Sunday, August 22

The Ark of the Covenant

What is the Ark of the Covenant? It was a mercy-seat, rather, God's throne on Earth, made of acacia wood. It was built by the Israelites in the desert after the Exodus occurred, and were given instructions - including the Ten Commandments, at Mount Sinai. (Modern-day Jebel el Lawz) You may recognize it from such films as Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, returning for a cameo appearance in the more recent Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. But what about the real Ark of the Covenant? The Ark of the Covenant is first mentioned in Exodus 25:10-22, where God gives Moses the exact instructions on how to build the Ark - to have the ark made of acacia wood, along with two poles to carry it, and an atonement cover (the Mercy Seat) made of pure gold, God's Throne on Earth, where he came to Moses and gave him commandments and talked with him.

Considered the "splendor of Israel" (Lamentations 2:1), the Ark of the Covenant was mentioned over 200 times in the Hebrew Bible. The Ark was usually carried before the army (Numbers 4:5-6, 10:33-36; Psalm 68:1, 132:8), was left in the homes of individuals, sometimes ignored, other times revered - later placed in Solomon's Temple. After the death of Moses, Joshua was made head of Israel. When it came time to cross the river Jordan, Joshua was told by God to have the Priests carrying the Ark to go before the People. When they had reached Jordan, the river was in its flood stage, because it was the time of the harvest. "Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water's edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away... while the water down [the opposite way] was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho." (Joshua 3:11-17)

After the Israelites had crossed, they not long after came upon Jericho. Jesus, pre-incarnate, came to Joshua, (See entry: Who is the "Angel of the Lord?") telling him to march around the city six days with the Ark of the Covenant, and on the seventh day, blow the trumpets and give a loud shout- and the walls would fall. Joshua listened, and the walls fell. (Joshua 5:13-6:27) We can still see the remains of Jericho today, with the only remaining wall. (God promised Rahab that the wall where she lived would not fall, but all other walls would.) When the Ark was covered, it was more often than not wrapped in a veil, in "tachash skins," as well as a blue cloth, and was fully concealed from those around it, even those who carried it - though the poles were visible, to carry. Over the course of time, the Ark of the Covenant went through a long journey.

It was captured by Philistines, (1st Samuel 4:3-11) but was finally recovered, after the sent it back. (1st Samuel 5:7-8; 6) used in the days of King Saul, though we are told that Saul did not consult God before battle (1st Chronicles 13:1-13). It went here and there throughout King David's reign, before coming to rest in the Temple after built by King Solomon. However, that wasn't the end. in 586 BC, the Babylonians invaded Israel, and once they took Jerusalem, destroyed Solomon's temple. The Ark has not been seen since, though some suggest that it was destroyed, while yet others suggest that it was taken by Nebuchadnezzar. Because of this, the rebuilt Temple did not include the Ark in the Holy of Holies room.

In the New Testament, in Hebrews 9:4, we are told that behind the second curtain in the Temple was the Holy Place, "which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron's staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant."

We are shown one more glimpse of the Ark of the Covenant. Revelation 11:19 says, "Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant." So where is the Ark of the Covenant today? Many theories abound. Some say that the Ark is at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, just beneath the Mount itself, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church claims to have the Ark, saying that the Ark was brought to Ethiopia by Menelik I with divine assistance, while other countries, such as France, the UK, Ireland, Japan, and South Africa claim to have it. Supposedly, when Queen Elizabeth II visited Ethiopia, she claims to have seen the Ark.

One passage, 2 Maccabees 2:4-10, seems to support its location as Mt. Nebo. It says, "Further, this document records that, prompted by a divine message, the prophet gave orders that the Tent of Meeting and the Ark should go with him. Then he went away to the mountain from the top of which Moses saw God's promised land. [Mt. Nebo] When he reached the mountain, Jeremiah found a cave-dwelling; he carried the tent, the ark, and the incense-altar into it, then blocked up the entrance.

Some of his companions came to mark out the way, but were unable to find it. When Jeremiah learned of this he reprimanded them. 'The place shall remain unknown,' he said, 'until God finally gathers his people together and shows mercy to them. Then the Lord will bring these things to light again, and the glory of the Lord will appear with the cloud, as it was seen both in the time of Moses and when Solomon prayed that the shrine might be worthily consecrated.'" Some claim to have seen a copy of the Ark of the Covenant at Mt. Nebo.

Whatever the case, the Ark of the Covenant proves fascinating to say the least. Though some get confused between Noah's Ark, the "lifeboat" that saved humanity, and the Ark of the Covenant, which was God's Mercy Seat, it remains one of the most sought after archaeological finds in history. Tehre have been many theories and interesting discoveries, and while I have my own opinion on where it is, agreeing with a certain finding, I will not make my opinion known - as it is not my opinion, but what the Bible tells us, that should be shared.

What can we learn from the Ark? The Ark of the Covenant was a portable box that was constructed per divine instruction. The Ark contained the original Ten Commandments given to Moses, as well as a few other objects of interest. The Ark, for many years, served as the focus of the place of God, and was later put into the Temple. God showed his power through the Ark various times, and some tested him. The Ark of the Covenant was lost when the Babylonians destroyed Solomon's Temple. Where it is now, we are not entirely sure.

Troy Hillman

6 comments:

  1. Ron Wyatt's documentaries and 3D computer simulations are impressive, but "extraordinary claims requires extraordinary evidence," which has sadly been lacking in the solid sense. I believe he is dead now, so if he lied, even with the best of intentions, he will have to answer to God for it.
    You did not say anything about the Ethiopian claim that their copy of the Ark of the Covenant is supposed to be the original, having been seen by Queen Elizabeth II when she visited Ethiopia. Nor did you say anything about the copy of the Ark of the Covenant found in a cave at Mt Nebo.
    From your comments you seem to be a sincere, practicing Christian, with fundamentalist leanings and a heart for God.
    Good for you, but always retain a healthy skepticism and rationality, because not everything good people say is true or correct. That way you will know the truth and it will set you free.
    May God richly bless and guide you in your spiritual endeavors.
    Sincerely,
    Victor Hill.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello Mr. Hill. I did mention Ethiopia, "Some say that the Ark is at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, just beneath the Mount itself, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church claims to have the Ark, saying that the Ark was brought to Ethiopia by Menelik I with divine assistance, while other countries, such as France, the UK, Ireland, Japan, and South Africa claim to have it." However, I suppose I did not go into much detail. While at this current moment I will not be able to edit, later, I will add more on the Ethiopian claim, and as for Mt. Nebo, I had actually thought that I'd mentioned it, but I looked, and I must have gone over it. I had the notes and research out, I must have missed it. I thank you for pointing that out - that's part of the benefit of having comments, because that way, people such as yourself can comment and let me know what I missed.

    As for Ron Wyatt, I did not say it was truly, I merely said that he had claimed this, and that many people seem to support him, though not all. Several entries later, I'd written on Mr. Wyatt: "Before I go any further, I want to touch on a issue that has been brought to my attention. In older entries, I've talked about the work and discoveries of Ron Wyatt. While I have in the past been intrigued by his discoveries, I never claimed that they were irrefutable proof, and that Noah's Ark could not be located elsewhere, or that the Red Sea is not located elsewhere. What I have said was that his discoveries are very interesting and should be made light of, not ignored, but I am not saying these are the true artifacts of the Bible nor do I say that science fully supports this.

    On the contrary, I tend to agree with Ken Ham of Answers In Genesis on several issues with Ron Wyatt's discoveries, but nevertheless, his findings are interesting. But if you are attempting to win somebody for Christ, using Wyatt's findings as irrefutable evidence is not recommended, though there is value in consideration. Moving on to the subject at hand."

    Now, I do apologize if I just came off the wrong way Sir, merely replying, and I thank you for pointing that out - when I write these entries, I tend to miss things from time to time. Not on purpose, just human error. Now that my attention has been brought to it, I will correct it as soon as possible, I had believed that I'd written on it, but I see now I had not. I did actually mention Mt. Nebo, but did not go into detail.

    Again, I appreciate it. Take Care, and May God bless! Troy Hillman

    ReplyDelete
  3. I personally don't understand why the Ark of the Covenants location is up for debate. Most, if not all the individuals searching for it are unbelievers, and any so called believer searching for it needs to reasses their priorities because they do not exibit faith in the Word. Even if they found it (which they won't)they would die when going before it's presence. Maccabees is clear :

    4: It was also contained in the same writing, that the prophet, being warned of God, commanded the tabernacle and the ark to go with him, as he went forth into the mountain, where Moses climbed up, and saw the heritage of God.
    5: And when Jeremy came thither, he found an hollow cave, wherein he laid the tabernacle, and the ark, and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door.
    6: And some of those that followed him came to mark the way, but they could not find it.
    7: Which when Jeremy perceived, he blamed them, saying, As for that place, it shall be unknown until the time that God gather his people again together, and receive them unto mercy.

    Basically, anyone frivolously searching outside of our Father's word is pursuing vain teaching's of man! Enough said!

    ReplyDelete
  4. There are several reasons to believe the Ark of the Covenant was taken by the Ethiopian Jews.
    1) In Isaiah 18:1-7 It says that the Cush (Ethiopian Jews) people who are mighty warriors will bring a gift to the lord. And on May 24, 1991 in operation solomon 14,000 jews were taken to Israel (possibly with the ark)
    2) In Zeph 3:10 it also talks about a present that will be brought by the Ethiopian Jews
    3)We know that the story about the Ethiopian Queen Sheba and the King solomon meeting is true. Ethiopian Jews claim that he gave her son Their history claims that the son switched the true ark with the false ark and took the real one south.
    4)If the ark is at some point "discovered under the temple" who is to say that it wasn't put there in modern times after the ethiopian Jews came to Israel in 1991.
    5) We know that certain elements of the old priest hood are on an island in the middle of Lake Tana in Ethiopia including the shell of the breast plate of the priests.
    6)The rebuilt 3rd temple will likely need an ark and the Israelis have built every thing else including the table of shew bread for that day. Why go thru that trouble if you know the Ark is not in Israel (now) since 1991.
    7)The only direction that makes the most sense if the ark was moved when the Babylonians invaded is south to Ethiopia.
    8The bible also in Isa 18:1-7 mentions that the whole world will see something that the Ethiopians have brought
    9) The Ethiopian Jews have officially been declared as the Tribe of Dan. Would God have left the Ark in the hands of Gentiles? No
    10)The reference to Jerimiah that they will no longer worry about the Ark refers to when Christ comes and the Ark will then be just a shadow of the real thing. The Resurrected Christ ruling the World.

    ReplyDelete
  5. They found the Ark of the Covenant; Christ tomb, Crucifixion site and the Ark of the Covenant found buried under a trash pile at the foot of Skull Mountain.

    http://arkofthecovenant2.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi I was in Panama recently and the ark of the covenant was discovered. The lost city of El Dorado is discovered in Chiriqui Panama. It is quiet interesting to see who is now taking responsibility for the exciting news. http://thearkofthecovenantdiscovered.com Chiriqui archaeological sites. Exciting new news, revealed and exposed.

    ReplyDelete