Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly sanctuary.
For a tent a was constructed, the first one, in which were the lampstand, the table, and the bread of the Presence; b this is called the Holy Place.
Behind the second curtain was a tent c called the Holy of Holies.
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;
above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. d Of these things we cannot speak now in detail.
Such preparations having been made, the priests go continually into the first tent e to carry out their ritual duties;
but only the high priest goes into the second, and he but once a year, and not without taking the blood that he offers for himself and for the sins committed unintentionally by the people.
By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the sanctuary has not yet been disclosed as long as the first tent f is still standing.
This is a symbol g of the present time, during which gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper,
but deal only with food and drink and various baptisms, regulations for the body imposed until the time comes to set things right.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (New Revised Standard Bible Version Online)