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ARK OF THE COVENANT [BibleGateway Search] ARK OF THE TESTIMONY [BibleGateway Search]
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Cross Reference Bible
    Genesis 6:18 - Noah's ark - God's covenant
    Exodus 25:10 ff - make a chest of acacia wood
    Exodus 25:22 ff - ark of the testimony
    Numbers 10:33 - ark of the covenant went before them
    Hebrews 9:4 - in the tabernacle
    Revelation 11:19 - the ark seen in the Lord's temple in heaven

ARK [Easton Bible Dictionary]

Noah's ark, a building of gopher-wood, and covered with pitch, 300 cubits long, 50 cubits broad, and 30 cubits high (Genesis 6:14-16); an oblong floating house of three stories, with a door in the side and a window in the roof. It was 100 years in building (Genesis 5:32; 7:6). It was intended to preserve certain persons and animals from the deluge which God was about to bring over the earth. It contained eight persons (Genesis 7:13; 2Pet. 2:5), and of all "clean" animals seven pairs, and of "unclean" one pair, and of birds seven pairs of each sort (Genesis 7:2,3). It was in the form of an oblong square, with flat bottom and sloping roof. Traditions of the Deluge, by which the race of man was swept from the earth, and of the ark of Noah have been found existing among all nations.

The ark of bulrushes in which the infant Moses was laid (Exodus 2:3) is called in the Hebrew Teebah , A word derived from the Egyptian Teb , meaning "a chest." It was daubed with slime and with pitch. The bulrushes of which it was made were the papyrus reed.

The sacred ark is designated by a different Hebrew word, 'Aron' , Which is the common name for a chest or coffer used for any purpose (Genesis 50:26; 2Kings 12:9,10). It is distinguished from all others by such titles as the "ark of God" (1 Samuel 3:3), " ark of the covenant" (Joshua 3:6; Hebrews 9:4), "ark of the testimony" (Exodus 25:22). It was made of acacia or shittim wood, a cubit and a half broad and high and two cubits long, and covered all over with the purest gold. Its upper surface or lid, the mercy-seat, was surrounded with a rim of gold; and on each of the two sides were two gold rings, in which were placed two gold-covered poles by which the ark could be carried (Numbers 7:9; 10:21; 4:5,19,20; 1 Kings 8:3,6). Over the ark, at the two extremities, were two cherubim, with their faces turned toward each other (Leviticus 16:2; Numbers 7:89). Their outspread wings over the top of the ark formed the throne of God, while the ark itself was his footstool (Exodus 25:10-22; 37:1-9). The ark was deposited in the "holy of holies," and was so placed that one end of the poles by which it was carried touched the veil which separated the two apartments of the tabernacle (1 Kings 8:8). The two tables of stone which constituted the "testimony" or evidence of God's covenant with the people (Deuteronomy 31:26), the "pot of manna" (Exodus 16:33), and "Aaron's rod that budded" (Numbers 17:10), were laid up in the ark (Hebrews 9:4). (See TABERNACLE) The ark and the sanctuary were "the beauty of Israel" (Lamentations 2:1). During the journeys of the Israelites the ark was carried by the priests in advance of the host (Numbers 4:5,6; 10:33-36; Psalms 68:1; 132:8). It was borne by the priests into the bed of the Jordan, which separated, opening a pathway for the whole of the host to pass over (Joshua 3:15,16; 4:7,10,11,17,18). It was borne in the procession round Jericho (Joshua 6:4,6,8,11,12). When carried it was always wrapped in the veil, the badgers' skins, and blue cloth, and carefully concealed even from the eyes of the Levites who carried it. After the settlement of Israel in Palestine the ark remained in the tabernacle at Gilgal for a season, and was then removed to Shiloh till the time of Eli, between 300 and 400 years (Jeremiah 7:12), when it was carried into the field of battle so as to secure, as they supposed, victory to the Hebrews, and was taken by the Philistines (1 Samuel 4:3-11), who sent it back after retaining it seven months (1 Samuel 5:7,8). It remained then at Kirjath-jearim (7:1,2) till the time of David (twenty years), who wished to remove it to Jerusalem; but the proper mode of removing it having been neglected, Uzzah was smitten with death for putting "forth his hand to the ark of God," and in consequence of this it was left in the house of Obed-edom in Gath-rimmon for three months (2 Samuel 6:1-11), at the end of which time David removed it in a grand procession to Jerusalem, where it was kept till a place was prepared for it (12-19). It was afterwards deposited by Solomon in the temple (1 Kings 8:6-9). When the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and plundered the temple, the ark was probably taken away by Nebuchadnezzar and destroyed, as no trace of it is afterwards to be found. The absence of the ark from the second temple was one of the points in which it was inferior to the first temple.

ARK OF THE COVENANT [Smith Bible Dictionary]

The first piece of the tabernacle’s furniture, for which precise directions were delivered. Exod 25.

I. Description. --

It appears to have been an oblong chest of shittim (acacia) wood, 2 1/2 cubits long by 1 1/2 broad and deep. Within and without gold was overlaid on the wood, and on the upper side or lid, which was edged round about with gold, the mercy-seat was placed. The ark was fitted with rings, one at each of the four corners, and through these were passed staves of the same wood similarly overlaid, by which it was carried by the Kohathites. (Numbers 7:9; 10:21) The ends of the staves were visible without the veil in the holy place of the temple of Solomon. (1 Kings 8:8) The ark, when transported, was enveloped in the "veil" of the dismantled tabernacle, in the curtain of badgers’ skins and in a blue cloth over all, and was therefore not seen. (Numbers 4:5,20)

II. Its purpose was to contain inviolate the divine autograph of the two tables, that "covenant" from which it derived its title. It was also probably a reliquary for the pot of manna and the rod of Aaron.

III. History .--

Before David’s time its abode was frequently shifted. It sojourned among several, probably Levitical, families, (1 Samuel 7:1; 2 Samuel 6:3,11; 1 Chronicles 13:13; 15:24,25) in the border villages of eastern Judah; and did not take its place in the tabernacle, but dwelt in curtains, i.e. in a separate tent pitched for it in Jerusalem by David. Subsequently the temple, when completed, received, in the installation of the ark in its shrine, the signal of its inauguration by the effulgence of divine glory instantly manifested. It was probably taken captive or destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, 2 Esdr. 10:22, so that there was no ark in the second temple.



ARK OF THE COVENANT [Thompson Chain Reference]
# Noah's

    * Genesis 6:14
    * Genesis 7:1
    * Genesis 8:1
    * Genesis 8:16
    * Matthew 24:38
    * Hebrews 11:7
    * 1 Peter 3:20
    * SEE Deluge, The

# Of Bulrushes

    * Exodus 2:3

# Of the Covenant

    * Exodus 25:10
    * Exodus 25:16
    * Exodus 26:33
    * Exodus 30:26
    * Exodus 37:1
    * Numbers 4:5
    * Numbers 10:35
    * Deuteronomy 10:8
    * Deuteronomy 31:26
    * Joshua 3:15
    * Joshua 4:11
    * Joshua 6:11
    * Joshua 7:6
    * Judges 20:27
    * 1 Samuel 4:3
    * 1 Samuel 4:11
    * 1 Samuel 4:18
    * 1 Samuel 5:1
    * 1 Samuel 6:1
    * 1 Samuel 7:1
    * 1 Samuel 14:18
    * 2 Samuel 6:2
    * 2 Samuel 6:6
    * 2 Samuel 6:11
    * 2 Samuel 6:17
    * 2 Samuel 15:24
    * 1 Kings 8:6
    * 1 Kings 8:9
    * 1 Chronicles 6:31
    * 1 Chronicles 16:1
    * 1 Chronicles 16:37
    * 2 Chronicles 5:5
    * 2 Chronicles 35:3
    * Jeremiah 3:16
    * Hebrews 9:4
    * Revelation 11:19