The Christian Scriptures and apocryphal writings include many things and artifacts that seem to be filled with unusual and unearthly powers. They range from a fragment of the cross on which Christ was crucified, to Aaron’s rod, holy relics, the Holy Grail, and perhaps the strangest of all: the Ark of the Covenant.
Although it is difficult to single out any one particular item, it is clear that the Ark of the Covenant is the most famous item. The ark has been given a unique power and place in biblical history based on various biblical quotations describing how God actually spoke through the ark.
Therefore, in addition to its main purpose of serving as a container for the ten commandments, it probably also functioned as a means of spiritual communication, similar to how Noah did in his ark. It is because of this supposed function that many consider it a unique, essential biblical artifact.
According to the Scriptures, Exodus 25:17-22 and 37:1-9, the ark was made in accordance with specific divine instructions in the following dimensions: 2½ cubits in length, 1½ cubits in width and 1½ in height, of wood and metal, in this case made of durable acacia wood and gold. Above the removable cover of the ark, called the mercy seat, towered two kneeling cherubs with wings outstretched upwards and towards each other.
All this was cast from pure gold, and part of the box was made of acacia wood, covered with a golden shell. The bottom of the box was also provided with a ring at each edge so that the rods that carried the box could be inserted into them. Along with the building details, a stern warning was attached to the ark that, under pain of painful death, it should not be touched or looked at by anyone who was not expressly allowed to do so.
The appearance of the Ark, as we are accustomed to think of it, is based solely on descriptions and records that have appeared in Scripture, as there are no contemporary drawings or images of this item. Obviously, this is because it was considered so sacred, or in this case perhaps “hidden”, since it was an object created at the behest of God himself and imbued with his power, so that any attempt to depict such a device was beyond the power of mere human creatures.
The power contained in it could kill the unwary or the wicked; in other words, it was a terrible, mysterious spiritual power, the power of God. It is also not surprising that the two angels on the lid are cherubim, because in the hierarchy of unearthly angelic beings they are second only to mighty seraphim.
After the ark was built, it was protected by the Israelites and wandered with them in its own sanctuary for five hundred years before finally reaching Solomon’s temple, in whose main sanctuary it remained hidden for another four hundred years.
While this gives us some idea of the purpose and design of the ark, where did it go after the destruction of Solomon’s temple? It is believed to have lived in many places, including the mystical Rosslyn Chapel near Edinburgh, Scotland. There have also been speculations that the Ark has finally found a safe haven in Ethiopia, where it is under the care of the Falasha Jewish cult.
In the case it is in Jerusalem, the ark is also constantly protected from human eyes, and only one person looks after it, who is obliged to fulfill this duty until his death. According to custom, he appears before believers only once a year, and even then he is hidden under a richly embroidered protective veil. However, despite these claims, there are those who insist that the Ark never left the territory of the Middle East.
One of them is the late Ron Wyatt, founder of Wyatt Archaeological Research (WAR), who claimed not only to have seen the lost Ark, but to film it and, quite surprisingly, obtain a sample of what he claims is the blood of Christ from the cave where he saw the Ark.
Wyatt insists that his original motivation for excavating and searching for the ark at one particular location came in the form of what can only be described as a revelation from God. According to his description, in 1982 he was walking near the quarry, known as “Golgotha or Calvary Ledge”, in the company of a local guide, while his left hand quite involuntarily pointed to the site of the quarry, which was used as a dump.
He said he heard a voice saying, “Go to the cave of Jeremiah,” there is the “Ark of the Covenant.” Even stranger, the guide who accompanied him replied:
“That’s great, we want you to dig it up and we’ll get you the proper permits, provide you with a place to stay and even provide you with food.”
Wyatt claims to have first seen the ark shortly after breaking into a partially filled cave after several months of excavating Zedekiah’s cave and seeing a stone box with a slightly ajar lid.
He shone a torch into a dark box and, to his amazement, saw the object of his search – the sacred ark. There was little he could do at the time, but on his next visit, he discovered that the cave had mysteriously been completely cleared and the ark had been removed from the box.
The ark, along with other objects, was placed on the floor of the cave in relatively the same positions as if they were still in the sanctuary of the Jerusalem temple, and all this was illuminated by a mysterious light emanating from the walls of the cave.
Later it was determined that this radiance emanates from the ark itself and is called the “glory of the Shekinah”, a visible manifestation of the true presence of God. According to Wyatt, four angels guarded the ark in the cave, and it was they who allowed him to see its contents: two stone tablets, a sword, an ephod (high priest’s robe) and four scrolls with the books of Moses. Wyatt also made a video recording of his work, but did not see fit to show it, leaving it in the cave.
He believed that the ark and its contents should be revealed to the world at God’s appointed time. Wyatt also calculated that the crucifixion of Christ took place directly on the rock above the ark, and that the blood of Christ entered through a crack in the ceiling and fell onto the ark. He noticed dried blood on the mercy seat, he did not touch it, but took samples from a crack in the ceiling of the cave directly above the ark and gave them for analysis.
After returning to the US, Wyatt had a blood test and the sample matched that of a human male, but the white blood cells had only 24 chromosomes, not 46 like in humans. Another possible purpose for the ark is to serve as a weapon, or if not a weapon then at least a hiding place for weapons, leading to speculation about the nature of the Ten Commandments and in particular the stone tablets on which they were inscribed.
Although we find various descriptions of the fate that befell those who were not prudent enough to put themselves under the influence of the ark, there is no convincing justification for this in Scripture, other than referring to the power of the Lord. From a modern point of view, it is more likely that the ark or its contents were directly responsible for the deaths, since the ark carried a strong electrical charge, or its contents were either highly radioactive or toxic, or both.
Based on the description of the construction of the ark, it can be assumed that it functioned as a capacitor, in which the wooden core of the bottom of the box served as an insulator, and the gold shell served as a positive and negative plate. Given the physical size of the ark, it could probably handle a significant charge.
The only clues as to the ark’s destructive capabilities come from Scripture and are consistent with some kind of electrical device, though whether it was a passive device charged with static electricity or an active multi-cell battery, no one knows.
If the Ark were designed to carry highly sensitive and confidential information, it would be reasonable, and even desirable, for it to be able to protect itself and its contents. If the defense mechanism was electrical in nature, but not due to a buildup of static electricity, then it’s entirely possible that it may have used batteries of some sort.
The Baghdad Battery, a curious artifact in the Baghdad Museum that could certainly have been used as a battery. Laboratory tests carried out on replicas of the Baghdad Battery using electrolytes from vinegar, copper sulfate and fresh grape juice yielded 0.78 volts.
It is possible that many of these devices were connected in series to obtain a much larger charge. Perhaps when Moses was given the exact instructions for building the ark, he received additional information with them to design the protective mechanism? Whatever the source or nature of the information, there is ample evidence that the device worked very well.
If the Ark used a power source as a defense mechanism, and if God spoke to Moses through the Ark, is it likely that the existing power source activated the receiver or transmitter? We also learn that a luminous cloud was spread between the cherubim and the sounding voice of God.
Once again, we find ourselves in a situation where some form of energy is needed to control the device and ensure continuous communication. Is it possible that between the spread wings of the cherubs, pointing towards each other, there was an arc that acted as a “spark transmitter”, functioning more like a primitive version of Morse code?
Was the cloud over the mercy seat created to make the space between the cherubs more conductive? Because all we heard was that there was a luminous cloud and God spoke from it; if the cloud were exposed to high-voltage discharges, it would, of course, glow.
As we already know, a number of abilities are attributed to the ark, self-preservation, attack, the ability to communicate, and all of them, most likely, were powered by some kind of energy. One of the main obstacles to understanding what is happening is the lack of technical ability for people to describe what they witnessed when the Ark actually worked.
It is also not entirely clear whether the functions of the ark were accidental or intentional, in other words, who controlled it? We don’t have easy answers to these questions, and we won’t until the ark is found.
Perhaps Ron Wyatt’s claims are true, the Ark has been found and will eventually be retrieved from its hiding place in Israel. On the other hand, is it possible that he really is under constant surveillance in the temple dedicated to him in Ethiopia, or is he irretrievably lost forever?