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WILL THE ARK OF THE COVENANT BE REVEALED FOR THE COMING THIRD TEMPLE?

Many who study the Third Temple believe its planning and construction must be begun well in advance of the Tribulation era. Its completion, they believe, will take quite some time. Others hold that the Jews are even now considering building a tent-like structure similar to Moses’ Tabernacle. They believe that worship, with sacrifices reinstituted, could be going on in such a place while the more grandiose Temple is constructed around the temporary structure.

There are, of course, those like me and Dr. David Reagan that believe certain things could happen that raise immediate international support for rapid construction of a new temple. For example, Dr. Reagan notes: “Something will have to happen to create a surge of nationalistic pride that will demand a new temple.  This catalytic event could be the discovery of the Ark of the Covenant.”[i]

Reagan’s comments about “a surge of nationalistic pride” and “the discovery of the Ark of the Covenant” are intriguing, because the original Temple built by King Solomon was to be God’s dwelling place on earth and the repository of the Ark of the Covenant. Such a discovery (or unveiling, if the Ark has already been recovered and is in safekeeping) in modern times would ignite international support for a new Holy of Holies—and thus a Third Temple—to house the gold-covered, sacred wooden chest of the ancient Hebrews.

Some argue that the Ark rests beneath the Temple Mount directly below the Dome of the Rock, where the original Holy of Holies existed. When the Babylonians destroyed the first Temple, they hauled away many of the sacred vessels. But the location of the Ark of the Covenant was unknown, reportedly because King Josiah hid it from the Babylonians who sacked the Temple. Some say this secret location remains below the original resting place of the Ark in the Temple of Solomon.

Maimonides—the medieval Sephardic Jewish philosopher who is considered one of the most prolific and influential Torah scholars of the Middle Ages—recounted from the ancient sages:

When Solomon built the Temple, he was aware that it would ultimately be destroyed. [Therefore,] he constructed a chamber, in which the ark could be entombed below [the Temple building] in deep, maze-like vaults.

King Josiah commanded that [the Ark] be entombed in the chamber built by Solomon, as it is said (II Chronicles 35:3): “And he said to the Levites who would teach wisdom to all of Israel: ‘Place the Holy Ark in the chamber built by Solomon, the son of David, King of Israel. You will no [longer] carry it on your shoulders. Now, serve the Lord, your God’”

When it was entombed, Aaron’s staff, the vial of manna, and the oil used for anointing were entombed with it. All these [sacred articles] did not return in the Second Temple.[ii]

Whether that location beneath the Temple Mount will produce the Ark of the Covenant, the ancient Jewish midrash promises, “When the Jewish people are gathered in from the exiles from the four corners of the world [officially began in 1948], they will suddenly find the holy vessels of the Temple.”[iii]

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Ark Hidden at Mount Nebo in Jordan?

The late Christian genius (and my personal friend) David Flynn made an alternative argument for exactly where the Ark of the Covenant may be discovered. In chapter 8 of his masterpiece, Temple at the Center of Time, he speculated:

Most researchers consider the Ark lost from view after the narrative of Solomon’s temple in the Bible, and various theories have been proposed as to the Ark’s fate through history. Many historians speculate that because Babylon destroyed the Temple of Solomon, it also removed the Ark to Babylon. There it is said the Ark was eventually destroyed along with the other artifacts from the temple, the gold melted down and set into coins for their treasury. It is difficult to imagine that the Babylonians would have destroyed it however, if they’d even captured it at all.

The Book of Daniel makes specific mention of the golden menorah from the temple of Jerusalem in the palace of Belshazzar. The Babylonian king had preserved it, a major artifact from the Jewish temple, in an attempt to demonstrate the superiority of Babylonia’s gods to the God of the Hebrews. That the menorah was set on display in this manner underscores how unlikely the Babylonians would have been to destroy the Ark, the greatest symbol of the God of the Hebrews. It would have been considered an ultimate statement of the superiority of the Babylonians if it had been obtained. The Bible documents the menorah having remained intact until the last night of Babylonian rule. Its light illuminated the scene of the writing on the wall in the book of Daniel. After the fall of Babylon, the Medes and Persians were friendly to the Jews and allowed them to rebuild the temple. It is most likely that the menorah was returned along with the other furnishings and vessels that had been captured by Nebuchadnezzar. However, the Ark was mentioned as not existing in the second temple of Zerubbabel, the raised foundation stone was the only feature inside the Holy of Holies.[iv]

Certain tracts of the Midot in the Jewish Talmud dealing with temple laws, practices and rituals allude to the creation of more than one Ark, the second made as a decoy to protect the original. It claims that certain articles of the temple furnishing including the true Ark remain in a secret vault underneath the temple mount in Jerusalem.[v] However, it seems highly unlikely that the Ark would have been left to fate under the temple mount, open to any treasure hunter with the motivation to merely dig. It is difficult to explain how the location could remain secret, as Jerusalem remained open for excavation and plundering for hundreds of years after its fall to the Romans in AD 70. Motivated treasure seekers over the ensuing centuries have had ample time to excavate the area underneath the temple.

The recovery of the Temple treasure of Solomon was the highest goal of the Knights Templar that established their center on the Temple Mount during the crusades. The fact was documented in 1884, when the British conducted an ordinance survey of the Jerusalem and discovered Templar artifacts, left in extensive tunneling beneath the temple mount.[vi] As to the extent of the underground features, a later publication of the British survey explained:

Jerusalem, as is well known, is honeycombed with excavated caves, natural caverns, cisterns cut in the rock, subterranean passages and aqueducts…. In its underground chambers and catacombs it is richer than any known city.[vii]

Various Judaic sects of Ethiopia believe that the Ark has been guarded and kept in the city of Axum in their country for thousands of years.[viii] The legend claims that it was brought to Axum by the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, Prince Menelik I. It has been said that Menelik removed the Ark from the Temple at the behest of his father in order that it be kept safe after the division of his kingdom (into Judah and Israel), because Solomon knew that the dissolution of his kingdom was inevitable after his death. First Kings 11:9–12 says that the Lord Himself told Solomon that…

…the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice.…Wherefore the Lord said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant. Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father’s sake: [but] I will rend it out of the hand of thy son.[ix]

Though intriguing, the legend of Menelik I is not consistent with the biblical record, as will be shown in this chapter. If the Ark was not moved to Ethiopia, it is speculated that after the division of the Kingdom of Solomon, Rehoboam, King of Judah, gave the Ark to the Egyptian Pharaoh Shisak (Sheshonk I, ca. 929 or 924 BC) to avoid the destruction of Jerusalem by his armies, ca. 940 BC.

So Shishak King of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king’s house; he took all.[x]

Some historians believe that the Egyptians took the Ark and hid it underground in the city of Tanis, Egypt, the seat of Shishak’s dynasty. The location was lost over the course of history.[xi] Because it was written that Shishak “took all” the articles of the Temple, many researchers conclude that the Ark was among the spoils taken to Egypt. However, after Judah’s conflict with Shishak, the Temple was ransacked again seventy years later by Jehoash, king of Israel. At that time, the Temple treasures were removed to Samaria.[xii] In this instance, as with the encounter with Shishak, the Bible again uses the phrase, “All the temple treasures were removed.” Despite these two accounts, the Ark appears again in the biblical narrative when King Josiah ordered the return of the Ark of the Covenant to the Temple.[xiii] This occurred more than two hundred years after the pillage of the Temple by Jehoash, and three hundred years after the pillage of Shishak.

And [Josiah] said unto the Levites that taught all Israel, which were holy unto the Lord, Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build; [it shall] not [be] a burden upon [your] shoulders.[xiv]

This one biblical passage renders the legends of the Ark’s present location in Axum, Ethiopia, or in Tanis, Egypt, completely impossible, as both theories place the hiding of the Ark several hundred years before the reign of King Josiah. It was a central feature of the Temple of Jerusalem and reinstitution of worship during the reign of Josiah.

It is noteworthy, also, that the Bible is extremely detailed concerning the only account of the Ark’s capture by the foremost enemy of Israel, the Philistines. After the vessel had been captured by the Philistines, their entire country was afflicted by God. The judgment was so great that the people begged their lords to find a respectful way to transport the Ark back to its rightful place, and it was returned. It is illogical that the same judgments would not have befallen any other country that removed the Ark from the Israelites. Although God allowed its capture by the Philistines due to the idolatry of Israel, the pagan Philistines were certainly not able to abide its presence. For that matter, either Babylon—the epitome of world idolatry—or Egypt would survive the Ark’s presence. Certainly, if one of these countries had captured it, the account would be as notable as the removal by the Philistines. Yet, no scriptural record of such an event exists.

Robert Jamieson’s biblical commentary explains the Ark’s location before its return to the Temple in the reign of Josiah, king of Judah:

Some think that it had been ignominiously put away from the sanctuary by order of some idolatrous king, probably Manasseh, who set a carved image in the house of God (2 Chronicles 33:7), or Amon; while others are of opinion that it had been temporarily removed by Josiah himself into some adjoining chamber, during the repairs on the temple. In replacing it, the Levites had evidently carried it upon their shoulders, deeming that still to be the duty, which the law imposed on them. But Josiah reminded them of the change of circumstances. As the service of God was now performed in a fixed and permanent temple, they were not required to be bearers of the ark any longer; and, being released from the service, they should address themselves with the greater alacrity to the discharge of other functions.[xv]

An amazing story follows the reinstitution of the Ark to the Temple of God in the account of Josiah’s death:

After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him. But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, what have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? [I come] not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from [meddling with] God, who [is] with me, that he destroy thee not. Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo.[xvi]

This supports Vilikovski’s claim that the Egyptian pharaohs revered the God of Abraham in the time of the kings of Israel and Judah. Although King Josiah and the people of Judah had a strong bias for alliance with Egypt, during the reign of Manasseh, the country had become a vassal of Assyria. Josiah thought himself bound to support the interests of Assyria. Therefore, when “Necho King of Egypt” came up to fight Carchemish, Josiah went out against him. Bible commentators are not agreed whether Necho had been given a divine commission by the God of Israel, or whether he merely used the name of God as an authority that Josiah would not refuse to obey.[xvii] However, it appears likely that God was a benefactor to the pharaoh, as the Bible records Josiah’s death by Necho’s archers.[xviii]

Jeremiah the prophet lamented the death of Josiah when his body returned after the battle. In 2 Chronicles 35:25, Jeremiah had been a major force in Josiah’s restitution of the Ark to the Temple of Solomon. He was also the main player in the most well documented and biblical account of the fate of the Ark and theory of its present location.

The Mountain of the Ark

The book of 2 Maccabees 2:4 explains that before the destruction of Solomon’s Temple by the Babylonians in 587 BC, the Ark was hidden by the prophet Jeremiah in a cave at the base of Mount Nebo in the Pisgah range of Jordan. Second Maccabees, as well as other apocryphal works, are retained in modern Catholic Bibles as well as the Septuagint and Vulgate.[xix] It is found in the records…

…that Jeremy the prophet, being warned of God, commanded the tabernacle and the ark to go with him, as he went forth into the mountain, where Moses climbed up, and saw the heritage of God. And when Jeremy came thither, he found an hollow cave, wherein he laid the tabernacle, and the ark, and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door.

And some of those that followed him came to mark the way, but they could not find it. Which when Jeremy perceived, he blamed them, saying, As for that place, it shall be unknown until the time that God gather his people again together, and receive them unto mercy. Then shall the Lord show them these things, and the glory of the Lord shall appear, and the cloud also, as it was showed under Moses, and as when Solomon desired that the place might be honourably sanctified.[xx]

This account of the Ark from 2 Maccabees is also mentioned in the Jewish Talmud, in Huriot 12A and Tractate Yoma 72a. These texts explain that the Ark’s location would not be recovered until the Jews were brought back to Israel following the Diaspora, an event that miraculously did occur in 1948. The pseudepigraphic book, 2 Baruch, written near the first century, repeats the prophetic age in which the Ark would be recovered:

Oh earth…guard them [the Temple vessels and the Ark] until the last times, So that, when thou art ordered, thou mayst restore them, So that strangers may not get possession of them. For the time comes when Jerusalem also will be delivered for a time, until it is said, that it is again restored for ever.[xxi]

According to prophecy, the Jews of the end time would return to Israel from all the nations of the Earth. Isaiah 11:11–12 explains that Israel would be populated by exiles that formerly lived in every part of the world. This has been the situation since 1948, and is not related to the first return of Jews to Israel after the Babylonian exile:

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people…. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

Amos 9:14–15 declares that after the second return of the exiles, they would never again go into dispersion: “And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.”

GET THE ASTONISHING “TEMPLE AT THE CENTER OF TIME” WITH THE DAVID FLYNN COLLECTION!

The legendary accounts of Jeremiah and the Ark provide a hidden clue to its location at Mount Nebo. This is a symbolic link that exists between the names of the Babylonian king who threatened to destroy the Ark and the mountain where it was hidden by Jeremiah. Both “Nebuchadnezzar” and “Nebo” stem from the Semitic root nebu, meaning the god “Mercury.” This was also intimated in the prophecies of Ezekiel condemning Jerusalem (chapter 2). The name “Nebuchadnezzar” means “the prince of the god Merucury.”[xxii] The Hebrew word nebo is from the root neba (“to prophesy” and also “a prophet”).[xxiii] In the same role as the prophets of the God of Israel, Nebo was worshiped as the celestial scribe of the Assyrians, the “interpreter of the gods, and declarer of their will.”[xxiv]

According to the Bible, the greatest prophet of all time was Moses: “And there arose not a prophet [neba] since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.”[xxv] Ironically, Mount Nebo was the site of the death of Moses:

And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that [is] over against Jericho. And the Lord shewed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan…. And the Lord said unto him, This [is] the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see [it] with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither. So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord.[xxvi]

The Hebrew words nobe, meaning “high place,” and nabab, meaning “to hollow out,” “gate,” or “pupil of the eye,” also correlate with the location for the resting place of the Ark in a “hollow cave” on Mount Nebo, described in 2 Maccabees.[xxvii]

The Talmud explains that the tower of Babel was dedicated to Nebo, son of Marduk (Greek Jupiter) and that its destruction coincided with the confusion of languages and forgetfulness of knowledge.[xxviii] The emblem of Mercury, a snake entwined on a pole, was first recorded in Exodus, which was the brazen serpent on a pole lifted by Moses to cure the rebellious Israelites of a plague of snakes (Numbers 21:9).[xxix]

The serpent on the pole was used as a Messianic symbol, and was illustrated by Christ Himself, as told in John 3:14: “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.” However, this object was preserved and later worshiped as Mercury—Nebo by the Israelites—until being destroyed by King Hezekiah ca. 725 BC, when “he broke into pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had burned incense to it; it was called Nehushtan.”[xxx]

It is fitting with the cryptic name of Mount Nebo that a modern sculpture in metal of a serpent on a pole stands at its summit near the Church of Moses.[xxxi] If the Ark was hidden in Mount Nebo, it was to remain forgotten until the end of days. This prophecy has remarkable similarities to the theme of Mercury as god of knowledge and forgetfulness. Its recovery sometime before the return of Christ fits the prophetic scheme of Sir Isaac Newton wherein a rebuilt temple, the Ark, and a world rule by “Babylon the Great” predominate.

Although Babylon’s power over Israel resulted in the loss of the Ark and the destruction of the Temple, the resurgence of Babylon as a spiritual force that governs the world at the end of days will accompany the rebuilding of the structure and the discovery of the Ark.

As Moses viewed the Land of Promise from Mount Nebo, but was prevented from entering, the Ark’s location upon Mount Nebo is seen, but not yet been obtained. However, according to prophecy, Moses will walk in Jerusalem in the end times, having finally gained access to the land viewed from atop Mount Nebo. As he waits for his designated time to enter the Promised Land, the Ark waits until the hour chosen by God.

The Bible records that the “glory of the Lord” moved into the Holy of Holies at the first installation of the Ark in Solomon’s Temple.[xxxii] Ezekiel, the prophet who warned of the destruction of Solomon’s Temple while exiled in Nippur, Babylonia, had witnessed the glory of the Lord move away from the Temple to the east, directly in line with Mount Nebo. This was in reference to God abandoning the Temple to its enemies, and is stated in Ezekiel 11:23: “And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which [is] on the east side of the city.”[xxxiii] Later, Ezekiel was shown the vision of the restored Temple of the future in which the glory of the Lord returned from the east, stated in Ezekiel 43:4: “And the glory of the Lord came into the Temple by the way of the gate whose prospect [is] toward the east.”[xxxiv]

The “glory of the Lord” was a distinct feature of the Ark between the cherubim. Translated, “glory” is shekinah in Hebrew, meaning “presence.” This presence of God was in form of a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of smoke by day during the travel of the Israelites in the desert. Whenever the glory of the Lord moved from the Tabernacle in the wilderness, the people followed. As the pillar of fire or smoke stood above the Ark, the Israelites stopped and set up camp. The glory of the Lord stood in a vertical column extending from Heaven to the surface of the Ark. The book of Exodus records that the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle had no lamps, largely because none were needed due to the intense glow of the Ark itself. In fact, when Moses went into the Holy of Holies to speak to God at the mercy seat, his face glowed so intensely that the Israelites were afraid to come near him unless he wore a veil[xxxv] (Exodus. 34:35). These descriptions associate the Ark with the glory of the Lord. When the Philistines captured the Ark and removed it from Israel, the daughter-in-law of Eli, the high priest, referred to the Ark as the glory of the Lord itself, saying, “The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken.”[xxxvi]

The Apocalypse of 2 Baruch provides the direction in which the Ark may rest in relation to the Temple. While the Babylonians began their siege of Jerusalem in 587 BC, Jeremiah the prophet threw the keys of the Temple and its sanctuary towards the sun:

But taking the keys of the temple, Jeremiah went outside the city and threw them away in the presence of the sun, saying: I say to you, Sun, take the keys of the temple of God and guard them until the day in which the Lord asks you for them. For we have not been found worthy to keep them, for we have become unfaithful guardians.[xxxvii]

This legend is found with variations in the Jewish Talmud and pertains to the destruction of the First and Second Temples.[xxxviii] As the sun rises in the east, throwing the keys of the Temple to the sun implies this direction. It is remarkable that the story of the keys and the hiding of the Ark are both connected to Jeremiah. This story is also significant metaphorically. The “keys” of the Temple represent both the stewardship of the priests of God and the sacred knowledge embodied by the Temple and its rituals. In the Talmud versions, the Levites or the high priest climbed to the structure’s roof and threw the keys into Heaven, from whence a divine hand caught them and disappeared into a cloud.[xxxix]

Jewish mystics believe that this act represented the loss of the correct pronunciation of the name of God, or the knowledge of Solomon. When viewed from this perspective, the “lost key” story represents the priscia theologia of the Temple of God as a divine receptacle of pure knowledge. It is a line of reasoning that Newton certainly had perused.

The Ark, representing the whole of the Law, was a designed using the Sacred Cubit. Because the 25.20-inch Sacred Cubit is a ratio of the Earth, being a fractal of 2,520 (and 2,520 x pi is earth’s diameter), the Ark reflects this geo-metry (literally, “earth-measure”). The solution for determining its present location might be found in the very word used for the divinely chosen resting place of the Ark, the naus or navis, the origin of the word “navigation,” which is the skill of measuring the Earth. As an expert in the Law, Jeremiah may have reasoned that if the Ark could not dwell in the Temple that was designed as its permanent resting place, it might at least remain in alignment with it, which suggests a specific navigational process for locating the Ark.

David Flynn continues:

A measuring line extended directly towards the east from the foundation stone of the Temple Mount must remain on the latitude of the foundation stone where the Ark rested in the Holy of Holies, which is north 31 degrees, 46 minutes, and 43 seconds. Its length must also be related to the Sacred Cubit, which is exactly 25.20 nautical miles. The result at the end of the measuring line touches the north slope of Mount Nebo less than a mile from its summit.

That 2,520 is a constant is incredible. The terminus of this measuring line touches a point on the north slope of Mount Nebo 1,260 feet above sea level, which is half of 2,520, and the Temple Mount in Jerusalem rests on a hill 2,520 feet above sea level.[xl] In fitting with the altitude of the location of the Ark on Mount Nebo, the letters of the name of Solomon in Greek equal 1,260; it is revealed that it was he who built the First Temple and established the Ark in the Holy of Holies.

These values are consistent with Newton’s scheme of the Temple’s prisca theologia, based on 25.20 of the Sacred Cubit and 2,520 of time recorded in the book of Daniel and Revelation. This numeric signature of prophecy and law is redundantly apparent in the proposed location of the Ark, situated in an area corresponding to the only description found in the biblical texts of its hiding place. Current satellite maps of the area reveal no modern settlements or excavations. In addition, the geology of the area is similar to the Qumran region of the Dead Sea, in which many caves exist. It would have been an extremely favorable location to deposit the Ark and furnishings of the Temple of Solomon.

 

Courtesy of NASA World Wind

 

Geographic location of the ark on the north slope of Mt. Nebo, Jordan. Map, Soviet general staff sheet H36VI, 1985

There are questions that arise concerning the exposure of the location of the Ark, if this calculation is accurate. Is it wise to uncover it? Will it fall into the wrong hands? Will the Ark be present in the rebuilt Temple of the end times?

It is reasonable that God would not provide information to find the Ark unless it was part of His divine plan. Although the acacia wood comprising it may have disintegrated, the gold overlaid around it, as well the solid gold of the mercy seat and cherubim, would have certainly withstood the effects of time. Its recovery would follow the precise design of God from the beginning. If the Ark’s location has been revealed, then it is God’s intention that it be discovered in this age. One specific detail must be worked out, however. The site of Ark of the Covenant on Mount Nebo is dependent on the exact location of the foundation stone on the Temple Mount. There are several theories concerning this question, the most promising is, significantly, linked to the Eastern Gate of the Temple.[xli]

David Flynn’s reasoning is spectacular to be sure, but one thing is certain: If the Bible is to be accepted as God’s Word on the matter, the Third Temple will be built and the revealing of the Ark of the Covenant and other Second Temple Treasures could—any day now—ignite global impetus for its construction.

In the fascinating article, “Oklahoma Noahide on the Trail of Temple Gold” by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz for Breaking Israel News, we learn exactly where the Temple treasures may be hidden. We’ll get into that in the next entry.

TO BE CONTINUED…

[i] Dr. David Reagan, “The Third Temple: When Will It Be Built?” Lion and Lamb Ministries, christinprophecy.org/articles/the-third-temple/.

[ii] “Devarim,” Chabad of the West Side, http://www.chabadwestside.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/1257081/jewish/Devarim.htm.

[iii] “Has the Ark of the Covenant Been Discovered?” Israel Video Network, September 1, 2017, https://www.israelvideonetwork.com/has-the-ark-of-the-covenant-been-discovered/.

[iv] Talmud Yoma’ v.2. Translated by Michael L. Rodkinson. (New York: New Talmud Pub. Co.1903).

[v] Mishnah, in Tractate Shkalim, it is written: “A priest in the Second Temple saw a section the floor which was different from the other floors and he understood that in this place there was an entrance to an underground tunnel and he came and shared it with his friend. Before he could finish sharing what he had seen with his friends, he died. They then knew very clearly that that was the place where the Ark of the Covenant was hidden.” According to Maimonides, Solomon knew that the Temple would be destroyed in the future and prepared a repository for the Ark underneath the Temple mount. Later King Josiah hid the Ark in Solomon’s secret vault. Maimonides, The Book of Temple Service, 17. also Hilchot Beit HaBecheirah 4:1 and Tractate Yoma, 53b. Translated by Michael L. Rodkinson. New York: New Talmud Pub. Co.1903.

[vi] Captain Charles W. Wilson, Ordinance Survey of Jerusalem (London: Palestine Exploration Fund, 1884).

[vii] Major Condor, Our Work in Palestine (London: Palestine Exploration Fund, 1866).

[viii] Kebra Nagast, Miguel F. Brooks, Ed., Glory of Kings (Lawrenceville, NJ: Red Sea Press, 1996) 46.

[ix] 1 Kings 11:9–12m KJV

[x] 2 Chronicles12:9, KJV.

[xi] Columbia Encyclopedia, 3rd ed. (New York: Columbia University, 1963) 453.

[xii] Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, 1871 (Hendrickson Publishers, New Edition, March 1, 1997).

[xiii] 2 Chronicles 26:24, KJV.

[xiv] 2 Chronicles 35:3, KJV.

[xv] Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible.

[xvi] 2 Chronicles 35:20, KJV.

[xvii] Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible.

[xviii] 2 Chronicles 35:22–24, KJV.

[xix] Columbia Encyclopedia, 213.The Apocryphal books were considered historically valuable enough to be included in the King James Bible from its formation in 1611 until 1885. Later, these fourteen books were officially removed from the English printings of the King James Bible by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1885.

[xx] II Macabees 2:4 Bishop Challoner’s 18th century revision of the Douay Rheims version Catholic Public Domain Version. 2005 Ronald L. Conte Jr., translator and editor.

[xxi] R. H. Charles, The Apocrypha and Pseudopigrapha of the Old Testament, Vol. 2, 2 Baruch 6 (Oxford, UK: Oxford Press, 1913).

[xxii] James Strong, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Hebrew Dictionary, Hebrew Lexicon, # 5015 (Iowa Falls, IA: World Bible Publishers, 1986).

[xxiii] Ibid. # 5013.

[xxiv] Ibid. # 5011.

[xxv] Deuteronomy 34:10, KJV.

[xxvi] Deuteronomy 34:5, KJV.

[xxvii] Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary, # 5014.

[xxviii] Talmud (Sanhedrin XI. 109a) (Cf. Obermeyer, pp. 314, 327, 346). Translated by Michael L. Rodkinson. (New York: New Talmud Pub. Co., c1896–c1903).

[xxix] Numbers 21:9, KJV.

[xxx] 2 Kings 18:24, KJV.

[xxxi] The sculpture of the serpent on the pole was created by Italian artist Giovanni Fantoni. Wikipedia Mount Nebo.

[xxxii] 1 Kings 8:10, KJV.

[xxxiii] Ezekiel 11:23, KJV.

[xxxiv] Ezekiel 43:4, KJV.

[xxxv] Exodus 34:35, KJV.

[xxxvi] 1 Samuel 4:22, KJV.

[xxxvii] R. H. Charles, The Apocrypha and Pseudopigrapha of the Old Testament..

[xxxviii] Ibid., Ta’anit 29a and in Pesikta Rabbati 26:6.

[xxxix] Ibid., Talmud. Jalkut Shekalim 50a and B. on Isa. xxi.

[xl] Columbia Encyclopedia, 1080.

[xli] David Flynn, Temple at the Center of Time, Official Disclosure, First Edition, (Crane, MO: Defender Publishing, September 8, 2008) 129–144.

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