An enclosed space or yard within the limits of an oriental house, 2Sa 17:18. For the courts of the temple, see TEMPLE. The tabernacle also had a court. All oriental houses are built in the form of a hollow spare around a court. See HOUSE.
(Heb. chatser), an open enclosure surrounded by buildings, applied in the Authorized Version most commonly to the enclosures of the tabernacle and the temple.
COURT, an entrance into a palace or house (See House.) The great courts belonging to the temple of Jerusalem were three; the first called the court of the Gentiles, because the Gentiles were allowed to enter so far, and no farther; the second was the court of Israel, because all the Israelites, provided they were purified, had a right of admission into it; the third was that of the priests, where the altar of burnt-offerings stood, where the priests and Levites exercised their ministry. Common Israelites, who were desirous of offering sacrifices, were at liberty to bring their victims as far as the inner part of the court; but they could not pass a certain line of separation, which divided it into two; and they withdrew as soon as they had delivered their sacrifices and offerings to the priests, or had made their confession with the ceremony of laying their hands upon the head of the victim, if it were a sin-offering. Before the temple was built, there was a court belonging to the tabernacle, but not near so large as that of the temple, and encompassed only with pillars, and veils hung with cords.