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51 Just then[a] the temple curtain[b] was torn in two, from top to bottom. The[c] earth shook and the rocks were split apart.

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  1. Matthew 27:51 tn Grk “And behold.”
  2. Matthew 27:51 tn The referent of this term, καταπέτασμα (katapetasma), is not entirely clear. It could refer to the curtain separating the holy of holies from the holy place (Josephus, J. W. 5.5.5 [5.219]), or it could refer to one at the entrance of the temple court (Josephus, J. W. 5.5.4 [5.212]). Many argue that the inner curtain is meant because another term, κάλυμμα (kalumma), is also used for the outer curtain. Others see a reference to the outer curtain as more likely because of the public nature of this sign. Either way, the symbolism means that access to God has been opened up.
  3. Matthew 27:51 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.