Exodus 27:16
And for the gate of the court shall be an hanging of twenty cubits, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework: and their pillars shall be four, and their sockets four.
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(16) For the gate of the court—i.e., the entrance.

An hanging.—The word is the same as that similarly translated in Exodus 26:36 and Exodus 26:37 of Exodus 26; and the description of the “hanging” is also, word for word, the same. It would contrast strongly with the plain white “sail-cloth” round the rest of the enclosure, and would clearly point out to all the place of entrance.

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.An hanging - An entrance curtain, which, unlike the hangings at the sides and back of the court, could be drawn up, or aside, at pleasure. The words are rightly distinguished in our Bible in Numbers 3:26.

Wrought with nedlework - The work of the embroiderer. See Exodus 26:36; Exodus 35:35. On the materials, see Exodus 25:4.

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 for the gate of the court shall be an hanging of twenty cubits,.... Which, with the fifteen on each side, make the fifty cubits, the breadth of the court eastward, Exodus 27:13, this hanging was better than the rest, much finer and richer:

for it was of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needle work: and was of the same as the hangings for the door of the holy place, Exodus 26:36 this was a figure of Christ, and of the graces of the Spirit in him, and of his bloodshed, sufferings, and death; who is the door into the church, and to the ordinances of it, and leads on to the holy place, and even to the holy of holies, see John 10:9.

their pillars shall be four, and their sockets four: so that the pillars of this court at both sides and each end were sixty, twenty on each side, south and north, and ten at each end, west and east.

And for the gate of the court shall be an hanging of twenty cubits, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework: and their pillars shall be four, and their sockets four.
16. The screen for the gate of the court. This was of the same richly coloured materials, the ‘work of the embroiderer,’ as the screen at the entrance to the Dwelling (Exodus 26:36).

Verse 16. - For the gate. The word used is the common one for "gate;" but here it rather signifies "entrance." Strictly speaking, there was no "gate;" the worshippers entered by drawing aside the curtain. This was a hanging of similar material, colours, and workmanship to that which hung in front of the tabernacle (Exodus 26:36). By its contrast with the white linen screen which surrounded the rest of the court, it would show very clearly where men were to enter. Exodus 27:16"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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