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Bible Terms

Bible Term: Holy of Holies

The Holy of Holies is the innermost part of the tabernacle and later in the temple. It was so sacred that only the high priest could enter it and then only once a year.

The Holy of Holies had a veil (which was very thick, more akin to a wall) separating it from the people. When Jesus died, this veil was torn in two — from top to bottom. This is significant for two reasons.

First, being torn from the top down, signifies it was God’s doing. Since it was thirty feet high, a person would only be able to tear it from the bottom up. In effect, God was saying, I’m changing the old way of doing things.

More importantly, this opened up the Holy of Holies, showing that everyone could now approach God, at any time — not just the high priest once a year.

Some translations refer to the Holy of Holies as “the Most Holy Place” or “the Holiest of all.”

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Bible

The Curtain in the Temple was Torn in Two

The “Holy of Holies” (also called “the Most Holy Place” or “the Holiest of all”) was the innermost part of the tabernacle and later, the temple.  It was so sacred that only the high priest could enter it and then only once a year.

When Jesus died, the veil (which was very thick, more akin to a wall) in the temple around the Holy of Holies was torn in two, from top to bottom.  This is significant for two reasons:

First, being torn from the top down signifies that it was God’s doing.  Since it was 30 feet high, a person would only be able to tear it from the bottom up.  In effect, God was saying, I’m changing the old way of doing things.

More importantly, this opened up the Holy of Holies, showing that everyone could now approach God, at any time — not just the high priest once a year.

Jesus changed things indeed, making it possible for all us to directly approach God.