Wisdom-Trek / Creating a Legacy
Welcome to Day 951 of our Wisdom-Trek, and thank you for joining me.
I am Guthrie Chamberlain, Your Guide to Wisdom
Where Is the Ark of the Covenant? – Wisdom Wednesday
Thank you for joining us for our five days per week wisdom and legacy building podcast. We are broadcasting from our studio at The Big House in Marietta, Ohio. Today is Day 951 of our trek, and it is Wisdom Wednesday.
Creating a Biblical worldview is important to have a proper perspective on today’s current events. To establish a Biblical worldview, you must also have a proper understanding of God’s word. Especially in our western cultures, we do not fully understand the Scriptures from the mindset and culture of the authors.
In order to help us all have a better understanding of some of the more obscure passages in God’s word, we are investing Wisdom Wednesday reviewing a series of essays from one of today’s most prominent Hebrew Scholars Dr. Micheal S. Heiser. He has compiled these essays into a book titled I Dare You Not to Bore Me with the Bible.
Have you ever wondered what happened to the Ark of the Covenant? Today’s essay will explore the important question of…
Where Is the Ark of the Covenant?
I can still recall the thrill of seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark the movie. Dr. Heiser also agreed when he said, “As a senior in high school, I had already been infected with the archaeology bug. This movie boosted my interest to a whole new level. As Providence would have it, I followed the path of Indiana Jones—at least academically. I’m still fascinated by the ark, but I no longer believe it is lost and awaiting discovery. I have Jeremiah to blame for that.”
The idea that the Ark of the Covenant survived Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion of Judah is based on the absence of any explicit reference to the ark being among the vessels of gold carried to Babylon in 2 Chronicles 36:5-8. Likewise, the list of items brought back to Judah after the end of the exile makes no mention of the ark in Ezra 1:5-11. The simplest explanation is that the ark was among the items that were stripped away from the temple in 2 Kings 24:13, “As the Lord had said beforehand, Nebuchadnezzar carried away all the treasures from the Lord’s Temple and the royal palace. He stripped away (cut apart] all the gold objects that King Solomon of Israel had placed in the Temple.” No one would pay to see that movie.
From ancient times until the present day, people have resisted the idea that God would allow Nebuchadnezzar to destroy Israel’s holiest object. Testifying to the power of this resistance, there are nearly a dozen theories as to how the ark survived.
Some of these theories are drawn from biblical events. Perhaps Hezekiah gave the ark to Sennacherib as part of his tribute payment in 2 Kings 18. Might it have been removed by faithful priests when Manasseh put an idol in the temple in 2 Kings 21:1-9? Indiana Jones told millions that Pharaoh Shishak took the ark to the city of Tanis in Egypt when he invaded Jerusalem in 1 Kings 14:25-26, “In the fifth year of King Rehoboam’s reign, King Shishak of Egypt came up and attacked Jerusalem. He ransacked the treasuries of the Lord’s Temple and the royal palace; he stole everything, including all the gold shields Solomon had made.”
Perhaps the most intricate theory involves Menelik I, the alleged son of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, taking the ark to Ethiopia. The Ethiopian royal chronicle, the Kebra Nagast, presents this idea so seriously that rulers of Ethiopia well into the 20th century had to prove their descent from Menelik I.
Other theories grew out of specific passages in ancient texts. Second Maccabees 2:5 records Jeremiah hiding the ark in a cave before Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion. Second Baruch 6:1-9 describes the ark being supernaturally swallowed up by the earth before the invasion, tucked away until the time of Israel’s restoration.
Jeremiah 3:16-17 – “And when your land is once more filled with people,” says the Lord, “you will no longer wish for ‘the good old days’ when you possessed the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant. You will not miss those days or even remember them, and there will be no need to rebuild the Ark. In that day Jerusalem will be known as ‘The Throne of the Lord.’ All nations will come there to honor the Lord. They will no longer stubbornly follow their own evil desires.”The passage plainly shows that the ark would be absent because of the exile. Jeremiah 3:16 also insists that “and there will be no need to rebuild the Ark” — wording that strong suggests the ark would be destroyed in the impending disaster; if the ark weren’t destined for destruction, talk of rebuilding it would make no sense at all. Jeremiah 3:17 reinforces this point—the ark was God’s throne. He sat “between the cherubim of the lid known as the mercy seat” in Exodus 25:18-22 and Numbers 7:89. But the passage speaks of a day when Jerusalem itself will be called God’s throne. We read about this in Revelation 21:2-3, “And I saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, ‘Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.'”
A recovered ark of the covenant doesn’t fit this picture — it would be a disappointment.
That will conclude our essay for this week. Next Wisdom Wednesday we will continue with the Old Testament as we look at Dr. Heiser’s next essay titled “He Him, Me, Myself, & I” – I believe you will find this another interesting topic to consider as we build our Biblical worldview.
Tomorrow we will continue with our 3-minute humor nugget that will provide you with a bit of cheer and help you to lighten up and live a rich and satisfying life. So encourage your friends and family to join us and then come along with us tomorrow for another day of our Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.
If you would like to listen to any of our past 950 treks or read the Wisdom Journal, they are available at Wisdom-Trek.com. I encourage you to subscribe to Apple Podcast or Google Podcast so that each day’s trek will be downloaded automatically.
Thank you so much for allowing me to be your guide, mentor, and most of all your friend as I serve you through the Wisdom-Trek podcast and journal.
As we take this trek together, let us always:
- Live Abundantly (Fully)
- Love Unconditionally
- Listen Intentionally
- Learn Continuously
- Lend to others Generously
- Lead with Integrity
- Leave a Living Legacy Each Day
I am Guthrie Chamberlain reminding you to Keep Moving Forward, Enjoy Your Journey, and Create a Great Day Everyday! See you tomorrow!