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The English word court, or courtyard, which originated from a Latin word meaning an enclosed, uncovered area, has a wide variety of modern-day applications, ranging from a sporting tennis court, to a dignified court of law (the word courteous, meaning respectful and polite, is derived from court). Although courts of law in many nations are now seldom held in courtyards, in ancient times, and during Bible History, they were often the open-air walled places where kings and judges ruled upon public matters. Courts, or courtyards, were not always places where apparent justice was done however; Jesus Christ faced the high priest and the scribes (lawyers were originally known as Scribes) in the high priest's courtyard:

"Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered. But Peter followed Him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards to see the end." (Matthew 26:57-58 RSV).

Although many have made much of the injustice of how Jesus Christ was brutally treated and executed by corrupt officials (religious and political), justice was still done in that case exactly as God intended. The Messiah's mission was entirely a pre-destined matter of the sin-free Son of God paying the death penalty for the truly guilty - you, and me, and every other human that has ever, or will ever, live. Jesus Christ was the only human that could ever be without sin; anyone else who claims to be sinless is a liar (1 John 1:8). If He had been guilty of anything, He would not be qualified to be the Messiah, and if He had not been condemned as an innocent man in the eyes of God (see Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani?), the world would still be without a Savior. Despite the horrible injustice for one man, justice was done for all humanity.

Courts Of The Bible

The Temple Both The Tabernacle In The Wilderness and the Temple in Jerusalem (see Temples) had courts, or courtyards:

"You shall make the court of the tabernacle. On the south side the court shall have hangings of fine twined linen a hundred cubits long for one side; their pillars shall be twenty and their bases twenty, of bronze, but the hooks of the pillars and their fillets shall be of silver. And likewise for its length on the north side there shall be hangings a hundred cubits long, their pillars twenty and their bases twenty, of bronze, but the hooks of the pillars and their fillets shall be of silver. And for the breadth of the court on the west side there shall be hangings for fifty cubits, with ten pillars and ten bases. The breadth of the court on the front to the east shall be fifty cubits." (Exodus 27:9-13 RSV)

"If there is a dispute between men, and they come into court, and the judges decide between them, acquitting the innocent and condemning the guilty" (Deuteronomy 25:1 RSV)

"He built the inner court with three courses of hewn stone and one course of cedar beams. In the fourth year the foundation of the house of The Lord was laid, in the month of Ziv. And in the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, the house was finished in all its parts, and according to all its specifications. He was seven years in building it. Solomon was building his own house thirteen years, and he finished his entire house." (1 Kings 6:36-7:1 RSV)

In one of the most well-known incidents of the Bible, it was in the court of the Temple in Jerusalem (some versions of the Bible render it merely as "the Temple") where Joseph and Mary found the missing 12 year old Jesus teaching, much to the amazement of the elder teachers, and years later, after His ministry fully began, He again taught in the same Temple courts, but then often much to the opposition of the chief priests and the scribes who later condemned Him to death:

"After three days they found Him in the Temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; and all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers. And when they saw Him they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, "Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for You anxiously." And He said to them, "How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be in My Father's House?" (Luke 2:46-49 RSV)

"One day, as He was teaching the people in the Temple and preaching the Gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders came up and said to Him, "Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority." (Luke 20:1-2 RSV)

Fact Finder: Revelation 20:11-15 describes the Judgment after the 1,000 years after The Return Of Jesus Christ have ended. But not all people will be Judged by God then. How do we know that?
See When Will You Be Judged?

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