Biblical Archaeology Review 22:1, January/February 1996

Inside BAR

Biblical Archaeology Review

Few objects in Biblical archaeology fire the imagination as the Ark of the Covenant. A week doesn’t go by without a call to our office inquiring, usually in a state of buoyant expectation, about a claim to have located this most venerated object in the Jerusalem Temple. We have to deflate our callers’ mood and tell them that all such claims have in the past proved to be wildly exaggerated. Indeed, scholars believe that the Ark never returned to Jerusalem following Pharaoh Shishak’s plunder of the city:

“He carried off the treasures of the Temple of the Lord and the treasures of the royal palace. He took everything … ” (1 Kings 14:25–26). Although there is little hope of finding the Ark itself, there is, surprisingly, new evdence for its ancient location. Leen Ritmeyer, a leading student of the Temple Mount, analyzes the natural and man-made markings on es-Sakhra—the Rock under the Dome of the Rock—to describe “The Ark of the Covenant—Where It Stood in Solomon’s Temple.” Ritmeyer’s findings form part of a forthcoming book on the Temple Mount to be published by the Biblical Archaeology Society.

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