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Hebrews 9 : The old agreement and Godís special tent on earth

v1 The first *agreement included rules about how people should *worship God. It also included a special place for people to *worship God on this earth. v2 *Israelís people made a special *tent for God. The first room in that special *tent was called the *Holy Room. The *lampstand (where a light burned for God) was in this room. The special table where they offered bread to God was there too.

v3 Behind the second curtain, there was a very special room called the Most *Holy Room. v4 The special gold table where they burned *incense was inside that room. And the special *agreement box that had gold all over it was there too. This box contained the gold pot that had special food from God in it. The box also contained Aaronís stick that grew leaves. And it contained the two flat stones on which God had written the *agreement. v5 The gold shapes of two special *angels stood on the top of the *agreement box. These special *angels showed that God was present there. Under the *angelsí shadow, on top of the box, was a gold lid. That lid was the place where God *forgave the people. But we cannot explain everything about these things now.

Verses 1-3 Exodus 26 and 27:9-19 describe the special *tent that God told Moses to make. Exodus 25:31-39 and 25:23-30 describe the gold *lampstand and the special table for bread.

Verses 4-5 Exodus 30:1-10 describes the gold table where they burned *incense. (*Incense is material that makes a nice smell when it burns.) Exodus 25:10-22 describes the special *agreement box.

Verse 4 Exodus 16:14-31 describes how God supplied this special food for *Israelís people. Exodus 16:32-34 describes how Aaron put some of this food in a pot to keep it. Numbers 17:1-11 describes how Aaronís stick grew leaves, flowers and fruit. This showed that God had chosen Moses and Aaron to be the leaders of *Israelís people.

v6 When they had prepared these things like this, the *priests went into the first room every day. They went in there to do their duties. v7 But only the *chief *priest could go into the second room. He had to go in there alone, but he went in only once every year. He had to take blood from an animal, which he gave to God. He offered the blood because he was sorry. He was sorry for his own mistakes. And he was sorry for the mistakes that all the people had made.

Verse 7 Leviticus chapter 16 describes how the *chief *priest went into the Most *Holy Room once a year.

v8 Godís Spirit, who is completely good, was showing something clearly by these things. He was showing that the Most *Holy Room was not yet open to everyone. The first room in the special *tent was still there while they *worshipped God by these things. v9 This is like a picture that means something for us today. It shows us about the gifts and *sacrifices that people brought to God. Those gifts and *sacrifices could never make the person who *worshipped God completely right with him. They could not make people stop thinking that they had done wrong things. v10 The old rules that God gave were only about foods and drinks and how to wash in special ways. Those rules were only about peopleís bodies. People had to use those rules only until the time when God would make things new and better.

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