9 Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness.2 For a tent[a] was prepared, the first section, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence.[b] It is called the Holy Place.3 Behind the second curtain was a second section[c] called the Most Holy Place,4 having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron's staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant.5 Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
6 These preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the first section, performing their ritual duties,7 but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people.8 By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing9 (which is symbolic for the present age).[d] According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper,10 but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation.
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