Ancient Mysteries & The Paranormal

Created: Jun 20, 2012

Ancient Mysteries: The Ark of the Covenant

Thread created Jun 28, 2012.
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Crow 99/M
Thu. Jun 28, 2012 @ 8:38 AM
The Ark of the Covenant
(No Copyright upheld as it is used for Public Domain.)

Note: Images withTwo asterisks are what I provided through search to fit the blog/article's contents; the same with links in which people can cite more information regarding the Marker Linked Words.

Mythology is a frustrating thing. One of the main reasons its frustrating is because within the norms of Conformist culture its just like God: You either believe in it as a pre-established truth or you reject it 100% as nonsense; there is no Third Position; no in-between or middle way. You may either embrace literally a myth that is part of your chosen off-the-shelf package religion or you see it as an entertaining story that is completely imaginary. Ive spoken before of how I see this as the reason weve never solved the mystery of Atlantis, (see EG) but lately Ive come across another historical conundrum that is similarly afflicted: The Ark of the Covenant.

The Ark of the Covenant is the most enigmatic historical artifact and religious relic in the world. It first appears in mythology in the Bible; the Book of Exodus. In one of the best-known stories ever told, Moses leads his fellow Israelites out of slavery in Egypt to Mount Sinai. He ascends the mountain to the summit, a place of pilgrimage in modern times, where God descended in a storm cloud flanked by two cherubim blowing ram's horn trumpets and gave Moses the Ten Commandments. God carved the text of the Ten Commandments onto a pair of stone slabs with his finger (Does God really have fingers!?) and Moses brought them down from the mountain after, in the best of Biblical tradition, forty days. God told Moses to build a wooden box to carry the stone tablets in. As He did with Noah, God gave a very precise design blueprint for the box. The box was to be oblong in shape, measuring 2.5 by 1.5 by 1.5 Royal cubits in dimension, thats 3.75 x 2.25 x 2.25 feet. It was to be made of acacia-wood timber and covered all over with solid gold plating. Similar acacia-wood carrying-staves were inserted into four gold rings built into the side and the staves were never to be removed even when the box was standing on the ground. The box was to be covered with a golden lid with similarly golden figurines of the two cherubim that accompanied God set on top (God Himself, of course, was never portrayed in an image). This box was to be called the Ark of the Covenant. According to some myths other objects were placed in there too: a facsimile of the original tablets, also inscribed by Gods finger, after the originals were smashed by Canaanite idolaters, who took over while Moses went away for a while. Also it is said to contain Moses own first hand-written Torah, Aarons Rod and several other Israelite heirlooms. This was long before the building of the famous Temple of Jerusalem and the Israelites were a nomadic culture at that time so they carried the Ark with them wherever they went, which must have been quite a burden seeing as it was partly made of solid gold! Whenever they stopped and set up camp the Ark was placed inside a sacred mobile shrine called the Tabernacle which consisted of a special tent that only Moses and the Arks vanguard could enter; this tent was also set up to very specific dimensions dictated by God (Maybe this is why the Masons call God the Great Architect). The Ark was more than just a ceremonial antique though; it was also a very powerful weapon of war that was a channel of Gods power on Earth. In fact the Israelites defeated several enemies by using the Ark; most famously the Ark destroyed the fortified walls of Jericho after God told the army to march around it 7 times (7 is another recurring number in the Bible) brandishing the Ark. After 40 years (that number again!) of wandering in the wilderness the Israelites installed the Ark permanently in Solomon's great Temple of Jerusalem. The home of the Ark was in an inner sanctum known as the Holiest of Holies into which only the most senior high Levite Priests were permitted to enter. This Temple was destroyed and rebuilt several times and today all that remains of it is the Wailing Wall, but what happened to the Ark that lay inside it? After the final sacking of the Temple by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC the Ark is never mentioned again in the Old Testament. This is strange; youd think that whether the Ark survived or was destroyed, the authors of the Bible would have something to say about its fate. This was the most prized national treasure that the Israelite people possessed, designed by God, built by the founder of their nation and containing a specimen of Gods own handwriting. This is the God revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike. So what happened to it? According to the Book of Revelations the Ark ascended into Heaven and St John saw it when the Temple gates were opened in one of his visions. However usually these kinds of ascensions are very dramatically noted at the time they happen, as with Mary, but not this one. Its as if God whipped the Ark out of the back door as Nebuchadnezzars armies were marching up the drive; thats not Gods style.

Moses breaks the tablets of the Law when he finds his people worshipping the golden calf (Exodus 32:1-19), shown here with a wild-haired demon standing on top. A bearded man brings a sacrifice on the right.

As with the Holy Grail, since the Ark vanished from history and legend, several theories have arisen as to where it might be right now. These theories have spawned many fictional accounts, such as Stephen Spielbergs celebrated film, Raiders of the Lost Ark, the first in the Indiana Jones series (**The True Jones: see Vendyl Jones and the Ark of The Covenant). In this film the Ark is hidden in Egypt. Its also said to be located in Ireland, England, Jordan, France, South Africa and Italy. But by far the most likely story is that the Ark went to Ethiopia; how the Ark ended up there is a long and interesting story, but theres also archaeological evidence that it is a true one. Ethiopia is an ancient and unique country, almost unknown to the outside world until it tragically shot into the global headlines the 1980s, when a famine wiped out millions of its people and this inspired rock stars to come together in the first ever international concert to raise money to save them. In fact the country deserves notoriety for other more positive reasons. It is home to one of the most archaic and fascinating religious traditions on Earth. It has both an unusual orthodox Christian church and a very old Jewish tradition. There are two stories of how the Ark of the Covenant arrived in Ethiopia. One of them states that the Ark was not destroyed during the Babylonian conquest at all; not because God had managed to get it out of the way, but because the Ark had been removed before then, over 200 years before then in fact. The theory goes that the Ark was taken by Jewish refugees when a usurper-king called Manasseh came to power. Manasseh is portrayed in the Bible as a deeply wicked man who brought down the Kingdom of Israel with much brutality and then committed a gross blasphemy by installing a pagan idol in the Temple. The Jewish loyalists fled and it seems reasonable that they would save the Ark by taking it with them. But where would they flee to? This was a big question thats not easy to answer. However we can suppose that wherever they went to there would be historical and archaeological evidence for their presence because such a high class of refugees would have a great impact on the surrounding area, its culture and traditions. In fact theyd enjoy a similar status as the Dalai Lama and his Tibetan Buddhist followers do today. It seems likely that they would desire to build a new temple, maybe not quite as grand as Solomons original one in Jerusalem, but still substantial. Does a record of any such presence exist?

Yes it does. If you travel up the river Nile into southern Egypt you come across a small and apparently insignificant island called Elephantine; this is right on the ancient trade routes between Africa and Palestine. On this island during the time of King Manassehs regime a large and powerful Jewish expatriate community emerged and the ruins of their buildings can be seen to this day on the island. Among them is a huge temple complex; at the time, this was the only Jewish Temple in the entire world to be built other than the main one in Jerusalem. It must have been a very special place for Jews during this early Diaspora, perhaps special enough to be the new home of the Ark of the Covenant? Unfortunately the relationship between the Elephantine Jews and their Egyptian asylum-granters was rather shaky. This was because the Jews still practiced animal sacrifice, especially prime rams, at a time when the local Egyptians were worshipping a ram-god called Khnum. The conflict came to a head in 410 BC and the result was that the Jews were evicted from Elephantine. The Egyptians then demolished the Temple. Where would the Jews go from there? Not north for sure because there lay Egypt and they would have surely have been under exile as a result of their eviction, and beyond Egypt lay their arch-enemy Manasseh. To the West was nothing but the endless Sahara Desert and to the east the Red Sea. So they could only have gone south. Upriver on the Nile lay some very green and pleasant lands like Kush, Ophir and Nubia, the region today called Ethiopia.

Lake Tana is the source of the Blue Nile, the final destination that the Jewish exiles from Elephantine would have come to by following the river. The lake is huge and is covered by many islands, some of them isolated monasteries on which outsiders were forbidden. The area is held sacred by the Ethiopian people and has been used as a fortress to guard national treasures during the frequent occasions when the country has come under attack from an outside enemy or internal strife. The most inaccessible and exclusive of all these outposts is the island of Tana Kirkos. It is almost totally undiscussed; even most Ethiopians have never even heard of it. Here both local legends and archaeological evidence agree that something of enormous spiritual and historical value was kept here. In Part 3 of this TV show: we see the location where a new Tabernacle may have been erected. The socket holes in the rock match the very precise God-given measurements from tradition, ones that the Jewish priests would have very solemnly and reverently reproduced on the ground of this foreign land. In Part 4 youll see that nearby is a very regal grave, maybe the last resting place of the chief Levite Priest who led the expedition. Also in Part 4, youll see that the islanders of Tana Kirkos possess sacred objects that they say were brought by the Jewish refugees and show them to the camera. The Ark was kept on Tana Kirkos for 800 years and then, in the 4th Century AD when Ezana, the first Christians king of Ethiopia, sat on his throne, this most holy treasure was moved to the Royal city of Aksum.

The Church of The Tablet; Ethiopia.

For over 600 years Aksum was the centre of a prosperous Christian empire and the heart of its power lay in its sacred core, the Cathedral of St Mary of Zion, the place where the Ark of the Covenant has rested for the last 1600 years. Today the home of the Ark is a surprisingly modest building, a small chapel-like structure in the grounds of what is today a fairly average-sized newly-rebuilt cathedral. It is called The Church of the Tablet and was built in the 1950s by Emperior Haile Selassies wife after the Ark began to cause damage to its original storage site in the old cathedral; Ill explain how and why such damage might be done in a moment. However this sanctuary is a place of great veneration and on festival days thousands of people will gather in the streets of Aksum as a Tabot, an effigy of the Ark that is always used in Ethiopian church services, is paraded through the city with enormous reverence. As for the real Ark? Thats an entirely different matter. The real Ark never leaves the little chapel and nobody is allowed near it except the Keeper. The post of Keeper of the Ark of the Covenant has got to be the most exclusive and carefully-vetted job application that exists. He is a man who is the most trusted and dedicated of all the Ethiopian clergy selected in a way that makes the Papal Conclave look casual. He and he alone is permitted to enter the Church of the Tablet and look upon the Ark. He takes vows to tend the Ark and do nothing else ever again; he never leaves the small chapel compound and never leaves his job until the day he dies. Under no circumstances is anybody else allowed near the Ark. This is apparently more for their own protection than that of the Ark. The Ark, it seems, can easily take care of itself! More on that in a moment, but one thing is for certain: anybody who goes on a quest for the Ark will eventually end up in only one place: outside the high security railings surrounding the Church of the Tablet. The Ark will lie just a dozen feet away from them but for all the chance theyll have of viewing it, it might as well be on Mars! Of course in a region as volatile and unstable as northern Ethiopia theres always a risk that in a period of disorder somebody might try to force entry to the chapel and look at the Ark, or even try to steal or destroy it. If that happens then Ive no doubt that it will be over the Keepers dead body but maybe it will be over the perpetrators too.

As I said, it appears that the Ark is more than just a relic; it has an awareness and intelligence of its own and it seems quite capable of defending itself, often greatly to the detriment of its attacker. There are many stories of what happens to people who try to abuse the Ark, one of them is Biblical. The Ark was captured once by the Philistines after a battle in which they thrashed the Israelites so badly that the Tabernacle was overrun. The Ark was carried back to their homeland in triumph and placed in their own temple. The Israelites were devastated, thinking theyd lost their most priceless treasure forever. However 7 months later the Philistines came to the Israelites and offered to return the Ark unconditionally. This was because since the Ark had been in their possession their entire country had been beset by terrible misfortune, in particular the people had all fallen ill with plagues and tumours. The Ark was exceptionally choosy about whom it had around it. It brought great success and protection to the Israelites, but to anybody else it didnt like, it brought disaster and death. This factor of the story was included into the climax of Stephen Spielbergs film about the Ark. Apologies for the spoiler, but what happens is that it appears that all is lost. Indiana Jones and the heroine are tied up awaiting execution and the Nazis open up the Ark to test it. Immediately theyre struck down by fire and die in a very gruesome scene which gave me nightmares as a child. The Ark, so the stories go, has a willpower all of its own and will react very violently if you try to harness it to your own devices. But this is just a story isnt it? Just ancient myths and a film script? Maybe not, because the Keepers of the Ark in Aksum say the exact same thing. They dont only keep ordinary people away from the Ark as an act of respect for the Arks sacred status, but to protect them from the Ark!

You may be wondering why Ive decided to write about this subject. Am I about to turn religious? Do I believe the literal truth of the Arks origins? Am I now going to try and persuade you that God really did come down to Moses and write on stone tablets with his own hand? No! Definitely not! Im not going to suggest that the legends associated with the Ark of the Covenant are the absolute truth of its origins; but then again, as I said at the start of this article, Im not sure that we can just dismiss the entire phenomenon of the Ark as make-believe. The Ark may well be a real object of enormous physical, energetic and/or spiritual power that was found by tribesmen in Palestine 3000 or so years ago, and the Bible stories and Ethiopian fables were legends that grew up around factual accounts and experiences of it over the ages. Graham Hancock (see HPANWO Links column) has speculated that it might be some form of high technology; I think it may be part of a Roswell-style flying disk. Theres no way to be sure, but in 2008 the History Channel said in one of its programmes that the Keepers of the Ark usually dont live very long; they are quickly struck down by maladies like cataracts and other conditions associated with exposure to excessive radiation. It might be some kind of interdimensional object, portal or energy field; or even something else altogether that we cant even imagine. Whatever it is, it is without a doubt the most incredible relic in the entire world. It has seized the imagination of the people whove come into contact with it for over 3000 years and sometimes their lives too. We will probably never know, unless for some hitherto unimaginable reason the Ethiopian priesthood decides to bring the Ark out and put it on public display, but that is so unlikely that it hardly deserves a second thought. However on the 25th of June 2009 the patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church said that he would unveil the Ark the following day; when the following day arrived he said hed changed his mind!



The Church of The Tablet on the far left. Adjacent to St. Mary** of Zion Church in which actually puts the authenticity of this "Ark of The Covenant" in question...

As one of the reliable scholar stated in his article:

I presume that if the Ark is shown, some may wish to more thoroughly examine it. However, if it is the actual Ark of the Covenant, this would seem to be quite dangerous from a biblical point of view:

2 Samuel 6:1-7:

1 Again David gathered all the choice men of Israel, thirty thousand. 2 And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, whose name is called by the Name, the LORD of Hosts, who dwells between the cherubim. 3 So they set the ark of God on a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drove the new cart. 4 And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill, accompanying the ark of God; and Ahio went before the ark. 5 Then David and all the house of Israel played music before the LORD on all kinds of instruments of fir wood, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on sistrums, and on cymbals.

6 And when they came to Nachons threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. 7 Then the anger of the LORD was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God.

Only Levites were supposed to move the Ark, and that is what David finally realized. Non-Levites, like Uzzah were never supposed to touch it.

While it may be remotely possible that the Ark could be in Ethiopia (as I think the Bible more strongly indicates that it is in heaven and not on the earth), I remain highly skeptical that what might be shown will actually be it

---Mr. Robert Theil:

I'm also very skeptic about this because it resides within a different church (which is Adjacent to the The Church of The Tablet) that also hold different practices than the Patriarchs including the Levites, as opposed to the Kuwshiy or Uzzah and others. (see Africa: Its Biblical Past and Prophesied Future).

The Book Revelation 19:11 states strongly that the Ark of The Covenant does not reside here on Earth, as I am in agreement with the BIBLE:

Revelation 11:19 Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.

[font=verdana]Possibly related articles I would recommend to further understand the subject:

Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required?
Although people like Timothy LaHaye teach a third Jewish temple is required, who is the temple of God in the New Testament? What does the Bible teach about the temple in the end-times?
Solomons Temple
A 5 minute animated film that shows one artists understanding of the details about Solomons temple.
Catholic Prophecies: Do They Mirror, Highlight, or Contradict Biblical Prophecies?
People of all faiths may be surprised to see what various Roman and Orthodox Catholic prophets have been predicting as many of their predictions will be looked to in the 21st century.
Who Are The Two Witnesses?
What is their job? What does the Bible reveal? What has the Church of God taught on this subject? Might even Roman Catholic prophecies give some clues here?
Origin of the Marian Dogmas: Where Do Catholic Scholars Say The Four Dogmas of Mary Came From?
Where did each of the Marian/Marion dogmas come from? When were they adopted by the Church of Rome? What do Catholic and other scholars teach about their origins? What is the fifth proposed Marian dogma?

Edited Jun 28, 2012 by Crow

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Kynthia 31/F
Thu. Jun 28, 2012 @ 4:18 PM
That's one principal difference between the Biblical God and other dieties. The Biblical God did not make images of Himself and strongly warned against this practice. The top of the lid where the angels covered is called the "Mercy Seat", it is also described as God's Throne. That imagery on the ark of the covenant is a depiction of God's Throne and Administration. Two Cherubs are at least chief administrators in God's heavenly Government. And God again demonstrates He strongly disapproves of Images since He has no image between the Angels, and yet that is His throne. Idols/Statues of gods were often deemed "idolatry" in Scriptural terms by God Himself. So it's a real wonder that some Christian sects actually have a ton of images and idols "allegedly" depicting Jesus/God and people "they've" deemed saints, not to mention "crosses"... and so forth.

Edited Jun 28, 2012 by Kynthia

Kynthia 31/F
Thu. Jun 28, 2012 @ 5:31 PM
And if "God has a finger" it's one very powerful finger =)
All jokes aside, i do believe God has fingers. Most of His creation have fingers, and He's a Creator/Inventor by Profession, so why wouldn't He have fingers? I think it's difficult for people to grasp this, because we can't see God, His power is almighty, aka (inconceivable) and therefore they imagine that He simply has no physical image like the rest of His creation.

But a careful examination of Scripture would demonstrate that theory false/erroneous/inaccurate.

Edited Jun 28, 2012 by Kynthia

Crow 99/M
Fri. Jun 29, 2012 @ 6:44 PM
Great additions, Sax. I'm glad you caught that part.

Genesis 2:7: the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

I do believe, as well that God does have hands to create men and creatures. As you pointed out, we and the creatures are all modeled after God's angels. As the Verses states the following:

Genesis 1:26-27Then God said, Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.

So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

Isaiah 6:2: Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

Great points about that part.

The only thing I don't agree with this particular blog is, it is because as the Bible stated, the Covenant came from Heaven where the Temple also resides, and there are no Levites in site. So far... This isn't one. Another point is the person overseeing or 'guarding' this Ark is, again, not even a Levite.

Edited Jun 30, 2012 by Crow

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