Ark of the covenant wasn't there when Jesus was in Jerusalem


I am not sure, if this forum is the right one for this question.

But once a protestant said to me, that the ark of the convenant already wasn’t there when Jesus was in Jerusalem.

Is that correct?

Thanks and regards,


The Ark the Israelites built had been lost centuries before when Babylon took the Jews into exile.

We can properly understand both the Virgin Mary and Jesus to be the Ark of the Covenant. After all, Mary was overshadowed by God and bore the true priest, true manna, and true law in her womb (Jesus), but I’ve a feeling you were only asking about the original Ark.

2 Maccabees 2:4-8 tells us that the prophet Jeremiah hid the ark of the covenant in a secret cave on the mountain (probably Mount Nebo) where Moses viewed the inheritance of God. At that time Jeremiah said,
The place shall be unknown until God gathers his people together again and shows his mercy. And then the Lord will disclose these things, and the glory of the Lord and the cloud will appear, as they were shown in the case of Moses, and as Solomon asked that the place should be specially consecrated. (2 Mac 2:7b-8)

So what was in the Holy of Holies in the Second Temple if not a re-created Ark?

Some very beautiful cloth.

The Ark wasn’t there. There was most certainly a place for the Ark. Other items that belonged within the holy of holies would have been there.

The Holy of Holies of the Second Temple was in fact, empty.

The record is made of Pompey’s attempt to see what treasures he would find in the Holy of Holies and was surprised at the sheer emptiness of the place.



Thanks for the clarification.

Why did the israel priest still honor and venerated this empty place?

Thanks and regards,


Because it was still deemed to be the place where the Lord’s presence dwelt. Indeed, its symbolism is so clearly emphasized when the curtain was torn in two when Jesus died.

Even without the Ark, the Holy of Holies still contained within it the Foundation Stone, which the Ark had been placed on in the First Temple. According to the Talmud this stone was the first part of the Earth that God created. Adam, Cain, Abel, and Noah all offered sacrifices upon the Foundation Stone. The Temple Mount is also identified with Mt. Moriah, and Jews believe that it was on this stone that Abraham offered Isaac. As you can imagine, this makes the Foundation Stone itself the holiest place on earth to the Jews.

The Foundation Stone still exists to this day. It is the “rock” over which the Muslim shrine the Dome of the Rock is built.

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