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Sanc"tu*a*ry, n.; pl. Sanctuaries. Etym: [oe. seintuare, of. Saintuaire, f. sanctuaire, fr. L. sanctuarium, from sanctus sacred, Holy. See saint.]

Defn: a sacred place; a consecrated spot; a holy and inviolable site. Hence, specifically: (a) the most retired part of the temple at jerusalem, called the holy Of holies, in which was kept the ark of the covenant, and into which No person was permitted to enter except the high priest, and he only Once a year, to intercede for the people; also, the most sacred part Of the tabernacle; also, the temple at jerusalem. (b) (arch.) The most sacred part of any religious building, esp. that Part of a christian church in which the altar is placed. (c) a house consecrated to the worship of god; a place where divine Service is performed; a church, temple, or other place of worship. (d) a sacred and inviolable asylum; a place of refuge and protection; Shelter; refuge; protection. These laws, whoever made them, bestowed on temples the privelege of Sanctuary. Milton . These admirable works of painting were made fuel for the fire; but Some relics of it took sanctuary under ground, and escaped the common Destiny. Dryden. Wildlife sanctuary, a tract of land set aside by law for the Preservation of wildlife, in which no hunting is permitted.

---excerpt from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Sanctuary - Denotes, (1.) the Holy Land (Exodus 15:17; compare Psalms 114:2); (2.) the temple (1 Chronicles 22:19; 2 Chronicles 29:21); (3.) the tabernacle (Exodus 25:8; Leviticus 12:4; Leviticus 21:12); (4.) the holy place, the place of the Presence (Gr. hieron , the temple-house; not the naos, which is the temple area, with its courts and porches), Leviticus 4:6; Ephesians 2:21, R.V., marg.; (5.) God's holy habitation in heaven (Psalms 102:19). In the final state there is properly "no sanctuary" (Revelation 21:22), for God and the Lamb "are the sanctuary" (R.V., "temple"). All is there hallowed by the Divine Presence; all is sanctuary.


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