Lost Ark of the Covenant
In Axum, Ethiopia
The purpose of this document is to show that the much spread myth that
the lost Ark of the Covenant has been in Axum, Ethiopia, since after
the destruction of Solomon's Temple, is just that - a myth with neither
Biblical, Historical nor Chronological foundation.
Why do we consider this issue important enough to dedicate a full
document to it? Because even if the only importance the Ark has for
Catholics should be
of historical nature, there seems to be a movement afoot (1) to perhaps
use it as part of the falsification in the Second Coming of Christ.
For example - the Patriarch of the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church,
Abuna Paulos, has been high profiled frequently in the news making
some rather dramatic statements such as:
patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Ethiopia says he will announce to
the world Friday [June 26th, 2009] the unveiling of the Ark of the Covenant,
world's most prized archaeological and spiritual artifact, which he
says has been hidden away in a church in his country for millennia,
according to the Italian news agency Adnkronos. (1)
Of course, Friday, June 26th came and went and not a word about the
In addition, while addressing (3)
Third General Congregation of the
Second Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops where he was invited as
a special guest of Benedict XVI, the Patriarch Abuna Paulos said:
Sheba had taught her compatriots about the Old Testament which she
learnt from Israel. Since
then, The Ark of the Covenant is in Ethiopia, in the city of Axum.
of queen Sheba, Manlike I, had followed her example and managed to
bring the Ark of the Covenant of Moses to Africa, Ethiopia.
Let us speak of the Gospel of Jesus
Christ to the heart of the Africans and Jesus will return to Africa,
as he did when he was a child together with the Virgin Mary. And peace,
mercy and justice will come together with Jesus!"
Notice that the Patriarch used the term "as he did" which means physically
and not spiritually through the conversion of the African continent.
Using Bishop Usher's Biblical dating system...
|The reign of Solomon started
|The Temple dedication was
|Queen Sheeba (Sheba or Saba)
|King Solomon dies
|The prophet Jeremiah is active
||628 and 586 BC
|The First Captivity took place
|Destruction of the Temple took
|The Final Captivity took place
The Ark is allegedly in Axum, Ethiopia, seen by no one but its
guardian, in what is now the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion. It's
alleged that it reached Axum via Elephantine Island (stayed
there ca. 200 years) and Tana Qirqos Island (stayed there ca. 800
years). That is - the Ark allegedly reached Axum no later than the year
25 AD [200 + 800 - 975 = 25]
The child that supposedly was born from the relationship between
Solomon and Sheba (not a historical nor Biblical fact) went on to
become Menelik I, King of Axum. Menelik, who reputedly had been a
faithful practicing Jew, had allegedly been gifted with a replica Ark
of the Covenant by King Solomon. However, the story goes on to say that
the replica and original Ark were switched with the original eventually
going to Axum with Menelik and his mother. The claim is that it
is still there, guarded by a single priest charged with caring for the
artifact as his life's task. (4)
The problem with this romantic myth lies on two interrelated facts:
1. One just do not simply switch the
Ark that easily. Understanding how
restricted the access to the Ark was and the immense importance it had
for the people of Israel, that is about the most ridiculous explanation
to justify how the original Ark left Jerusalem no later than the year
975 BC (the time of Solomon's death).
2. The Prophet Jeremiah, who was practically on a first-name-basis with
God, wrote in a letter, as the Second Book of Maccabees tells us:
was also contained in the same
writing, how the prophet, being
warned by God, commanded that the tabernacle and the ark should
accompany him, till he came forth to the mountain where Moses went up,
and saw the inheritance of God. And when Jeremias came thither he
found a hollow cave: and he carried in thither the tabernacle, and the
ark, and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door. Then some of
them that followed him, came up to mark the place: but they could not
find it. [2 Maccabees 2:4-6]
[The Second Book of Maccabees was written between ca 180 BC and
Obviously God would have been aware of any switching of the Ark as the
Ethiopian myth claims.
Although Solomon's relationship with the Queen Sheba and their alleged
offspring is not a matter of Biblical record, it is not inconceivable
1. It indeed took place.
2. A son resulted from it.
3. The son returned to Jerusalem to meet his father, King Solomon.
4. Being the son a devout Jew, his father commissioned a replica of the
Ark for his son to take to Ethiopia to be used as a focus for the
religious practice of his people.
As a matter of fact - this proposed scenario really has a "ring of
truth" to it; however, from this scenario to having switched the Ark,
taken it to Ethiopia (with two stops on its way) and fooling God as to
where the Ark really was, makes the Star
Wars trilogy mundane by
As we stated earlier - if the Ark were to be found today in the place
where Jeremiah had hidden it, it would only be of Biblical and
historical interest (1);
therefore, it should not impact in any way upon
the Christian Faith in general and the Catholic Faith, in particular.
The Resurrection of Jesus and His presence - Body, Blood and Divinity -
in consecrated hosts and wine are the absolute center of the Catholic
Faith. Granted, the Tablets contained in the Ark were engraved by the
Finger of God, but in each Tabernacle in the whole wide world God is
present, hidden under the species of wheat and wine (wine in Orthodox
Holiest of Holies).
(1) The Real Presence in
the Eucharist surpasses
any and all relics
(2) News Source 1 (in
English) and News
Source 2 (in Italian)
(3) Abuna Paulos Address
(4) Source 1 and Source
In English: El Arca Perdida de la Alianza NO
ESTÁ en Axum, Etiopía
Published on December 18th,
2009 - Mary's Expectation
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