Illustration above is from Easton’s Illustrated Dictionary
Electronic text and markup copyright 1995 by Epiphany Software.
The ark of God has several names in the Old Testament though they are all speaking of the same item. This arc was the most highly revered of everything that was a part of the first Tabernacle that Moses had constructed. The ark of God is also known as the ark of the covenant, the ark of the LORD, and the ark of the testimony.
The ark was crafted according to specific directions given to Moses by God. This first tabernacle was an elaborate tent that could be disassembled and carried with them as the Israelites moved across the desert as God led them to the promised land.
The instructions God gave to Moses for making the ark are recorded in Exodus 25:10-22. The ark was a chest made of acacia wood and overlaid inside and out with gold. It had rings on the sides through which two acacia poles were inserted, never to be removed. The purpose of these poles were for carrying the ark from place to place as the Israelites crossed the desert. On the cover of the ark were two cherubim, facing each other with their wings touching.
The ark contained sacred items such as the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments, scrolls of the Law, manna, and the rod of Aaron. It was always kept inside a tent until Solomon’s temple was built. When it was being moved, the ark was covered with the cloth pieces that were used to make the tabernacle, so the ark was never visible to anyone other than the priests who cared for it.
It was the ark of the covenant that led the way when the Israelites broke camp to travel across the desert. The ark was the first to cross the Jordan river when the Israelites finally entered the Promised Land.
The Israelites lost possession of the Ark when they tried to use it like a lucky charm to defeat the Philistines. The Philistines still won the battle and captured the Ark. (see 1 Samuel 4:1-11)
In 1 Chronicles 15 & 16 we read the account of King David successfully bringing the ark of God back to Jerusalem.
Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green
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The Creation by Janice D. Green