The Christian Connection
The Ark of the Covenant

Like in the Movie "Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)" - Indiana Jones we will be exploring the alternate views of what exactly was the "Ark of the Covenant". In the movie we see in an old Bible illustration the Ark sending out a beam or ray of energy to smite the enemies of Israel...

It is described as a device that Moses used to speak with God... anyone touching it would die or be inflicted. Moses himself wore a huge breast piece as protection and his hair was turned white from exposure.

It has been claimed that it fits into the sarcophagus of the Great Pyramid and somehow acts as a battery...

It's lined with gold inside and outside... gold is an excellent non tarnishing conductor...

Most pictures found today on the internet show the Ark with some form of energy between the Cherubim... and most images show the Cherubim as looking like modern Angels...

The Ark of the Covenant (Hebrew: אָרוֹן הָבְרִית‎ Ārōn Hāb’rīt [modern pron. Aron Habrit]; Arabic: تابوت العهد‎ Tābūt Al-ʿahd) is a container described in the Bible as containing the tablets of stone on which were inscribed the Ten Commandments as well as Aaron's rod and manna. According to the Pentateuch, the Ark was built at the command of God, in accord with Moses' prophetic vision on Mount Sinai (Exodus 25:10-16). God communicated with Moses "from between the two cherubim" on the Ark's cover (Exodus 25:22). The Ark and its sanctuary were "the beauty of Israel" (Lamentations 2:1). Rashi and some Midrashim suggest that there were two arks - a temporary one made by Moses, and a later one made by Bezalel.

The Biblical account relates that during the exodus of the Israelites, the Ark was carried by the priests ~2,000 cubits (Numbers 35:5; Joshua 4:5) in advance of the people and their army or host (Num. 4:5-6; 10:33-36; Psalms 68:1; 132:8). When the Ark was borne by priests into the bed of the Jordan, the river was separated, opening a pathway for the whole of the host to pass over (Josh. 3:15-16; 4:7-18). The Ark was borne in a seven-day procession around the wall of Jericho by seven priests sounding seven trumpets of rams' horns, the city taken with a shout (Josh. 6:4-20). When carried, the Ark was always wrapped in a veil, in tachash skins (the identity of this animal is uncertain), and a blue cloth, and was carefully concealed, even from the eyes of the Levites who carried it.

Over time, the accounts of the Ark have gathered a number of references in popular culture.



The Bible describes the Ark as made of shittah-tree wood (acacia), known to the Egyptians as the Tree of Life and an important plant in traditional medicine containing in many cases psychoactive alkaloids. It was 1.5 cubits broad and high, and 2.5 cubits long, conforming to the golden ratio. (~130 x 78 x 78 cm or 4.27 x 2.56 x 2.56 ft, using the Egyptian royal cubit). The Ark was covered all over with the purest gold. Its upper surface or lid, the mercy seat (Hebrew: כפורת, Kaporet), was surrounded with a rim of gold.

On each of the two long sides were two gold rings, wherein were placed two wooden poles (with a decorative sheathing of gold), to allow the Ark to be carried (Num. 7:9; 10:21; 4:5,19, 20; 1 Kings 8:3, 6). Over the Ark, at the two extremities, were two cherubim, with their faces turned toward one another (Leviticus 16:2; Num. 7:89). Their outspread wings over the top of the Ark formed the throne of God, while the Ark itself was his footstool (Ex. 25:10-22; 37:1-9). The Ark was placed in the "Holy of Holies," so that one end of the carrying poles touched the veil separating the two compartments of the tabernacle (1 Kings 8:8). The Book of Deuteronomy describes the Ark as a simple wooden container with no mention of ornaments or gold. Similarly, the Quran makes a reference to the Ark as a wooden box with holy relics inside it.

SOURCE: Wikipedia Ark_of_the_Covenant

The Ark of the Covenant - Communication Device?
Credit: Christian Lessons in Moses’ Tabernacle 

The chamber called the Most Holy was the location where God dwelled with His people through their mediator Moses. There was only one article of furniture in the Most Holy—the Ark of the Covenant. It was made out of wood covered with gold with a solid gold lid called the mercy seat. It was from above this mercy seat that God communed with Moses. (Exo. 25:22) - Christian Lessons in Moses’ Tabernacle 


Exodus 25

10. They shall make an ark of acacia wood; it shall be two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. 
11. You shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and outside you shall overlay it, and you shall make a molding of gold upon it all round. 
12. You shall cast four rings of gold for it and put them on its four feet, two rings on one side of it, and two rings on the other side. 
13. You shall make poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. 
14. And you shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, by which to carry the ark. 
15. The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it. 
16. You shall put into the ark the covenant * that I shall give you.

17. Then you shall make a mercy-seat * of pure gold; two cubits and a half shall be its length, and a cubit and a half its width. 
18. You shall make two cherubim of gold; you shall make them of hammered work, at the two ends of the mercy-seat.*
19. Make one cherub at one end, and one cherub at the other; of one piece with the mercy-seat* you shall make the cherubim at its two ends. 
20. The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy-seat* with their wings. They shall face each other; the faces of the cherubim shall be turned towards the mercy-seat.* 
21. You shall put the mercy-seat* on the top of the ark; and in the ark you shall put the covenant* that I shall give you.
22. There I will meet you, and from above the mercy-seat,* from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the covenant, I will deliver to you all my commands for the Israelites.

*Need to find the original definition for mercy-seat

The Philistines Capture the Ark
The Israelites defeated by the Philistines. Artist; HOET, Gerard; Date:  Published 1728 Engraving
I Samuel 4:10,11 And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen.  And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phineas, were slain.  (KJV) - Source:

From: For It Is Written 
Friday, August 21, 2009
1 Samuel 5-6: Too hot to handle

The Philistines and their elders, the Israelites of Beth-Shemesh, and of course God are the main parties in this drama. The narrative spans a period of seven months ending in harvest time, set in Ekron, Ashdod and Gath, three of the five principal cities of the Philistines; and the last events are in Beth-Shemesh, a border territory of Judah. The ark of the Lord has been captured by the Philistines after a disastrous campaign by the Israelites in a futile attempt to overcome their oppressors. The glory of the Lord has tragically departed from Israel (1 Sam 4:21), now a subjugated and orphaned nation.

The story unfolds, most entertainingly, as follows:

The ark of the Lord is too hot to handle (1 Sam 5:1-12)
1. Plundered to Ashdod and placed beside their god, Dagon, they find the deity prostrate on one day, dismembered and decapitated the next, and the people are stricken with sores. (It is recorded that no one would step on the threshold of the Dagon's temple again henceforth.)
2. Evicted to Gath, the plague follows and causes panic
3. Dumped to Ekron, many die and other survive with sores. There is widespread terror and their anguish pierces the heavens.
4. The Philistine leaders decide to return the ark in fear of their lives

The ark is returned with gifts (1 Sam 6:1-12)
1. Philistine priests and omen readers devise a maneuver to diagnose (did they bring down this plague upon themselves with the ark?) and to remedy their error with guilt offerings
2. Five (for the five cities of Philistine) gold carvings of their sores and five of the rodents that rampaged their cities are placed with the ark, and couriered to the Israelite border town of Beth-Shemesh by previously unyoked and nursing mother-cows
3. The cows and carts head straight for Beth-Shemesh and the Philistine leaders return to Ekron - the diagnostic and therapeutic trial is successful

The ark is received with joy and grief (1 Sam 6:13-21)
1. The ark arrives at a big stone near the field of Joshua
2. The people of Beth-Shemesh are delighted, make a sacrifice of the wood and cows on the stone, and place the ark in the field of Joshua
3. 50,070 men are killed for looking at the ark! A cause of grief and a request to be relived of the ark.

SOURCE: For It Is Written 

King James Version
1 Samuel 4 

 1And the word of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out against the Philistines to battle, and pitched beside Ebenezer: and the Philistines pitched in Aphek.

 2And the Philistines put themselves in array against Israel: and when they joined battle, Israel was smitten before the Philistines: and they slew of the army in the field about four thousand men.

 3And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath the LORD smitten us to day before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of Shiloh unto us, that, when it cometh among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies.

 4So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from thence the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth between the cherubims: and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.

 5And when the ark of the covenant of the LORD came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth rang again.

 6And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, What meaneth the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews? And they understood that the ark of the LORD was come into the camp.

 7And the Philistines were afraid, for they said, God is come into the camp. And they said, Woe unto us! for there hath not been such a thing heretofore.

 8Woe unto us! who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty Gods? these are the Gods that smote the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness.

 9Be strong and quit yourselves like men, O ye Philistines, that ye be not servants unto the Hebrews, as they have been to you: quit yourselves like men, and fight.

 10And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen.

 11And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.

 12And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes rent, and with earth upon his head.

 13And when he came, lo, Eli sat upon a seat by the wayside watching: for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city, and told it, all the city cried out.

 14And when Eli heard the noise of the crying, he said, What meaneth the noise of this tumult? And the man came in hastily, and told Eli.

 15Now Eli was ninety and eight years old; and his eyes were dim, that he could not see.

 16And the man said unto Eli, I am he that came out of the army, and I fled to day out of the army. And he said, What is there done, my son?

 17And the messenger answered and said, Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there hath been also a great slaughter among the people, and thy two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God is taken.

 18And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.

 19And his daughter in law, Phinehas' wife, was with child, near to be delivered: and when she heard the tidings that the ark of God was taken, and that her father in law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and travailed; for her pains came upon her.

 20And about the time of her death the women that stood by her said unto her, Fear not; for thou hast born a son. But she answered not, neither did she regard it.

 21And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband.

 22And she said, The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken.

King James Version
1 Samuel 5

 1And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it from Ebenezer unto Ashdod.

 2When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon.

 3And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the LORD. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again.

 4And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him.

 5Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that come into Dagon's house, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod unto this day.

 6But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods, even Ashdod and the coasts thereof.

 7And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us: for his hand is sore upon us, and upon Dagon our god.

 8They sent therefore and gathered all the lords of the Philistines unto them, and said, What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel? And they answered, Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried about unto Gath. And they carried the ark of the God of Israel about thither.

 9And it was so, that, after they had carried it about, the hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great destruction: and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts.

 10Therefore they sent the ark of God to Ekron. And it came to pass, as the ark of God came to Ekron, that the Ekronites cried out, saying, They have brought about the ark of the God of Israel to us, to slay us and our people.

 11So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said, Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go again to his own place, that it slay us not, and our people: for there was a deadly destruction throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there.

 12And the men that died not were smitten with the emerods: and the cry of the city went up to heaven.

A late 19th-century artist's conception of the Ark of the Covenant, 
employing a Renaissance cassone for the Ark and cherubim as latter-day Christian angels.
King James Version
1 Samuel 6

 1And the ark of the LORD was in the country of the Philistines seven months.

 2And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, What shall we do to the ark of the LORD? tell us wherewith we shall send it to his place.

 3And they said, If ye send away the ark of the God of Israel, send it not empty; but in any wise return him a trespass offering: then ye shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed from you.

 4Then said they, What shall be the trespass offering which we shall return to him? They answered, Five golden emerods, and five golden mice, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines: for one plague was on you all, and on your lords.

 5Wherefore ye shall make images of your emerods, and images of your mice that mar the land; and ye shall give glory unto the God of Israel: peradventure he will lighten his hand from off you, and from off your gods, and from off your land.

 6Wherefore then do ye harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? when he had wrought wonderfully among them, did they not let the people go, and they departed?

 7Now therefore make a new cart, and take two milch kine, on which there hath come no yoke, and tie the kine to the cart, and bring their calves home from them:

 8And take the ark of the LORD, and lay it upon the cart; and put the jewels of gold, which ye return him for a trespass offering, in a coffer by the side thereof; and send it away, that it may go.

 9And see, if it goeth up by the way of his own coast to Bethshemesh, then he hath done us this great evil: but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that smote us: it was a chance that happened to us.

 10And the men did so; and took two milch kine, and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home:

 11And they laid the ark of the LORD upon the cart, and the coffer with the mice of gold and the images of their emerods.

 12And the kine took the straight way to the way of Bethshemesh, and went along the highway, lowing as they went, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left; and the lords of the Philistines went after them unto the border of Bethshemesh.

 13And they of Bethshemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley: and they lifted up their eyes, and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it.

 14And the cart came into the field of Joshua, a Bethshemite, and stood there, where there was a great stone: and they clave the wood of the cart, and offered the kine a burnt offering unto the LORD.

 15And the Levites took down the ark of the LORD, and the coffer that was with it, wherein the jewels of gold were, and put them on the great stone: and the men of Bethshemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices the same day unto the LORD.

 16And when the five lords of the Philistines had seen it, they returned to Ekron the same day.

 17And these are the golden emerods which the Philistines returned for a trespass offering unto the LORD; for Ashdod one, for Gaza one, for Askelon one, for Gath one, for Ekron one;

 18And the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both of fenced cities, and of country villages, even unto the great stone of Abel, whereon they set down the ark of the LORD: which stone remaineth unto this day in the field of Joshua, the Bethshemite.

 19And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.

 20And the men of Bethshemesh said, Who is able to stand before this holy LORD God? and to whom shall he go up from us?

 21And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kirjathjearim, saying, The Philistines have brought again the ark of the LORD; come ye down, and fetch it up to you.

© 2006 Phoenix Masonry
A fictional depiction of the Ark of the Covenant as portrayed in the 1981 feature film Raiders of the Lost Ark
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