What Was the Ark of the Covenant? Its Meaning and Significance
The Ark of the Covenant was one of the most instrumental symbols of faith and God’s presence. The contents of which covered the tables of the Mosaic law, a pot of manna, and the rod of Aaron. The Ark’s starting place stemmed from Exodus 25:10 when Moses was commanded by God to “make an ark of acacia timber.”
The Ark of the Covenant Dimensions and Features
In Exodus 25:10-22, the specifics of the Ark have been laid out. It had to be cubits and a half of in lenght (one cubit being about 19.8-20.6 in.), a cubit and a 1/2 in breadth, and a cubit and a 1/2 in top. The Ark was overlaid interior and out with pure gold with a molding of gold around it.
For transportation, the Ark had 4 rings of gold with jewelry on each side. A pole of acacia wooden overlaid with gold was positioned into the rings to hold the ark. These poles for transportation had been to be everlasting furnishings and in no way eliminated.
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A Cover for the Ark of the Covenant: The Mercy Seat
The Ark required “an atonement cover,” known as the Mercy Seat, to be built with 24-karat gold and with the identical dimensions in length and breadth as the Ark. There needed to be one cherubim of gold on both ends of the mercy seat. It was essential to have the cherubim on their wings spread and going through one another, symbolizing the angels’ attention and readiness to do God’s will.
The Mercy Seat was wherein God might live. He stated, “There, above the duvet among the 2 cherubim which are over the Ark of the Covenant law, I will meet with you and provide you with all my commands for the Israelites” (Exodus 25:22).
Unlike the statutes of gods idolized by means of some of the Israelites, the Ark of the Covenant served as a non secular image in which the people should meet with God. He hovered over the Ark whilst the priests had been present. If the priests had been absent, the presence of the law pills meditated God’s presence. Thus, the Ark of the Covenant was aptly named because of the commandments written on the pills.
Contents of the Ark of the Covenant
As God gave instructions on the way to build the Ark, he additionally told Moses to place in the pills of the ten Commandments (the law). We see later in Numbers 17:10, “The LORD said to Moses, ‘Put back Aaron’s workforce in the front of the ark of the covenant law, to be kept as a sign to the rebellious.’” And Moses and Aaron already had set aside a jar of manna in it, which the Lord commanded them to put “with the pill of the covenant law, so that it might be preserved” (Exodus 16:34).
Hebrews 9:4 confirms theses 3 system were in the Ark of the Covenant: “Behind the second one curtain was a room referred to as the Most Holy Place, which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-blanketed ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s personnel that had budded, and the stone pills of the covenant.”
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Ark of the Covenant Symbolism and Meaning
The Ark and the Tablets
Unlike the statutes of gods idolized by many of the Israelites, the Ark of the Covenant served as a spiritual image wherein the people should meet with God. He hovered over the Ark while the clergymen had been present. If the priests have been absent, the presence of the law tablet pondered God’s presence. Thus, the Ark of the Covenant was aptly named due to the commandments written at the tablet.
The Manna and Aaron’s Rod
The presence of the jar of manna symbolized God’s regular provision for His people. Aaron’s rod which dead, but grew buds was placed within the ark to represent God’s approval as Aaron for High Priest.
Most regularly, the Ark of the Covenant was within the Tabernacle, at the back of a curtain or veil. This veil separated veil was made of blue, red and scarlet yarns and held on “4 pillars of acacia overlaid with gold, with hooks of gold, on 4 bases of silver” (Exodus 26:32). It hung from clasps and served as a separation among of the “Holy Place from the Most Holy Place,” where the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat, symbolizing God’s presence, had been (Exodus 26:33-34).
This veil is also good sized in the New Testament. In Mark 15:37-38, we see in the moment Jesus died on the cross, “The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.”
Hebrews 10:19–22 explains the importance of this occasion:
“Therefore, brothers and sisters, given that we believe to enter the Most Holy Place via the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and because we’ve got an excellent priest over the house of God, allow us to draw close to God with a sincere heart and with the whole warranty that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with natural water.”
Before, Israelites could not enter the Most Holy Place wherein the Ark of the Covenant, God’s presence, was. Now, all who believe in Christ Jesus can have faith to draw near to God.
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The Ark of the Covenant Outside the Tabernacle
For the Israelites, the Ark of the Covenant meant God’s presence. Throughout the Old Testament, we see testimonies of the way God provided safety and success using the symbol of the Ark.
In the Book of Joshua, we learn of the safety the Ark provided the Israelites as they handed over the Jordan into the Promised Land. In Joshua 3:6, “Joshua said to the priests, ‘Take up the Ark of the Covenant and bypass before the people.’” When the priests got here to the Jordan, just as was commanded the waters had been “absolutely reduce off and the people exceeded over opposite Jericho” when the Ark neared.
In sixth chapter of Joshua, the Ark was instrumental in the Battle of Jericho. The Ark was taken around the city six times in six days and was preceded through seven priests who sounded seven trumpets product of rams’ horns (Joshua 6:7). On the 7th day, the ark with the armed men and priests did the same however the “people shouted a wonderful shout, and the wall fell down flat” (Joshua 6:20).
The Philistines captured the Ark whilst Israel summoned possession of the Ark following a brutal defeat. They felt the mere possession of the Ark could supply them the favor of God. Israel suffered every other defeat and misplaced the Ark to the Philistines who were not intimidated through the shouts and the supposed presence of “a god” into the camp (1 Samuel 4:11).
Was the Ark of the Covenant ever found?
Contrary to the Indiana Jones films, the Ark was not relocated in 1936. The closing recorded point out of the Ark of the Covenant’s location within the Bible was in 2 Chronicles 35. King Josiah assigned the priests to their places of work and “recommended them within the carrier of the house of the Lord” (2 Chronicles 35:2). He then informed the Levites to “positioned the holy ark in the residence that Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, built. You need not carry it on your shoulders. Now serve the Lord your God and his people Israel” (2 Chronicles 35:3).
It is assumed the Ark was destroyed at some point of the destruction of Jerusalem on the hands of King Nebuchadnezzar.
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Ark of the Covenant in Revelation
John wrote in Revelation 11:19 that after the Great White Throne Judgment, “God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was visible in his temple.” At this time, the veil over the hearts of all Christians, Jews, and Gentiles can be eliminated. This new kingdom of the church will reveal the mysteries of the word and its truths completely illuminated.