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Ark Of The Covenant

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Ark of the Covenant

Notorious for its significance, the Ark of the Covenant is perhaps one of the most sought after artifacts of ancient biblical history. The mystique which surrounds the history of the Ark feeds the hunger of historians and archaeologists abroad. To gain a better understanding of the Ark of the Covenant, a short historical synopsis will be needed. In the pages to follow you will learn about the origin, journey and disappearance of the Ark.

According to the Bible, the Ark of the Covenant was made of acacia or shittah-tree wood overlaid with gold. It was a cubit and a half in width and height, while two cubits in length. Atop this ornate box sat two cherubim facing one another, wings outstretched, forming the Mercy Seat. At the base of each corner, golden rings were attached to hold two poles made of the same wood and golden overlay. This was the Ark of the Covenant, and its main purpose was to house the original stone tablets of the Ten Commandments, while showcasing God's Glory. The meaning of the Ark and how the LORD wanted it used was as follows: "1. To be a part of a worship fellowship that He had laid out specifically for the Jewish people; 2. To manifest Himself to His people, a visible living presence in all of His glory; 3. To point out to the people the consequences of not following his directions (as to handing the Ark Ð'- and the danger of death); and 4. Finally, all of the fellowship, worship ritual, and all of the other information that was learned about dealing with the Ark led to preparation for the coming of our LORD our Savoir Jesus Christ, who proved to be the incarnate replacement for the Ark during His sojourn here on earth." (Alexander 22) However, other items were added to the Ark, although somewhat questionable, scholars are still in the process of interpreting them.

The Ark itself was built under the guidance of Moses after speaking with the LORD on Mt. Sinai. A peasant by the name of Bezalel was chosen by GOD to build the Ark. GOD informed Moses of this decision and told him that he installed the Spirit of God within Bezalel. "With skill and ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts . . . to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship" (qtd. in Alexander - Exodus 31:1-5).

Transporting the Ark was a major undertaking and required careful handling. The wooden poles overlaid with gold and inserted through the rings were the primary means for handing the Ark. Touching of the Ark was prohibited and considered deadly. In lieu of this, only certain people (Kohath clan) were chosen for the task of managing the Ark. The Kohathites were very meticulous when moving the Ark and the process was extremely detailed. However, only the High Priest was allowed to be in the presence of the Ark.

During the "Exile" the Ark was moved around for forty years. The wandering Israelites spent most of their time in the Sinai Peninsula in the Kadesh-Barnea region following the "Cloud and Fire Pillar." This was important, for a cloud presided over the Tabernacle, which housed the Ark, by day and at night a pillar of fire loomed overhead. When these two things moved, the Israelites would then follow them with the Ark and reset camp. Not much is known about the Ark and its travels during this time frame. The Ark's reappearance wasn't until Moses death, where he instructed the people to take the "Books of Law" and place them within the Ark. The next introduction of the Ark was during the "Crossing of Jordan." This is where the people gathered with the Kothites to cross the Jordan River, while entering the Land of Canaan. The Kothites were instructed by the LORD to take the Ark to the center of the river once



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