The Tabernacle and Ancient Jewish Temples held many curtains throughout the buildings, but that which was most important was the Temple Veil that sectioned off the Most Holy Place. While the Jews were in exile in the wilderness the Tabernacle was created in which the Ark of the Covenant was held in the Most Holy Place which was separated by a thick and elaborately decorated curtain. This tradition of using a curtain to section off the Most Holy Place remained throughout all three Jewish temples after the return from exile. The Temple Curtain was present in Solomon’s Temple, the second Temple later to be known as Herod’s Temple and the third Temple which is based on a futuristic prophecy found throughout Ezekiel.
The inner veil was used in order to shield, rather than obscure, the presence of God from sinful men. The word ‘Veil’ in Hebrew means a screen or divider. The Most Holy Place was the area of the Tabernacle and Temple in which God's presence resided, and the veil was used in order to prevent men accidently walking in, which would surely result in their death. Only after rigorous purification rituals could the High Priest enter the Most Holy Place on the Day of Atonement, without being subject to immediate death. Therefore throughout the history of Israel God was hidden behind a veil and was only accessible once a year by a very select man.
It is thought that the curtain was so heavy that 300 priests were needed to lift it, and to be involved in the ritual cleaning of the curtain. The elaborate nature of the curtain itself, the way in which it was made (some traditions state that 85 young girls hand wove the veils), and the sheer size that is described in the Old Testament, shows just how righteous and powerful God’s presence was thought to be.