Ex 25:22 "And there I will meet with you,
and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat..".

Graphic is from the Treasure of the Tomb of Tut-ankh-amun
Which was the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant
as found by Howard Carter,
the hiding of which is described in the Mishnayot

This IS The Ark of the Covenant

in Hebrew A-ROn HABER - RIT

"The Lord said to Moses
They shall make an ark of acacia wood;
two cubits and a half shall be its length,
a cubit and a half its breadth, and a cubit and a half its height.
And you shall overlay it with pure gold,
within and with-out shall you overlay it,
and you shall make upon it a molding of gold round about.
And you shall cast four rings of gold for it
and put them on its four feet,
two rings on the one side of it,
and two rings on the other side of it.
You shall make poles of acacia wood,and overlay them with gold.
And you shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark,
to carry the ark by them.
The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark.
they shall not be taken from it.
And you shall put into the ark
the testimony which I shall give you."

4-6-03 - DREAM - My daughter and another woman came to invite me to go for a ride with them.

We were driving north and I recognized the street at Capital Drive and I started to scream - "Oh no!" because I knew she was taking me to the house where the crazy woman lived. I screamed so loud, she slowed the car and I struggled to open the door and jump out of the still moving car even though I might injure myself.

She said, "We only have to deliver 3 golf clubs," which I immediately likened them into 3 rods and I woke up as I jumped out of the car.

'Within the Ark of the Covenant is a vessel of gold containing a measure of the manna which came down from Heaven; the rod of Aaron which sprouted after it had become withered though no-one watered it, broken in two places it became three rods being originally only one rod.'


Jewish Tradition - whereabouts of the Ark

There were, in fact, two sets of sacred vessels used in the Biblical worship of God. The first were used in the Tabernacle, after God showed Moses how to make the Ark of the Covenant and other holy vessels. Moses instructed Bezalel (Bezaleel ben Uri) to build everything exactly as God commanded. Bezalel's name appropriately means, "In the Shadow of El (God), the Son of my Light". The original vessels disappeared when King Solomon made new, more ornate ones for the First Temple.

These vessels were carried off to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar after he destroyed the First Temple in 586 BC, but were later restored to the Second Temple. But in 70 AD, the vessels were stolen by the Romans when Titus destroyed the Second Temple. This was documented on the Arch of Titus in Rome, which showed Roman soldiers carrying away the seven-branched candelabra and other Temple vessels. Some scholars believe that the Temple objects taken by the Romans lie in the catacombs of the Vatican.

As for the Ark of the Covenant, it disappeared before the destruction of the First Temple. It was hidden by priests who foresaw the coming desolation, and its mysterious whereabouts have been the source of myth and legend ever since.

For the Biblical answer to the whereabouts of the Ark we look at II Maccabees 2:4. Here we find that Jeremiah 'prompted by a divine message, the prophet gave orders that the Tent of Meeting and the Ark should go with him.' He did not take it to Egypt. On the contrary, 'he went away to the mountain from the top of which Moses saw God's promised land (Mount Pisgah). When Jeremiah reached the mountain, 'he found a cave dwelling; he carried the tent, the ark, and the incense altar into it, then blocked up the entrance' (II Maccabees 2:4-6). Here is solid documentary evidence of where the Ark was placed. Several of Jeremiah's followers returned to mark the site, but 'when Jeremiah learned of this he reprimanded them. 'This place shall remain unknown,' he said, 'until God finally gathers His people again and shows mercy to them. Then the Lord will bring these things to light again.' ' (verses 6-8 NEB).

Here God's word says that the whereabouts of the Ark would be hidden until the Last Days. Through the word of God, through Jeremiah, we know that the Ark was not taken by him to Egypt...but was buried in a cave on the top of Mount Pisgah. This was the point from which the Lord showed Moses the Promised Land, saying to him, 'I have let you see it with your own eyes, but you shall not cross over into it' (Deuteronomy 34:4 NEB).

According to ancient writings dating back to the First Temple period, King Solomon built a secret subterranean tunnel under a small wooden room in the Temple where the wood for the sacrificial fire was stored. The priests were instructed to hide the Ark of the Covenant there should Jerusalem come under siege. That may be why the Ark of the Covenant was not in the Temple when Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem.

According to a theory circulating among scholars and archaeologists, the Ark of the Covenant and the sacred vessels of the Tabernacle may be hidden in a secret tunnel between the Temple Mount and Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Military aircraft with state-of-the-art sensors flew over this 12 square mile area and examined it with radiographic equipment. The examination revealed an anomaly — something is there that is not indigenous to the topography. Could it be the Ark and sacred vessels?

God's special Shekinah glory dwelt on the Mercy Seat atop the Ark of the Covenant. According to the prophet Jeremiah (3:15-17) the Ark of the Covenant will play an important future role. The ark is said to have been built shortly after the Exodus occurred, therefore the craftsmen who were commissioned to build the Ark would have learned their craft in Egypt; with this in mind it is highly likely the conventions and imagery used to build the Ark would have been totally consistent with conventions used in Egyptian art on or before 1220 B.C.

The Ark of the Covenant was made of acacia wood and covered outside and inside in pure gold. It was 45 inches 27 inches by 27 inches. Three sacred things were placed inside the Ark of the Covenant. Inside were Aaron's sacred rod, which was used to perform miracles in front of Pharoah; manna, which God gave the Israelites to eat in the wilderness; and, the Ten Commandments on tablets of stone.

A golden box with the power to strike men dead; to the ancient Hebrews, the Ark was both a divine manifestation and a talisman so powerful that they carried it with them into battle — a weapon of God.

It came to occupy the most revered spot in Jerusalem, the Holy of Holies at the Temple of Solomon.

The true whereabouts of the ark of the Covenant remains a mystery!

Six centuries before the birth of Christ — it mysteriously disappeared.

Some suggest the Ark is hidden somewhere near the Dead Sea, on the Jordan's west bank. According to one tradition, Jeremiah was the last to see the Ark and hid it in Mount Nebo on the Jordan River's east bank (now Jordan). According to another tradition it was taken to Egypt for safekeeping during the reign of Josiah.

The Israeli Temple Institute, an Ultra-Orthodox organization dedicated to rebuilding the Jewish Temple, is reported to have said; "the Ark is under the temple mount and will be revealed at the proper time - when the temple is rebuilt".

According to Scripture, the Messiah (Jesus) cannot come (2nd time) until the Temple is rebuilt in Jerusalem. The Temple would be unfinished without both the real Ark of the Covenant and ashes of the Red Heifer.


And as concerning ZION, the Tabernacle of the Law of God: at the very beginning, as soon as God had established the heavens, He ordained that it should become the habitation of His glory upon the earth. And willing this He brought it down to the earth, and permitted MOSES to make a likeness of it. And He said unto him, "Make an ark (or, tabernacle) of wood that cannot be eaten by worms, and overlay it with pure gold. And thou shalt place therein the Word of the Law, which is the Covenant that I have written with Mine own fingers, that they may keep My law, the Two Tables of the Covenant."1 Now the heavenly and spiritual [original] within it is of divers colours, and the work thereof is marvellous, and it resembleth jasper, and the sparkling stone, and the topaz, and the hyacinthine stone (?), and the crystal, and the light, and it catcheth the eye by force, and it astonisheth the mind and stupefieth it with wonder; it was made by the mind of God and not by the hand of the artificer, man, but He Himself created it for the habitation of His glory. And it is a spiritual thing and is full of compassion; it is a heavenly thing and is full of light; it is a thing of freedom and a habitation of the Godhead, Whose habitation is in heaven, and Whose place of movement is on the earth, and it dwelleth with men and with the angels, a city of salvation for men, and for the Holy Spirit a habitation. And within it are a GOMOR of gold [containing] a measure of the manna which came down from heaven; and the rod of AARON which sprouted after it had become withered though no one watered it with water, and one p. 14 had broken it in two places, and it became three rods being [originally only] one rod.

And MOSES covered [the Ark] with pure gold, and he made for it poles wherewith to carry it and rings [in which to place them], and they carried it before the people until they brought it into the land of [their] inheritance, which is JERUSALEM, the City of ZION. And when they were crossing the JORDAN and the priests were carrying it, the waters stood upright like a wall until all the people had passed over, and after all the people had passed over the priests passed over bearing the Ark, and they set it down in the city of JUDAH, the land of [their] inheritance. And prophets were appointed over the children of ISRAEL in the Tabernacle of Testimony, and the priests wore the ephod, so that they might minister to the Tabernacle of Testimony, and the high priests offered up offerings, so that they might obtain remission of their own sins and of the sins of the people likewise.

And God commanded MOSES and AARON to make holy vessels for the Tabernacle of Testimony for the furnishing of the Holy of Holies, namely, vessels of gold, bowls and pots, pitchers and sacred tables, netted cloths and tops for pillars, lamps and vessels for filling them, torch-holders and snuffers, tongs, candlesticks, and rings and rods for carrying them, large bowls and lavers, embroidered curtains and hangings, crowns and worked vestments, purple cloths and leather work, carpets and draperies, unguents for anointing priests and kings, hyacinthine and purple hangings, rugs of double thickness and hangings of silk (?), skins of kids and red hides of rams, and sardius stones, and rubies, and sapphires, and emeralds [and to place them] in the Tabernacle of Witness, where dwelleth ZION, the habitation of His glory. [And God told them] to make for it the "belly of a ship" with the Two Tables, which were written by the fingers of God—ZION shall rest upon them—And thou shalt make for it a tabernacle of wood that the worms p. 15 cannot eat, whereon ZION shall rest, two cubits and half a cubit shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and half a cubit the breadth thereof, and thou shalt cover it with pure gold, both the outside thereof and the inside thereof. And thou shalt make the fittings and the cover thereof of fine gold, and there shall be rings round about it; and thou shalt make in the four sides four holes for the carrying-poles. And thou shalt make it of wood that the worms cannot eat, and thou shalt cover it with pure gold, and in this ye shall carry the Tabernacle of the Law.

In this wise did God command MOSES on Mount SINAI, and He showed him the work thereof, and the construction and the pattern of the Tent, according to which he was to make it. And it (i.e., ZION) was revered and had exceedingly great majesty in ISRAEL, and it was acknowledged by God to be the habitation of His glory. And He Himself came down on the mountain of His holiness, and He held converse with His chosen ones, and He opened to them [a way of] salvation, and He delivered them from the hand of their enemies. And he spake with them from the pillar of cloud, and commanded them to keep His Law and His commandments, and to walk in the precepts of God.


'Within the Ark of the Covenant is a vessel of gold containing a measure of the manna which came down from Heaven; the rod of Aaron which sprouted after it had become withered though no-one watered it, broken in two places it became three rods being originally only one rod.'

To begin with the manna, it is apparent from the description above that the manna 'came down from Heaven'. The Bible, too, confirms this. In Psalm 78:24, for example, manna is referred to 'the grain of Heaven' and 'the food of angels'. And in Nehemiah 9:15, manna is referred to as 'bread from heaven' (the latter incidentally is equivalent to the body of Jesus Christ as described in the gospel of John 6:51).

Consider now the following passage from the book of Revelations, where the Holy Spirit said to the churches:

"To him that overcometh I will give to eat the hidden manna and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written therein, which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it."

It would seem that the manna was indeed a sacred stone, albeit something of a 'shape-shifter' in terms of its colour and appearance.

In the Ethiopian Bible 'Kebra Nagast' we read that the staffs of Moses and Aaron were made of an indestructible, living wood, which was the same wood by which Adam had sinned (the wood of the Tree of Life) and the same wood by which Adam and his children had been 'delivered from the punishment of devils' (the wood of the Cross of Christ). The 'Kebra Nagast' also speaks cryptically of the staff of Aaron being the Virgin Mary 'from whom was born the Word of God, without the seed of man'.

In Brahmanism, we find the three rods again: Tridandi (Sk.). The name generally given to a class or sect of Sanyasis, who constantly keep in the hand a kind of club (danda) branching off into three rods at the top. The word is variously etymologized, and some give the name to the triple Brahmanical thread.

Tridandi (tri, "three," danda, "chastisement"), name of Brahmanical thread.


By : J. Frederic McCurdy Louis Ginzberg
The Jewish Encyclopedia

A rod which, in the hands of Aaron, the high priest, was endowed with miraculous power during the several plagues that preceded the Exodus. In this function the rod of Moses was equally potent. Upon two occasions, however, the singular virtue of spontaneous power, when not in the grasp of its possessor, was exhibited by Aaron's Rod. At one time it swallowed the rods of the Egyptian magicians, and at another it blossomed and bore fruit in the Tabernacle, as an evidence of the exclusive right to the priesthood of the tribe of Levi. In commemoration of this decision it was commanded that the rod be put again "before the testimony" (Num. xvii. 10). A later tradition asserts (Heb. ix. 4) that the rod was kept in the Ark of the Covenant. The main fact, however, is thus confirmed, that a rod was preserved in the Tabernacle as a relic of the institution of the Aaronic priesthood.J. F. McC.

—In Rabbinical Literature:

The Bible ascribes similar miraculous powers to the Rod of Aaron and to the staff of Moses (compare, for example, Ex. iv. 2 et seq. and vii. 9). The Haggadah goes a step further, and entirely identifies the Rod of Aaron with that of Moses. Thus the Midrash Yelamdenu (Yal?. on Ps. ex. § 869) states that "the staff with which Jacob crossed the Jordan is identical with that which Judah gave to his daughter-in-law, Tamar (Gen. xxxii. 10, xxxviii. 18). It is likewise the holy rod with which Moses worked (Ex. iv. 20, 21), with which Aaron performed wonders before Pharaoh (Ex. vii. 10), and with which, finally, David slew the giant Goliath (I Sam. xvii. 40). David left it to his descendants, and the Davidic kings used it as a scepter until the destruction of the Temple, when it miraculously disappeared . When the Messiah comes it will be given to him for a scepter in token of his authority over the heathen."

That so wonderful a rod should bear external signs of its importance is easily to be understood. It was made of sapphire, weighed forty seahs (a seah = 10.70 pounds), and bore the inscription , which is composed of the initials of the Hebrew names of the Ten Plagues (Tan., Waëra 8, ed. Buber).

Haggadic Modification.

Aaron's Rod. (From the Sarajevo Haggadah.)

Legend has still more to say concerning this rod. God created it in the twilight of the sixth day of Creation (Ab. v. 9, and Mek., Beshalla?, ed. Weiss, iv. 60), and delivered it to Adam when the latter was driven from paradise. After it had passed through the hands of Shem, Enoch, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob successively, it came into the possession of Joseph. On Joseph's death the Egyptian nobles stole some of his belongings, and, among them, Jethro appropriated the staff. Jethro planted the staff in his garden, when its marvelous virtue was revealed by the fact that nobody could withdraw it from the ground; even to touch it was fraught with danger to life. This was because the Ineffable Name of God was engraved upon it. When Moses entered Jethro's household he read the Name, and by means of it was able to draw up the rod, for which service Zipporah, Jethro's daughter, was given to him in marriage. Her father had sworn that she should become the wife of the man who should be able to master the miraculous rod and of no other (Pir?e R. El. 40; Sefer ha-Yashar; Yal?. Ex. 168, end). It must, however, be remarked that the Mishnah (Ab. v. 9) as yet knew nothing of the miraculous creation of Aaron's Rod, which is first mentioned by the Mekilta (l.c.) and Sifre on Deut. (Ber. xxxiii. 21; ed. Friedmann, p. 355). This supposed fact of the supernatural origin of the rod explains the statement in the New Testament (Heb. ix. 4) and Tosef., Yoma, iii. 7 (it is to be interpreted thus according to B. B. 14a), that Aaron's Rod, together with its blossoms and fruit, was preserved in the Ark. King Josiah, who foresaw the impending national catastrophe, concealed the Ark and its contents (Tosef., So?ah, 13a); and their whereabouts will remain unknown until, in the Messianic age, the prophet Elijah shall reveal them (Mek. l.c.).

Christian Modifications.

A later Midrash (Num. R. xviii. end) confuses the legends of the rod that blossomed with those of the rod that worked miracles, thus giving us contradictory statements. There exists a legend that Moses split a tree trunk into twelve portions, and gave one portion to each tribe. When the Rod of Aaron produced blossoms, the Israelites could not but acknowledge the significance of the token. The account of the blossoming of Aaron's Rod contained in Clement's first letter to the Corinthians (ep. 43) is quite in haggadic-midrashic style, and must probably be ascribed to Jewish or, more strictly speaking, Jewish-Hellenistic sources. According to that account, Moses placed upon each of the twelve staffs the corresponding seal of the head of a tribe. The doors of the sanctuary were similarly sealed, to prevent any one from having access to the rods at night. This legend of the rod as given by the Syrian Solomon in his "Book of the Bee" ("Anecdota Oxoniensia, Semitic Series," vol. i. part ii.) has Christian characteristics. According to it the staff is a fragment of the Tree of Knowledge, and was successively in the possession of Shem, of the three Patriarchs, and of Judah, just as in the Jewish legend. From Judah it descended to Pharez, ancestor of David and of the Messiah. After Pharez's death an angel carried it to the mountains of Moab and buried it there, where the pious Jethro found it. When Moses, at Jethro's request, went in search of it, the rod was brought to him by an angel. With this staff Aaron and Moses performed all the miracles related in Scripture, noteworthy among which was the swallowing up of the wonder-working rods of the Egyptian Posdi. Joshua received it from Moses and made use of it in his wars (Josh. viii. 18); and Joshua, in turn, delivered it to Phinehas, who buried it in Jerusalem. There it remained hidden until the birth of Jesus, when the place of its concealment was revealed to Joseph, who took it with him on the journey to Egypt. Judas Iscariot stole it from James, brother of Jesus, who had received it from Joseph. At Jesus' crucifixion the Jews had no wood for the transverse beam of the cross, so Judas produced the staff for that purpose ("Book of the Bee," Syr. ed., pp. 50-53; Eng. ed., pp. 50-52). This typological explanation of Moses' rod as the cross is not a novel one. Origen on Exodus (chap. vii.) says: "This rod of Moses, with which he subdued the Egyptians, is the symbol of the cross of Jesus, who conquered the world." Christian legend has preserved the Jewish accounts of the rod of the Messiah and made concrete fact of the idea. Other Western legends concerning the connection of the cross and the rod may be found in Seymour, "The Cross," 1898, p. 83.

The rod is likewise glorified in Mohammedan legend, which, as is usually the case with the Biblical accounts of the Mohammedans, is plainly derived from Jewish sources. The following passage will serve as an illustration:(G. Weil, "Biblische Legenden der Muselmänner," p. 140, Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1845)

"Moses flung his staff upon the ground, and instantly it was changed into a serpent as huge as the largest camel. It glared at Pharaoh with fire-darting eyes, and lifted his throne to the ceiling. Opening its jaws, it cried aloud, 'If it pleased Allah, I could not only swallow up the throne with thee and all that are here present, but even thy palace and all that it contains, without any one perceiving the slightest change in me'".L. G.

The Ark had Other Names

Ark of the Covenant

The Hebrew word aron, by which the Ark of the Covenant is expressed, does not call to the mind, as that used for Noah's Ark, a large construction, but rather a chest. This word is generally determined in the sacred text; so we read of the Ark of the Testimony (Ex., xxv, 16, 22; xxvi, 33, etc.), the Ark of the Testament (Ex., xxx, 26), the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord (Num., x, 33; Deut., x, 8, etc.), the Ark of the Covenant (Jos., iii, 6, etc.), the Ark of God (I Kings, iii, 3, etc.), the Ark of the Lord (I Kings, iv, 6, etc.). Of these, the expression "Ark of the Covenant" has become most familiar in English.

Ark of the Covenant History

Ark of the Covenant: The History Behind it

The Ark of the Covenant is first mentioned in the Bible in Exodus 25. Following Israel's deliverance from slavery in Egypt, God instructs Moses to build a Tabernacle (or tent) in which the Israelites will worship God. Placed in a special area known as "the Holy of Holies," the Ark of the Covenant was the most sacred object in the Tabernacle. Detailed instructions were given by God to construct the Ark. It was to be made with acacia wood and overlaid with gold. Dimensionally, the Ark was to be 2.5 cubits (1 cubit is approximately 18 in.) long and 1.5 cubits wide and high. Atop the Ark were two gold cherubs that stood with their wings covering an area of the Ark known as the "Mercy Seat."

The Ark of the Covenant contained three items of extreme significance to the Israelites. The first was two stone tablets bearing the divine inscription of the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments formed the foundation of God's covenant with Israel, commonly referred to as "The Law" (Exodus 31). The second item in the Ark was the rod of Aaron. God miraculously caused Aaron's rod to bud with blossoms to show the rest of the tribes of Israel that it was God's will for Aaron to be in charge of the Priesthood (Numbers 17). The last item was a golden pot of manna. Manna was the starchy food God miraculously provided for the Israelites during their 40 years of desert wanderings (Exodus 16).

The Ark of the Covenant was where God manifested His presence on earth. The Ark went ahead of the Israelites wherever they traveled. Not only was it the center of worship when it resided in the tabernacle, but the Ark also protected the Israelites in battle, supernaturally defeating any adversaries that came before them (Joshua 6:3-4). The Israelites also went to the Ark to seek God's guidance and wisdom for the nation (Numbers 7:89, Exodus 25:22).



The Ark of the Covenant was a kind of chest, measuring two cubits and a half in length, a cubit and a half in breadth, and a cubit and a half in height. Made of setim wood (an incorruptible acacia), it was overlaid within and without with the purest gold, and a golden crown or rim ran around it. At the four corners, very likely towards the upper part, four golden rings had been cast; through them passed two bars of setim wood overlaid with gold, to carry the Ark. These two bars were to remain always in the rings, even when the Ark had been placed in the temple of Solomon. The cover of the Ark, termed the "propitiatory" (the corresponding Hebrew word means both "cover" and "that which makes propitious"), was likewise of the purest gold.

Upon it had been place two cherubim of beaten gold, looking towards each other, and spreading their wings so that both sides of the propitiatory were covered. What exactly these cherubim were, is impossible to determine; however, from the analogy with Egyptian religious art, it may well be supposed that they were images, kneeling or standing, of winged persons. It is worth noticing that this is the only exception to the law forbidding the Israelites to make carved images, an exception so much the more harmless to the faith of the Israelites in a spiritual God because the Ark was regularly to be kept behind the veil of the sanctuary.

The form of the Ark of the Covenant was probably inspired by some article of the furniture of the Egyptian temples. But it should not be represented as one of those sacred bari, or barks, in which the gods of Egypt were solemnly carried in procession; it had, very likely, been framed after the pattern of the naos of gold, silver, or precious wood, containing the images of the gods and the sacred emblems. According to some modern historians of Israel, the Ark, in every way analogous to the bari used upon the banks of the Nile, contained the sacred objects worshipped by the Hebrews, perhaps some sacred stone, meteoric or otherwise. Such a statement proceeds from the opinion that the Israelites during their early national life were given not only to idolatry, but to its grossest form, fetishism; that first they adored Yahweh in inanimate things, then they worshipped him in the bull, as in Dan and Bethel, and that only about the seventh century did they rise to the conception of an invisible and spiritual God. But this description of Israel's religious history does not tally with the most certain conclusions derived from the texts. The idolatry of the Hebrews is not proven any more than their polytheism; hence the Ark, far from being viewed as in the opinion above referred to, should rather be regarded as a token of the choice that Yahweh had made of Israel for his people, and a visible sign of his invisible presence in the midst of his beloved nation.

The Ark was first destined to contain the testimony, that is to say the tables of the Law (Ex., xl, 18; Deut., x, 5). Later, Moses was commanded to put into the tabernacle, near the Ark, a golden vessel holding a gomor of manna (Ex., xvi, 34), and the rod of Aaron which had blossomed (Num., xvii, 10). According to the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews (ix, 4), and the Jewish traditions, they had been put into the Ark itself. Some commentators, with Calmet, hold that the book of the Law written by Moses had likewise been enclosed in the Ark; but the text says only that the book in question was placed "in the side of the Ark" (Deut., xxxi, 26); moreover, what should be understood by this book, whether it was the whole Pentateuch, or Deuteronomy, or part of it, is not clear, though the context seems to favour the latter interpretations. However this may be, we learn from III Kings, viii, 9, that when the Ark was placed in Solomon's temple, it contained only the tables of the Law.

The holiest part of the Ark seems to have been the oracle, that is to say the place whence Yahweh made his prescriptions to Israel. "Thence", the Lord had said to Moses, will I give orders, and will speak to thee over the propitiatory, and from the midst of these two cherubims, which shall be upon the Ark of the testimony, all things which I will command the children of Israel by thee" (Ex., xxv, 22). And indeed we read in Num., vii, 89, that when Moses "entered into the tabernacle of the covenant, to consult the oracle, he heard the voice of one speaking to him from the propitiatory, that was over the ark between the two cherubims".

Yahweh used to speak to his servant in a cloud over the oracle (Lev., xvi, 2). This was, very likely, also the way in which he communicated with Josue after the death of the first leader of Israel (cf. Jos., vii, 6-1). The oracle was, so to say, the very heart of the sanctuary, the dwelling place of God; hence we read in scores of passages of the Old Testament that Yahweh "sitteth on [or rather, by] the cherubim".

In the last years of Israel's history, the Jewish rabbis, from a motive of reverence to God's holiness, avoided pronouncing any of the names expressing the Divinity in the Hebrew language, such as El, Elohim, etc., and still less Yahweh, the ineffable name, i.e. a name unutterable to any human tongue; instead of these, they used metaphors or expressions having reference to the Divine attributes. Among the latter, the word shekinah became very popular; it meant the Divine Presence (from shakhan, to dwell), hence the Divine Glory, and had been suggested by the belief in God's presence in a cloud over the propitiatory. Not only did the Ark signify God's presence in the midst of his people, but it also betokened the warlike undertakings of Israel; no greater evil accordingly could befall the nation than the capture of the Ark by the enemies, as, we shall see, happened towards the close of the period of the Judges and perhaps also at the taking of Jerusalem by the Babylonian army, in 587 B.C.


According to the sacred narrative recorded in Exodus, xxv, 10-22, God Himself had given the description of the Ark of the Covenant, as well as that of the tabernacle and all its appurtenances. God's command was fulfilled to the letter by Beseleel, one of the skillful men appointed "to devise and to work in gold, and silver, and brass, and in engraving stones and in carpenters' work (Ex., xxxvii, 1-9). On that day God showed His pleasure by filling the tabernacle of the testimony with His Glory, and covering it with the cloud that henceforward would be to His people a guiding sign in their journeys. All the Levites were not entitled to the guardianship of the sanctuary and of the Ark; but this office was entrusted to the kindred of Caath (Num., iii, 34).

Whenever, during the desert life, the camp was to set forward, Aaron and his sons went into the tabernacle of the covenant and the Holy of Holies, took down the veil that hung before the door, wrapped up the Ark of the Testimony in it, covered it in dugong skins, then with a violet cloth, and put in the bars (Num., iv, 5, 6). When the people pitched their tents to sojourn for some time in a place, everything was set again in its customary order. During the journeys the Ark went before the people; and when it was lifted up they said: "Arise, O Lord, and let Thy enemies be scattered, and let them that hate Thee flee from before Thy face!" And when it was set down, they said: "Return, O Lord, to the multitude of the host of Israel!" Num., x, 33-36). Thus did the Ark preside over all the journeys and stations of Israel during all their wandering life in the wilderness.

As has been said above, the sacred chest was the visible sign of God's presence and protection. This appeared in the most striking manner in different circumstances. When the spies who had been sent to view the Promised Land returned and gave their report, murmurs arose in the camp, which neither threatenings nor even the death of the authors of the sedition could quell. Against the will of God, many of the Israelites went up to the mountain to meet the Amalecites and Chanaanites: "but the ark of the testament of the Lord and Moses departed not from the camp". And the enemies came down, smote, and slew the presumptuous Hebrews whom God did not help. The next two manifestations of Yahweh's power through the Ark occurred under Josue's leadership. When the people were about to cross the Jordan, the priests that carried the ark of the covenant went on before them; and as soon as they came into the Jordan, and their feet were dipped in part of the water, the waters that came down from above stood in one place, and swelling up like a mountain, were seen afar off . . . but those that were beneath ran down into the sea of the wilderness, until they wholly failed. And the people marched over against Jericho; and the priests that carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, stood girded upon the dry ground, in the midst of the Jordan, and all the people passed over through the channel that was dried up. (Jos., iii, 14-17)

A few days later, Israel was besieging Jericho. At God's command, the Ark was carried in procession around the city for seven days, until the walls crumbled at the sound of the trumpets and the shouts of the people, thus giving the assailing army a free opening into the place (Jos., vi, 6-21). Later again, after the taking and burning of Hai, we see the Ark occupy a most prominent place in the solemn assize of the nation held between Mount Garizim and Mount Hebal (Jos., viii, 33).

The Israelites having settled in the Promised Land, it became necessary to choose a place where to erect the tabernacle and keep the Ark of the Covenant. Silo, in the territory of Ephraim, about the centre of the conquered country, was selected (Jos., xviii, 1). There, indeed, during the obscure period which preceded the establishment of the Kingdom of Israel, do we find the "house of the Lord" (Judges, xviii, 31; xx, 18), with its High-Priest, to whose care the Ark had been entrusted. Did the precious palladium of Israel remain permanently at Silo, or was it carried about, whenever the emergency required, as, for instance, during warlike expeditions?

This point can hardly be ascertained. Be it as it may, the narrative which closes the Book of Judges supposes the presence of the Ark at Bethel. True, some commentators, following St. Jerome, translate here the word Bethel as though it were a common noun (house of God); but their opinion seems hardly reconcilable with the other passages where the same name is found, for these passages undoubtedly refer to the city of Bethel. This is no place to discuss at length the divers explanations brought forward to meet the difficulty; suffice it to say that it does not entitle the reader to conclude, as many have done, that there probably existed several Arks throughout Israel. The remark above made, that the Ark was possibly carried hither and thither according as the circumstances required, is substantiated by what we read in the narration of the events that brought about the death of Heli. The Philistines had waged war against Israel, whose army, at the first encounter, turned their backs to the enemy, were utterly defeated, and suffered very heavy losses. Thereupon the ancients of the people suggested that the Ark of the Covenant be fetched unto them, to save them from the hands of their enemies.

So the Ark was brought from Silo, and such acclamations welcomed it into the camp of the Israelites, as to fill with fear the hearts of the Philistines. Trusting that Yahweh's presence in the midst of their army betokened a certain victory, the Hebrew army engaged the battle afresh, to meet an overthrow still more disastrous than the former; and, what made the catastrophe more complete, the Ark of God fell into the hands of the Philistines (i Kings, iv).

Then, according to the Biblical narrative, began for the sacred chest a series of eventful peregrinations through the cities of southern Palestine, until it was solemnly carried to Jerusalem. And never was it returned to its former place in Silo. In the opinion of the Philistines, the taking of the Ark meant a victory of their gods over the God of Israel. They accordingly brought it to Azotus and set it as a trophy in the temple of Dagon. But the next morning they found Dagon fallen upon his face before the Ark; they raised him up and set him in his place again. The following morning Dagon again was lying on the ground, badly mutilated. At the same time a cruel disease (perhaps the bubonic plague) smote the Azotites, while a terrible invasion of mice afflicted the whole surrounding country. These scourges were soon attributed to the presence of the Ark within the walls of the city, and regarded as a direct judgment from Yahweh. Hence was it decided by the assembly of the rulers of the Philistines that the Ark should be removed from Azotus and brought to some other place. Carried successively to Gath and to Accaron, the Ark brought with it the same scourges which had occasioned its removal from Azotus. Finally, after seven months, on the suggestion of their priests and their diviners, the Philistines resolved to give up their dreadful trophy.

The Biblical narrative acquires here a special interest for us, by the insight we get therefrom into the religious spirit among these ancient peoples. Having made a new cart, they took two kine that had sucking calves, yoked them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home. And they laid the Ark of the God upon the cart, together with a little box containing golden mice and the images of their boils. Then the kine, left to themselves, took their course straight in the direction of the territory of Israel. As soon as the Bethsamites recognized the Ark upon the cart that was coming towards them, they went rejoicing to meet it. When the cart arrived in the field of a certain Josue, it stood still there. And as there was a great stone in that place, they split up the wood of the cart and offered the kine a holocaust to Yahweh. With this sacrifice ended the exile of the Ark in the land of the Philistines. The people of Bethsames, however, did not long enjoy its presence among them. Some of them inconsiderately cast a glance upon the Ark, whereupon they were severely punished by God; seventy men (the text usually received says seventy men and fifty thousand of the common people; but this is hardly credible as Bethsames was only a small country place) were thus smitten, as a punishment for their boldness. Frightened by this mark of the Divine wrath, the Bethsamites sent messengers to the inhabitants of Cariathiarim, to tell them how the Philistines had brought back the Ark, and invite them to convey it to their own town. So the men of Cariathiarim came and brought up the Ark and carried it into the house of Abinadab, whose son Eleazar they consecrated to its service (I Kings, vii, 1).

The actual Hebrew text, as well as the Vulgate and all translations dependent upon it, intimates that the Ark was with the army of Saul in the famous expedition against the Philistines, narrated in I Kings, xiv. This is a mistake probably due to some late scribe who, for theological reasons, substituted the "ark of God" for the "ephod". The Greek translation here gives the correct reading; nowhere else, indeed, in the history of Israel, do we hear of the Ark of the Covenant as an instrument of divination. It may consequently be safely affirmed that the Ark remained in Cariathiarim up to the time of David. It was natural that after this prince had taken Jerusalem and made it the capital of his kingdom, he should desire to make it also a religious centre. For this end, he thought of bringing thither the Ark of the Covenant. In point of fact the Ark was undoubtedly in great veneration among the people; it was looked upon as the palladium with which heretofore Israel's life, both religious and political, had been associated. Hence, nothing could have more suitably brought about the realization of David's purpose than such a transfer. We read in the Bible two accounts of this solemn event; the first is found in the Second Book of Kings (vi); in the other, of a much later date, the chronicler has cast together most of the former account with some elements reflecting ideas and institutions of his own time (I Par., xiii). According to the narrative of II Kings, vi, which we shall follow, David went with great pomp to Baal-Juda, or Cariathiarim, to carry from there the Ark of God. It was laid upon a new cart, and taken out of the house of Abinadab. Oza and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, guided the cart, the latter walking before it, the former at its side, while the King and the people that were with him, dancing, singing, and playing instruments, escorted the sacred chest. This day, however, like that of the coming of the Ark to Bethsames, was to be saddened by death. At a certain point in the procession the oxen slipped; Oza forthwith stretched out his hand to hold the Ark, but was struck dead on the spot. David, frightened by this accident, and now unwilling to remove the Ark to Jerusalem, he had it carried into the house of a Gethite, named Obededom, which was probably in the neighborhood of the city. The presence of the Ark was a source of blessings for the house to which it had been brought. This news encouraged David to complete the work he had begun. Three months after the first transfer, accordingly, he came again with great solemnity and removed the Ark from the house of Obededom to the city, where it was set in its place in the midst of the tabernacle which David had pitched for it. Once more was the Ark brought out of Jerusalem, when David betook himself to flight before Absalom's rebellion. Whilst the King stood in the Cedron valley, the people were passing before him towards the way that leads to the wilderness. Among them came also Sadoe and Abiathar, bearing the Ark. Whom when David saw, he commanded to carry back the Ark into the city: "If I shall find grace in the sight of the Lord", said he, "he will bring me again, and will shew me both it and his tabernacle". In compliance with this order, Sadoe and Abiathar carried back the Ark of the Lord into Jerusalem (II Kings, xv, 24-29).

The tabernacle which David had pitched to receive the Ark was not, however, to be its last dwelling place. The King indeed had thought of a temple more worthy of the glory of Yahweh. Although the building of this edifice was to be the work of his successor, David himself took to heart to gather and prepare the materials for its erection. From the very beginning of Solomon's reign, this wince showed the greatest reverence to the Ark, especially when, after the mysterious dream in which God answered his request for wisdom by promising him wisdom, riches and honour, he offered up burnt-offerings and peace-offerings before the Ark of the Covenant of Yahweh (III Kings, iii, 15). When the temple and all its appurtenances were completed, Solomon, before the dedication, assembled the elders of Israel, that they might solemnly convey the Ark from the place where David had set it up to the Holy of Holies. Thence it was, most likely, now and then taken out, either to accompany military expeditions, or to enhance the splendour of religious celebrations, perhaps also to comply with the ungodly commands of wicked kings. However this may be, the chronicler tells us that Josias commanded the Levites to return it to its place in the temple, and forbade them to take it thence in the future (II Par., xxxv, 3). But the memory of its sacredness was soon to pass away. In one of his prophecies referring to the Messianic times, Jeremias announced that it would be utterly forgotten: "They shall say no more: The ark of the covenant of Yahweh: neither shall it come upon the heart, neither shall they remember it, neither shall it be visited, neither shall that be done any more" (Jer., iii, 16).



As to what became of the Ark at the fall of Jerusalem, in 587 B.C., there exist several traditions, one of which has found admittance in the sacred books. In a letter of the Jews of Jerusalem to them that were in Egypt, the following details are given as copied from a writing of Jeremias:

The prophet, being warned by God, commanded that the tabernacle and the ark should accompany him, till he came forth to the mountain where Moses went up and saw the inheritance of God. And when Jeremias came thither he found a hollow cave and he carried in thither the tabernacle and the ark and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door. Then some of them that followed him, came up to mark the place; but they could not find it. And when Jeremias perceived it, he blamed them saying: the place shall be unknown, till God gather together the congregation of the people and receive them to mercy. And then the Lord will shew these things, and the majesty of the Lord shall appear, and there shall be a cloud as it was also shewed to Moses, and he shewed it when Solomon prayed that the place might be sanctified to the great God. (II Mach., ii, 4-8)

According to many commentators, the letter from which the above-cited lines are supposed to have been copied cannot be regarded as possessing Divine authority; for, as a rule, a citation remains in the Bible what it was outside of the inspired writing; the impossibility of dating the original document makes it very difficult to pass a judgment on its historical reliability. At any rate the tradition which it embodies, going back at least as far as two centuries before the Christian era, cannot be discarded on mere a priori arguments.

The Apocalypse of Esdras

Side by side with this tradition, we find another mentioned in the Apocalypse of Esdras; according to this latter, the Ark of the Covenant was taken by the victorious army that ransacked Jerusalem after having taken it (IV Esd., x, 22). This is certainly most possible, so much the more that we learn from IV Kings, xxv, that the Babylonian troops carried away from the temple whatever brass, silver, and gold they could lay their hands upon.

The Talmud

At any rate, either of these traditions is certainly more reliable than that adopted by the redactors of the Talmud, who tell us that the Ark was hidden by King Josias in a most secret place prepared by Solomon in case the temple might be taken and set on fire. It was a common belief among the rabbis of old that it would be found at the coming of the Messiahs. Be this as it may, this much is unquestionable; namely that the Ark is never mentioned among the appurtenances of the second temple. Had it been preserved there, it would most likely have been now and then alluded to, at least on occasion of such ceremonies as the consecration of the new temple, or the re-establishment of the worship, both after the exile and during the Maccabean times. True, the chronicler, who lived in the post-exilian epoch, says of the Ark (II Par., v, 9) that "it was been there unto this day". But it is commonly admitted on good grounds that the writer mentioned made use of, and wove together in his work, without as much as changing one single word of them, narratives belonging to former times. If, as serious commentators admit, the above-recorded passage be one of these "implicit citations", it might be inferred thence that the chronicler probably did not intend to assert the existence of the Ark in the second temple.


Catholic tradition, led by the Fathers of the Church, has considered the Ark of the Covenant as one of the purest and richest symbols of the realities of the New Law. It signifies, in the first place, the Incarnate Word of God. "Christ himself", says St. Thomas Aquinas, "was signified by the Ark. For in the same manner as the Ark was made of setim wood, so also was the body of Christ composed of the most pure human substance. The Ark was entirely overlaid with gold, because Christ was filled with wisdom and charity, which gold symbolizes. In the Ark there was a golden vase: this represents Jesus' most holy soul containing the fulness of sanctity and the godhead, figured by the manna. There was also Aaron's rod, to indicate the sacerdotal of Jesus Christ priest forever. Finally the stone tables of the Law were likewise contained in the Ark, to mean that Jesus Christ is the author of the Law". To these point touched by the Angel of the Schools, it might be added that the Ascension of Christ to heaven after His victory over death and sin is figured by the coming up of the Ark to Sion. St. Bonaventure has also seen in the Ark a mystical representation of the Holy Eucharist. In like manner the Ark might be very well regarded as a mystical figure of the Blessed Virgin, called by the Church the "Ark of the Covenant" — Faederis Arca.

KITTO, The Tabernacle and Its Furniture (London, 1849); LAMY, De tabernaculo, de sancta civitate et templo (Paris, 1720); LIGHTFOOT, Works, Vol. I, Descriptio templi hiersol.; POELS, Examen critique de l'histoire du sanctuaire de l'arche (Louvain and Leyden, 1897); VIGOUROUX, La Bible et les decouveries modernes (Paris, 1889), II and III.


Transcribed by Michael T. Barrett

Where is the Ark of the Covenant?

Does Sheshonq I take the Ark to Tanis?

Some think that the Ark of the Covenant was taken to Egypt by Shishak when he attacked Jerusalem. I Kings 14:25-26 says, "In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem. He carried off treasures of the temple of the Lord and the treasures of the royal palace. He took everything, including all the gold shields Solomon had made" (NIV). II Chronicles 12:2-4,9 says, "Because they had been unfaithful to the Lord, Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem in the fifth year of King Rehoboam. With twelve hundred chariots and sixty thousand horsemen and the innumerable troop of Libyans, Sukkites and Cushites that came with him from Egypt, he captured fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem...When Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem, he carried off the treasures of the temple of the Lord and the treasures of the royal palace. He took everything, including the gold shields Solomon had made" (NIV).

The Hebrew name Shishak matches the Egyptian name of Sheshonq I in Egyptian history. Sheshonq is the founder of the 22nd Dynasty of Egypt. Sheshonq I ruled from 945-924 BC. He was from a Libyan tribe who became commander-in-chief, then King. He was a strong leader who reunited Egypt. 2 Chronicles 12:3-4 says, "With 1200 chariots and 60,000 horsemen and the innumerable troops of Libyans, Sukkites (mercenary Libyan soldiers) and Cushites (Upper Egypt) that came with him from Egypt, he captured the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem" (NIV). Note the many troops from Libya. Thutmose III nor Rameses II would not have had an army composed of mainly outsiders, but Egyptians. There are inscriptions of Sheshonq's campaign into Palestine on the wall of the temple of Amon in Karnak. ANET, 263; ANEP, 349; ANE 1, fig.94. It says that Sheshonq I went as far as Megiddo where a victory stele was erected. ANET 242-3 has a list the the cities he captured. For more information on the list see Handbook for the Study of Egyptian Topographical Lists Relating to Western Asia by J. Simons, Leiden 1937 (pp.90-101,178-186: see also Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, Vol. 4, paragraph 709). For more information on Sheshonq see

Sheshonq I established Tanis as the capitol of Egypt. If indeed all the treasures of the Temple were taken by Sheshonq I, then the Ark was taken back to Tanis. Part of the loot was usually given to the temples in Egypt especially the god the pharaoh worshipped in thanks for their great military victory. There is a fragmentary inscription of Sheshonq delivering tribute from Palestine to the god Amon (See Breasted, Vol.4, paragraph 723). Sometimes they would melt down the metals and remake what they wanted. So the Ark of the Covenant may be somewhere in Egypt. In the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark Indiana Jones looks for the Ark in Tanis. However, other legends say that the Jews hid the Ark, and did not give it to Sheshonq I.

One legend says that Solomon had a son named Menelik by the Queen of Sheba who took the Ark back to Ethiopia. Supposedly, King Solomon had this son by the Queen of Sheba when she came to visit Solomon (I Kings 10:1-13; 2 Chronicles 9:1-12). When he grew up Menelik returned to Jerusalem for a copy of the Ark of the Covenant which Solomon gave to him. But Menelik secretly switched the real Ark with the replica. Menelik took the real Ark back to Ethiopia. Traditionally, Sheba is located in Saudia Arabia not Ethiopia (more details about this below).

The Ark is mentioned later in the days of Josiah. 2 Chronicles 35:3 states, "He (Josiah) said to the Levites, who instructed all Israel and who had been consecrated to the Lord: 'Put the sacred ark in the temple that Solomon son of David king of Israel built. It is not to be carried about on your shoulders" (NIV). The Book of the Law was found by Hilkiah the priest in the Temple. Josiah sets up reforms.

Does Nebuchadnezzar take the Ark to Babylon?

Some think that the Ark of the Covenant was taken by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon when he captured and destroyed Jerusalem in 586 BC. 2 Kings 25:13-15 says, " The Babylonians broke up the bronze pillars, the movable stands and the bronze Sea that were at the temple of the Lord and they carried the bronze to Babylon. They also took away pots, shovels, which trimmers dishes and all the bronze articles used in the temple service. The commander of the imperial guard took away the censers and sprinkling blows-all that were made of pure gold or silver " (NIV; see also Jeremiah 52:17-22). However, notice that there is no mention of the Ark of the Covenant. The parallel account given in 2 Chronicles 36:17-19 probably written by Ezra says, "God handed all of them over to Nebuchadnezzar. He carried to Babylon all the articles from the temple of God, both large and small, and the treasures of the Lord's temple and the treasures of the king and his officials. They set fire to God's temple and broke down the wall of Jerusalem; they burned all the places and destroyed everything of value there" (NIV).

The Fourth Book of Ezra 10:19-22states, "So I spoke again to her, and said, 'Do not say that, but let yourself be persuaded because of the troubles of Zion, and be consoled because of the sorrow of Jerusalem. For you see that our sanctuary had been laid waste, our altar thrown down, our temple destroyed; our harp had been laid low, our song has been silenced, and our rejoicing had been ended; the light of our lampstand had been put out, the ark of our covenant has been plundered, our holy things have been polluted, and the name by which we are called has been profaned; our free men have suffered abuse, our priests have been burned to death, our Levites have gone into captivity" (Charlesworth 1983, 546-7). According to the Fourth Book of Ezra the Ark of the Covenant was taken to Babylon.

Did Jeremiah Hide the Ark in a Cave?

In 2 Maccabees 2:4-6 Jeremiah is told to hide the Ark in a cave in Mt. Nebo. 2 Maccabees 2:4-6 says, "It was also contained in the same writing, how the prophet (Jeremiah), being warned by God, commanded that the tabernacle and the ark should accompany him, till he came forth to the mountain where Moses went up and saw the inheritance of God (Mt. Nebo). And when Jeremias came thither he found a hollow cave: and he carried in thither the tabernacle and the ark and the altar of incense and so stopped the door. Then some of them that followed him came up to mark the: but they could not find it. And when Jeremias perceived it he blamed them saying: The place shall be unknown till God gather together to congregation of the people and receive them to mercy" (Douay).

According to 2 Baruch 6:5-9 An angel came down from heaven into the Holy of Holies and took "the veil, the holy ephod, the mercy seat, the two tables, the holy raiment of the priest, the altar of incense, the forty-eight precious stones with which the priests were clothed, and all the holy vessels of the tabernacle" (Charlesworth 1983, 623). These are stories that the Ark was hidden.

After Cyrus the Great conquered Babylon, he issued a decree for the temple at Jerusalem to be rebuilt in 538 BC. The Jews could now return to Jerusalem. Ezra 1:7 says, "Moreover, King Cyrus brought out the articles belonging to the temple of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and had placed in the temple of his god" (NIV note: "It was the custom for conquerors to carry off the images of the gods of conquered cities.). The inventory in Ezra 1:9-11 lists gold and silver dishes, silver pans, gold and silver bowls, and other articles for a total of 5,400 items. The Ark of the Covenant is not specifically listed.

Did Antiochus Epiphanes take the Ark to Syria?

I Maccabees 1:21-24, 57 states, "And after Antiochus had ravaged Egypt in the hundred and forty-third year, he returned and went up against Israel. And he went up to Jerusalem with a great multitude. And he proudly entered into the sanctuary and took away the golden altar and the candlestick of light and all the vessels thereof and the table of proposition and the pouring vessels and the vials and the little mortars of gold and the veil and the crowns and the golden ornament that was before the temple: and he broke them all in pieces. And he took the silver and gold, and the precious vessels: and he took the hidden treasures which he found. And when he had taken all away he departed into his own country....On the fifteenth day of the month Casleu, in the hundred and forty-fifth year, king Antiochus set up the abominable idol of desolation upon the altar of God" (Douay). It seems that the furniture of the Temple was broken into pieces, and then carried back to Syria. There is no mention of the Ark of the Covenant.

Did Titus take the Ark to Rome?

The Romans captured the city of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Titus took the vessels from the Temple and brought them to Rome. There is a carving of the lampstand or Menorah, the Table of Shewbread, and ritual trumpets on the Triumphant Arch of Titus in Rome. There is no carving of the Ark of the Covenant. Josephus in the Jewish War writes, "Most of the spoils that were carried were heaped up in discriminately, but more prominent than all the rest were those captured in the Temple at Jerusalem-a golden table weighing several hundredweight, and a lampstand, similarly made of gold but differently constructed from those we normally use....After these was carried the Jewish Law, the last of the spoils....Vespasian made up his mind to build a temple of Peace....There too he laid up the golden vessels from the Temple of the Jews, for he prided himself on them; but their Law and the crimson curtains of the Inner Sanctuary he ordered to be deposited in the Palace for safe keeping" (Book VII, Chp.V, 5-6; Translation by G.A. Williamson, New York: Dorset, 1959, 385-6).

About these temple vessels in Rome G. A. Williamson comments, "They were seized by the Vandals and taken to North Africa in 455, recovered and removed to Constantinople, the capital of the eastern empire in 534, and then, reputedly, sent to a church in Jerusalem, where they remained till the seventh century. They disappeared at an unknown later date" (Ibid, 456). With the conquest of Islam the vessels could have been taken any where under their control.

In Josephus' description of the Temple, there is no mention of the Ark of the Covenant. The Holy of Holies was empty. Josephus states, "The innermost chamber measured 30 feet and was similarly separated by a curtain from the outer part. Nothing at all was kept in it; it was unapproachable, inviolable, and invisible to all, and was called the Holy of Holies" (Book V, Chp. V, 5; Williamson, 304). It seems that there was no Ark of the Covenant in the Second Temple.

Other Claims about the Ark!

Certain Rabbis claim to have seen the Ark in a tunnel under the Temple ground in Jerusalem. The Israeli government sealed the entrance with cement because of protests from the Arabs, because it was near the Dome of the Rock. There is no proof that the Ark is there.

Some claim the ark is in a church in Axum, Ethiopia. This view has been popularized by Graham Hancock's book The Sign and the Seal: The Quest for the Lost Ark of the Covenant. There was also a special TV program about this, but there is no proof. If there is, it might be a replica from Elephantine. There is suppose to be a replica of the ark in every Ethiopia church. The real Ark is supposedly in the Sanctuary Chapel in Saint Mary of Zion's Church in Axum, Ethiopia.

Supposedly, King Solomon had a son by the Queen of Sheba named Menelik. When he grew up Menelik returned to Jerusalem for a copy of the Ark of the Covenant which Solomon gave to him. But Menelik secretly switched the real Ark with the replica. Menelik took the real Ark back to Ethiopia. Traditionally, Sheba is located in Saudia Arabia not Ethiopia.

There was a Jewish community in Elephantine, Egypt that built a replica of the temple of the Lord (Yaho). They requested help from Jerusalem to rebuild the temple because it was destroyed in the 14th year of Darius (410 BC). The Petition For Authorization To Rebuild the Temple of Yaho states, "Nefayan thereupon led the Egyptians with other troops. Coming with their weapons to the fortress of Elephantine, they entered the temple and razed it to the ground...As for the basins of gold and silver and other articles that were in that temple, they carried all of them off and made them their own.-Now, our forefathers built this temple in the fortress of Elephantine back in the days of the kingdom of Egypt, and when Cambyses came to Egypt he found it built. They knocked down all the temples of the gods of Egypt, but no one did any damage to this temple...Let a letter be sent from you to them concerning the temple of the god Yaho to build it in the fortress of Elephantine as it was built before; and the meal-offering, incense, and burnt offering will be offered in your name" (ANET, 492; ANE vol.1, 279-281). The governors of Judah send a reply with permission to rebuild the temple (ANET, 492; ANE vol.1, 281).

There is a temple of the Samaritans on Mt. Gerizum that may be a close replica of the temple in Jerusalem. They may have had a replica of the Ark. According to Josephus during the Greek period Manasseh, the brother of Jaddua the high priest had married Nicaso, a foreign woman. The priests demanded that Manasseh divorce his wife or not approach the altar. Sanballat II (different from the one mentioned in Nehemiah) his father-in-law told Manasseh that he would build him a temple on Mount Gerizum just like the one at Jerusalem if he would not divorce his wife. Alexander the Great gave Sanballat, a general in his army, permission to build the temple (Antiquities of the Jews Book XI, 8:2-4). Some Two hundred years later Hyrcanus destroyed the temple on Mount Gerizum (Antiquities of the Jews Book XIII, 9:1).


Hebrew: kapporeth, a "covering;" LXX. [Septuagint] and New Testament: hilasterion; Vulgate: propitiatorium

the covering or lid of the ark of the covenant (q.v.). It was of acacia wood, overlaid with gold, or perhaps rather a plate of solid gold, 2 1/2 cubits long and 1 1/2 broad (Ex. 25:17; 30:6; 31:7). It is compared to the throne of grace (Heb. 9:5; Eph. 2:6). The Holy of Holies is called the "place of the mercy-seat" (1 Chr. 28:11: Lev. 16:2).

It has been conjectured that the censer (thumiaterion, meaning "anything having regard to or employed in the burning of incense") mentioned in Heb. 9:4 was the "mercy-seat," at which the incense was burned by the high priest on the great day of atonement, and upon or toward which the blood of the goat was sprinkled (Lev. 16:11-16; compare Num. 7:89 and Ex. 25:22).

It seems to me that there is something BIG coming on this topic.







Ron Wyatt claims to have found the Ark in a tunnel in a quarry in Mt. Moriah where Christ was crucified, but there is no proof. He claims to have scraped the blood of Jesus off the mercy seat which had dripped down through a crack in the rocks right under where Christ was crucified. He claims the blood has only 24 chromosomes instead of the normal 46, but where are the laboratory tests on the blood. He has no proof. His web site is at


Vendyl Jones thinks he has found the resting place of the Ark in a cave by the Dead Sea near Qumran. He claims the Copper Scroll tells the location of the Ark, but his translation of the Copper Scroll is very questionable. Scholars translate it differently. When He dung in the cave, no Ark was found. See


Michael Sanders believes that the Ark is in the village of Djaharya in Israel. There is suppose to be a TV special on NBC soon about this. I think that his chronology and interpretation of Egyptian texts are off. The location at Djaharya sounds similar to Egyptian words, but similar sounds do not mean they are the same. I think Rohl in his books also assumes that similar sounding words must be the same. Djahi is a general area for part of Palestine and Phoenicia (See A Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian by Raymond O. Faulkner 1991, 319). I looked up all the occurrences of Djahi in ANET, and they do not seem to fit the location of Djaharya. Pekanan is literally "the Canaan" according to Breasted. The "Pe" is the article "the" plus "Canaan." (This is what I remember from taking Egyptian Hieroglyphics) Djahi and Pekanan are two different Egyptian words, that are general geographic terms, and should not be put together to form a new word Djahi Pakaanan. These two words seem to be used in parallel. There were a number of Egyptian Temples in Canaan not just in Djaharya. His web site is at


Tom Croster claims he has found the Ark in a cave on Mt. Nebo where Jeremiah hid it. He was guided by the work of Antonia Frederick Futterer who searched for the Ark in the 1920's. With Futterer's sketch Tom Croster left for Jordan in October 1981. On Mt. Pisgah Tom found an opening that led to a passageway that led to what he thinks was the Ark of the Covenant. He took pictures which he refused to release. Siegfried H. Horn was invited to see the photos. Horn concluded, "I do not know what the object is, but the pictures convinced me that it is not an ancient artifact but of modern fabrication with machine-produced decorative strips and an underlying metal sheet" (Biblical Archaeology Review May/June 1983, 66-69).






... ABRAHAM'S COVENANT. To go back to the Old Testament history we have God's Covenant with Abraham stamped with this number of Divine perfection (Gen 15). ...


... that Adam’s creation and fall came is in the Age of Cancer 8850 BC, then Noah in Gemini 6690 BC, Abram in Taurus 4530 BC, Abraham’s covenant in Aries 2370 ...


... could be opened only after the opening of the Arc of the Covenant, which occurred

The Symbolism and Spiritual Significance of the Number Three

... ABRAHAM'S COVENANT. To go back to the Old Testament history we have God's Covenant with Abraham stamped with this number of Divine perfection (Gen 15). ...

Holy Grail: Christianity and Judaism; Shroud of Turin; Ark of the Covenant

... cosmic concepts, including the Queen of Heaven and the Ark of the Covenant. ...
King Arthur and the Holy Grail Shroud of Turin...

Galactic Tree of Life, Aug 11 Eclipse, & The EYE OF THE SUN, ...

... She has done a lot of very good research, and has written a book about the event, called "The Lost Covenant.". ...


... In one of my theories about the Bible, this is expressed in Daniel 9:27, where a covenant is made with many for one week, and for half of the week . . . ...


... . a strong covenant with many for one week; and for half of the week . . .". ...


... away ungodliness from Jacob. (27) For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. Zeph. 1:14 -

Research Links

... Ark of the Covenant: ... ...


Daniel 9:27 - "And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week; and for half of the week he shall cause ... ( ...


... The "covenant" is like a contract or agreement, or like taking a ticket. ...


... The Sinai peninsula years 3200 ago: a nomadic tribe drags a mysterious object across the desert - the Ark of the Covenant Jerusalem 2900 years ago:


... The "covenant" is like a contract or agreement, or like taking a ticket. ...


... will have the courage, conceptual flexibility or expansive vision need to embrace the revelations of the Emerald Covenant and all ..




... The Star Gate Seals could be opened only after the opening of the Arc of the Covenant, which occurred on June 26, 1998 at 3:46 pm It is now time to begin ...


... 31:26 Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee. ...


... However venial sin does not set us in direct opposition to the will and friendship of God; it does not break the covenant with God. ...


... will he speak soft words onto thee? 4. Will he make a covenant with thee? ...


... The High History of the Holy Graal. The Ark of the Covenant. Holy Grail in Blood, Spin Path of Love into DNA. San Graal School of Sacred Geometry. ...

The Emergence of the “Mother of All Crop Circles”

... Mason's writings are on his and Dolores Finney's website, ... Genesis 8:4 describes the Ark of the Covenant as appearing on the seventeenth day ...


... 12 If your descendants obey the terms of my covenant and follow the decrees that I teach them, then your royal line will never end." 13 For the LORD has chosen ...


... offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your ... From: ...


... It's part of an agreement, a sort of contract or covenant that all of us agreed upon ...



... 7 great king in Israel. And David was | (God's covenant with David) anointed of God, being a shepherd lad. ... Is our subject about some- | a new covenant)? ...


... which I've seen several times over the last couple of days in recent crop circles and the Nazca lines and the front of the Ark of the Covenant which was I saw ...


... Here again the blessings of the New Covenant are seen to be higher than those of the Old, both in number and ... From: ...


... the Third Reich and the holy relics they sought in their ultimate quest: the Ark of the Covenant and the ... (Tablet 988 ...


... In one of my theories about the Bible, this is expressed in Daniel 9:27, where a covenant is made with many for one week, and for half of the week . . . ...


. The Jewish nation will be mighty. God makes a new covenant with his people. 39 ... The Princess Diana...


... Jesus said: "My people, God the Father and I gave witness to Our presence over the Ark of the Covenant in the Ten Commandments by a pillar of cloud and ...


... The following month, the great solar eclipse will take place. Joan Sckrabulis has written a great book about the 1999 eclipse, called The Lost Covenant. ...


... ALSO SEE: 3-15-03 ... Joan Sckrabulis wrote a great book about the 1999 eclipse, called The Lost Covenant. ...

Humanity On The Pollen Path - Part Six

... Daniel 9:27 says a covenant with many was made for one week, and for half of the week


... upon Light, Joe Mason Humanity On The Pollen Path . ... of Eden and guardians of the mercy seat on the ark of the covenant. ...


... I see a couple things … God is calling for close partnership, for a covenant relationship to be modeled between foundational ministers at this time. ...

Revelation 11:11

... There is a footnote reference to Daniel 9:27, which I then read: "And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week; and for half of the week he shall ...


... In one of my theories about the Bible, this is expressed in Daniel 9:27, where a covenant is made with many for one week, and for half of the week . . . ...


... Anathoth = "answers to prayer". 1) son of Becher and grandson of Benjamin. 2) one of the heads of the people who signed the covenant with Nehemiah. ..


... came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host; 3:3 and they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the ...


... 5-7-2001 - NAP DREAM - I was deliberately thinking about the Ark of the Covenant as I fell asleep. ... ..


... And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous." Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, "As for me, this is ...


... The Spear used to pierce the side of Christ. The Ark of the Covenant re-appears. ... total numerical value (in Hebrew) = 222 + 2 = 224. The Ark of the Covenant. ...




... Explorers and their mission Read the Psychical Explorer's personal journals detailing their most current expedition, the search for the Ark of the Covenant! ...



The Great Shift 2001

... Joseph Smith, claimed that a Messenger of God had appeared before him and told him that the covenant between God ...


... Catechism of the Catholic Church: 66 "The Christian economy, therefore, since it  is the new and definitive Covenant, will never pass away; and no new public ...


. 9:11 As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water. ...


... In one of my theories about the Bible, this is expressed in Daniel 9:27, where a covenant is made with many for one week, and for half of the week . . . ...




... Anna Hayes (Ashayana) states in her writings, "From 1992-1994 Emerald Covenant races with assistance of Pleiadian-Sirian Agreements Anunnaki races used NET and ...

Who is Maitreya?

He has been expected for generations...... He has come as the long-awaited Maitreya to guide humanity into the Everlasting Covenant with God.

The 216 - 3:16's of the Bible

... Jeremiah 3:16 -, And when you have multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says the LORD, they shall no more say, "The ark of the covenant of the ...


... In one of my theories about the Bible, this is expressed in Daniel 9:27, where a covenant is made with many for one week, and for half of the week . . . ...


... their heads. There is a Covenant between God and his people, through the 'B'nai Or', and the 'Brotherhoods of Light'. Through these ...


... Isaiah 28:15 Because ye have said , We have made a covenant with death , and with Sheol are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through ...

DAVID WILCOCK - PART XI - The Emergence of the “Mother of All ...

... symbolic meaning. Genesis 8:4 describes the Ark of the Covenant as appearing on the seventeenth day of the seventh month. Interestingly ...


... of this in his portrayal of the terrible beauty and potentially destructive energy of the Seraphim that were released from the Ark of the Covenant at the end ...


... Metatron is usually shown holding a scroll in his hand. In some traditions, the Supreme Angel, Angel of the Covenant and Heavenly Scribe. ...


... of this in his portrayal of the terrible beauty and potentially destructive energy of the Seraphim that were released from the Ark of the Covenant at the end ...


... of this in his portrayal of the terrible beauty and potentially destructive energy of the Seraphim that were released from the Ark of the Covenant at the end ...


... Daniel 9:27 - "And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week; and for half of the week he shall cause sacrifice and offering to cease; and upon


... The print was in blue color but some of the words that were important were highlighted in brilliant gold. The one word I noticed in particular was COVENANT. ...

The American Tragedy: A Symbolic Event, Part Two

... I read the verse when I arrived home. A footnote refers to Daniel 9:27, which I then read: "And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week; and for ...


... circles and the Nazca lines and the front of the Ark of the Covenant which was ... I wrote down with great difficulty but I got it on the piece of ...


... And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast ...


... by the Lord and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him." (Heb.2:3) "Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; though it be but a man's covenant, yet if


... with her seductive words,. 17 who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God.


... and almighty God;[2] having his being in and of himself,[3] and giving being to all his words [4] and works:[5] and that he is a God in covenant, as with ...


. (Ezekiel's experience of the wheel within the wheel). It establishes a covenant of Light with the higher Beings of Light.

Prophecy / Bible Prophecy / End Time Events

... Article: Celestrial Events: The Red Moon and Two Lunar Eclipses in 1996 Article:The Jerusalem Covenant Prophecy Articles: The Spirit of Truth Article:

The Psalms

... 25:10 All the paths of Yahweh are loving kindness and truth To such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. ... He will show them his covenant. ...


... of this in his portrayal of the terrible beauty and potentially destructive energy of the Seraphim that were released from the Ark of the Covenant at the end ...


... But for those who obey and accept the call of God, my covenant is with them."Calamities and disaster from one place to another will continue to rise to warn ..


... There are no less than 5 Arks of the Covenant - some of which are said to be the 'real deal' and others which are said to be the 'real deal' but they are not ...


... We apparently are volunteers - we agreed to do it by "Covenant," like a contract, as indicated in Daniel 9:27 (which relates to the 3 1/2 symbolism of Rev. ...


... Isaiah 28:15 Because ye have said , We have made a covenant with death , and with Sheol are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through ...


... God's glory. Cherubim were also guardians of the garden of Eden and guardians of the mercy seat on the ark of the covenant.

American Masonic History - What Are America's True Roots?

... Just as important, the nation would have to have been created in response to a covenant initiated by God with those who founded it. ...


... Understand clarity exists in the mind. While our words may be unclear and without precise ‘covenant’ meaning, their abstraction leads to the truth.


... The entrance behind the pillars was dark. I couldn't see the door itself. I'm assuming this is about the Ark of the Covenant, but I can't be certain. ...


... Isaiah 56:4 For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose [the things] that please me, and take hold of my covenant;. ...

End Times Prophecy at Fatima

The path to peace is found only in God's mercy. "In the Old Covenant I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to My people.


THE ARK AND THE WHIRLWIND. by Two Native guardians enter into my dream and take me with them so that though I am still ...


... And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.....And I will give to you, and to your descendants after you, the land ...