Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online

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Old Testament: Ark of the Covenant
The Ark of the Covenant was a small box of acacia wood overlaid with gold. Inside were the tables of the ten commandments, Aarons rod that budded, and a golden pot of manna. It was placed in the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle and the Temple.

Ark of the Covenant Quick Summary Video Brief introduction to the study of the Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament. (10 Minute Video)

Ark of the Covenant Slideshow with Audio Basic overview of the Ark of the Covenant in slideshow format with audio narration.

Background of The Ark of the Covenant The Hebrew Name and Meaning of the Ark of the Covenant. The Hebrew noun "Ahrohn" (Ark) is used nearly 200 times in the Old Testament to depict the Ark of the Covenant. The word Ahrohn means chest or container and was used in various contexts. For example it was used for a money box (2 Ki 12:9), and also for a coffin (Gen. 50:26), both signifying its use as a container of something. The Bible goes further and calls it the Ark of God numerous times, and also the Ark of his might (Ps 132:8), signifying power and glory. Over 30 times the Ark is called The Ark of the Covenant of Yahweh (Num 10:33). The Covenant represented Gods redemptive covenant with Israel and his promise to save his people if they would not forsake him. Yet ultimately the Bible seizes upon the ancient imagery of the blood covenant that was cut not only for the Jews but for all mankind, signifying the death of the One who makes the covenant. Hebrews 9:16-18 - "For where a covenant is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood." The Ark of the Covenant was a picture of Jesus Christ

Biblical Description of the Ark of the Covenant The description of the Ark of the Covenant was revealed to Moses while he was on Mount Sinai (Ex. 25:10-22). The Box was to be made of Acacia wood, it was to be 2.5 cubits (3.9 feet) long and 1.5 cubits (2.3 feet) wide and tall. It was overlaid completely with gold and it had a gold crown around the top of the box. The were gold rings with long poles of wood overlaid with gold for transporting the Ark.

Brief History of the Ark of the Covenant The Ark of the Covenant led the way to the Promised Land. After Moses died the children of Israel were led by Joshua into the Land of Canaan. When they came to the Jordan River the waters parted before the Ark of the Covenant. The children of Israel crossed the Jordan and conquered the Promised Land with the Ark of the Covenant leading the way. Later the Tabernacle was erected at a city called Gilgal and the Ark of the Covenant was kept there for a season. Later the Ark was removed and taken to Shiloh where it remained for nearly 400 years. Israel had become so corrupt that they forsook the Lord and worshiped the queen of heaven. The Ark of the Covenant fell into the hands of the Philistines, who were forced to return it after many plagues broke out in their land. Later the Ark of the Covenant was kept at a place called Kiriath jearim until David was anointed king of Israel and brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem until the Temple was erected. Davids son Solomon completed the Temple in Jerusalem and placed the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies. Later there was a civil was and Israel was divided, 10 tribes went to the north and the remaining 2 stayed in the south. The Ark of the Covenant remained in the Temple in Jerusalem. The northern kingdom continually forsook the Lord until God gave them into the hands of the Assyrians and they were deported away in 722 BC. Later the remaining 2 tribes forsook the Lord also and Jerusalem and the Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC. The Bible does not mention what happened to the Ark of the Covenant.

God Revealed the Design of the Ark to Moses The Arks Design was Revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai. The Ark of the Covenant (Heb. Ahrohn HaBreet) was a small wooden box or chest (approx. 3.9 feet by 2.3 feet) that contained the covenant made by the LORD to the people of Israel. God revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai the exact specifications for constructing the Ark. It was crafted in acacia wood and overlaid with gold, and inside was placed the unbroken stone tablets of the Law, a golden pot of manna, and Aarons rod that miraculously budded or blossomed. The lid was called the Mercy Seat and it was made from one piece of solid gold, beaten into a shape that revealed two angelic creatures (Cherubim) on each side with wings outstretched. God appeared between the Cherubim where the blood was sprinkled by the high priest on the Day of Atonement. The LORD also appeared and spoke between the Cherubim. There were poles inserted in the rings in each of the 4 corners of the ARK for carrying. When the Israelites journeyed through the wilderness the Ark was carried first by the priests to lead the way. The mysterious Shekinah Glory "Cloud of the LORD" would lead them by day and it became a Pillar of Fire by night. When the people encamped in the wilderness the Tabernacle was set up and the Ark of the Covenant was placed in the Holy of Holies behind the Veil. When they departed the Tabernacle was packed up in an orderly manner.

Overview of the Ark of the Covenant Quick Overview of the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark of the Covenant was a physical sign that the God of all the earth was in Israel "and let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in them" (Ex. 25:8). God made a covenant with Israel and with all mankind that only by the shedding of the blood of Christ would there be forgiveness of sins. Abraham, the first Hebrew knew this when God told him to bring his only son Isaac whom he loves to the altar, and rejoiced to see the day of Christ (John 8:56).

The Ark led the Way Numbers 10:33-36 - And they departed from the mount of the LORD three days journey: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them in the three days journey, to search out a resting place for them. And the cloud of the LORD [was] upon them by day, when they went out of the camp. And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee. And when it rested, he said, Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel.

The Lid (Mercy Seat) The Lid which was referred to as the Mercy Seat was crafted from one block of solid gold that was beaten into its shape. It was made of the same dimensions as the Ark 2.5 cubits by 1.5 cubits. On top were two angelic beings (Cherubim) which were standing on two feet and facing each other and looking down at the top of the lid where the blood was sprinkled. The Cherubim were also gold and were hammered from the same block of gold. They were 4-faced creatures as described in Ezekiels vision (Ezek. 1:5), the face of a lion, an eagle, an ox, and a man. The Cherubim were also the same fierce creatures who were chosen to guard the entrance to the Garden of Eden and the Tree of Life after Adam and Eve had sinned. They wielded a flaming sword that turned in four directions (Gen. 3:24).

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