THE ARK OF THE COVENANT
A reconstruction of the Ark
This is one of many models of the Ark of the Covenant. It is based on the biblical description, and on related ancient artifacts (see images at bottom of this page).
The Ark was an outward sign of Yahweh's presence. It was carried by priests of the tribe of Levi, who were the only people who could touch it.
It was believed to have sacred power. Touching it could be lethal, as Uzzah found when he reached out to steady it while it was being transported by cart into Jerusalem. He was killed instantly.
But it provided protection against Israel's enemies.
The Bible says that when the Israelites began their day's march, a cloud representing Yahweh's presence descended over the Ark, enclosing the Israelites. They were cupped in God's hands.
The Ark originally contained sacred Jewish artifacts:
The Bible describes it:
10 Have them make a chest of acacia wood--two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high.
THE ARK AND THE SHRINE OF TUTANKHAMUN
The design of the Ark was probably influenced by sacred artifacts in surrounding cultures:
The design used for the Ark, and even its purpose as a portable container for sacred objects, may have been common in ancient Middle Eastern countries.
Photograph of part of the third outer shrine in the Tomb of Tutankhamen
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