A holy place devoted to God. It appears to be the name sometimes of the entire temple, Ps 73.17; Heb 9.1; sometimes of the "Holy place," where the altar on incense, the golden candlestick, and the showbread stood, 2Ch 26:18; Heb 9:2; and sometimes of the "Holy of Holies," the most secret and retired part of the temple, in which was the ark of the covenant, and where none but the high priest might enter, and he only once a year on the day of solemn expiation. The same name was also given to the most sacred part of the tabernacle set up in the wilderness, Le 4:6. See TABERNACLE, and TEMPLE. The temple or earthly sanctuary is an emblem of heaven, Ps 102:19; Heb 9:1,24; and God himself is called a sanctuary, Isa 8:14; Eze 11:16, in reference to the use of temples as a place of refuge for fugitives, because he is the only safe and sacred asylum for sinners pursued by the sword of divine justice.
denotes, (1) the Holy Land (Ex 15:17; comp. Ps 114:2); (2) the temple (1Ch 22:19; 2Ch 29:21); (3) the tabernacle (Ex 25:8; Le 12:4; 21:12); (4) the holy place, the place of the Presence (Gr. hieron, the temple-house; not the naos, which is the temple area, with its courts and porches), Le 4:6; Eph 2:21, R.V., marg.; (5) God's holy habitation in heaven (Ps 102:19). In the final state there is properly "no sanctuary" (Re 21:22), for God and the Lamb "are the sanctuary" (R.V., "temple"). All is there hallowed by the Divine Presence; all is sancturary.
This is 'holy place,' and is applied in the O.T. both to the tabernacle and to the temple as a whole, and to the 'holy place' and 'most holy' in distinction from the other parts: "Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary." Ps 77:13. The sanctuary was where, in retirement from man and the world, God's glory was seen, and His mind apprehended; it was where the sacrifices were offered, and God was worshipped.
In the N.T. also the word sanctuary is applied to the holy and most holy parts of the tabernacle. Heb 9:1-8; 10:19; 13:11. Here it is called 'worldly,' (????????) in reference possibly to its order, and its contrast to the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and not man. The word 'sanctuary' in Heb 8:2 is literally holy (places or things); of these Christ is minister. The sanctuary for the Christian consists in the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. God is revealed without a veil.
SANCTUARY. See TEMPLE.