The Court of the Tabernacle

Exodus 27:9‑19  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 8
The number five and its multiples in a specially striking way are stamped upon the Court of the Tabernacle. The fine linen hangings were five cubits high, their length southward one hundred cubits, and their pillars twenty: their length northward one hundred cubits and their pillars twenty: their breadth westward fifty cubits and their pillars ten. So there was between each pillar a square of linen, measuring five cubits by five.
These squares of fine linen set forth what the life of our Lord was in all its purity and holiness. The pillars filleted with silver, with hooks of silver and sockets of brass typify, that unless the claims of God's holiness had been met at the cross, there would have been no presentation of the wonderful life of our Lord in testimony in this world. " This is He that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ, not by water only, but by water and BLOOD " (1 John 5:66This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. (1 John 5:6)).
The total length of the hanging is significant:
100 cubits northward
100 cubits southward
50 cubits westward
30 cubits eastward
280 cubits in all
This, you may remember, was the length of the beautiful inner curtains, which were only for the eyes of the priests. The hanging of pure linen emphasizes to the whole camp the testimony of the purity of our Lord's life. There was thus no discrepancy between His outward life and inward life. When He was asked, " Who art Thou? " He could reply, " Even the Same that I said unto you from the beginning ' (John 8. 25). What is the difference between the Badgers' Skins Covering and the Hanging of pure white linen? The answer is, that the former is what unbelieving man saw in His life; the latter, the purity in which He presented Himself to the world. Man saw " no beauty that they should desire Him." Surely His unique manhood should have arrested their attention. " Never man spake like this Man " (John 7. 46), testified the officers of the Chief Priests and Pharisees, who had been sent to take Him, but who were disarmed by His testimony, and returned empty-handed. The people wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth " (Luke 4:2222And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son? (Luke 4:22)). Alas! that men generally refused this wonderful testimony.
The Gate of the Court
The fifty cubits of the hanging with its ten pillars were apportioned in the following order:-
15 cubits and 3 pillars
20 „ „ 4 „
50 „10 „
We notice again the multiplies of five that obtain so strikingly. The four pillars allowed for the Gate of the Court are interesting, as setting forth that its Entrance was for the whole world, not for one nation, or one family, the priests, but for the wide world, wherever man is found. The Hanging of the Gate of the Court was more than the fine twined linen, it was " wrought with needlework," and had blue and scarlet and purple. We already have seen what this signifies.
The Door of the Court is typical of Christ, who said " I am THE DOOR " (John 10:99I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. (John 10:9)). " I am THE WAY " (John 14:66Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)). " There is one God, and ONE MEDIATOR between God and men, the Man, Christ Jesus " (1 Tim. 2:55For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (1 Timothy 2:5)). " There is NONE OTHER NAME under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved " (Acts 4:1212Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)). " No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me " (John 14:66Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)), are His own words. Not through tears, prayers, strivings, feelings or making the supreme sacrifice on the battlefield, but through CHRIST ALONE, and in virtue of His atoning death upon the cross.
Five and its multiplies speak of responsibility being met, for the pillars that supported the Hanging of fine linen were socketed in brass, speaking of the atoning death of our Lord. The blue, purple and scarlet speak of His personal and official glories. No cherubims were worked on the Gate of the Court. No threat, no judgment marked the Entrance. Pure sovereign grace alone is presented in the typical meaning of this beautiful Gate.
There was only ONE Entrance for all; only ONE Entrance into the Holy Place for the priests; only ONE Entrance into the Holiest of All for the High Priest.
The Pins and Cords
If the white linen of the Court sets forth Christ primarily in His spotless life of testimony, in a secondary way it tells the believer that he should be a testimony to Christ in this world. Alas! how many of us break down in our everyday life, and forget that righteousness is not measured by paying twenty shillings in the pound, but in acting towards others in the grace in which we have been set up by God.
In this secondary connection the pins and cords set forth that we cannot testify in our own strength. Just as the pillars were held up by a power outside themselves, so the believer can only be upheld in testimony in the power of God's Holy Spirit.