Continuance of Ark of Covinent

You discussed about the Ark of the Covinent that The Ark was placed in a Temple in Jerusalem, and the Romans destroyed that temple, leaving the Ark never to be found. Now, I have heard of a legend of a certain “Holy Spot” in that new temple. The legend states, that This “Holy Spot” covers the Ark of the Covinent. Only when the Highest Priest in all the world stands on this spot and says the name of G-d (noone knows for sure. Jehova’s Witnesses say it’s ‘Yehova’; Judaism says it’s ‘Adonai’ Others believe it’s ‘Yaweh’, but in fact the spelling of the word is in Hebrew trasliteration is: Yud, Hay, Vav, hay. But there is no vowels to make the saying of the word true, so noone has said it correctly), that G-d will come and slay the evil, bringing the good to live with him in heaven by his side. The thing is, that if a preist speaks his name incorrectly, or is not Holy enough, he will be killed by His hand.

Another thing, the reason that the Ark of the Covinent has never been found, is that some people believe that wherever the Ark is, is the work of G-d, and shall therefore be staying, undisturbed.

I do not know if this is totally, true, but if you could shed some intelligent light on the subject?

There are a few misconceptions here. At the same time, since I am but an indifferent Talmudist myself, I will welcome any corrections to my (presumed) corrections by those with more knowledge than I.

JonMal writes:

This conflates two radically different periods in Jewish life and thought. Solomon built the First Temple (I don’t have a good date for it, but say about 950 BCE) in Jerusalem. When the Temple (not a Temple; when the Temple was completed, the sacrificial service became illicit outside of it, although people continued performing those illicit services until the end of the First Temple period), the Ark of the Covenant, which had previously resided at Shiloh (among other places) into the small room known as the Holy of Holies. The First Temple was destroyed (along with most of the rest of Jerusalem) by Nebuchadrezzer II in 586 BCE (actually, IIRC, the siege of Jerusalem and its destruction were really carried out by N’s brother-in-law and general Nebuzaradan, but Nebuchadrezzer was king, so he gets the credit…or blame). The Ark was missing after the sack; most pin the blame on Nebu*, although some that it was carried off by Shishak, king of Egypt, during his sack of Jerusalem in 918 BCE.
The Second Temple was built by returning refugees (from the “Babylonian Exile”) about 520 - 515 BCE. This Temple was largely rebuilt by the Herodian dynasty, and was finally destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. An attempt was made to build the Second Temple as much like the First as possible, but of course the Ark was not available, and the Holy of Holies contained nothing, although it was built in the same location (according to tradition, it enclosed a rock on which the Ark used to sit).

During the Second Temple period, the High Priest (originally the scion of the Zadokite dynasty, later the scion of the Hasmonean dynasty, and still later whoever the Romans and Herodians thought would best serve their interests) entered the Holy of Holies once a year (at Yom Kippur) and pronounced the Divine Name. I am not aware that any High Priest was struck down by the Holy One, blessed be he, for mispronunciation, nor that there is any accepted tradition to that notion; contrawise, it seems clear that Messiah has not yet come (Christians believe otherwise, of course, but they’re wrong :slight_smile: ). When Messiah does come, of course, the Third (and final) Temple will be built, the sacrificial service will be resumed, and the various Halakhot whose observance has temporarily been suspended (e.g., the tithing of produce grown in Eretz Israel) will be observed again. Elijah (whose return wil precede the advent of Messiah) may reveal the location of the Ark, but it’s existence or otherwise is by no means a tenet of either rabbinic or karaite Judaism.

“Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away.”

I back up what Akatsu says.

The most likely fate of the Ark was that it was melted down for the gold in 586 BC. The Babylonians weren’t interested in preserving antiques.

There are many legends about the fate of the Ark, but they are all that – legends, to help resolve the seeming paradox of God letting His Temple be destroyed. My favorite has the High Priest tossing the Ark up to heaven, and a golden hand receiving it, to keep it away from the pagan Babylonians.

Then the legends about when the Ark will return to earth are also myriad. The pronunciation of God’s NAME is outright silly, we do know how it was pronounced, no big deal.

There are about four Mailbag items dedicated to this topic, JonMal, I suggest you read the first one. Your posting shows one of the most bizarre mixtures of legend, misquoted history, and superstition that I’ve seen in a long time. And it’s Covenant, not Covinent.

BTW, one minor technical point, Akatsu: although the sages all talk about the Third Temple as the Messianic Era, in fact there was already a third Temple. The first Temple was that of Solomon, destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC. The second Temple was built at the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, around 500 BC (I don’t have my time line handy). It was extensively renovated by Herod the Great, again, going from memory, around 100 - 50 BC; the renovation was so extensive, that it could reasonably be called a Third Temple. It was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, and much of the ruins have been excavated and can be seen in Jerusalem today. That would make the Messianic Temple the fourth one; I know, I fly in the face of tradition.

Graham Hancock wrote a book about his adventures to uncover the Ark, (the name escapes me, just go to a Waldenbooks, they’ll have it) which I have read parts of. He is an alternative archaelogist, and most people who post on this board would not agree with many of his theories. His books are well written, though, and he seems to be an excellant archaeologist. It would definately be worth thumbing through, if you are interested in the topic. I believe he states it’s final spot is in Africa. Another theory which has some support is that the Knights Templar recovered it at some point (along with other Christian relics) and that it remains hidden to this day in (I believe) France.

Ethiopia to be precise (where exactly escapes me but if I had a map I could find it right away). Hancock ended up at a tiny fenced-in church where a series of lone monks guard something inside until their death, then pass the task on to the next guy. They do not permit anyone to see it. But they freely confirm it is the Ark. Allegedly it was spirited out of Jerusalem before the fall and taken down the Nile with other treasures.
The other tradition is that the Templars took it to Scotland, where it rests sealed in an underground chapel.
Somehow I lean towards the Ethiopia theory. Hancock can be a crackpot but the Ark search was early in his career and he wasn’t yet talking about Mars etc. And his data looks pretty sound. Though I wonder why someone hasn’t just busted in there yet.

Hancock’s theory and book was discussed in the original Mailbag item on this topic:

Someday, I gotta learn how to do links.

Hancock’s theory has a few major flaws, like he never saw the Ark, he couldn’t get into the church where he claims it resides. There are other flaws in his arguments, but the whole thing is speculative, in any case.

Would the psychic ability to move people named Nebu through the air by sheer force of will be called “Nebukinesis”?

(Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

While I agree that Hancock’s theory on the Ark being in Ethiopia is speculative, I don’t think that one can classify his inability to actually see the Ark as a “major flaw” in his theory. If he had been able to get in to see it, it would no longer be theory (at least to Hancock). The fact that he wasn’t allowed to see the Ark for himself should not detract from the theory at all, let alone be considered a flaw, major or otherwise.

I suppose you could take the position that he was able to get in to the church and saw that the item contained therein was not the Ark, and therefore came up with an obfuscation so as not to undermine his theory with facts, but that would be attacking his character, not his theory.

It’s not up to us to disprove his theory, it’s up to him to offer some substantiating evidence. As of about two years ago, his “evidence” was about on a par with Elvis is alive stuff. Sure, the Ark coulda wound up in an Ethiopian church. It coulda wound up stolen by visitors from Mars, too. Mere possibility don’t cut it … even mere plausibility seems woefully inadequate.

Not for nothing but… any decent surveillance satellite can tell which way you part your hair from 20 miles up. Also, it can read information that is NOT part of the normal visual range. Can’t someone take a damned image (I would not say photo, since silver halide aint the answer to this one) of the small church in question, and see WHAT is in there? Masses, densities…et cetera? C’mon, it’s the ARK we are talking about here, not my cousin Morty’s lost baseball card collection. Someone MUST have the inclination, and the loot, to shoot some fine images of it once and for all. (And, when they are finished, Morty does need some help as well.)
Any volunteers?

Hmm it may be a while before the Messiah comes since the Dome of the Rock mosque occupies the Temples original spot :).

Well, actually, Doob, there are at least three different archaeological theories about location of the Temple (specifically, location of the Holy of Holies, the innermost chamber where the Ark would have been kept if it had survived to 2nd Temple Days, if you follow me.) You could check out BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY magazine, I think there was an extensive article in the last month or so.

However, since the Dome of the Rock is sacred to Muslims, and since there was violent protest over an attempt to dig out a tunnel (dating from the days of King Herod) on account of fears (wholly unfounded) that it would undermine the Dome of the Rock… it aint likely there’ll be any excavation there soon.

Akatsukami, regarding your comment about sacrifices outside The Temple: the Samaritans in Israel still sacrifice on top of their sacred mount. Apparently they feel that the loss of The Temple did not mean forgoing the Commandments of the Lord.


Regarding Hancock’s Ethiopian church: It’s not going to be enough to simply look in the door and see there’s a golden box there that vaguely resembles the description in the bible. It’s going to take scientific testing of the box and the contents to prove anything. I doubt if the owners of said box would agree to any of it.

At any rate, the bible or any religious writing are the works of men, not gods. They are flawed, they contradict themselves and each other in many, many ways. To rely on them as the word of god is foolish to say the least. People have done so in the past and millions have died as a result. Men created gods to give themselves power over the masses, plain and simple. That tack is still used today, and people are still dying as a result.


Monty (a/k/a Chip) writes:

Well, it is a mitzvah not to offer sacrifices outside of the Temple. This mitzvah was superceded prior to the First Temple’s building; since that time, however, the comparison appears to go the other way, with the sacrificial service being in abeyance for the time being.

As to whether Samaritans are:
[list=a][li]following the mitzvot[/li][li]obliged to follow the mitzvot (Benei Noach aren’t)[/list=a][/li]the consensus is that, although as late as Mishnaic times (20 BCE - 200 CE), Samaritans were so obliged (and were even accepted as haverim, which then had the meaning of one devoted to scrupulous fulfillment of the mitzvot), more recently they have not been, which currently makes the first point moot.

“Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away.”

Re: Location of ark of the covenant/I know.

It’s in that great big g*ddam warehouse.

Didn’t you see the movie?

One of the Richard Haliburton books from back before WWII describes his exploring Hezekiah’s tunnel. (This led from the citadel where the Temple, palace, and what have you were walled in, underground, to a nearby spring - Siloam?) Supposedly, there was a caved-in area that Haliburton could not get through, but that he could see, dimly, something of the right size and shape to be the Ark on beyond the cave-in, and the whatever-it-was had gleaming (metal-covered) areas. Haven’t been able to find the reference for this since, so all I can go by is memory.