Ark of the Covenant

Perhaps you thought that the Ark of the Covenant was sequestered in some super-secret government warehouse? Nope. Even Indiana Jones got it wrong, looking for the Ark in Egypt.

Why, everyone now knows that it’s in Ethiopia, having been removed from Jerusalem by the Menelik I, son of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Menelik, or any other offspring from Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, are not mentioned in the Bible. 1 Kings 10 basically just has the queen paying her respects and leaving.

Menelik carrying off that which was in the Holy of Holies of the Temple, the Ark of the Covenant (1 Kings 8)? Possible, but one must ask why it wasn’t mentioned. Surely someone in Solomon’s court might have noticed and written about it? But that’s the legend, and the Ethiopians, converted to Christianity by the Knights Templar, have allegedly kept the Ark in a church, St Mary of Zion, in Azum.

According to the Sacred Destinations website,

The Ark of the Covenant at Axum cannot be seen by anyone but the High Priest of Axum, an elderly and especially holy monk who is charged with its care and preservation for life. He cannot leave the small yard that surrounds the chapel, and he is expected to name his successor on his deathbed. The present custodian with this privilege and burden is named Abba Tesfa Mariam.

That certainly makes it difficult to verify the claimed presence of the Ark, but, hey, it’s all a matter of faith, isn’t it?

It is pretty certain that the Ark is not in Ethiopia, or anywhere else, for that matter. And if it were in Azum? Would that mean anything? Would that mean that God lives in that church and has bestowed special favor on the monks who have made a fetish of the Ark of the Covenant?

Certainly possible, but, given what we know about the treasures of this earth (Matthew 6:19-21), rather unlikely. The Ark of the Covenant would be a remarkable find, if it exists. But not as an object for worship. As evidence that, at one time in human history, God made a covenant with a small group of desert nomads.

The story unfolds and is made new by Jesus. The end is not written by men, yet. And that end has absolutely nothing to do with the physical Ark of the Covenant.

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