Exodus 27:13
And the breadth of the court on the east side eastward shall be fifty cubits.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) On the east side eastward.—Rather, in front, towards the east. Both the tabernacle and the Temple faced to the east, which was regarded as “the front of the world” by the Orientals generally. The belief was probably connected with the sun’s rising, towards which men in early times looked anxiously. It was, however, a belief quite separate from sun-worship.

27:9-19 The tabernacle was enclosed in a court, about sixty yards long and thirty broad, formed by curtains hung upon brazen pillars, fixed in brazen sockets. Within this enclosure the priests and Levites offered the sacrifices, and thither the Jewish people were admitted. These distinctions represented the difference between the visible nominal church, and the true spiritual church, which alone has access to God, and communion with him.The east side eastward - On the front side eastward.9-19. the court of the tabernacle—The enclosure in which the edifice stood was a rectangular court, extending rather more than fifty yards in length and half that space in breadth, and the enclosing parapet was about three yards or half the height of the tabernacle. That parapet consisted of a connected series of curtains, made of fine twined linen yarn, woven into a kind of network, so that the people could see through; but that large curtain which overhung the entrance was of a different texture, being embroidered and dyed with variegated colors, and it was furnished with cords for pulling it up or drawing it aside when the priests had occasion to enter. The curtains of this enclosure were supported on sixty brazen pillars which stood on pedestals of the same metal, but their capitals and fillets were of silver, and the hooks on which they were suspended were of silver also. No text from Poole on this verse.

And the breadth of the court on the east side eastward,.... Which was the entrance into it:

shall be fifty cubits; the east end and west end were of the same measure.

And the breadth of the court on the east side eastward shall be {e} fifty cubits.

(e) Meaning curtains of fifty cubits.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. on the east side eastward] Heb. on the front [i.e. on the east: see on Joel 2:20] towards the (sun-)rising: cf. on Exodus 26:18.

Verse 13. - The breadth of the court on the east side eastward. Rather, "in front toward the east." The Rabbinical tradition was that Adam found himself on his creation fronting towards the east, and had consequently the south on his right, the north on his left, and the west behind him. Hence, they said, the four cardinal points received the names of kedem, "in front" (the east); yamin, "the right hand" (the south); akhor, "behind" (the west); and shemol, "the left hand" (the north). For this use of all four words, see Job 23:8, 9. Exodus 27:13"As for the breadth of the court on the west side, (there shall be) curtains fifty cubits; their pillars twenty; and the breadth of the court towards the front, on the east side, fifty cubits." The front is divided in Exodus 27:14-16 into two כּתף, lit., shoulders, i.e., sides or side-pieces, each consisting of 15 cubits of hangings and three pillars with their sockets, and a doorway (שׁער), naturally in the middle, which was covered by a curtain (מסך) formed of the same material as the covering at the entrance to the dwelling, of 20 cubits in length, with four pillars and the same number of sockets. The pillars were therefore equidistant from one another, viz., 5 cubits apart. Their total number was 60 (not 56), which was the number required, at the distance mentioned, to surround a quadrangular space of 100 cubits long and 50 cubits broad.

(Note: Although any one may easily convince himself of the correctness of these numbers by drawing a figure, Knobel has revived Philo's erroneous statement about 56 pillars and the double reckoning of the pillars in the corner. And the statement in Exodus 27:14-16, that three pillars were to be made in front to carry the hangings on either side of the door, and four to carry the curtain which covered the entrance, may be easily shown to be correct, notwithstanding the fact that, as every drawing shows, four pillars would be required, and not three only, to carry 15 cubits of hangings, and five (not four) to carry a curtain 20 cubits broad, if the pillars were to be placed 5 cubits apart; for the corner pillars, as belonging to both sides, and the pillars which stood between the hangings and the curtain on either side, could only be reckoned as halves in connection with each side or each post; and in reckoning the number of pillars according to the method adopted in every other case, the pillar from which you start would not be reckoned at all. Now, if you count the pillars of the eastern side upon this principle (starting from a corner pillar, which is not reckoned, because it is the starting-point and is the last pillar of the side wall), you have 1, 2, 3, then 1, 2, 3, 4, and then again 1, 2, 3; that is to say, 3 pillars for each wing and 4 for the curtain, although the hangings of each wing would really be supported by 4 pillars, and the curtain in the middle by 5.)

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