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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Holy of Holies
1. In the Tabernacle
The most holy place of the tabernacle in the wilderness (Exodus 26:31-33 ) was a small cube of 10 cubits (15 ft.) every way. It was divided from the holy Ceiled by curtains which bore cherubic figures embroidered in blue and purple and scarlet (Exodus 26:1 ), it contained no furniture but the Ark of the Covenant, covered by a slab of gold called the
2. In the Temple of Solomon
The proportions of the most holy place in the first temple were the same as in the tabernacle, but the dimensions were doubled. The sacred chamber was enlarged to 20 cubits (30 ft.) each way. We now meet with the word
3. In Later Times
In Ezekiel's temple plans, which in many things may have been those of the temple of Zerubbabel, the prophet gives 20 cubits as the length and breadth of the most holy place, showing that these figures were regarded as too sacred to undergo change (Ezekiel 41:4 ). There was then no Ark of the Covenant, but Jewish tradition relates that the blood of the great Day of Atonement was sprinkled on an unhewn stone that stood in its place. In Herod's temple, the dimensions of the two holy chambers remained the same - at least in length and breadth (see TEMPLE , HEROD 'S). The holiest place continued empty. In the spoils of the temple depicted on the Arch of Titus there is no representation of the Ark of the Covenant; only of the furniture of the outer chamber or holy place.
In the Epistle to the Hebrews we are taught that the true holy of holies is the heaven into which Jesus has now entered to appear in virtue of His own sacrifice in the presence of God for us (Hebrews 9:11 ). Restriction is now removed, and the way into the holiest is made open for all His people (Hebrews 10:19 , Hebrews 10:20 ).
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Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Holy of Holies'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/isb/h/holy-of-holies.html. 1915.
the Second Week of Advent