“And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold…”
- Exodus 25:10-11
These two lines of the Bible sparked an archeological treasure hunt that has spanned the centuries.
The gold-plated Ark of the Covenant is rumored to hold the stone tablets that the Ten Commandments were inscribed on, tempting believers of its existence to spend large amounts of time and money looking for its final resting place.
However, outside of the Bible, there is not much other evidence that the ark of the Covenant ever existed. Furthermore, what references do exist do not provide enough information as to location of the ark today.
Essentially, one of history’s most valuable archeological artifacts is lost.
The Ark of the Covenant – A Wild Goose Chase
Though the Bible is often cited as the original source of ark stories, it is mentioned in several other ancient texts as well.
The ark is mentioned in the Old and New Testament of Bible. In Old Testament, it is first described in Exodus, and then is mentioned in several other books.
In the New Testament, the ark gets mentioned in Hebrews when it was stated that the contents of the ark consisted of manna and the commandment tablets. (1) It is mentioned again in Revelations as being in “God’s temple in heaven.” (1)
The ark even gets a mention in the Quran. Interesting enough, the Quran describes the ark similarly to the Old Testament as containing the commandment tablets and manna along with other items. However, none of these ancient texts give a precise location to the ark’s whereabouts, leading many ark seekers on wild goose chases.
No Further Evidence Uncovered
The ark’s status as undiscovered is not due to the lack of trying, but the ambiguity of the ancient texts makes the ark a very elusive artifact.
Potential sites are Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Zimbabwe, several locales across Europe, Ireland, and even America.
All of the potential sites boil down to the fact that if the ark exists, it can be located anywhere in the world. However, rationally, some sites can be ruled out; such as America.
However, there is a story that the ark was transported out of Europe to America by the Free Masons. Though not impossible, it’s the least likely scenario.
However, out of all of the attempts to find the ark, not only has it not been found, but no other supporting evidence of its existence has ever been found either.
Fred Hiebert, archaeologist and National Geographic Society fellow, believes that searching for the ark is an archeological snipe hunt.
“We are talking about things [at] the crossroads between myth and reality…. But I do not believe, as a field archaeologist, that we can use the scientific method to prove or disprove [them].”
Is the Ark of the Covenant a Lost Cause?
A statement such as this from a respected archaeologist would lead one to believe that the ark will never be found.
However, recent news from World Net Weekly may change that view. According to the site:
“WND has confirmed at least some of the story with archaeological sources secretly working within the tunnel structure beneath the Temple Mount.”
The site contends that the ark was hidden by King Solomon in secret passages in the Temple Mount before the Babylonians ransacked the Temple. Unfortunately, WND does not offer any real evidence, and wants you to buy a DVD to see their alleged evidence – not exactly the actions of a scientific undertaking, nor of a world-changing discovery.
So, once again the Ark of the Covenant has eluded researchers, just has it has eluded most of mankind over the centuries. If the ark exists, it does not appear that it will be discovered any time soon.
However, if it is ever discovered, it will have profound implications for all of society.