Pins and Cords

 •  11 min. read  •  grade level: 8
"All the vessels of the tabernacle in all the service thereof, and all the pins thereof, and all the pins of the court, shall be of brass.-Ex. 27:1919All the vessels of the tabernacle in all the service thereof, and all the pins thereof, and all the pins of the court, shall be of brass. (Exodus 27:19)
"And all the pins of the tabernacle, and of the court round about, were of brass.-Ex. 38:2020And all the pins of the tabernacle, and of the court round about, were of brass. (Exodus 38:20)
IT will be observed that in the directions given above by the Lord to Moses, cords are not specified, but in Ex. 35:1818The pins of the tabernacle, and the pins of the court, and their cords, (Exodus 35:18), where Moses enumerates to the children of Israel, the things that are to be made, he mentions "the pins of the tabernacle, the pins of the court, and their cords." Also in Ex. 39:4040The hangings of the court, his pillars, and his sockets, and the hanging for the court gate, his cords, and his pins, and all the vessels of the service of the tabernacle, for the tent of the congregation, (Exodus 39:40), when the children of Israel bring that which they had made unto Moses, amongst other things are mentioned, the hangings of the court, his pillars, and his sockets, and the hanging for the court gate, his cords, and his pins."
On turning to Num. 3:2626And the hangings of the court, and the curtain for the door of the court, which is by the tabernacle, and by the altar round about, and the cords of it for all the service thereof. (Numbers 3:26), we find committed to the charge of the Sons of Gershon, " the hangings of the court, and the curtain for the door of the court, which is by the tabernacle, and by the altar round about, and the cords of it for all the service thereof." The same is again repeated in Num. 4:2626And the hangings of the court, and the hanging for the door of the gate of the court, which is by the tabernacle and by the altar round about, and their cords, and all the instruments of their service, and all that is made for them: so shall they serve. (Numbers 4:26), with this exception, that instead of " the cords of it," the expression is "their cords." Again, Num. 3:3737And the pillars of the court round about, and their sockets, and their pins, and their cords. (Numbers 3:37), part of the charge of the Sons of Merari is stated to have been the pillars of the court round about, and their sockets, and their pins, and their cords." The same is repeated, Num. 4:3232And the pillars of the court round about, and their sockets, and their pins, and their cords, with all their instruments, and with all their service: and by name ye shall reckon the instruments of the charge of their burden. (Numbers 4:32). From these texts it may be conjectured that there were pins, first for the tabernacle itself. Ex. 27:19, 37:20, 35:18, 38:31.
Secondly, for the court. Ex. 27:19, 38:20, 35:18, 38: 31.
Thirdly, for the court gate 39:40.
On comparing these texts with Num. 3:3737And the pillars of the court round about, and their sockets, and their pins, and their cords. (Numbers 3:37), and 4:32, it will appear that the pins for the court, and for the court gate, were especially connected with the pillars, from which the hangings forming the court and the gate were suspended.
By means of these pins of brass, the tabernacle and the court were securely fastened to the desert ground; so that no storm, or flood of waters could sweep away this structure, although many of the materials were such as to be easily affected by the wind or rain. May we not be reminded by this type, of the steadfast purpose of Christ, to pursue the path marked out for Him by the Counsels of God, even though that path ended in the storm of judgment, and in the billows of wrath. Neither the fierce attacks of the Tempter, nor the anticipated fearfulness of the death He had to die, turned Him aside from the settled purpose of His heart. "I come to do Thy Will 0 God." And though He experienced the deep feelings expressed in the 55th Psalm, 4, 5,6, 8, verses. "My heart is sore pained within me; and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and terror hath overwhelmed me. And I said, Oh, that I had wings like a dove, for then would I fly away and be at rest I would hasten my escape from the windy storm, and tempest." Yet He could say, but I will trust in thee." He knew how to cast His burden upon Jehovah, even Him that abideth of old-upon one that shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. His heart was fixed, and God was His exceeding joy.
What a wondrous object of contemplation is the blessed Lord, as revealed to us in the Scriptures of truth. Weak, yet immoveably firm. Himself the Mighty God, yet dependent for everything on God His Father. Setting His face steadfastly towards Jerusalem in order to suffer there; and crying out in deep distress, "0 my Father if it be possible let this cup pass from me! nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." Upholding all things by the word of His power, even whilst exclaiming, " I am a worm and no man." Oh! the wondrous power of that weakness. Oh! the marvelous victory of that death. Oh! the eternal stability of Him, laid low in the depths of the grave.
The desert seemingly afforded a shifting foundation for a tabernacle of glory-but the solid sockets, and pins of brass, deep set in the ground, made all secure.
The pin, or nail, is elsewhere in the prophets a type of Christ. Out of him (Judah) came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor together." Zech. 10:44Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor together. (Zechariah 10:4).
Here are manifestly three references to Christ-the corner, the nail, and the battle bow. The chief cornerstone, and head-stone of the corner, see Isaiah, Psalms, and the 1 Epistle of Peter, which Scriptures have already been referred to in this exposition.
The " nail" firmly securing all God's counsels of love, mercy, and blessing, and connecting them with this earth, so that notwithstanding the desolateness and ruin of such a wilderness, uninterrupted intercourse can be maintained between believers and the Most High; and unceasing blessings can flow down from Him to us.
The Lord Jesus is also prophesied of as the nail, in Isa. 22:20-2520And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah: 21And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. 22And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. 23And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father's house. 24And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father's house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons. 25In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and the burden that was upon it shall be cut off: for the Lord hath spoken it. (Isaiah 22:20‑25). " And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah: and I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand; and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father's house. And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father's house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons. In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and the burden that was upon it shall be cut off: for the Lord hath spoken it."
Shebna was Hezekiah's treasurer and ruler of his palace. His great sin, as recorded in this 22 of Isaiah, seems to have been an attempt to perpetuate his name, by marking out for himself a sepulcher near Jerusalem, (as he that hew eth him out a sepulcher on high,) and graving an habitation for himself in a rock. Like Absalom who sought to hand down his name to posterity by a pillar that he built. So Shebna made even a place of death to be a monument for the glory of his own name. Thus glorying in his shame.
God will not permit any one to boast of death, save Him that has triumphed over it, even His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. A sepulcher hewn out of a rock to gratify the pride of a worthless sinner, could not be permitted by God, who foresaw that one, even His own beloved, would be laid in a similar tomb, having humbled Himself to death, even the death of the cross. Vain man tries to cover his shame and nakedness with a self: righteousness of his own devising when living, and even adorns and decks out his tomb, and builds a massive mausoleum as if to make death glorious, and to perpetuate his own name in the very place where God has marked His judgment upon sin. Shebna's tomb was also a denial of resurrection; a resurrection to judgment.
Thus God saw in this treasurer, a man, bent upon pride and self-exaltation, making death a treasure and an occasion for human glory, instead of reckoning it as it is in truth, the wages of sin, and a sad evidence of man's ruin and shame. Isaiah is sent to this treasurer, and says, " What hast thou here? And whom has thou here?" Two solemn questions: the first, what is thine occupation here? The second, and who are you that are thus occupying yourself? Two questions which might be well put to all the worldly-minded, who are seeking to make a lasting name and reputation for themselves here on earth. Is this the fitting employment for this " little while," this short span of life? And who are those who thus are engrossed in pursuits which can only end in death and the grave? Where is their power, where is their continuance, where is their worthiness?
The prophet proceeds to sentence this proud self-willed treasurer to a mighty captivity in a foreign land, where the Lord would cover him with other garments than those of glory-garments of shame. And then the prophecy is given respecting the Lord Jesus, under the type of Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was to supersede Shebna in the office of treasurer and ruler of the house. The word " Eliakim" means " my God shall establish;" and " Hilkiah," " the portion of Jehovah." Two very significant names, prophetic of the Lord Jesus; who having been called as the Lord's servant, the Lord's portion; and who having made Jehovah to be His portion, has been established by God, set up in resurrection glory, gaining an eternal name and reputation out of the grave. God has through Him spoiled principalities and powers, and made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in the cross.
The prophecy then proceeds, (after a promise of the robe, girdle, and government to be bestowed on Eliakim,) in the words quoted of the Lord in Rev. 3:77And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; (Revelation 3:7). " And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open and none shall shut, and he shall shut and none shall open." This key seems to include the rule of the house of David, and the power to open the treasures of that house. And then follows: " I will fasten him a nail in a sure place, and he shall be for a throne of glory in his father's house." It will be observed that the word " as a nail," is not in the original. Here then again we have the Lord Jesus spoken of as a nail fastened in a sure place. And it is remarkable that the word "sure," has the same derivation as the Hebrew word " amen." The Lord Jesus is the nail because He is the amen-the holy and the true -the faithful and true witness-the beginning of the creation of God. All " the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him amen." They hang securely dependent on Him like vessels of various capacity, filled with the wine of joy and blessing. And on Him also hangs all the glory of His Father's house, the offspring and the issue. The nail driven down into the place of death, there bruised and made naught him that had the power of death; and having this secure foundation, the nail has become the strength of all God's building. All rests on Him. All hangs for support and sustainment on Him. And He is the beginning of that new and glorious creation, which shall endure forever.
In the conclusion of this remarkable prophecy, we have another nail spoken of, which though " fastened in a sure place shall be removed, and be cut down and fall; and the burden upon it shall be cut off."
Does not this allude to the future destruction of " the man of sin," " the Antichrist? " He will be the nail securely fastened by Satan's power-he will have all the rule, government, and treasures of this world, that Satan can bestow; and for a time he will prosper, so that his covenant with death will appear to be firm, and his agreement with hell will stand. But the same day that will make manifest to God's ancient people the Jews, the Lord Jesus, as a Father and Deliverer to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah, and as a throne of glory to the house of His Father David; will be the day in which this masterpiece of Satan's workmanship shall be brought to naught; and the chariots of his glory shall be the shame of his lord's house, "for Jehovah hath spoken it."
It is remarkable that the prophecy in Zechariah quoted above, which alludes to the Lord as " the corner, the nail, and the battle bow," proceeding out of Judah, ends with the words " every oppressor together." Here also there is an apparent allusion to this same antichrist who will combine in himself every species of oppression, and who will be destroyed when, the corner, the nail, and the battle bow of Judah is revealed from heaven as the deliverer of Israel, from the great Pharoah of the earth.