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As the title asks, does the Bible indicate when, where, or how the ark of the covenant finally disappeared?

If not, do we have any likely clues?

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Catholic perspective:… – user5286 Mar 20 '14 at 22:55
up vote 12 down vote accepted

No, the Bible does not. This is the last mention of the ark in the Old Testament:

2 Chronicles 35:3

And said unto the Levites that taught all Israel, which were holy unto the LORD, Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build; it shall not be a burden upon your shoulders: serve now the LORD your God, and his people Israel,

After that, it fades from sight for the rest of the Bible until the apostle John sees a vision of an ark in Heaven in the last book of the Bible:

Revelation 11:19

And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

How it got there, or if it is the same ark, we don't know.

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That is very interesting. Thank you very much. It helps to know the last mention of it - "it shall not be a burden upon your shoulders"... – user9485 Mar 22 '14 at 20:20

Some Christian traditions include the Book of Maccabees in their Biblical canon. From Wikipedia,

The Books of the Maccabees are books concerned with the Maccabees, the leaders of the Jewish rebellion against the Seleucid dynasty, or related subjects.

The term mostly refers to two deuterocanonical books contained in some canons of the Bible:

1 Maccabees, originally written in Hebrew and surviving in a Greek translation, relates the history of the Maccabees from 175 BC until 134 BC.

2 Maccabees, a Greek abridgment of an earlier history in Hebrew, relating the history of the Maccabees down to 161 BC, focusing on Judas Maccabaeus, talks about praying for the dead, offerings.

2 Maccabees 2:4-8 states that the Prophet Jeremiah hid the Ark in a cave at Sinai along with some other consecrated items.

It was also in the same document that the prophet, having received an oracle, ordered that the tent and the ark should follow with him, and that he went out to the mountain where Moses had gone up and had seen the inheritance of God. Jeremiah came and found a cave-dwelling, and he brought there the tent and the ark and the altar of incense; then he sealed up the entrance. Some of those who followed him came up intending to mark the way, but could not find it. When Jeremiah learned of it, he rebuked them and declared: ‘The place shall remain unknown until God gathers his people together again and shows his mercy. Then the Lord will disclose these things, and the glory of the Lord and the cloud will appear, as they were shown in the case of Moses, and as Solomon asked that the place should be specially consecrated.’

According to modern scholars' chronology of the ministry of Jeremiah, this dates the disappearance of the Ark to somewhere around the early 6th century BCE.

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Good work including this. I'm surprised the other answers missed this. What wikipedia page is that? Please add the link to the body. Not necessary, but I think the best way: Link to Bible Gateway for the verses you quoted too. – fredsbend Jun 30 '14 at 19:02
As an added benefit to the asker, maybe you could add a rough date that this would coincide with. – fredsbend Jun 30 '14 at 19:03

I think you'll find the story in the Kebra Negast, rather than the Bible.

See Littman, Dr E, The Legend of the Queen of Sheba in the Tradition of Axum, Book 1 of Biliotheca Abessinica: Studies Concerning the Languages, Literature and History of Abyssinia, Princeton, Leyden and The University Library: E J Brill, 1904, p 11.

As the story goes, King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba had a son, who stole one of two Arks from Solomon and took it back to Ethiopia, where, according to some sources, it remains to this day.

As for when the alleged transfer might have happened, the accepted dates for King Solomon’s reign are between 970 and 931 BC. Solomon is supposed to have been alive at the time of the theft, so that should give you a rough time frame.

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Wait - two arks? I thought there was one! – user9485 Mar 20 '14 at 22:33
Some sources place one in Ethiopia (as cited above) - others place one in the Church of San Giovanni in Laterano, Rome - – Leon Conrad Jul 4 '14 at 19:20

According to this, there is tradition that when Queen Sheeba son's Menelik I was of 19 years old, he wanted to see his dad (King Solomon) and spend sometime with him. After staying with him for some years, he wanted to have a replica of Ark to take with him. So Solomon made him a replica, which he was to take with him to Ethiopia. When he was leaving, he replaced the replica with the original as he thought it was not secure in Israel. Today, there are "Keepers of Ark" who take care of the building and protect it.

The place where they kept the Ark in Ethiopia was recently in the news.

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Point of all views is based on assumption of what is considered handling of the ARK which is a meeting place of Jews and God. No question that you must have the ARK to deal with moving SIN forward and its consequences for one year. If you recall the captivity of Israel in Babylon was based on NOT observing the requirement of repentance annually by Israel resulting in 70 years in captivity.

The most important issue is the location of the ARK that appeared several times under the order of the King of Israel when it was obvious it was not there at the point involved. History gives us a real clear picture from the accounts of Kings and Chronicles that makes this incident clear at lest to me. The first thief of the ARK was under King Saul the first King of Israel by the Philippines who found it to be a mess to hold not being Israel. The Next King of Israel was the one Choose by God called DAVID. His actions was based on conflict and Wars putting the ARK in Danger again. David nature was very strong toward God but the Old Sin Nature he had caused a lot of problems including, killing, immoral conduct with woman and many other items. He always repented when confronted but he did have a back ground of fear of having the ARK stolen from him. The King that following him was his own SON names Solomon who is given the nature of making Israel very wealth.

Now we can understand David's attitude was to prevent the ARK from being removed from him so no question in my mind he is the author of THE ONE WHO SET UP THE HIDING OF THE ARK TO PREVENT ITS THEFT. To this day most locations of the ARK are based on other Kings of Israel but in fact DAVID MUST have been the key. Reason: A city by the area we call TEMPLE MOUNT is called CITY OF DAVID. I bet the hiding place of that ARK is somewhere in this region of that City of David which has many tunnels dug I bet he set up the hiding place and restricted who knows. No search has been recorded of the CITY OF DAVID. When that Ark appears the Anti Christ of Revelations will be able to set on it and declare himself GOD which is exactly what Revelation says he will do.

The incidents the Bible describes of Christ Return are beginning to appear over the who world including the fact that the Church is returning to Jerusalem as describe in Mathew 24. Read Revelation as a revival breaking out in Israel and it makes good sense. Israel is the thorn in the side of Satan and the Church started there and will return moving in exactly the direction you must move to enter the TABERNACLE--moving WEST.

Hope this helps make the activity of God ring out

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Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

Welcome to Stack Exchange, we are glad you are here. Please consider registering an account to fully take advantage of what this site has to offer. Also, be sure to check out the site tour and in particular what constitutes a good answer. As written, your answer lacks necessary support (Bible verses or external sources) and is very hard to read due to numerous grammatical errors/typos and no line breaks. Can you please revise your post accordingly? – ThaddeusB Aug 18 '15 at 18:40

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