Sunday, October 10, 2010

Where is The Ark of the Covenant? ( III )

This is the series from the question:

Where is the Ark of the Covenant?

Whenever I broach the topic of the Ark's location with Orthodox rabbis, I get an almost immediate response that the Ark is still under Jerusalem, waiting to be recovered from a vault location under the Dome of the Rock Mosque on the Temple Mount. One rabbi informed me that he we told by another rabbi that it has even been found there. So why am I wasting my time researching a site in Egypt? I could focus on the Talmudic opinion that there were two Arks, and each contained one set of Tablets (Yerushalmi Shekalim 6:1). With this line of reason it's possible to argue that one Ark was taken to Egypt by Jeremiah while the other remained behind in Jerusalem.The problem with the above line of reason according to Rabbi Moshe ben Nahman Gerondi (Ramban, 1194-1270 CE) is the majority opinion in Judaism that two Arks were never in simundi (Ramban, 1194-1270 CE) is the majority opinion in Judaism that two Arks were never in simultaneous use (Babylonian Talmud Tractate Berachos 8b2). Given that the Ark is referred to about 203 times in the Tenach (Old Testament), we should read about dual appearances if we are really dealing with two Arks. However, the issue may be somewhat clouded by the many terms used to refer to the Ark (or Arks).

Unlike my own experiment that looked primarily for encodings just in conjunction with the term Ark of the Covenant as it appears six times in Torah, there are many terms that we all assume refer to the same Ark, but which might refer to different Arks. The table below includes the additional Hebrew terms:


Where do the stories of rabbis spotting the Ark come from? In 1983, Rabbi Yehuda Getz - the former Rabbi of the Western Wall - was tunneling through the Western Wall of Temple Mount, attempting to reach the foundation of the Second Temple. Randall Price writes that it was then that Rabbi Getz and Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren allegedly claim to have seen the Ark of the Covenant according to statements they later made to the press. Moslem guards on Temple Mount, who heard the underground activity, interrupted their exploration of the site. When the Arabs arrived a fight ensued. To defuse the volatile situation, the (sectarian) Israeli Government sealed up the wall with six feet of reinforced concrete.

Price names Rabbi Matiyahu Dan HaCohen, founder of Ateret Cohanim Yeshiva, as a source of Ark-sighting stories. But on further examination, what he cites is mere hearsay, as the story is only handed down via Dr. David Lewis, noted author and founder of Christians United for Israel. It was Lewis who allegedly recorded Rabbi HaCohen's statement as follows:

HaCohen told of how they were excavating along the lower level of the Western Wall of the Temple mountain. At the end of the tunnel, Rabbi HaCohen said, "I saw the golden ark that once stood in the Holy Place of the Temple of the Almighty " It was covered with old, dried animal skins of some kind. However, one gold, gleaming end of the ark was visible. He could see the loops or rounds of gold through which the poles of acacia wood could be thrust so that the ark could be properly carried by four dedicated Levites. HaCohen and his friends rushed out to the home of Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren. They awakened the rabbi and excitedly told him that they had discovered the holy ark of the covenant! Goren said, "We are ready for this event. We have already prepared the poles of acacia wood and have Levites who can be standing by in the morning to carry out the ark in triumph. " (David Allen Lewis, Prophecy 2000, p.176)

The above story is absolutely denied by Rabbi HaCohen. When Price asked Rabbi Goren about the story in an interview conducted in Goren’s Tel Aviv office on January 24, 1994, Goren was emphatic:

They are all liars! They are just telling you stories! How can anyone say they saw the Ark? The Ark is hundreds of meters down ...If [anyone] would see the Ark he wouldn’t remain alive even for one minute! (Price, 182).

How close were the rabbis to the Ark? Goren declared:

I imagined that [I was there] when I had dug in about 50 yards in a straight line from the place where the chamber of the Ark was. But it was still very, deep-maybe 100 meters. If [Charles] Warren dug over 100 meters and he didn't get to the end [bedrock], what can one say about the Temple, its foundation, and the chambers beneath it! I believe that the Ark is somewhere beneath the Temple and the problem [now] is one of digging down a hundred meters.

There is another rabbi-related Ark sighting story, that of Rabbi Yehuda Getz (who was the Chief Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Places in Israel). Allegedly, Rabbi Getz feared entering the chamber to gaze at the Ark. Instead, he used a mirror to look around a corner of the tunnel, and thus saw the reflected image of the Ark.

When Price questioned Getz about these stories (Price, 183), he was given the following response during an interview on January 25th, 1994):

No... no... that is not what I said. These are all stories I am not responsible for someone else’s remarks. It is important to know the truth, since millions of Christians and people who love Israel read such material.

So, for the reasons cited above, and others laid out by Price in his book (In Search of Temple Treasures), we can probably put these stories to rest. Ah, you ask, but what does the Code say about these matters? To find out, I searched for Shlomo Goren, the rabbi at the center of most of the controversy. On the matrix, his name (with black background) appeared at its third minimal ELS (skip -11,114) encoded with the Ark of the Covenant. What directly intersects his name is significant, though there may be two ways to interpret it: And no man knows his (its) burial place unto this day! This phrase not only shares a letter with the rabbi's first name (Shlomo), but it also touches seven letters of Ark of the Covenant.


Since the burial phrase intersects Shlomo Goren, it could mean that no man knows where the Ark is located until Shlomo Goren, but he now knows. Or it could mean that he is one of many who still do not know. His partner, Rabbi Getz, passed away in 1995. Both rabbis are highly regarded. If they have indeed honored the Torah’s teaching, You shall not deny falsely, and you shall not lie to one another (Leviticus 19:11), then there is only one way to interpret this matrix. Rabbi Goren may believe that the Ark is under Temple Mount, but he does not know its actual whereabouts to this day.

I occasionally receive e-mails about claims that the Ark is indeed in Jerusalem, and it has been seen there. While it is possible that the Ark remains there, as we have seen, there is no credible evidence that this has been confirmed. Reality is that Israel had all of the Second Temple period to pull it out and put it back in the Temple. That was from 516 BCE to 70 CE, a total of 586 years. It never did so. Add to that how long Israel has had all of Jerusalem back this time (April 30, 2010), another 43 years, and the total time to pull it out has been 629 years! If Israel believes the Ark is on territory that it controls, it should use the Army to procure it. Put up or shut up. If it is not under Temple Mount, then other sites such as the one suggested by ELS maps should be investigated. The time has come for action. The Jewish deed to Israel is in the Torah. If Israel is unwilling to follow the Laws found there, it may find itself facing another period of exile. The nation must follow the examples of Joshua and Caleb, not those of the Second Temple Period who eventually lost the land for almost 2,000 years.

Barry S. Roffman -

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