The Ark of the Covenant

With the conversion of our slide set, “From Sinai to Sakhra,” into digital format, the complete set of volumes we previously had available is now on disc. Having ourselves followed, in part, the route of the Ark and being intimately familiar with some of its resting-places, this subject is close to our hearts. Information that has come to light in recent years has been added, making this CD an entirely new presentation.

Pictures of a model of the Tabernacle, designed by Dr. Leen Ritmeyer, have been included to help viewers understand the place of the Ark in the symbolism of God’s desert sanctuary. Specially created maps of its journey to the Promised Land and wanderings among the Philistines make it possible to follow this dramatic story. There are unique reconstruction drawings of scenes such as the Camp of Israel at the foot of Mount Sinai and evocative photographs of the desert scenes through which the Ark passed. The view of Moses from Mount Nebo is contrasted with that of Balaam, the mad prophet, from the very same spot. A rare photograph of the River Jordan in flood serves to demonstrate the faith of the two spies who crossed it before the Ark could lead the Israelites into their inheritance.

Reconstruction drawing of the Camp of Israel at the foot of Mount Sinai - © Leen Ritmeyer

Excavation photographs and diagrams show that the walls of Jericho really did fall down! Once Jerusalem is reached, the cities of David and Solomon, which were so closely involved with the Ark’s stay, are explored both in photographs and graphics. The account of the travels of the Ark ends with the installation of this holiest of objects in the Holy of Holies of the Temple and a discussion as to its possible location today.

We have ideas for exciting new topics for CDs to aid you in your Bible study and teaching and will keep you posted on this blog. Do let us know if there is a subject you would like covered.

25 thoughts on “The Ark of the Covenant”

  1. The reconstruction of the Israelites at Sinai in the Glo Bible program is fantastic. I observe similarities with that picture posted above.

  2. i am interested in the holiest of holies in Herod’s temple. do you have a diagram of the stone that was used by the high priest replacing the ark of the covenant? was it the bed rock that the temple on which the temple was built?

    stephanie macallister

  3. The picture of the ark with angels is totally wrong! Please read the scriptures and note the cherub were 10 cubits high and had 10 cubit wing spans. They touched each other in the middle and each cherub touched the wall on either side. Thus the angels had to be standing beside the ark of the covenant which was small in comparison to their size. When the cherub outstreched their wings they were 20 cubits or about 30 feet wide and reached from the north wall to the south wall plus covered the ark.

  4. Sorry, Gordon, but my reconstruction of the Ark of the Covenant is absolutely correct. The picture on the cover of our CD Vol. 3 ( shows the Ark as it was made in Sinai and described in Ex. 25.10-22. This Ark measured 2.5 cubits long and 1.5 cubits high and wide.
    You refer to the two large cherubim that were placed in Solomon’s Temple over the Ark of the Covenant, see 1 Kings 6.23-28. These cherubim were 10 cubits wide, but the two of them, being 20 cubits wide, would never fit in the Tabernacle as that was only 10 cubits wide!
    So, I believe that it is you that need to read the Scriptures more carefully.

  5. In doing 3D reconstruction of the Ark, have you looked into its weight? When in Bible school, I did a paper (now lost) on the materials of the Ark, its estimated weight, and the priest-power needed to lift and move it. It appears to have been an extremely heavy object.

  6. Hi Leen,

    Great website; very interesting.

    Any thoughts on what a “Cherubim” was? Some believe that it was an animal. That Angels do not have wings. The reason I am asking is because I am making a low budget Indie movie about a related subject which will feature an AOTC. SO I am trying to get it close as possible. The design of the Cherubim is a big question.

    I would be grateful if you would reply to my email address.

    Thanks and God Bless,

  7. A relative newcomer but I do believe in the “ARK”
    It could not just have vanished from the face of earth – there is no reaction without an action. Yes I am a scientist and I do believe there is more to it than science in this world.
    Dr. Len I would appreciate it if we can be in personal touch – it’s not about finding just the ARK but knowing the truth the fact … May be I sound weird but that’s me .. I am that kind of a person that wants to search …

  8. hi Leen – I’ve just belatedly seen your exchange of June 2011, above. Is there perhaps another possible solution on how the size of the cherubim wings and the size of the Holy of Holies in Solomon’s temple can be reconciled? What I have in mind is this: Mettinger on pages 21-23 of ‘The Dethronement of Sabaoth” (1982) takes the wings to form the throne-seat as a wrap-round, the inner wings meeting horizontally at the back of the seat while the outer wings point upwards. He is assuming that it is similar in shape to ancient reliefs that picture cherubim-like thrones, dating from the late second millennium BC. Has this played a part in your considerations already?

    best wishes


  9. Leen, would you like me to send a copy of those three pages – illustrations of the archaeology – from Mettinger to you? To what address?

  10. Easier than that – one of the three illustrations adorns the cover of another of Mettinger’s books, and you can see it on Amazon:
    It is not an illustration of the Temple throne, but Mettinger suggests it may be analogous. It is the outer wing that you see pointing upwards – the inner wing forming the back of the throne is obscured from view in this illustration.


  11. I appreciate the pictorial illustrations provided in the ESV Study Bible depicting the sacred articles within the wilderness tabernacle, originally revealed by God to Moses. My question is whether it is possible to know with detailed precision the appearance of the glorious Ark of the Covenant, especially portraying the golden cherubim. Ernie

  12. I understood when reading Barclay’s, The New Daily Study Bible, The Letter to the Hebrews, p115, that the average Israelite could only approach the gate of the tabernacle court, the priests and Levites were permitted in the court, the priests only allowed in the Holy Place, and the High Priest, only on the Day of Atonement, and with a blood sacrifice, entered the Most Holy Place. The excellent ESV illustrations of the tabernacle and court appear to support this. Elsewhere I have recently read that the average Israelite could enter the court of the Tabernacle. Your thoughts?

  13. I should also add, of course, that the High Priest had full access to the court and the Holy Place as well.

  14. Ernie, according to Leviticus 1, any purified Israelite male could bring an offering at the door of the Tabernacle. However, according to Numbers 3:6-8;15, only Levites were allowed in the Tabernacle Court. The change appeared to have happened after the incident of the golden calf. The later text of Ezekiel 44.15 appears to support this idea.

  15. Jerome J. Gainer says:
    November 20, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    In a previous blog in 2008, you posted a description of some “weird” or otherwise interesting comments on the whereabouts of the Ark of the Covenant. I recently ran across those comments.

    One of those comments was from someone who claimed to have lived in the Ethiopian quarter of Jerusalem and this person further claimed that on two previous occasions Israeli soldiers tried to wrestle the Ark of the Covenant out of the hands of the Ethiopian Guardians in Axum.

    As you are aware in 1984-85 and again in 1991, thousands of Ethiopian Jews were brought to Israel via cargo planes and the Rabbis have declared that they are descendants of the tribe of Dan. What convinced the Rabbis that these people were truly Jews???

    I have a unimpeachable source for the claim that Ethiopian Jews returned to Israel with the ark of the covenant is the book of Isaiah 18:1-7 that talks about the Ethiopian people bringing a gift to the Mount of Zion that the WHOLE WORLD WILL SEE. Just to quote one verse it says ” At that time a gift will be brought to the Lord All Powerful from people who are tall and smooth-skinned” (referring to the Ethiopian Jews).

    Because Israel rescued the Jews from Ethiopia during Operation Solomon and paid 35,ooo,000 dollars to take these poor, starving Jews to Israel at a very chaotic time during the War in 1991. Why did they pay anything if not for the very holy ark. Why did they risk this—if not because they were afraid they would lose a chance to rescue the Ark of the Covenant.

    Or perhaps you would like a second source —then go to Zephaniah 3: 10 (and I quote)
    “From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed shall bring mine OFFERING.

    The truth of the matter is that when you look at the most credible location for the Ark of the Covenant, all roads lead to Ethiopia.

    One road to Ethiopia leads thru Elephantine where to this day the priests on this Island claim that the Jews brought the Ark from Israel around 1000 BC. On this Island, locked in their treasury to this day is a basin (in which the blood of the animal was collected) as well as other artifacts that they have kept since ancient times. These priests claim that the Ark was kept on Elephantine until a outbreak of disagreements between the Jews (who were heading south) and Egyptian priest. The Jews went on their merry way further south to Ethiopia.

    Or perhaps you should visit or read about the priests on the Island in the middle of Lake Tana in Ethiopia who can go to their treasury and pull out a metal chest plate frame (crudely fashioned) and claimed to be the breast plate used by the Ethiopian priests once the Ark CAME to Ethiopia.

    Further more, folklore point to Ethiopia as the place the Ark was kept for thousands of years as we are all aware of the claims that a series of guardians (each 7 years old when they were appointed) guarded the ark in Azum until 1991 supposedly in the Church of St. Mary of Zion in Axum (although it is more likely that it was kept in the mountains.)

    Even whispers from Ethiopians who now live in Jerusalem who went thru Operation Solomon or knew someone who did— point to this return of the Ark being the true facts about the fate of the Ark of the covenant as mentioned –as humor– in your blog.

    Of course some people are of the same belief as Vendyl Jones (now deceased) that a poor minority nation such as Ethiopia would never be granted the privilege to hold the Ark of the Covenant.

    Maybe we all just have to get over our preconceived notions and prejudices and realize that the Ark is in Israel now, courtesy of Ethiopia!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.