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The Ark of the Covenant

When asked about the Ark of the Covenant, the average person usually responds with something along the lines of Harrison Ford starring in the first of the Indiana Jones trilogy. However, The Ark of the Covenant has significant ties to both ancient Christianity and Judaism. These two religions both have foundations in the Old Testament of The Bible, and their followers are often referred to as "People of the Book" (Robinson). There is some discrepancy as to what the Ark truly is. Exodus 25 in The Bible describes it as "a chest of acacia wood — two and a half cubits wide, and a cubit and a half high." It goes on to say the Ark is overlaid in gold with gold rings and gold poles through the rings, in order to carry the Ark, and golden cherubim on either side of the chest. Inside the chest is to lie "the Testimony." However, as cited by McKinley in "The New York Times," some Ethiopian Christians believe the Ark is actually the tablets containing the Ten Commandments, and the chest described by Moses in Exodus 25 is "the chair of the ark." These discrepancies as well as many others are what complicates the search for the lost ark as well as adds doubt to claims that it has been rediscovered.

The Ark of the Covenant is said to have been held by the Levites during the time of the Hebrews' wanderings through the wilderness, and carried into battle several times by the Israelites (Britannica). The New Standard Encyclopedia states that it was once captured by the Philistines from the Israelites in the course of battle, but was returned shortly after. The last documented existence of the Ark was its placement into the inner chamber of the Temple of Solomon after being taken to Jerusalem ...

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.... pag. On-line. Internet. 6 February 2001. Available WWW: http://www.fwkc.com/encyclopedia/low/articles/a/a002000954f.html.

"Ark of the Covenant." New Standard Encyclopedia. 1982 ed.

McKinley Jr., James. "What Ethiopians Believe Is the Ark of the Covenant Rests in Aksum." New York Times. 27 January, 1998, national ed.: 1.

"Religion." n. pag. On-line. Internet. 6 February 2001. Available WWW: http://www.collegetermpapers.com/TermPapers/Miscellaneous/religion.shtml.

Ritmeyer, Dr. Leen. "The Temple and the Ark of the Covenant." 17 February 1998: n. pag. On-line. Internet. 6 February 2001. Available WWW: http://ds.dial.pipex.com/ritmeyer/temple.ark.html.

Robinson, B.A. "The Jewish Foundation of Christianity." 12 Sept. 2000: n. pag. On-line. Internet. 6 Feb. 2001. Available WWW: http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_jf.htm.
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