Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary.12
A tabernacle2 was set up. In its first room were the lampstand,3 the table4 and the consecrated bread;5 this was called the Holy Place.63
Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place,74
which had the golden altar of incense8 and the gold-covered ark of the covenant.9 This ark contained the gold jar of manna,10 Aaron's staff that had budded,11 and the stone tablets of the covenant.125
Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory,13 overshadowing the atonement cover.a14 But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.
When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly15 into the outer room to carry on their ministry.
But only the high priest entered16 the inner room,17 and that only once a year,18 and never without blood,19 which he offered for himself20 and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.218
The Holy Spirit was showing22 by this that the way23 into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing.
This is an illustration24 for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered25 were not able to clear the conscience26 of the worshiper.
They are only a matter of food27 and drink28 and various ceremonial washings29--external regulations30 applying until the time of the new order.