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Hiding the ark

One unanswered question regarding the Bible is the location of the Ark of the Covenant.  I recently made this post, The ark of the covenant, in which I suggested that it is better that the ark remain hidden.  If it were found it might become an object of worship.  This morning, in reading through the Bible, I found something which suggests the ark will never be found.

And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. And when you have multiplied and been fruitful in the land, in those days, declares the Lord, they shall no more say, “The ark of the covenant of the Lord.” It shall not come to mind or be remembered or missed; it shall not be made again.At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the Lord in Jerusalem, and they shall no more stubbornly follow their own evil heart.  (Jeremiah 3:15-17)

Not only will no one find the ark, no one will ever make another ark to replace it.  I have come to the conclusion that the ark was not lost but was deliberately hidden by God to make sure it never becomes a source of idolatry.

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The ark of the covenant

Exodus 25:10-22 describes the construction of the ark of the covenant.  The Israelites spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness, during which time the ark was carried from place to place.  After they entered the promised land the tabernacle was set up at Shiloh and the ark remained there for many years.  King David eventually brought it to Jerusalem.  When King Solomon built the temple the ark was placed in it.

Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the LORD to its place, in the inner sanctuary of the house, in the Most Holy Place, underneath the wings of the cherubim.  (2 Chronicles 5:7)

The king and the people probably thought the ark had found a permanent resting place and the days of its being carried from place to place were over.  That turned out not to be the case.  Here is an incident that took place during the reign of King Josiah. Read the rest of this entry

Samuel and Eli

There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite. He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.  (1 Samuel 1:1,2)

Hannah desperately wanted a son and promised God that if he gave her a son she would give him back to God to serve him.

And she vowed a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.”  (1 Samuel 1:11)

God answered her prayer.  God gave her a son and she named him Samuel.  When he was old enough she brought him to the house of God and gave him to Eli the priest.

And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and she brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. And the child was young.Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli.  (1 Samuel 1:24,25)

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The lost ark

When God told Moses how to make the ark of the covenant he included this command.

You shall make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. And you shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry the ark by them. The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it.
Exodus 25:13-15

The poles were needed during the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness.  Eventually Solomon built a temple to house the ark and it appeared that it would no longer need to be carried from place to place, but in obedience to God’s command the poles were left in it.

The cherubim spread out their wings over the place of the ark, so that the cherubim made a covering above the ark and its poles. And the poles were so long that the ends of the poles were seen from the Holy Place before the inner sanctuary, but they could not be seen from outside. And they are there to this day.
2 Chronicles 5:8-9

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Moving the ark

After David had overcome his enemies and become king of Israel, he decided to  bring the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem.

David consulted with the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, with every leader. And David said to all the assembly of Israel, “If it seems good to you and from the LORD our God, let us send abroad to our brothers who remain in all the lands of Israel, as well as to the priests and Levites in the cities that have pasturelands, that they may be gathered to us. Then let us bring again the ark of our God to us, for we did not seek it in the days of Saul.” All the assembly agreed to do so, for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.

So David assembled all Israel from the Nile of Egypt to Lebo-hamath, to bring the ark of God from Kiriath-jearim. And David and all Israel went up to Baalah, that is, to Kiriath-jearim that belongs to Judah, to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the LORD who sits enthroned above the cherubim. And they carried the ark of God on a new cart, from the house of Abinadab, and Uzzah and Ahio were driving the cart. And David and all Israel were celebrating before God with all their might, with song and lyres and harps and tambourines and cymbals and trumpets.
1 Chronicles 13:1-8

But something unexpected happened.

And when they came to the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzzah put out his hand to take hold of the ark, for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah, and he struck him down because he put out his hand to the ark, and he died there before God.
1 Chronicles 13:9-10

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