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bits long, be divided into three parts, we have thirteen and one-third as one of the parts : so that the priest, in coming to burn incense, must walk over two thirds, or twenty-six cubits and two-thirds, before he could enter the third, where the altar and other things were. With respect to their relative situations in that space, we are informed, that the candlestick for the lamps stood on the south side, two cubits and a-half from the wall; that the shew bread table stood on the north side, in a line with it, two cubits and a-half also from the wall; and that the altar stood in the middle, opposite the veil, but farther from it than the other two. Thus they were disposed like the letter V, of which the candlestick formed the left limb, the shew bread table the right limb, and the altar the angle which joins them." It will be remembered that their position in the tabernacle was the same as in the Temple. I may farther remark, that it was on this altar that the incense which we formerly described was offered every morning and evening :' probably to teach the people the duty of prayer, and the necessity of presenting their requests through the medium of the Messiah. For, as the priest in the Temple stood daily before the golden altar offering incense within, while the people were praying without;eso Christ, the great high priest of our profession, having entered the Holy Place, not made with hands, now appears in the presence of God for us, and upon the altar which is
, above, graciously condescends to present to his Father the prayers of his people, perfumed with the incense of his perfect merits.' Happy those whose petitions he presents! They ascend with acceptance to the Lord God of Sabaoth : for him the Father heareth always.
Babyl. Talm. Soma. fol. 33. 2. • Exod. xxvi, 35; xxyii. 20; xl. 22–27. d Exod. xxx. 7, 8.
e Luke i. 9, 10.
< See part ii. sect. 5. f Rev, viii. 3, 4.
The Most Holy Place.
The partition which divided the Holy from the Most Holy Place : the veils,
their materials, colour, great strength, yet rent at Christ's crucifixion ;-reflections on that event. Dimensions of the Most Holy Place during the tabernacle, first and second Temples, and Temple by Herod. Its exceeding beauty and richness ; had no windows, and why. Its furniture:-1st. The ark, with the mercy-seat; their size, what made of: tables of the law: golden pot of manna, and Aaron's rod that budded. 2dly. The cherubim of glory: a description of them.
Having come to the Most Holy Place of the Temple, it becomes us to survey it with reverence and attention : for few places deserve better the notice either of the antiquary or the Christian. Let us begin then with the partition, which divided the Holy from the Most Holy Place. In the Temple of Solomon, it was a cubit thick, built of stone for a fourth part of the wall on either side,* or five cubits ; thus making ten cubits of masonry, and ten of carpenters' work. For, between the five cubits on either side were the folding-doors which opened into that most sacred place. It would appear from 1 Kings vi. 34, that there were two doors on this ten cubit space; namely, a door of two leaves of fir, on the outside next the Holy Place, on which were cherubim, palm-trees, and open flowers, the same as the rest of the Holy
o Place; and a door of two leaves of olive-tree, covered with cherubim, palm-trees, and open flowers, overlaid with gold on the inside, or within the Holy of holies. Maimonides says, that there was also a veil; and if that
, was the case, it would probably be between the doors, as we found to be the case between the Porch and the Holy Place. Thus there were three obstructions to be,
a 1 Kings vi. 33.
6 1 Kings vi. 34.
removed, when the high priest went out of the Holy into the Most Holy Place :-1. The door of fir, by drawing it towards him. 2. The veil, by drawing it up, or aside. And, 3. The door of olive, by pushing it from him : intended, no doubt, for the greater sanctity, and to fill his mind with a holy awe when entering the presence of the great Jehovah.
Such was the partition space in the first Temple; but in the second it had no masonry work, but two veils instead of it, the reason of which is thus given by Maimonides. 6 When they built the second Temple,” says he “ they doubted whether the thickness of that wall belonged to the measure of the Holy or the Most Holy Place; therefore, they made the Most Holy Place twenty cubits long complete, and the Holy Place forty cubits long complete, and they left a space between the two of a cubit breadth, which, in the second Temple, had two veils enclosing it instead of a wall; namely, one at the end of the Holy Place westward, and one at the beginning of the Most Holy Place eastward : so as to leave the cubit space between them entire, which corresponded with the thickness of the wall in the first Temple.” This cubit space, enclosed by two veils, was called by the Jews Tereksin (jop79,) confessedly of Greek extraction; and probably from Tapačus, which signifies either 6 a disease of the eye,” or “ an obstruction to the sight;" alluding either to the uncertainty of the Jews as to its relative sanctity, or to its hindering any one from seeing the objects in that sacred place. These veils, which were renewed every year, were of four colours-blue, purple, scarlet, and fine white twined linen yarn; every thread of which was sixfold when twisted, and woven upon hair for warp, of seventy-two hairs to every thread. Yet, strong as they were, they were both rent from top to Vol. I.
bottom at our Saviour's death ;' thereby giving evidence, that the Jewish economy was drawing to a close, and that what was hid from ages and generations was at length disclosed. The evangelist, indeed, calls it only one veil; but this is no objection to his accuracy, for Jo
; sephus, in speaking of the Holy and Most Holy Place, says the same; viz. that “it was parted by a veil.” The reason of which phraseology was, that although two in number, they only formed one partition; and, had they known the proper line between the two places, they would only have used one.
We may imagine the surprise that would seize the two priests, on the evening of our Lord's crucifixion, whose office it was to go into the Holy Place to trim the lamps and offer the incense, when they heard the veils of the Temple rending in twain, and saw the cherubim and mercy-seat. How would they flee with terror into the Court of the Priests, to inform them of a sight so awful and unexpected ? And how quickly would the matter be rumoured abroad ? Surely, had not a veil, thicker than that which was rent in the Temple, been over their hearts, they would have seen and acknowledged that Christ was the Messiah. With respect to ourselves, the apostle Paul, in his Epistle to the Hebrews, has taught us how to profit by it.
“ Having, therefore, brethren,” says he, • boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for ‘us through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”
But, after examining the entrance, let us next attend to the Holy of Holies itself; which, as to its form, was
· Matt. xxvii. 51.
6 War, v. 5.
• Heb. I. 19-23.
eyidently different at different times; for in the time of Moses, it was ten cubits long, ten wide, and ten high; but, in Solomon's Temple, in that after the Captivity, and in that built by Herod, it was twenty cubits long, twenty broad, and twenty high. At least, this is what Lightfoot conjectures concerning the two last ; for he ac
' knowledges, that it is far from certain. In the vision of the Temple which Ezekiel saw, the Most Holy Place had the above dimensions. The whole of the place, however, be the dimensions what they might, was most elegantly and richly ornamented. The floor and ceiling were of cedar, overlaid with gold;' and the walls round about were cedar, carved with palm-trees, cherubim, and wreaths of flowers, covered with gold :"the gold for this must have been very great. Accordingly, we are informed, in 2 Chron. iii. 8, that the gold, which covered the Holy of Holies in the Temple of Solomon, amounted to six hundred talents, which, at 41. the ounce, amounted to £3,600,000 sterling: but it is not said how much was employed in overlaying the Temple after the Captivity, and the Temple that was built by Herod.
As there was no window in the tabernacle, so we read of no window in the Holy of Holies ; for the glory of the Lord was the light thereof, when the Shechinah appeared ; and darkness at other times created reverence.
The furniture of the Most Holy Place consisted of the ark, and the things contained in it; the mercy-seat ; and the cherubim.
Having already described the ark and mercy-seat, when treating of the tabernacle, it only remains to notice here that, even when placed in Solomon's Temple, no more to come out, the staves which carried them
+ Ch. xi. 4.
* 1 Kings vi. 16. 30.
a i Kings vi. 20. « 1 Kings vi, 29.