. the leaders and teachers
of Christendom
).” Gills Exposition of the Entire Bible

It should be noted that the expression of a “door” or “gate” implies something which can be opened or
closed (
Compare Matt 25:10, 11; Rev 3:7), thus not simply an open entrance. The reason we bring
this up is because in some depictions I believe based primarily upon Jewish tradition the entrance curtain
is place about 4 cubits out in front of the courtyard (
as depicted in the diagram below), rather than
connected to it as it should be.
This is wrong on multiple levels, 1) spiritually it destroys the antitype
which the “
door” represents, as it implies that one need not go “through” Christ, i.e. profess faith in
Christ as the only means of access to the Father, but that one can come by “
another way”, circumvent
Christ altogether and go around him to gain entry into the heavenly fold.
2) Practically speaking this
depiction is flawed in that it allows those without, that is those in the “
camp” both the typical and
antitypical to look into the holy place and to gaze upon those things which are forbidden to them, and
lastly
3) the Lord specifically stated that there were to be 20 post on the north and south sides, 10 post
on the west end and 10 post on the east end, 3 on each side of the entrance curtain and 4 for the
curtain itself, totaling 60 post altogether, but… here we have a total of 62 post.




















“Some have reasoned that the number of pillars (posts) for the “
gate,” in the KJV of Exod. 27:16 and
38:19
, should read five instead of four, believing some copyist erred in mistaking the Hebrew character
hay signifying 5 for the Hebrew character daleth signifying 4 (as was done with 1 Kings 6:1see B53).
While this is possible, it seems to us unlikely that the same error would be made twice in two different
texts (
Exod. 27:16 and 38:19). Nor does the Septuagint bear out the thought, for in both instances it
is rendered four. (In passing it might be well to note that in the Septuagint the verse references of
Exodus Chapters 36–39 are not the same as in the KJV. In the Septuagint Exod. 38:19 appears as
verse 17!)

So now we know that there is no other way of entry into the courtyard condition, no other way of
returning to God (as represented in the Tabernacle) accept by going through Christ, the “
gate” to the
enclosure. However seeing as we began our journey from the “
camp” or from “outside the camp” and
its respective conditions,
how do we being "sinners even as others” gain entry into the holy place,
what’s the procedure, how may we pass through the door?

"Repent and be converted (turned around) that your sins may be blotted out." (Acts 3:19)

You have been following the course of this world to long with its downward tendencies (its lusts, desirers,
ambitions and etc.), and have come to realize you don’t really like the person you see in the mirror
anymore, you don’t like the way you have been living, the way you act, the things you do and say and
often times the things you imagine and think about others, strangers, fellow workers, friends and family
these thoughts tend to bring you pain and sorrow upon later reflection, why did I say that, why do I
always imagine the worst of others all the time? You feel like you’re carrying this load of weight on your
back which you can’t rid yourself of and it only increases in weight day by day.
With such an individual
there is hope
, it is in this discuss or displeasure for ones conduct, this remorse for ones failings and
faults that you prove you still have a conscious and that you are not devoid of all that is right and good,
you still know the difference between right and wrong and you’re well aware that your conduct your
course is wrong and at variance with what you know God would approve,
you simply need to be
turned around
.   

Repentance is sorrow for ones actions and/or conduct, conversion however involves a little more it
requires a change in ones thinking and behavior, both are necessary steps which each sinner and
unbeliever must take before he can begin his journey back to God, however the only way in which an
individual’s sins can be blotted out (forgiven) is by a heartfelt confession of ones guilt and an acceptance
of Christ as one’s personal savior as the
propitiation or atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 2:2).

…You who were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to
the course of this world
, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is
now working in the sons of disobedience
”. Eph 2:1-2 (NAS)

We see here that one of the first things required of us to walk with God is to change our direction,
that is, we are not to walk "
according to" or "under the direction of” the prince of the power of the
air, Satan, but rather “
to be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what
is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God
.” (Rom 12:2)

In our next post we shall walk through the gate into the courtyard and take a closer look at the
courtyard curtains to see what was hidden from our view whilst on the outside.


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