Q. I have another question concerning the court of the Gentiles. Apparently, in the Jerusalem temple there was a curtain that separated the court of the Gentiles from the rest of the temple. According to some Messianic believers the Gospel account of the rending of the veil at the moment of Jesus death was not the veil in the Holy of Holies at all, but the curtain that separated the court of the Gentiles from the rest of the temple. Since the scriptures don’t specify which curtain, how can we know for sure?
A. This sounds like something somebody made up. Think about it. Even if there was a veil (most scholars believe it was a bronze gate) what would be the significance of such a thing? The court next to the court of the Gentiles was the court of the Women, then came the court of the Israelites (for men only) and finally the court of the priests, who were the only ones allowed into the Temple. If there was a veil between the courts of the gentiles and the women, all tearing it would have enabled is for the gentiles to mix with the Jewish women. This is something Jewish law wouldn’t have permitted. And besides, what would be the point in that?
Matt. 27:51 only makes sense if the veil being spoken of was the veil in the Temple separating the outer room (Holy Place) from the inner room (Holy of Holies). Only the High Priest could pass through that veil and then only once a year, because that’s where God dwelt. If the tearing of the veil in the Temple symbolized the death of Jesus giving men unlimited access to God that would have enormous significance. And that’s exactly what happened (Ephes 3:12).