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What Is The Ark Of The Covenant In The Bible

Contents Of The Ark Of The Covenant

The Untold Truth Of The Ark Of The Covenant

As God gave instructions on how to build the Ark, he also instructed Moses to put in the tablets of the 10 Commandments . We see later in Numbers 17:10, The LORD said to Moses, Put back Aarons staff in front of the ark of the covenant law, to be kept as a sign to the rebellious. And Moses and Aaron already had set aside a jar of manna in it, which the Lord commanded them to put with the tablets of the covenant law, so that it might be preserved .

Hebrews 9:4 confirms theses three items were inside the Ark of the Covenant: Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aarons staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant.

References In Abrahamic Religions

The Ark is first mentioned in the Book of Exodus and then numerous times in Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, I Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings, I Chronicles, II Chronicles, Psalms, and Jeremiah.

In the Book of Jeremiah, it is referenced by Jeremiah, who, speaking in the days of Josiah, prophesied a future time, possibly the end of days, when the Ark will no longer be talked about or be made use of again:

And it shall be that when you multiply and become fruitful in the land, in those daysâthe word of the LORDâthey will no longer say, ‘The Ark of the Covenant of the LORD’ and it will not come to mind they will not mention it, and will not recall it, and it will not be used any more.

Rashi comments on this verse that “The entire people will be so imbued with the spirit of sanctity that God’s Presence will rest upon them collectively, as if the congregation itself was the Ark of the Covenant.”

The Ark Of The Old Covenant

God loved his people and wanted to be close to them. He chose to do so in a very special way. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, The prayer of the people of God flourished in the shadow of the dwelling place of Gods presence on earth, the ark of the covenant and the temple, under the guidance of their shepherds, especially King David, and of the prophets . God instructed Moses to build a tabernacle surrounded by heavy curtains . Within the tabernacle he was to place an ark made of acacia wood covered with gold inside and out. Within the Ark of the Covenant was placed a golden jar holding the manna, Aarons rod that budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant .

When the ark was completed, the glory cloud of the Lord covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle . The verb for to cover or to overshadow and the metaphor of a cloud are used in the Bible to represent the presence and glory of God. The Catechism explains:

Its easy to miss the parallel between the Holy Spirit overshadowing the ark and the Holy Spirit overshadowing Mary, between the Ark of the Old Covenant as the dwelling place of God and Mary as the new dwelling place of God.

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What Does The Ark Of Noah Symbolize

Noah’s three-deck Ark represents this three-level Hebrew cosmos in miniature: heavens, earth, and waters beneath. In Genesis 1, God created the three-level world as a space in the midst of the waters for humanity in Genesis 68, God refloods that space, saving only Noah, his family, and the animals in the Ark.

How Should The Ark Of Covenant Be Carried

Question: âWhat happened to the Ark of the Covenant?â? â Yesterday

Jewish and Christian holy scriptures dictate that the Ark of the Covenant can be carried only by Levites, who constituted the ancient Jewish priestly class. They must carry the Ark by using two wooden poles inserted through rings on its sides, as touching the Ark itself will result in death at the hands of God.

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Bible References To The Ark Of The Covenant

Exodus 25:10-22 the Ark is mentioned more than 40 other times in Scripture, in Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, Psalms, and Revelation.

Also Known As:

Ark of God, Ark of God’s Strength, Ark of the Covenant of the Lord, Ark of the Testimony.


The Ark of the Covenant was connected with several Old Testament miracles.

People With This Name

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The Ark Of The Covenant Outside The Tabernacle

For the Israelites, the Ark of the Covenant meant Gods presence. Throughout the Old Testament, we see stories of how God provided safety and success using the symbol of the Ark.

In the Book of Joshua, we learn of the safety the Ark provided the Israelites as they passed over the Jordan into the Promised Land. In Joshua 3:6, Joshua said to the priests, Take up the ark of the covenant and pass before the people. When the priests came to the Jordan, just as was commanded the waters were completely cut off and the people passed over opposite Jericho when the Ark neared.

In sixth chapter of Joshua, the Ark was instrumental in the Battle of Jericho. The Ark was taken around the city six times in six days and was preceded by seven priests who sounded seven trumpets made of rams horns . On the seventh day, the ark with the armed men and priests did the same but the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat .

The Philistines captured the Ark when Israel summoned possession of the Ark following a brutal defeat. They felt the mere possession of the Ark would give them the favor of God. Israel suffered another defeat and lost the Ark to the Philistines who were not intimidated by the shouts and the supposed presence of a god into the camp .

What Does Ark Symbolize

What’s Actually In The Ark Of The Covenant?

Ark is derived from the Latin word arca, meaning chest, which is akin to the Latin verb arcre, meaning to hold off or defend. These Latin roots also gave us the use of ark to refer to the sacred chest representing to the Hebrews the presence of God among them and also to a repository that traditionally is in, or …

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A Cover For The Ark Of The Covenant: The Mercy Seat

The Ark required an atonement cover, called the Mercy Seat, to be built with pure gold and with the same dimensions in length and breadth as the Ark. There had to be one cherubim of gold on both ends of the mercy seat. It was important to have the cherubim have their wings spread and facing one another, symbolizing the angels attention and readiness to do Gods will.

The Mercy Seat was where God would dwell. He said, There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites .

Unlike the statutes of gods idolized by many of the Israelites, the Ark of the Covenant served as a religious symbol where the people could meet with God. He hovered over the Ark when the priests were present. If the priests were absent, the presence of the law tablets reflected Gods presence. Thus, the Ark of the Covenant was aptly named because of the commandments written on the tablets.

What Was The Meaning Of The Ark

Before Jesus died on the cross, the Holy Spirit didnt come into the hearts of believers. Today Christians are continuously in the presence of God and can call on him anytime. The Israelites didnt have that luxury. The Ark of the Covenant represented Gods presence. There are several examples of this in Scripture.

In Joshua 3, the Israelites needed to cross the Jordan River to get to the Promised Land. Orders were given to follow the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant. In verse 5, the Bible says Joshua told the people, Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you. The next day, the Lord proclaims Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses . The priests brought the Ark into the river and the waters were stopped to allow the Israelites to cross. After everyone made it to the other side, the chest was removed and the waters again filled the river. The Ark, representing Gods presence, allowed the people to safely cross the Jordan.

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What Was The Ark Of The Covenant And Was It Real

The Ark of the Covenant was definitely real and was a part of the tabernacle, being placed in the Holy of Holies behind the curtain. I will include articles below from three Bible Dictionaries that will give you some information. It will be basically the same information, but each might add something more to help you. Your best source for concise information is in Bible Encyclopedias and Dictionaries. Some people believe the Ark is existence today, though hidden.

Capture By The Philistines

Secrets Of Ark of The Covenant Revealed In Ancient Manuscript

According to the biblical narrative, a few years later the elders of Israel decided to take the Ark out onto the battlefield to assist them against the Philistines, having recently been defeated at the battle of Eben-Ezer. They were again heavily defeated, with the loss of 30,000 men. The Ark was captured by the Philistines and Hophni and Phinehas were killed. The news of its capture was at once taken to Shiloh by a messenger “with his clothes rent, and with earth upon his head”. The old priest, Eli, fell dead when he heard it and his daughter-in-law, bearing a son at the time the news of the Ark’s capture was received, named him Ichabodâexplained as “The glory has departed Israel” in reference to the loss of the Ark. Ichabod’s mother died at his birth.

The Philistines took the Ark to several places in their country, and at each place misfortune befell them. At Ashdod it was placed in the temple of Dagon. The next morning Dagon was found prostrate, bowed down, before it and on being restored to his place, he was on the following morning again found prostrate and broken. The people of Ashdod were smitten with tumors a plague of rodents was sent over the land. This may have been the bubonic plague. The affliction of tumours was also visited upon the people of Gath and of Ekron, whither the Ark was successively removed.

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What Was The Purpose Of The Ark

Because the Lords Spirit came in all His glory, few could come into its direct presence. Once a year, on the High Holy Day of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the high priest entered the temple and sprinkled the blood of the sacrifice upon the cover of the ark. This action atoned for the sins of the whole nation. The priest who went into the temple during the time of Yom Kippur had to be fully right with God, lest he be struck dead. Today, Christians believe Jesus Christ serves as our High Priest and as the sacrifice. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of Gods grace .

What Is The History Of The Ark Of The Covenant

Most of the time, since its creation, the Ark of the Covenant stays within the Tabernacle and later the temple. But sometimes, throughout Israel’s history, the Ark goes on the move.

For instance, the Philistines manage to capture the Ark during Samuel’s childhood and take it to their god Dagon, until the Ark causes a plague in their land and breaks their idol statue. During another instance in David’s reign, the Israelites attempt to return the Ark, but because a man tries to stop the Ark from falling with his bare hands, he dies.

Sadly, the Ark disappears from the narrative when the Babylonians sack Jerusalem and destroy the temple. The Ark goes missing from the narrative then.

Now that we’ve established the identity and historical context of the Ark, are six facts about the Ark of the Covenant:

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The Three Important Artifacts Inside The Ark

These were the Ten Commandments, Aarons budded staff, and manna. As a container vessel, the ark carried artifacts that spoke to key moments during Israels time in the wilderness. The second set of stone tablets represented the law – the Old Testament standard of righteousness. Moses smashed the original tablets in Exodus 32 after the Israelites made the golden calf to worship.

The rod of Aaron was the same rod which God turned into a serpent before Pharaoh. However, the moment noted more significant by the writer of Hebrews, was the budding and flowering of the rod. In Numbers, the people of Israel began to grumble against Moses and Aarons leadership, and the Lord had just struck down a group of rebels. To prove the chosen priesthood of Aaron and his line, the Lord commanded the tribes of Israel to set out twelve staffs, with Aarons representing the tribe of Levi, the tribe God appointed to the priesthood. They left them out overnight, and behold, the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds . For the Israelites, this rod represented the line of the priesthood.

Ark Of The Covenant In Revelation

The Ark of the Covenant | Secrets of the Bible | Pt.1 | Full Episode

John wrote in Revelation 11:19 that after the Great White Throne Judgment, Gods temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. At this time, the veil over the hearts of all Christians, Jews, and Gentiles will be eliminated. This new state of the church will reveal the mysteries of the word and its truths fully illuminated.

Chad is a believer in Christ, attorney at law, wannabe golfer, runner, dog lover, and writer. He enjoys serving his church as a deacon and Sunday School teacher. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and at his golf devotion He and his wife Brandi reside in Tennessee with their canine son Alistair.

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What Was The Ark Made Of

There are two biblical stories describing the construction of the ark. The first, and most famous version, is found in the Book of Exodus and describes how a large amount of gold was used to build the Ark. The second version, found in the Book of Deuteronomy, briefly describes the construction of an Ark made just of wood.

Understanding the stories surrounding the Ark is challenging because of the different accounts. Some scholars believe that multiple arks may have been constructed and used at the same time or at different times.

The story of the construction of the ark told in the Book of Exodus describes in great detail how God ordered Moses to tell the Israelites to build an ark out of wood and gold, with God supposedly giving very precise instructions.

“Have them make an ark of acacia wood two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold molding around it.” Exodus 25:10-11.

Poles made of acacia wood and gold were used to carry the ark and two cherubim were to be sculpted out of gold and placed on the lid of the ark. “The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover.” Exodus 25:20. Tablets engraved with the Ten Commandments were placed inside the ark.

Mystery Of Missing Contents

The Bible makes a rather startling statement regarding the contents of the ark when it was moved into the temple’s Holy of Holies. This move took place c. 959 – 958 when King Solomon held an immense dedication ceremony for the newly built place to worship God.

There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses put there at Horeb , when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel when they came out of the land of Egypt .

What happened to Aaron’s budded rod and the jar of manna the New Testament declares was in the Ark of the Covenant? Why weren’t they mentioned in 1Kings8?

But behind the second veil was a tabernacle which is called the holy of holies, containing a golden censer, and the ark of the covenant, which was overlaid on all sides with gold in which was the golden jar containing the manna, and the rod of Aaron that had sprouted, and the tablets of the covenant .

The lack of a definitive Biblical answer solving this ark mystery has led to Bible commentaries offering their own theories regarding the absence of the rod and manna in 1Kings 8.

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