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The portable shrine instituted by Moses during the 40 years wanderings of the Jews in the wilderness.
The tabernacle was nothing more than a sumptuous tent, and was constructed for Yahwe (God) and the ark by Moses in accordance with directions received on Mount Sinai. It was divided by a veil or hanging, behind which, in the Holy of Holies, was the ark of the covenant. The outer division was called the Holy Place. When set up in camp, the whole was surrounded by an enclosure.
In Roman Catholic churches the tabernacle is the ornamental receptacle on the high altar, in which the vessels containing the Blessed Sacrament are reserved. The name derives from the application of the word 'tabernaculum' in church ornamentation to a variety of canopied forms.
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Sources: (1) Quest For The Past, Reader's Digest Association, Inc; (2) Mysteries of the Unknown Series, Mystic Quests, Time-Life Books; (3) Cheyne, T. K., Encyclopaedia Biblica: A Critical Dictionary of the Literary Political and Religious History, the Archeology, Geography and Natural History of the Bible, Adam and Charles Black Publishers.
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