‘On Earth as it is in Heaven...’ The heavenly sanctuary motif in Hebrews 8:5 and its textual connection with the ‘shadowy copy’ [úποδεíγματι καì σκι â] of LXX Exodus 25:40

  • GJ Steyn


This study investigates the explicit quotation from Exodus 25:40 in Hebrews 8:5 where the motif of the earthly sanctuary, understood to be modelled on that of the heavenly sanctuary in some circles of early Judaism and early Christianity, is to be found. Hebrews’ application and interpretation of Exodus 25:40 – in light of the terms úπóδειγμα [example or plan or copy] τúπος [model or design or archetype] by Philo) and σκια [shadow] – is studied within the context of Hebrews 8:1–5. The purpose of this investigation is to explore the possible Graeco-Jewish background(s) of the ‘heavenly sanctuary’ motif in Hebrews 8:5, the presence of its key terminology and some of its intertextual occurrences in, amongst others, the Testament of Levi and Colossians 2:17.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2072-8050
print ISSN: 0259-9422