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Are There 2 Arks of the Covenant?

By Michael Sanders

TWO ARKS OF THE COVENANT

IN SEARCH OF THE LOST ARKS. 2 ARKS, 2 SETS OF STONES …..

PART I. THE TORAH.

It is often forgotten that Moses received different parts of the law from G-D at Sinai on three main separate occasions all described in the Book of Exodus and he gave a general summing up of those events in the Book of Deuteronomy.

The first event in the third month after having left Egypt, G-D for the only time “spoke” to all the people giving at that time the ten commandments and a series of civil laws. (Exodus 20-24)

G-D then called upon Moses to:-

” Come up to ME into the mount and be there and I will give thee the tables of stone, and the law and the commandment, which I have written, that thou mayest teach them.” – Exodus 24:12.

And so Moses goes up to the mountain for his first 40 day visit where he is given a set of stones MADE BY G-D together with comprehensive instructions regarding the sanctuary. As part of those instructions G-D is very explicit. Moses is to make an ark of acasia wood which shall be overlain with pure gold which was to be topped by two cherubim also of gold. Most importantly for our story:-

” And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony WHICH I SHALL GIVE THEE” – Exodus 25:16

We shall see that this sentence is crucial, because these first stones are the ONLY ones that G-D gave to Moses.

The rest of that event is well known. Moses came down from the mountain and broke the stones “WHICH G-D HAD GIVEN HIM”.

A meeting took place at “The Tent of Meeting” where Moses pleaded For or a second chance which was then granted.

The event to follow was NOT the same as the first visit to the mountain. This time G-D was not going to give Moses a new set of tablets. Instead the Lord said unto Moses:

“Hew thee two tablets of stone like unto first; and I will write upon the tablets the words that were on the first tables, which thou didst break.” – Exodus 34:1

It is obvious therefore that this set of stones cannot be the ones G-D referred to when he orders Moses to put them in the Ark of Gold. In fact G-D goes even further he orders Moses to bring another ark with him, one of simple wood.

“Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto ME into the mount; and make thee an ark of wood. And I will write on the tables the words that were on the first tables which thou didst break and thou shalt put them in the ark…….And I turned and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they are, as the LORD commanded me.” – Deuteronomy 10: 1-5.

But this was written 40 years after the Exodus and we know that some stones were placed in the Golden Ark “on the first day of the first month” of the second year after the Exodus. Exodus 40:1.

“And he took and put the testimony into the ark” – Exodus 40:20.

The Torah therefore is absolutely clear. There were two arks, two sets of stones and in accordance with G-D’s orders, the broken stones WHICH G-D gave, were placed in the Golden ark and the stones which Moses cut were placed in the wooden ark

Rashi and others refer to there being two arks.

Rashi in (Deut. 10,1) brings the Yerushalmi (Shekalim 6, 1), “…this was a different ark, and this was the one which used to go forth with them to battle. But the one which Bezalel made, did not go forth to battle, except in the days of Eli, and they were punished for this and it was captured.” – R. Yehuda son of Lakish in the Yerushalmi

“There were two arks, one which abode in the encampment, and one which went forth with them to war, and in it were the broken tables,’ as is said, ‘And the ark of the covenant of the Lord went.’ But the one with them in the encampment contained the roll of the Law.” – The Talmud, The Tabernacle – Chapter VII

In the next part, we shall see that the Ark covered in Gold was taken by Shishak when he invaded at the time of Rehoboam. That is confirmed in the Talmud.

PESACHIM 87b. “The Great Treasure ( which Joseph had accumulated in Egypt and more) described in G-D’s promise to Abraham ( Genesis 15:14 ) returned to Egypt.”

The tales of an Ark being hidden under the Temple may very well have applied to the simple ark of wood containing the stones which Moses had taken up the mountain, but the Ark of Gold according to the Tanakh went to Egypt. The question is what happened to the contents? The broken stones which G-D had given to Moses?

We shall see that they could very possibly be in the place where the treasure was transferred to Shishak, a little village in the Judean Hills which the son of Shishak refers to in his records. The amount of corroborative evidence is quite impressive…

” I built for the a mysterious house in the land of Zahi (dj – h) like the horizon of heaven which is in the sky, (named ); ‘ The-House-of-Ramses-Ruler -of-Heliopolis,-L.P.H., -in-PEKANAN as the property of thy name. I fashioned thy great statue resting in the midst of it (named) ‘Amon-of-Ramses-Ruler-of-Heliopolis,-L.P.H. ‘ The Asiatics of Retenu (Rtnw) came to it, bearing their tribute before it, for it was divine.” Harris Papyrus Pl. 9. Breasted: Ancient Records of Egypt, Vol. 4. p. 123 #219.

The Harris Papyrus, the most magnificent and complete of the Egyptian papyri, now in the British Museum is 133 ft. long, containing 117 columns. It was written by the son of Ramesses III, on the day of the King’s death and details the donations of the Pharaoh during his 35-year rule.

Ramesses III was know as the richest of all the Egyptian Kings (Diodorus Siculus 1:62) and yet he arose from an Egypt that had been devastated for many years before his accession to the throne.

” The land of Egypt was overthrown from without, and every man was (thrown out) of his right; they had no chief mouth (r -hr) for many years formerly until other times. The land of Egypt was in the hands of the chiefs and of rulers of towns; one slew his neighbor, great and small. Other times have come after it, with empty years, Yarsu, a certain Syrian (H -rw) was with them as chief. He set the whole land tributary before him together; he united his companions and plundered their possessions. They made gods like men, and no offerings were presented in the temples.” Harris Papyrus Pl. 75. Breasted Ancient Records of Egypt Vol. 4. P. 199 #198.

(We have shown elsewhere that Yarsu (Arsu) the Syrian, Chancellor Bey was in fact the representative of Solomon, looking after the latter’s young son as Regent of Egypt on behalf of the Israelite King.)

Thus we see from the Harris Papyrus how Ramesses III starts he rule with Egypt in ruins and in a very short time becomes the richest King of all.

The major first clue can be found also in the Harris papyrus in Plate 5.

” I made for thee a great sacrificial tablet of silver in hammered work, mounted with fine gold, the inlay figures being of Ketem-gold, bearing statues of the king, L.P.H. of gold of hammered work………..” Breasted op. cit. p.117 # 199.

Ketem is a Hebrew word meaning gold.

The question is from where did Ramesses III get the Ketem-gold.

We started this lecture with the description of Ramesses III building a Temple dedicated to the god Amon, outside of Egypt, a unique event, to accept the tribute of the Asiatics. The question has always been where is Djahi Pakaanan and Retenu.

Egyptologists have always recognized that Djahi and Retenu were in Palestine -Syria with Retenu being to the North of Djahi. ( Ancient Egyptian Onomastica: Alan H. Gardiner Vol. 1 p. 145) but often the lines were blurred with there being an upper Retenu, which often overlapped Djahi ( Gardiner op. cit. p. 147).

Discoveries are found in the most peculiar ways. I was in the process of reprinting the five volumes Ancient Records and was going through the proofs very late at night in bed. I came upon that paragraph at the top of this lecture and wondered about Djahi anew. On a hunch, I asked the mother of my children to look in the index of the Times Atlas to see if anything was there beginning with Djahi. After some minutes she informed me that she had found one name and I casually took the coordinates from the index and noted that it was on the page for Israel.

Suddenly it hit like a flash of lightening and the hairs stood up on the back of my neck. Look at any topological map of Israel and you will see that the first village in the Judean Hills after coming out of the desert, on the way to Jerusalem is Djaharya (Djahi – Ra – Iya , the village of Ra in Djahi).

Any Egyptian army that took the direct road to Jerusalem rather than the coast road, would describe the Judean Hills as a new land. The land of Djahi. Perhaps when they took the coast road and came to the new land they called it Retenu. Same country, different accesses!

Confirmation was afforded by the great American explorer of Bible lands, Dr. Edward Robinson who in 1838 actually walked the route from Egypt to Jerusalem. On the road from Beer Sheba to Hebron his description is telling.

“Here we met several wild savage-looking Arabs; and further on, a man on horseback, the first we had seen since leaving Egypt…..Not long after, we came upon herds of neat cattle and donkeys grazing; and at length at a quarter past 11 o’clock, got sight of the village of edh-Dhoheriyeh on the summit of a hill terminating the Wadi, the head of which here opens into a green basin. This and the hills around were covered with flocks and neat cattle in the ancient patriarchal style, with many horses, asses and camels, all in fine order; and affording to us a most pleasing prospect, after having been for thirty days confined to the dreary nakedness of the desert. We reached Djoheriyeh at 11h 35′ ” (Biblical Researches in Palestine, Mount Sinai and Arabia Petraea. A journal of travel in the year 1838. E. Robinson and E. Smith. P. 308 )

Robinson had found Djahi Pakaanan without realizing it.

But there was more.

” The village of Dhoheriyeh lies high, and is visible from a great distance in every direction. It is a rude assemblage of stone hovels; many of which are half under ground, and others broken down. A castle or fortress apparently once stood there; the remains of a square tower are still to be seen, now used as dwelling;…” Robinson op.cit. p. 311)

Early map showing route from Egypt to Jerusalem (El Kuds). Note change in topography when arriving at Djaharya

Did he actually see what had once been an Egyptian Temple built by Ramesses III?

1) WHICH ARK IS FOUND?

A number of modern writers and adventurers have claimed they have knowledge of the whereabouts of the Ark of the Covenant. From the more reputable Graham Hancock who has identified Axum in Ethiopia as the Arks resting place through the charlatan Ron Wyatt who claims to have found everything Biblical without offering a shred of evidence other than his claim to be a messenger of God. Even some orthodox Rabbis claim that the Ark is secreted beneath the Temple Mount.

All their theories are based upon the selective reading of the Tanakh completely ignoring the history of Judah from the division of the Kingdom.

The fact is that in one respect the account in the Books of Kings, Chronicles, the Septuagint, the Talmud and Josephus are all in agreement. Shishak took ALL the treasures of Solomon’s Temple at the time of Rehoboam. And ALL means ALL.

Nor was that the last time the Temple was desecrated, treasures taken and then replaced by copies. For those who prefer not to read the complete history of Judea from the time of Solomon to the time of Zacharia and the exile to Babylon, here is a very short synopsis. The Temple was frequently attacked, defiled and restored. Each time there was a restoration copies were made of the stolen items. That just happens to be the case and investigators at their peril ignore it.

TEMPLE DESECRATIONS

Time of Rehoboam (927-911)

” SO SHISHAK KING OF EGYPT CAME UP AGAINST JERUSALEM AND TOOK AWAY THE TREASURES OF THE HOUSE OF THE LORD AND THE TREASURES OF THE KINGS HOUSE, HE TOOK ALL. AWAY” II Chron 12:9

Time of Asa (908-867)

” AND HE RENEWED THE ALTER OF THE LORD THAT WAS BEFORE THE PORCH OF THE LORD……..And he brought into the house of G-D the things that his father had hallowed, silver gold and vessels.” II Chron, 15:9-18.

” THEN ASA BROUGHT OUT SILVER AND GOLD OUT OF THE TREASURES OF THE HOUSE OF THE LORD …AND SENT TO BEN HADAD.” II Chron 16:2

Time of Jehoash (836-798)

” WHEROF WERE MADE VESSELS FOR THE HOUSE OF THE LORD WHEREWITH TO MINISTER AND BUCKETS AND PANS AND VESSELS OF GOLD AND SILVER.” II Chron.24:14

Time of Amaziah (798-769)

” AND HE ( King of Samaria, Jehoash ) TOOK ALL THE GOLD AND SILVER AND ALL THE VESSELS THAT WERE FOUND IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD….AND RETURNED TO SAMARIA.” II Kings 14:14

Time of Ahaz (733-727)

” FOR AHAZ STRIPPED THE HOUSE OF THE LORD…AND GAVE THEREOF UNTO THE KING OF ASSYRIA…. AND AHAZ GATHERED TOGETHER THE VESSELS OF THE HOUSE OF GOD AND CUT IN PIECES THE VESSELS OF THE HOUSE OF GOD AND SHUT UP THE DOORS OF THE HOUSE OF THE LORD…. AND IN EVERY CITY OF JUDAH HE MADE HIGH PLACES TO OFFER UNTO OTHER GODS” II Chron 28:21-25

Time of Hezekiah (727-698)

” AND THE PRIESTS WENT IN UNTO THE INNER PART OF THE HOUSE OF THE LORD, TO CLEANSE IT, AND BROUGHT OUT ALL THE UNCLEANESS THAT THEY FOUND IN THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD” II Chron. 29:16

” AND HEZEKIAH GAVE HIM ( the ASSYRIAN king ) ALL THE SILVER THAT WAS FOUND IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD…AT THAT TIME DID HEZEKIAH CUT OFF THE GOLD FROM THE DOORS OF THE TEMPLE” II Kings 18:15

Time of Manasseh (698-642)

” AND HE BUILT ALTERS IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD…AND HE SET THE GRAVEN IMAGE OF THE IDOL IN THE HOUSE OF G-D…” II Chron 33:4-7

Time of Josiah (639-609)

“AND THE KING COMMANDED HILKIAH THE HIGH PRIEST……..TO BRING FORTH OUT OF THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD ALL THE VESSELS THAT WERE MADE FOR BAAL AND FOR THE ASHERAH AND FOR ALL THE HOST OF HEAVEN….” II King, 23:4

Jeremiah makes it quite, quite clear that copies of the Ark had been made not just once but frequently.

” THE ARK OF THE COVENANT OF THE LORD; NEITHER SHALL IT COME TO MIND; NEITHER SHALL THEY MAKE MENTION OF IT, NEITHER SHALL THEY MISS IT; NEITHER SHALL IT BE MADE ANY MORE.” Jer. 3:16.

2) ARK OR STONES?

There has always been a mystique about the Ark, its power and its importance to the Children of Israel. In the last few weeks, I have come to the realization that we may have been misled by the stories, albeit by accident.

I have shown there were two Arks and two sets of stones. The second set of stones which Moses brought up the mountain and which he did not break, were fashioned by Moses, as was the wooden Ark he took with him at the time. The Golden Ark was made by the Children of Israel. ONLY the first, broken set of stones, was made and handed over by GOD. A unique event in any religion or myth. If there is any power or mystique associated with the Ark, it does not rest with the box, it rests in the stones. Did Steven Spielberg in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” stumble on the truth when he shows that when the Ark was opened, what appeared was not a set of stones but a great energy and power?

3) DJAHARYA.

The name is not quite unique to the village in the Judean Hills in which I believe the broken stones to be buried. It is mentioned in only one other place anywhere in the Middle East.

Ezekiel had a vision of the times of the end and the Messiah entering Jerusalem.

At the time of Ezekiel, the East or Golden Gate was open.

“1) Then he brought me back the way of the outer gate of the sanctuary, which looketh towards the east; and it was shut.

2) And the Lord said unto me, ‘this gate shall be shut it shall not be opened, neither shall any man enter in by it, for the Lord, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it; therefore it shall be shut.

3) As for the prince, being a prince, he shall sit therein to eat bread before the Lord; he shall enter by the way of the porch of the gate, and shall go out by the way of the same.”

The gate is now blocked up and a cemetery was built by the Moslems precisely because of this prophecy to prevent the Messiah from entering Jerusalem.

That gate is called Bab El Djaharya! The village of Djaharya from space

PICTURES OF MAPS CLICK HERE

Enlarged map of Djaharya showing one of the possible sites of the Egyptian Temple. Note the convergence of old tracks.

This article is reprinted with permission from the author Michael Sanders. http://www.biblemysteries.com/

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