Is it true that the high priest entered the holy of holies with a rope tied to his leg?


Many people use the illustration that the high priest, before entering the Holy of Holies, would wrap a rope around one foot in case he died in the act. The problem is, I cannot find this anywhere in the Bible, or anywhere else for that matter. Do you believe that it is an invention?

This information is not found in any sources from antiquity: neither the Torah, New Testament, Dead Sea scrolls, Josephus Flavius’ writings, Apocrypha, Babylonian Talmud, Mishna, Pseudepigrapha, nor the Jerusalem Talmud. This idea of tying a rope to the high priest’s leg comes from Jewish writings of the XIII Century (keep in mind that this is about eleven hundred years since the destruction of the Temple). The source is called the Zohar:

A knot of rope of gold hangs from his leg, from fear perhaps he would die in the holy of holies, and they would need to pull him out with this rope.

Since this detail is not mentioned in any sources of antiquity, except for one about eleven hundred years after the Temple was destroyed, then we can be pretty sure that this idea was just an invention of man.