Not long ago I received a curious question from a man who was struggling reading through the book of Hebrews in the New Testament. His question had to do with the temple and with tabernacle arrangement, which was originally described in the book of Exodus. In Exodus the מִזְבַּ֥ח הַקְּטֹ֖רֶת (mizbeach haketoret) the altar of incense was stationed in the Holy Place. In Hebrews 9:4, however, it says that it was in the Holy of Holies. How can this be?
3 Behind the second curtain was a tent called the Holy of Holies. 4 In it stood the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which there were a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant (NRSV – Hebrews 9:3-4).
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