What was the Ark of the Covenant?
And where is it now?
The Ark of the Covenant was a chest in which the Jews kept their
most holy objects. The chest was kept in the Holy of Holies in the
Temple of Soloman in Jerusalem.
The name says exactly what it was: an ark is simply a box (Noah's
ark was actually a floating cuboid box rather than a ship as is
often assumed. Although the word is not extensively used in modern
English, farmers still refer to Pig boxes as arks). The Covenant
was the supposed covenant made between God and his chosen people
The Ark of the Covenant is mentioned several times, and described
in some detail in the Old Testament.
It is not known what happened to the Ark of the Covenant after
Jerusalem was sacked by the Romans in AD 70. According to depictions
on Trajan's Column in Rome, Jewish treasure like the Menorah (the
large Jewish seven branched golden candlestick) were carted back
to Rome, but the fate of the Ark of the Covenant is something of
One hypothesis is that it was quietly shipped off the Ethiopia
before the Romans arrived. There are Ethiopian Christians who claim
to still have it. Another hypothesis is that it was buried under
the Temple, later to be dicovered by the Knights
Templars whose headquarters the Temple became.
Another theory is that it was indeed part of the Roman booty, and
when Rome was in turn sacked by Christian [sic] barbarians, it was
taken back to one of the Visigothic regional capitals - perhaps
or Rhedae - modern day Rennes-le-Château.
Or perhaps like the Holy
Grail to Montsegur,
an idea that would inspire the Nazi historian Otto Rahn and later
the makers of the film The Raiders of Lost Ark.
Either way, it seems that Middle Eastern nomadic peoples had a
long lasting tradition of keeping their special possessions in boxes
like the Ark of the Covenant. The tradition survived into modern
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