The Tabernacle, it’s Spiritual Significance, Part 5
“From the information available, it seems reasonable to conclude that the construction of the court
included silver rods (fillets) connecting the wooden posts, the question, nevertheless is what their primary
purpose was? (The following was taken from an article entitled, “Fillets of the Tabernacle”)
“We will approach this question from two standpoints: the practical purpose in the type; and
the lesson for us in the antitype.
The court of the tabernacle was surrounded by a series of posts or pillars from which were suspended a
large white curtain some seven and half feet high and just under four hundred feet in length. This linen
curtain would have to be of thick linen to withstand the climate and winds of the Sini desert and therefore
would be quite heavy—perhaps as much as a thousand pounds.
Note: Some have suggested as has the author of this article that the white linen curtain was of one
piece, the Scriptures appear to indicate that there were five distinct sets of hangings, two 100 cubits
in length for the north and south sides, one 50 cubits in length for the west end, and two on the east
end which were 15 cubits in length one on each side of the opening to the courtyard, nevertheless not
wishing to be dogmatic upon the issue there is a distinct possibility that it was of one piece as this
would in no way infringe upon the type, to the contrary it would lend strength to it. Being without
seam, it reminds us of the seamless linen robe that Jesus wore (John 19:23). A robe cannot be put on
by inches, and when it covers, it covers completely even as the righteous robe of Christ pictured by the
white linen curtain completely covers those justified within.”
Now if you were to just put the posts upright by themselves there would be little stability. Therefore
there were heavy copper sockets for the posts to fit into. Undoubtedly these sockets would be sunk into
the desert sand for even greater steadiness. This gave them vertical strength, but they would still be
subject to some heavy desert winds at times.
Therefore a system of guy wires were used to strengthen the wall. A copper pin was placed outside in the
desert, and another one inside the court. These were joined by a cord which was connected to the post.
Now there was great strength against winds either pushing the wall in or out. These provisions are
described in Exodus 27:19. Nevertheless a problem still exists, if we hang our curtain from two of these
posts, two things happen: first, the curtain tends to droop in the center (remember these posts were
seven and a half feet apart); and, second, there is a tendency for the weight of the curtain to pull the
posts together. Multiply that tendency times the number of posts involved and you can readily see the
Here is where our fillets or connecting rods come in. If we join these two posts with a rod and attach the
hooks to the rod we have—Voila!—a curtain rod. Now the curtain can hang straight across, and at the
same time increase the stability of the curtain wall itself.
These, then, are the two practical reasons for these connecting rods, mistranslated fillets.
To look at the lesson in the antitype, we want to begin by quoting three paragraphs from Tabernacle
Shadows, Pages 113 and 114:
Most of which has been previously stated,
"The posts which stood in the "Court," and upheld the white curtains, represented justified
believers—the "Court," as we have already seen, represented the justified condition. The posts
were of wood, a corruptible material, thus implying that the class typified are not actually perfect as
human beings; for since human perfection was typically represented by copper, those posts should either
have been made of copper, or covered with copper, to represent actually perfect human beings. But
although made of wood they were set in sockets of copper, which teaches us that though actually
imperfect their standing is that of perfect human beings. It would be impossible to more clearly represent
justification by faith.
"The white curtain, which, sustained by those posts, formed the "Court," well illustrated the same
justification or purity. Thus, justified ones should continually hold up to the view of the world (the
"Camp") the pure linen, representing Christ’s righteousness as their covering.
"The silver hooks, by which the posts held up the curtain, were symbolic of truth. Silver is a general
symbol of truth. The justified believers, represented by the posts in the "Court," can thus really and
truthfully claim that righteousness covers all their imperfections. (Exod 27:11-17) Again, it is only by the
aid of the truth that they are able to hold on to their justification."
The justification spoken of here is what we frequently term "tentative justification," because he is
speaking of the Christian in the "court" condition, before they reach the point of consecration at the
"door" of the Tabernacle.
This (tentative justification) is the justification spoken of in Rom 5:1 “Therefore being justified by
faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Notice how the next verse distinguishes this condition from "the grace wherein we stand"—the grace
of spirit begettal in the consecrated condition, pictured by the holy of the Tabernacle, with the use of the
little four letter word also. "By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we
stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God."
The function of the posts, picturing the justified believers, is to hold up to public view their faith in Christ,
represented by the linen curtain. This, brethren, is our purpose for being. This is why we are here. To
show forth the mercy and goodness of Christ’s redemptive work, as Paul says, "in the midst of a
crooked and perverse generation."
Stability in our Belief
But, standing in our own ability, we often find that our faith is weak and we fail in this God-given task of
showing forth our belief in Christ’s justifying work. The four things which gave the court posts their
stability are lessons to us in those helps we have to maintain our own steadfastness in faith.
First, the sockets, being made of copper, show our standing in justification—being reckoned as perfect
human beings despite the actual fact of our personal imperfections. It is for this reason that we are
judged as to faithfulness on our intentions rather than on our actions.
"For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what a man has, and not
according to what he has not.” 2 Cor 8:12
Now, with rejoicing we can say with the Apostle Paul, "I can do all things through Christ which
strengthens me." Phil 4:13
Sockets in the Sand
To give greater rigidity to the posts, these sockets were sunken in the sand. A quick side trip to the
Great Pyramid may help us appreciate this lesson.
What would you say was the most important room in that imposing structure? We probably would
all answer, "The King’s Chamber," but that really is not true. There is another room around which
the entire pyramid was constructed. This room was immovable because it already existed before
the pyramid was built. Therefore the architect—the divine architect—had to plan around this natural
I am speaking of the "Grotto," that small uncarved chamber that sits right at ground level and is
intersected by the well shaft. This "grotto" is shown on the Chart of the Ages by figure "f," where we see
a second cross in a shaded area. That shows the death of Jesus as an Israelite, having earned the reward
of keeping the law—everlasting life—surrendering that perfect life as a ransom for all, and providing a
release for the Jew from "the curse of the cross."
It is in the recognition of the total humanity in Christ that we see the full measure of equality for father
Adam. It is thus that our faith becomes "rooted," and the philosophy of the ransom begins to appear. It
is of this which Paul speaks in Col 2:7—
“Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding
therein with thanksgiving.”
Now if the questioner had asked, what would you say was the most important aspect to the Great
Pyramid, something which set it apart from every other known pyramid we would have probably said it
was its “sunken feet”. It is these “sunken feet”, unique only to the Great Pyramid, positioned at its
four corners, “cut into the living rock” (a “sure foundation”) beneath the pyramid which supports and
sustains this great structure. That being true, we likewise have been established upon a “sure
foundation”, the Word of God as it has been given to us in Christ Jesus our Lord, “For no other
foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor 3:11)
Our Guy Lines
But there is more to the philosophy of the ransom that prevents our faith from becoming weak and
unstable. This is shown in the system of guy lines which uphold the wall of the court. These were
suspended from copper pegs—tent pegs. One of these was installed inside the court and the other on
the outside. Being copper, as opposed to wood covered with copper, they showed actual human
As we scan the pages of history we see just two—and no more—perfect men: Adam and Jesus. We see
the one who lost his standing in the court, Adam, as the peg driven outside the fence. The other,
grounded firmly in the court, pictures Jesus. These two have one connection—the ransom—pictured by
this cord even as it was by Rahab’s scarlet thread. It is this simple philosophy of the ransom—a perfect
human life for a perfect human life—that gives stability to our faith. How beautiful! How simple!
Substitutionary atonement is the central doctrine of the Bible.
“It is just these two perfect men -Adam and Jesus-whose lives are inexorably linked by the
"For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam
all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."—1 Cor 15:21, 22
"For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by
grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many."—Rom 5:15
“Is not the great stabilizing factor in our faith the utter simplicity of the ransom concept - a perfect
human life for a perfect human life?
Indeed it is the very simplicity of this concept that speaks to its authenticity, Too good to be true? Too
good not to be true!
And yet our faith is sometimes weak. We need further support.
This is where the connecting rods come in. These connecting curtain rods join post to post making the
wall extremely rigid and solid. Dear brethren, each of you is a post in the court. I am a post in the court.
United we have a job to do—to show Christ to the world. Are you at times weak in your faith? Lean on
me! When I am weak I will lean on you! We are not independent Christians, but dependent, even as one
part of the human body is on every other part.
Using that illustration, the Apostle Paul says in Eph 4:16—“From whom the whole body fitly joined
together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working
in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”
Now note that these binding rods are made of silver, as distinct from the posts and their copper sockets.
Silver, in the tabernacle, is a picture of truth. It is truth that binds us one to another. It is truth that
brings us together to study the Lord’s word. It is truth that was the magnet which drew us to this
convention. And it is truth which must join us one to the other in this joyful task of holding up the image
of Christ—his grace and his mercy—to those around us.
We will continue with our next post.
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