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Re: orion semi-off topic: Ark of the Covenant

At 12:47 PM 8/1/97 -0500, Uri wrote:
>Has the Ark of the Covenant been found?


>Are there any references in the DSS in regard to the Ark?

None that discuss it in contemporary terms or in the sense I think you mean
(i.e. concering its location at the time the DSS were written). The only
thing that comes to mind from this period is the reference in 2 Maccabees to
a tradition in which it is said that prior to the exile, Jeremiah went to
Mount Nebo and there hid in a cave the ark and other temple objects. The
same passage also says that the precise location in which these things were
hidden would remain a secret until the end times, which I regard as an
admission by the author that to the extent that such a tradition was even
believed, neither he nor anyone else in his day knew where this cave was

In passing I should mention that there is a claim by a bristish journalist
named Hancock (who documents his ideas in a book called "The Sign and the
Seal") that he knows the whereabouts of the ark: he claims to have traced
its history down to modern day Ethiopia where he says it currently resides
inside a church, though no one has ever been able to verify this claim and
the Ethiopians in question have no intention of allowing any interested
parties of doing so. Consequently, few people take his theory seriously
(Hancock also demonstrates a pretty shoddy understanding of the biblical
scholarship issues involved which do nothing to inspire confidence in his
theory). I recall a while back another similar claim by some group or sect
in modern day Jerusalem who claim to have infiltrated some hidden corridors
within the Temple Mount and to have seen the ark concealed therein within a
special chamber. This claim too has few supporters.

The most likely theory is that it was either taken as booty by
Nebuchadrezzar II and subsequently melted down and stripped for its
materials or was removed from the Temple by some group prior to
Nebuchadrezzar's attack and then relocated to places unknown.

Bruce Wildish