Communion With God : The Curtain of Fine Linen and the Entrance Gate

The Tabernacle

This post is the fifth in a series entitled “Communion With God“. You can view the previous posts by selecting the “Communion With God” option under Post Categories on the main page of my blog. So far we’ve taken a introductory level look at the Old Testament Sacrificesthe Jewish Festivals , A Chosen People and Being Clean and Unclean, Materials and now the Curtain of Fine Linen and the Entrance Gate.

The outer court was enclosed by massive curtains which were 5 cubits (7 1/2 feet) high all around. 150 feet long on the north and south sides, and 75 feet long on the west, and 45 feet long on the east, leaving room for the gate. The curtains were woven from fine linen and suspended from the pillars, which were also 5 cubits apart.

Five separate curtains were suspended round the courtyard. Two of them ran along the long side each being 100 cubits. The one at the west end was 50 cubits long while there were two short ones on either side of the front entrance each being 15 cubits in length.

The plain white linen screen formed a barrier around the House of God. No Israelite could casually wander around the Holy building or stroll into the courtyard, just as man cannot on his own, approach God, by resting or trusting in his own righteousness.

The material that formed this barrier was fine white linen symbolizing righteousness. The symbolism is revealed in the Book of Revelation where, at the wedding of Christ with His bride (the church) who has made herself ready for the wedding. Her wedding dress will be made of fine linen:

Rev 19:8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

The Pegs of Bronze and their cords (Ex 35:18)

Exod 35:18 ‘the pegs of the tabernacle, the pegs of the court, and their cords;

These were for the tabernacle and the court. The pegs of bronze were like nails that were driven into the ground upon which the cords were attached. They added strength and protected from wind, etc. The Bible mentions about these pegs and cords within Gods sanctuary.

Ezra 9:8 “And now for a little while grace has been shown from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and give us a measure of revival in our bondage.”

Is 22:23 I will fasten him as a peg in a secure place, and he will become a glorious throne to his father’s house.

Is 54:2 “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; do not spare; Lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes.

The fine white linen fence tells us that the righteousness of God keeps men out. Jesus Christ is the righteousness of God. The law was given as a standard to show man exactly what is the sum total of perfection and anything short of that is sin and unrighteousness.

God describes all of mans righteousness as filthy rags. Jesus said, “I have not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it.” When He was here He was a living example of a sinless life. By dying for us and bearing our sin He becomes our substitute by which we, in exchange, receive His perfect life. Our sin went on Him and His perfect life is imputed to us. Therefore when God sees us He sees the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

How good must one be to enter heaven? The answer is ‘as perfect as God.’ That is because we have His righteousness imputed to us by faith. Jesus Christ fulfilled the law. He was without sin. Even when the Jewish leaders wanted to stone Him He asked them, “for which good work are you going to stone me?” and they answered, “because you being a man make yourself out to be God.” If a man were to gaze inside of the ark of the covenant by lifting the mercy seat he would be face to face with the law of God and without the blood it was instant death. The judgment angels were upon the mercy seat where the blood was to be sprinkled. Man in all of his unrighteousness must approach God the proper way, the chosen way and not via the way of Cain. The law of God kills, not because it is bad but because it reveals mans sin. The perfect man, Jesus Christ, having never sinned was accepted on our behalf so that we may receive the righteousness of God as the Word says, “for as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”

When a common Israelite approached the tabernacle he found that a wall of white linen around the entire tabernacle area formed a barrier against him all the way around for 300 cubits (450 feet) except for one stretch of 20 cubits (30 feet) that was different. It was known as The Entrance Gate.

Ex 27:16 “For the gate of the court there shall be a screen twenty cubits long, woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, made by a weaver. It shall have four pillars and four sockets.

Note: Don’t get confused between verses indicating four pillars and five pillars. Here is a link that describes the differences between the different entrances in the tabernacle here:

Gate = 4 pillars  (entrance way into the Tabernacle)
Door = 5 pillars (entrance way into the Holy Place)
Veil = 4 pillars (entrance way into the Holy of Holies)

*** This posts specifically deals with the Gate, the entrance way into the Tabernacle

The gate was NOT formed of white linen but was multi-colored in woven white, blue, purple and red and the curtains hung on four strong pillars. The entrance gate clearly marked out the one way by which a sinner could gain access to the court of God’s house.

This was the one and only way by which men and women could draw near to God. It was the single entrance to the entire tabernacle. There was no other way in. Whether he is a priest going to carry out his duties or a repentant sinner seeking forgiveness, a man had to enter by that one way.

Once an Israelite entered the gate into the outer court with his sacrifice he was standing on “holy ground”.

No one could enter by any other way except this gate. Any Israelite approaching the Tabernacle leading his sacrifice and desiring atonement knew that there was no way to reach the bronze altar but through the gate that faced east.

Num 2:3 “On the east side, toward the rising of the sun, those of the standard of the forces with Judah shall camp according to their armies;

Blue (Heaven)
Woven into or embroidered on the linen were blue, purple, and scarlet threads. The Hebrew word for blue means shellfish. A brilliant dye was excreted from this mollusk. The colour colour is always mentioned first. Man needed something to suggest the idea of heaven as a place from which God reveals Himself more fully than on earth. Therefore the colour blue represents heaven, the colour of the sky. We see the loveliness of the blue in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ who was not only heavenly in His origin but in His very nature and ways.

John 3:31 “He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.

Purple (Royalty)
The Hebrews would get this colour from mixing blue and scarlet together. This deep red-purple colour was a colour of royalty (Kingly) Judges 8:26 ornaments, pendants, and purple robes which were on the kings of Midian, and besides the chains that were around their camels’ necks.The colour purple typifies Jesus as King of King’s and Lord of Lord’s, but there is another important truth. The mixing of blue and scarlet. Blue speaks of someone who is heavenly-minded, and scarlet, as we shall see, represents blood and death, sacrifice, and manhood. Purple is a combination of both, which speaks of Christ as both God and man.

Scarlet (Sacrifice)
The colour scarlet was derived from an Eastern insect (worm) that infests certain trees. It was gathered, crushed, dried, and ground to a powder that produced a brilliant crimson hue. Scarlet speaks of sacrifice and typifies Christ in His sufferings. The crucifixion Psalm 22 quotes Jesus as saying – “I am a worm”. God somehow took upon Himself a body of flesh and blood and then died, giving His life as a ransom for us all.

Once an Israelite entered the gate into the outer court with his sacrifice he was standing on “holy ground”.

Jesus revealed Himself as the only entrance to God. The eastern gate pointed to Him. Every other possible way has been barred by the righteousness of God but because of the blood of Christ we have a way of approach. The tribe of Judah camped outside the eastern gate, the kingly tribe, and the tribe that means praise. Jesus sits as king with everything under Him. He is Malach Yahweh (The Lord our King). The worship of countless hosts will be unto Him for eternity. The beautiful gate reveals how beautiful Jesus is to behold. He is the altogether lovely One. In Him there are no flaws. He is perfect in character. If we could see His face we would see a look of love that would give us strength forever.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Rev 5:5 But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”

Rev 5:11-14 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honour and glory and blessing!” And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honour and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” Then the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.”

Four Pillars
The number four is typically associated with completion. There are some who say that four could also represent the four authors of the Gospels of Jesus (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) .

Bronze Sockets (the hidden foundation)
They were the hidden foundation (1 Cor 3:11 “no other foundation…”)- They were first mentioned first in setting up.

Bronze (Judgement)
Bronze represents judgement. It typifies the divine character of Christ who took upon Himself the fire of God’s wrath, holiness and justice.

It is noteworthy that there were no cherubim represented on this outdoor screen. Cherubim were only seen within the Holy Place.

This screen with its blend of white, blue, purple and scarlet was identical to that hanging at the entrance to the tabernacle building. But it was very different from the white linen fence, which went around the entire courtyard. Think of the beauty that would meet the eye of the Israelite as he approached the gate of the Tabernacle. The bright rays of the sun would be shining upon the four colours of the gate.

This was the one and only way by which men and women could draw near to God. It was the single entrance to the entire tabernacle. There was no other way in. Whether he is a priest going to carry out his duties or a repentant sinner seeking forgiveness, a man had to enter by that one way.

The Gate was always open, never barred, with no one to forbid a person who wanted to worship God. But one must make a personal decision to enter if he is to receive.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!


  1. A fantastic post, Bruce! Once upon a time, I studied this, but it has been many years ago…So you can imagine my delight that you are writing about this. And you are delving into it so thoroughly. I am overjoyed to be studying it all again through your wonderful blog! Thank you! This is not only extremely well-researched as all your posts are, but it is also communicated with a reverence that leads me to worship. God bless you greatly!

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