by Dr. Lori Verderame

For years, I have lectured at universities, museums, and abroad on early history like the Christian crusades, the Vikings, the Knights Templar, the Holy Grail, etc. And, my job is to identify treasure in its many forms.

There have been new and interesting theories about the lost treasure of the Ark of the Covenant. Of course, it is known that the Ark of the Covenant is possibly the treasure or treasure hunting goal of the world famous treasure hunt taking place on Oak Island, Nova Scotia. Oak Island is the site of the longest-running treasure hunt in human history and I am pleased to have a role in evaluating the artifacts that have been discovered there.

First, let me clear up some of the vocabulary associated with this famous Christian treasure known as the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark of the Covenant, which is short for archive, is basically a type of treasure chest said to have been made of acacia wood. The chest is covered with gold decoration both inside and out which was transported from place to place and carried using wooden poles threaded through golden rings. Think of Noah’s Ark–the big wooden boat or floating chest–as an archive for each set (male and female) of all types of animals.

What was inside?

The Ark of the Covenant was a protective chest that was made for objects relating to the covenant or the deal that was made between God and the Israelites on Mount Sinai. Constructed by Bezalel and his assistants in 1513 BC according to Exodus 25: 1, 2, the following sacred objects were stored inside the Ark of the Covenant:

1. Stone tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments

2. Golden jar of manna, a bread-like food from God

3. Aaron’s staff or rod

According to 1 Kings 8: 9, the manna jar and Aaron’s rod were removed from the Ark of the Covenant at some point in time.

History states that the Ark was approximately 44 x 26 x 26 inches. While some people thought that the Ark of the Covenant was decorated with silver, it actually was decorated with gold. The gold decoration on the exterior of the Ark featured two golden cherubs facing each other. According to 1 Kings 6: 14; Judges 20: 26-27; and Joshua 18: 1, the Ark was moved to Solomon’s Temple, where the Knights Templar once resided, and to other sites from 1512 BC to 1070 BC. For instance, the Israelites had the Ark of the Covenant during the battle for the city of Ai and later the Philistines captured the Ark and King David brought it to Jerusalem according to 1 Samuel 5: 11 and 2 Samuel 6: 12. The Ark of the Covenant was moved to Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem in 1026 BC as explained in 1 Kings 8: 1, 6. In 642 BC, the Ark was returned to the Temple of King Josiah and sometime between 642 BC and 607 BC, the Ark was moved again since it was not mentioned in the inventory taken of Temple objects when the Temple was destroyed in 607 BC. When the Roman General Pompey conquered Jerusalem and inspected the Temple, the Ark of the Covenant was declared missing.

Many believe that the Ark of the Covenant was moved and replaced by a new covenant which was based on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Where was the Ark of the Covenant moved to? Who may have moved it and why?

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