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THE OFFICIAL SOURCE OF ALL INFORMATION CONCERNING THE DISCOVERIES OF RON WYATT (Accessed August 2008)
Presented by Richard Rives, President of Wyatt Archaeological Research and subject to the unanimous approval of the Board of Directors, Wyatt Archaeological Research.
Exploring the Ark of the Covenant
The location of the Ark, unknown for thousands of years, has been the subject of great supposition, among Bible students and archaeologists alike. Is it in a cave on Mt. Nebo? - or perhaps concealed beneath a church in Ethiopia? While the speculation continues, there is one man who claimed to have personally seen the Ark of the Covenant - Ron Wyatt. Ron claimed to have located the Ark in Jerusalem, hidden away in a cave system beneath the Calvary escarpment, an area referenced in the Bible as the place of a skull, the crucifixion site of Yeshua, Jesus of Nazareth - The Christ, The Messiah of Israel. Not only did Ron Wyatt claim to have located the Ark, but he also claimed that the crucifixion took place directly above the location of the Ark - that an earthquake at that time opened a fissure between the crucifixion site and that of the Ark - and that the blood of Messiah flowed down through that crack and on to the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant. The Bible states that without the shedding of blood there is no remission. Ron claimed that just as the blood of sacrificial animals, the blood of Jesus, the lamb that was slain, literally fulfilled the covenant requirement for atonement.
Ron believed that the Garden Tomb was the actual sepulchre that Jesus occupied for only three days and three nights. That tomb is, as the Bible states, only a short distance from the place of a skull and the site Ron determined to be that of the crucifixion; - therefore his investigations and excavations were centered in and around the area of the Garden Tomb. In 1981 Ron Wyatt located what he believed to be the crucifixion site of Jesus Christ. He found a square depression in the surface material, into which a cross could have been placed, along with an adjoining crevice. Ron Wyatt said that the blood of Christ ran down through that crevice and onto the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant that was hidden in a cave below. In 1989 those excavations were closed and since that time there has been a great deal of speculation and controversy surrounding his findings - controversy that has caused a great deal of anguish for the Garden Tomb Association - for Ron was not able to validate his claims - he passed away in 1999, leaving no conclusive evidence. Since that time, we at Wyatt Archaeological Research have been making every effort to substantiate his claims - to provide a second witness that would transform supposition into established fact. In 2002, after having received permission from the Garden Tomb Association and the Israel Antiquities Authority, our endeavor began in earnest. In 2005 subsurface excavations resulted in the preliminary documentation of the crucifixion site as described by Ron Wyatt. In addition we were able to gain new insight as to the surrounding buildings and the cistern with its plastered walls.
Those excavations were extremely dangerous. After consulting with safety engineers from the Israel Antiquities Authority it was determined that the only reasonable way to continue was to remove the material that had been deposited over thousands of years - an excavation requiring the removal of as much as twelve thousand cubic feet of debris - the equivalent of forty dump truck loads. Steel shoring would be required to contain the tremendous pressure of the surrounding material - a seemingly insurmountable task - but not for those who are called according to the purpose of our Creator. In July, August and again in december of 2006, excavations from the surface, literally ‘brought to light’ a tremendous amount of extremely important information for the first time on over a thousand years. Layer upon layer of progressively older civilization was uncovered as the excavation proceeded. A Mameluke wall dating to the 12th century was one of the first archaeological discoveries, found only six feet from the surface, with the Roman level being another twenty feet down. The work that was accomplished during 2005 and 2006 was nothing less than a miracle. That is the only description. A few years ago, no one would have ever thought it possible. Not only has our Heavenly Father opened the doors, but He has blessed our efforts to learn the truth, beyond measure. Our DVD presentations are summaries of a tremendous amount of work that has been done by Wyatt Archaeological Research. On site interviews with Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists are part of the presentation, as well as interviews with experts from the Israel Museum. They are dedicated to our Savior and to the scores of volunteer workers and contributors without whom it would have been impossible to accomplish this monumental task. « Scripture advises us to Prove all things and to hold fast that which is good » Our DVD presentations are based on that premise. That is the commitment of Wyatt Archaeological Research. (www.wyattmuseum.com)
= What now follows is not from the Wyatt Archaeological Research website =
« The Finding of the Lost Ark »
by Arthur & Rosalind Eedie (Lincolnshire, England) THE PROPHETIC TELEGRAPH, No.78 January 1996
In November of last year (1995) when writing for The Prophetic Telegraph No. 73, I closed with a mention of the possible discovery of the Ark of the Covenant in Jerusalem. Since then I have had the opportunity of following this up, and have found what seems to be conclusive evidence. My earlier account contained some errors, for example, I had assumed that it was Jonathan Gray who made the discovery whereas in fact it was Ron Wyatt from Nashville, Tennessee. I would like to apologise for this error, due to the scanty information available to me just two months ago. And now, in this issue of the Telegraph, I should like to share the facts as revealed in an address given by Jonathan Gray in a London church on Saturday 7th October 1995, a Video of which we have now seen, and also an address given by Ron Wyatt in Nashville.
1 - Introduction
What totally escaped my notice was the date. The Ark was found on 6th January 1982, exactly 14 years ago, but was kept secret by request of the Israeli Government. Although I cannot claim to have all the ‘inside information’, I have gathered that permission has recently been granted to advertise the find, though not the exact location, and that this year is likely to be the time for the Ark and its precious content (the two tablets of the law) to be made known to the world. Before beginning the amazing story of this discovery, I must say that the whole episode has been compassed about by miracle. God has set His seal upon this most holy artifact of the past and shown that it has some great significance for the days just ahead, whether in fact or in type. And the impact that it will have on world Jewry can hardly be estimated.
2 – The Ark of the covenant must be in there!
The story begins in 1978, when Ron Wyatt was swimming in the sea at Ashkelon, one of the ancient cities of the Philistines. He stubbed his toe on something, and found that it was the rim of a large pot. Further investigation revealed that it was a Canaanite burial pot, the like of which archaeologist had long been searching for but had hitherto not found. When this news was brought to the Director of Antiquities in Jerusalem, he was delighted, and the event, seemingly ‘by accident’, proved to be the means of cementing a relationship which was to serve a greater purpose later. A short while afterwards, Ron was standing talking to the Director of Antiquities, facing the cliff known as Golgotha or Calvary. [These words both mean place of skull are respectively Hebrew and Latin.] Suddenly Ron found his arm shooting out, and he pointed saying: “There is Jeremiah's Grotto - that rubbish heap - the Ark of the Covenant must be in there!” The Director answered spontaneously: “Then you must find It.” But Ron was surprised at himself. He had no thought in his mind about the Ark, and couldn't understand why he had made the remark. This was miracle number one and the Director's enthusiastic response and request for him to find the Ark was miracle number two - a most unlikely offer, seeing it was given to a foreigner and that it concerned THE most holy sought-after artifact in the Jewish world. However, Ron needed to get back to the States, and so a whole year went by before he returned with two others to begin the dig. Meeting again with the Director he learned that the site was jointly owned by an Arab and a European. Both needed to give permission to excavate the site. Most surprisingly, BOTH gave that permission without even asking what they were looking for! This was miracle number three.
3 – The excavation work
And so in that year, 1979, the arduous slow job of removing tons of accumulated rubbish began. Their dig was more or less in front of the ‘Skull’, and quite near to Gordon's tomb. Beginning at the top of the pile, they painstakingly removed load after load of rubbish, and eventually came upon a ledge in which they found three post-holes hacked out of the rock. Each of these holes was about 13 inches square in shape, and some three feet deep. Furthermore, each hole had a ‘plug’ in the top, which contained finger holes for easy removal. It was quite obvious what they had found. It was the site of the crucifixions, the wooden stakes being lowered into these post holes, which would later be plugged until needed again. Behind the post holes was the cliff face, and at a height of about 12 feet there were ledges cut into the rock on which could be set the details of the crimes committed by those who were crucified. The middle one was clearly the most significant, and was reserved for the worst
criminal. We read that Pilate ordered them to write: “This is Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews”, a statement which greatly angered Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin, but they had no authority to change it. Amongst the rubbish they found several coins, none of which was later than 130 AD, and this showed that the site was afterwards covered up and disused. This date fits in with history, because the final destruction of Jerusalem came after the Bar Cochba revolt in 132-135 AD. Further excavation at this level revealed the remains of a building measuring 40 feet out from the cliff-face, and 22 feet wide, that had at one time been constructed over the central post hole. This was thought to be a chapel used by early Christians, who venerated the site of the master's great sacrifice. This idea was given further impetus by the discovery of a huge circular stone on the floor of this building, quite near to the post hole. The stone measured 13 feet 2 inches in diameter, and was about nine inches thick. It was known that stones of this sort were used to roll in front of sepuchral caves. But this one was huge! Investigation was made at the entrance to the cave known as ‘Gordon's tomb’, which was discovered in 1882 by General Gordon on his way home from his historic Chinese campaign. He was not satisfied with the traditional site of the crucifixion, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre founded by Queen Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, because it was WITHIN the city walls, and could not therefore qualify as being the site according to Scripture. But the ‘place of the skull’ was just outside the Damascus Gate and by the highway that led to Samaria, and therefore met all the conditions. Searching led himto the discovery of the actual site of Jesus' burial.
4 – Conclusive evidence
As I said, investigation was made at the entrance to this tomb, and in the wall were found two holes, exactly 13 feet 2 inches apart, in which metal rods were originally inserted to act as a ‘seal’ to the tomb. The metal rod on the right, as you face the tomb, was missing, but the one on the left was still in place, showing all the signs of having been sheared off by some mighty force. Here was clear evidence that the huge stone found above in the chapel, was indeed the stone used to cover the entrance to Jesus' tomb. It was a mighty stone, as the Scriptures declare, and one that would have taken many men to roll back, up the slope to the left of the tomb. But whoever moved the stone did so WITHOUT removing the two-inch-thick metal rod. In other words, it was the work of the Angel, who, we are told, “rolled back the stone”. Incidentally, the stone could not have been rolled to the right because a stone block had been built into the gully, presumably to arrest the movement of the stone as it was rolled into position. Incidentally, quite recently the tomb of Herod the Great has been found in Jerusalem, and the stone measured just four and a half feet in diameter. Exactly one third the diameter of the huge stone that Joseph of Arimathea had made for his sepulchre. Thus far in the dig, conclusive evidence had been obtained that this was the true site of the crucifixion, and that the early church had built a chapel of remembrance over the post hold and the great stone. It had already been known that Skull Hill was the traditional site for burials, Moslem, Jewish, and Christian. And that in antiquity it was the place where criminals were stoned to death. In the Mishna it is called “Beth ha-Sekelah”, literally “House of Stoning”. It was here that Stephen was stoned. Also it was the recognised place of public execution of Jewish criminals. As late as the beginning of the 20th century Jews would spit at the hill, throw stones, and curse the “destroyer of their nation”. All this is clear evidence that it was the true scene of Christ's crucifixion and burial. But further investigation showed another important fact. Inside the middle post-hole, the one which was used to hold the Cross of Jesus, they found a crack on the left side leading down
into the rock. Here was the evidence of the earthquake that occurred the moment that Jesus died. This finding was of supreme importance, but it was not appreciated until much later. The excavators had not as yet found the entrance to any cave that might house the Ark. The work was exhausting and slow, as lorry-load after lorry-load of rubbish was carted away. Two years went by and the three men ware getting weary and somewhat discouraged. By this time they were digging a narrow trench against the rock face, and there was only room for one man to work there at a time. And so they would take it in turns, whilst the other two would take a rest on the ground above.
5 – The Ark of the Covenant is found
And standing there above him was a very tall man dressed in typical flowing Arabic garments: "God bless you, Ron Wyatt, for what you are doing." "Who are you? How did you know what we are doing?" "I know it all." "D'you live round here?" "No I don't." "How d'you know my name? Where d'you come from?" "I've Just come from South Africa, and I'm on my way to the New Jerusalem. God bless you." Ron jumped up as the man walked away. Reaching the top of the trench he asked the other two which way the man went. They said that they hadn't seen anyone. It was then that Ron realised an Angel had been sent to give them encouragement, to spur them on. This was miracle number four. With renewed enthusiasm, they hacked away until they reached a point where there were signs of a cave entrance. It was January 1982, and four years from when Ron exclaimed to the Director about Jeremiah's rubbish heap. Hastily they broke through into a cave, but the hole was too small for any of them to crawl through. Giving a torch to a small boy, the son of the Arab who was joint-owner of the land, he climbed through, but shot out again very rapidly, looking as white as a ghost. “What's in there? What's in there?” he exclaimed, and since then has refused to tell anyone what he saw. The hole was enlarged until it was of sufficient size to allow Ron to crawl through. It was 2 p.m. on January 6th. Ron found himself in a large chamber measuring 22 feet from the entrance to the back wall, 14 feet wide and about 8 feet from floor to roof. There before him were sacred items of furniture from Solomon's Temple, the Altar of Burnt offering, the Table of Showbread, and the Altar of Incense. They were covered over with skins, over which were placed lengths of timber, and on top of these were lumps of rock and stone. But Ron became aware that at the back of the cave there was something else, and it had been enclosed within a wall, so that only the top of it could be seen. As his eyes became accustomed to the dim light, so he realised that he was looking at two Cherubim with wings outstretched over the Mercy Seat. It was the Ark of the Covenant! Ron collapsed and fainted and was unconscious for 45 minutes. Coming to he crawled out and announced his discovery. The Director of Antiquities was informed, and he hurried to the site and began to enter the cave, but on doing so his back collapsed and he had to be taken to hospital where he remained paralysed for nearly two weeks. He was later heard to say that he would never again try to enter the Cave and see the Ark. This was miracle number five. Ron took a Polaroid camera into the cave and photographed the Ark. On immediate development the film was found to be fogged, not entirely but just over the portion where the Ark
was. He then tried using his 35 mm camera and when these shots came out they likewise showed fogging. Then a Video camera was used and the same effect was apparent. Some strange thing was happening to prevent the world from seeing the Ark. This was miracle number six. I have now seen the footage of this video, and all is clear except where the Ark rests, and in front of it there is a golden mist. Ron has pencilled in the outline of what he saw and the Cherubim are of human form with wings outspread over the Ark.
6 – The find is to be kept secret
At this stage, a Jewish official suddenly decided to halt all further work on the site. It was a severe blow, and Ron and his friends prayed that God might over-rule. The prayer was answered almost immediately, because the man had a heart attack and died. This was miracle number seven. Another man showed great curiosity and interest in what was going on, and tried to prise out of Ron what he was doing and where he was working, but Ron refused to divulge any information. However, this man was determined and followed the party about surrepticiously until he finally saw what they were doing. Calling a press conference for 9 a.m. the next morning, he prepared himself to blast their secret into the open. But the following morning at 8 a.m. he was found dead in an alley way, in a pool of blood, having been shot by the PLO on some unrelated matter. This was miracle number eight. When the Jewish Authorities were told about this find, they were put in a very difficult position. They had living within the land religious extremists who would stop at nothing if they could but see the Ark, knowing that it was genuine. Already there had been attempts to blow up the Dome of the Rock, the Arabic sacred site which rests over the place where Abraham was to sacrifice his son Isaac. This mosque rests on the Temple platform, and many Jews would do anything to get it removed, so that they could build a new Temple on the site. The discovery of the Ark would be the greatest single event to spur them on at all costs, but would engulf the Middle East in a ‘holy war’ of unimaginable horror and devastation. The result was that the Israeli Parliament asked Ron to build a door to the cave, cover it with earth, and plant shrubs to disguise the site. And there it has remained for the last 14 years. I have no idea what the Israelis have in mind for this year, but if they decide to make the Ark Public, then I am led to wonder what will happen. Will the Lord allow it? The strange happenings thus far indicate that God is very interested in the preservation of His holy furniture.
7 – Jesus’ Blood flowed down on the Mercy Seat
Although we have come this far, the story does not end here. I mentioned earlier that there was a crack in the rock on the left side of the middle post-hole, a crack that had been caused by an earthquake. It was only when Ron Wyatt investigated the ark of the Covenant in more detail that he realised what he was looking at. Right above the left hand side of the Mercy Seat the roof of the chamber shows a large fissure, and within this fissure there are copious quantities of dried human blood. Furthermore, on the Mercy Seat itself there is a large amount of dried blood. When measurements were taken, they found that the crack in the post-hole led down to the fissure below, and so it was possible for blood to trickle through. It will be remembered that AFTER Jesus had died, and the earthquake rent the rocks, a Roman soldier pierced the Lord's side with a spear. Presumably the spear entered the Lord's heart or spleen, because “blood and water” flowed out. The Lord had died of a broken heart, crushed by the agony of carrying the load of this world's sin. His death had not been the normal death of one who had been crucified. The two thieves had their legs broken to accelerate death, necessary to comply with Jewish legislation, that no man should remain there on the Sabbath, which was due to begin at about 6 p.m. that day.
And so it was that God the Father had rent the rocks to make a way for His Son's blood to flow down from the spear-wound through the newly formed fissure onto the very Mercy Seat itself. Now just think about this for a moment. Jeremiah had deposited the Ark in the cave some six centuries BC, with absolutely no knowledge of the events which were to occur on Good Friday. The Romans who hacked out the post-holes had absolutely no knowledge of what lay beneath their feet, nor that they were positioning the CENTRAL hole in exactly the right place. And until the Lord had died, there was no way for blood to trickle down because there was no crack. But these amazing coincidences actually happened. Yes, they ARE coincidences, because everything had to COINCIDE exactly for it to happen, but there was never any human design - it was entirely the work of God in Heaven, who knew the end from the beginning, and arranged for it to happen in that way. This is miracle number nine, and it is a ‘miracle of miracles’. In the letter to the Hebrews we read: “It is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin (…) but Thou hast prepared a body for me (…) and lo, I come to do Thy will O God.” “By His own blood He entered in once and for all into the Holy Place having obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Hebr. 10:4-7 and 9:12) . None of the Old Testament sacrifices were able to take away sin. Only the blood of the Son of God could do that. But the children of Israel were accepted as a result of their sacrifices by virtue of faith in the spoken word of God, and the sacrificial laws. Because Jesus was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world in God's foreknowledge. He was able to accept the sacrifices of His people BEFORE Christ came into the world. Calvary was the Hub of History. They looked forward. We look back. Each acts in faith, the one in prospect, the other in remembrance.
8 – Jesus’ Blood shows He had no human father
Before Ron closed the cave, he took some of the dried blood that had been kept undisturbed for nearly 2,000 years and presented it to a laboratory for testing. Using an electron microscope it was possible to find the chromosomal content of the blood. Ron described it in his address at Nashville (see movie “Ron Wyatt talking about Jesus blood sample”), saying that normal human blood contains 46 chromosomes, 23 from each parent. X chromosomes are female and Y chromosomes are male. All 23 ware present from the mother, but ONLY ONE chromosome was present, the Y chromosome showing that the blood belonged to a male, but that HE HAD NO HUMAN FATHER. This is miracle number ten. The Lord had preserved the blood until man had the technological means of determining the chromosomal content of the blood, thereby to prove that the Virgin birth was no myth but VERY FACT. These are the ten miracles connected with the discovery of the Ark of the Covenant. There may be others that I have missed, I don't know. But sure enough has been given to provide us all with such an amazing extra proof of our Lord's sacrifice and what it means that all evangelism must change into top gear. I pray that this little paper may become a useful tool to use in this respect. Please feel free to copy it if you wish. There is never any copyright on any of our papers. We only ask COMPLETE copies be made, so that ambiguities do not arise. I should now like to share another item of news in connection with the above scenario. I have a valued friend and brother in Christ who is a retired Doctor of Medicine. In an excited telephone conversation with me a short while ago he said that Ron Wyatt's testimony about the chromosomes had caused him to question whether it would be possible for anyone to have blood so depleted in chromosomal content. Being a man of faith and action, he committed this to the Lord, asking for a clear sign that all was well. Not many days passed before he picked up the New Scientist for 7th October 1995, and there on page 16 he found the following heading: “The Boy Whose Blood Has No Father”.
He could hardly believe his eyes! The author, Philip Cohen, quoting an article by David Bonthron and his colleagues at Edinburgh university in Nature Genetic (Volume 11, page 164) explained that a certain three year-old boy had been found whose white blood cells contain only two X Chromosomes, the signal for a female. To cut a long story short, they went on to explain that the probable cause was a self-activating unfertilised ovum which had subsequently (after a very short time) become fertilised in the normal way. The sperm would then have entered only a PART of the divided ovum, thereby creating this most unusual affect. Bonthron believed that the boy's remarkable genetics depended on a number of highly unusual circumstances combining together, and occurring within a very short time window. “I don't expect we'll ever see another one”, he said. Here was yet another miracle! Our Doctor friend had been given information about an incredibly rare condition, yes, but the TIMING of the article in New Scientist was a true gift from God. The little boy's chromosomes do not match those of our Lord, but present what Cohen called “partial parthenogenesis” (parthenogenesis is the biologist's name for Virgin Birth). However, the similarity was such that it proved the possibility of a human being existing with a considerable depletion in his chromosomal count.
9 – Some other matters of interest
And finally, what about those other reported cases of the finding of the Ark of the Covenant? I have left this until last so as not to spoil the TRUE story by preluding it with the spurious. I find it interesting, almost intriguing to realise that Steven Spielberg's film “Raiders of the Lost Ark” should have come out for general release in 1981. I remember watching it at the time and wondered what he was trying to say, being of Jewish origin. The supernatural affects he attributed to the holiness of the Ark certainly had their parallel in the finding of the real Ark. But late in that very year, an announcement was made by another team, saying that they had located the Ark in a cave in Mount Nebo, the mountain where Moses viewed the Promised Land before his death. This team included Tom Crotser, Jim Bollinger, and the astronaut Jim Irwin. Irwin had earlier been interviewed on BBC Television by Richard Baker, who asked him: “What are you doing now?” And amongst other things he said: “I'm helping to find the Ark of the Covenant in Jordan.” But it was in the Christmas 1981 issue of Far Eastern Berean that a panelled quotation appeared, taken from the Straits Times of Singapor, entitled: “We found the lost Ark claim!” And so, on BBC-1 in January 1982 (at the very time when Ron Wyatt was breaking through into the cave) Tom Crotser was interviewed, and he showed photographs of the Ark. Furthermore there was a guarded note to this effect in the Jerusalem Post. Now we may very well ask why Crotser was able to obtain clear photographs, whereas Wyatt was not. I shall leave it to my readers to ponder that question. Incidentally, I have not personally heard anything more about this find in Mount Nebo, except that it is sited in a position belonging to both the Vatican and the Jordanian government, the latter being adamant in refusing anyone to remove the artifact. An American archaeologist by the name of David Lutz made the following statement: «« One rabbi told me this discovery would not only promote the building of the Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, but would also signal the end of the Diaspora, the dispersion of the Jewish people. It would be as influential as a spoken command from the Almighty to all Jewish persons to come home to the Promised Land. To Christians it would be a clear signal that we are nearing the end of this age and the beginning of the Messianic Kingdom. »»
No wonder there is great excitement amongst many people, whether they be Jews or Christians. One wonders why the timing of the event on God's calendar is just now. Are we entering the ‘crossroads of history’? And if so, then we shall need to know which route to take. I am in no position to say whether the Israeli government will make a move just now, but the facts are already out and being advertised quite widely. This in itself is creating quite a stir. It is doing to us what the angel did to Ron Wyatt: spur us on with greater vigour than ever before to be ready for the Lord's return. Many people have drawn up plans from prophecy. Some say that much still needs to be done before the second coming, but in doing so they destroy the urgency of our Lord's words: “Watch and pray for you know not the day or the hour - and again I say, watch.” The interpretation of prophecy, particularly in the Christian dispensation, has never been an easy task, and we may very well be depriving ourselves of the very thing we need to “trim our lamps” and make ourselves ready. Who knows? We are living in days of electrifying excitement spiritually, and it behoves us to “love His appearing”, and “purify ourselves, even as He is pure”. So what is the artifact in Mount Nebo? I do not accuse Crotser lying. He certainly found something. But what is it? My guess is that it is a REPLICA of the true Ark, made in Jeremiah's day, and deposited in the cave according to the words that are found in 2 Maccabees 2:4-8. Why should Jeremiah do this? Because he was a man of great integrity and honour towards the Lord, and he lived amongst people, even his OWN people, who were dishonest to the Core. They would be watching his every move wanting to know what he was doing. This could mean that SOMEONE would find the Ark and raid it. He didn't want that to happen. So he made a replica and took it to Mount Nebo. It so happens that even this replica has not been found until recent days. There is yet another story about the Ark which needs a mention before I conclude this paper. In 1992 Graham Hancock wrote a book, published by William Heinemann, entitled “The Sign and the Seal”. It is the account of his travels in Ethiopia in search of the Ark, which by tradition is held in great secrecy by a people who have a strange mixture of Judaism and Christianity. Hancock was never able to gain access to the building where this Ark is kept, which is closely guarded by a monk by the name of Abba Fameray. The story goes that King Solomon sired a son by the Queen of Sheba, whose name was Menelech. When Menelech was in his late teens he travelled to Jerusalem, and he was treated very well by Solomon, who asked what gift he would like to take back with him. “The Ark of the Covenant”, he said, which prompted an immediate negative response of course. Menelech was not well pleased with this refusal and later brought several companions with him and stole the Ark in the dead of night, transported it to Ethiopia, where it has rested until this very day. This story may be found in the Encyclopedia Britannica and it adds that the Ark now rests in a town called Axum. This is a highly unlikely tale. It would have been a major embarrassment to the children of Israel if they had found that it was stolen. No doubt a ‘holy war’ would have been raised by Solomon to regain this priceless treasure. But no. There is no mention of it anywhere else, save in Ethiopia. So what do THEY have in that land, which they guard so carefully? I believe it could be yet another replica, not taken in Solomon's day, but probably in Jeremiah's day or thereabouts.
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