Life-Study of Exodusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we come to the gate of the court of the tabernacle. We may think that the gate is the most simple aspect of the outer court. However, when we begin to consider this matter, we find that it is not simple at all. Some of the points in this message may be quite new in concept to us all.
The first thing I wish to do is to give you an impression related to the appearance of the gate. In studying the types in the Old Testament, we need to pay attention both to the contents and to the appearance. The types in the book of Exodus have these two aspects—the aspect of the contents and the aspect of appearance. For example, the altar of burnt offering has a certain appearance. Furthermore, the grating, the rings, and the poles are the contents of the altar. In the previous messages concerning the outer court, we saw the contents and the appearance of the outer court.
The gate of the court of the tabernacle, like the entrance of any kind of building, has a particular appearance. The front gate or door of a building bears an appearance that attracts people’s attention. This was also true of the tabernacle. When someone approached the tabernacle from a distance, he could see the gate of the outer court. With this gate there was something representing the appearance of God’s building. The first impression one would have of the tabernacle and the court was that of the gate and the hangings on the two sides of the gate.
It is not difficult to remember the description of the front of the court. The front side was fifty cubits in width and had ten pillars. On each side of the gate was a hanging of linen fifteen cubits long. Exodus 27:14 and 15 say, “And the hangings for the one side of the gate shall be fifteen cubits; their pillars three, and their sockets three. And for the second side shall be hangings of fifteen cubits; their pillars three, and their sockets three.” Verse 16 describes the gate with its curtain: “And for the gate of the court there shall be a curtain of twenty cubits, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, the work of an embroiderer; their pillars four, and their sockets four.” As we consider the front of the court of the tabernacle, we should pay attention to the numbers three and four. On each side of the gate, there were three pillars and three sockets. Furthermore, on each side there were three spaces covered by a hanging of linen fifteen cubits long. The number fifteen, composed of three times five, signifies the responsibility borne by Christ matching the requirements of the Triune God. The fact that there were three pillars and three sockets on each side signifies that both the base and the standing matched the Triune God. Moreover, the two sides of the gate signify a testimony, since two is the number of testimony.
As we have seen, the gate itself was twenty cubits in length. There were four spaces for the four openings, and there were four pillars and four sockets. The number twenty here, composed of four times five, signifies Christ bearing the responsibility for men, the creatures. The four openings with the four pillars and the four sockets signify the gate being open toward men from the four ends (corners) of the earth (see 27:2, 4).
The curtain itself signifies the redeeming Christ as our entrance into God’s building. The blue signifies something heavenly; the purple, something royal; the scarlet, something of redemption; the fine twined linen, something even and of a strong human life; and the work of an embroiderer, the constituting work of the Holy Spirit.
Here we are emphasizing the numbers three and four. On each side there were three groups of three: three pillars, three sockets, and three spaces. In the gate there were four groups of four: four pillars, four sockets, four spaces, and four openings.
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