Holy of Holies

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Holy of Holies

Post  LivingWaters on Fri 21 Nov 2008, 7:10 am

The Holy of Holies is a term in the Hebrew Bible which referred to the inner sanctuary of the Tabernacle and later the Temple in Jerusalem which could be entered only by the High Priest on Yom Kippur.

The Kadosh Hakadashim, Hebrew: (Biblical: קֹדֶשׁ הַקֳּדָשִׁים Qṓḏe HaqQŏḏām), "Holy of Holies", the most sacred site in traditional Judaism, is the inner sanctuary within the Tabernacle and Temple in Jerusalem when Solomon's Temple and the Second Temple were standing. Traditional Judaism regards the location where the inner sanctuary was originally located, on the Temple Mount in Mount Moriah, as retaining some or all of its original sanctity for use in a future Third Temple. The exact location of the Kadosh Hakadashim is a subject of dispute.

The Kadosh Hakadashim was located in the westernmost end of the Temple building, being a perfect cube: 10 cubits by 10 cubits, by 10 cubits. The inside was in total darkness and contained the Ark of the Covenant, gilded inside and out, in which were placed the Tablets of the Covenant, the Rod of Aaron and a pot of manna. The Ark was covered with a gilded lid known as the "mercy seat" for the Divine Presence. When the Temple was rebuilt after the Babylonian captivity, the Ark was no longer present in the Holy of Holies; instead, a portion of the floor was raised slightly to indicate the place where it had stood. Josephus records that Pompey profaned the Temple by entering the Holy of Holies.

The Holy of Holies was hidden by a veil, and no one was permitted to enter except the High Priest, and even he could only enter once a year on Yom Kippur, to offer the blood of sacrifice and incense before the mercy seat.

Hebrew idiom
The construction "Holy of Holies" is a literal translation of a Hebrew idiom which is intended to express a superlative. Similar constructions are found elsewhere:

* servant of servants (Gen 9:25)
* Holy of Holies (Ex 26:33)
* Sabbath of sabbaths (Ex 31:15)
* Heaven of heavens (Deut 10:14)
* God of gods (Deut 10:17)
* Lord of lords (Deut 10:17)
* Vanity of vanities (Eccl 1:2)
* Song of songs (Song of Solomon 1:1)
* Prince of princes (Dan. 8:25)

Most Holy Place
In the King James Version of the Bible, "Holy of Holies" is always translated as "Most Holy Place". This is in keeping with the intention of the Hebrew idiom to express the utmost degree of holiness.

The King James Version of the Bible has been in existence for nearly four hundred years. For most of that time, it was a primary reference in much of the English speaking world for information about Judaism. Thus, the name "Most Holy Place" is used to refer to the "Holy of Holies" in many English documents.

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LivingWaters
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Re: Holy of Holies

Post  dove on Fri 21 Nov 2008, 7:26 am

Thank you for sharing it here and thank you for also mentioning the reference.

God Bless

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