Where is God's Mysterious Ark or Arc of the Covenant?
On the subject of the whereabouts of the mysterious Ark or Arc of the Covenant, Volume I of the 1907 edition of The Catholic Encyclopedia tells us that
"As to what became of the Ark at the fall of Jerusalem, in 587 B.C., there exist several traditions, one of which has found admittance in the sacred books. In a letter of the Jews of Jerusalem to them that were in Egypt, the following details are given as copied from a writing of Jeremias:
'The prophet, being warned by God, commanded that the tabernacle and the ark should accompany him, till he came forth to the mountain where Moses went up and saw the inheritance of God. And when Jeremias came thither he found a hollow cave and he carried in thither the tabernacle and the ark and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door. Then some of them that followed him, came up to mark the place; but they could not find it. And when Jeremias perceived it, he blamed them saying: the place shall be unknown, till God gather together the congregation of the people and receive them to mercy. And then the Lord will shew these things, and the majesty of the Lord shall appear, and there shall be a cloud as it was also shewed to Moses, and he shewed it when Solomon prayed that the place might be sanctified to the great God.' (2 Maccabees 2:4-8).
"According to many commentators, the letter from which the above-cited lines are supposed to have been copied cannot be regarded as possessing Divine authority; for, as a rule, a citation remains in the Bible what it was outside of the inspired writing; the impossibility of dating the original document makes it very difficult to pass a judgment on its historical reliability. At any rate the tradition which it embodies, going back at least as far as two centuries before the Christian era, cannot be discarded on mere a priori arguments.
"Side by side with this tradition, we find another mentioned in the Apocalypse of Esdras; according to this latter, the Ark of the Covenant was taken by the victorious army that ransacked Jerusalem after having taken it (IV Esd., x, 22). This is certainly most possible, so much the more that we learn from IV Kings 25 that the Babylonian troops carried away from the temple whatever brass, silver, and gold they could lay their hands upon."
Another theory maintains that the Arc or Ark of Covenant was carried off as war booty to Italy after the Jewish temple was sacked, and eventually stored down deep somewhere in the Vatican. An ancient depiction on Trajan's Column below shows a Jewish temple treasure, the Menorah (the large Jewish seven-branched golden candlestick) headed for Rome on boxes that perhaps contained the electrical elements from the Ark or Arc of the Covenant.
The Catholic Encyclopedia inadvertently revealed the secret properties of the Ark of the Covenant and the destination by mentioning an obscure source—Arculf—a Frankish bishop, perhaps of Périgueux, who visited and explored the Holy Land, accompanied by Peter, a Bergundian monk, who acted as a guide. Moreover, Arculf’s detailed descriptions certainly do not lead to Ethiopia, Scotland, or even to the catacombs of the Temple Mound. The Encyclopedia gives us a little background and notes the magnitude and character of the details of his testimony by relating that “St. Bede relates (Hist. Eccles. Angl., V, 15) that Arculf, on his return from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land about 670 or 690, was cast by tempest on the shore of Scotland. He was hospitably received by Adamnan, the abbot of the island monastery of Iona, to whom he gave a detailed narrative of his travels to the Holy Land, with specifications and designs of the sanctuaries so precise that Adamnan, with aid from some extraneous sources, was able to produce a descriptive work in three books, dealing with Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the principal towns of Palestine, and Constantinople. Adamnan presented a copy of this work to Aldfrith, King of Northumbria in 698. It aims at giving a faithful account of what Arculf actually saw during his journey. As the latter 'joined the zeal of an antiquarian to the devotion of a pilgrim during his nine months’ stay in the Holy City, the work contains many curious details that might otherwise have never been chronicled.'” The rest of the story of the Ark or Arc of the Covenant lies in The Electric Mirror.
This page was last modified on Tuesday, January 19, 2016