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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament


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This term is used by Authorized Version and Revised Version (1) in Hebrews 9:1 for τὸ ἅγιον, which denotes the sacred tent in both its parts, as is implied by the synonymous σκηνή, ‘tabernacle,’ in the following verse; and (2) in Hebrews 8:2 for τὰ ἅγια, the heavenly sanctuary or holy of holies (Revised Version margin ‘holy things’). The word represents ἅγια in Hebrews 9:2 (Revised Version ‘the Holy place’), where the omission of the article, in contrast to the invariable Septuagint usage (Leviticus 10:4, Numbers 3:22, etc.), serves to emphasize the holiness (M. Dods in Expositor’s Greek Testament , ‘Hebrews,’ 1910, in loco.). In this passage ἅγια stands in express contrast to ἅγια ἁγίων (Hebrews 9:3), ‘the Holiest of all’ (Authorized Version ), ‘the Holy of holies’ (Revised Version ). But the simple τά ἅγια frequently denotes ‘the Holiest,’ and is so translated by the Authorized Version in Hebrews 9:8; Hebrews 10:19, though elsewhere (Hebrews 9:25, Hebrews 13:11) ‘the holy place,’ which is the Revised Version rendering in all these passages. This usage is justified by Leviticus 16:2, etc., where קֹדָשׁ, Septuagint τὸ ἅγιον, denotes the holy place within the veil; Vulg. [Note: Vulgate.] sanctuarium quod est intra velum. It is now recognized by all scholars that the central sanctuary and elaborate ritual of the desert wanderings are not historical realities but products of religions idealism, based in all essential features upon the architectural plan and sacerdotal rubric of the Second Temple. But the argument of the writer of Hebrews is scarcely affected by the change from the traditional to the critical view. Whether the earthly sanctuary, which he at once magnifies and depreciates, was the creation of Moses or of Ezekiel and Ezra, it has now had its day and must cease to be, since the true high priest has passed into the heavenly sanctuary, and become the minister of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man (Hebrews 9:1-2).

Literature.-articles ‘Tabernacle’ and ‘Temple’ in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols) and Encyclopaedia Biblica .

James Strahan.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Sanctuary'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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