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What exactly is the meaning of an "ark" that applies to a boat and that thing that melts off the Nazi's faces in the first Indiana Jones movie?

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+1 for Indiana Jones –  Andrew Mar 19 '12 at 21:05

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We need to be careful thinking that our English (or other language) translations always reflect God's Words perfectly. The word 'Ark' when referring to Noah's ark or the ark of bullrushes that Moses was placed into is the hebrew word 'teebah'. The word used for the Ark of the Covenant is 'arown'. I believe that there are similarities between the two as noted in other answers, but the words given are distinct in the Hebrew.

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Wow! You know, I thought I'd just throw in a random cool definition, and ended learning something really cool. Thanks! –  Affable Geek Mar 21 '12 at 1:02
I prefer transating "Aron ha-edut" as "crate of the testimony", reserving the word "Ark" for Noah's boat. I think it is somewhat wrong to translate Hebrew words with different connotations into the same English word. –  Ron Maimon Mar 21 '12 at 2:20
@Ron, I think that the english translators used the same word because there was, in their perception, a lot of similarity. Wish everyone would just learn Greek and Hebrew... –  Nathan Bunney Mar 21 '12 at 10:50
@Affable - :-) Glad I could do that for you. God Bless! –  Nathan Bunney Mar 21 '12 at 10:50

An ark isn't a boat - it is a place of refuge - a container that protects things.

Jews place their Torahs in an "ark" - a special box made to preserve the contents.

The ark of the covenant was a box that protected and preserved the 10 commandments, Aarons rod, and an omer of manna.

More importantly, despite the fact that when you say "ark" most people think "boat," the point of the ark was not that it was seaworthy, but rather that it preserved the lives of the people stored in it.

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Also there is Mary, called the Ark of the New Covenant by many –  kurosch Mar 19 '12 at 23:27
And that makes total sense given the meaning. Thanks! –  Affable Geek Mar 20 '12 at 0:36
The word itself comes from Latin 'arca', meaning the same thing (a chest or box for keeping things safe in). Which I suppose leads to the idea that Noah's Ark may not have been meant to be a boat at all... did he perhaps build it not knowing it would float, maybe preparing for the possibility the waters might cover over it instead? –  Muke Tever Mar 20 '12 at 13:22
Yup. Ark means "box" not boat. Unfortunately it's described/depicted as a boat in a lot of children's books when it wasn't. –  Matt Nov 5 '13 at 0:05

I believe the answer would be in the original aramiac characters themselves. The word used for ark could be spelled tebah. Each character carries different meanings. 1st tauah or tav could denote wholeness or totality a mark, contiuance etc.2nd bayit or bet could denote a house establishment , manifestation etc..3rd hauah or het could denote light, illumination, distinguish, life etc. It could be translated as such.. the continuance of the house of life or the totality of manefested light. Noah or nuach means to comfort or the will to arise. This passage is about the consciousness of man rising up to be comforted in the full totality of the manifested house of light. The ark is you. Literally. A cotainer or body of flesh which is manifested light that holds the consciouness, which we title as spirit . Spirit also has a hebrew origin. Reading from the original characters gives a fuller understanding to scripture.

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Can you provide some references for this interpretation? –  curiousdannii Jul 14 at 21:52

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