The Ark of the Covenant: 10 Clues & Theories

ark_indyEveryone knows what happened to the ark of the covenant, right? An archaeologist from the Midwest named Dr. “Indiana” Jones rediscovered the ark and saved it from the Nazis. Now, it’s hidden in a top-secret government warehouse–from the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Well, that’s probably not what really happened. The truth is, no one knows what state the ark is in for certain. Here are 10 things we do know…

The Ark of the Covenant: 10 Clues & Theories

1. A Touchy Subject?

The glory of the Lord left the temple before the Babylonians sacked the structure (Ezekiel 8:6-10:18). This could mean that from this point forward people could touch the ark without being killed.

The Tabernacle: The Veil, the Ark, and the Mercy Seat from Rose Publishing on Vimeo.

2. Taken to Egypt?

Shishonq I of Egypt could have taken the ark of the covenant to his capital city of Tanis (I Kings 14:25-26).

3. Was the ark destroyed?

It is possible that, when King Manasseh placed idols in the temple of God, faithful priests removed the ark of the covenant from the temple (2 Kings 21:4-7; 2 Chronicles 33:7-9).

4. The Babylonians could have taken the ark

It’s possible that the Babylonians took the ark of the covenant. This is what many Jews seem to have assumed in the  centuries between the Old and New Testaments (see the non-biblical text 4 Ezra 10:19-22). According to Chronicles, “all the articles of the house of God” were “brought to Babylon” (2 Chronicles 36:18). It may be that these items included the ark. Yet, when King Cyrus returned these articles, the ark is not listed (Ezra 1:7-11). If the Babylonians did take the ark, it must have been lost or destroyed before the time of Cyrus.

Morgan-bible-fl-39

5. Stored away on Mount Nebo

According to one Jewish tradition, the prophet Jeremiah hid the ark in a cave on Mount Nebo (mentioned in the non-biblical text 2 Maccabees 2:4-10).

6. Hidden by the Dead Sea?

leen-ritmeyer

Leen Ritmeyer

According to two other Jewish traditions, King Josiah hid the ark. A medieval rabbi naed Moishe Maimonides claimed that Josiah placed the ark in a cave near the Dead Sea (Laws of the Temple, 4:1).

Another tradition claims that Josiah buried the ark in a wooden storehouse under the Temple Mount (Yoma 35b). An architect named Leen Ritmeyer discovered a cut-out section of bedrock, about the size of the ark, directly beneath where the ark would have been placed in the temple. Ritmeyer suggests that the ark is hidden there.

7. Below the Holy of Holies?

Many Orthodox Jews believe that the ark is located in a cave beneath the ancient site of the Holy of Holies. In 1981, Rabbi Yehuda Getz claimed that his excavation reached a point only forty feet from the ark. When Arabs protested these excavations, Getz stopped digging, and the entrance to the tunnel was sealed.

8. Did the Queen of Sheba have it?

The Christians of Axum, Ethiopia, claim that a son of the Queen of Sheba acquired the ark after the queen visited King Solomon (see 1 Kings 10:1-13). Now, they say, they keep the ark hidden in the Church of St. Mary of Zion.

9. Escaped the Romans

When the Romans entered the temple in AD 70, there seems to have been no ark of the covenant in the temple.

John on Patmos

10. Taken up to the heavens

John saw an ark of the covenant in his vision (Revelation 11:19). This may have been a figurative description of God’s glorious presence, part of an ideal heavenly temple of God, or the actual ancient ark of the covenant taken up into the heavens.

These 10 clues and theories are taken from Rose Publishing’s bestselling Rose Guide to End-Times Prophecy. Snag it for JUST $19.99! Makes an incredible gift for your favorite Bible student or end-times enthusiast. Get it for the holidays!

Rose Guide to End-Times Prophecy is an explanation of end-times prophecy and the Book of Revelation from several Christian viewpoints. Bible prophecy says that Jesus will come again, and Christians have wondered for centuries when and how that would take place.

Rose Guide to End-Times Prophecy includes all of the basic end-time prophecy charts Christians need to navigate the Book of Revelation, the Book of Daniel, and other prophetic Bible passages:

This book is packed full of full-color Bible prophecy charts and eschatology charts and is fully reproducible. Just photocopy these Revelation charts for your Bible study, adult Sunday school class, or use as small group curriculum. This book explains each view of the end times, so that you know what you believe and why.


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