Hebrews 9:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Hebrews 9:2, NIV: A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand and the table with its consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place.

Hebrews 9:2, ESV: For a tent was prepared, the first section, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence. It is called the Holy Place.

Hebrews 9:2, KJV: For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.

Hebrews 9:2, NASB: For a tabernacle was equipped, the outer sanctuary, in which were the lampstand, the table, and the sacred bread; this is called the Holy Place.

Hebrews 9:2, NLT: There were two rooms in that Tabernacle. In the first room were a lampstand, a table, and sacred loaves of bread on the table. This room was called the Holy Place.

Hebrews 9:2, CSB: For a tabernacle was set up, and in the first room, which is called the holy place, were the lampstand, the table, and the presentation loaves.

What does Hebrews 9:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In this passage, the writer of Hebrews lays out the elements of the old covenant's temple and sacrifices. The purpose here has two layers. One is to explain how these components are symbolic of aspects of the new covenant (Hebrews 9:23–24). The other is to imply that these elements are inherently limited and flawed (Hebrews 8:13). The intent here is clearly on the symbolism of these various objects, not their exact placement or arrangement (Hebrews 9:5). The writer's familiarity with the temple components is one reason many scholars believe that the author was himself Jewish, as would be the case with Paul or Apollos.

The "tent" referred to here is the "tabernacle" which God instructed the people of Israel to construct after the exodus from Egypt. The description in this verse is of the inner area of this movable temple; the first division of this section is called the "Holy Place," and was where priests went for their daily duties (Numbers 28:1–8).

The lampstand was a golden oil lamp with seven flames (Exodus 25:31–40). The table, known as the table of showbread, was where twelve loaves of bread were kept. Each Sabbath, these twelve loaves would be removed for new ones, and the old were eaten by the priests (Exodus 25:23–30; Leviticus 24:5–9).

Behind an additional curtain, within this room, was another, smaller room, the "Most Holy Place," which was reserved for a single ritual each year, performed only by the High Priest (Leviticus 16:11–19).