|Sight line from the Israelites' Courtyard to the Golden Table.|
Altar outline is shown in light gray.
• The figure representing a person is shown as being four amos tall (some sources maintain that a person is only three amos tall)
• The Kohanim's Courtyard was elevated by 2.5 amos above the Israelites' Courtyard, as per the opinion of R' Eliezer ben Yaakov in Middos (according to the Sages, there may have been no change in elevation at all beyond the duchan).
• There were a total of eleven Tables located in the Holy (not shown in the diagram here), and the one that was used to hold the Showbread was located at the western end of the Holy (according to those opinions that only one Table was present, that one Table would have stood further to the east).
• The person looking at the Table is standing either to the north or south of the Altar, which is too tall to see over.
After taking all of the above into account, it appears that someone standing in the Israelites' Courtyard would not, in fact, be able to see the bread (or any part of the Table) from where it resided in the Holy. The Kohanim would therefore have had to raise it up — nearly over their heads, it would seem — for the bread to be visible to the people standing outside, just as the Gemara indicates.
A complication arises when looking at a top view of the Courtyard. The limiting factor becomes the relatively narrow opening of the Holy (ten amos wide) through which one must peer in order to see the Table. In the diagram below one would have to be standing within the blue shaded area to have a direct line of sight to the Table.
|Top view of the Courtyard.|