Immediately behind the Incense Altar and the High Priest is a curtain. Behind the curtain there was an inner room called the Holy of Holies, or the Most Holy Place. Judging from its name, we can see that it was a most sacred room, a place no ordinary person could enter. It was God’s special dwelling place in the midst of His people. During the Israelites’ wanderings in the wilderness, God appeared as a pillar of cloud or fire in and above the Holy of Holies. The Holy of Holies was a perfect cube — its length, width and height were all equal to 15 feet.
A thick curtain separated the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place. This curtain, known as the “veil,” was made of fine linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn. There were figures of cherubim (angels) embroidered onto it. Cherubim, spirits who serve God, were in the presence of God to demonstrate His almighty power and majesty. They also guarded the throne of God. These cherubim were also on the innermost layer of covering of the tent. If one looked upward, they would see the cherubim figures.
The word “veil” in Hebrew means a screen, divider or separator that hides. What was this curtain hiding? Essentially, it was shielding a holy God from sinful man. Whoever entered into the Holy of Holies was entering the very presence of God. In fact, anyone except the high priest who entered the Holy of Holies would die. Even the high priest, God’s chosen mediator with His people, could only pass through the veil and enter this sacred dwelling once a year, on a prescribed day called the Day of Atonement.
Within the Holy of Holies, shielded from the eye of the common man, was one piece of furniture comprising two parts: the Ark of the Covenant and the atonement cover (or “mercy seat”) on top of it. The ark was a chest made of acacia wood, overlaid with pure gold inside and out. It was 3 feet, 9 inches long and 2 feet, 3 inches wide and high.
The atonement cover was the lid for the ark. On top of it stood two cherubim (angels) at the two ends, facing each other. The cherubim, symbols of God’s divine presence and power, were facing downward toward the ark with outstretched wings that covered the atonement cover. The whole structure was beaten out of one piece of pure gold. The atonement cover was God’s dwelling place in the tabernacle.
God commanded Moses to put in the ark three items: a golden pot of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the two stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written.
What may seem strange to us today is that, hidden in the special golden box representing God’s presence were not treasures and precious gems, but three unlikely items: a jar of bread, a stick and two stones. What were these curious keepsakes and why did God want them in His ark?
The three articles represented some of the most embarrassing and disgraceful events in the history of the Israelites.
For more information about Timna Park
- 2014-03-27 – Eilat – Timna Park – Petra
- Timna Park – North of Eilat
- Timna Park – Spiral Hill
- Timna Park – Ancient Mines
- Timna Park – High Priest at the Tabernacle
- Timna Park – Holy of Holies at the Tabernacle
- Timna Park – Holy Place of the Tabernacle
- Timna Park – I thought the Sphinx was in Egypt?
- Timna Park – Incense Altar in the Tabernacle
- Timna Park – Lake
- Timna Park – Menorah in the Tabernacle
- Timna Park – Mushroom Rock
- Timna Park – Outer Court
- Timna Park – Priest in the Tabernacle
- Timna Park – Replica of the Tabernacle
- Timna Park – Shewbread Table in the Tabernacle
- Timna Park – Solomon’s Pillars