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Does 'lost' Ark exist in Ethiopia?
The Billings Gazatte ^ | August 17, 2002 ( Last modified August 17, 2002 - 12:37 am) | By RICHARD N. OSTLING

Posted on 08/18/2002 4:37:37 PM PDT by vannrox

August 17, 2002
Last modified August 17, 2002 - 12:37 am


Does 'lost' Ark exist in Ethiopia?


By RICHARD N. OSTLING



Associated Press

Thanks to Hollywood's "Raiders of the Lost Ark," the Ark of the Covenant is one of the most famous objects in the Bible. It's also one of the most mysterious, since the Bible doesn't say what happened to it. Ethiopian Christians, however, believe the ark still exists in their country. The biblical ark signified God's presence among his people. It was a wooden box containing the two tablets of the Ten Commandments given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai. In accord with God-given specifications (Exodus 25:10-22), the ark measured about 4 by 2.5 by 2.5 feet. There were two cherubs with outstretched wings on the lid, or "mercy seat." The ark was covered with gold and carried on poles inserted into rings as the Israelites migrated through the wilderness and Holy Land.



Divine powers rested with the ark. It dried up the Jordan River so the Israelites could cross (Joshua 3:14- 17) and brought plagues upon the Philistines when they seized it in battle (1 Samuel 4:11-5:12). King David installed the ark in a tent amid great rejoicing after he established Jerusalem as his capital (1 Samuel 6:1-19) and King Solomon ceremonially placed it in the Holy of Holies when the Temple was built (1 Kings 8:1-9). The ark still existed under King Josiah in the seventh century B.C.

Then it vanished.

The sacred box was somehow lost or destroyed when the Babylonians sacked Jerusalem in 587 B.C., or before that since it wasn't listed with the spoils the conquerors took from the Temple (2 Kings 25:13-17). Israel never built a replacement ark, in accord with God's command in Jeremiah 3:16.

So runs the standard Jewish and Christian story.

But Ethiopian Orthodox Christians disagree. Raymond Matthew Wray of the American Catholic magazine Crisis, who wrote about his own search for the lost ark, said there are five ark scenarios: The Hollywood version had the ark sitting in a U.S. government warehouse.

Some think ancient Israelites hid it under the Temple when the Babylonians invaded. Others say the Babylonians stole or destroyed it. The amateur archaeologist Ron Wyatt, who has since died, claimed he rediscovered the ark under the hill where Christ was crucified. There's no evidence for any of this. Then there's No. 5, the Ethiopian scenario.

The Bible reports that the Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon. Most scholars say she came from present-day Yemen.

But Ethiopian legend maintains she was from that country and gave birth to Solomon's son Menelik, who founded a monarchy that lasted until 1974. This tradition says when Menelik visited Solomon, his aides stole the ark and brought it home. It was kept for centuries in other locations but is now said to be held under strictest secrecy in the town of Axum (or Aksum).

Wray trekked to Axum to see what he could find. The ark site is St. Mary of Zion Chapel, a modest stone Orthodox sanctuary, roughly 40 feet square, on the grounds of the town's main church. In the past the ark was brought forth from the chapel annually but was never seen and was covered with a cloth, supposedly to protect the people from the ark's power.

Today, a replica known as a tabot is paraded instead, to protect the ark. Tabots are important in Ethiopian churches, filling a place similar to icons in Greek and Russian Orthodoxy. Wray met with Abba Welde Giorgis, described to him as the guardian of the ark. The guardian's lifetime appointment is a great honor but also a burden, since it prohibits him from leaving the chapel compound. Unfortunately, Wray's article tells us nothing about the Ethiopian ark itself, either because he did not probe or because Giorgis was reticent. Nor did an Associated Press reporter find out anything on a previous visit.

The ancient mystery lingers.

We do learn from Wray that Ethiopians believe the ark has helped protect their country, as it did ancient Israel. For instance, Ethiopia is almost evenly split between Christians and Muslims, who are in conflict in neighboring Sudan and elsewhere. But "everybody in Ethiopia is living peacefully," Giorgis said. "The ark is having an impact on everyone."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ark; arkofthecovenant; bible; covenant; discovery; ethiopia; godsgravesglyphs; history; israel; jew; kingsolomon; lost; mystery; past; solomon; unusual
Interesting. See also "The Sign and the Seal", by Graham Hancock. ISBN # 0-671-86541-2
1 posted on 08/18/2002 4:37:38 PM PDT by vannrox
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To: vannrox
They may have a good replica, possibly even the one made by Solomon for Sheba, but the original is in Israel in a catacomb under the north side of Old City of Jerusalem.
2 posted on 08/18/2002 4:39:37 PM PDT by crystalk
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To: vannrox
The Sign and the Seal is an excellent read.
3 posted on 08/18/2002 4:43:53 PM PDT by csvset
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To: crystalk
I saw a long piece on TLC or such about a guy who went to Ethiopia and had lots of footage of the chapel housing the ARK. It's on an island somewhere in Ethiopia. The photo above is probably a file photo and not real. The folks in Ethiopis think the ARK is there. Only one guy sees it and it is never on public display. He made a very strong case that if not the ARk there is something very holy there and it has been there for a very very long time.

My own thought is that the Ark was removed from Jerusalem. There are bias relief sculptures in Rome indicating the Ark was brought to Rome by hadrian with orther treasures but no knoelwdge of what happened to it in Rome.

4 posted on 08/18/2002 4:51:16 PM PDT by bert
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To: vannrox
No, anybody with any sense knows the Ark is in the deepest, darkest recesses of a warehouse whose location is only known to the guys in black suits in Langley...


5 posted on 08/18/2002 5:06:40 PM PDT by mhking
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To: vannrox
I read the book. Fascinating. Really interesting stuff..........although he makes compelling arguments, he was quite candid in concluding that there is no conclusive evidence that the Ark resides in Axxum. Still.............a whale of a read.
6 posted on 08/18/2002 5:09:13 PM PDT by RightOnline
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To: vannrox
I think the most important aspect of the Ark and the stories surrounding it is that when you have faith in the teachings and commandments of the Lord, you are strong, and can overcome many obstacles. We are all "Arks" ourselves....when we have faith in the Ten Commandments. And the teachings of Lord are so great that they can even astonish earthly kings.

So, I guess the ark is kind of a metaphor for all of us when we accept His teachings and direction. There may be an actual Ark out there somewhere, but to me the idea behind the story is that with God in your heart (the Ten Commandments contained in the Ark), obstacles are few. I hope that made sense.

7 posted on 08/18/2002 5:10:55 PM PDT by sirshackleton
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To: crystalk
Speaking of the Arc of the Covenant...

...the original is in Israel in a catacomb under the north side of Old City of Jerusalem.

If that is the case, then the ultimate question must be posed, "Why is it still sitting there and not brought out to unleash the almighty power that it contains to slay the Arabs who want to wipe Israel off the face of the earth?"

Do the Levites have something "up their sleeve" for later, after more Jews are maimed and killed, or are they putting together a sequel to the Book of Job, i.e. "Job II, the Sufferer Guy"?

Hammurabi's original code of laws that afforded Sumer (Babylonia proper) a civil and criminal law system centuries before the Old Testament was scripted are probably in the Arc, if it in fact the Arc ever existed, and the Jews damn sure don't want anybody to know about that.

Those who aren't afraid of being struck down by a bolt of lightning should go Here and look for the similarities of the Babylonian Hammurabi's Code of Laws and those rewritten centuries later as the text of the Bible.

...or Here #2 for further enlightenment.

A note of interest: Hammurabi's reign was from 1795-1750 BC...
8 posted on 08/18/2002 5:40:40 PM PDT by Vidalia
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To: csvset; bert; RightOnline; vannrox
"The Sign and the Seal is an excellent read." By Graham Hancock as Vannrox points out.

The professors debunk the Ethopia legend on the grounds that Aksum (the city where the Ark is located) did not exist at the time of Solomons reign in Israel--a valid objection.

However Hancock's thesis is that the Ark was removed from Israel during the reign of Manassa (about 650 BC--long after the time of the Menaleik legend which would have been in the middle of the tenth century BC) and taken to a newly constructed Temple on Elephantine Island in the Nile in Egypt where it was located for about two hundred years. There is significant historical support for the existence of the Temple; there is a large body of correspondence which survives between the priests of that temple who were Levites and the priests in Jerusalem and later with the excile community in Babylon.

Hancock trances the Ethiopian history on the ground from Elephantine to an island in Lake Tana where the Ark reposed for several hundred years when it was then moved to Aksum.

Supporting evidence is found in the history of the Knights Templer who were organized during the Crusades in Jerusalem for the purposes of finding the Ark. After substantial investigation there, they moved their focus to Ethopia and there is a body of evidence placing red haired Europeans in Ethopia in custody of the Ark just before King Philip destroyed the Templers.

Hancock's analysis hangs together very well--he is not part of the professional education community so they reject his work however I see the book as an excellant analysis of the evidence and it makes a good case that the object in the church of Christ Mary in Aksum is in fact the Ark.

I don't think there is any evidence in support of the "buried under the Temple Mount" argument--I think if it were buried under the Temple Mount or for that matter anywhere in proximity to Jerusalem, it would have appeared when Ezra reconstructed the Temple.

It should be noted in our time that Issah Chapter 18 is a prophecy that in a time of famine and tribulation in Ethopia, the Ethopians will send a gift to the mount of Zion which is an ensign (which the Ark was)--return of the Ark to Jerusalem would be likely to initiate a resumption of the sacrificial worship system, with or without reconstruction of the Temple; thus making possible fulfillment of the prophecy of Daniel 9:27 that the sacrifices would be interrupted at the commencement of the Great Tribulation in Matthew 24:15.

9 posted on 08/18/2002 5:59:41 PM PDT by David
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To: David
Great Summary and commentary.
10 posted on 08/18/2002 6:02:29 PM PDT by vannrox
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To: vannrox
There is a reasoning behind the different spellings of the "Arc of the Covenant" and the "Ark of Noah" but that will be lost on those of this board.

Therefore, from now on both will be spelled the same, "ARK".

That brings up yet another question.

Both ARKS are supposed to be the salvation of mankind.

If we are to believe with pure faith the account of the ARK of Noah, then why are only mankind and the beasts mentioned to be paired and saved, with no mention of any plant life other than fodder for the beasts?

Forty days and forty nights of steady rainfall would extinguish a great proportion of all but the hardiest flora (maybe the coconut was spared for a reason)?

The ARK of the Covenant has already been addressed, but it is still a mystery why Jewish babies and children are continuing to suffer after some two thousand plus years when the Israelis are supposed to be the "chosen children of God"...
11 posted on 08/18/2002 6:02:40 PM PDT by Vidalia
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To: mhking
No such warehouse exists. And there aren't any guys in black suits. Really. You can believe me.
12 posted on 08/18/2002 6:07:00 PM PDT by neutrino
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To: neutrino
No such warehouse exists. And there aren't any guys in black suits. Really.

You mean Henry Jones didn't find it?

13 posted on 08/18/2002 6:11:59 PM PDT by mhking
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To: bert
No, the Ark is never pictured in Rome.

Could not have been, of course, for it was never even in the Second Temple, built c517 BC...

It had already been put down in the tunnel by Jeremiah and Baruch c610 BC.

14 posted on 08/18/2002 6:12:37 PM PDT by crystalk
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To: sirshackleton
Great sense. The holiest icons and places are the hearts and minds that strive for Good to make a better world.
15 posted on 08/18/2002 6:22:40 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: mhking
Henry Jones

No, you're thinking of someone else. There was never an archaeologist person by that name. Really! (Grin)

16 posted on 08/18/2002 6:52:07 PM PDT by neutrino
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To: vannrox
good post!
17 posted on 08/18/2002 6:55:47 PM PDT by stainlessbanner
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To: Vidalia
You seem to be chafing for an argument with someone, maybe with anyone.

Why?
18 posted on 08/18/2002 6:58:16 PM PDT by Don Joe
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To: vannrox
Here's a site form an archaelogist who claims to have found it. Also claims to have found the location of the crucifixion. VERY interesting info, and theologically sound. As for the truth of his story, we'll soon find out...

http://www.wyattarchaeology.com/ark.htm
19 posted on 08/18/2002 7:04:24 PM PDT by ovrtaxt
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To: Vidalia
...the original is in Israel in a catacomb under the north side of Old City of Jerusalem.

If that is the case, then the ultimate question must be posed, "Why is it still sitting there and not brought out to unleash the almighty power that it contains to slay the Arabs who want to wipe Israel off the face of the earth?"

The truth is they did try to go get it. They started digging under the dome of the rock and the arabs complained the israelis were trying to blow up the dome of the rock. They ended up stopping and according to jewish tradition it is still somewhere under the temple mount and will stay there until the messiah comes.

20 posted on 08/18/2002 7:17:03 PM PDT by hoosierboy
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To: crystalk
So now I'm really interested ... you know exactly where it is, don't you ? C'mon, you can tell us !
21 posted on 08/18/2002 7:22:15 PM PDT by Camber-G
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To: vannrox
Don't suppose anyone would care to read Rev11:19? Nawwww. Didn't think so.
22 posted on 08/18/2002 7:26:35 PM PDT by nightdriver
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To: nightdriver; vannrox; blam
You beat me to it. I was just going to tell people that the Ark is in Heaven - not on this earth. Kinda strange how supposed "scholars" haven't discovered this verse yet.

***

REV 11:19 Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple; and there were flashes of lightning rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.
23 posted on 08/18/2002 8:14:19 PM PDT by JudyB1938
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To: vannrox
many in the world are looking for relics: arc of the covenant, noah's ark, the last supper chalice, jesus burial clothes, ... anyone remember the folly of trying to identify the shroud of turin?
24 posted on 08/18/2002 8:15:54 PM PDT by mlocher
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To: Vidalia
Both ARKS are supposed to be the salvation of mankind.

perhaps in their time. the eternal salvation of mankind is jesus christ.

but it is still a mystery why Jewish babies and children are continuing to suffer after some two thousand plus years when the Israelis are supposed to be the "chosen children of God"...

no mystery here. reason one: because there is sin, there will be suffering. i look up a few versus if you want. second: romans explains that the chosen children of god are his spiritual children from abraham, not the genetic children from abraham. that is, after the saviour's death, the nation of israel is no longer the chosen few. the chosen few are those who believe.

Forty days and forty nights of steady rainfall would extinguish a great proportion of all but the hardiest flora (maybe the coconut was spared for a reason)?

i am not sure how god did this, but it is possible for seeds to remain airborn for long periods of time. 40 days in the air is not a problem. seeds also get caught on animal fur, bird feet, etc. i don't think noah had to worry about plant life because god took care of that for him through other means.

25 posted on 08/18/2002 8:23:17 PM PDT by mlocher
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To: JudyB1938
Thanks for the ping. I saw the one hour (I think by Hancock) TLC show on this subject. I don't have an opinion on this.
26 posted on 08/18/2002 8:29:02 PM PDT by blam
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To: vannrox
Interesting post. Thanks for posting it.
27 posted on 08/18/2002 8:32:32 PM PDT by crazykatz
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To: vannrox
The power of the arc is not to be had by mere men Joshua knew this as did others who lived in his time and as in ours there are no men onthis planet that could handle the arc it does not belong to us ...But to God its power must be weilded he will give guidence upon those who are worthy and those who are not sorrow will befall .
28 posted on 08/18/2002 8:36:41 PM PDT by ATOMIC_PUNK
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To: mlocher
Have you checked out the links to the original laws/codes that the Bible was taken from, a.k.a. the Code of Law of Hammurabi?
29 posted on 08/18/2002 8:47:56 PM PDT by Vidalia
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To: Vidalia
Except for ethical monotheism, which truly changed the world,
to where we're discussing this on FR, even now.
30 posted on 08/18/2002 11:16:52 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: LakerCJL
ping for later reading...
31 posted on 08/18/2002 11:28:59 PM PDT by LakerCJL
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To: blam
The Wyatt claim is even more fantastic than Hancock's, especially since he was a professed Christian. He reaffirmed all of his claims on his deathbed, so I guess he saw SOMETHING. What it was, I don't know - but it sure wasn't the original Ark of the Covenant. My son really scoffed when I told him about the Wyatt claims. I imagine you'd scoff even more if you read about them. LOL

I used to be on the Wyatt email list when he was still alive. For a while there, people were examining the possibility of some kind of electrical device being in the ark that caused its "powers". I don't remember the details of that though. I didn't pay much attention, because I thought it was silly.
32 posted on 08/19/2002 12:07:45 AM PDT by JudyB1938
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To: crystalk
"They may have a good replica, possibly even the one made by Solomon for Sheba, but the original is in Israel in a catacomb under the north side of Old City of Jerusalem."

What's the reference source for this statement? Millions of us would like little more than to see this artifact 'discovered' but one can't just make statements like this without backing them up! :-)

33 posted on 08/19/2002 3:53:23 AM PDT by Lloyd227
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To: JudyB1938
"For a while there, people were examining the possibility of some kind of electrical device being in the ark that caused its "powers". I don't remember the details of that though. "

I've read those stories too. There does seem to be an attempt at isolation with the poles though.

34 posted on 08/19/2002 6:27:39 AM PDT by blam
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To: Lloyd227
Found in late December, 1981, by an American Seventh-day Adventist from Tennessee, now deceased, this has been guarded day and night by ultra-Orthodox Jews who sleep with it and guard it until in God's good time it can see the light of day.

If there is any doubt as to why it cannot do so yet, under what quarter of the Old City does it lie? If you don't know, take a guess.

With it among other things was a cabin-sized mass of goat hair fabric believed to be the original Tent of Meeting [Mishkan] from the wilderness. Urim v'Tummim were also present.

35 posted on 08/19/2002 7:29:50 AM PDT by crystalk
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To: Camber-G
Within an area of about 60 acres of surface, yes.

See also my post #35.

What matters is not what "EYE" may know, but what the AUTHORITIES know. I hope we are waiting upon God's prophetic keitzim, however, and not just upon the left wing in the USA or Europe to approve. Putting off God's will is rarely a good idea, even when one does at times see oneself and one's own as "grasshoppers."

36 posted on 08/19/2002 7:44:01 AM PDT by crystalk
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To: vannrox
From 2002. Just adding this to the GGG catalog, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
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37 posted on 06/30/2006 9:45:11 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (updated my FR profile on Wednesday, June 21, 2006.)
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