Adytum. The most retired and secret part of the ancient temples, into which the people were not permitted to enter, but which was accessible to the priests only, was called the adytum. And hence the derivation of the word from the Greek privative preterit a, and ovEiv, to enter= that which is not to be entered. In the adytum was generally to be found a taphos, or tomb, or some relics or sacred images of the god to whom the temple was consecrated. It being supposed that temples owed their origin to the superstitious reverence paid by the ancients to their deceased friends, and as most of the gods were men who had been deified on account of their virtues, temples were, perhaps, at first only stately monuments erected in honor of the dead. Hence the interior of the temple was originally nothing more than a cavity regarded as a place for the reception of the persons interred, and in it was found the soros, or coffin, the taphos, or tomb, or, among the Scandinavians, the barrow or mound graves. In time, the statue or image of a god took the place of the coffin; but the reverence for the spot as one of peculiar sanctity remained, and this interior part of the temple became, among the Greeks, the .... or chapel, among the Romans the adytum, or forbidden place, and among the Jews the kodesh hakodashim, the holy of holies. "The sanctity thus acquired," says Dudley, (Naology, p. 393,) "by the cell of interment might readily and with propriety be assigned to any fabric capable of containing the body of the departed friend, or the relic, or even the symbol, of the presence or existence of a divine personage." And thus it has happened that there was in every ancient temple an adytum or most holy place. The adytum of the small temple of Pompeii is still in excellent preservation. It is carried some steps above the level of the main building, and like the Jewish sanctuary, is without light.
Holy of Holies. Every student of Jewish antiquities knows, and every Mason who has taken the third degree ought to know, what was the peculiar construction, character, and uses of the Sanctum Sanctorum or Holy of Holies in King Solomon's Temple. Situated by the western end of the Temple, separated from the rest of the building by a heavy curtain, and enclosed on three sides by dead walls without any aperture or window, it contained the sacred ark of the covenant, and was secluded and set apart from all intrusion save of the high priest, who only entered it on certain solemn occasions. As it was the most sacred of the three parts of the Temple, so has it been made symbolic of a Master's Lodge, in which are performed the most sacred rites of initiation in Ancient Craft Masonry.
But as modern hierologists have found in all the Hebrew rites and ceremonies the traces of more ancient mysteries, from which they seemed to have been derived, or on which they have been modified, whence we trace also to the same mysteries most of the Masonic forms which, of course, are more immediately founded on the Jewish Scriptures, so we shall find in the ancient Gentile Temples the type of this same Sanctum Sanctorum or Holy of Holies, under the name of Adyton or Adytum. And what is more singular, we shall find a greater resemblance between this Adytum of the Pagan temples and the Lodge of Master Masons, then we will discover between the latter and the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Solomonic Temple. It will be curious and interesting to trace the resemblance, and to follow up the suggestions that it offers in reference to the antiquity of Masonic rites.
The Adytum was the most retired and secret part of the ancient Gentile temple, into which, as into the Holy of Holies of the Jewish Temple, the people were not permitted to enter, but which was accessible only to the priesthood. And the hence the derivation of the word from the Greek Adoein, "not to enter," "that which it is not permitted to enter." Seclusion and mystery was always characteristic of the Adytum, and therefore, like the Holy of Holies, it never admitted of windows.
In the Adytum was to be found a taphos or tomb, and some relic or image or statue of the god to whom the temple was dedicated. The tomb reminds of the characteristic feature of the third degree of Masonry; the image or statue of the god finds its analogue in the ark of the covenant and the overshadowing cherubim.
It being supposed that temples owed their first origin to the reverence paid by the ancients to their deceased friends, and as it was an accepted theory that the gods were once men who had been deified on account of their heroic virtues, temples were, perhaps, in the beginning only stately monuments erected in honor of the dead. Hence the interior of the temple was originally nothing more than a cell or cavity, that is to say a grave regarded as a place of deposit for the reception of a person interred, and, therefore, in it was to be found the soros or coffin, and the taphos or tomb, or, among the Scandinavians', the barrow or mound grave. In time the statue or image of god took the place of the coffin; but the reverence for the spot, as one of peculiar sanctity, remained, and this interior part of the temple became among the Greeks the sekos or chapel, among the Romans the Adytum or forbidden place, and among the Jews the kodesh kodashim, or Holy of Holies.
"The sanctity thus acquired," says Dudley in his neology, (p. 393,) "by the cell of interment might readily with the propriety be assigned to any fabric capable of containing the body of the departed friend, or relic, or even the symbol of the presence or existence, of a divine personage." And thus it happened that there was in every ancient temple an Adytum or most holy place.
There was in the Holy of Holies of the Jewish Temple, it is true, no tomb nor coffin containing the relics of the dead. But there was an ark of the covenant which was the recipient of the rod of Aaron, and the pot of manna, which might well be considered the relics of the past life of the Jewish nation in the wilderness. There was an analogy easily understood according to the principles of the science of symbolism. There was no statue or image of god, but there were the sacred cherubim, and, above all, the Shekinah or Divine Presence, and the bathkol or voice of God.
But when Masonry established its system partly on the ancient rites and partly on the Jewish ceremonies, it founded its third degree as the Adytum or holy of holies of all its mysteries, the exclusive place into which none but the most worthy – the priesthood of masonry – the Masters in Israel – were permitted to enter; and then go back to the mortuary idea of the ancient temple, it recognized the reverence for the dead which constitutes the peculiar characteristic of that degree. And, therefore in every Lodge of Master Masons there should be found, either actually or allegorically, a grave, or tomb, and coffin, because the third degree(DNA Candidates) is the inmost sanctuary, the kodesh kodashim, the Holy of Holies of the Masonic temple.
The Earthly Sanctuary
Limitations of the Earthly Service
6 Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. 7 But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance; 8 the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. 9 It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience— 10 concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation.
The Heavenly Sanctuary
11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come,a]">[a] with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
The Mediator’s Death Necessary
16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. 18 Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. 19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.”b]">[b] 21 Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
Greatness of Christ’s Sacrifice
23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— 26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.