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In Jewish history, the portable sanctuary constructed by Moses as a place of worship for the Hebrew tribes during the period of wandering that preceded their arrival in the Promised Land. Elaborately described in Exodus, it was divided into an outer room, the holy place, and an inner room, the Holy of Holies, which housed the Ark of the Covenant. With the erection of the Temple of Jerusalem, the Tabernacle no longer served a purpose. In modern Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, the tabernacle is the receptacle on the church altar in which the consecrated elements of the Eucharist are stored.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Tabernacle, visit Britannica.com.
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