The Old Testament Tabernacle : Lesson #2
The Court and the Brazen Altar
In the previous lesson we saw the different materials that would be used in the Tabernacle and some of the things that they were connected with in type. In this lesson and the rest that will follow we are going to take a tour of the Tabernacle to see each of the major items of the Tabernacle.
In our tour of the Tabernacle, we are going to start on the outside of the court and work our way in. This pictures a lost person who is outside the family of God and is trying to get to God. In the Old Testament times the children of Israel would bring the sacrifices for their sins to the priest and they personally never went into the Holy Place or the Most Holy Place. Today we no longer need the earthly Tabernacle or the Levitical priesthood to enter the Holy place for us because Jesus Christ is our High Priest and he entered into the Holy Place of Heaven and obtained eternal redemption for us through his own blood (Hebrews 3:1 ; 9:11-15). We will see this in type through the tour of the Tabernacle.
The Court: (Exodus 27:9-19)
The court and the gate for the court is where we are going to begin the tour of the Tabernacle. The court is like a fence that went around the tabernacle. The court is made of fine twined linen with pillars and sockets of brass, and fillets of silver. It is rectangular in shape and has the dimensions of 100 cubits by 50 cubits. The gate for the court is to be on the east side of the tabernacle and was 20 cubits. The gate has 4 pillars, and is made of 4 materials blue, purple, scarlet, fine twined linen.
Some of the types found in the Court and Gate:
The 3 materials that we see in the court are fine twined linen which speaks of righteousness, brass which speaks of judgment, and silver which speaks of redemption. From this we see that the whole place is to be righteous and the only way to be righteous is going to be connected with judgment and redemption. This pictures the righteousness of a saved person which they get through the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). A saved person’s sin was judged in Christ on Calvary, and he has redeemed with his precious blood. This quote says it very well.
“The court is a picture of Righteousness. It rest on the judgments of God, and it is upheld by redemption.” [Dr. Peter S. Ruckman, Bible Believers Commentary Series, The Book of Exodus, pg. 652-653]
The first thing to note about the gate is that there is only one. This is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ because he is the only one way to get to God and heaven (John 14:6 ; 1 Timothy 2:5)
As we will see later it is made from the same 4 materials that the veil which is between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place, is made of (Exodus 26 :31). This again points to the Lord Jesus Christ. So, the only way to get to God is through the Lord Jesus Christ.
The length of the side that the gate was on is said to be 50 cubits and the gate is said to be 20 cubits. That gives 15 cubits on each side of the gate. Look at these numbers and add them up. 15+20+15=50 and 50 is a multiple of 5 which is usually connected with death in the Bible. So, it is through the death of the Lord Jesus Christ that we can be saved and go to heaven.
It is also interesting to note that when you add these numbers up individually 1+5+2+0+1+5 you get 14. Seven is God’s number or the number of completion and 2*7 is 14. Jesus is the 2nd member of the Trinity, and it is only through him that you can come to God.
The Brazen Altar: (Exodus 27:1-8)
Once you enter the gate of the court, the first thing that you see is the Brazen Altar. This is where all the animals were sacrificed, and the burnt offerings were made. The Altar was made of shittim wood and overlaid with brass. The dimensions for the altar were 5 cubits by 5 cubits and 3 cubits tall. Like other items of the Tabernacle it had rings on the side and staves of wood overlaid with brass through them for when it was moved. All the instruments were made of brass. It also had a grate of network of brass that was on the inside in the middle of the altar. The altar had a horn on each corner; the horns were for binding sacrifices to the altar (Psalm 118:27).
Some of the types found in the Brazen Altar:
It is very significant that the first thing a person sees when he enters the tabernacle is the Brazen Altar. The brass speaks of judgment and therefore it is a picture of God’s judgment on sin.
The altar could also be said to picture Hell or the Lake of Fire. We know that the Lake of Fire is the eternal punishment Satan and those who reject the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. So, the first thing a person sees when entering into the court is a picture of what is going to happen to him because of sin.
The dimensions of the Brazen Altar point to this as well. It is said to be 5 by 5, and 5 in the bible is connected with death. This is where all the animals died for the sins of the people. The word of God says that the end result of sin is death (James 1:14-15).
If you are curious about the number of 5 being connected with death note the following things.
- The first natural death in the Bible is in Genesis 5:5.
- In Acts 5:5 a man drops dead for lying to the Holy Ghost.
- The words devil, death, Satan, all have 5 letters.
- The first murder was committed by hand a man has 5 fingers on his hand
- A husband is supposed to love his wife enough to die for her just as Jesus Christ died for the Church, this is in Ephesians 5:25.
- Romans chapter 5 deals with the death of Adam and Jesus Chirst.
Therefore, with the altar picturing the judgment of sin this shows us that you cannot come to God without first dealing with your sin. Until you see yourself as a sinner (Romans 3:23) you will not get saved.
The burnt offerings picture the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:2). So not only do we see the judgment of sin pictured in the altar, but we see God’s provision for sin found in the altar. Everyone that brought an animal to be sacrificed could see that God was accepting something besides them for an offering of sin. God accepted his Son on behalf of us and if we will receive him as our Savior we do not have to suffer the wrath of God on sin (Romans 5:9 ; 1 Thessalonians 5:9).
To get to God and his righteousness we are going to first have to deal with the problem of sin. You can either let the Lord Jesus Christ be our Savoir or you can pay the penalty yourself but as clearly showed in the word of God Jesus is the only way. Which one will you choose???
The Old Testament Tabernacle : Lesson #2 Handout
The Court and the Brazen Altar
1) What are the 3 materials for the Court?
2) What are some of the types found in the Court?
3) What are the materials for the Brazen Altar?
4) What is the significant about the placement of the brazen altar in the tabernacle?
5) What is the significance of the dimensions of the brazen altar?
6) What are the types that we see in the Brazen Altar?