I just wanted to see if anyone was intressed in reading about the Ark and where people might think they would find it so I posted it here. :D This is made for a bible as lit. class so I have a work sited page if anyone wants to know........ somewhere........^_^;
The Ark of the Covenant; Where is it?
The Ark of the Covenant is an object of great mystery and legend. The Ark of the Covenant's disappearance from the annals of history has created several theories as to where the Ark might be resting. It has been theorized anywhere form Jerusalem to England to Ethiopia. Of The many theories presented about The Ark of the Covenant only a few make any real logical sense, like the Temple-Mount theory, and even fewer are plausible, like the Ethiopian theory. But theses theories are just the beginning of the vast web of interlocking theories in the long history of The Ark of the Covenant.
The Ark of the Covenant has long been a source of intrigue and mystery. Many people over the years have sought after it. Those who have chased after The Ark of the Covenant have had many different reasons to search after The Ark of the Covenant. Some want it to sell for money, the treasure hunters. Others want it for their religion, the religious zealots. And still others want it to study and understand, the archeologists. The reasons for the chase of The Ark are hard to understand without understanding what the Ark of the Covenant was and what it did because that is why so many people have searched for it.
The Ark of the Covenant has had a very long and illustrious history. From the time it was created, about 4000 years ago, The Ark of the Covenant has had troubles. When it was made to house the 10 commandments, it was seen as a symbol of power to the Israelite people. The Ark of the Covenant was carried into battle and was paraded around the Israelite troops. That was how the Ark of the Covenant was stolen from them by the philistines. The philistines sent The Ark of the Covenant back to the Israelites after there land was filled with plague. After The Ark of the Covenant was sent back, King David took it to Jerusalem. And after that King Solomon built the first temple on temple-mount to house The Ark of the Covenant and other various Israelite treasures. There The Ark of the Covenant remained in the holy of holies from 1000 B.C. until the first temple of Solomon was destroyed in 585 B.C by the Babylonians. As far as we know, the Ark of the Covenant was in the first temple until that point. After then the Ark of the Covenant disappears from history and enters the realm of legend.
The powers of the Ark of the Covenant was supposed to have are one the reasons that the Ark of the Covenant is so hunted now a days. The original purpose of the ark was to hold the 10 commandments but over the years spent traveling with the Israelites it gained a new purpose. The Ark of the Covenant led the people of Israel while traveling and into battle. Once in battle the Ark of the Covenant was said to fly around the battle field and emit bolts of lightning at the enemy troops. The Ark of the Covenant could not be seen or touched by anyone but the high priest. There are stories of people who have touched the ark (such as Moses' nephews who where praying to the Ark of the Covenant) and were immediately turned into a ball of fire. The Ark of the Covenant's power was actually supposed to have come from the 10 commandments held inside it.
The Ark of the Covenant's most famous show of its power was at the walls of Jericho. The Israelites needed to get into the city of Jericho, so they took siege of the city. God told the Israelites if they took the Ark of the Covenant around the walls once a day for 6 days and if on the last day they went around the walls 7 times all the while blowing trumpets, the walls would come falling down. In the end the Israelites got in to the city of Jericho as God promised. The stories such as that have made many ark-hunters search for the Ark of the Covenant.
The rituals that surround the Ark of the Covenant were created because of the supposed powers of the Ark of the Covenant. Because, as even the priests that took care of the Ark of the Covenant could not look upon it, the Ark of the Covenant was covered with cloth to protect all that traveled with it. The Ark of the Covenant was held in the tabernacle along with other treasures that were held in high esteem by the Israelite people. Once the Ark of the Covenant was held in the temple of Solomon, only the high priest could see it and that was only once a year and he had to be where special clothing to protect him from the Ark of the Covenant's powers.
According to the Bible, the Ark of the Covenant has a very specific appearance. The ark shape its self came from Egypt and its culture. The Israelites had just left Egypt after residing there for several centuries so it would make sense that they would integrate some of the Egyptian culture into there own. The ark shape was very common in Egyptian culture as a way to carry items in Egypt. The acacia wood was what the Ark of the Covenant was made of and it was covered in gold leaf inside and out. It was 1.5 cubits wide and high and 2 cubits long(approx: 130cm x 80cm x 80cm) and on the lid of the ark there were 2 cherub inward facing. At least that's what the bible tells us. Most scholars think the Ark of the Covenant was really a plain box maybe later covered in gold leaf and the cherub by the priests in the first temple of Solomon.
Now there are many theories as to where the Ark of the Covenant might be. As there are may theories only the most popular will I be discussing at this moment. The 2 most popular are the Ethiopian theory and the temple-mount theory. Others include the Middle East theory, the Dead Sea Scrolls theory, the Indiana Jones theory and the destroyed theory. Each of the theories above will be explained and examined in detail.
In the early 1950s around the area where the Dead Sea Scrolls where found, a pure copper scroll was found. The Copper scroll (as it has come to be known) is a treasury account form one of the temples on the temple mount. The account gives no indication as to witch temple (first or 2ed) it belonged to. But as the Ark of the Covenant is not spoken of, most scholars place it in the 2ed temple on temple mount. While the Copper Scroll does not tell us where the Ark of the Covenant is, it tells us that by the 2ed temple the Ark of the Covenant was gone. Now there is another document that dated to before the destruction of the first temple. It is know as the mishyagot of rabbi hertz. The mishyagot describes the locations of several treasures hidden by the prophet Jeremiah and the 5 holy men. The document may describe the locations but is so round about in its descriptions that no one has been able to find any of the treasures including the Ark of the Covenant witch is said to be in a hillside 40 paces from the bottom and facing east. So most scholars have come to the conclusion that the Ark of the Covenant was hidden but no one knows where.
The Middle East theory is not really just one theory as it does not have a single location. Several different theories make up the Middle East theory as they all claim that the Ark of the Covenant is n the Middle East. Scholars like Vendyle Jones say they have found the ark but lack the funding to dig for it. Similar claims have been made but none have fount the Ark of the Covenant yet.
When the Copper Scroll was discovered a new theory was created with it. Some scholars in the 50 are searched in the caves along the areas where the Dead Sea Scrolls where found. The thinking behind the fruitless searching had to have been that if the 2ed temple items where hidden there then maybe the Ark of the Covenant was hidden there too. For many years people searched the surrounding areas and have found nothing no more scroll or any thing else let alone the Ark of the Covenant. The lack of evidence to support the Dead Sea Scroll theory has made the claim go sour.
Of course I can not forget the reason so many people know of the search for the Ark of the Covenant; Indiana Jones and the raiders of the lost ark. While the story of Indiana Jones is completely fictional the theory behind it is not. There was a pharaoh who attacked the first temple of Solomon the pharaoh did raid the temple treasures but the ark was not mentioned by either side. But there is an explanation for this the Egyptians attacked after the philistines did so there is no way for the Ark of the Covenant to still be in the first temple by that point. So sorry, the Ark of the Covenant is not in some secret military base in the US Surrounded by thousands of other crates just like it.
A far opposite theory but still held deeply in folklore would be the Europe theory with its knight's templar. After the crusades the Knights Templar order was founded to protect the European pilgrimages that were now traveling to the holy land. They (the Knights templar) grew very powerful very quickly. Some say that they dug under the temple mount and found treasure and others it just happened because of all the pilgrims the knights templar helped. And most of the people say that the knights found the Ark of the Covenant. The theory goes once the knights' templar found the Ark of the Covenant they shipped it back to Europe where it still resides to this day.
This supposed discovery by the knights' templar creates questions that are hard to answer. One if that is how the knights got powerful then where is it today? The knights templar where denounced by the Catholic Church as heretics. The money, as well as other treasures that the knights templar had collected, were confiscated by the church. That is true. So if the knights had it then why doesn't the Catholic Church have it today? And another question is where did they find it? But even after the inconclusive facts this unfounded theory remains the most popular theories today.
Ethiopia, a country far from the city of Jerusalem and the land of Israel sounds to be one of the most unlikely places for the Ark of the Covenant. But that's just where the one of the most plausible theories is. In the small church of Our Lady Mary of Zion claims to have the Ark of the Covenant. Their entire religion is baced upon the Ark of the Covenant witch leads people to believe that the Ark of the Covenant is really there.
The people of Ethiopia have, since the beginning of their country claimed to have the Ark of the Covenant (another reason people think the Ark of the Covenant is there) it is even in the country's creation story. In the story the queen of Shiba went to the city of Jerusalem to meet with King Solomon and from that meeting a son was born. His name was Menelick. Later Menelick's life he went to visit his father and from that visit he got the Ark of the Covenant to protect. But in reality that's probably a legend to explain the Ark of the Covenant's presence in Ethiopia. Some scholars (as on the History Channel) think that when the philistines attacked, some priests took the Ark of the Covenant out of Jerusalem (through tunnels) to Egypt. Then from Egypt to a monastery in Ethiopia. There the Ark of the Covenant stayed until the monastery had a fire and the Ark of the Covenant had to be moved to the church of Our Lady Mary of Zion.
At the church of Our Lady Mary of Zion there is only one person that can see the Ark of the Covenant, as in ancient times, and that is the high priest of the church. The reason most people believe the Ark of the Covenant it there is because of the religious fervor about the Ark of the Covenant.
Yet the most popular theory has to be the temple mount theory. The temple mount says that the Ark of the Covenant is under the temple mount in Jerusalem in a giant cave system that is known to be there. Those that believe the temple mount theory say that when the philistines attacked they took Siege for a year before they got thru plenty of time to hide the ark for its safety.
The people who believe that the Ark of the Covenant is hidden under the temple mount have a very good amount of evidence for their cause. But the problem is that after 3000 years of searching one might think someone might have found Ark of the Covenant. But no. theories say it's due to the amount of the tunnels under the city.
The current Theo-political situation prevents any digging under the temple mount. The dome of the rock, a Muslim mosque, is built right on top of the temple mount and the site of the first temple of Solomon. The muslin religion prevents any archeologists from excavating at the temple mount for the Ark of the Covenant or other wise. But due the Theo-politics some archeologists doubt if this is a good time to find the Ark of the Covenant at all.
The Ark of the Covenant, with the many theories behind it might also never be found because of the simple fact, it's been 3000 years since the last know resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark of the Covenant might be gone just because it has not survived time. The Ark of the Covenant was made out of wood and if kept then in a damp place then the Ark of the Covenant would not survive. But all ark-hunters hope that is not the case.
The Ark of the Covenant's disappearance from time and written history has over the years created many stories and legends and theories as to where it really is. The history, the documents, the theories all combined to create a very unique legend to tell for centuries to come. The Ark of the Covenant has not been seen in almost 3000 years, it makes one wonder if it will be seen again.