Exodus 27:9
And thou shalt make the court of the tabernacle: for the south side southward there shall be hangings for the court of fine twined linen of an hundred cubits long for one side:
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(9-18) Almost every ancient temple stood within a sacred enclosure, which isolated it from the common working world, and rendered its religious character more distinctly apparent. Such enclosures were particularly affected by the Egyptians, and were usually oblong squares, surrounded by walls, with, for the most part, a single entrance. An open space of this kind, always desirable, was absolutely necessary where the sanctuary itself was covered in, since it would have been intolerable to kill and burn victims in a confined and covered space. The altar which has been described (Exodus 27:1-8) was necessarily placed outside the tabernacle, and formed the chief furniture of the court, for which directions are now given.

(9) For the south side southward.—Rather, for the south side upon the right. (See Note on Exodus 26:18.)

Hangings.—The word used is new and rare. It is rendered ίστία, “sails,” by the LXX., and seems to designate a coarse sail-cloth, woven with interstices, through which what went on inside the court might be seen. The court, it must be remembered, was open to all Israelites (Leviticus 1:3, &c.).

Of fine twined linen.—Made of linen thread, i.e., each thread having several strands; not “fine linen” in the modern sense.

Exodus 27:9. Thou shalt make the court — Such a place as we call a court- yard, uncovered above, but enclosed with pillars and hangings of fine linen. This court, according to common computation, was fifty yards long and twenty-five broad. In it stood the tabernacle toward the upper west end; between the tabernacle and the lower end stood the altar, with the laver on one side of it, Exodus 30:18. The pillars were set up at convenient distances, in sockets of brass, the pillars filleted with silver, and silver tenterhooks in them, on which the linen hangings were fastened: the hanging which served for the gate was finer than the rest. This court was a type of the church, enclosed and distinguished from the rest of the world; the enclosure supported by pillars, denoting the stability of the church; hung with the clean linen, which is said to be the “righteousness of saints,”

Revelation 19:8. Yet this court would contain but a few worshippers; thanks be to God, now the enclosure is taken down; and there is room for all that in every place call on the name of Christ.

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 court of the tabernacle - (Compare Exodus 38:9-20)

Exodus 27:9

The south side southward - The south side on the right. See Exodus 26:18.

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. A court encompassing the tabernacle, Exodus 40:33, in the midst whereof the altar of sacrifices was placed, upon which the offerings were burnt in the open air, which was most convenient. By the

hangings the court was distinguished and enclosed.

And thou shall make the court of the tabernacle: for the south side southward,.... This was a large court yard to the house of God, or tabernacle, which stood in it at the upper end of it; it was enclosed, but open to the air; and in it, between the entrance into it and the holy place, stood the altar of burnt offering before described, and on one side of that the laver for the priests to wash in; into this the people of Israel were admitted, and where they brought their sacrifices and worshipped: it was typical of the visible church of God on earth, which, though an enclosure, and is separated from the world, yet consists of professors, good and bad, of real saints and hypocrites; as into this court Israelites of every character, sex, and state entered. In David's time it was divided into various courts, and what answered to it when the temple was built were the several apartments called the courts of the priests, where they sacrificed, and the court of Israel, where the men Israelites worshipped, and the court of the women, where they were by themselves; and in later times there was another court separate from these, called the court of the Gentiles, into which they might enter; and the description of this court begins with that side of it which lay full south: there shall be

hangings for the court of fine twined linen of one hundred cubits long for one side; for the south side; and these hangings, with the rest all around, made the court, and were the walls of it; and from hence we learn, that it was one hundred cubits or fifty yards long, according to the common computation of a cubit; though it was three hundred inches more, this cubit being three inches more than is commonly supposed. These hangings, vails, or curtains, for so in the versions they are differently called, were the enclosure of the court; they were made of fine linen, six times twisted, but not of various colours, and curiously wrought with cunning work, as the curtains of the tabernacle were; and according to the signification of the word, they were wrought full of holes, like eyelet holes, or in the manner of network; so that though they kept persons from entering in, they might be seen through, and through them might be seen what was doing in the court: and all this may signify that the visible church of God on earth is separated from the world, and should consist of men called out of it, and of such who are clothed with that fine linen, clean and white, the righteousness of the saints, and which is the righteousness of Christ, and who have both inward and outward holiness; and though none but those who are admitted members of it may partake of its ordinances, yet others may be spectators of what is done in it.

And thou shalt make the {c} court of the tabernacle: for the south side southward there shall be hangings for the court of fine twined linen of an hundred cubits long for one side:

(c) This was the first entry into the tabernacle, where the people abode.

9. the south side southward] see on Exodus 26:18.

fine twined linen] see on Exodus 25:4.

Verses 9-18. - THE COURT BEFORE THE TABERNACLE. The description of the altar is (as already observed) naturally followed by that of the court which was to contain it, and in which it was to be the most conspicuous object. This is given with great clearness in ten verses, and presents scarcely any problem for solution. The court was an oblong square, three hundred feet in length and seventy-five in breadth. It was enclosed by curtains, hung on sixty pillars, placed at intervals of seven feet and a half apart. The pillars were connected by rods, and each of them fitted into a socket. There was but one entrance, which was at the eastern side, midway in it. It was thirty feet wide, and had its own curtains and its own pillars. These curtains were of similar material with those at the entrance to the tabernacle, but the hangings round the rest of the court were merely of fine white linen. Verse 9. - Thou shalt make the court. Rather, "a court." For the south side southward. Rather," For the south side, upon the right." Compare the comment on Exodus 26:18. Hangings. The word used is a rare one in this sense, quite different from those which have been employed for "curtains" or "hangings "previously (Exodus 26:1, 7, 36). The LXX. translate by ἱστία "sails;" and the Jewish commentators believe a loosely woven sail-cloth to be intended. Fine twined linen. See the comment on Exodus 26:1. Exodus 27:9(cf. Exodus 38:9-20). The Court of the dwelling was to consist of קלעים "hangings" of spun byssus, and pillars with brass (copper) sockets, and hooks and fastenings for the pillars of silver. The pillars were of course made of acacia-wood; they were five cubits high, with silvered capitals (Exodus 38:17, Exodus 38:19), and carried the hangings, which were fastened to them by means of the hooks and fastenings. There were twenty of them on both the southern and northern sides, and the length of the drapery on each of these sides was 100 cubits (באמּה מאה, 100 sc., measured by the cubit), so that the court was a hundred cubits long (Exodus 27:18).
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