Where is the Ark of the Covenant?

There is no single ancient artifact that has captured the imagination of the world save the Ark of the Covenant. Yet it has totally disappeared off of the pages of history by the time the Babylonians has taken siege of Jerusalem in 585 B.C. Nothing in the Bible is said about the Ark in the Old Testament after the Jews returned from Babylon – the Ark could not even be found when the Jewish people rebuilt the Temple during the time of Ezra and Zerubbabel.

Now, the Pastor General of the Philadelphia Church of God, Mr. Gerald Flurry has written in the December 2013 issue of The Philadelphia Trumpet magazine about the possibility of finding the Ark of the Covenant in our time:

Trumpet magazine Dec 2013

 (Click image to download)

Finding the Ark of the Covenant

The ark of the covenant has inspired a lot of curiosity over the years. The ark was a holy chest that God instructed the Israelites to build. It represented the throne of God. In the past, it has been the subject of documentaries and movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark. Few people are talking about that artifact today. Yet a fascinating verse in the Bible says that in this modern era, many people will be talking about it. The implication is that very soon, the ark of the covenant is going to be found! That verse is found in Jeremiah, a book of prophecy that was written for this end time (Jeremiah 30:1-9). So this prophecy about the ark is for us today. If the ark were found, it would electrify many people around the world! People don’t know where the ark is, but I believe that the Bible—and a certain nation’s history—tell us in which country it is located today.

An End-Time Setting

This prophecy about the ark of the covenant is found in Jeremiah 3. To understand it, we need to look at the context. Verses 12-14 of this chapter give some important details: “Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger for ever. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the Lord. Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion.”

God addresses this passage to “backsliding Israel,” to whom He says, “I am married unto you.” Numerous English-speaking nations have descended from ancient Israel, but this is not talking about those nations. God is only married to His Church, which is spiritual Israel. In this prophecy, God is talking specifically to His Church, which is His wife (Revelation 19:7).

Jeremiah is talking about a modern crisis in God’s Church. God’s end-time Church is rebelling against Him and backsliding from its Husband! But God does have a faithful remnant that delivers this message (Revelation 3). This rebellion in the Church of God has taken place in our day. (You can read all about it by ordering a free copy of our book Raising the Ruins.) This establishes the time frame of this prophecy: It occurs just before the Great Tribulation, the Day of the Lord and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. (Request a free copy of Jeremiah and the Greatest Vision in the Bible to learn more.)

Jeremiah 3:16-17 move forward in time: “And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the Lord, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the Lord: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.” These verses refer to the time of the World Tomorrow, after Jesus Christ has returned and is ruling the world.

Notice: Once that occurs, people will no longer focus on that physical ark. This implies that they were focusing on it before that time. In ancient Israel, the ark symbolized God’s presence. Located in the holy of holies inside the tabernacle, it was a symbol of God’s throne and rule. He even spoke from that ark (e.g. Exodus 25:22). So it makes sense that once God’s reign is actually established on Earth, that physical ark will no longer “come to mind.” The world will no longer need a symbol for God because He Himself will be here. But right now, almost no one is talking about the ark of the covenant anyway.

Visiting the Ark?

Examine Jeremiah 3:16 carefully. It says that once Christ returns, “they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the Lord.” They won’t say it anymore—which means they were saying it at some point. People are not saying it now, but according to this prophecy, there is coming a time when they will be saying it! “[N]either shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more.”

Notice that shocking statement: God says people won’t visit the ark anymore! Do you know any place today where people visit the ark? There isn’t any such place, but God here describes a time when people will visit the ark of the covenant. Remember, the time frame is during a backsliding of God’s Church, leading into the Tribulation and the Second Coming of Christ. These scriptures refer to the time we are living in now. Just before the Tribulation, many people will be visiting the ark like a tourist attraction, according to this prophecy. It sounds like it has created a world sensation! I don’t see how you can understand this prophecy any other way.

Strong’s Concordance defines visit: “to visit, to inspect, to review.” A secondary definition is “an overseer, to be set over.” That certainly indicates to me that the ark is going to be found. The ark is rarely discussed today. You may see an occasional documentary about people looking for it, but they have never found it. That is because it has not been time for the ark to be found! But this prophecy indicates that it will be found in this end time just before the Great Tribulation. That is very soon. Jesus Christ said we must live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). That includes the  book of Jeremiah. Do you have the faith to believe every word of God?… (pp. 6-7, THE PHILADELPHIA TRUMPET, DECEMBER 2013)

If the Ark of the Covenant is going to be found in this end time, the question is: Where could the ark really be? Some say, it’s in the Chapel of the Tablet at the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion in Axum (Ethiopia), while in the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark, it was depicted to have been buried in the city of Tanis (Egypt), others believe it has been hidden somewhere in Tarah Hill (Ireland). Whereas some of the Jewish rabbis firmly believes that it has been concealed underneath the Dome of the Rock in the Temple Mount (Jerusalem). Others have different ideas about it and below is one of them:

Some scholars believe it was simply destroyed when the Temple was burned. Others believe it was captured as a prize of war, taken to Babylon, and probably melted down for its gold.

But the strongest tradition is that it was taken out of the Temple by Jeremiah and hidden. Some are convinced he hid it in the ground on the Temple Mount. But most who hold to the Jeremiah rescue theory believe he either hid the Ark in a great cavern beneath the Temple Mount (known today as Solomon’s Quarry) or that he hid it somewhere near Mt. Nebo in the modern day nation of Jordan.

The latter theory finds support in the apocryphal book of 2 Maccabees. The narrative in that book says, “the prophet, warned by an oracle, gave orders for the tabernacle and the ark to go with him when he set out for the mountain which Moses had climbed to survey God’s heritage. On his arrival, Jeremiah found a cave-dwelling, into which he brought the tabernacle, the ark, and the altar of incense, afterwards blocking up the entrance” (2 Maccabees 2:4-5).

But where in the world is the Ark of the Covenant possibly be? Can we even use the Bible as a reference to locate it?

Archeology: Dr. Eilat Mazar: The Bible as blueprint

Mazar, who is both revered and reviled by some of her colleagues for being a “biblical archeologist,” says that the Bible is unquestionably the most important historical source for her work, since it contains a “genuine historical account of the past.” “I work with the Bible in one hand and the tools of excavation in the other,” she says. “The Bible is the most important historical source.”

Source: http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Features/Archeology-Dr-Eilat-Mazar-The-Bible-as-blueprint

Now to begin with, let’s consider the Bible as our most important historical source and read a passage regarding the ark that was still in existence even during the spiritual revival led by King Josiah.

“Moreover Josiah kept a passover unto the Lord in Jerusalem: and they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. And he set the priests in their charges, and encouraged them to the service of the house of the Lord, And said unto the Levites that taught all Israel, which were holy unto the Lord, Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build; it shall not be a burden upon your shoulders: serve now the Lord your God, and his people Israel, (2 Chronicles 35:1-3).

The Levites were commanded by King Josiah to put the Ark of the Covenant where it should be placed – inside the First Temple which King Solomon had built. And they were told that “it shall not be a burden upon (their) shoulders” any longer. And 22 years after King Josiah died, the kingdom of Judah fell to the Babylonians, and the ark has totally disappeared from view then.

Why did King Josiah made such a statement of returning the ark to the Temple built by King Solomon? Why did he tell the Levites that they shall not carry it on their shoulders any longer? Because it shall be hidden and to be found precisely during the 1,335 days of Daniel chapter 12Where is it really? Well, in actual fact, it has not left Jerusalem! But the 25 men of Ezekiel 8 say that it can be found in Tara Hill – they think that they have found THE NEW LIGHT.

Could there even be replicas made by Jeremiah himself which he could have brought to Ireland to begin with? Considering Jeremiah’s prophecy about A PREPARED DECEPTION during this last end, he might have actually made several arks to hide from view the real location of the real Ark of the Covenant which has not left Jerusalem ever since.

You may ask; How can we be so sure? It’s so simple, and without a single doubt, we can prove it from the pages of your Bibles. First, let’s consider the account during King Solomon’s dedication of God’s Temple in Jerusalem:

“Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto king Solomon in Jerusalem, that they might bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, which is Zion. And all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto king Solomon at the feast in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month. And all the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark. And they brought up the ark of the Lord, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, even those did the priests and the Levites bring up. And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims... And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the LordThen spake Solomon, The Lord said that he would dwell in the thick darkness. I have surely built thee an house to dwell in, a settled place for thee to abide in for ever.” (1 Kings 8:1-4, 6, 10-13)

To better understand how King Solomon has prepared for the resting place of the ark, let’s consider some of the key words in its original Hebrew words and we will find that it’s quite intriguing and at the same time, fascinating.

In Strong’s Concordance, the word for “settled place” is “makon” (H4349): From H3559; properly a fixture, that is, a basis; generally a place, especially an abode. While as for the word “for ever” it is “olam” (H5769); From H5956; properly concealed, that is, the vanishing point; generally time out of mind (past or future). Even if we consider the root word “alam” (H5956); a primitive root; to veil from sight, that is, conceal (literally or figuratively): hide (self), secret.

Got it? God inspired King Solomon to intentionally build a FIXTURE to CONCEAL, HIDE the Ark of the Covenant, and that was supposed to be the VANISHING POINT, TO VEIL FROM SIGHT that holy artifact! King Josiah knew about this which could be the most probable reason he commanded the priests to put the ark back to where King Solomon intended it to be placed. The prophet Jeremiah also knew about this so he himself prophesied about it:

And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the Lord, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the Lord: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more.” (Jeremiah 3:16)

The ark is definitely going to be found in God’s appointed time! Let us read again what Mr. Flurry wrote for emphasis:

Notice that shocking statement: God says people won’t visit the ark anymore! Do you know any place today where people visit the ark? There isn’t any such place, but God here describes a time when people will visit the ark of the covenant. Remember, the time frame is during a backsliding of God’s Church, leading into the Tribulation and the Second Coming of Christ. These scriptures refer to the time we are living in now. Just before the Tribulation, many people will be visiting the ark like a tourist attraction, according to this prophecy. It sounds like it has created a world sensation! I don’t see how you can understand this prophecy any other way.

Strong’s Concordance defines visit: “to visit, to inspect, to review.” A secondary definition is “an overseer, to be set over.” That certainly indicates to me that the ark is going to be found. (ibid.)

And the most likely location of that ark could still be in Jerusalem where King Solomon built a concealed fixture during the First Temple period (1 Kings 8:1-13). Even Dr. Eilat Mazar, a renowned Israeli archaeologist believe it to be so:

Mary Ellen Marks Highland Lakes: Is it true that the Ark of the Covenant is buried under the mount?

Dr. Mazar: There is a very high probability that the most important ancient remains are inside the compound in the massive underground halls. This includes the Ark of the Covenant. 

Sourcehttp://www.jpost.com/Features/Q-and-A-on-the-Temple-Mount-with-Dr-Eilat-Mazar

But where could the real Temple Mount be? Is it really located on top of the Dome of the Rock as everyone else has believed? For many years, the whole world was made to believe that the Dome of the Rock was built on top of the original location where the temples built by King Solomon and Zerubbabel were once situated. But Dr. Ernest L. Martin asserted that the Ophel Mound is the real site of the First and Second Temples which he claims in his book, “The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot.” In that book he emphatically asserted that what is commonly known as the Temple Mount today is in fact the Roman Fort Antonia.

 

The real temple mount

 

In his booklet, Jerusalem’s Temples, Mr. Gerald Flurry even wrote,

“Dr. Martin’s book contains astonishing material about the ancient temples. In his introduction, he stated that the ancient temples were located on the Ophel mound – not what is known as the Temple Mount today. The Ophel mound is just south of the ‘Temple Mount’ and includes the area Herbert W. Armstrong College students have been digging in for several years.” (p. 3)

One stunning proof that the Ophel mound could indeed really be the original location of the Temple Mount – Dr. Eilat Mazar has found the gold treasure with Jewish menorah in that area!

Living History in the Holy City

And here is another indication from the Bible that the ark is still very much inside the ruins of the physical temple in Jerusalem. Although this prophecy is yet to be fulfilled in the very immediate future, but it is suggesting the whereabouts of the physical ark:

Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a severe hailstorm.” (Revelation 11:19, NIV)

The Ark of the Covenant is still very much intact inside the First Temple ruins underneath the Ophel mound in Jerusalem! Does any one out there have any biblical proof to prove their claim on the whereabouts of the ark, except through mere legends, fables and speculations? Here is another proof that what King Solomon had built has God’s approval on it. Notice the chronology of events during the Temple dedication:

And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LordSo that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord. Then spake Solomon, The Lord said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.” (1 Kings 8:10-12)

Now let’s compare that with how it should have happened:

And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate. So Moses finished the work. Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” (Exodus 40:33-35)

Take a careful notice that Moses was able to finish the ceremony BEFORE the cloud covered the tabernacle and after that he was not able to enter into the tent. But it was different during the dedication of the First Temple, when the priests has brought the ark into the Holy of Holies and the priests came out from it, they were not able to finish their work because of the cloud that filled the Temple. Why is that so? Here is the answer:

“Then spake Solomon, The Lord said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.”

And the context of that THICK DARKNESS is the CONCEALED FIXTURE that King Solomon built:

I have surely built thee an house to dwell in, a FIXTURE (settled place) for thee to abide in CONCEALMENT (for ever).”

And God has His approval on it through that very unusual precise timing of the appearance of the cloud during the ceremony.

Again for emphasis, even Dr. Eilat Mazar believes this concept of the ark being hidden in Jerusalem and not in any other place in the world: “There is a very high probability that the most important ancient remains are inside the compound in the massive underground halls. This includes the Ark of the Covenant.

You may ask, but why would God allow the ark to be found during this end time? Is there a need for it to be displayed to the world? Here is what Mr. Flurry further wrote in his article:

A Warning From God

Why would God cause the ark to be found in this end time—and never before? Why would He want people to visit the ark now— and not before or long after? He could be using this symbol as a warning sign that we have strayed far from the true God—and are about to experience dire consequences.

Prophecy shows that God is going to do some dramatic things to warn this world of the Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord just before His Second Coming. The period leading up to Christ’s return is going to be the worst suffering in human history. That is the horrifying end result of mankind’s vile sins! God wants to warn people in advance to help as many as possible to repent before that time comes so they don’t have to experience it.

If the ark were discovered, wouldn’t that be a powerful witness to the world? I believe it would be. Proof that the biblical chronicle is accurate could help lead some to repentance. The ark’s discovery would even point people to where God’s message was being proclaimed, and help them to realize that even though they heard it and didn’t act on it, that message was right and was from God.

Prophecy shows that many people— an innumerable multitude—are going to repent during the Great Tribulation and will receive God’s protection at that time (e.g. Revelation 7:9, 14). Perhaps the discovery of the ark of the covenant will contribute to the size of that number. Remember the prophecy in Jeremiah 3:16, because God tells us that the ark is going to be found! (p. 9, op. cit.)

That ark will be a beacon for the great multitude and the 144,000 of Revelation chapter 7 – to show them where the true God of Elijah can be found.

Related articles:

The 1,335 Days of Daniel 12

A PREPARED DECEPTION

The 25 Men of Ezekiel 8

The Secret Counsel of Men

THE NEW LIGHT

 

 

2 comments on “Where is the Ark of the Covenant?

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