The Ark of the Covenant

The Ark of the Covenant is the holy chest, made in the Wilderness, that the ancient Hebrews took with them on their journey into Canaan. According to the Book of Exodus, God instructed Moses to make the Ark as a container for the two stone tablets on which God had written the Ten Commandments, the covenant between Him and His people. The Ark was an oblong chest made of acacia wood and covered with gold inside and out. The lid was a gold slab, called the mercy seat, at whose ends were two golden cherubs with outspread wings. Since God declared journeys the Hebrews kept the Ark in a private section, later known as the Holy of Holies, in a specially built tabernacle, or movable holy tent. The Ark was considered so sacred that anyone other than a priest who touched it, even accidentally, might incur death (II Samuel 6:6).

As the Israelites moved into Canaan, they often carried the Ark of the Covenant into battle with pagan tribes in the belief that victory would be impossible without it. In Canaan the Ark was kept in a sanctuary at Shiloh until it was taken to the new capital city of Jerusalem by King David. It was later placed in the Holy of Holies in the Temple built by David's son Solomon.

Although many stories about the Ark appear in the Old Testament, nothing is said of its eventual fate. It presumably disappeared when the Babylonians captured Jerusalem in 587 or 586 B.C. According to one tradition, however, the Ark of the Covenant was hidden by King Josiah of Judah in the 7th century B.C.

In Jewish synagogues the scrolls of the Torah, or the Law, are kept in a chest or cupboard, called the ark. Usually richly decorated, it is placed on the east wall in the direction of Jerusalem, serving as a focus for prayer.

More by this Author

  • The Epistle to Titus
    0

    The Epistle to Titus is the 17th book in the New Testament, ostensibly a letter from the Apostle Paul to his coworker Titus instructing him how to organize church life in Crete. Many modern scholars doubt that Paul...

  • The Epistles to Timothy
    0

    The Epistles to Timothy are two books in the New Testament that purport to be letters addressed by the Apostle Paul to his younger colleague, Timothy. Because these letters and that addressed to Titus chiefly contain...

  • Types of Literature in the Old Testament
    1

    Modern scholars have classified Old Testament writings according to their literary genres (Gattungen is the German technical term) and have searched for their origin in preliterary oral traditions and in the daily life...


Comments 2 comments

godpreacher profile image

godpreacher 7 years ago from Atlanta,Ga.

Great hub theologian,

There is so much to be said about the ark of covenant. It truly was Holy, for it also represented the presence of God


KIMBERLY SHEETS 6 years ago

WOW A PLACE THE HOLY PLACE. THE HOLY OF HOLY.. I WANT TO BE THEIR,,,IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD THE IS JOY...THE FULLNESS OF JOY...

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working