By Thomas Newberry
Exodus 27. 9.
Verse 9. "For the south side southward there shall be hangings for the court of fine-twined linen of a hundred cubits long for one side."
THE FINE LINEN IS the righteousness of saints" (Rev. 19. 8). "I counsel thee to buy of Me white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed," says Christ (Rev. 3. 18). "Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ," is the exhortation of the Apostle (Romans 13.14).
The COURT of the Tabernacle, surrounded by these hangings of fine-twined linen, represents believers in their ordinary Christian character and intercourse, walking in the presence of God in holiness and righteousness before Him, keeping their garments undefiled by sin, putting on and living out Christ, and exhibiting Him before men.
THE PILLARS AND SOCKETS.
Verse 10. "And the twenty pillars thereof and their twenty sockets shall be of brass."
Or, as expressed in chapter 38.10: "Their pillars were twenty, and their brazen sockets twenty."
The PILLARS fixed in SOCKETS of BRASS, representing individual believers in their religious character, and firm standing. There were twenty pillars on the north and south, corresponding with the twenty boards of the Tabernacle on those sides The BOARDS representing believers associated in Church fellowship, and the PILLARS of the court, believers in their wider and ordinary Christian walk.
Each PILLAR stood firmly fixed in a SOCKET of brass, as expressing the firm and decided stand which is requisite in living out the Christian character. As united in Church fellowship, in the sight of God, we stand in redemption, like the boards of the Tabernacle on the sockets of silver. But as walking before God, and living before men, in our daily course, we need a holy decision of character, standing strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might, as the pillars of the court in their sockets of brass. "Having done all, to stand," says the Apostle. "Stand therefore" (Eph. 6.13,14).
If "the Church of the living God" is to be "the pillar and ground of the truth," individual believers in their Christian character and ordinary conduct should seek, to maintain the truth, by walking in it with firmness and decision, like James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars in their day, and especially like the Apostle Paul.
THE HOOKS AND FILLETS.
Verse 10. "The hooks of the pillars and their fillets
CONNECTING-RODS. These silver rods connected the pillars together, and formed the rods on which the linen curtains hung. The hooks and connecting-rods were to be of silver, and SILVER is typical of REDEMPTION; for the Atonement money was in silver (Exodus 30.11-16).
And SILVER is also typical of communion; for it was the ordinary medium for monetary transactions. And the hooks fixed in the pillars were always in readiness to receive the connecting-rods.
Thus these pillars, standing in the brazen sockets, with their hooks and connecting-rods of silver, sustaining the curtains of fine-twined linen, and forming together the COURT of the Tabernacle, most strikingly and beautifully represent the people of God, in their ordinary religious character, established and settled, walking in righteousness and holiness, always prepared for, and constantly maintaining communion together, on the ground of their common redemption by the Blood of the Lamb, in their intercourse one with another, and in the presence of God.
It is a sweet and happy thought, affording some consolation in the present state of things, that even now, in the outwardly divided conditions of the Church of God, when Church FELLOWSHIP with the majority of Christians may be sought in vain, we may still maintain communion and love in our intercourse one with another on the ground of our common redemption, by the same precious Blood, and of our agreement together in the same fundamental truths of salvation, as taught and united by the same Holy Spirit.
THE LENGTH OF THE COURT.
Verse 11. "And likewise for the north side in length there shall be hangings of a hundred cubits long, and his twenty pillars and their twenty sockets of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets [connecting-rods] of silver."
One hundred cubits NORTH and SOUTH. 'Awake, 0 north wind, and come, thou south,' is the language of the Bride in the Song of Solomon (chap. 4.16). Whether the chill north wind of adversity blows, or the genial south wind of prosperity breathes, there should be the same FIRM STANDING, and decided walk, the same maintenance of RIGHTEOUSNESS and holiness, the same manifestation of Christ, and the same readiness for FELLOWSHIP with all saints, on the ground of our common Christianity.
THE BREADTH OF THE COURT.
Verses 12-15. "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."
In LENGTH - namely, one hundred cubits - the court of the TABERNACLE was one HALF the LENGTH of the INNER court of Ezekiel's TEMPLE, which will be two hundred cubits; and in BREADTH - namely, fifty cubits - HALF the BREADTH of the INNER court of the TEMPLE, which will be one hundred cubits.
THE GATE OF THE COURT.
Verse 16. "And for the gate of the court shall be a hanging of twenty cubits, of blue, and purple, and scarlet [worm scarlet], and fine-twined linen, wrought with needlework."
The hanging for the door of the tent and the vail, were both ten cubits by ten - one hundred cubits square; and the gate of the court twenty cubits by five in height - one hundred cubits square also; each representing CHRIST in different aspects. The GATE OF THE COURT being typical of CHRIST, by the faith of whom alone any really become Christians, and have a title to be regarded as such, and power in the Spirit for true fellowship in the Gospel. THE DOOR OF THE TENT representing CHRIST, through whom alone there is access into the Church of God. And the VAIL representing Him as the way by whom only there is access by faith into the holiest of all.
THE PILLARS OF THE GATE.
Verse 16. "Their pillars shall be four, and their sockets four."
By these FOUR PILLARS, corresponding with the four pillars which sustain the vail, are represented, I believe, the four divinely inspired historians of the life of Jesus. There are some differences, however, which are significant.
The PILLARS of the VAIL have their HOOKS of Gold, and their SOCKETS of SILVER; while the PILLARS of the GATE have their HOOKS of SILVER, and their SOCKETS of brass. The HOOKS of GOLD being significant of a DIVINELY-given ability for laying HOLD of and exhibiting the perfection of Immanuel, as the way of access faith into the Holiest; and the SOCKETS of SILVER significant of their STANDING in REDEMPTION.
The HOOKS of SILVER, and the silver connecting-rods of the PILLARS of the GATE, expressive of a capacity for communicating the truth of Christ; and the SOCKETS of BRASS, of decision and steadfastness. It is interesting to trace in the four inspired histories of the "Word made flesh," the various beauties and perfections of Immanuel, as signified by the BLUE, PURPLE, SCARLET, and FINE-TWINED LINEN, Composing the GATE OF THE COURT.
In John's account, the BLUE, or HEAVENLY PERFECTION and glory of the Lord Jesus, is manifest.
In MARK, the PURPLE, or the combination of HEAVENLY PERFECTNESS with the EARTHLY GLORY. And hence it is worthy of notice, that, in Mark 15.17, the robe in which, in mockery, Jesus was arrayed, is by the leading of the Spirit said to be of "PURPLE." In MATTHEW, the EARTHLY DIGNITIES of the Son of David, as typified by the SCARLET, appear; and Matthew says, they "put on Him a scarlet robe" (27.28).
Whereas, in LUKE, the WHITE, or PURE and SPOTLESS, yet exquisitely beautiful humanity of the Son of Man is prominent, as typified by the FINE-TWINED LINEN. And Luke says, they "arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe." Gorgeous, "Lam pros," meaning also, shining, resplendent, dazzling, white. Compare Acts 10.30; -Rev. 15.6; 19.8, in the Greek.
Verses 17-19. "All the pillars round about the court shall be filleted with silver [connected with rods of silver] their hooks shall be of silver, and their sockets of brass. The length of the court shall be a hundred cubits, and the breadth fifty everywhere, and the height five cubits of fine-twined linen, and their sockets of brass. All the vessels of the tabernacle in all the service thereof, and all the pins thereof, and all the pins of the court, shall be of brass."
All the pillars of the court were connected together by the SILVER RODS, and all were furnished with HOOKS for attaching them; teaching us, that all believers should maintain fellowship together in redemption, truth, and brotherly love, and all be prepared for it as occasion presents.
All the PILLARS stood on SOCKETS of BRASS; and all believers have need of enduring strength in Jesus, by the Spirit, to maintain, in such a world as this, their religious character and standing; that strengthened by God's Spirit in the inner man, Christ dwelling in the heart by faith, they may be rooted and grounded in love. (Eph. 3.16,17).
All the VESSELS of the Tabernacle for all the service of it, and even the PINS of the tabernacle and court, were to be of BRASS; for the same enduring spiritual strength is needed for all manner of service, down to the minutest particulars, in work connected with the Name of Jesus, and the presence of God.
In Exodus 38.17, we read: "The overlaying of their chapiters [tops or heads] of silver; and all the pillars of the court were filleted with silver [connected with rods of silver] ," showing that the chapiters, or heads of the pillars, and the fillets or connecting-rods, axe distinct; though both were of silver, and all formed part of the redemption money. "And of the thousand seven hundred and seventy and five shekels, he made for the pillars, and overlaid their chapiters, and filleted THEM" (Ex. 38.28).
The redemption which is in Christ Jesus, is not only the foundation of the Christian's FAITH, as shown by the silver sockets of the Tabernacle: it is also the ground of Christian LOVE and communion, as signified by the silver hooks and connecting-rods. And it is also the crown and joy of the Christian's HOPE, as signified by the silver chapiters, or crowns of the pillars. His faith, his love, and his hope, having each its ground and centre in Jesus, and in His mighty work.