The Tabernacle - 17
by Brad Scott
Shemot (Exodus) 27:9-15And 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: And the twenty pillars thereof and their twenty sockets shall be of bronze; the hooks of the pillars and their bands shall be of silver. And likewise for the north side in length there shall be hangings of an hundred cubits long, and its twenty pillars and their twenty sockets of bronze the hooks of the pillars and their bands of silver. And for the breadth of the court on the west side shall be hangings of fifty cubits: their pillars ten, and their sockets ten. And the breadth of the court on the east side eastward shall be fifty cubits. The hangings of one side of the gate shall be fifteen cubits: their pillars three, and their sockets three. And on the other side shall be hangings fifteen cubits: their pillars three, and their sockets three.
We have now reached the area of the tabernacle that is most visible. The court pictures the body of Messiah, that part which is seen and heard. This can be seen in the word chatzer, which is the word translated as court. This word is from the root, chatzar (חצר), which means to make a sound. The word for the silver trumpets is chatzozerah. These trumpets were used to signal an attack, and sometimes to signal a feast. These two words are directly related because they both express demonstrative activity that can be seen or heard. When notes were sounded in a particular order on the silver trumpets, it signaled to YHVH's people the kind of assembly (mikra - ekklesia - church) that was being called. The sound of the trumpet was synonymous with the nature of the assembly. The same was true for the design of the court of the tabernacle, keeping in mind that there are three parts to the mishkan, but always referred to as one tabernacle. It was important that the court reflect the holiness of the Holy Places. This is why early towns were named after people, for the reputation of the town was only as noble as the person's name it reflected. It is no coincidence that the word for town is chatzar (Bere’shiyt (Genesis) 25:16). YHVH designed his dwelling place to visibly express His righteousness to the world. He surrounded the court with fine-twined linen to express this righteousness, as if to say that the same righteousness that is IN the tabernacle, i.e. the curtains of the inner veil, is the same righteousness that the world sees. If faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word, then the word must be trumpeted with a distinct sound to all that will listen.
The most important area to keep clean is the court. YHVH, our Father, must be approached beginning with the court. Yeshua‘ said that He was the way, the truth, and the life, and that no man can come to the Father but by Him. Yeshua‘ is the manifest expression of the word of YHVH. He is that which can be seen, heard, and touched. He is the perfect tabernacle. There is an order in approaching YHVH. You begin at the gate with thanksgiving, and then enter His courts with praise (Mizemor (Psalm) 100:4). You then stop at the laver and wash (1Yochanan (1 John) 1:9, Ephesians 5:26), followed by the entrance to the Holy Place of ministry. Just before entering His presence is the Golden Altar of Incense (prayer) where you can then enter boldly into His Most Holy Place. When YHVH approaches you, He begins at the Ark of the Testimony in the Holy of Holies (the heart or the spirit). He then proceeds to the Holy Place or the area of the mind, and only then will He move the body or direct the behavior of His people. Our minds have to be changed by the Spirit of YHVH before His righteousness can be expressed. This is why He tells Mosheh to begin with the Ark of the Testimony, which contains His commandments. The court (body) is the expression of Yah's will. If the court continues to sin, so to speak, then the world sees hypocrisy at best and a perverted view of the Most Holy Place at worst. This is why both Testaments are filled with commandments for the sheep to be holy, as He is holy. This is why it is no coincidence again, that the Greek word for court is aule. Aule is used a handful of times in the New Testament as the word for palace or sheepfold. The word we should be most interested in is sheepfold.
Yochanan 10:1Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door of the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
Yochanan 10:16And other sheep I have, that are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
There is truly only one fold and one shepherd. Oneness in the body of Messiah is established by obedience to His word. Only then can the world see that there is only one ’Elohiym. Obedience is accomplished in behavior and demonstration, which is an outward expression of what is taking place on the inside. The court, or body of Messiah, is as much the tabernacle as the Holy places are, because it is the witness that ’Elohiym is one.
Melakhiym Alef (1Kings) 8:58-60YHVH our ’Elohiym be with us, as He was with our fathers; let him not leave us nor forsake us; That he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his ordinances, which he commanded our fathers. And let these words, with which I have made supplication before YHVH, be near unto YHVH our ’Elohiym day and night, that he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people, Israel, at all times, as the matter shall require. That all the people of the earth may know that YHVH is ’Elohiym, and that there is none else.
The court is not only the place of praise, but of prophecy.
Yiremeyahu (Jeremiah) 19:14Then came Yiremeyahu from Topeth, where YHVH had sent him to prophesy; and he stood in the court of YHVH's house, and said to all the people ...
Yiremeyahu 26:2Thus saith YHVH, Stand in the court of YHVH's house, and speak unto all the cities of Yehudah, which come to worship in YHVH's house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them, diminish not a word: ...
Just doing a cursory reading of prophets in Scripture, one can see that they are constantly warning YHVH's people of their wickedness and wrong ways. How much more to us? Yiremeyahu pleaded with the people, knowing that if they obeyed YHVH they would prosper physically as well as spiritually. Listen to the words of the Tehillot (Psalms) that were specifically sung on Shabbat:
Mizemor 92:14Those who are planted in the house of YHVH shall flourish in the courts of our ’Elohiym.
Why do you think that a nation, a Christian nation, that has tossed aside Shabbat, is also the unhealthiest nation on the planet?
Next time, we will cover the pillars, the bands, and the east gate of the tabernacle.
Shalom Alecheim! ◊