And thou shall make the court of the tabernacle: for the south
This was a large court yard to the house of God, or tabernacle, which stood in it at the upper end of it; it was enclosed, but open to the air; and in it, between the entrance into it and the holy place, stood the altar of burnt offering before described, and on one side of that the laver for the priests to wash in; into this the people of Israel were admitted, and where they brought their sacrifices and worshipped: it was typical of the visible church of God on earth, which, though an enclosure, and is separated from the world, yet consists of professors, good and bad, of real saints and hypocrites; as into this court Israelites of every character, sex, and state entered. In David's time it was divided into various courts, and what answered to it when the temple was built were the several apartments called the courts of the priests, where they sacrificed, and the court of Israel, where the men Israelites worshipped, and the court of the women, where they were by themselves; and in later times there was another court separate from these, called the court of the Gentiles, into which they might enter; and the description of this court begins with that side of it which lay full south: there shall be
hangings for the court of fine twined linen of one hundred cubits long
for one side;
for the south side; and these hangings, with the rest all around, made the court, and were the walls of it; and from hence we learn, that it was one hundred cubits or fifty yards long, according to the common computation of a cubit; though it was three hundred inches more, this cubit being three inches more than is commonly supposed. These hangings, vails, or curtains, for so in the versions they are differently called, were the enclosure of the court; they were made of fine linen, six times twisted, but not of various colours, and curiously wrought with cunning work, as the curtains of the tabernacle were; and according to the signification of the word, they were wrought full of holes, like eyelet holes, or in the manner of network; so that though they kept persons from entering in, they might be seen through, and through them might be seen what was doing in the court: and all this may signify that the visible church of God on earth is separated from the world, and should consist of men called out of it, and of such who are clothed with that fine linen, clean and white, the righteousness of the saints, and which is the righteousness of Christ, and who have both inward and outward holiness; and though none but those who are admitted members of it may partake of its ordinances, yet others may be spectators of what is done in it.