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Exodus 27:9-19

The Courtyard

27:9 “You are to make the courtyard 1  of the tabernacle. For the south side 2  there are to be hangings 3  for the courtyard of fine twisted linen, one hundred fifty feet long for one side, 4  27:10 with 5  twenty posts and their twenty bronze bases, with the hooks of the posts and their bands of silver. 27:11 Likewise 6  for its length on the north side, there are to be 7  hangings for one hundred fifty feet, with twenty posts and their twenty bronze bases, with silver hooks and bands 8  on the posts. 27:12 The width of the court on the west side is to be seventy-five feet with hangings, with their ten posts and their ten bases. 27:13 The width of the court on the east side, toward the sunrise, is to be seventy-five feet. 27:14 The hangings on one side 9  of the gate are to be 10  twenty-two and a half feet long, with their three posts and their three bases. 27:15 On the second side 11  there are to be 12  hangings twenty-two and a half feet long, with their three posts and their three bases. 27:16 For the gate of the courtyard there is to be a curtain of thirty feet, of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine twined linen, the work of an embroiderer, with four posts and their four bases. 27:17 All the posts around the courtyard are to have silver bands; 13  their hooks are to be 14  silver, and their bases bronze. 27:18 The length of the courtyard is to be one hundred fifty feet 15  and the width seventy-five feet, 16  and the height of the fine twisted linen hangings 17  is to be 18  seven and a half feet, with their bronze bases. 27:19 All 19  the utensils of the tabernacle used 20  in all its service, all its tent pegs, and all the tent pegs of the courtyard are to be made of bronze. 21 

1 tn Or “enclosure” (TEV).

2 tn Heb “south side southward.”

3 tn Or “curtains.”

4 sn The entire courtyard of 150 feet by 75 feet was to be enclosed by a curtain wall held up with posts in bases. All these hangings were kept in place by a cord and tent pegs.

5 tn Heb “and.”

6 tn Heb “and thus.”

7 tn Here the phrase “there will be” has been supplied.

8 sn These bands have been thought by some to refer to connecting rods joining the tops of the posts. But it is more likely that they are bands or bind rings surrounding the posts at the base of the capitals (see 38:17).

9 tn The word literally means “shoulder.” The next words, “of the gate,” have been supplied here and in v. 15. The east end would contain the courtyard’s entry with a wall of curtains on each side of the entry (see v. 16).

10 tn Here “will be” has been supplied.

11 tn Heb “shoulder.”

12 tn Here the phrase “there will be” has been supplied.

13 tn The text uses the passive participle here: they are to “be filleted with silver” or “bound round” with silver.

14 tn Here the phrase “are to be” has been supplied.

15 tn Heb “a hundred cubits.”

16 tn Heb “fifty.” The text has “and the width fifty [cubits] with fifty.” This means that it is fifty cubits wide on the western end and fifty cubits wide on the eastern end.

17 tn Here “hangings” has been supplied.

18 tn Here the phrase “is to be” has been supplied.

19 tn Heb “to all”; for use of the preposition lamed (ל) to show inclusion (all belonging to) see GKC 458 §143.e.

20 tn Here “used” has been supplied.

21 sn The tabernacle is an important aspect of OT theology. The writer’s pattern so far has been: ark, table, lamp, and then their container (the tabernacle); then the altar and its container (the courtyard). The courtyard is the place of worship where the people could gather – they entered God’s courts. Though the courtyard may not seem of much interest to current readers, it did interest the Israelites. Here the sacrifices were made, the choirs sang, the believers offered their praises, they had their sins forgiven, they came to pray, they appeared on the holy days, and they heard from God. It was sacred because God met them there; they left the “world” (figuratively speaking) and came into the very presence of God.

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