Fate of the ark of the covenant


I heard one of our priests remark once that he guessed the ark was probably just destroyed along with the temple, which made me wonder how that could happen to an object so holy that touching it would cause death. So, I pose some questions to you that I would really like your thoughts on:

  1. Where is it now? Was it destroyed, is it still existing and hidden somewhere, or did God just assume it into heaven?

  2. If you think it was destroyed, why did God allow it? Was it because the old law was fulfilled and it was no longer needed?

  3. If you think it still exists somewhere, when do you think it will be found, and if it is will it still have the same power to kill those who touch it or look in it?



It’s in a government warehouse gathering dust in an unmarked crate, where it has been since ww2.



Something to think about:

You will find in the records, not only that Jeremiah the prophet ordered the deportees to take some of the aforementioned fire with them, but also that the prophet, in giving them the law, admonished them not to forget the commandments of the Lord or be led astray in their thoughts, when seeing the gold and silver idols and their ornaments. With other similar words he urged them not to let the law depart from their hearts.
The same document also tells how the prophet, following a divine revelation, ordered that the tent and the ark should accompany him and how he went off to the mountain which Moses climbed to see God’s inheritance.
When Jeremiah arrived there, he found a room in a cave in which he put the tent, the ark, and the altar of incense; then he blocked up the entrance. Some of those who followed him came up intending to mark the path, but they could not find it.
When Jeremiah heard of this, he reproved them: “The place is to remain unknown until God gathers his people together again and shows them mercy.
Then the Lord will disclose these things, and the glory of the Lord will be seen in the cloud, just as it appeared in the time of Moses and when Solomon prayed that the Place might be gloriously sanctified.” (2 Maccabees 2:1-8)

Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a violent hailstorm. A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth. Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadems. Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky and hurled them down to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child when she gave birth. She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. 5 Her child was caught up to God and his throne. The woman herself fled into the desert where she had a place prepared by God, that there she might be taken care of for twelve hundred and sixty days

When the dragon saw that it had been thrown down to the earth, it pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.
But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle, so that she could fly to her place in the desert, where, far from the serpent, she was taken care of for a year, two years, and a half-year. The serpent, however, spewed a torrent of water out of his mouth after the woman to sweep her away with the current.
But the earth helped the woman and opened its mouth and swallowed the flood that the dragon spewed out of its mouth.
Then the dragon became angry with the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring, those who keep God’s commandments and bear witness to Jesus. It took its position on the sand of the sea.
(Revelation 11:19—12:1-6,13-17 )

See also:


There is a section entitled, Where is it now?, in the Catholic Encyclopedia article on Ark of the Covenant, that you might find helpful.


Thanks for the information, Todd and Fidelis. It looks like you were on the same page in this one

Anyway, I checked out the link and the theory that Jeremias hid it seems plausable (as much as I can understand the somewhat high level language newadvent uses). Now, the theory the babylonians took it - I can’t reconcile that. If the Israelites could be struck down by touching it, how could the babylonians steal it???



There is a biblical precedent for such a thing. God once allowed the ark of the covenant to be captured by the Philistines. (1 Samuel 4:4 - 6:12) Things didn’t go well for the Philistines while it was in their possession so they sent it back to the Israelites.


Thanks, that helps. I will go to bed a little smarter tonight :slight_smile: .



My guess is it might be burried underneath a mosque and that means we’ll never know since it is not like they are going to let us go digging around there.


There is no need to speculate on this one. The Bible says Jeremiah hid it in a mountain. Mt Nebo. Mystery solved.


Major Eaton: We have top men working on it now.

Indy: Who?

Major Eaton: Top. Men.

Hee hee…for some reason, I awoke with this scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark in my head. LOVE that movie!



It’s in Axum, Ethiopa, in a chapel next door to St. Mary of Zion Church. At least that’s what the local monks claim.



Here’s the whole story, from Crisis Magazine. It’s in Ethiopia!



1. It’s only a bit of religious furniture, however venerable. A single virtue is inestimably valuable. The ark has no sacredness of itself - a lesson which the book of Ezekiel tries extremely hard to ram home with unmistakable clarity. If God let the Temple be destroyed, twice, a mere ark of wood & metal is not going to be treated as though it were inviolably holy. To treat it as holy of itself, is no different from treating it as a lucky rabbit’s foot. It was not a charm or a talisman.

  1. It was taken from Rome in 455 by the Goths (I think it was the Goths anyway) & is probably in the waters off the coast of Tunisia (they had a spot of bother with a storm).

  2. If the Host doesn’t kill - why should the ark of the covenant?

It is worth nothing without piety & holiness & righteousness. Those were absent from the Temple, so the Temple was destroyed. Why should it be any holier or more valuable, now that most Jews in Israel do not (so it is said) believe in God ?

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