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September 24, 2012

Yom Kippur was the only time when the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies and call upon the Name of YHVH (יהוה) to offer blood sacrifice for the sins of the people. For this reason it was also called the “Day of God’s Name.” This alludes to the revelation of the meaning of YHVH (יהוה) and the attributes of God’s Compassion after the sin of the Golden Calf (Exod. 34:6-7). How much more, then, is Yom Kippur the “Day of Yeshua’s Name” since He secured for all of humanity everlasting kapparah (atonement)? Yeshua the Messiah is Moshia ha’olam (םָלֹועָה ַעיִׁשֹומ), the Savior of the world; His alone possesses the “Name above all other Names” (Phil. 2:9-10; Acts 4:12). It is altogether fitting, then, that God’s “hidden Name” (shem ha-meforash: ׁשָרפְּמַה םֵׁש) was proclaimed before the kapporet (the cover of the Ark of the Covenant) in the Holy of Holies before the Father for the purification of our sin.

GOD had explicit instructions concerning the Ark of the Covenant :touch it – death! Carry it with rods -Levites only

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Exodus 25:15 MSG

10-15 “First let them make a Chest using acacia wood: make it three and three-quarters feet long and two and one-quarter feet wide and deep. Cover it with a veneer of pure gold inside and out and make a molding of gold all around it. Cast four gold rings and attach them to its four feet, two rings on one side and two rings on the other. Make poles from acacia wood and cover them with a veneer of gold and insert them into the rings on the sides of the Chest for carrying the Chest. The poles are to stay in the rings; they must not be removed.

RULES:

MUCH ABOUT HISTORYWORLDNETDAILY EXCLUSIVE ETHIOPIAN CHURCH SPEAKS OUT ON ARK OF THE COVENANT Statement says Ten Commandments box won’t be displayed Published: 06/29/2009 at 9:27 PM

There was considerable confusion last week when the leader of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church apparently told an Italian news agency of an upcoming announcement about the possible public display of the Ark of the Covenant –the box holding the Ten Commandments –and then the prescribed time passed with no word.

However, there was no equivocation today in an e-mail received by WND from the webmaster of a church website in response to an inquiry about the truth of the matter.

“It is not going to happen so the world has to live with curiosity,” said the statement, signed only “Webmaster” in response to the WND inquiry.

The webmaster statement described the tempest as being caused either because of a translation mistake or “a slip [of the] tongue from the patriarch.”

WND reported first when the apparent “revelation” was to be announced and then again later when the scheduled time came and went without word.

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Ark hunters and Bible enthusiasts had been buzzing for days on the report from the Italian news agency Adnkronos that Patriarch Abuna Pauolos, visiting in Italy last week for a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI, was quoted, “Soon the world will be able to admire the Ark of the Covenant described in the Bible as the container of the tablets of the law that God delivered to Moses and the center of searches and studies for centuries.”

He apparently had suggested the possibility the artifact might be viewable in a planned museum.

“I repeat (the Ark of the Covenant) is in Ethiopia and nobody … knows for how much time. Only God knows,” he said in the Adnkronos report available online The report said Pauolos reported the artifact “is described perfectly in the Bible” and is in good condition.

“The state of conservation is good because it is not made from human hands according to the report.

The agency had reported an announcement would be made at the Hotel Aldrovandi in Rome, and a hotel spokeswoman told WND Pauolos had been in residence there, but no news conference or event was scheduled.

“The Ark of the Covenant is in Ethiopia for many centuries,” said Pauolos in the report. “As a patriarch I have seen it with my own eyes and only few highly qualified persons could do the same, until now.”

Bob Cornuke, biblical investigator, international explorer and best-selling author, has participated in more than 27 expeditions around the world searching for lost locations described in the Bible. A man some consider a real-life Indiana Jones, he has written a book titled “Relic Quest” about the Ark of the Covenant and participated in History Channel production called “Digging for Truth.”

Cornuke will travel to Ethiopia soon for the 13th time since he began his search for the Ark. He told WND he believes it is possible Ethiopia could have the real artifact.

“They either have the Ark of the Covenant or they have a replica that they have believed to be the Ark of the Covenant for 2,000 years,” he said.

Cornuke said, if it is genuine, there’s a plausible explanation of how the Ark may have come to the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion in Ethiopia.

“The Ark could have been taken out of the temple during the time of the atrocities of Manasseh,” he said. “We have kind of a bread crumb trail that appears to go to Egypt, and it stayed on an island there for a couple hundred years called Elephantine Island. The Ark then was transferred over to Lake Tana in Ethiopia where it stayed on Tana Qirqos Island for 800 years. Then it was to Axum, where it is enshrined in a temple today where they don’t let anybody see it.”

Cornuke said he traveled to Tana Qirqos Island and lived with monks who remain there even today.

“They unlocked this big, four-inch thick wood door,” he said. “It opened up to a treasure room, and they showed me meat forks and bowls and things that they say are from Solomon’s temple. When the History Channel did this show, they said it was one of the largest viewed shows. People were fascinated.”

He said Ethiopians consider the Ark to be the ultimate holy object, and the church guards the suspected artifact from the “eyes and pollution of man.”

“In Ethiopia, their whole culture is centered around worshipping this object,” Cornuke said. “Could they have the actual Ark? I think I could make a case that they actually could.”

Want to know more about the ancient box holding the Ten Commandments? Get “Exploring the Ark of the Covenant” – a two-DVD set!

The webmaster earlier told WND that members of the clergy and indeed, members of the church, would never allow the Ark to be taken from their custody in order to be made public.

“An (artifact) should not be shown or touched other than the clergies but to put it on display is a reckless comment let alone doing it,” the statement said. “Not only the local clergies but the people of Ethiopia won’t allow it and it is not going to happen.”

The webmaster noted there were artifacts moved from Ethiopia to Britain over the years, and even those are not allowed to be displayed.

Pauolos in the Adnkronos report said any display would need the approval of the supreme court of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

A spokesman for a U.S. branch of the church, Mehereto Belete of Los Angeles, told WND he had been given no word of any major change in the status of the Ark.

“It is news for us just as it is for you,” he said.

Cornuke explained that a special guardian lives inside the church which reportedly holds the Ark and never leaves. Once a guardian is appointed, he stays until he dies and another man replaces him.

“We know for a fact that there have been 30 guardians in history who have never left that enclosure,” Cornuke said. “I know the guardian. When CNN and BBC went over there, he wouldn’t see anybody but me. So I went and talked to him, and he’s getting very aged. He told me they have the real Ark and he worships 13 hours a day in front of it. When he gets through, he is covered in sweat and he’s exhausted.”

He said he met a 105-year-old man who claimed to have seen the Ark 50 years ago when he was training a replacement guardian.

“It frightened him to death when he got a glimpse of it.”

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Cornuke said he also met with the president of Ethiopia nearly nine years ago and had a one-on-one conversation with him in his palace. He asked if Ethiopia had the Ark of the Covenant.

According to Cornuke, the president responded: “Yes, we do. I am the president, and I know. It’s not a copy. It’s the real thing.”

However, Grant Jeffrey, host of TBN’s Bible Prophecy Revealed and well-known author of “Armageddon: Appointment With Destiny,” does not believe claims that the Ark is in Ethiopia. He told WND he spoke extensively with Robert Thompson, former adviser to former Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie.

Jeffrey said Thompson told him the Ark of the Covenant had been taken to Ethiopia by Menelik, purported son of the Queen of Sh and King Solomon. When Menelik became emperor, he claims royal priests entrusted him with the Ark of the because King Solomon was slipping into apostasy. A replica was then left behind in Israel.

“The Ethiopian royal chronicles suggest that for 3,000 years, they had been guarding the ark, knowing that it had to go back to Israel eventually,” Jeffrey said.

He claims that after the Ethiopian civil war, Israel sent in a group of commandos from the tribe of Levi and the carried the Ark onto a plane and back to Israel in 1991.

“It is being held there secretly, waiting in the eyes of the religious leaders of Israel, for a supernatural signal from God to rebuild the temple,” he said. “They are not going to do it before that. When that happens, they will bring the Ark into that temple.”

But author and Bible teacher Chuck Missler, founder of Koinonia House, told WND the theory of Menelik obtaining the Ark is not biblical, though he believes there is a possibility that the Ethiopians may have the real deal.

“The fact that the Ethiopians may have been guarding the Ark of the Bible is very possible,” he said. “They cling to a belief that is clearly not biblical in terms of how the Ark got down there. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have it.”

Missler said there is no biblical basis for the Menelik account, and he believes there was a reason for that version of events.

“What everybody overlooks is that there’s a reason that particular story was cooked up in early times,” he said. “It was to give their kings Solomonic descent. There’s reason why they would try to sell that. But just because the official belief in how it got down there is not biblical, doesn’t mean they don’t have it.”

Tennessee historian and “Time is the Ally of Deceit” author Richard Rives, searched for the Ark and participated in excavations beneath Mount Moriah outside the walls of ancient Jerusalem. His group was trying to verify claims by relic hunter Ron Wyatt that he actually saw the Ark there several decades ago after tunneling through a small passageway.

While they found Roman ruins from the first century, Rives told WND they were unsuccessful in confirming Wyatt’s account. Nonetheless, Rives does not believe the story of Menelik obtaining the artifact or that Ethiopia ever had the real Ark.

“God’s presence was on the mercy seat. That was the throne of God,” he said.

If the account were accurate, Rives said God would have been dwelling on an Ark replica in Jerusalem.

“I just don’t believe they could have persuaded him to sit on a fake Ark of the Covenant,” he said.

Many theories exist about the ultimate fate of the Ark, including that it has been hidden in a still unknown location, it was destroyed by enemies of the Israelites, taken by Egyptian invaders to Egypt or removed by divine intervention.

The quest for the artifact received additional publicity in 1981 when actor Harrison Ford searched for it in Steven Spielberg’s “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

Cornuke said Ethiopians claim their purported Ark is kept in a large stone sarcophagus lined in ornately hammered silver. The Ark itself is made of acacia wood and laminated with a thin veneer of gold. The mercy seat sits atop the Ark and is made of pure, hammered gold and includes two cherubim facing one another.

Whether the artifact is real or simply a copy, Cornuke said an unveiling might leave the world with more questions than answers.

“We have only typology to go on,” he said. “We could probably have some people analyze the wood samples and come up with some kind of dating protocol on it because it is acacia wood to see if that is it.”

Rives said a close inspection of the Ten Commandments would be necessary to ensure they are in accordance with true text and not later versions of the Ten Commandments.

Cornuke said experts would also need to determine whether the artifact itself fits biblical description and trace its path to Ethiopia.

“We are peeking behind the veil of history,” he said. “We’re taking a glimpse of an artifact that could be a very holy object.”

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Keepers of the Lost Ark? | People & Places(Smithsonian)

“They shall make an ark of acacia wood,” God commanded Moses in the Book of Exodus, after delivering the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. And so the Israelites built an ark, or chest, gilding it inside and out. And into this chest Moses placed stone tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments, as given to him on Mount Sinai.

Thus the ark “was worshipped by the Israelites as the embodiment of God Himself,” writes Graham Hancock in The Sign and the Seal. “Biblical and other archaic sources speak of the Ark blazing with fire and light…stopping rivers, blasting whole armies.” (Steven Spielberg’s 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark provides a special-effects approximation.) According to the First Book of Kings, King Solomon built the First Temple in Jerusalem to house the ark. It was venerated there during Solomon’s reign (c. 970-930 B.C.) and beyond.

Then it vanished. Much of Jewish tradition holds that it disappeared before or while the Babylonians sacked the temple in Jerusalem in 586 B.C.

But through the centuries, Ethiopian Christians have claimed that the ark rests in a chapel in the small town of Aksum, in their country’s northern highlands. It arrived nearly 3,000 years ago, they say, and has been guarded by a succession of virgin monks who, once anointed, are forbidden to set foot outside the chapel grounds until they die.

One of the first things that caught my eye in Addis Ababa, the country’s capital, was an enormous concrete pillar topped by a giant red star—the sort of monument to communism still visible in Pyongyang. The North Koreans built this one as a gift for the Derg, the Marxist regime that ruled Ethiopia from 1974 to 1991 (the country is now governed by an elected parliament and prime minister). In a campaign that Derg officials named the Red Terror, they slaughtered their political enemies—estimates range from several thousand to more than a million people. The most prominent of their victims was Emperor Haile Selassie, whose death, under circumstances that remain contested, was announced in 1975.

He was the last emperor of Ethiopia—and, he claimed, the 225th monarch, descended from Menelik, the ruler believed responsible for Ethiopia’s possession of the ark of the covenant in the tenth century B.C.

The story is told in the Kebra Negast (Glory of the Kings), Ethiopia’s chronicle of its royal line: the Queen of Sheba, one of its first rulers, traveled to Jerusalem to partake of King Solomon’s wisdom; on her way home, she bore Solomon’s son, Menelik. Later Menelik went to visit his father, and on his return journey was accompanied by the firstborn sons of some Israelite nobles—who, unbeknown to Menelik, stole the ark and carried it with them to Ethiopia. When Menelik learned of the theft, he reasoned that since the ark’s frightful powers hadn’t destroyed his retinue, it must be God’s will that it remain with him.

Many historians—including Richard Pankhurst, a British-born scholar who has lived in Ethiopia for almost 50 years—date the Kebra Negast manuscript to the 14th century A.D. It was written, they say, to validate the claim by Menelik’s descendants that their right to rule was God-given, based on an unbroken succession from Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. But the Ethiopian faithful say the chronicles were copied from a fourth-century Coptic manuscript that was, in turn, based on a far earlier account. This lineage remained so important to them that it was written into Selassie’s two imperial constitutions, in 1931 and 1955.

Before leaving Addis Ababa for Aksum, I went to the offices of His Holiness Abuna Paulos, patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which has some 40 million adherents worldwide, to ask about Ethiopia’s claim to have the ark of the covenant. Paulos holds a PhD in theology from Princeton University, and before he was installed as patriarch, in 1992, he was a parish priest in Manhattan. Gripping a golden staff, wearing a golden icon depicting the Madonna cradling an infant Jesus, and seated on what looked like a golden throne, he oozed power and patronage.

“We’ve had 1,000 years of Judaism, followed by 2,000 years of Christianity, and that’s why our religion is rooted in the Old Testament,” he told me. “We follow the same dietary laws as Judaism, as set out in Leviticus,” meaning that his followers keep kosher, even though they are Christians. “Parents circumcise their baby boys as a religious duty, we often give Old Testament names to our boys and many villagers in the countryside still hold Saturday sacred as the Sabbath.”

Is this tradition linked to the church’s claim to hold the ark, which Ethiopians call Tabota Seyen, or the Ark of Zion? “It’s no claim, it’s the truth,” Paulos answered. “Queen Sheba visited King Solomon in Jerusalem three thousand years ago, and the son she bore him, Menelik, at age 20 visited Jerusalem, from where he brought the ark of the covenant back to Aksum. It’s been in Ethiopia ever since.”

I asked if the ark in Ethiopia resembles the one described in the Bible: almost four feet long, just over two feet high and wide, surmounted by two winged cherubs facing each other across its heavy lid, forming the “mercy seat,” or footstool for the throne of God. Paulos shrugged. “Can you believe that even though I’m head of the Ethiopian church, I’m still forbidden from seeing it?” he said. “The guardian of the ark is the only person on earth who has that peerless honor.”

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