In Search of the Ark of the Covenant

The Ark of the Covenant with Gold Vessel of Manna and Aaron’s Blossoming Staff As a child I went to see the Movie of Indiana Jones, the Raiders of the Lost Ark. At the climactic ending the reverent Indi closes his eyes and instructs his girlfriend to do the same, while the unhidden presence of God in the Ark kills the irreverent and greedy Nazis. Through a trail of mysterious archeological clues it was Indiana Jones who discovered the ark in the first place. Could such a legendary trail exist? And if so, by such means is humanity to follow the footsteps of our Creator? In the Hebrew Bible, Numbers 10:33 states that the Ark was made that the Divine Presence would seek out a resting place for the Hebrews. This manifestation of God‘s visible presence, called the Shekinah, appeared as a white cloud at day and a fire at night (Exodus 40:34-39). When this cloud was present the Hebrews would remain in their desert camp, when the cloud lifted they could move toward the Land of Promise. All places on the land where the Ark came to rest became holy (2 Chronicles 8:11b).

When the Cloud appeared they would make camp

The Ark of the Covenant was one of the means God offered his direct presence and power to early Israel (Exodus 25: 10-22; Psalm 78:61, 132:6-8). He commanded Moses to make the Ark out of the hardwood of a flowering tree, the acacia. The Ark was made by the priestly craftsman named Bezalel. The box would be roughly 4 feet long, 3 feet wide and 3 feet high and covered with gold (Exodus 37). The lid was to have a ‗Mercy Seat‘ representing the throne of God (1 Samuel 4:4; Isaiah 37:16) with two Cherubim angels on either side. Four golden rings were to be fastened to the four corners where two acacia poles also covered in gold would be used to carry the Ark. To be placed in the Ark was a jar of the manna from the desert, which nourished the Israelites in their need (Exodus 16); the staff of Aaron, which miraculously budded fresh leaves (Numbers 17); and the Ten Commandments, which were the stones carved by God Himself as the Sacred Seal of His Covenant with the tribe of Israel confirming its name as the Ark of the Covenant. The Tent of the Meeting (between God and Moses, Joshua and/or the High Priests) concealed the Ark from common view. Covering the Ark from the elements in transport was a curtain used in the Tent of the Meeting made of badgers‘ skins and a blue veil (Numbers 4:5,20). Moses and his people traveled through the desert with the Ark of the Covenant, which they placed in a sacred tent or tabernacle at the resting points of their journey. A cloud would cover this tent when God was present there and Moses was given sacred messages as the Divine Presence spoke to him from above the Mercy Seat (Exodus 25:22), also called the Place of Expiation where the blood of animals was sprinkled once a year on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:14-15). Strict purity rites and offerings were associated with the priests who entered the Presence of the Ark. To defile these rites in the Presence of God meant certain death. The Hebrew Bible writes of a sacred chant Moses sang as the Ark was transported and given a resting place: And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said: 'Rise up, O LORD, and let Thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate Thee flee before Thee.' And when it rested, he said: 'Return, O LORD, unto the ten thousands of the families of Israel.' Numbers 10: 35-36 The Ark guided the Israelites to their Promise Land across the Jordan, where it assisted them in battle. They carried it around Jericho seven times before its walls and city fell (Joshua 6). The Ark was then ministered to by the High Priest of Israel in the town of Shiloh for 300 to 400 years (1 Samuel 1:3).

The Siege of Jericho with the Ark of the Covenant During the ministry of the High Priest Eli, in Shiloh, there was a woman, named Hannah, who prayed before the Ark to be delivered of her baroness. Hannah was particularly desperate, since her husband‘s second wife would taunt her in her affliction. As Hannah moved her lips in prayer without a sound before the Ark, Eli looked on believing she was drunk. The Hebrew Bible writes: Now Hannah, she spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice could not be heard; therefore, Eli thought she had been drunken. And Eli said unto her: 'How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee.' And Hannah answered and said: 'No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I poured out my soul before the LORD. Count not thy handmaid for a wicked woman: for out of the abundance of my complaint and my vexation have I spoken hitherto.' Then Eli answered and said: 'Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant thy petition that thou hast asked of Him.' And she said: 'Let thy servant find favour in thy sight.' So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad…. And it came to pass, when the time was come about, that Hannah conceived, and bore a son; and she called his name Samuel: 'because I have asked him of the LORD.' And the man Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer unto the LORD the yearly sacrifice, and his vow. But Hannah went not up; for she said unto her husband: 'Until the child be weaned, when I will bring him, that he may appear before the LORD, and there abide for ever.' I Samuel 1: 13-18, 20

The story outlines the relationship of understanding, love and divine life that developed in the presence of the Ark of the Covenant. Then Hannah sang a new song before the Ark of the Covenant: And Hannah prayed, and said: my heart exulteth in the LORD, my horn is exalted in the LORD; my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in Thy salvation. There is none holy as the LORD, for there is none beside Thee; neither is there any rock like our God. Multiply not exceeding proud talk; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by Him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength. They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry have ceased; while the barren hath borne seven, she that had many children hath languished. The LORD killeth, and maketh alive; He bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich; He bringeth low, He also lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, He lifteth up the needy from the dung-hill, to make them sit with princes, and inherit the throne of glory; for the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, and He hath set the world upon them. He will keep the feet of His holy ones, but the wicked shall be put to silence in darkness; for not by strength shall man prevail. They that strive with the LORD shall be broken to pieces; against them will He thunder in heaven; the LORD will judge the ends of the earth; and He will give strength unto His king, and exalt the horn of His anointed. I Samuel 2: 1-10 Hannah‘s song is an example of how the Shekinah or Divine Presence nourished the individual‘s identity who come to belong to the community and world sprouting into fullness around Her (the Shekinah is often referred to as the Divine Feminine in Jewish tradition). In the tradition of the priests before the Ark, Hannah made for her son Samuel a linen ephod to worship before the Lord. And the Lord called Samuel before the Ark to be a prophet. And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli…. and the lamp of God was not yet gone out, and Samuel was laid down to sleep in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, that the LORD called Samuel; And he said: 'Here am I.' And he ran unto Eli, and said: 'Here am I; for thou didst call me.' And he said: 'I called not; lie down again.' And he went and lay down. And the LORD called yet again Samuel.

And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said: 'Here am I; for thou didst call me.' And he answered: 'I called not, my son; lie down again.' Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him. And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said: 'Here am I; for thou didst call me.' And Eli perceived that the LORD was calling the child. Therefore Eli said unto Samuel: 'Go, lie down; and it shall be, if thou be called, that thou shalt say: Speak, LORD; for Thy servant heareth.' So Samuel went and lay down in his place. And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times: 'Samuel, Samuel.' Then Samuel said: 'Speak; for Thy servant heareth.' And the LORD said to Samuel: 'Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle.’… And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan even to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD. And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh; for the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD. I Samuel 3: 1-11, 19-21

The Lord calls Eli before the Ark The Ark of the Covenant produced a covenantal vow between Hannah and the Shekinah presented by the offering of her own son, Samuel, to stand and minister forever before the Ark. A parallel is the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his own son, Isaac. The Shekinah inspired Her children to turn over themselves and all they possess wholeheartedly. This giving away, like the planting of a seed, enables the Creator to continue to produce an eternal inheritance upon the earth. Not all people knew and practiced the value of this relationship before the Ark.

Eli‘s sons were unkind to visitors of the Ark in Shiloh, so the Lord allowed Israel to be defeated in battle and the Ark to be taken to the land of the Philistines (1 Samuel 4-6). The Philistines kept the Ark for 7 months. During this time Philistines who irreverently looked into the Ark fell dead, their statue of the god, Dagon, fell and crumbled before the Ark and their rulers and people suffered from a plague of boils and rats. They made a guilt offering of 5 golden tumorous boils and 5 golden rats, placed the Ark on a cart and sent it back to Israel. The cart returned to the land of Joshua the Beth Shemite during the wheat harvest. There was a large stone, so the Hebrews immediately made a sacrifice with the cart as firewood and the cows as a burnt offering (1 Samuel 6:13-14), but a similar plague broke out among the Hebrews. So the Ark was transported closer to Jerusalem to Kiriath-jearim in the house of Abinadab (later in Baale, Judah) inside the hill for the next 70 years (I Samuel 7:1-2). King David inquired about the Ark in the house of Abinadab as the Hebrew Bible states: When the Hebrews finally defeated the Philistines under King David, before the Ark David exulted the Lord: And David again gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him, from Baale-judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whereupon is called the Name, even the name of the LORD of hosts that sitteth upon the cherubim. And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drove the new cart. And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was in the hill, with the ark of God, and Ahio went before the ark. And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD with all manner of instruments made of cypress-wood, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with sistra, and with cymbals. And when they came to the threshing-floor of Nacon, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God. And David was displeased, because the LORD had broken forth upon Uzzah; and that place was called Perez-uzzah, unto this day.

And David was afraid of the LORD that day; and he said: 'How shall the ark of the LORD come unto me?' So David would not remove the ark of the LORD unto him into the city of David; but David carried it aside into the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. And the ark of the LORD remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months; and the LORD blessed Obed-edom, and all his house. And it was told king David, saying: 'The LORD hath blessed the house of Obed-edom, and all that pertaineth unto him, because of the ark of God.' And David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom into the city of David with joy. And it was so, that when they that bore the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the horn. And it was so, as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out at the window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart. And they brought in the ark of the LORD, and set it in its place, in the midst of the tent that David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings before the LORD. And when David had made an end of offering the burnt-offering and the peace-offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts. And he dealt among all the people, even among the whole multitude of Israel, both to men and women, to every one a cake of bread, and a cake made in a pan, and a sweet cake. So all the people departed every one to his house. Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said: 'How did the king of Israel get him honour to-day, who uncovered himself to-day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!' And David said unto Michal: 'Before the LORD, who chose me above thy father, and above all his house, to appoint me prince over the people of the LORD, over Israel, before the LORD will I make merry. And I will be yet more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight; and with the handmaids whom thou hast spoken of, with them will I get me honour.' And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death. 2 Samuel 6: 1-23

King David dancing before the Ark of the Covenant It was apparent to King David that any infringement to the sacred protocol applied to the Ark of the Shekinah would result in certain death. God could be misjudged in these cases where life is taken away at what may seem unequalled missteps and faults of those in relationship with their Creator. From the Creator‘s perspective, eternity is the backdrop of judging creation, not the brief lifespan the Creator bestows. Consider the testimony of Uzzah beyond his lifetime. He only had to slip and touch the Ark to become a witness to the end of the earth. The site of his death became known as Perez-Uzzah, the Reckoning of Uzzah. The term was written on the wall as Mene mene tekel perez (you have been measured, you have been found lacking, there will be a reckoning) to the Babylonian ruler and became a world renowned warning, ‗The Writing is on the Wall‘. We were all created by the Shekinah who is the Divine Life Giver, there is a mystery to solve regarding the fact that we are all to die and experience that taking away of that life once freely given. The Creator owes us nothing, even now that we exist. Therefore, the Creator can take away what was once given. It was an act of graciousness that we were even able to exist. Yet, the mystery blossoms like the rod of Aaron from this Ark. Hannah and David experience this mystery in similar fashion. Both individuals are misunderstood by those around them and even treated harshly. Hannah is thought to be a drunk by the High Priest. Eli might have been thinking, ―Surely she will die today before the Ark. Perhaps her barrenness is a sign of her sin.‖ The Hannah was also mistreated by her husband‘s other wife with, ―I have children and you don‘t, therefore will have a greater relationship with our husband forever.‖ Yet, the Shekinah cut through these false judgments of reality. Hannah herself was given the courage to defend herself with, ―I‘m not a drunk – I‘m praying in desperation for an inheritance of children.‖ Eli changed his heart and his mind. Hannah gave birth to the next High Priest. A

scoffer was humbled. A handmaid was raised up. A child was born. The Shekinah broke through the soil, the mire and the manure with a seed of devotion before the Ark of the Covenant. David is thought to be a scandal dancing naked before the Ark. Michal, daughter of Saul, might have thought, ―Now I will get even, produce Perez-reckoning for my father Saul. The so called King David will become the scorn of all Israel. He is a pervert before my maidens.‖ Yet, the Shekinah cut through once again the false judgment of reality. David was given the joy of that original Golden Era of the Divine Presence in the Garden and all Jerusalem was given a share in the Bread of the Presence, the meal of the Ark. Sadly, Michal became barren herself. Yet, she remains a witness like Uzzah to the ends of the earth for all time of the perfect and unselfish understanding of the Shekinah. The common thread between Hannah and David before the Ark is that we all belong in relationship to the Shekinah. Her beauty of overpowering, Her power is everlasting, and so much as a morsel from Her divine banquet of the harvest from Beth Shemesh before the Ark satisfies the loneliest most barren heart forever. And the Shekinah of the Ark, She calls you by name. They called the Ark, the Name, or Shem, which is a way of addressing the Lord in Hebrew. Shem, as name, means more than the letters that make up a persons‘ identity, but Shem actually means the sum total of the qualities and values that make up that identity. Shem is a word from Exodus 33, where it says, ‗the Lord knew Moses by name’. Here Moses interceded for the nomadic Hebrews who were wearing idolatrous neck ornaments. To call the Ark, Shem or Name is a very historic and intimate title. It is symbolic of God‘s covenantal promise of mercy to Moses that Israel would be treated with mercy even after their sin at Horeb with the golden calf. Yet, to remain in relationship with Israel, the Shekinah of the Ark required the purity of Israel to also remain, and therefore, the Ark was also sign or perhaps even a thermometer of Israel‘s own redemption and purification. In the Hebrew Bible, the Psalmist chants such praise of the Ark: Lo, we heard of it as being in Ephrath; we found it in the field of the wood. Let us go into His dwelling-place; let us worship at His footstool. Arise, O LORD, unto Thy resting-place; Thou, and the ark of Thy strength. Let Thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let Thy saints shout for joy. For Thy servant David's sake turn not away the face of Thine anointed. Psalm 132:6-11 David and Hannah were not only judged through the veil of mercy by the Lord on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant, they were also understood by the Shekinah to the depth of their hearts. When David danced naked the Shekinah saw that he was clothed in righteousness much like an innocent newborn baby boy. His purity came in the cleansing bath of Her eternal gift of joy. This cleansing water of joy cannot be judged by even the keenest eye, but it is more

powerful than the purest spring. This spiritual water of joy cleanses the heart, because She wants an intimate relationship with Her creation. David‘s joy burst forth from the geyser of freedom. He might have thought, ―I have not fallen dead, therefore, the Presence of the Lord in the Ark is pleased with me.‖ It sounds odd, but as spiritual beings it can be the thermometer of our relationship with God, which in light of the eternal plan is exactly the same as saying, ―The sun is shining on me today, therefore my Creator is smiling on me.‖ Uzzah and Michal are seated before the Shekinah of the Ark in heaven for all eternity knowing they affected Her creation for all time. What can be more satisfying than that, and they did not even deserve such a reward. David and Hannah experienced it in both this life and the next, but they too required Her mercy before the all-knowing Judge of the Ark of the Covenant, perhaps even more than Uzzah and Micah. The key is that the relationship is defined by the Source of Life and from this foundation all life finds growth, even when it seems impossible like the sprouting of Aaron‘s staff. For David, he would have to wait until the next life to move the Ark into his city. David moved the Ark into the Tent of the Tabernacle on Mt. Moriah (1 Chronicles 15) until Solomon placed it in the Temple of Jerusalem (1 Kings 8; 2 Chronicles 5): And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto its place, into the Sanctuary of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubim. 1 Kings 8:6

Solomon furnishing the Temple with the Ark The words of the prophet sing, ―In everything there is a season.‖ Eventually, we will find rest in the same resting place as the Ark. All we need is to trust the divine plan before all the influence

the world can muster, much like Moses who was able to understand God‘s mercy before the Ark. After the example of Moses, King Hezekiah also interceded before the Ark for Israel under the threat in a letter from the Assyrian army: And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD…. And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said: 'O LORD, the God of Israel, that sittest upon the cherubim, Thou art the God, even Thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; Thou hast made heaven and earth. Incline Thine ear, O LORD, and hear; open Thine eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, wherewith he hath sent him to taunt the living God. Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone; therefore they have destroyed them. Now therefore, O LORD our God, save Thou us, I beseech Thee, out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that Thou art the LORD God, even Thou only.' Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying: 'Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel: Whereas thou hast prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria, I have heard thee. This is the word that the LORD hath spoken concerning him: The virgin daughter of Zion hath despised thee and laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee…. And this shall be the sign unto thee: ye shall eat this year that which groweth of itself, and in the second year that which springeth of the same; and in the third year sow ye, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the fruit thereof. And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward. For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and out of mount Zion they that shall escape; the zeal of the LORD of hosts shall perform this…. For I will defend this city to save it, for Mine own sake, and for My servant David's sake. 2 Kings 19: 1, 14-21, 29-31, 34 Hezekiah might have initially naturally been overwhelmed by letter from the warring Assyrian king. But he placed it before the Ark of the Covenant and was washed in the courage of Shem Shekinah. He might have thought, ―Here, Creator of all. You can have this letter. It is certainly

too much for me, but not too much for you. It appears that the Assyrians want to be forever remembered as an example of the power of their Creator.‖ King Josiah was among the last to witness the Ark in the Temple of Solomon. In 586 bce, a generation after Josiah‘s death, the Babylonian‘s drew Israel into exile (2 Chronicles 35). The King of Israel forgot to place the Babylonian‘s war letter before the Ark. Jeremiah consoled those in exile by speaking of God‘s throne and covenant written not merely in the Ark (Jeremiah 3:16-17), but in the New Jerusalem in the hearts of the remnant of Israel (Jeremiah 31, 31-34; Ezekiel 9-11). Those who truly knew the relationship of the Shekinah of the Ark of the Covenant already understood Jeremiah. Remember, the greater purpose of the Ark was to help Israel find a resting place. Once the resting place was identified the Ark could remain hid, but only with the understanding that the resting place is for both Creator and creation to dwell together forever. The deeper heart to heart relationship revealed God‘s trust beyond the face to face relationship and so the Ark could be hid for another purpose. Now, what was hidden from all the world but Israel, is now hidden from all the world including Israel. The mystery the world was given is that there is a God that dwells in Israel. The world is then compelled to ask the question, ―Why is Israel so special?‖ Based on the response of Michal toward David for dancing naked before the Ark and the harsh treatment toward the barren Hannah, perhaps there is a parallel with the envy toward Israel by other nations due to suspicions regarding the Hebrews‘ special relationship with God. Yet, the persecutors of Israel miss the point and are begging to become witnesses to the end of the earth of God‘s reckoning power. This is the point of singling out Israel with the Ark of the Covenant: The Hebrews attempted to maintain a Shekinah based Ark of the Covenant relationship worked out through the finding of a common resting place highlighting the intimacy between Israel and God; after finding the resting place in the Promise Land of Canaan, the Ark was hidden, not just from the world, but from Israel as well. The Shekinah, who sees through even the keenest false judgments, desires to draw all of humanity under the same story of the Ark. The wisdom of it all unites Israel to the rest of humanity in our common divine journey in finding the New Resting Place of the Ark. It is another way of saying that we are all children of Abraham (the First Father of the Covenant), or for certain Adam (the First Father of All). It is true, Jeremiah down played the significance of the Ark (Jeremiah 3:16). If our covenantal relationship with God is generated by other means, the Ark is not a necessity. But the Creator designed it as an instrument. What tools the Creator stores in his carpenter‘s box can be taken out again at the Creator‘s necessity. When it comes to the Ark of the Covenant this is exactly what is happening. Even during the return from Babylon, there were Jews on Mount Zion that believed the Ark would one day reappear. Consider the following sacred verse from the Greek speaking Hebrews: It was also in the writing that the prophet, having received an oracle, ordered that the tent and the ark should follow with him, and that he went out to the mountain (Mt. Nebo) where Moses had gone up and had seen the inheritance of God.

And Jeremiah came and found a cave, and he brought there the tent and the ark and the altar of incense, and he sealed up the entrance. Some of those who followed him came up to mark the way, but could not find it. When Jeremiah learned of it, he rebuked them and declared: "The place shall be unknown until God gathers his people together again and shows his mercy. And then the Lord will disclose these things, and the glory of the Lord and the cloud will appear, as they were shown in the case of Moses, and as Solomon asked that the place should be specially consecrated.” 2 Maccabees 2:4-8

Jeremiah hiding the Ark on Mount Nebo The Christians believed the Ark to reappear also (Revelation 11:19). There is the Christian belief that the blood of their Messiah at Calvary is the fulfillment of the blood of animals poured on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant at the Day of Atonement (Hebrews 9:4). Christians would regard as fulfillment of the Maccabees prophecy above the white cloud on the Mount of the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9) where Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus to shine bright as the sun, while Peter, James and John looked on in amazement. The white cloud is transferred from a relationship between the Shekinah of the Ark to a relationship with the Messiah and His Father who speaks from heaven, ―This is my own dear son, listen to him.‖ Mark 9:7. Could Jesus from Galilee be this Messiah? And if the Messiah, would he not identify the location of the Ark? Israel‘s relationship with the Messiah would develop in some fashion similar to Israel‘s relationship with the Shekinah of the Ark. Like King David and Samuel‘s mother, Hannah, Jesus suffered from the scorn of those around him who were using their political and religious

influence to have Jesus killed. To take his disciples upon Mount Herman was an opportunity to find a resting place for God and his people. Walking with his disciples up the Mountain he must have recalled the song of David: As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: 'When shall I come and appear before God?' My tears have been my food day and night, while they say unto me all the day: 'Where is thy God?' These things I remember, and pour out my soul within me, how I passed on with the throng, and led them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, a multitude keeping holyday. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why moanest thou within me? Hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise Him for the salvation of His countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me; therefore do I remember Thee from the land of Jordan, and the Hermons, from the hill Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the voice of Thy cataracts; all Thy waves and Thy billows are gone over me. By day the LORD will command His lovingkindness, and in the night His song shall be with me, even a prayer unto the God of my life. I will say unto God my Rock: 'Why hast Thou forgotten me? Why go I mourning under the oppression of the enemy?' As with a crushing in my bones, mine adversaries taunt me; while they say unto me all the day: 'Where is thy God?' Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why moanest thou within me? Hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the salvation of my countenance, and my God. Psalm 42 Just like the Psalm, up Mount Hermon, Jesus and his disciples would have passed many brooks with deer drinking from the cascades that eventually would flow into the Jordan. Messiah or not, Jesus soul was crushed within, since he was wanted in Jerusalem and even in his hometown nearly cast over a cliff. He would tell his disciples, ―Foxes have holes, birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to rest.‖ Luke 9:58. Was this not the purpose of the Ark of the Covenant, to find a place of rest for Israel and their God?

Where was the Ark of the Covenant at the time of Jesus of Nazareth? Perhaps its whereabouts would shed some light on who was this Jesus truly. A historical document called, Jewish Antiquities, by Josephus potentially places the Ark of the Covenant at Mount Gerizim in the region of Samaria. The Samaritan Prophet of 36 ce: For a man who made light of mendacity and in all his designs catered to the mob, rallied them, bidding them go in a body with him to Mount Gerizim, which in their belief is the most sacred of mountains. He assured them that on their arrival he would show them the sacred vessels which were buried there, where Moses had deposited them. His hearers, viewing this tale as plausible, appeared in arms. They posted themselves in a certain village named Tirathana, and, as they planned to climb the mountain in a great multitude, they welcomed to their ranks the new arrivals who kept coming. But before they could ascend, Pilate blocked their projected route up the mountain with a detachment of cavalry and heavily armed infantry, who in an encounter with the first comers in the village slew some in a pitched battle and put the others to flight. Many prisoners were taken, of whom Pilate put to death the principal leaders and those who were most influential among the fugitives. Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 18.85-87 The Samaritan prophet was convincing enough for many to sacrifice their lives for these sacred vessels of Moses on Mount Gerizim. Being from Moses these vessels may have included the Ark of the Covenant. Were there more sources available to confirm this possibility? It was not until the mid-20th Century that one such source was found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. On a Copper Scroll found in a cave behind the ruins of Qumran beside the Dead Sea were written 64 locations of various treasures of gold and silver and what scholars believe might possibly be treasures from the Temple of Jerusalem. One of the locations of temple treasure written near the end of the Copper Scroll reads: On Mount Garizim, underneath the staircase of the upper tunnel: a chest and all its contents and sixty talents of silver. Could this chest be the Ark of the Covenant together with its contents of the tablets of the Ten Commandments, the golden urn with manna and Aaron‘s staff. These are two confirmed sources of the day telling of temple treasure buried at Gerizim. And there is a third source. This potential Messiah himself was at the base of Mount Gerizim and his extended dialogue with a Samaritan woman at Jacob‘s Well is recorded as follows: Now when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again to Galilee.

He had to pass through Samar'ia. So he came to a city of Samar'ia, called Sy'char, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there, and so Jesus, wearied as he was with his journey, sat down eside the well. It was about the sixth hour. There came a woman of Samar'ia to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samar'ia?" For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, `Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water." The woman said to him, "Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep; where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, and his sons, and his cattle?"

Jesus said to her, "Every one who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw." Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here." The woman answered him, "I have no husband."

Jesus said to her, "You are right in saying, `I have no husband'; for you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband; this you said truly." The woman said to him, "Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain; and you say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship." Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ); when he comes, he will show us all things." Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am he." Just then his disciples came. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but none said, "What do you wish?" or, "Why are you talking with her?" So the woman left her water jar, and went away into the city, and said to the people, "Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?" They went out of the city and were coming to him. Meanwhile the disciples besought him, saying, "Rabbi, eat." But he said to them, "I have food to eat of which you do not know." So the disciples said to one another, "Has any one brought him food?" Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, `There are yet four months, then comes the harvest'? I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see how the fields are already white for harvest. He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, `One sows and another reaps.' I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor." Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me all that I ever did." So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, "It is no longer because of your words that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and

we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world." After the two days he departed to Galilee. The Gospel of John, Chapter 4 Again, there is a relationship developing here between God (if Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah) and another woman, who would be regarded as an outcast to many in Israel like the barren Hannah. If Jesus is God, he would draw her into relationship even though she was a Samaritan outcast. If Jesus was God he would also know that the Ark of the Covenant was there above Jacob‘s well buried under the steps of the Samaritan Temple on Mount Gerizim. If he was the Messiah, would Jesus not give a sign to the reader of his knowledge of the presence of the Ark? Notice when Jesus speaks of his food ‗to do the will of him who sent me‘, and says: Do you not say, `There are yet four months, then comes the harvest'? I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see how the fields are already white for harvest. He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. Mark 4:35 Jesus command to his disciples to lift up their eyes to perceive the white of the harvest that their may be a reaping and rejoicing, is the exact event that took place when the Ark returned from Philistine to the fields of Beth Shemesh: And they of Beth-shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley; and they lifted up their eyes, and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it. And the cart came into the field of Joshua the Beth-shemite, and stood there, where there was a great stone... 1 Samuel 6:13-14

They lifted up their eyes and saw the Ark…

The woman at the well and Jesus were debating this very event. Jesus convinced her that salvation was from the Hebrews who believed the Temple was meant to be in Jerusalem. Yet, he admitted that even those in Jerusalem would descend their mountain together with those at Mount Gerizim to worship together in spirit and in truth. The Temple of Mount Gerizim actually contained a hiding place of the Ark. Why? Perhaps it was smuggled there by Samaritans to solidify their attempts at authenticating the Temple at Gerizim. Perhaps there is another cause. How many times have we attempted to explain the location of the Ark of the Covenant as if it were something that humanity had control over? Israel and Philistia had to learn this the hard way, that we do not find the Ark, the Ark finds us. If Jesus is the Messiah, he is relating to the Samaritan woman that the original Mountain of Salvation is Zion, therefore, the Ark at Mt. Gerizim is intended to sanctify the humanities attempt at making a holy mountain. The Messiah meeting the woman at the base of this mountain is a confirmation of this work of God to bring the salvation of Jerusalem to the ends of the earth. The cloud appears at Mount Gerizim in Jesus‘ description of the ripe white harvest of wheat gathering as the Samaritans believe in the Messiah. Just as the cloud atop Mount Hermon where Jesus is transfigured. In Jesus day Mount Hermon was understood as the Mountain of Pan (meaning ‗all‘ in Greek), deity of the earth and the harvest. Yet in the Transfiguration these Christian text does not name the Mountain. The Transfiguration, like Mount Gerizim, represents ‗all‘ (pan) the mountains of the earth where God of heaven speaks, ‗This is my own dear son, listen to him.‘ Just below it was Peter, Jesus‘ disciple who testified that Jesus was the Messiah. Jesus calls Peter by a new name, Rock, where a new Temple will be built. It is much like at Beth Shemesh, where the great rock was itself used as a resting place for the Ark. And what was the New Ark of the Covenant, in the Human Vessel called Messiah by name, what was this New Ark doing hidden in the white cloud of the Transfiguration on Mount Pan. Pan was the deity who played the pipes out of the seven reeds of the beautiful goddess. Jesus compared his generation to children in the marketplace. The children played the pipe with no one to dance and they sang sad songs with no one to weep. That is why Jesus brought his disciples up to Mount Pan and transfigured, that all the world would know at the Pipes of Pan the Messiah danced and in the sight of Jerusalem he weep. Yet, when we raise our eyes above the white field of wheat being harvested by those who believe in the Messiah; when we raise our eyes and see the Ark of the New Covenant raised up on the blossoming tree of the Cross; when we raise our eyes and see the Messiah sitting on the great stone rolled away at Calvary and there he is playing the pipes; would we refuse to dance? The woman of Samaria at the base of Mount Gerizim did not refuse: Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me all that I ever did." She obeyed the command of the Messiah who danced to the pipes of Pan to the tune of the story of humanity known across the entire world. She obeyed the voice from heaven, ‗This is my own dear son, listen to him.‘ What are we, the children in the world marketplace, left with? Can we search the world over and find the lost Ark of the Covenant? We can search, but that would mean refusing to hear the

testimony of the Philistines, whose many dead before the Ark minister to us that there is no need to search for God‘s resting place. Rather, look up, the Ark is rising over the white harvest of wheat of humanity. We cannot find the Ark, but the Ark has found us! If Jesus is the Messiah, we have been truly found. And the Ark was identified by this Messiah at his first coming as a human being. This Messianic-human died and rose from the dead, he ascended into the clouds and would return on the clouds. As a sign of the time of His return, the Ark of the Covenant will suddenly appear through the fog and find us. This Ark ‗appeared‘ to Moses and Aaron who were in covenant – that is God and Israel were together seeking a ‗resting place‘. The resting place was eventually ‗found‘ in the Temple of Solomon. The Ark was moved around to several hiding places after humanity breached this covenant. It‘s last known hiding place was under the Temple of Gerizim. From the above quote we learned that those who tried to uncover it were killed and scattered by Pilot. Was there anyone else who may have attempted to retrieve the Ark? Interestingly, about a thousand years after this supposed Messiah went into the clouds, the crusaders took the Holy Land in 1099 ce precipitating the Templars to establish a settlement at Nablus at the base of Mount Gerizim. They were first called the Poor Fellow-soldier of Jesus Christ and founded with the help of the Cistercian, Bernard of Clairvaux, in order to protect the pilgrims of the Holy Land. An amazing twist of fate was granted the Order when in 1118 ce King Baldwin II of Jerusalem gave them a headquarters on the ruins of the Temple of Solomon on Mount Moria, Jerusalem. The name of the Poor Fellows soon became the Knights of the Temple of Solomon, the Templars for short. Having posts at both Solomon‘s Temple and Mount Gerizim is why it gets so interesting. Since the Copper Scroll identifies treasures, which it claims were also written on a text hidden near Mount Gerizim. Did the Templar‘s find this second Treasure Scroll and any of its treasure?

The Templars escorting pilgrims to Jerusalem

The answer is very likely, since after only 10 years on the Temple Mount, the headquarters of the Templars was moved to France by the head Templar or Master of the Temple, Hugh de Payens. Suddenly a flood of wealth covered the Templars as their land, buildings, recruits and benefactors increased their influence over all of Europe and even in the Vatican, where their Order was given official approval in 1128 ce. Were the Templars like a blossom of Aaron‘s rod, fashioned in the presence of the Ark of the Covenant in order to protect and defend it? If so, the sudden rise of the wealth and prestige of the Templars is understandable, given the amount of hidden silver and gold recorded on the Copper Scroll. The Templar numbers, their naval fleet, castles, churches and benefactors had grown enough that the Temple treasure could have been safely hidden in many places across Europe, such as this Cathar Castle located in Southern France.

Yet, the Templar‘s freedom and prestige in Europe was not to last. On Friday, October 13th, 1307, King Philippe IV of France, after persuading Pope Clement V, ordered the disbanding of the Templars. On March 18, 1314 ce, Jacques de Molay, the Grand Master of the Templars, was burned at the stake. Jacques requested his stake be turned so his eyes would face Notre Dame and he predicted the death of his accusers within one year. Pope Clement died suddenly a month later and King Philippe died after seven months. What about the Templar‘s treasure? On October 12th, 1307, 18 Templar ships were recorded leaving the La Rochelle harbor in France with a load of their treasures. The surviving Templars allegedly fled to Scotland and changed their name to the Knights of Christ. They found refuge with the Sinclair family, some of whom were Templar‘s themselves at the capture of Jerusalem. What about the Ark? Was it kept at the Sinclair‘s Rosslyn Chapel? Henry Sinclair, born 1345, grew in wealth as a merchant with a fleet of 13 ships by 1390. In 1398 he was reported to leave Scotland with 12 ships and a crew of 200-300 Knights of Christ and other farming monks. One theory is that he travelled to Nova Scotia and buried the Ark and Temple Treasures at Oak Island.

The bent in modern research would argue that Columbus discovered America. They call any claims of New World discovery prior to Columbus pseudo-research. A polite way of saying, true or not, we don‘t have to believe you. But the earliest maps of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, speak of a truth that was intended to be hidden even just a little beyond common belief. Ramusio Geovanni‘s map of 1565 calls the bay of Oak Island, Port of Refuge, seen below.

Ramusio Geovanni’s map of 1565 Nova Scotia is called the Land of Nurumbega (New City). The early explorers would speak of their visit to this City, where gold and furs were traded. Other locations marked near Port of Refuge include, Flora, Le’ paradis, Port Real and Isola della rena. Supporters of the Ark of the Covenant theory of Oak Island align these place names to read: the Flower of Paradise is a True Refuge for the Queen (rena). The Queen being Zion‘s Daughter and/or the Shekinah Divine Presence associated with the Ark. In fact, Isola della rena is translated, Sandy (Sable) Island. Another Map of from 1556-1560 depicts the same lines from the ‗square island‘ seen below:

Pseudo-Agnese map of 1556-1560

On this map, the ‗square‘ Sable Island is named Y(sole) de Sabion. Perhaps it is a variation of the name for Sand (Sable) as Rena from the map above also means sand. It may also be translated from the Latin root sab, to know. But why are the dotted lines moving directly to Port of Refuge, (Mahone Bay) of Oak Island. Perhaps the double meaning of Queen for Rena is complemented by a double meaning for Sabion. Isaiah 52:2 refers to the captive daughter of Zion. The Hebrew reads sabah bet zion (sabion). It would be a reference to the exile of Israel in Babylon paralleled with the exile of God‘s presence in the Ark to this Port of Refuge. However, Isaiah 52 is celebration of the end of this captivity, where Zion‘s daughter is asked to shake off her dust (sand) and enter triumphantly the Holy City of Jerusalem. The Ark has found Refuge for God and for Israel in this holy city of rest. In both the above maps, the Land of Nurumbega is marked. The French navigator, Jean Allefonsce, reportedly discovered the city in 1542, which lands ‘lie high and is well situated.’ Could this be the location of Sinclair‘s Castle of the Cross, 15 miles up from the shores of Oak Island‘s Mahone Bay? Was this settlement of gold and furs established by Henry Sinclair for the settlement of the Knights of Christ monks to watch over the Ark? Perhaps the box island and trail of sand (Sable Island, Isola dell arena, Y(sola) de Sabion) led from Mount Gerizim, to La Rochelle, France, to Rosslyn Chapel, Scotland, and finally to the land of Nurumbega. Remember the town the Templars lived it at the base of Mount Gerizim, Nablus? Well Nablus is Arabic, from the Greek, Neopolis, meaning New City, the exact same meaning of Nurumbega. The Portuguese explore, Juan de la Cosa, produced this map of the world (below) in 1500 c.e.. It contains a detailed understanding of North and South America merely 8 years after the Columbus expedition. There is also an understanding of the way the land was divided up among the First Nation‘s inhabitants. Perhaps those like Sinclair who visited the region much earlier were attempting to offer Europe an opportunity to approach the Americas as nations that were already occupied and not land for the taking.

It would be expected that those transporting the Ark of the Covenant to another land, would be sharing with those people who occupied the land in the mystery of this Sacred Artifact. Perhaps the most convincing evidence defining a relationship between Zion‘s Daughter and the Ark of the Covenant comes from an ancient Petroglyph carved in Nova Scotia by the Micmac First Nations people:

Micmac Basket Princess Petroglyph The Ark of the Covenant appears as a mask covering the face of either Zion‘s daughter or the Shekinah. To have an Ark for a mask ties in this Micmac tradition with the likely presence of early Hebrews among the Hopi aboriginals who speak of the Bearded White Robes who gave them the Hopi tablets. The Hopi speak of the Blue Stone Kachina (Respected Spirit) who will dance in the plaza and remove his mask though he is not an initiated Hopi, but what the Hopi call the Massau. This Massau could be a memory of Hebrew belief in the Messiah. Just as the Micmac Ark or Basket as a mask is a memory of the Messiah being revealed together with the Ark of the Covenant in, what the Hopi call, these last days before the end of this fourth world and the beginning of the Fifth World (a new golden era). The Micmac petroglyphs even contain a memory of the blossoms from Aaron‘s rod.

Micmac Basket Petroglyph – A potential memory of Ark of the Covenant history in Nova Scotia It calls to mind the Micmac mythical story of the dwarf who kept a small box that gave him the power to overcome all enemies, move mountains and win the heart of the chief‘s daughter. There were over 60 petroglyphs with women wearing peeked beaver hats to represent their status among the clans. In the book of Exodus, the Ark was to be covered during travel with a curtain made of badger skins. Another Micmac petroglyph as seen below contains a sun and star symbols very much like the star symbol on an early Mason tapestry, called the Kirkwall Scroll, also seen below:

Left: Micmac Star Petroglyphs from Bedford Barrens, Nova Scotia; Right: Stars found on the Post-Templar Masonic Scroll. According to an 1888 Micmac informant, the above petroglyphs (left side) are symbols the chiefs used to wear, the bottom left star or sun and the top right triangular symbol of the living chief. The star appears to represent a similar type (right side) on this post-Templar Masonic scroll found in the Kirkwall Temple in Scottland:

The following Micmac petroglyph bears a remarkable resemblance to this Masonic (postTemplar) symbol found at Carlisle Abbey, Scotland.

Another Micmac petroglyph bears the pre-Colonial appearance of Templar symbolism:

Sinclair would have been sailing in a ship bearing the features of the following Micmac petroglyph:

There is a writing on stones in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, which depicts carvings of what was believed to be Futhark writing from Northern Europe. Leading scholars disagreed, as only two or three of the symbols match the Futhark writing. Upon close examination of the Yarmouth stone, over half the glyphs appear to represent distinct Aramaic letters from about 300 bce to 200 ce. An identification of these letters and their Hebrew equivalents is given below:

If the inscription is read in the direction of the Hebrew/Aramaic script (that is opposite to English/Latin languages) it reads: Oxen that join sheep captive. The stone is also legible when read in reverse: Tree green watered abide omer a sign The Hebrew Bible contains very few Aramaic sections, including a section from the Book of Daniel that speaks of the King of Babylon being humbled by God to eating grass in the wilderness like an oxen. In Daniel 4:14 it states that the King was given this sentence for seven years that all who live may know that the Most High rules over the Kingdom of men. In the same Aramaic writings of Daniel, the King of Babylon and his nation is referred to as a Tree to be cut down and its branches cut off (Daniel 4:7-11). The term ‗omer’, refers to a measure literally translated as a handful and equivalent to the amount of manna kept in the golden urn inside the Ark of the Covenant as a sign of God‘s provision to Israel. This tree in Daniel is said to scale the heavens. Elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible God challenges humanity when they attempt to scale the heavens, like at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:4), with the King of Egypt (Ezekiel 31:12), and in the days of Isaiah God gave the challenge, Who boasts he will scale the heavens? (Isaiah 14:4). The imagery brings to mind the Bull in the heavens, Taurus, who is humbled by the Celestial Hunter. And given the Aramaic parallels, the Green Tree represents Israel, pruned over human history by God. This is the same God who in the days of Moses guided Israel through the desert

with the Ark of the Covenant. Whichever rock Aaron rested his staff, water would gush out and in the morning a handful of Manna could be gathered from the desert floor. There is a second stone carving to confirm the first from Southern Nova Scotia. It contains the same top inscription with three extra letters below.

These three letters are also Aramaic and expand the inscription to mean the following: Hebrew direction: Oxen that join sheep captive to be consumed. The stone is also legible when read in reverse: Tree green watered abide omer a sign hitherto

The letters corresponding to hitherto are found in the verse representing the final Aramaic words contained in the Hebrew Bible: Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart. Daniel 7:28 Daniel has just finished describing the visions of the humbling of the kingdoms of the earth and the coming of the Messiah. Elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible are contained official royal letters in Aramaic from the book of Ezra. The Aramaic correspondence begins with the kings of the region West of the Euphrates who are complaining because Israel is rebuilding the Temple of Jerusalem (Ezra 4:7-6:18). Search the archives, is the cry of the accusing kings to the Syrian head of state. After succeeding in a halt to the restoration of Jerusalem by the returning exiles of Babylon, a second letter is sent requesting a return the work of rebuilding the Temple. In the end a final Aramaic letter records a command to find the Temple artifacts, have them returned to Jerusalem and provide enough stipend to allow the Temple to be completed and an appropriate offering of sheep and oxen to be made (Ezra 7:12-26). Given the overall context of the Aramaic inscriptions in relation to the Hebrew Bible, the following expanded translation is made: The Oxen that join the sheep exile captives are to be consumed (at the restoration of the Temple before the Ark of the Covenant). The stone is also legible when read in reverse: The Tree of green is completely watered to abide with the omer (handful of manna) as a sign hitherto (at this end point in time when these prophecies are being fulfilled)

Supplementary Notes: The Samaritan Temple on Mount Gerizim – a location of the Ark of the Covenant Comment: The Samaritan prophet may be called a Messiah, because he announced the restoration of the cult in the Samarian temple, which was on Mount Gerizim. But he was not a Messiah in its original sense, because that is a Jewish concept. The Samaritan equivalent is the Taheb, the Restorer-prophet 'like Moses' announced in Deuteronomy 18.15-18. The two concepts were related, however, and were used as synonyms in the Gospel of John, where a Samaritan woman says: 'I know that the Messiah is coming. When he will come, he will show us all things.' (John 4.25)

This comes close to the Jewish idea that the Messiah will show the true meaning of the Law of Moses. Samaritan sources The Samaritans assert that Mount Gerizim was the original Holy Place of Israel from the time that Joshua conquered Israel and the ten tribes settled the land. According to the Bible, the story of Mount Gerizim takes us back to the story of the time when Moses ordered Joshua to take the Twelve Tribes of Israel to the mountains by Shechem and place half of the tribes, six in number, on the top of Mount Gerizim, {Mount of the Blessing}, and the other half in Mount Ebal, {Mount of the Curse}. The two mountains were used to symbolize the significance of the commandments and serve as a warning to whoever disobeyed them. ― The Samaritans have insisted that they are direct descendants of the Northern Israelite tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, who survived the destruction of the Northern Kingdom of Israel by the Assyrians in 722 BC. The inscription of Sargon IIrecords the deportation of a relatively small proportion of the Israelites (27,290, according to the annals), so it is quite possible that a sizable population remained that could identify themselves as Israelites, the term that the Samaritans prefer for themselves. Samaritan historiography would place the basic schism from the remaining part of Israel after the twelve tribes conquered the land of Canaan, led by Yahshua. After Yahshua's death, Eli the priest left the tabernacle which Moses erected in the desert and established on Mount Gerizim, and built another one under his own rule in the hills of Shilo (1 Samuel 1:1-3; 2:12-17). Thus, he established both an illegitimate priesthood and an illegitimate place of worship.[7] A counterargument to the above is found in Joshua 18:1 which describes the tabernacle as being set up in Shiloh beginning with the time that the Israelites were dividing up the promised land and before Yahshua died (see Yahshua 18:3). Abu'l Fath, who in the fourteenth century C.E. wrote the major work of Samaritan history, comments on Samaritan origins as follows: ― A terrible civil war broke out between Eli son of Yafni, of the line of Ithamar, and the sons of Phineas, because Eli son of Yafni resolved to usurp the High Priesthood from the descendents of Phineas. He used to offer sacrifices on an altar of stones. He was 50 years old, endowed with wealth and in charge of the treasury of the children of Israel... He offered a sacrifice on the altar, but without salt, as if he were inattentive. When the Great High Priest Ozzi learned of this, and found the sacrifice was not accepted, he thoroughly disowned him; and it is (even) said that he rebuked him. ‖

Thereupon he and the group that sympathized with him, rose in revolt and at once he and his followers and his beasts set off for Shiloh. Thus Israel split in factions. He sent to their leaders saying to them, Anyone who would like to see wonderful things, let him come to me. Then he assembled a large group around him in Shiloh, and built a Temple for himself there; he constructed a place like the Temple (on Mount Gerizim). He built an altar, omitting no detail - it all corresponded to the original, piece by piece. At this time the Children of Israel split into three factions. A loyal faction on Mount Gerizim; a heretical faction that followed false Gods; and the faction that followed Eli son of Yafni on Shiloh.[8] Further, the Samaritan Chronicle Adler, or New Chronicle, believed to have been composed in the 18th century C.E. using earlier chronicles as sources states: ― And the children of Israel in his days divided into three groups. One did according to the abominations of the Gentiles and served other Gods; another followed Eli the son of Yafni, although many of them turned away from him after he had revealed his intentions; and a third remained with the High Priest Uzzi ben Bukki, the chosen place, Mount Gerizim Bethel, in the holy city of Shechem.[9]

According to the Samaritans this marked the end of the Age of Divine Favor called (Ridhwan) or (Rahuta), which began with Moses. Thus began the (Fanuta) Era of Divine Disfavor when God looks away from the people. According to the Samaritans the age of divine favor will only return with the coming of the Taheb (Messiah or Restorer).[10] God‘s concealing of the face (fatuna) turns his face away, rhwta – God‘s revealing of the face… Samaritans that the tabernacle stood on Mt Gerizim from Joshua on, the beginning of the time of favor, but at the civil war by Eli, Uzzi builds a Temple on Gerizim (5th Century bce) and loyal join him in this time of disfavor until the Messiah coms (Taheb) to restore rhwta in the Tibat marqe, a writings of Samaritans there is the hymn of their belief We believe in you, O Lord, / And in Moses the son of Amram your servant, / And in your holy Law, / And in Mount Gerizim, the chosen and sacred, the choicest (mountain) in all earth. / There is only one God. Chain of Purity – Salsalet hak-kohanim 400 inscriptions of three kinds Aramaic and Hebrew are: 1. Dedicatory with formula zi hkrb – that which is offered 2. Dedicatory with formula ldcrn tb – for good rememberence… and misc 3.

Samaritan‘ temple is very Hebrew – chain of purity names are in Aramaic – Eleazar (from Moses and Aaron) is 3 times / Pinchas is 5 times…. Inscription of bulls uprin cl and / incompre… anh mhr da / sacrificed in the house of sacrifice (db[h bbit dbha)

House of sacrifice in aramic bit dbha occurs in Hebrew bit zbh only once in Hebrew Bible when 2 Chr 7:12 Solomon completes temple yahw says to king – ―I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice… Hundreds of thousands of bones are found according to Lev 1 burnt offerings of sheep bulls and goats and pigeons… Incriptions of temple names include atra (the place mkdsh the sanctuary agr agorah and

Zi hkrb that which is offered the good mountain tura tba (a town below Geriaim is Tura Taba in Tibat Marqe, the good mountain is one of the 13 sacred names for mount gereizim Inscri MGI 395 contains Deut text of Crusader era when Sam. Renewal on mt ger… I am the Lord your God You shall have no other gods before me: for the Lord is God; besides Him there is no other. For the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other. The Lord is our God the Lord (is one) for the Lord (your God) is God of Gods and Lord of (Lords) and no foreign god is with him…. temple of samaria neh 13: 28 5th century, Alexander destroys Samaria and builds his own city around mt Gerizim. The Hebrew Samaritan‘s made the Temple of Gerizim the center of their city during Helenistic times (based on third and 4th century Helenistic coins found on the mount) also see Chain of Purity (Samaritan priests back to Moses and Aaron) Samaritans believe in the Salsalet hakkohanim, 'Chain of Purity', linking the current High Priest to Moses via Aaron, Eleazar, Ithamar, Pinchas.'2 It is unclear... Second Maccabees (2 Macabees 5:21-6:2), written after the persecution, states … Antiochus … left governors to oppress the people at Jerusalem..and at Gerizim… the king sent an Athenian senator to compel the Jews to forsake the laws of their ancestors …also to pollute the temple in Jerusalem and to call it the temple of Olympian Zeus, and to call the one in Gerizim the temple of Zeus-the-Friend-of-Strangers, as did the people who lived in that place. The Copper Scroll may identify a hiding place of the Ark of the Covenant

The Copper Scroll is an anomaly in the Dead Sea Scroll Collection. Found in 1952, like the other scrolls, the Copper Scroll was found in a cave near the ruins of Qumran and was thus attributed to the Essenes. ; it is an inventory of sixty-four obscure locations where gold, silver, and other treasures are said to be hidden. The Copper Scroll describes a hoard of precious metals and coins estimated to be worth around two billion dollars today. the Temple treasury. Jews in the land and in the Diaspora had brought substantial wealth to the Jewish temple through regular free-will offerings. In addition to temple tithes, the Scroll refers to other movable temple items like ‗dedicated vessels,‘ ‗consecrated‘ items, and priestly garments. Some passages have paleographic dates around 70 CE, but other passages date back 700 years earlier. II Maccabees tells the story of the prophet Jeremiah receiving a divine warning about the Babylonian invasion to come. Jeremiah took the sacred Temple treasures—including the Wilderness Tabernacle, the Ark and its contents, and the Qalal—and hid them in a hollow cave near Mount Nebo (Deut. 34:1). After Jeremiah sealed the entrance his followers complained they could not find the site. Jeremiah replied ―the place shall be unknown until God gathers His people together again and shows His mercy.‖ In 1922 an eighteenth century writing called Emeq HaMelekh written by Rav Hertz, an authority on oral Torah, was found in Amsterdam. In Emeq HaMelekh, Hertz goes into detail describing the mission directed by the prophet Jeremiah to hide the Ark and other sacred things. Hertz wrote that seven years before the destruction of Solomon‘s Temple, five holy men ―concealed the vessels of the Temple and the wealth of the treasures that were in Jerusalem.‖ Once the guardians hid the objects they inscribed the inventory and secret locations on a Luach Nehoshet (copper plate). Emeq HaMelekh warns that the Temple items will ―not be discovered until the day of the coming of Moschiach, son of David.‖ As his source, Hertz cited in his introduction a Tosefta Mishnayot (Rabbinic writing) which was unknown to modern Talmudists until twenty years ago. In 1990 proof of the Tosephta Mishnayot surfaced in an 8th century genizah (document deposit) recovered from Cairo, Egypt. Though the genizah document predated Emeq HaMelekh by a thousand years, it gave the same story as Rav Hertz about the Temple rescue operation, named the same five holy men, and referenced the copper plate. The scroll is from the first Temple period. Babylonians The Second Book of Maccabees and a seventeenth century book called Emeq HaMelekh (―Valley of the King‖) tell the story of the prophet Jeremiah who with the help of five Temple guardians carefully hid the holy objects of the Temple to protect them from the Babylonians. One was named Shimur Halevi and two of the others you‘ve probably heard of: the prophet Zechariah and Haggai. Emeq HaMelekh says after the items were hid the locations were written on a copper plate. The Copper Scroll is a detailed list of at least sixty locations. From an interview with Jim Barfield about The Copper Scroll Project

JAN 27TH Posted by Shelley Neese in Neese Potential Ark descriptions on the Copper Scroll 4 On Mount Garizim, underneath the staircase of the upper tunnel: 5 a chest and all its contents and sixty talents of silver. 6 In the mouth of the spring of Beth-Sham: silver vessels and gold vessels 7 for the tithes; in total: six hundred talents. 8 In the large conduit of the burial-chamber up to Beth-Hakuk: 9 the total of its weight: seventy-one talents, twenty minas. 10 In the tunnel which is in Sechab, to the North of Kochlit, which opens towards the North 11 and has graves in its entrance: a copy of this text 12 and its expianation and their measurements and the inventory of everything, 13 Blank item by item. Possibly the most mystifying of all the documents found in the caves of the Qumran region is the one known as The Copper Scroll Other Manuscripts found in Cave 3 with the Copper Scroll CAVE 3 Biblical manuscripts 3Q1 (3QEZ) 3QEzekiel M. Baillet, DJD III, 94, pi. xvni. Fragments with remains of Ez 16. 3Q2 (3QPS) 3QPsalms M. Baillet, DJD III, 94, pi. xvm. Fragments with remains of PS 2. 3Q3 (3QLam) 3()Lamentations M. Baillet, DJD III, 95, pi. xvm. Remains of a copy of Lamentations with the divine name written in palaeo-Hebrew characters. CAVE 3 Non-biblical manuscripts 3Q4 (3QpIsa) 3Qlsaiah Pesher M. Baillet, DJD III, 95-96, pi. xvm. Remains of a pesher on Isaiah. [185] 3Q5 (30Jub) 3Qjfubilees M. Baillet, DJD III, 96-98, pi. xvm. Published as an 'Apocryphal prophecy1; identified as a copy of the Book of Jubilees, by A. Rofé, 'Further Manuscript Fragments of the Jubilees in the Third Cave of Qumran1, Tarbiz 34 (1965) 333-336 and R. Deichgräber, 'Fragmente einer JubiläenHandschrift aus Höhle 3 von Qumran1, RQ 5 (1964-65) 415-422. Three of the seven fragments have been identified as a copy of Jubilees. [244] 3Q6 3()Hymn M. Baillet, DJD III, 98, pi. xvm. Hymn of praise. [401] 3Q7 (3QTJuda?) 3QTestament of Judah (?) M. Baillet, DJD III, 99, pi. xvm. Published as 'Apocryphon which mentions the angel of the presence1; identified by J. T. Milik, 'Écrits préesséniens de Qumrân1, 98, as a Hebrew version of the Aramaic Testament of Judah. [265] 3Q8 JQunclassified fragments M. Baillet, DJD III, 100, pl. XIX. 'Text which mentions an angel of peace'. 3Q9 jQsectarian text (?) M. Baillet, DJD III, 100-101, pi. xix.

3Q10-14 3 Qunclassified fragments M.Baillet, D JD III, 101-105, pi. XIX. Unidentified texts. 3Q15 JQCopper Scroll J. M. Allegro, The Treasure of the Copper Scroll (London i960); J.T.Milik, DJD ill, 211-302, pis. XLV111-LXX1. Copper Scroll. [461-463]

3Qlsaiah Pesher (3Q4 [3QpIs]) 1 Is 1:1 Vision of Isaiah, son of [Amoz, concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the period of Uzziah] 2 and of Jotham, of Achaz and of [Hezekiah, kings of Judah. The interpretation of the word which] 3 Isaiah prophesied concerning [...] 4 to [...] king of Ju[dah Is 1:2 Listen, heavens; pay attention, earth; for the Lord speaks.] 5 [ . . . ] Blank [Its interpretation: that . . . ]6 [the] day of judgment [...] 7[...]...[..·] 3Qjubi1ees (3Q5 [3Qjub]) Frags. 3 + 1 (= Jub 23 : 6 - 7 . 1 2 - 1 3 ) 1 [...and this] was heard in [Abraham's house. Blank ] 2 [And Ishmael his son got up and] fled to A[braham his father. And he wept for Abraham] j [his father, he and all the me]n of the house(hold) of A[braham; they wept a great deal. And] 4 [Isaac and Ishmael his sons] buried him in the cave of Mac[phelah next to Sara, his wife.] Β The Aramaic Testament of Judah 3QTestament of Judah (?) (3Q7 [3QTJuda?]) Frags. 5 + 3 (Testjud 25 :2?) 1 [ . . . ] . . . [ . . . ] 2 [Simeon, the] fifth; Issa[char, the sixth; and to all the remainder, each according to his rank. The Lord] praised [Levi;] 3 [to me, 0udah, he allocated)] the angel of the presence, [to Simeon, the power of the glory, to Reuben the heavens, to Issachar] the globe, to Zebu[10n the sea] * [ . . . ] ... [...] 3QHymn (3Q6) Frag. 1 ; [...] all those who will rejoice [...][...] 2 [... ] their songs will please you 3 [...] they will praise you for ever. [...] References 87%7D\ Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 18.85-87.

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