Where is the Ark of the Covenant Today


John Hoole – May 26, 2013





If you have seen the movie, “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” the final scene shows a man pushing a crate down a long aisle in some remote warehouse in Wash. D.C..  The crate holds the Ark of the Covenant, and it is being placed among a sea of crates, most of which have gathered much dust from decades of inactivity.  On this crate, one sees the label: Top Secret – Army Intel. - #9906753, Do Not Open.


Knowing that information will not help you find the real Ark of the Covenant.  To help with our search, we must ask a number of right questions.


         Was the ark captured by enemies of Israel?


         Was it destroyed during the destruction of Solomon’s Temple?


         Was it placed in a hiding place and subsequently lost?


         If it was put into hiding, who might have done that?


         Was it whisked out of the country by a friend?


         Does it really matter what happened to the ark?


         If it is found today, would it have an impact in Israeli politics?


The Ark of the Covenant has surely been the most sought-after treasure in the history of mankind.  And its disappearance is one of the great mysteries of the Bible.


There is not even a comment such as “And then the Ark disappeared and we do not know what happened to it and no one knows where it is to this day.”  This possibly most important object in the world, in the biblical view simply ceases to be a story.


There have been a number of theories put forward as to its location.  Some people claim to actually have found it, but no one has provided definite proof as to where it is.


The mystery of the location of the Ark of the Covenant has inspired many expeditions to hunt for it.  Thus far, all have failed.  Searches for the Ark have been proposed or conducted at:


         Dead Sea,

         En Gedi,

         Mount of Olives

         Mount Nebo,

         Abu Gosh (Kiryath-Jearim),

         West Bank village of Bhahiriya,



         Knights Templar cathedral in France,

         A castle in Ireland,

         The Vatican

         Temple Mount Tunnels


Public awareness in our times as to the whereabouts of, or search for, the lost Ark, probably increased with the Movie: Indian Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.  If I remember what I saw on television correctly, this movie takes place during World War II and Indiana Jones was in a race with the Nazis in trying to locate the lost Ark.  Much of the action in the movie takes place in Egypt.


What about the theorized locations for the ark?  Are any of them credible?  Those who hold the Irish Isle theory are, by an large, made up of fringe groups of Christians who believe the so called 10 lost tribes of Israel are traced to the British Commonwealth.  Most of these groups are also anti-Semitic, and believe modern day Israel is NOT the fulfillment of biblical prophecy.


Some of the other theories have vocal and noteworthy advocates.


Mount Nebo


There is one Jewish traditional legend concerning the Ark of the Covenant from the apocrypha.




These are books purported to have been written between the last book of the Old Testament and the Gospels in the New Testament.  Books like:  Baruch, 1 & 2 Esdras, Judith, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Maccabees, Tobit, and others.


The 2nd book of Maccabees was written about 90 BC.  Chapter 2, verses 1 - 8, says that Jeremiah took the Tabernacle, Altar of Incense, and the Ark of the Covenant and hid them near Mount Nebo.


Mt. Nebo is part of the Mount Pizgah mountain range – probably the highest peak.  It is from Mount Nebo that Moses was allow to look over the Promised Land, since God did not allow him to go into the land.  Mount Nebo is located in the Country of Jordan today.


Deuteronomy 34:1-4 NIV


1       Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the LORD showed him the whole land--from Gilead to Dan,

2       all of Naphtali, the territory of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the western sea,  

3       the Negev and the whole region from the Valley of Jericho, the City of Palms, as far as Zoar.

4       Then the LORD said to him, "This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, `I will give it to your descendants.' I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it."


According to this theory of the ark, Jeremiah was given a vision by God where he saw the impending Babylonian siege.  This theory says he took some of the objects, including the ark, to a safe place.


2nd Maccabees 2: 5-8 read:


5          After Jeremiah came to the mountain, he found a big cave, where he hid the tent, the chest, and the altar for burning incense. Then he blocked the entrance to the cave.

6          Meanwhile, a few of our people had followed Jeremiah, hoping to mark the path to the cave, but they could not.

7         Jeremiah got angry with them when he discovered what they had tried to do, and he said:

 No one can know about the cave until the Lord God has pity on us again and brings our people back home.

8         At that time, he will show where these things are hidden. A cloud will appear, blazing with God's own dazzling light, just as it did when he came to Moses.  


We know that Jeremiah lived at the time of the beginning of the Babylonian Captivity.  He died approx. 20 years into it.  He is the person who prophesied these 70 years of Babylonian rule.  He knew these events were coming several years before they happened.  Did he possibly do what he could to save the major sacred articles in the temple?  We don’t really know.


There are some archeologists who have been digging around this area for decades without results.  Some of those who are advocates for this theory also believe the two witnesses in Zechariah and Revelation are Jeremiah and Isaiah.  When Jeremiah returns, he will reveal where the ark is hidden.


Near the Dead Sea


Some believe that the Ark is to be found on the west bank of the Dead Sea, near where the Qumran Caves are located.  The Qumran caves are where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.  A number of caves in this region have been excavated, including some of the same caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found/  A number of interesting artifacts have been found – but no ark.


The Ark is located in Ethiopia


One of the most widely advanced theories for the location of the Ark is that it resides in Ethiopia.  There have been a number of TV programs/documentaries in the last 6 months pushing this possibility.  According to this view, the Ark of the Covenant was taken from Jerusalem and transported to Ethiopia.


While there are several variations in this theory, the common thread centers around the relationship Solomon had with the Queen of Sheba.  According to this story, a son was born to the two of them, named Menelik I.  Although the Bible makes no mention of this union, it has a very long tradition in Ethiopia.


According to the story, Menelik I was born after the Queen of Sheba returned to Ethiopia.  After a few years, the Queen sent him to Solomon to learn the Jewish religion.  He lived there until age 19.


At that time, he was seeing what was occurring in Israel, with a split between the Israeli tribes, and many turning to other gods.  So, according to the story, Menelik I takes the Ark to Ethiopia for safe-keeping.  This account is recorded in the Ethiopian royal chronicles.


As it was taken to Ethiopia, according to the royal chronicles, the ark spent some time on Elephantine Island in the Nile River, where it was housed in a Jewish Temple called the House of Yahweh.  Later it was transported and housed in Axum, Ethiopia.  According to this theory, the ark is today in the Chapel of the Tablet within an Abyssinian Church, and carefully guarded.


This story has been bolstered by the airlift conducted by Israel, beginning in 1984.  A few years earlier, a group of black Ethiopians requested immigration to Israel, claiming to be orthodox Jews.  After much investigation by Israel, they were approved as true Jews.


By this time, Haile Sellassie, the last monarch of Ethiopia, was dead, and a Communist regime had taken over the country.  Israel carried out an air-lift, called Operation Moses, from November 18, 1984 until January 5, 1985.  Almost 8,000 black Jews were taken to Israel.  Another secret airlift, called Operation Joshua, occurred shortly thereafter, resulting in another 800 taken to Israel.


In 1991, the local forces from two provinces began a concerted attack on the Communist forces.  Meeting with some early success.  Israel jumped into action, with the Likud government authorizing a special permit for El Al Airlines to fly on the Jewish Sabbath.  Beginning on Friday, May 24, and continuing non-stop for 36 hours, a total of 34 El Al jumbo jets and Hercules C-130, with all seats removed, began what was called Operation Solomon.  As a result, 14,324 more Ethiopian Jews are now living in Israel.


The Bible gives us several close and friendly ties between Israel and Ethiopia.  We have already mentioned the Queen of Sheba and Solomon.






Numbers 12:1 NKJV


1       Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman.


Moses had married an Ethiopian woman, and for some reason she made them angry.  With such a marriage, it is easy to see that a line of Mosaic descendants would make an ideal place of refuge for the Ark.


Let me ask you a question.  Do you remember the story of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch?  The Ethiopian eunuch was a man of much authority, and was in charge of all the treasures of Candace, Queen of Ethiopia. (Acts 8:27).




Could it be that he was a Jew, who had come to Israel to observe some holy day.  He was reading the Jewish Law while he was returning home.


There definitely is a friendly link between Israel and Ethiopia.  Is that where the ark is presently located?  We don’t know.  But one cannot ignore it.


Was the ark taken to Babylon?


We know that the Ark was placed in the Temple built by Solomon on the Temple Mount.


1 Kings 8:6, 10-13 NIV


6       The priests then brought the ark of the LORD's covenant to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the Most Holy Place, and put it beneath the wings of the cherubim.


10     When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD.

11     And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple.

12     Then Solomon said, "The LORD has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud;

13     I have indeed built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever."


In the Tanach, also called the Old Testament, the Ark is mentioned 174 times.  But it didn’t take too long after being placed in Solomon’s Temple until we start to lose track of the Ark.


From Solomon (970 – 930 BC) until now, we have very little information in the Bible as to the Ark’s whereabouts.  We know the ark was placed in Solomon’s Temple in 959 BC, in the eleventh year of his reign.


The last time we can definitively place the Ark in the Temple was during the reign of Solomon, although it is not the last time it is mentioned.  And there is one and only one later reference in the Old Testament as to the location of the Ark.


2 Chronicles 35:3 NKJV


3       Then he said to the Levites who taught all Israel, who were holy to the Lord: "Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, built. It shall no longer be a burden on your shoulders. Now serve the Lord your God and His people Israel. All kings of Israel


The “he” mentioned in this verse is King Josiah.  He reigned from 640 to 609 BC, and was the last godly king prior to the Babylonian captivity, which began in 606 BC.  We do not, however, have any indication that the Ark was in fact placed back into the Temple.  hat it does tell us is that there were times when the Ark of the Covenant was not in the Temple.  It also tell us that when it had been taken from Solomon’s Temple, it was being moved in a manner prescribed by Levitical Law, that is, on the shoulders of the priests.


Some 320 years after Solomon and 3 years after Josiah, when Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem in 606 B.C., we can probably assume that at the Ark was not in the temple.  We know some of the vessels used in temple worship were taken to Babylon, and were used improperly by King Belshazzar.


There are 3 passages in the Bible that give lists of objects taken from Israel to Babylon.


                   •  2 Kings 24:13

                   •  2 Kings 25:13-18

                   •  Jeremiah 52:17-23


In these lists, we see that the Babylonians took:


         All the bronze instruments

                   •  Bronze pillars

                   •  Movable stands

                   •  Laver

                   •  Pots

                   •  Shovels

                   •  Wick Trimmers

                   •  Dishes

                   •  Bowls

                   •  Spoons

                   •  Cups

                   •  Pomegranates


         A few things of silver and gold

                   •  Basins

                   •  Sprinkling bowls

                   •  Censors

                   •  Lamp stands

                   •  Dishes

                   •  Cart


When Nebuchadnezzar did conquer Jerusalem, he did destroy some of the golden pieces.


2 Kings 24:13 NKJV


13     And he carried out from there all the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king's house, and he cut in pieces all the articles of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the Lord, as the Lord had said.


These lists of the articles taken do not include the Ark and some of the other key pieces placed in the Temple (like the altar of  incense and table of showbread and menorahs).  If they had been in the Temple at the time of the siege, undoubtedly they would have been taken along with the other objects.


If the Ark of the Covenant has not been seen since the time of Solomon, or maybe Josiah, what has happened to it?  We do know that the Ark was never placed in Temple #2, built originally by Zerubbabel and later expanded by Herod the Great.


Those who believe the Ark of the Covenant was taken to Babylon point to a couple of Scriptures.


2 Chronicles 36:9-10 NKJV


9       Jehoiachin was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months and ten days. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord.

10     At the turn of the year King Nebuchadnezzar summoned him and took him to Babylon, with the costly articles from the house of the Lord, and made Zedekiah, Jehoiakim's brother, king over Judah and Jerusalem.


Isaiah 39:6 (NKJV), speaking to Hezekiah, said:


6       Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,' says the Lord.


While these two verses, taken alone, might imply King Nebuchadnezzar took all the articles in the Temple to Babylon, we must continue to compare Scripture with Scripture.  Elsewhere in the Old Testament, we are told that Nebuchadnezzar did not take everything.


Jeremiah 27:19-20 NKJV


19     For thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the pillars, concerning the Sea, concerning the carts, and concerning the remainder of the vessels that remain in this city,

20     which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon did not take, when he carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, from Jerusalem to Babylon, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem — 


From this passage there should be no doubt that not all the treasures were taken to Babylon.  But that is not the only thing we need to consider.  What happened to all that actually was taken to Babylon?


In the first two verses of the Book of Daniel, we are told the treasure taken from Jerusalem were deposited in the “treasure house of the god of King Nebuchadnezzar.”  Then later, in Daniel 5, we have the story of Belshazzar and the writing on the wall by God.  In the first two verses of chapter 5, we are told that Belshazzar makes an order to have the servants bring the Jewish silver and golden vessels to be used in their celebration festival.  This again tells us the sacred things from Jerusalem had been stored away.


Another passage tells us that God prophesies through Jeremiah that all this would happen.  But the prophecy adds some additional information that is relevant and important.  A moment ago, we read Jeremiah 27:19-20.  The two verses that follow are the prophecy concerning the objects taken to Babylon.


Jeremiah 27:21-22 NKJV


21     yes, thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that remain [does this imply that some of the vessels had been removed?] in the house of the Lord, and in the house of the king of Judah and of Jerusalem:

22     They shall be carried to Babylon, and there they shall be until the day that I visit them,' says the Lord. 'Then I will bring them up and restore them to this place.'"


Here, we read that Jeremiah prophesies that the vessels will be taken to Babylon, but also that they would be returned to Jerusalem to their rightful place.  Do we know that their return actually happened?  Not only are we told, but we are given an itemization of all that was taken and returned.  The return of these vessels occurred after God visits Babylon in Judgment, just as was prophesied by Jeremiah.


Ezra 1:1-2,7-11 NKJV


1       Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying,

2       Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah.


7       King Cyrus also brought out the articles of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Jerusalem and put in the temple of his gods;

8       and Cyrus king of Persia brought them out by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah.

9       This is the number of them: thirty gold platters, one thousand silver platters, twenty-nine knives,

10     thirty gold basins, four hundred and ten silver basins of a similar kind, and one thousand other articles.

11     All the articles of gold and silver were five thousand four hundred. All these Sheshbazzar took with the captives who were brought from Babylon to Jerusalem.


We are told in this passage that Cyrus, king of Persia, took an accurate inventory of all that had been taken from Jerusalem to Babylon.  And when Cyrus approved the Jews to return and rebuild their city and their Temple, all these vessels returned with them.  With such an careful accounting of what was returned, it is only reasonable that the Ark would have been mentioned if it was there.  All this is a direct answer of what was prophesied by Jeremiah.  And Daniel 5 tells us they remained unharmed until Belshazzar used them in his revelry.  It is obvious God continued to watch over these vessels, and when they were misused, judgment was forthcoming immediately.


And then we find Isaiah, 150 years before, also prophesying their safe return.


Isaiah 52:8-12 NKJV


8       Your watchmen shall lift up their voices, With their voices they shall sing together; For they shall see eye to eye When the Lord brings back Zion.

9       Break forth into joy, sing together, You waste places of Jerusalem! For the Lord has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem.

10     The Lord has made bare His holy arm In the eyes of all the nations; And all the ends of the earth shall see The salvation of our God.

11     Depart! Depart! Go out from there, Touch no unclean thing; Go out from the midst of her, Be clean, You who bear the vessels of the Lord.

12     For you shall not go out with haste, Nor go by flight; For the Lord will go before you, And the God of Israel will be your rear guard.


Raptured to Heaven


Another theory regarding the fate of the Ark is that it was translated or raptured – that is, taken up to Heaven to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Chaldeans.


This theory is based on what we read in Revelation 11:19, which says:


19     Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm.


This passage is a flash-forward to the end of the Tribulation, when Heaven opens and the wrath of God is about to be unleashed.  John says that he saw the temple with the ark in it.  his opinion seems to be quite factual.  But is it really?




We actually answered this question in an earlier lesson on the Tabernacle.  Let’s look at the applicable Scriptures again.


Exodus 25:8-9 NIV


8       Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.

9       Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.


God gave explicit instructions to build a sanctuary for Him.  He also instructed Moses concerning each object to be placed in the Tabernacle.  Moses did not have documented plans or blueprints but was to build each object according to the model God showed to him.


We find this corroborated in the New Testament as well.


Hebrews 8:5 NIV


5       They (The priests) serve at a sanctuary (Tabernacle/Temple) that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: "See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain."


Dr. David Reagan – founder of the Lamb and Lion Ministries believes the ark was raptured to heaven.  This is also the position held by Paula, my wife. 


Most biblical scholars, however, believe that what John saw in heaven was the model shown to Moses, from which the original Ark of the Covenant on earth was built.  Also notice that what John sees in Revelation 11:19 is not only the Ark.  What John sees is the Temple, with the ark in it.  Without a doubt, God did not rapture the temple to heaven.  I do believe the temple and ark seen by John were there when Moses received his orders to build.


If, in Revelation 11, John had said he saw the two tablets in the ark he sees in Heaven, that would add a whole lot of weight to the theory that the ark was raptured there.


Under the Temple Mount


Probably the most popular theory as to the present location of the Ark of the Covenant, is that it is in a secret chamber or cave beneath the Temple Mount.  Jewish tradition held that the Ark continued in existence and that it would be rediscovered and restored to Israel when the Messiah appeared.


When discussing sacred objects that may be stored in underground chambers of the Temple Mount, one question that must be part of the discussion is: “What happened to the Tabernacle of Moses, and all its utensils and pieces of furniture?”  According to the Mishnah (Sotah 9a), the Tabernacle had been stored under the Temple mount in a subterranean chamber.  I quote the Mishnah:  “After the First Temple was erected, the Tent of Meeting was stored away, its boards, hooks, bars, pillars and sockets.”  Most orthodox Jews believe it was in a chamber under the Temple.


We know there are a number of tunnels and chambers under the mount.  We do not know for sure if the ark is actually in one of them.


Some claim to have evidence that the ark is in Ethiopia, and moviegoers were treated to a version of the story in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.  In reality, according to Jewish biblical scholars and traditions, the expressions “lost” ark is not an accurate description from the Jewish people’s point of view.  They hold that they have always known exactly where it is.  So, to them, the Ark is “Hidden,” and hidden quite well, but it is not lost.


The Temple Mount, being about 35 acres in size, is no small parcel of ground.  Have you seen the Parthenon on the Acropolis of Athens, Greece?  The Temple Mount is four times the size of the Athenian Acropolis.  So there is a lot of room for a number of lengthy tunnels and chambers.  Only some of them are open to tourists.  Some tunnels are even off limits to Jews as well because of the objection of the WAQF, which is the Islamic organization who has control of the Temple Mount. 


Over the centuries, most of the tunnels have filled with debris, and many of them still are.  Some of the tunnels originate outside the Temple Mount, under the Old City, but proceed toward the Mount.


Researchers and archaeologists have come across the remains of numerous tunnels, storage rooms, treasuries, and cisterns in many areas under the Old City.  An extraordinary amount of water was needed in the Temple for purification and drainage.  Thus far, there have been 37 cisterns identified under the Temple Mount.  These cisterns could hold more than 10 million gallons of water.


Jewish historians also believe there were storage chambers that could hold enough grain, to feed the population of Jerusalem for 12 years if they were under siege.  Several tunnels underneath the Temple Mount lead directly to mikvehs [in Hebrew mikva’ot (ritual baths)].  Priests would use these to cleanse themselves prior to entering the Temple.  And priests that were defiled during their Temple service could secretly exit to a mikveh to cleanse themselves.


We also know there was a tunnel leading from prison where the prophet Jeremiah was held, that leads to the Temple Mount.  You can read about Jeremiah’s imprisonment in Jeremiah 37.


We know there were times when the Ark of the Covenant was removed from the Temple for various reasons.  It is believed that during the idolatrous reigns of Kings like Manasseh and Amon, such kings removed the Ark.  Then, when a godly king like Josiah come to the throne, the Ark may have been restored to its rightful place.


2 Chronicles 35:1-3 NKJV


1       Now Josiah kept a Passover to the Lord in Jerusalem, and they slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth day of the first month.

2       And he set the priests in their duties and encouraged them for the service of the house of the Lord.

3       Then he said to the Levites who taught all Israel, who were holy to the Lord: "Put the holy ark in the house [chamber] which Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, built. It shall no longer be a burden on your shoulders. Now serve the Lord your God and His people Israel.


Many rabbinic scholars believe these verses tell us that Josiah was removing the Ark to some chamber.  The 12th century Rabbi Moshe Maimonides, considered the most-influential rabbi since the first century, documented in his Mishneh Torah the following:


“When Solomon built the Temple, he was aware that it would ultimately be destroyed.  He constructed a chamber in which the ark could be entombed below the Temple in deep, maze like vaults.  King Josiah commanded that the ark be entombed in the chamber built by Solomon, as it is said (2 Chron. 35:3).”


Thus Solomon, the wisest of all men, oversaw the construction of a vast system of labyrinths, mazes, chambers and corridors under the Temple Mount.  Biblical history does show several occasions where such a danger was present.  There are several miles of tunnels under the Mount.  Not all of them are on the same level, some being more than 100 feet below ground level.


Many of the underground tunnels are attributed to David, Solomon and later kings.  The Ark’s presence in a secret hiding place is widely believed by most of the Orthodox Jewish groups.  These are the groups that are today actively preparing to rebuild the temple.


The Temple Institute in Jerusalem’s Old City, an ultra-orthodox organization dedicated to rebuilding the Jewish Temple, says the Ark is under the temple mount and will be revealed at the proper time.


The Forgotten Ark


Let me give you one more possibility as to the what has happened to the Ark of the Covenant.  Let me begin by asking a question.






We have already discussed that Temple #2 did not, at any time, have the Ark of the Covenant residing in it.  And yet, Christ called that temple the house of God.


Is it possible that the Ark will never be found again?  Let’s go to the end of time and work back.  In the New Jerusalem, our eternal dwelling place, there will be no Ark of the Covenant, for there will not even be a Temple.  John, record his vision of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21.  In verse 22, he says, “I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.”


Moving backwards, the Scriptures also indicate that there will be no Ark in Temple #4, which is the Millennial Temple.


Jeremiah 3:16-17 NKJV


16     Then it shall come to pass, when you are multiplied and increased in the land in those days," says the LORD, "that they will say no more, 'The ark of the covenant of the LORD.' It shall not come to mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they visit it, nor shall it be made anymore.

17     At that time Jerusalem shall be called the Throne of the LORD. and all nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem.


                   The context of this verse is the reign of Christ during the Millennium.


Jeremiah says point blank that “the ark of the covenant of the Lord…..shall not come to mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they miss it, nor shall it be made again.  This does not rule out the finding of the original ark prior to Temple #4.  Conceivably, it could be found.  But the important point to keep in mind is that the rediscovery of the Ark may not be essential to the rebuilding of the Temple – even the Tribulation Temple.


Earlier we mentioned that Temple #2 did not have the ark in it.  That means there was no ark in the Holy of Holies during the time when Jesus worshiped in the Temple.


As we have just seen a moment ago, we know it will not be resident in Temple #4.  In Ezekiel 40 – 48, God gives great detail regarding Temple #4, but nowhere is the Ark of the Covenant mentioned.  The Holy of Holies is mention in Ezekiel 41:4, but it is empty.


During the Millennium, there will be no need for a human high priest or an Ark with a mercy seat.  Jesus will continue to function as mankind’s High Priest, just as He will continue to serve as humanity’s Mercy Seat (Haggai 2:20-23).




Let me give you an example of the mercy seat from the New Testament.  When Mary went to the tomb of Jesus, what did she see?


John 20:12 NIV


12     And [they] saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.




         One was sitting at each end of the slab where Jesus’ body had been.




         One was located at each end of the Mercy Seat.


That slab where Jesus’ broken body laid, was typified by the Mercy Seat.  Where Jesus had lain was the perfect Mercy Seat.  There really is no more need for the Ark of the Covenant.  Jesus has fulfilled all that the ark stood for.


In our last lesson, I mentioned that the Greek equivalent to the Mercy Seat is PROPITIATION.  You can find that word in 1 John 2:2 and 1 John 4:10.


1 John 2:1-2 NKJV


1       My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

2       And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.


The same Greek word, in Hebrews 9:5, is translated “mercy seat.”


Just as the Ark was designed to be a symbol of the presence of God in the midst of His people, Jesus is the ultimate expression of God’s love and care and presence.


         He is our Ark. 


                  He is our Law,


                           He is our Manna.


                                     He is our Budded Rod.


                                              He is our sacrifice.


                                                       And, thank God, He is our Mercy Seat.


Hebrews 9:11-14 NKJV


11     But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.

12     Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

13     For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh,

14     how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?