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The Ark of the Covenant was presumably located in the Holy of Holies in the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D. when Titus conquered the city and destroyed the Temple. Is there any historical indication of what happened to the Ark of the Covenant and the other items inside the Temple at that time, such as Aaron's budding staff, the two tablets of the testimony (10 Commandments), the Brazen Altar, and the Table of Bread?

Were the Jews able to hide these things or were they captured?

(Assuming, of course, that Indiana Jones and The Raiders of the Lost Ark was not a documentary.)

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    I've heard theories that it is buried in the Temple Mount and in Ethiopia, but nothing more substantial than Discovery Channel to back it up... Dec 19, 2012 at 17:27
  • The Templars had it. Where did you think King Philip IV of France got the wood to use when they burnt DeMolay?
    – user1054
    Dec 20, 2012 at 2:51
  • Certainly not from trees!
    – svidgen
    Dec 20, 2012 at 20:26

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There are several historical hints to the location of the Ark. Many of them are contradictory. The problem isn't so much finding historical evidence that points to possible current locations of the Ark, it's that we have no way of determining which, if any, are valid, true, and reliable.

For example, ChristianAnswers.Net gives several possible locations. The Church of Ethiopia claims to have it. This is backed up by the writings of Abu Salih the Armenian in the late 1100s. WND.com has a page indicating it might be beneath the temple Mount, and claims "compelling evidence" points to the theory.

However, the introductory statement to the article at WND.com pretty much backs up what my original paragraph claims.

WASHINGTON

It would almost inarguably be the greatest archaeological find in history.

Movies have been made about it.

Voluminous books have explored its whereabouts.

Those voluminous books are filled with historical and archaeological hints to the whereabouts. But, to this day, if anyone truly knows where it is, they sure aren't offering proof. Until the actual Ark is revealed, I doubt the world at large will know where it is, regardless of how many hints exist. The volume of hints actually helps to ensure that it remains safe, hidden, as it lays all sorts of false trails for those searching for it.

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  • You're right about the false trails, there are at least two very plausible finds that could be it. The other part of the problem is that there is no way to be really sure when you've hit gold. It's not going to have a sign over the door saying "Welcome to Noah's A... oh wait we're talking about the other ark here. Your answer is almost interchangeable although the question is clear (but I missed that).
    – Caleb
    Dec 20, 2012 at 13:45
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The Royal Irish Academy published a book, Tara and the Ark of the Covenant, describing the conflict between Irish patriots and groups that believe the Ark of the Covenant was buried in Ireland:

During 1899 and 1902, members of the British-Israel Association of London came to County Meath to dig up the Hill of Tara. These 'British-Israelites' believed they would find buried there the Ark of the Covenant, the chest said to contain the Ten Commandments inscribed on stone tablets. Their strange and unlawful activity provoked a protest from cultural figures such as William Butler Yeats, Douglas Hyde and Maud Gonne - who lit a bonfire and sang ‘A nation once again’ on Tara. The Press supported their protests, making this the first media campaign to save a national monument. This book tells the story of the British-Israelite excavations on Tara in its archaelogical, historical, cultural and political context. Who were the excavators? Was their mission entirely eccentric, or part of the deeper story of class acrimony and emergent nationalism? How successful was the backlash? Historian and archaeologist Máiread Carew pieces together the narrative of Tara and the Ark in lively and meticulous detail, showing how the clash between the British-Israelites and the cultural nationalists represented colonialism versus emergent nationalism. While the British-Israelites dreamt of sacred treasure, the Irish patriots battled to save a national monument, making this more than just a strange interlude in history.

These "strange" beliefs weren't actually as strange as they were presented though.

There are many arguments that actually support this belief.

For instance, the booklet, The Throne of Britain: Its Biblical Origin and Future, describes in detail:

  • how David's throne was promised to last until the Messiah could claim it.
  • how the Davidic line didn't end with the death of King Zedekiah.
  • how Jeremiah was given a commission "over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant".
  • how the King's daughters were taken by Jeremiah and Baruch to Egypt, then to Spain, and finally to Ireland.
  • how they took with them Jacob's pillow, David's harp, and the Ark (containing the original Torah).
  • how the Ark was buried in the Hill of Tara (=Torah).
  • how princess Teia Tephi joined the Irish royal family.
  • how that line was transferred to Scotland (taking Jacob's pillow = Liá Fail = Stone of Scone = Stone of Destiny).
  • how that line was transferred to England.

As a whole it sounds somewhat fantastic, but most of the individual pieces are supported by reputable historians. For instance:

Harvard professor Barry Fell wrote: "One of the ancient names of Ireland is Ibheriu, pronounced as Iveriu, a fact that suggests the word is derived from a still-earlier pronunciation, Iberiu. Now this is very interesting, for the Gaelic histories assert that the ancestors of the Gaels came to Ireland from Iberia, the old name of Spain. Could Iberiu be the same as Iberia, the name of the older homeland having been transferred to the younger? Many people, including some linguists, think this may well be the case" (America B.C.: Ancient Settlers in the New World, 1976, p. 43). The connection between Iveriu and Hebrew is even stronger when we realize that the Hebrew word for "Hebrew" is actually pronounced Ivri.

and:

“‘Tara,’ says Dr. Hanan, is almost pure Hebrew for Torah, which means ‘law,’ and the original tables of the law were in the ark which, curiously enough, Irish history says is buried with Tea.” — Irish archæologist Dr. Denis Hanan, quoted by R.H. McDonald in his article “The Hill of Tara” in The Journal of the British Archæological Association, Volume 1, 1985.

and this description is very much like Jeremiah and Baruch:

Many of the ancient Irish records, when making reference to an ‘eastern king's daughter’, also mention an old man; ‘a patriarch, a saint, a prophet’ called ‘Ollam Fodhla’ and his scribe-companion called ‘Simon Brug, Brach, Breack, Barech, or Berach’, as it is variously spelled. Reportedly, they carried with them many ancient relics. Among these were a harp, and ark or chest, and a stone called in Gaelic, ‘Lia-Fail’ (pronounced Leeah-Fail), meanding ‘Stone of Fate’ or ‘Hoary of Destiny’. — Israelology - The Birthright, House of Israel, Kingdom, and Sons of God - Paul H. Andree, III - Google Books

and:

ELSEWHERE, mention has been made of the Irish Lia Fail, Stone of Fate, Fatal Stone, or Stone of Destiny, generally believed to have been the Irish Kings' Inauguration Stone, afterwards used for Pictish and Scottish kings at Scone, ultimately becoming the Coronation Stone in Westminster Abbey.

The Lia Fail, or the Stone of Destiny - Irish Druids and Old Irish Religions

Queen Victoria herself, believed that the British royal family was directly descended from the Israelite royal family. It is the royal family’s tradition to have their male babies circumcised by a Jewish mohel.

One listing of the genealogy appears in Queen Victoria Heir to King David's Royal Throne:

  1. K David, b c 1085, 1015, Bathsheba
  2. K Solomon, b c 1003, 975 Naamah
  3. K Rehoboam, b c 1016, d 958, Maacah
  4. K Abijam, b c 958, 955
  5. K Asa, b c 955, 914, Azubah
  6. K Jehosaphat, b c 914, 889
  7. K Jehoram, b c 889, 885, Athaliah
  8. K Ahaziah, b c 906, 884; Zibiah
  9. K Joash, b c 885, 839, Jehoaddan
  10. K Amaziah, b c 864, d 810, Jecholiah
  11. K Uzziah, b c 826, d 758, Jerushah
  12. K Jotham, b c 783, d 742
  13. K Ahaz, b c 787, d 726, Abi
  14. K Hezekiah, b c 751, d 698, Hephzibah
  15. K Manasseh, b c 710, d 643, Meshullemeth
  16. K Amos, b c 621, d 641, Jedidah
  17. K Josiah, b c 649, d 610, Hamutah
  18. K Zedekiah, b c 578, 599
  19. Duke Edward of Kent, 1767, 1820, Princess Victoria of Leinengen
  20. Queen Victoria, b 1819, cr 1838, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg > …

which extends down to the present royal family.

Searching for "Jeremiah Baruch Ireland" will find many (both good and bad) articles on this topic.

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  • Weird. Those last two in the list are "149" and "150" in the source, not "50" and "51". How do I stop them getting renumbered? (And the final "> …" should be on the next line.) Jun 23 at 0:52
  • The Chieftans, an Irish Band, investigated the roots of Celtic music and traced it back to Santiago, Spain. They made an album of the same name there with local folk musicians. The Celtic sound is astoundingly prominent in their local music. Jun 23 at 12:29
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Is there any historical evidence that would indicate where exactly the ark of the covenant is now located?

As David Stratton points that ”there are several historical hints to the location of the Ark. Many of them are contradictory.”

Both the Orthodox and Catholic Churches hold the Book of Maccabees to be part of their Biblical Canon (1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees).

Canonicity

Pope Damasus I's Council of Rome in 382, if the Decretum Gelasianum is correctly associated with it, issued a biblical canon identical with the list given at Trent including the two books of Maccabees. Origen of Alexandria (253), Augustine of Hippo (c. 397), Pope Innocent I (405), Synod of Hippo (393), the Council of Carthage (397), the Council of Carthage (419), the Apostolic Canons, the Council of Florence (1442)[34] and the Council of Trent (1546) listed the first two books of Maccabees as canonical.

The Second Book of Maccabees states the following about the location of the Ark.

Jeremiah Hides the Tent, Ark, and Altar

2 One finds in the records that the prophet Jeremiah ordered those who were being deported to take some of the fire, as has been mentioned, 2 and that the prophet, after giving them the law, instructed those who were being deported not to forget the commandments of the Lord, or to be led astray in their thoughts on seeing the gold and silver statues and their adornment. 3 And with other similar words he exhorted them that the law should not depart from their hearts.

4 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. 5 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. 6 Some of those who followed him came up intending to mark the way, but could not find it. 7 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. 8 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.” - 2 Maccabees 2:1-8

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I don't know exactly where the Ark is, but I know ruffly where it is and who has it?

Everyone is asking the wrong question. If you ask the wrong question you will never get the answer you need. The question is not where the Ark is, the question is, who has it? Because it can be moved very easily.

And yes there were many false trails. Some look very good and the Ethiopian trail was hatched by the wisest of all. Solomon. Think about it for a moment. Would Solomon the wise really send such a sacred item so far from the Temple? Where he could lose control of the Ark?

The answer is simple based on the real history. What are some of these facts?

The Ark was once stolen by Israels enemies, who were killed by the hundreds of thousands and begged the Israelites to come take the Ark back. So this cuts out all the theories that the Romans or someone else stole it. They or anyone else do not have the authority to handle the Ark.

Who kept the records of the Israelites? Who is authorized to handle the Ark?

The LEVITE'S Very simple, they still have it. There are many Rabbi's in the world, but if a Levite walks into any synagogue, he immediately has the authority to lead. This is his right. The Levite's are pretty much hidden in Society outside of Judaism, and it is deliberate. They have all the Jewish Records, and the Ark and everything else. It was removed by the Levite's before anyone had a chance to damage the Ark.

It is also my understanding that only 3 Levites at any one time know the location. And if you are wondering, I am not a Levite. I will also state this, you won't find the Ark because they don't want you to.

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