This from email: “Not to get into a heated religious history debate, but Ark of God and Ark of the Covenant are used interchangeably in the OT.”
Now, this is news to me. I have read the RSE and KJV of the Bible and don’t recall seeing that. Would this depend on the translation? Personally, the closest thing to an Ark of God I can think of is the one Noah made.
And then there’s the arc of God which someone asked me about in another email, but I don’t even want to get into that . . .
Well, browsing my NIV Bible, I see the following terms used for the Ark:
Ark of the testimony: Pre-Deuteronomy
Ark of the covenent: Deuteronomy, Judges
Ark of the LORD: Joshua, I Samuel (note: the NIV used LORD in place of YHWH)
Ark of God: I Samuel
“The ark of God, which is called by the Name, the name of the LORD Almighty”: II Samuel
Ark of the LORD’s covenent: I Kings
The ark of our God, The ark that is called by the Name: I Chronicles
Ok… at that point, I got bored and decided to call it quits. Point being that there are a lot of names used for the box used to tote around the Ten Commandments.
Ethiopian tradition has it that the ark is now in Asmara, Ethiopia. There is a shrine there that is supposed to contain the ark, and it is tended by a single Orthodox Christian monk. Supposedly it was taken there by Menelik, a son of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Probably not true, but interesting anyway.
The Hebrew word usually translated “Ark” for Noah is T-B-H (tabah). The same word is only used one other time in the Hebrew Bible, to refer to the basket of reeds that Moses’ mother hides him in to save his life from Pharoah’s decree of the death of the male infants. So a verbal connection is made between the basket that saves Moses (who will rescue Israel from Egypt) and the boat that saves Noah (and thus rescuse mankind from destruction.) Interesting parallel, is it not?
The word “Ark” as in Ark of the Covenant is a different word in Hebrew: '-R-V-N (aron). So the only confusion is in English, using the same word for two different kinds of objects.