Was God still dwelling in the Holy of Holies in the Jerusalem temple after Pentecost?

Since the birth of the Church is around 33AD and the destruction of Jerusalem temple was 70AD, was God still present at the Holy of Holies after the Eucharist was already instituted and Mass celebrated by the early Christians between 33 -70AD?

I always thought that was the significance of the temple veil being torn in two at Jesus’ death-- the ending of the old covenant, the age that was passing away, Christ was the new High Priest, etc, etc, etc.

Which is why you get Paul telling the Athenians—

24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’[b] As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’[[c]

Whereas I’m sure Saul would have been the first person to proclaim that God dwelled in the Holy of Holies in the Temple-- but you’ve got Paul clearly stating that no, that’s not the case.

You also have (traditionally Paul) telling the Hebrews–

19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.


Oops. I think you’re right. But the question remains: does that mean God was dwelling in the temple until the exact time when the veil was torn open in two, when God left?


That’s a fair point. Perhaps I can rephrase the question.

When is the Shekinah no longer present in the temple of Jerusalem?

Oh really?
Why did God ask the Israelites to construct the tabernacle? What is the purpose of it in your opinion?

Well, if you remember, the Temple was only the last phase of God’s presence amongst the Israelites.

Way back in Exodus, you had him leading them–

21 By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.

But later, he dwelt inside the tabernacle within the Tent of Meeting–

34 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.

36 In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; 37 but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out—until the day it lifted. 38 So the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the Israelites during all their travels.


It’s not until you get King David, who says, “Wow! I’m living in a palace, while God’s still dwelling in a tent! I ought to do something about it!” and God’s like, “What are you talking about?”

5 “Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: You are not the one to build a house for me to live in. 6 I did not live in a house at the time I took the Israelites out of Egypt. No, I traveled around in a tent. I used the tent for my home. 7 I never told any of the tribes of Israel to build me a fancy house made from cedar wood.’

8 “You must say this to my servant David: ‘This is what the Lord All-Powerful says: I chose you while you were out in the pasture following the sheep. I took you from that job and made you the leader of my people, the Israelites. 9 I have been with you every place you went. I have defeated your enemies for you. I will make you one of the most famous people on earth. 10-11 And I chose a place for my people, the Israelites. I planted the Israelites. I gave them their own place to live so that they will not have to move from place to place anymore. In the past, I sent judges to lead my people, but evil people gave them many troubles. That will not happen now. I am giving you peace from all of your enemies. I promise that I will make your family a family of kings.[a]

12 “‘When your life is finished, you will die and be buried with your ancestors. But then I will make one of your own children become the king. 13 He will build a house for my name, and I will make his kingdom strong forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son.[b] When he sins, I will use other people to punish him. They will be my whips.15 But I will never stop loving him. I will continue to be loyal to him. I took away my love and kindness from Saul. I pushed Saul away when I turned to you. 16 Your family of kings will continue—you can depend on that! For you, your kingdom will continue forever! Your throne will stand forever!’”

So I always viewed the Presence in the Temple as being a sort of continuity with the past— but once you’ve got the New Covenant, the Old One is transcended; once you’ve got the New Sacrifice, the old ones are no longer necessary; once you’ve got the New High Priest, the old priestly clan is obsolete; and so on.


So are you saying the tabernacle is just idol and the cloud mentioned in Exodus that @midori quoted above are just symbolism and not real?

I think you’re right.
But when does the cloud, or the Shekinah leave the temple? Was it when Jesus died?

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Nobody said the cloud is a man made object. Gods Spirit can be in the cloud just as it can be present in the Eucharistic species.

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Catholics don’t worship the accidents of bread and wine. They worship the body and blood of Jesus.

Nobody worships a cloud. The Israelites of those time worshipped God.

So are you saying God told the Israelites to construct a symbolic house/temple so they can worship an idol inside?
What about the burning bush that Moses was talking to? Was that an idol too?


I think that would make sense.

Because what was the whole purpose of the Presence? He was dwelling amongst his chosen people, yet at the same time, was apart from them. Who could enter the Holy of Holies? Only the High Priest, once a year: on the Day of Atonement.

So what was the purpose of Jesus’ sacrifice? To atone for our sins. And all of a sudden, we’re no longer separated from God-- not because of anything we’ve done, but because of his effectiveness. So we get into the whole bit about being united in Christ-- neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, woman nor man, etc, etc, etc. We’ve got this newfound unity going on. There had been a certain amount of unity before-- because we’re all creatures of God-- but this is a new, unique kind of unity that hadn’t existed.

So all of a sudden, salvation has increased to not just being with the Jewish people, as the chosen people, but all of humanity. So I would expect God’s presence within the Holy of Holies to be a sign of his favor towards his chosen people-- Christ’s death, and our unity in Christ, is the factor that suddenly makes all of us his chosen people. So we trade the Shekinah for the Eucharist, and the Jewish Temple for Tabernacles all over the world, etc.


I agree with everything you said. My question remains is when is that transition point?
Is it birth of Christ? The Last supper? Jesus dying on the cross? Resurrection? Ascension? Or the Pentecost?

The death, I think-- and the tearing of the temple veil is the physical sign that God’s spiritual presence has departed from where it had traditionally taken residence.


Thank you! I finally have my answer.

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That’s what is taught.

I was always taught that the veil was torn to show that we all had access to God through Christ. That happened at the death of Christ.

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The temple was sacred space.

Quotation below describes Solomon’s dedication of the first temple. The glory of God had filled the Temple house and was so great that priests could not enter the temple.

When Solomon had ended his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offerings and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the house. 2 But the priests could not enter the house of the LORD, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD. 3 All the Israelites looked on while the fire came down and the glory of the LORD was upon the house, and they fell down upon the pavement with their faces to the earth and worshiped, praising the LORD, “who is so good, whose love endures forever.”

New American Bible. (2011). (Revised Edition, 2 Ch 7:1–3). Washington, DC: The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

In agreement with what was stated earlier in this thread, the one Hebrew temple where God dwelt in sacred space has now been superceded by Tabernacles all over the world where Jesus Christ has a Real Presence in the Eucharist.

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I remember being taught in my Protestant days that God never indwelt the 2nd Temple as he had the 1st. Two signs of this are the absence of the Ark of the Covenant and the lack of an account of His Presence coming down from heaven as had happened when the 1st Temple was completed during Solomon’s reign. Not sure how strong this theory is, but it’s an alternative viewpoint to God’s Presence leaving the Temple when the veil was torn.

Of course, it’s also important to remember that all baptized Christians are the New Temple and that God dwells within us as He once dwelled within the Jewish Temple. It’s no longer a physical place, but rather wherever His people are.

What about the Eucharist?

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