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Ark of the Covenant

Ark of the Covenant

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Published by kaf_king
............Where is it...???............
............Where is it...???............

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: kaf_king on Mar 15, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Sign and the SealArk of the CovenantTHE SIGN AND THE SEAL
by Graham Hancock It was growing dark and the air of the Ethiopian highlands was chill when themonk appeared. Stooped and leaning on a prayer stick he shuffled towards mefrom the doorway of the sanctuary chapel and listened attentively as I wasintroduced to him. Speaking in Tigrigna, the local language, he then soughtclarification through my interpreter about my character and my motives: fromwhich country had I come, what work did I do there, was I a Christian, what was itthat I wanted from him?
Initiation: 1986
 I answered each of these questions fully, squinting through the gloom as Italked, trying to make out the details of my inquisitor's face. Milkycataracts veiled his small sunken eyes and deep lines furrowed his blackskin. He was bearded and probably toothless - for although his voice wasresonant it was also oddly slurred. All I could be sure of, however, was thathe was an old man, as old as the century perhaps, that he had his witsabout him, and that he did not seem to be seeking information about meout of idle curiosity. Only when he was satisfied with everything that I hadsaid did he condescend to shake hands with me. His grip was dry anddelicate as papyrus and from the thick robes that he wore, faint butunmistakable, arose the holy odour of frankincense.Now that the formalities were over I got straight to the point. Gesturing inthe direction of the building that loomed in shadowy outline behind us, Isaid: 'I have heard of an Ethiopian tradition that the Ark of the Covenant is
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The Sign and the Seal
kept here... in this chapel. I have also heard that you are the guardian of the Ark. Are these things true?''They are true.''But in other countries nobody believes these stories. Few know aboutyour traditions anyway, but those who do say that they are false.''People may believe what they wish. People may say what they wish.Nevertheless we do possess the sacred Tabot, that is to say the Ark of theCovenant, and I am its guardian...''Let me be clear about this,' I interjected. 'Are you referring to the originalArk of the Covenant - the box made of wood and gold in which the TenCommandments were placed by the prophet Moses?''Yes. God Himself inscribed the ten words of the law upon two tablets of stone. Moses then placed these tablets inside the Ark of the Covenant -which afterwards accompanied the Israelites during their wanderings inthe wilderness and their conquest of the Promised Land. It brought themvictory wherever they went and made them a great people. At last, whenits work was done, King Solomon placed it in the Holy of Holies of theTemple that he had built in Jerusalem. And from there, not longafterwards, it was removed and brought to Ethiopia...''Tell me how this happened,' I asked. 'What I know of your traditions isonly that the Queen of Sheba is supposed to have been an Ethiopianmonarch. The legends I have read say that when she made her famous journey to Jerusalem she was impregnated by King Solomon and borehim a son - a royal prince - who in later years stole the Ark...'The monk sighed. 'The name of the prince you are speaking of wasMenelik - which in our language means "the son of the wise man".Although he was conceived in Jerusalem he was born in Ethiopia wherethe Queen of Sheba had returned after discovering that she was carryingSolomon's child. When he had reachedthe age of twenty, Menelik himself travelled from Ethiopia to Israel andarrived at his father's court. There hewas instantly recognized and accordedgreat honour. After a year had passed,however, the elders of the land became jealous of him. They complained thatSolomon showed him too much favour and they insisted that he must go back
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The Sign and the Seal
to Ethiopia. This the king accepted on the condition that the first-born sonsof all the elders should also be sent to accompany him. Amongst theselatter was Azarius, son of Zadok the High Priest of Israel, and it wasAzarius, not Menelik, who stole the Ark of the Covenant from its place inthe Holy of Holies in the Temple. Indeed the group of young men did notreveal the theft to Menelik until they were far away from Jerusalem. Whenat last they told him what they had done he understood that they could nothave succeeded in so bold a venture unless God had willed it. Thereforehe agreed that the Ark should remain with them. And it was thus that itwas brought to Ethiopia, to this sacred city... and here it has remainedever since.''And are you telling me that this legend is literally true?''It is not a legend. It is history.''How can you be so sure of that?''Because I am the guardian. I know the nature of the object that has been placedin my care.'We sat in silence for a few moments while I adjusted my mind to the calm andrational way in which the monk had told me these bizarre and impossible things.Then I asked him how and why he had been appointed to his position. He repliedthat it was a great honour that he should have been chosen, that he had beennominated with the last words of his predecessor, and that when he himself layon his death-bed his turn would come to nominate his own successor.'What qualities will you look for in that man?''Love of God, purity of heart, cleanliness of mind and body.''Other than you,' I asked next, 'is anyone else allowed to see the Ark?''No. I alone may see it.''So does that mean that it is never brought out of the sanctuary chapel?'The guardian paused for a long while before answering this question. Then,finally, he told me that in the very distant past the relic had been brought outduring all the most important church festivals. More recently its use in religiousprocessions had been limited to just one occasion a year. That occasion was theceremony known as Timkat which took place every January.'So if I come back next January will I have a chance of seeing the Ark?'
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