Concerns the outer court except vv20-21
The main features of the Outer Court are the brazen altar of sacrifice (v.1-8), and the 60 brazen pillars upholding the white linen hangings (righteousness of God) (v.9-19) (Song 3.7-10).The outer court elements manifestly speak of two principles: sin's flesh (brass) and redemption (silver), the dimensions - multiples of 5, speaking of grace magnified (Zech.4;7, I Cor,I;3).
Collectively therefore, the outer court and contents spoke of entrance into the holy courts of Yahweh (Pslm.84;1) (salvation), through Yahweh's grace, manifest in a redeemed multitude (Rev.5;9,10), who have washed and sacrificed their lives in service to Yahweh, and upheld God's righteousness, symbolised by the white linen hangings (Rev. 19. 7), the Lord being the pre-eminent exemplar of the way (Jhn1;l4, Col.1, 2), but as head of a mighty multitude of the redeemed going forth into battle (Song 3;7-11).*
1 And thou shalt [build the] an altar of shittim wood [Mizbe'ach of acacia wood], five cubits long, and five cubits [wide]; the altar [Mizbe'ach] shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three [shalosh] cubits.
Altar/sacrifice: Blood is the life of sin's flesh -
'O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?' (Rom 7: 24).
'I lay down my life'... Our Lord Yahoshua (Jhn 10: 17) 'For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality' (1 Cor 15: 53).
Exhort one another:
'I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
(Rom 12: 1; Matt 10:39) *
This was a large structure 5x5x3 cubits (10x10x6ft), to accommodate the sacrifices of the herd or flock, made of shittim (acacia) wood. This was one of the few trees that grew in the Sinai desert as thorny, uncomely, stunted shrubby trees, yet able to survive the arid desert conditions, as we have to survive and endure the persecutions and rejections that accompany the wilderness walk in Christ (Is.53.2,3) "there is no beauty that we should desire him" "despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows acquainted with grief."
The word for "altar" is mizbeach from a root zabach, signifying "to slaughter." Hence by its very name it suggests death. Paul makes the point that "without the shedding of blood is no remission" (Heb. 9:22), because blood shed in sacrifice represents a life devoted to Yahweh (Lev. 17:11). There is a need, therefore, to "crucify the flesh with the affections and lusts" (Gal. 5:24), and give one's life in dedication, if we would please God.
In Mosaic sacrifices, the animals were slain, and the blood was smeared upon the horns of the altar, and poured out by its side (Exo. 29:12; Lev. 8:15; 9:9; 16:18),representing that the offerer sacrificed his fleshly desires, and gave his life in dedication to Yahweh. Why should it be necessary to represent the flesh as being put to death? Because of its sinful proclivities, called in Romans sin in the flesh.
The Christadelphian Expositor
2 And thou shalt make the horns of it upon the four corners thereof: his horns shall be of the same: and thou shalt overlay it with brass.
It was a foursquare construction with four horns, speaking of the Israel of God in sacrificial manifestation, the Altar or Christ community, purified and sanctified by the holy anointing oil (Ex.30.28,29), representing the pure Word of Truth and Holy Spirit power poured out on the anointed Christ without measure Mtt.3;16,l7).
The four horns symbolised judgment and mercy (manifest in the Israel of God (Hbk.3.3, Zech.1.20,21, 1s21.5). When this sacrificial community go forth from Sinai, they will exercise these aspects of judgment and mercy on the humbled populations.
Horns are symbols of power (Deut.33.1 7, Pslm 132 :17, Hbk3.4) and such will be invested in the saints as this world has no comprehension of, the manifestation of divine power in order to subdue Christ's enemies and set up the Kingdom of God (Dan 10 Rev 1,Rev19).
The Altar was overlain with brass representing sin's flesh purified. All brass (Heb. na hash -serpent) was purified with fire and passed through the water of separation (Nu.31.22,23).. So the saints must pass through fiery trial (1 Pet. 4.12, 1.7), and the water of the Word, separating, purging and purifying them from the dross of the flesh, from heresy from Apostasy, from the world, before they can be of use to Yahweh.
"To this man will I look even he that is of a humble and contrite spirit and trembleth at my Word." (1s.66.2).
The brass censors from the rebellion of Korah and his associates were cast into broad plates to cover the Altar (Num, 16.37-40), as a constant reminder of the folly of rebellion against Yahweh, and the need to subdue sin's flesh of our nature, and bring our lives acceptably into conformity with God (Rom.12.1 ,2) *
3 And thou shalt make his pans to receive his ashes, and his shovels, and his basons, and his fleshhooks, and his firepans: all the vessels thereof thou shalt make of brass.
4 And thou shalt make for it a grate of network of brass; and upon the net shalt thou make four brasen rings in the four corners thereof.
5 And thou shalt put it under the compass of the altar beneath, that the net may be even to the midst of the altar.
6 And thou shalt make staves for the altar, staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with brass.
7 And the staves shall be put into the rings, and the staves shall be upon the two sides of the altar, to bear it.
8 Hollow with boards shalt thou make it: as it was shewed thee in the mount, so shall they make it.
Where is it written that... The fires on the altar were kept continually burning with the coals and the wood, ready for the Daily burnt offering, the same coal used to burn the incense on the golden altar, so that acceptable prayer was connected with the fire of a sacrificial life, repudiating self and self interest or selfish gain (1s.6.6, Ezk.l0.2, Rev.8.3,4).
9. And thou shalt make the court of the tabernacle: or the south side southward there shall be hangings for the court of fine twined linen of an 100 cubits long for one side:
10 And the 20 pillars thereof and their 20 sockets shall be of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets shall be of silver.
11 And likewise for the north side in length there shall be hangings of an 100 cubits long, and his 20 pillars and their 20 sockets of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets of silver.
12 And for the breadth of the court on the west side shall be hangings of fifty cubits: their pillars 10, and their sockets 10.
13 And the breadth of the court on the east side eastward shall be 50 cubits.
14 The hangings of one side of the gate shall be 15 cubits: their pillars 3, and their sockets three.
15 And on the other side shall be hangings 15 cubits: their pillars 3, and their sockets 3.
16 And for the gate of the court shall be an hanging of 20 cubits, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework: and their pillars shall be 4, and their sockets 4.
Admission to the Court was through the Gate
The basic requirement of the symbolism of the Sanctuary was righteousness. That was unequivocally intimated by the fact that the Sanctuary was separated from the world around by a screen of fine twined linen. All about were the dark tents of Israel: against them the white screen stood out in significant contrast, the very 0 emblem of moral spotlessness.
In so far as the Court represented the people busy in God's service the screen was therefore a challenge to them to be spotlessly white in character and conduct to fit them for the stupendous responsibility of having God in their midst. It is in keeping with this fact that the Court was sometimes called "the holy (place)" (Lev. 6: 16; 10: 18; cf. Num, 28 : 7).
...The Israelite who wished to offer a sacrifice upon the Altar could not enter the Court except through this divinely appointed entrance, and on the terms which it stipulated as the conditions of access to God. The colours told him that on the basis of righteousness (the fine twined linen), expressing itself in good works (the needlework), he and God could be at one; but on no other.
Law and Grace Ch 5
Blue (heavenlies/ logos), Purple (The flesh) Scarlet (the sin thereof) Fine twined linen (righteous works) all manifest in the Son of Deity/ Son of Man.
Gate of the Court: 'He that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep'. Yahoshua saith 'I am the door of the sheep' (Jhn 10: 2,7). Only in his name through belief and baptism. No other way.
The pillars upon which the veil was hung may have a meaning. They were four in number, made of shittim wood covered with gold, standing in sockets of silver, and filleted with hooks at the top for the suspension of the veil.
We all know that pillars are used figuratively to denote leading and upholding men, as when it is written,
"James, Cephas and John seemed to be pillars" (Gal. 2:9),
or when it is said, "He is a regular pillar". Here are four pillars on which the Christ-veil is exhibited to view and held in its place for tabernacle use.
It is a remarkable fact that the testimony for Christ has been shown to the world by and hooked upon four particular writers who were "eye-witnesses and ministers of the word"--Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (Luke was an eye-witness at the second stage).
Was this the meaning of the Mosaic prophecy in this particular? We have no positive authority for alleging it, but it looks wonderfully like it. There must have been a reason in a structural parable why four, and not six or any other number, was adopted for the pillars holding the veil. We are not told the reason, but the facts seem to point to it.
The composition of the pillars agrees with the understanding of them. Wood, perishable human nature, coated and beautified with the gold of faith in preparation for the clothing upon with the immortal; and as regards their official pillar position, standing upon the silver foundation of purity for which they were chosen. (Silver is always the figure of purged character. Mal. 3:3; Isa. 1:22, 25). The hooks of gold would stand for the pens of faith by which the "evangelist" testimony was given to the world.
... The only light we can have at present is the light of illuminated brains, and this is not a fixed light, but a light that requires constant renewal by daily supplies of the oil of the word.
"Order the lamps upon the pure candlestick from the evening unto the morning before the Lord continually",
is the type. Nothing less than the daily reading of the word can answer to this type.
The light of the truth burns steadily under such a process: under any other, it goes out for all practical purposes of saintship.
Law of Moses Ch 13
17 All the pillars round about the court shall be filleted with silver; their hooks shall be of silver, and their sockets of brass.
The sun would glint and reflect on the brazen pillars and flash on the silver hooks, as those who manifest God's righteousness in their daily lives shine forth with the fire and light of divine Truth. *
60 pillars of brass
The saints in the execution of judgment in the approaching "hour of judgment," are typified by the sixty pillars of brass, pertaining to the court of the tabernacle (Exod. xxvii. 9-17).
This dwelling in Song iii. 7, is styled "His litter which is for Solomon." It is seen "ascending out of the wilderness as pillars of smoke." The Bride asks "Who is this?" Her attendants reply that it is
"His litter which is for Solomon himself. Sixty valiant men surround it, the stoutest heroes of Israel; every one of them grasping a sword, being expert in war; the Commander his sword upon his thigh without fear in nights."
This scene is introduced in Apoc. xix. 14. Here the Commander and his sixty heroes, or brazen pillars, are in battle array, and prepared to smite the nations, and to tread the winepress, without fear or apprehension of defeat.
18 The length of the court shall be an 100 cubits, and the breadth 50 every where, and the height five cubits of fine twined linen, and their sockets of brass.
Surrounding the outer Court was the whole foursquare encampment of Israel, until established at Sinai as the sanctuary of Yahweh in Israel. What they saw, when they looked towards the Tabernacle (mishkan), was the spotless white linen enclosure and the black tent (badger's skins) in the midst, speaking of God's righteousness, in contrast to the blackness of the Diabolos nature.
Outer Court now represents the Gentiles,
'But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months'.
1260 years ended between 1866-71. *
19 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.
The Outer Court was secured by the cords and pins (nails) to hold it fast under desert storms that could spring up at a moment's notice. Thus these were seemingly of less important if not insignificant, yet vital. Christ is the sure nail who went into the earth, but now having overcome holds his faithful ecclesia sure.
"In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (Jhn.16;33, Is.22.23-25, Jdg.4;21). *
20 And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always.
The light was caused by the combustion of oil supplied to the lamps morning and evening, without which the light would have gone out--whence we may gather the idea that the candlestick does not represent the word of the Lord in the abstract, but that word as incorporate in living believers, after the example of the seven apocalyptic candlesticks which stood for seven light-bearing communities of saints. It is manifest that the word of the Lord can have no operative existence apart from living reflectors.
Inspiration itself is but the intelligence of God apart from a living medium.
And when this inspiration, acting through the prophets and apostles, had incorporated itself in writing, the writing was not in itself the light, but the mere means of the light when it enters into the knowledge and understanding of living believers. The word as oil becomes in them the light, when combusted in their understanding, and by this light they walk in the darkness. This will enable us to understand why the lamps had to be replenished morning and evening.
Law of Moses Ch 14
21 In the tabernacle (mishkan) of the congregation without the vail, which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall order it from evening to morning before Yahweh: it shall be a statute for ever unto their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.
No Israelite was allowed into the Tabernacle, only the priests (Num. 3;I0, 38) and the Levites (Nu.3;5-10), who did the service of the tabernacle, typifying the elect or Sons of Zadok in the Kingdom of God, and the service in the great Temple on Mount Zion (Ezk.44.15,16).
Here, only the Sons of Zadok (the immortal saints) will officiate at the Altar, and the Levites (mortal), who kept not the charge (apostasised) will perform the menial tasks. But as the Psalmist says (Pslm.84.10)...I would rather be a doorkeeper...
The priests alone were to offer the sacrifices of the people, (sin, burnt, peace),(Nu.18.5), and then only after washing of hands and feet, lest. they die (Ex. 3O: 17-21). So we must be washed and sanctified by the washing of the word, if the sacrifice of Christ is to be efficaceous for us, with a clear conscience in full assurance of faith.(Hb. l0.21).
The last 2 verses which remind us of the pure oil for the light of the 7 branched Lampstand, to be maintained evening and morning as a perpetual statute (1 Thess. 5) lest apostasy develop (Rev 1-3).
Pure Olive Oil.
The lamp was to be kept burning always, continually, and never let go out. So It is with us, the lamp of the Truth has to be kept continually burning, hence Paul's warning to Timothy 2Tim 2:1,2 but look what was happening 2Tim 3:13, 2Tim 4:3,4. The ecclesial lampstand of Apostolic Truth, was burning with a smoky flame, and let to go out in apostasy (2Thess ), which grew and grew into the Man of Sin Apostasy through the first 6 seals (Rev.6), and was already mature by the fourth Seal.
The oil supply of the pure Word was not forthcoming. The children of Israel had to supply the Tabernacle with pure olive oil from their olive trees, in the olive harvest, shaking the trees, and collecting the fruit, crushing the Olives (beaten), and removing, filtering out all bits of flesh, to give the purest best quality olive oil, for the pure flame of the Lampstand, replenished daily (evening and morning) by the Aaronic priesthood. This typifies the labours and responsibilities of the holy orders of the saints (true believers), now, in their probation.
Otherwise darkness, or at best a smudgy corrupt flickering unclear light, which is darkness Matt 6:22,23. This entailed keeping the wicks trimmed daily so that it preserved the pure flame of divine light. In the days of Samuel (Eli), the lamp went out, because of the prevailing Apostasy at Shiloh, and Yahweh destroyed Shiloh by the Philistines 1Sam 3:3, 1Sam 4:9-11).
This was a lesson in Jeremiah's day Jer 7:1-34, and is what is found when Christ comes with the same consequences. "When the Son of Man cometh, shall he find The Faith on the earth." Luke 18:8 . Matt 25:1-13 The five wise virgins kept their lamps trimmed and full of the golden oil of the Word, well trimmed, and were ready for the Bridegroom, but the five foolish had not done so, so were barred from the marriage feast.
As Bro Thomas says in Elpis Israel "The long -expected but stealthy advent of the King of Israel will be on the eve of becoming a fact; and salvation Will be to those who not only looked for it but have trimmed their lamps by believing the gospel of the Kingdom unto the obedience of faith, and perfection thereof in fruits meet for repentance," *
*Bro Richard Lister
The Apocalyptic Messenger