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Ark of the Covenant

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Author Topic: Ark of the Covenant  (Read 146 times)
Davita
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« on: March 07, 2007, 03:20:19 am »





The Ark of the Covenant (ארון הברית in Hebrew: aron habrit) is described in the Hebrew Bible as a sacred container, wherein rested the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments. The Ark was built at the command of God, in accord with Moses' prophetic vision on Mount Sinai (Exodus 25:9-10). Its primary function was for God to communicate with Moses, also to give detailed instructions about what was good and what was forbidden, "from between the two cherubim" on the Ark's cover (Exodus 25:22). The Ark and its sanctuary were "the beauty of Israel" (Lamentations 2:1). Rashi and some Midrashim suggest that there were two arks - a temporary one made by Moses, and a later one made by Bezalel (Hertz 1936).

During the journeys of the Israelites, the Ark was carried by the priests in advance of the people and their army or host (Numbers 4:5, 6; 10:33-36; Psalms 68:1; 132:Cool. When the Ark was borne by priests into the bed of the Jordan, the river was separated, opening a pathway for the whole of the host to pass over (Joshua 3:15, 16; 4:7, 10, 11, 17, 18). The Ark was moreover borne in the procession around Jericho (Josh. 6:4, 6, 8, 11, 12). When carried, the Ark was always wrapped in a veil, in tachash skins (the identity of this animal is uncertain), and a blue cloth, and was carefully concealed, even from the eyes of the Levites who carried it.

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Davita
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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2007, 03:21:25 am »



A late 19th-century artist's conception of the Ark of the Covenant, employing a Renaissance cassone for the Ark and cherubim as latter-day Christian angels
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Davita
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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2007, 03:22:16 am »

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Davita
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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2007, 03:24:47 am »

Terminology
The Hebrew word aron is used in the Bible to designate any type of ark, chest or coffer, for any purpose (Genesis 50:26; 2 Kings 12:9, 10). The Ark of the Covenant is distinguished from all others by such titles as "Ark of God" (1 Samuel 3:3), "Ark of the Covenant" (Josh. 3:6; Hebrews 9:4), "Ark of the Testimony" (Ex. 25:22).
The Ark is referred to by several names in the Bible. The following is a list of common references to the Ark:
•   The Ark
•   The Ark of the Testimony
•   The Ark of the Covenant
•   The Ark of the Covenant of the Lord
•   The Ark wherein is the Covenant of the Lord, which he made with our fathers, when he brought them out of the Land of Egypt
•   The Ark wherein is the Covenant of the Lord, that he made with the Children of Israel
•   The Ark of the Covenant of the Lord of all the Earth
•   The Ark of the Covenant of the Lord of Hosts, who dwelleth between the cherubim
•   The Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God
•   The Ark of the Covenant of God
•   The Ark of the Lord
•   The Ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the Earth
•   The Ark of the Lord God
•   The Ark of the Lord God of Israel
•   The Ark of the Lord your God
•   The Ark of God
•   The Ark of our God
•   The Ark of the God of Israel
•   The Ark of God which is called by the Name, the name of the Lord of hosts who dwelleth between the cherubim
•   The Ark of God, the Lord, who dwelleth between the cherubim, which is called the Name
•   The Holy Ark
•   The Ark of thy Gods strength
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Davita
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2007, 03:25:59 am »

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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2007, 03:27:38 am »



Ark
Relief representation of the Ark of the Covenant on a frieze at the Capernaum synagogue. Later 2nd century AD.
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Davita
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« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2007, 03:28:35 am »

Description

The Bible describes the Ark as made of acacia or shittah-tree wood. It was a cubit and a half broad and high, and two and a half cubits long (about 114 x 68 x 68 cm or 3.75 x 2.25 x 2.25 feet). The Ark was covered all over with the purest gold. Its upper surface or lid, the mercy seat, was surrounded with a rim of gold.

On each of the two sides were two gold rings, wherein were placed two wooden poles (with a decorative sheathing of gold), to allow the Ark to be carried (Num. 7:9; 10:21; 4:5,19, 20; 1 Kings 8:3, 6). Over the Ark, at the two extremities, were two cherubim, with their faces turned toward one another (Leviticus 16:2; Num. 7:89). Their outspread wings over the top of the Ark formed the throne of God, while the Ark itself was his footstool (Ex. 25:10-22; 37:1-9). The Ark was placed in the "Holy of Holies," so that one end of the carrying poles touched the veil separating the two compartments of the tabernacle (1 Kings 8:Cool.
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« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2007, 03:29:44 am »



The Ark carried into the Temple
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« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2007, 03:30:36 am »

Contents

According to the Bible, the two tablets of stone constituting the "testimony" or evidence of God's covenant with the people (Deuteronomy 31:26) were kept within the Ark itself. A golden jar containing some of the manna from the Israelites' trek in the wilderness, and the rod of Aaron that budded, were added to the contents of the Ark (Ex. 16:32-34; Heb. 9:4), but apparently were later removed at some point prior to the building of Solomon's temple, as the Tanakh states in I Kings 8:9 that there "was nothing in the Ark save the two tables of stone." While Heb. 9:4 states these items were placed "inside" the Ark, Ex. 16:33 & 34 and Nu. 17:10 use the expression "before" the Ark; some see a contradiction here, as the correct meaning of these phrases is open to interpretation. A Rabbinic tradition states that Moses also put the broken fragments of the first tablets of the Law into the Ark (Hertz 1936).
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« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2007, 03:34:23 am »

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johnee
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« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2007, 07:19:49 am »

The high priest Aaron's sons, Abihu and Nadab got drunk and offered strange incense before the ark in the wilderness tabernacle and were instantly killed.
According to the Ginsburg book of Jewish legends, a bolt of lightning from the ark shot up their noses and made a hole in their faces. They were so badly disfiguring they had to be covered and smuggled out of the camp. There were concerns, that there could have been a revolt caused by the fear of the thing, because  even the sons of the high priest were not safe from it.

Where did this fire come from? One idea is found in the comments pertain- ing to the destruction of Aaron's sons found in the Midrashim: “Abbi Yossi saith,
'Two threads of fire came out from the Holy of Holies, and they were disparted into four: two entered the nostrils of the one, and two entered the nostrils of the other, and thus consumed them. Their souls were burned, but not their garments, for it is said,
"so they went near and carried them in their coats
"
from here
« Last Edit: March 07, 2007, 07:22:38 am by johnee » Report Spam   Logged
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