The Tabernacle - 18
The Gate, Pillars and Sockets
by Brad Scott
Shemot (Exodus) 27:16And 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.
Placed at the east end of the court is the gate and entry to the tabernacle. This, by the way, is the only entry to the tabernacle. The gate at the east end follows the instructions for the hangings of the east side (vs. 13-14). The choice of the east side entrance is no coincidence. The etymology of the word east provides some of the best insight. The word in Hebrew is qedem (קדם). This word is translated as east, old, and ancient. A good case can be made to show that the ways, laws, and customs of YHVH ’Elohiym come from the east. The garden of YHVH that contained the tree of life was placed eastward in Eden (Bere’shiyt (Genesis) 2:8). The coming of the Messiah will be from the east (Mattityahu (Matthew) 24:27). The Messiah was to come from the tribe of Yehudah which was the lead camp on the east side of the tabernacle (Bemidebar (Numbers) 2:3). In Miykah (Micah) we read of where the Messiah was to come from.
Miykah 5:2But thou, Bethlehem, Ephrathah, though thou be little among the thousands of Yehudah, yet out of thee shall be come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from old [qedem], from everlasting.
The words ancient, old, and east all speak of the source of where all things come from. This is why YHVH is called the one from everlasting or the east (Havakuk (Habakkuk) 1:12). The word west or yam (ים) speaks of the direction of the nations and is equally translated as the seas, or source of the mass of humanity. This is where we get the term "the sea of humanity". Man's ways come from the west and ’Elohiym's ways come from the east. It is no coincidence that the only entrance to the tabernacle is on the east side.
There is a gate placed at the east end which leads immediately to the brazen altar. The word gate is most interesting, as well. The word gate is translated from the Hebrew word, sha‘ar (שער). This word is basically articulated as shaw-ghar. The word literally means to complete a business transaction. At this time, surrounding most larger cities were walls. Most walled cities had two gates by which to enter into the city. There was a general, larger entrance and then there was a much smaller gate called the gate of the elders. It is at this smaller gate that several things took place. When entering the city, if you went through the smaller gate, you were met by the city elders who settled disputes and debts. If you were a debtor to anyone, you could take care of the debt at the narrow gate and then walk freely anywhere in the city. You were not to be harassed or condemned by your creditors. Anything you had at ought with anyone was also settled by the city elders. However, if you were not concerned about settled debts or disputes, then you could freely walk through the wide gate, but at your own peril. So, in other words, you could settle your debts now and be free, or you could take your chances and settle them later. These two gates, if it is not obvious already, are the gates referred to in Mattityahu (Matthew):
Mattityahu 7:13Enter in at the narrow gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be who go in that way; Because narrow is the gate, and hard is the way, which leads unto life, and few be there that find it.
Here are some sources for the background of the gate of the elders: Yiremeyahu (Jeremiah) 7:1-7; Devariym (Deuteronomy) 16:18, 21:19, 25:7; Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 20:4; Mishlei (Proverbs) 31:23; and Zekareyah (Zechariah) 8:16. For obvious reasons this gate was also called the gate of thanksgiving.
Mizemor (Psalm) 100:4Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise; be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
It is just past this gate that we find the brazen altar, the altar of sacrifice. This is where any approach to YHVH must begin. The coals of fire from this altar must be taken with the incense that is to be offered on the golden altar. It is the coals from the fire of the altar of sacrifice that were circumvented by Nadav and Avihu when the fire of YHVH consumed them. Without these coals, the offering would have been a strange fire.
The gate was the way into the city. In the same way there was only one way to enter the tabernacle, there was and is only one way to enter into the kingdom of ’Elohiym. Yeshua‘ claimed to be the only way in Yochanan (John) 14:6. At the end of the revelation of Yochanan we are told that there are twelve gates to the New Jerusalem. These gates are the twelve tribes of Israel. It is through one of these gates that one must enter the New Jerusalem. One might ask "Which gate am I going through?" This is a subject that is covered in one of our teaching series called, The Principle of the Seed. It might be important to know that those who have washed their robes, or kept the commandments in other Greek manuscripts, are those who have right to the tree of life and may enter in through the gates into the city.
Hitgalut (Revelation) 22:14Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
The gate was the only way into the court of the tabernacle, it was the only doorway. If one attempted to enter in any other way, he was considered a thief. Yeshua‘ is the only door to the sheepfold, anyone entering any other way is a thief (Yochanan 10:1-8).
PILLARS and SOCKETS
The court was surrounded by pillars that were set in sockets. We have covered silver and bronze extensively already, but it is interesting to discover the meaning of the pillars and sockets. The word pillars used here is the Hebrew word ‘ammud (עמוד). This word is from the verbal root ‘amad, which means to stand. The court, as we have previously discussed. is a picture of the physical body and our individual resolve. The pillars represent our call to stand firmly without wavering. Three examples come to my mind.
Yiremeyahu 6:16Thus saith YHVH, stand in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk in it, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk in it.
Romans 5:1-2Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Adonay Yeshua‘ Mashiach: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Ephesians 6:13-14Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand, therefore, having your loins girded about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness ...
It is clear from these verses that one cannot stand alone, and that it is truth, hope, and ’Elohiym Himself that you can stand firmly in. It is, again, no coincidence that these pillars are to be set in sockets. The Hebrew word chosen here by YHVH for sockets is ’eden (אדן). The root of this word is adon or master. Most occurances of this word are in reference to earthly lords or masters. It is the root of the word adonai. Today the Jewish religion, in general, uses the words HaShem or Adonai when referring to YHVH. There are a handful of scriptures in which this word refers to the Master of masters, i.e. Shemot 23:17, 34:23; Devariym 10:17; Nechemeyah (Nehemiah) 10:29; Male’akiy (Malachi) 3:1. Our pillars are to be firmly planted in our heavenly Master, and the ways that we are to stand in are the old ways and the old paths. We must also stand together in the traditions of YHVH and not the traditions of man or the church.
2 Thessalonians 2:15Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word or our epistle.
We are commanded not to walk in the counsel of the ungodly, nor to stand in the way of the sinners, or to sit in the seat of the scornful (Mizemor 1:1). So, enter in at the narrow gate.
Shalom Alecheim! ◊