Talk:Ark of the Covenant

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Two arksEdit

You have forgotten to state that according to the Bible, there are 2 Arks of Covenant. There is the one in gold described in Exodus and the one in acacia wood described in Deuteronome 10:3-5. So I added a small paragraph in the first chapter. --Luxorion


I'm pretty inexperienced with both wikipedia and the subject at hand, but the Valley of the Kings section under rumoured locations of the ark seems to be all kinds of screwed up - it claims "The Ark of the Covenant was unearthed during the excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamen". Malician (talk) 12:33, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Un, no it wasn't. Really, it wasn't. Gingermint (talk) 03:09, 2 March 2011 (UTC) What? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:07, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

Ark of the Covenent NOW FoundEdit

Al-Faarooq of the United Muslim Nations (UMN) claims to be in the posetion of the Ark of the Covenant. The Article on the UMN Blog gives a deep history on the subject. One can onlt ponder... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:21, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Theist POVEdit

From the first line there are many statements which assume a theist perspective, e.g. "The Ark was built at the command of God." Shouldn't that be "is said to have been built." Etc. --Timtak (talk) 02:43, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

I agree 100%, but there's too much of that stuff for a simple edit, I'm adding a cleanup tag to the article and hope that an impartial and more experienced editor will tackle it. - (talk) 17:00, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

I believe the first sentence doesn't go far enough in stating that the Ark doesn't necessarily exist now or ever.Workster (talk) 23:02, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

"... doesn't go far enough in stating that the Ark doesn't necessarily exist now or ever." Why is that important and why insist on something that could never be proven. That's a little nutty. Gingermint (talk) 03:11, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

It might matter if it was shown that all the essential attributes of the Ark are already present in symbolic or embryonic form in the first verse of Genesis. This is not something that has ever been considered in Theology or Biblical Scholarship. Yet that seems to be the case, as set out in this webpage: [Ark template]. I previously added this External Link in the front page, but it was promptly removed. While it may not be suitable in that context, it is a matter that some students of the subject may wish to be aware of.--DStanB (talk) 14:46, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree that the article needs to be much more objective. "Believed by Christians to have been, etc" is safe wording.Royalcourtier (talk) 01:38, 2 March 2017 (UTC)
The Bible is not just a Christian text. (talk) 19:27, 23 October 2017 (UTC)

This criticism is still valid in 2019. I assume the theist perspective is tolerated in this article because any attempt to change it would provoke a storm of controversy. It would also be tedious to start every sentence with "According to the Biblical account . . ." However, it is still a problem to describe, say, a pair of stone tablets containing the 10 Commandments as if such an artifact was known to exist three thousand years ago. HowardMorland (talk) 16:44, 9 July 2019 (UTC)


The Orthodox Church of Ethiopia is apparently meeting with Pope Bennedict XVI to announce the unveiling of the Ark shortly. Source is here Should this be added to the article? Da Killa Wabbit (talk) 19:45, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Another source, same topic... Da Killa Wabbit (talk) 19:48, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

It's been almost a year, so where is the ark? Wickland (talk) 04:07, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

This was a false rumor started by World Net Daily. The Patriarch later asserted that he originally stated that the ark was to be moved temporarily but not that it would be revealed. Frankly, World Net Daily is a tabloid publication, not a reliable news source. Today's headlines are "Forget New Black Panthers, feds think whites intimidate" and "Obama's white working-class problem". This article comes from a newspaper that was clearly duped, as many were, by WND's false report: "On 25 June 2009, the patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Ethiopia, Abuna Paulos, said he would announce to the world the next day the unveiling of the Ark of the Covenant, which he said had been kept safe and secure in a church in Axum, Ethiopia.[14]" Even Fox News and CNN reported on it and later revealed that it was not as had been originally reported. --Scardinoz (talk) 14:40, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Why is the Islamic history of the Ark of the Covenant not Included?Edit

Google search (Islam: Tabut al Sakina & Imam Mahdi Prophecy)

Al-Faarooq's article gives you an indepth history of the matter. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:55, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Well, first of all, it’s not an Islamic topic per se. That’s like asking why the article regarding the Cherokee creation story doesn’t talk about the Navajo one. Hellenophile07 (talk) 12:59, 15 April 2020 (UTC)

Ark disappearance implicit by JosiahEdit

The article doesn't mention Chronicles II 35:3 where King Josiah specifically tells the Levites to return the Ark to its house. The ark is not mentioned further, telling me the Levites did not return it (but the author of Chronicles could not bear to say so explicitly). Obviously this strongly tends to confirm "during the reign of Manasseh" as the time of disappearance, a theory which has other strong support, especially the existence of the Elephantine Temple itself.

Why is Josiah's comment widely ignored by scholars?

By the way, the article shows "in advance of the Babylonians" as a theory which "ends up with the Ark in Ethiopia". I don't know about that, but the Ethiopian destination is associated with the Menelik and Manasseh variations.

Jamesdowallen (talk) 20:58, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

I seem to remember reading at some point in my life articles discussing the ark's construction as outlined in texts should have created an electric charge or something of that sort. Anyone familiar with this (and know of some sources) that thinks it merits inclusion or did I just have some strange dream once.... Cmiych (talk) 03:13, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

This article is routinely censored by soemone who does not want new evidence posted concerning an ancient Hebrew and Israelite presence in Ethiopia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ntsukunyane Mphanya (talkcontribs) 11:30, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

This article was updated by N.Mphanya at Saturday, 12 December 2009 at 23:55:54 after the first posting was removed although the material was correctly referenced. There is obviously a self-serving Biblical maximalist censor at work here who wishes to obliterate all evidence concerning a pre- 586 B.C.E. Hebrew and Israelite presence in Ethiopia and Arabia. This sort of behaviour undermines Wikiepdia's credibility and explains why the better univerities refuse to accept assignments that use Wikiepdia refrneces. When this entry is removed (probably in the next hour or so) the matter will be taken to the Wikipedia arbitrator.

If a University student cites Wikipedia in an essay, then they aren't very good at writing essays. SGGH ping! 10:59, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

Merge discussionEdit

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result was merge Ark of the Covenant in popular culture into Ark of the Covenant. -- StAnselm (talk) 04:05, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

Use this section to discuss the propsed merger of Ark of the Covenant in popular culture into Ark of the Covenant. I disagree. I think Ark of the Covenant or Arc of the Covenant in popular culture should be linked. There is tremendous spiritual significance to the Arc of the Covenant and the Tablets of Stone, where in popular culture, we're talking about Indiana Jones, an adventurist with a thrilling story. This should be separated.----

I agree. Although Ark of the Covenant is a large article, Ark of the Covenant in popular culture is small enough, and putting all facets of one subject together seems like a general good idea to me. Debresser (talk) 13:07, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Is it possible that the popular culture article could be expanded and become large enough to live on its own? There must be a huge number of mentions of the Ark in popular culture. SGGH ping! 19:17, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
I'd say that is possible. If that were to happen, we'd have to split the articles (back again). Debresser (talk) 21:24, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

There would be less stubs if stubs were added to major articles of the same subject. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Myeliteromance (talkcontribs) 01:02, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Merge completed --Steven J. Anderson (talk) 04:06, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

Construction, physical dimensions and attributesEdit

I remember that the article had a section about the construction, physical dimensions and attributes of the Ark. I guess it was edited away by either balant or concealed vandalism. That section was important, and I will either try to find that lost section in the previous versions, or recreate that section. John Hyams (talk) 03:24, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

OK, I have created the section. Maybe more info is needed:
  • the gold/silver taken from the people for it
  • who were the craftmen (Aaron? Dan tribe?)
  • anything else that is missing. I once saw a documentary explaining that the ark had (according to the Bible) some electrifying attributes, i.e.- anyone who touched it got fired (literally). The exact chapter/verse pointer for this would be great.
Once the section looks OK, the expert request can be removed. John Hyams (talk) 09:22, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
The sun dish that sat between the wings is missing from the top of the Ark in the descriptions and pictures. There are also no references to the Ark of Amun on which it was based. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:35, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

The Samaritan communityEdit

Members within the Samaritanism community believe the ark of the covenant is hidden in one of the caves around Gerizim. Many believe that the Thaheb (the great prophet) will reveal the location of items of tabernacle. [1] (Anaccuratesource (talk) 18:34, 29 June 2010 (UTC)).

Christian theologians believe it was destroyed with the temple by Nebuchadnezzer and this is why Cyrus was unable to return it with the other items of furniture. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:44, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

The Ethiopian claimsEdit

I am very dubious about the verifiability of this statement from a recent draft of this article:

However, recent study suggests that reference is a later interpolation: many important manuscripts later than the thirteenth century make no reference to it, and it only became a core element of Ethiopian beliefs in the seventeenth century.

First, there is ample evidence to show that Ethiopians believed they had the true Ark in their possession at least as early as the 12th century. This possession was important enough to them that before Imam Ahmad Gragn entered Axum & sacked it, Emperor Lebna Dengel removed the object they believe is the Ark for safe keeping. Second, the existence of any manuscripts of the Kebra Nagast as early as the 13th century would be remarkable; few original texts written in Ethiopia before 1550 now exist, due to warfare & the conditions these manuscripts are kept in. And lastly, this passage seems to be a tendentious attempt to discredit sincere Ethiopian beliefs; until this "recent study" is presented for verification, it should be removed. -- llywrch (talk) 16:42, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

How can the ethiopians have the true Ark when it never left heaven. Moses was shown the Ark and made a copy to the pattern he was given. Cyrus could not return it because it had been destroyed by Nebucanezzar along with the temple. The true Ark only comes to earth in "Revelations" at the day of judgement when heaven comes down to earth. That's the Christian view. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:55, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

No, it's your view of the Christian view. --Steven J. Anderson (talk) 01:05, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

NIV exodus 25 v9 "Make this tabernacle and all it's furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:42, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

In answer to the IP's question, the story is that the original Ark was replaced by a fake during Menelik's visit to Solomon's court, & Menelik returned to Ethiopia with the original while the fake remained behind to be destroyed centuries later when Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem. Now whether this story is what really happened, I leave that to people more learned than me. I do know it is a fact that traditionally educated Ethiopians have believed this story is the truth for at least a thousand years, & not a few still believe it today. But ranting here that "this can't be true" isn't going to convince anyone to alter the text of the article one bit. -- llywrch (talk) 04:52, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

New ArkEdit

According to Christians following Catholic tradition and belief, the Blessed Virgin Mary is the new Ark of the Covenant, since Christ is described as the New Covenant. The belief also comes from the Book of Revelation where St. John of Patmos describes the Ark as a beautiful woman. Should this be mentioned in the article? --Willthacheerleader18 (talk) 03:10, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Good point! Gingermint (talk) 03:21, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

Name of RevelationEdit

Because every English translation of the Bible I have ever seen calls the book of Revelation just that, I changed two references which named the book "Apocalypse" to "Revelation" in the section called References to the Ark in Scripture: In the Bible. To call the book Apocalypse would be confusing to most English speakers/readers. Yes, I know that the first word of the book in the Greek New Testament is Ἀποκάλυψις, but this is an English wiki, not a Greek wiki. It's Revelation. Silmalel File:User Silmalel SigPic3.PNG 17:23, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

I respectfully believe Silmalel has only seen English translations of the Bible with the final book title as Revelation: however, at least one Bible, the English Douay-Rheims Bible, titles the Book as The Apocalypse for English readers, which somewhat literally translates as The Opening (of) the Concealed or The Dis-closure, the revealing of what is hidden, the opening of what is closed, The Un-Veiling, The Removal (of) the Veil, The Re-Velation, or simply Revelation. It's difficult sometimes to grasp that your own experience may not be complete or exhaustive, so that just because a usage is unfamiliar to you that may not be sufficient reason to alter a legitimate term or word. Try using these NPOV tools: "...also called...", "...or..." —specifically, "Apocalypse, also called Revelation," and "Apocalypse or Revelation." I'd like to point out too that the word apocalypse does actually have a common English meaning/connotation, obtained from the substance of the Bible's last book, so that I doubt that most English readers would be confused: see Apocalypse Now, and the more general WP listing Apocalypse (disambiguation). --Humaniphilon (talk) 05:21, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

Book of Numbers - verse numberingEdit

I've added an alternative numbering for the verses in the Book of Numbers refering to the inclusion of Aaron's Rod. It seems that the chapter breaks are very different between versions - I am using the Revised English Bible. I have no idea what the reason for this might be. Scottwh (talk) 22:35, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

"See also" sectionEdit

Why is the Baghdad battery in the “see also” section? What’s the connection to the ark? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Idonthavetimeforthiscarp (talkcontribs) 14:22, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Added almost 8 years ago when someone wrote " Archaeological discoveries of the last century (which include the Baghdad battery among others), indicate a working knowledge of energy devices by ancient middle eastern cultures, and therefore it may not have been beyond Moses' specialized training in the house of Pharoah" - just crazy fringe stuff, and I've removed it, well spotted. Dougweller (talk) 14:42, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Implication of Revelation passageEdit

"Revelation 11:19 says the prophet saw God's temple in heaven opened, "and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple.""

The idea of this passage is not that the Ark of the Covenant that Moses built is somehow now in heaven but it refers to the true Ark of the Covenant of which the Mosaic Ark was a copy.

Please note the following:

Ex 25:7-9
8 And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. 9 According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.
Ex 25:10-16
"And they shall make an ark of acacia wood; two and a half cubits shall be its length, a cubit and a half its width, and a cubit and a half its height. 11 And you shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and out you shall overlay it, and shall make on it a molding of gold all around. 12 You shall cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in its four corners; two rings shall be on one side, and two rings on the other side. 13 And you shall make poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. 14 You shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, that the ark may be carried by them. 15 The poles shall be in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it. 16 And you shall put into the ark the Testimony which I will give you.
Ex 25:40
40 And see to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.
Ex 26:30
30 And you shall raise up the tabernacle according to its pattern which you were shown on the mountain.


Heb 8:3-5
3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. 4 For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; 5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, "See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain."

The statement as written implies the Ark of Moses is in heaven. That is not correct.

KaseetaKen (talk) 21:01, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Reliable sources supporting this interpretation? HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:00, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
I should like to point out simply that scripture states that Moses was shown on the mountain the pattern of the tabernacle to be made by the Israelites. Nowhere does scripture explicitly say that he was shown the pattern of God's temple in heaven. He was instructed to make copies of heavenly things shown to him (see texts cited above). To say they are the same as the temple of God in heaven is an interpretation that may be correct or may not be correct: either statement is an interpretation. Reliable sources cited would be required to support either of them or both of them.
  • Revelation Chapter 4 verse 2 says: "a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne." RSV
  • Revelation Chapter 4 verses 5 and 6 says: "before the throne burn seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God; and before the throne there is as it were a sea of glass, like crystal." RSV
  • Revelation Chapter 5 verse 1 says: "in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back". RSV
It is easy to interpret these as the Ark with the Sefer Torah within it, and the seven lamps on the Lampstand/Candlestick before the Veil, and outside, the bronze/brass sea standing before the altar of burnt offerings—However:
The Tanakh/Old Testament states that the Ark of the Covenant (among other attributes) is not the throne but the "footstool" of the LORD:
  • 1 Chronicles Chapter 28 verse 2, David says: "I had it in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God". RSV (parallel construction)
  • Psalm 99:5 says: "Extol the LORD our God; worship at his footstool! Holy is he!" RSV
  • Psalm 132:7 says: "Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool". RSV
  • Isaiah 66:1 says: "Thus says the LORD: Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool". RSV (It is evident that the earth does not look like the description of the Ark, and the Ark does not look like a copy of the earth.)
Furthermore, the Book of Revelation, while it states that the LORD is seated on the throne in heaven, and that the Lamb is in the midst of the throne (7:17), it does not say that the Ark of God's covenant is the throne, and it does not say that the LORD God is seated on the Ark of the covenant. It says:
  • Revelation 4:2 "lo, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne!" RSV
  • Revelation 4:9 "the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever". RSV
  • Revelation 11:16 "the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God". RSV
  • Revelation 11:19 "Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple." RSV
  • Revelation 15:5 "After this I looked, and the temple of the tent of witness in heaven was opened". RSV (It clearly does not say that the temple is the tent of witness, but indicates rather that the temple in heaven contains, is the location of, the tent of witness.)
The Torah/Pentateuch does not say that God's eternal temple in heaven has an eternal Ark of God's covenant, only that Moses was shown on the mountain the (heavenly) pattern of the things he was to make: "Let them make me a sanctuary". (I have not found any scriptual text that says that God's own eternal heaven is a tabernacle.) The Talmud (2nd-6th century) relates that the pattern he was shown was of fire (light?) and that he then asked how he was to make all these things of fire. The New Testament shows the Scroll in the hand of him who sits on the throne; it does not show the Scroll as being in the Ark of the covenant.
An interpretation can be made that an eternal Ark of God's covenant has been present in heaven from the beginning. A reliable source for this interpretation is needed. An interpretation can also be made that, at the time of Moses, an Ark for the copy of God's covenant was commanded solely as a sacred repository for the safe keeping of the written word of God as part of the (temporary) pattern of the worship of the people of God as a testimony to them. A reliable source for this interpretation is needed.
It is unequivocally stated in the article that a literal reading of Revelation necessarily locates the physical ark of the covenant in God's temple in heaven. Additional information on the meaning of literal reading is provided by a link to the article "Biblical literalism".
In any case, the Tanakh does state that the Ark is a temporary sign:
  • Jeremiah 3:16-17 says: "when you have multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says the LORD, they shall no more say, 'The ark of the covenant of the LORD.' It shall not come to mind, or be remembered, or missed; it shall not be made again. At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the LORD". RSV
  • Jeremiah 31:31 says: "I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant I made with their fathers". RSV
A case is presented above by KaseetaKen that the Ark in heaven refers to the "true Ark of the covenant" of which the Ark made by Moses was a copy. From all of this here, it also equally appears that the Ark of the covenant in heaven is the same Mosaic Ark of the testimony that God himself commanded to be made from the pattern shown to Moses on Mount Sinai, in the Book of Exodus. Both views can be represented. Wikipedia presents all points of view supported by verifiable reliable secondary and third-party sources of documentation. Only very minor interpretations are not usually included. The talk page is a useful forum for discussions about improvements to the article, a lesser forum for opinions about the correctness or inaccuracy of specific content apart from evaluating citations of source(s) of specific content. --Michael Paul Heart (talk) 08:17, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
But any such view, interpreting what the Bible says (or drawing an implication from it, such as that the ark "will not be found at any location on earth"), requires a secondary source, per WP:PST: "Any interpretation of primary source material requires a reliable secondary source for that interpretation." HrafnTalkStalk(P) 09:34, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
Michael Paul Heart: please do not reinsert this material without giving references (and only those references) that (i) are reliable & (ii) directly discuss the Biblical literalist interpretation of the mention of the Ark in this passage of Revelations. Your largely irrelevant ref-spamming was badly WP:POINT. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 07:45, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

Sources on 'Heaven' sectionEdit

The claim "A literalist reading of the Book of Revelation, Chapter 11:19, places the Ark physically within God's Temple in Heaven, where John saw it, so that it will not be found at any location on earth." is sourced to the following:

  • Falkenberg, Steve, Biblical Literalism, New Reformation, 2002. "Literalists say, there is only one possible interpretation and that is the one I believe." (If John says he saw the Ark of the covenant in God's temple in heaven, that is where it is.)
  • Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum: (3. Sacred Scripture, Its Inspiration and Divine Interpretation) 11. "...since everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit, it follows that the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into the sacred writings for the sake of our salvation."
  • Strange Work: Revelation, by Rev. Herbert Melville Munson, Jr. At the end time God's temple will be opened and all men will be able to look into it—"...they will be staring directly into the Holy of Holies and will be able to see the ark of his covenant there. The ark is a distinctly Jewish piece of furniture..."
  • "Literalism", Elwell Evangelical Dictionary, Walter A. Elwell, Baker Publishing Group, May 1996 ISBN 0-8010-2049-2 "...literalism means to seek the plain meaning..."
  • Pope Leo XIII, in his Papal Encyclical "On the Study of Holy Scripture" Providentissimus Deus, affirmed that a stated fact must be accepted as falling under inspiration, down to the most insignificant item—see text of Providentissimus Deus.
  • The Revelation of Jesus Christ Through the Ages: A Complete Literal Common Sense Interpretation of the Prophesies, by Donald A. Koenig, 2004, Revelation chapter 11 commentary: "When the temple is opened in heaven, the world sees the ark of his testament in the temple in heaven."
  • Ryrie, Charles Caldwell (1995) Dispensationalism (Revised and expanded edition), Chicago: Moody Press. pp. 224, ISBN 0802421873 p. 81
  • The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (1997) "We affirm that Scripture in its entirety is inerrant, being free from all falsehood, fraud or deceit."
  • Revelation 11:19 "...all will be able to see into the heavenly temple itself (although we don't know how).... As the world gazes into the most sacred place in heaven, they see the ark of the covenant."
  • "Origin, Inspiration, and History of the Bible", preface in New American Bible, Church Edition (Wichita, KS: Fireside Bible Publishers, 2005-2006), p. xxii, © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, ISBN 1-55665-493-6, ISBN 978-1-55665-490-9.
  • see Biblical Inerrancy and Biblical infallibility
  1. As far as I can see, none of these sources simultaneously discuss the Ark, Revalations and Biblical Literalism (in fact the majority don't mention the Ark as all), let alone ' place the Ark physically within God's Temple in Heaven' or claim that "it will not be found at any location on earth." As far as I can ascertain, only Munson, Koenig & even mention the Ark of the Covenant.
  2. Falkenberg, Munson & are WP:SPS
  3. Wikipedia articles are not permitted as a cited source.

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 07:59, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

Contentious reversions without good reasonEdit

The recent reversions April 16-17 of verifiable sourced material on the Literalist Point of View (that the ark of the covenant is in Heaven)—as being "UNSOURCED" and "Synthesis" and "unverified"—have no valid justification, and appear to be sheer vandalism. See my response on my Talk page under "April 2011". --Michael Paul Heart (talk) 09:05, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

This claim is simply WP:IDIDNOTHEARTHAT of #Sources on 'Heaven' section above. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 09:09, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Content disputes are not vandalism. Parties need to take a deep breath, step back, and stop engaging each other for a time before a balanced and well informed WP:3O or other dispute resolution process is attempted. S.G.(GH) ping! 10:25, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Given that any move on the article (even restoration of the legitimate tags) would place me in violation of WP:3RR & Michael Paul Heart seems completely unwilling to actually address my concerns here on talk, I've had little alternative but to "step back" -- so that is in fact what I've been doing. (It's odd that all the advice both here & on WP:ANI has basically amounted to telling me to do what I've already done.) HrafnTalkStalk(P) 10:34, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
As far as I am aware the prophet is seeing a vision of events that will come to pass in the future. So even if the Ark of the Covenent is literally in heaven according to the vision, that does not mean that it is now in heaven. Maybe it will be whisked off to heaven in the Last Days. Paul B (talk) 18:06, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
I raised that very point on User talk:Michael Paul Heart -- you can take a look at his furious denunciation of the idea there, if you're interested. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 18:27, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Humm, well, even that view only places it in heaven during the revelation. Maybe it was taken up to heaven for the Divine Purpose of being included in the revelation and then was returned to its earthly location. After all, if we are to really take this literally, then the Woman clothed with the sun must have been wearing the actual sun, with the actual moon at her feet. Since the sun and the moon have since been put back in their original locations, surely the Ark might have been too. Paul B (talk) 18:45, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
I hope she had good sunblock. >;) HrafnTalkStalk(P) 19:01, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

More 'Heavan' sourcesEdit

The sources provided for the recently introduced 'Heaven' material were in the main WP:SPS (including the notoriously-unreliable WorldNet Daily), and largely WP:PRIMARY sources besides (being statements of belief, rather than scholarly research). Additionally a few other sources were listed without sufficient specificity for anybody other than the editor adding them to discern what they were (let alone their reliability & whether they verify the information cited to them). HrafnTalkStalk(P) 11:31, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. In a world of six billion plus people we can found sources saying everything you can think of - our job is to make sure that we use only sources that meet our criteria at WP:RS etc. and that also are significant enough as a viewpoint to include in an article. I agree that hasn't been done yet. Dougweller (talk) 13:37, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
  • And, as should be obvious to anybody, IS NOT Strong's Concordance -- it is just some random WP:SPS Bible website that happen's to use Strong's numbering in places. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 20:39, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Its linguistic competence is valid, nevertheless, and cannot be shown to be in error, nor is it in error, as can be seen by comparison with all Greek/Hebrew Lexicons available today. It was cited, along with for comparison, just as the edit summary originally stated. --Michael Paul Heart (talk) 21:00, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
When you say "cannot be shown to be in error" you are further exposing your fundamental misunderstanding of Wikipedia's sourcing policies. The burden of sourcing is on those who wish to include the material, not the opposite. Also, is a pretty shitty source, too (click on it). Here's an sample quote from its home page "I do realize that I'm not in the mainstream, but how often in biblical history is majority ever right?" If ever there were a clear example of a WP:FRINGE source identifying itself as such, I think that's it. --Steven J. Anderson (talk) 21:59, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
I see from your argument that you are claiming that these two sources have not accurately defined the Greek word κιβωτὸς—yet according to my own copy of Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Fully Updated and Unabridged, published by World, copyright 1890 by James Strong, Greek Lexicon, Forty-fifth printing 1989, page 55, number 2787, their definitions are entirely accurate and reliable and completely agree. I challenge you to present here your evidence that all three are wrong, citing authoritative linguistic sources, and peer-reviews denouncing them as false and erroneous. The three sources cited here even agree with Brown-Driver-Briggs English-Hebrew Lexicon on Hebrew definitions. It too has a reputation of reliable scholarship. I do not believe you can prove that it too is in error. Your argument has no intelligence. You lose --Michael Paul Heart (talk) 01:16, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Michael Paul Heart: WP:V states: "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth: whether readers can check that material in Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source" -- please note that it states "whether readers can check that material in Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source" (my emphasis) -- NOT 'whether readers can check that material in Wikipedia happens to be in some self-published, grabbed-off-the-web junk sources that just happens to say the same thing as some reliable source that I only mention on talk.' If you want to cite the information to your "own copy of Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Fully Updated and Unabridged, published by World, copyright 1890 by James Strong, Greek Lexicon, Forty-fifth printing 1989, page 55" then go ahead -- but please include an ISBN -- there are dozens of versions of 'Strong's Concordance' listed on Amazon, none of which appear to bear the precise title "Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Fully Updated and Unabridged". Oh, and I don't really give a damn about the self-serving maunderings of somebody so monumentally clueless that they think WorldNet Daily is in the same universe as a WP:RS -- 'you lost' it years ago. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 06:20, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Picture captionEdit

There is a continuing WP:OR problem with the caption of one of the pictures Michael Paul Heart (talk · contribs) has repeatedly added a criticism of the accuracy of the picture whilst repeatedly ignoring the fact that it has been deleted as original research. Since he has chosen to edit-war his personal view into the caption without discussion, I am bringing this here. So, Mr. Heart, I am now going to restate Wikipedia's policy on original research by synthesis for your personal benefit. You cannot look at an artists rendition of the ark, then compare it to a description you read in your favorite translation of the bible, decide that the picture doesn't match the description and so state in the picture caption. This is the best example of synthesis I've ever seen on Wikipedia. If you can find a reliable source that has made this comment on this picture, you might have the beginning of a case for including it. (Although I would still oppose it since we don't usually nit-pick the accuracy of artwork in captions.) If you don't understand this very clear explanation of synthesis (and you seem not to) after either reading this or reading the policy located at WP:SYN then you've probably made the right choice to leave Wikipedia. Continuing to edit here without absorbing even that much of our editorial policies would probably prove to be an experience fraught with disappointment and frustration and devoid of satisfaction. --Steven J. Anderson (talk) 06:53, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Steven, may an outsider intrude? I noticed that the article itself says "Four rings of gold are to be put into its four feet—" and Michael Paul Heart seems to have simply repeated it and added an external link in the caption which goes to Parallel translations of Exodus 25:12 which says the same thing (12 times): "its four feet". I'm glad he pointed it out with a link to verify it, since I had never before noticed the difference between the pictures and the Bible before reading your comments here and checking the history of the edits to this article. It doesn't really look like a synthesis, sir. I even checked the library and the book store to see if the linked site was quoting the Bibles accurately, and it was. Maybe the artist should have read more carefully. I like the fact that the much older Medieval pictures further down the article showed the ark on top of the staves as it was carried, exactly according to what the Bible says. I hope this helps. Thank you. (talk) 03:39, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Thank you, "outside intruder". I don't think there's enough people from the general public. I find these Talk Pages to be sophomoric. Wasn't the first Rule of Debate/Speech Class "no cursing"? The people who curse while talking about a Biblical topic are out of their minds. There are better ways to express venom than using profanity in a public forum. But then again, this may not be a public forum??? Merely a place for lonely geeks who have no life. I say this because I have been disabled from birth (wheelchair-bound) and yet I have better things to do than argue with Steven J. Anderson et al. "Go outside, talk to people, enjoy the animals, smell the fresh air." Based on all that I've read, I'm sure you'll "bite the newcomer!" If I decide to correspond or debate, I promise I'll treat EVERYBODY EQUALLY. --Brian D. White (talk) 23:43, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Given all you have done is "bite the regulars" left right and centre, why should you expect a more welcoming response? I find your commentary irrelevant (you don't even attempt to address the topic of this thread) and your conniptions at the very sparse and mild profanity on this page overly fastidious. If you don't have anything better to do than wander in and insult us, then I would suggest that you take your own advice and "Go outside, talk to people, enjoy the animals, smell the fresh air." You are quite simply wasting our time in here (as well as violating WP:TALK and WP:NOTAFORUM). HrafnTalkStalk(P) 05:24, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Brian and Michael were right. Even though I followed Wikipedia policies, and there was nothing wrong with the information I put in, and it added information, and I was polite and courteous, they "bit" me. They really are cyber-bullies who own this site. That is bad. I'm really sorry. I hope other people will read this page and understand that they won't be welcome here no matter how good their intentions are, even if they understand and follow policy. -- (talk) 11:06, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Nobody is biting you. Your correction of the typo and of the Exodus chapter number both stand. The only alteration of yours that has been reverted was the introduction of additional translations into the references -- because references exist in Wikipedia to WP:Verify information contained in the article (which the original reference already did perfectly adequately), not to provide a WP:DIRECTORY to further "expert commentaries". This is not WP:BITE, but perfectly normal WP:BRD. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 11:59, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but the Hebrew-English Mechon-Mamre 1917 version of the Bible linked for verification of information in the article is one I've never heard of, and I can't find anything on it anywhere to indicate that it is a reliable translation, so I had no way of immediately knowing that your claim that the "original reference" linked in the article provided the information "perfectly adequately". (It differs from the famous King James Version, Douay-Rheims Version, and Darby Translation.) I thought other people might have the same doubts, so I wanted other, far more well-known, versions—and famous commentaries confirming both them and your own particular favorite translation—to be available, "improving the diversity of knowledge and perspectives". Although I provided this for the readers, twice, you removed it, leaving only your own particular choice, a version many people have never read and know nothing about, although I'm sure you probably take it for granted as a trustworthy translation. I'm sorry, but I don't think that's a very inclusive viewpoint. I thought I should at least explain this before staying away from what now looks like Wikipedia's apparently slanted approach to information. Since the Administrators must look at "Recent Changes" (at least I assume they do), and some time has passed, it appears that they must approve of your edit, so I can't take Wikipedia as a reliable source any more—and I have been told, and have even read, that even University and College professors do not accept Wikipedia as a reliable source of information for class papers and research assignments! Now I think I know why. I'm sorry. I only wanted to help the readers have confidence in information about the staves being positioned at the foot of the ark, taken from more than one translation of Exodus 25, by giving a verifiable source citing far more well-known, reputable translations and commentaries than the single one that was linked (Hebrew-English Mechon-Mamre of 1917). Goodbye. I only wanted to help. But I really don't think you value the contributions of newcomers. -- (talk) 03:26, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
(I hadn't intended to do so much, at first, only a couple of edits, and that's why I never started an account. I thought you should know. I don't even want one now.) -- (talk) 03:26, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
Speaking of the King James Version, here's how Exodus 25:12 reads in that translation:

And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four corners thereof; and two rings shall be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it.

See? corners, not feet. Of course none of that matters because critiquing the picture based on the quotation is clear-cut original research of the kind clearly disallowed by Wikipedia's policies.
Oh, and just out of curiosity, do you really think that the reason Wikipedia (and other encyclopedias) are not usually acceptable for academic research is because it fails to nitpick the accuracy of artist's renditions of Bible stories? I mean, really? --Steven J. Anderson (talk) 04:44, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

Expert CritiqueEdit

User indef-blocked as a WP:SOCK of Michael Paul Heart
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

I have been asked to look at the comments on this page regarding translations of Exodus 25:12 in the above section (pertaining to use of and I have reluctantly agreed to do so.

  • I have 47 years of experience in Biblical Studies.
  • The New International Version, English Standard Version, New American Standard Version, American Standard Version, Bible in Basic English, World English Bible, and Young's Literal Translation are reputable and reliable. They state that the rings and the staves are in the four feet of the ark. The Hebrew word in the Sepher Torah is from the feminine basic פעמה corner, foot, step (it has other applications and meanings in other contexts).
  • Greek κιβωτός means box or chest. Hebrew ארון means ark, chest, coffer. A box or chest has eight corners: four at the top, four at the feet or base. The rings and staves can be at the four corners at the four feet or four supports of the ark at its base.
  • The King James Version, American King James Version, Webster's Revision, and Geneva Study Bible are not regarded as reliable translations, given the increase in Biblical Linguistic Studies since the dates of their first publication. These state that the rings and the staves are at the four corners of the ark, they do not specifically state that they are the four corners at the top of the ark.
  • The Hebrew Bible in English 1917 was completely outdated by 1955 and is not regarded as a reliable translation.
  • The Commentaries listed at the linked site are reputable and reliable with some minor caution in light of more recent developments. The majority of them support the rendering of "feet" of the ark. Consult Brown-Driver-Briggs English-Hebrew Lexicon and William H. C. Propp's translation of Exodus 19-40 of the Anchor Bible.
  • When illustrations are inaccurate it is enough to have the original text and a fully reliable translation in close proximity to it so the discrepancy is obvious to the reader.
  • Given the Wikipedia policy of WP:RS, which I have read, the man who proposed the Hebrew-English Mechon-Mamre JPS translation of 1917 as a "Reliable Source" and those who support that evaluation—coupled with their deliberate and repeated exclusion of actual, verifiable, reliable, reputable, published sources, available online, showing major support for the translation "feet" of the ark—have automatically disqualified themselves as WP:NPOV judges of what is or is not a "Reliable Source", and their opinions should not be received. (The fact that this unreliable translation in English states that the rings and staves are to be in the "four feet" of the ark is incidental.) A far more reliable and reputable source could have been used. I believe they are attempting to discredit the translation "four feet" by citing and linking an unreliable source and by actively excluding solidly substantive evidence of reputable linguistic support in Biblical Studies for the translation that the staves and rings are in the four feet of the ark, at its base. According to the standards they have applied to others, the Hebrew-English Mechon-Mamre 1917 translation should have been removed immediately as a violation of WP:RS, yet they maintain its inclusion in the article.
  • A banner at the beginning of the article announces the need for an expert on the subject. I have rendered my expert opinion. Having read this entire talk page, I have no reason to believe it will be well received by Steven J. Anderson and Hrafn and those who support them. This talk page is for improving the article. I recommend they be blocked from it and improvement will immediately follow.

Given the reputation of Wikipedia for unreliability, I do not wish my name to be associated with it. If it were the Encyclopedia Britannica or the Encyclopedia Judaica I should be proud to have contributed to a reliable resource of knowledge. This isn't it. --DrakeProf (talk) 05:39, 30 April 2011 (UTC)


  1. I find your tone patronising and incivil. Nobody forced you to come here. If you don't want to be associated with this project, then you are welcome to leave. If you wish to stay I would request that you assume good faith.
  2. WP:Verifiability states "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth: whether readers can check that material in Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether editors think it is true." This means that your "47 years of experience in Biblical Studies" matters only to the extent that you have greater access to and knowledge of the reliable sources. Where you cite such sources, you are likely to be given a reasonably civil reception, where you expect us to simply bow down and take your word for it you will probably receive a considerably more frosty one.
  3. I did not introduce the Hebrew Bible in English 1917 into the article, have no idea who did (it appears to have been in the section for over a year), and have never defended that particular translation. I simply moved it out of the article text (back) to a reference, per WP:MOSLINKS#Link titles. If you think the NIV is preferable, I'm perfectly agreeable -- and have in fact just changed {{bibleverse}} to link to the latter in the text. As long as the reference is reliable, verifies the text & is not unnecessarily duplicative/cluttered, I don't really care too much about the specifics.
  4. Wikipedia's policy is to favour published sources over self-published ones (see WP:SELFPUB for restrictions on use of the latter). This is because the reader will have an easier time evaluating the reliability of the former over that of the latter. One of the sources recently excluded was WorldNet Daily -- a source so notoriously unreliable and extremist as to be a running joke on the blogosphere.

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 06:44, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

  • On the topic of pictures and captions, if a picture does not reflect the majority-view translation of the description depicted (as would seem to be the case), then it should be replaced by one that does, per WP:DUE. This would obviate any need to engage in synthesis draw attention to any glaring flaws. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 07:18, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Wikicommons has these images, would any of these be acceptable? See the Wikicommons template for the full set of potential images. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 07:32, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
Not necessary as this is nothing but a lot of damn foolishness. We have an article about the Ark of the Covenant and we have a number of illustrations showing artists renditions of the Ark. See WP:LAME. You'd never catch Britannica winding itself up like this about this kind of bullshit. --Steven J. Anderson (talk) 09:26, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
Steven: if Britannica worried itself over, even in the slightest, even 1% of what Wikipedia regularly (at at tiresome length) gets its knickers in a major twist over, I'd eat my hat. The current image isn't exactly a glorious illustration, and I think the alternatives (especially the third) might brighten up the article, as well as eliminating at least one stick for the purists to bash us with. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 09:33, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
Actually, looking at it again, the current image is downright ugly. Can we get rid of it, please? HrafnTalkStalk(P) 09:41, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
The third one is actually used in the Spanish article, with a caption (Google translated as) "Virtual sculpture Ark of the Covenant by artist Alfonso Castillo Esteban González, using as reference the Bible".
I have no particular attachment to any of the images currently on the article and think the ones you've posted here and some of the others at the commons category you linked to are just fine (Incidentally, did you notice the one with the two cherubim copulating on top of the thing? Cute.) I just don't want the OCD in the caption. --Steven J. Anderson (talk) 20:12, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes I did. ;) HrafnTalkStalk(P) 07:05, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that's a much nicer pic, however, be advised that, first, it still doesn't have the rings where our interlocutor wants them, and second, the pic you replaced is not the one whose caption he inserted his personal comments into. That was the pic at the top of the section entitled "Mobile vanguard, the one that shows Moses and Joshua kneeling in front of the Ark, so I doubt this will calm him down if he decides to return. Still a better pic, though. --Steven J. Anderson (talk) 07:18, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Okay, that's weird. (i) As far as I know, none of the illustrations have the rings on-feet-below-the-ark-body & (ii) such a design would both be more difficult to lift & render the ark top-heavy when carried (the only illustrations that have the poles beneath the ark have no feet, no rings, and a fairly small-and-stylised ark). I had assumed that 'feet' included the corner columns that extend out to form the feet and that he was complaining about the illustrations that did not include these corner-columns/feet. As I can see no visual evidence for his extremist design-interpretation, I see no point in giving WP:UNDUE weight to it, unless and until we are presented with evidence that it is a prominent view. Apologies for not taking sufficiently close notice of what he was arguing. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 08:06, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

[text by blocked sock deleted by User:Dougweller ]

I see no "evidence" from your list of images that they take any more strict an interpretation of "put into its feet" than the ones already in the article. In any case, our policy is to use free images where possible (see WP:NFC). HrafnTalkStalk(P) 06:18, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
If you do not see that the pictures currently in the text do not show the rings and the staves at the feet of the aron, look again. If that is not evidence to you that the illustrations cited from are a more literal rendering of the text than those in the article, then it is better to use no pictures than to mislead the reader. Your Wikipedia policy requires that the images should look like what they are meant to illustrate. Those currently in the text do not. Permission can be obtained from the copyright holder using the proper procedure, in order to provide more accurate images, per Wikipedia policy. Elimination of the pictures would eliminate the necessity some see for an explanation or disclaimer. If that had been done from the beginning, the controversy above would never have occurred. (I am personally convinced that the mere act of illustrating the Aron Habrit and maintaining any image of it in the article causes the problems you are now having.) The description provided by the text, and the linked text translation from the Torah is enough, as long as they understand plain english. Hebrew would be better. --BenjaminDavidAharonDvi (talk) 07:33, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
"Look again" yourself -- many of the arks on your list of illustrations likewise lack rings and/or feet. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 08:10, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

[text by blocked sock deleted by User:Dougweller ]

(i) Actually, all your incoherent ramblings "test" is my (lack of) tolerance for WP:Complete bollocks. (ii)Your comment is in gross violation of WP:AGF. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 08:10, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
What does "Jewish sacred topics should be treated by Jews and according to the Sacred Traditions of Israel." mean? Any editor can edit any article if they follow our policies and guidelines. No article can show only one viewpoint, see WP:NPOV. If you are suggesting only Jews should edit certain articles, you're wrong and possibly at the wrong venue. Dougweller (talk) 06:45, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
I did not suggest that only Jews edit articles on Jewish topics. The fact that you lack a Jewish understanding of the importance of the least detail of kodashim sacred objects to the extent that you express the opinion that it really doesn't matter whether or not the images used to illustrate the Aron Habrit are accurate makes you and those expressing contemptuous language above unsuitable as editors of this particular subject because of your WP:UNDUE disregard of what many regard as sacred and worthy of respect, which violates your own policy of respect and courtesy. It means that you are weighting the article unwittingly in the direction of excluding the Jewish point of view. The rejection of a considered viewpoint by a Jewish reader as irrelevant is significant. I earlier declined an invitation to "join the community". I said the welcome was courteous and respectful, and in the same tone I decline. Again, in the same tone I decline. --BenjaminDavidAharonDvi (talk) 07:33, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Excuse me? Where have I said anything about the image? I don't know if it is accurate or not. You might want to note that many Muslims object to having images of Mohammed on Wikipedia but we don't ban them. As for the community, you can't decline being part of it, anyone who edits Wikipedia is part of the community. Our policies and guidelines apply to you as much as to anyone else. Dougweller (talk) 09:28, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
I can tell you one thing, no cherubim ever looked like that in ancient Israel.PiCo (talk) 06:49, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Why is Graham Hancock mentioned in this article?Edit

Graham Hancock appears to have neither relevant qualifications or any following to speak of. Why then are his claims mentioned in the article? Are we also going to give room to the views that every other obscure unqualified crank has on the subject? HrafnTalkStalk(P) 09:13, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

I added an innocuous bit about Graham Hancock in the Ethiopia section of this article, as Hancock has done much with his popular 1992 book to popularize the Ethiopia theory (here are my adds: [2] and [3]). User:Hrafn removed it here, stating he was reverting "WP:UNDUE to widely-panned WP:FRINGE claim." I agree it might be a fringe book and theory, but I don't think it is undue. As I stated when I added the bit back (here), I noted that this whole section about possible locations of the Ark today is FRINGE. But that's the point? Right? The whole section is built on fringe theories (I mean, it is called rumoured current locations!), such as Hancock's theory (Ethiopia), Tudor Parfitt's theory (Zimbabwe), Joseph Franks's theory (Languedoc), Graham Philips's theory (Warwickshire), the British-Israelite theory (Ireland)! All are fringe theories!
So, shouldn't User:Hrafn be consistent and remove the whole, entire section, since it is built on fringe theories top to bottom? So, I added the bit back here. I even added a bit saying scholars found Hancock's book and theory to be hogwash. Here is what I added the second time:

I don't think that is UNDUE, I think it is quite fair, and inline with the other parts of the article. However, User:Hrafn removed the bit again here, now claiming, "ZERO qualifications + near-ZERO following = ZERO coverage in the article." Again, if User:Hrafn were consistent, he would remove the entire section and ALL the fringe references on this page. But he hasn't. I think, in the spirit of Wikipedia, the rather innocuous two sentences I added above would be fine in the article. What do you other editors think? TuckerResearch (talk) 02:29, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Neutrality requires that each article or other page in the mainspace fairly represents all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint.

— WP:DUE (my emphasis)
  • See also WP:FRINGE#Notability versus acceptance. The claims of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the Kebra Nagast, although lacking modern scholarly support, are at least reasonably significant and prominent -- they are also cited to reliable, third-party sources. The ridiculed-and-then-forgotten claims of a relatively obscure journalist are not (and are cited to his own, thoroughly unreliable, book). Given that this topic is likely to be a considerable crank-magnet, I would suggest that we keep the WP:FRINGE claims in it down to those that can be demonstrated to be prominent. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:09, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Again, I reiterate, why does Hancock draw your ire and delete button, but Tudor Parfitt's theory (Zimbabwe), Joseph Franks's theory (Languedoc), Graham Philips's theory (Warwickshire), and the British-Israelite theory (Ireland) do not? By your own criteria, you should delete all those references as well. Right? TuckerResearch (talk) 05:54, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
  1. Because new additions always get more scrutiny than existing material.
  2. Because in a project the size of Wikipedia, 'other crap' will always exist -- but that's no reason not to start here and now.
  3. Parfitt does at least have a reliable third party source supporting notability and some facts (it might however be appropriate to trim the coverage of his claims). Neither Franks nor Philips have that, nor appear to be particularly reliable sources, and will be tagged as such. We'll see if anybody defends them -- if not, then they, and any material relying solely on them, should be deleted.
  4. I would assume that the "Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland" is a reliable third-party source, unless demonstrated otherwise.

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 06:14, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

I find your reasoning troubling. But I'll let any other editors comment, if they care to. TuckerResearch (talk) 06:30, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
As someone who has had this article on his watchlist for some time, I favor keeping as much of this kind of rank foolishness out of it as possible. I've removed a fair share of silly fairy tales from it in my time here, but I've never really had the enthusiasm to devote the time necessary to differentiate between stories that are clearly insignificant nonsense and those that are fringe, but notable. --Steven J. Anderson (talk) 06:52, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
I tend to use the "viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources" bit as a simple test -- noticed-by-reliable-third-party-source=in, not-noticed=out. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 07:18, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Eminently reasonable. --Steven J. Anderson (talk) 21:12, 29 June 2011 (UTC)


According to the Smithsonian article cited, it is not the ark, but the tabots (replicas of the stone tablets) that are used in processions.--Mannanan51 (talk) 04:39, 13 July 2011 (UTC)mannanan51

The philistines and tumors is wrong!Edit

i don't know who translated this passage, but it's completely wrong! the original passage in hebrew says the philistines were strucked with Afilim or tehorim in hebrew, which means hemorrhoids not tumors! while there is uncertincy about if that is the real meaning(the hebrew word used in the passage is the hebrew word for hemorrhoids for a long time), the old testament jewish scholars attribute it to some kind of a skin disease, but certinly not tumors! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:08, 16 October 2011 (UTC)

Attached to the four "feet" of the arkEdit

It just seemed odd that while most English Bible translations say that the four rings of gold are to be fastened at the four feet of the ark and the staves inserted into them there, only two of the pictures in the article show the staves fixed at the base/bottom/feet of the ark. (The other pictures portray them fastened near the top, or half-way up. Seems a bit misleading—visually that is—don't you think?) So I provided links to on-line Bible translations and commentary, for verification of where most translators see the text positioning the rings and the staves. I don't think it's necessary, with these links provided, to remove the "inaccurate" pictures, though. Most alert readers will notice the discrepancy, now that they can compare the translations. --LittleOldManRetired (talk) 01:27, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Oops! I added my 2 cents worth before reading the comments by previous editors above. Seems like I stepped on a hornets nest! I'd rather not get involved in a bitter debate. I was just trying to be helpful, and make the article somewhat better. (Think I'd better leave now.) --LittleOldManRetired (talk) 01:36, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Just to complete the record for anyone who stumbles on this thread, LittleOldManRetired was lying of course, he's a sockpuppet of Michael Paul Heart (talk · contribs), back to fuck up the article along similar lines to what he was doing before. The latest sock has been blocked. I hope, but do not expect, that this will be the end of it. --Steven J. Anderson (talk) 07:13, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Ancient Egyptian influencesEdit

I'm surprised the article doesn't mention any possible connection with Ancient Egyptian constructions such as the naos, arks for the gods in procession, or even the burial enclosures for the deceased king-gods. Try google books for scholarly sources or check out the Catholic Encylopedia[4] which favours the naos rather than the processional carrier as an influence. I can't find on wikipedia an ideal picture to ilustrate but this one[5], from the tomb of Tutankhamun[6], shows the protective goddesses surrounding the enclosure which may have morphed into the angels on the Ark. Yt95 (talk) 13:48, 8 March 2012 (UTC) Is any credence to be given to the theory that the Jews stole the Ark from the Egyptians, and that this is the reason they were pursued? (By the way a careful reading of the Bible indicates that Moses did not ask for permission for the Jews to leave permanently, but only that they be allowed to worship their as-yet unnamed god in the wilderness. Before they left they "borrowed" jewellery and other items. Sorry I can't be bothered citing chapter and verse right now; it is easy enough to find.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:41, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Re what you said above, as I was browsing WP file images of the ark of the covenant because of my interest in antiquities research I found a really significant and relevant 1922 photograph by photo-archaeologist Harry Burton of an Egyptian processional ark complete with staves at its base and added it to the article together with verifying footnote. --Humaniphilon (talk) 02:13, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
That's shrine 261, the Anubis shrine. We can discuss this in the article with sources, see [7] in particular, but just a photo is not the way to do it. Beware, there's a lot of fringe stuff on this. I've removed the photo until we can have a sourced context. If it's replaced it needs to be smaller. Dougweller (talk) 09:18, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. Consider discussion in a new preceding section re apparent Egyptian influence in design of the ark: a summary of the discussion set forth in the source you cite-link, with footnote, with additional footnote link/s to similar discussions in tertiary source/s (such as the Catholic Encyclopedia referenced by Yt95). Re the photo size, its width when inserted 16 June is equal to the other photo-images in the article and reduction could reduce reader perception of the details of construction parallel the description of the ark of the covenant. If replaced, an added comment to the generic caption would be useful in highlighting the parallels of construction: "complete with bearers' staves at its base, and guardian-figure on its cover." --Humaniphilon (talk) 14:41, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Addendum to above—After due consideration in light of the fact that there is "a lot of fringe stuff on this" (news to me!) I think the article is quite adequate without inclusion of the photograph of Shrine 261. Although I found it illuminating and illustrative of the fact that processional arks are not unknown in the Middle East before and after the Exodus (see also Qubba) the fact that the form of this artifact parallels the construction of the earlier Ark of the Covenant would tend to generate strong reactions and disrupt the content and stability of the article as well as the peace of mind of the editors/administrators. At best it's peripheral to the article. I have read WP:What Wikipedia is not (see esp. Wikipedia is not a directory—8.A complete exposition of all possible details) and have concluded that inclusion of the photograph and a discussion re its possible relationship to the Ark of the Covenant is not essential to an encyclopedic understanding of the topic of the article. I appreciate the cautionary prudence of Dougweller's action, comments and advice and agree with him. Thanks. --Humaniphilon (talk) 22:03, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
To see earlier version of article with photograph of Shrine 261 click here [8]. --Humaniphilon (talk) 22:45, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Ten CommandmentsEdit

I recommend references to the Stone Tablets having on them Ten Commandments, be changed to refer to "the commandments", as nowhere in the Bible does it say there were 10 commandments. You can read it and count for yourself; there are more than 10, and they are are not presented as a simple list. (A notable omission is the commandment to not follow a mob intent on harm. Perhaps the inclusion of this one might have made it difficult to raise armies.) The idea of there being 10 Commandments seems to be much more recent than the Bible. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:27, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Deuteronomy 4:13 "And he declared to you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, that is, the ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone." RSVCE —compare numerous translations.
A number of commentaries on the Talmudic listing of 613 commandments in the Torah give opinion that 603 of them are amplifications or elucidations or applications of the full meaning of the essential Ten Commandments. --Humaniphilon (talk) 02:52, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Actually the hebrew text says litteraly "The Ten Words", so even though there are more words in the ten commandtments and even though there are many other commandtments in the law of Moses the idea of 10 Words or commandtments are in the text itself. Jack Bornholm (talk) 19:25, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Egypt: Tutankhamun's tombEdit

After careful consideration, it occurred to me that there is a great deal of merit in Dougweller's recommendation (above) to discuss Shrine 261 in the article. My own original error was in positioning the photo right next to the text of the description of the Ark, which really did result in an implicit synthesis, but not intended. After googling "Ark of the Covenant found in Tutankhamun's tomb" I discovered that there is enough ignorant speculation linking the Anubis Shrine and the Ark to justify a section discussing this whole idea. Dougweller had already (above) suggested a source that exposes that view as unsupported and frankly unjustified, so I used that and summarized it. And it seemed like a perfect conclusion to the list of "fringe" theories and rumors on where the ark is now, so I put it there, which avoided unintended synthesis. It also occurred to me in all fairness NPOV to include an External site representative of that view—probably of itself an unreliable source, but in context a kind of acceptable reliable sample of the minority view. (If I'm wrong about that reason for including it, I won't argue if it's reverted and removed as an unacceptable source. Just thought you deserve an explanatory rationale.) I really hope this helped. --Humaniphilon (talk) 05:36, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

The External site was justifiably removed by Dougweller—and the reason he stated in the edit summary clarified for me the concise WP meaning and use of reliable sources. Thanks, Doug. --Humaniphilon (talk) 23:45, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Rumoured locations - Bedouin legendEdit

In the the rumoured locations section, there used to be a reference to a Bedouin legend, regarding three English knights emerging from the desert after concealing a great treasure within its dusty recesses. It seems to have been deleted from this page, and I can find know reference to it anywhere else. Would anyone care to shed some light on this legend? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sygoloeahcra (talkcontribs) 22:25, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

Another editor may have removed it, especially if it was unsourced. You can try looking in the article history to find where the content was added, and then try to contact the user who first added it. – MrX 23:45, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

Citation issuesEdit

Why are individual pages/chapters of books used as different references? Is this in accordance with Wikipedia's manual of style? --Jehan60188 (talk) 15:36, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

¶ I enlarged the quotation from II Maccabees, making use of a somewhat clearer translation from the New English Bible. Sussmanbern (talk) 12:25, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

Second TempleEdit

I may be dense but: so there was no ark in the Second Temple? What if anything was in the Holy of Holies? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:43, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

Mice, not ratsEdit

Both the NRSV and the Authorized Version of 1 Samuel 6:5 mention rats, not mice. - Crosbie 08:25, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

Both KJV and RSV say mice. These are all translations from the Hebrew word עכבר (from a root that means 'nibbling'). All translators have their own agenda, and some have chosen rat over mouse, no doubt because rat sounds more ominous. Can someone say why they think the distinction is important. --DStanB (talk) 10:56, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
Akhbar עכבר is indeed mouse. Rat is Akhbarosh עכברוש in daily spoken Hebrew, but the classic word is Khulda חולדה. With respect, erroneous translations of Hebrew into European languages (sometimes second or third degree via Greek or Latin) are irrelevant. Monosig (talk) 14:07, 8 December 2020 (UTC)

Interdimensional transformationEdit

The Ark was never placed on the dirt floor--It was held 7 1/2 feet off the ground by its poles interconnecting with the side poles of the tabernacle ..up in the cloud of the offering. There the glory (light) could transform the light beam into the physical existance of GOD here on Earth. The Logos tabernacled amongst men and became flesh!! Sounds like interdimensional transformation to me. (talk) 20:47, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Content of the Ark of the ConenantEdit

Were both sets of the Commandments (those broken and the 2nd writing) carried in the ark? If not, what happened to those broken by Moses? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:24, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

There was only the 2 tablets (the 2nd set) in ark. 1 Kings 8:9 NIV - "There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites after they came out of Egypt." 2 Chronicles 5:10 NIV - "There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites after they came out of Egypt." Punk4orchrist (talk) 18:49, 6 November 2014 (UTC)Punk4orchrist

Arch of TitusEdit

In 82 AD or thereabouts, the Arch of Titus was constructed. On it, there are carved images of artifacts that were stolen by the Romans from the Temple ca 70 AD as per Vespasian. One of the objects depicted is very ark like in appearance. At any rate it is a box carried aloft on two poles and is in fact being carried aloft by several men in the relief carving. If this is indeed a scene of the treasures being taken from the temple then it stands to reason that among those treasures would be the ark and there in fact is something that looks like an ark though admittedly it seems to be missing it's cover with the cherubs. When I was in Sunday school we were taught that the Romans sacked the temple in AD 70 taking all of it's treasures and certainly that would include the ark. Yet I see no mention of this anywhere in either the article or this discussion page. I am not an expert scholar so perhaps that theory has long since been debunked and all the real scholars have long since decided such was not worth mentioning here. But on the off chance that might not be so I thought it worthwhile mentioning here. I don't have sufficient information or knowledge to create a section on this topic and even if I did it I think it may be construed as original research though I would not presume any claim to original research. Since I heard this told in Sunday school four decades ago it cannot possibly be original yet I still wonder why there is no mention. I will revisit this article to see if any future author can shed some light on this. One request, if you feel this has been covered and feel the need to delete my comments here I would politely request that you at least make mention of the topic and why it does not belong in the article.

Ron WyattEdit

Is there any reason why a reference to research by Ron Wyatt as to the possible location of the Ark of the Covenant was reverted on 1/5/15? (It was properly noted with a reference.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:02, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

As explained in the edit summary, its not a Reliable Source. Editor2020, Talk 03:24, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

"contemporary" mentions?Edit

AFAICT, the word "contemporary" here is utterly useless. The story of the Ark antedates any Hebraic writings at all, and the fact that no one wrote down anything about it that is not in the Bible is a "D'oh" remark at best. And thus ought not have weight here. There were no "contemporary" writings about Troy (ca 1200 BC) - and the oral mentions by Homer (ca 750 BC) were well after the Trojan War, and placed in writing much later than that (oldest ms. dating to 1000 AD). The Book of Exodus dates (written) to about 600 BC, and relates to events well before 1000 BC. Note virtually every Biblical topic could easily have the identical caveat - amazingly enough, the Bible is the only "source" for the existence of hundreds of people, places and things. Thus no "contemporary non-biblical mentions" exist of almost all of them entirely. Collect (talk) 13:28, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

However, it isn't the case that there were no literate peoples at the time ascribed to the Ark or Troy. And if an academic such as Eric H. Cline saw it worthwhile mentioning I can't see why we should take your opinion over his. His lectures on the Trojan war are worth listening to, by the way. I think it's also relevant here because it is still something that people are searching for. Doug Weller (talk) 18:17, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
How many were able to read and write - and how many written historical accounts date from 1000 BC or so? "Literate" means "able to read and write" ... the Hebrew alphabet was only around from circa 1000 BC ... and was certainly not in common usage at the time of Moses <g>. I suppose Moses might have been literate in Babylonian cuneiform <g>, but that does not matter here. What does count is that on page 131 of the NatGeo article, the author states "In fact, the ark is mentioned in only a few extra-biblical sources" which is not that same as "mo contemporary extra-biblical references" which was not a major claim made by Cline ... Cline was dealing in an article about "possible locations of the ark" and not making major pronouncements about references existing in a pre-literate period at all. Using an article in NatGeo specifically speculating on possible locations of the "lost ark" to make a claim not intrinsic to the nature of the article is wrong. Collect (talk) 19:00, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
I wonder what non-biblical sources Cline is talking about? 2 Maccabees? the Talmud? Can you look it up for me? PiCo (talk) 11:08, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
My copy is at home and I'm not. However, there's a reprint that you can preview[9] which says it isn't mentioned in the extant inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar or Cyrus the Great or some biblical texts where you'd expect to find it. It isn't an article but a book, I don't understand Collect's claim there. And although I know we don't use these in an article, his peers wrote:
"In a world that turns more and more to irrational views of history, Eric Cline demythologizes the 'mysteries of the Bible.'He does so with the force of reason, using clear language and a perfect command of the ancient records and the finds from the field."

--Israel Finkelstein, Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University, author of "The Bible Unearthed

""Eric Cline explores some of the most challenging mysteries of the Bible, from the location of the mythic Garden of Eden to the historical question of how the Ten Lost Tribes were lost. A stimulating and fluent read throughout, and always instructive."

--Baruch Halpern, Pennsylvania State University, author of "David's Secret Demons "

"Cline is a serious scholar in full command of the subject matter and the available material evidence for recovering and reconstructing the history of Israel in its ancient Near Eastern context."

--David Noel Freedman, University of California at San Diego, author of "The Nine Commandments"

Which I think deals with Collect's claim on my talk page (please use article talk pages Collect, not mine, for this sort of thing) that ".. it is aimed at the "popular market"" if that's meant to suggest we can't use it. Doug Weller (talk) 11:55, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
The book consists of short chapters about various Bible topics - the section on the Ark is about its location and notes that it is not noted as being looted by anyone. The claim as worded in the article here suggests that it might be fictitious, which is not what Cline states. It is as "scholarly" as any work written by a scholar for the popular market is - it can not be rationally used for an en passant claim which is not a major claim in the book - which is about possible locations for the Ark today. Asimov was a "scholar" but that does not mean we use his every en passant claim as being "scholarly." Cline was writing to suggest that the Babylonians etc. did not view the Ark as a lootable treasure. The book qua book is not about the Ark - in fact it is covered in only a short chapter in the book - with each chapter written to "stand alone". Cline, in fact, states that the neo-Babylonians were more likely to have destroyed it than to consider it as treasure, which suggest that he specifically considers the biblical references as sufficient to establish that the Ark did exist at one point, and he notes the non-mentions of David and Solomon by others did not make them non-existent (page 186) - and recent archeological finds are noted by Cline to show that they did exist. Did you read the entirety of the chapter about the Ark? We could possibly say "mention of the Ark is not found in the records of societies which might have looted the temple" as that is the actual import of Cline's claims. On page 136, Cline states the description of the Ark closely resembles actual artifacts found in the Near East, and that's its existence would be in line with other societies of the same general period there. I would note <g> that there are no "contemporary non-Egyptian records of King Tut" is also proper. So again I suggest that what Cline states in that chapter is reasonably presented as "mention of the Ark is not found in the records of societies which might have looted the temple." Collect (talk) 13:03, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
in other words, neighbouring cultures . Doug Weller (talk) 13:22, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
In the context of "they did not loot the Ark" which is what he is actually stating. Collect (talk) 13:39, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Anent my use of "popular" - if one demurs one might note what Google books states: Eric H. Cline holds degrees in classical archaeology, Near Eastern archaeology, and ancient history, and currently serves as chair of the Department of Classical and Semitic Languages and Literatures at George Washington University. A prolific researcher and the prize-winning author of seven books, including The Battles of Armageddon: Megiddo and the Jezreel Valley from the Bronze Age to the Nuclear Age, which won a Biblical Archaeology Society Publication Award for "Best Popular Book on Archaeology" and was a Main Selection of the Natural Science Book Club. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Clines books are "popular" in nature. Recall Cline also wrote "Raiders of the Faux Ark" (Boston Globe) which is, indeed, a "popular" piece and not a "scholarly work" as one finds in OUP publications and peer-reviewed sources. Distinctions are clear. Collect (talk) 13:14, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

iIf you tpreally want to argue that at RSN go ahead, my quotes show other scholars take the book more seriously than you do. I think you are being rather insulting. Doug Weller (talk) 13:22, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
I suggest that winning "popular book of the year" three times suggests that he writes popular books. I doubt seriously that he would find that "rather insulting". I met Asimov more than a few times and he specifically stated that he wrote "popular" books. His works are "reliable sources" but claims should not be quote-mined, but must rely on the exact context of his work -- in the case at hand he was saying that those who looted the temple did not mention the Ark. Which is on the "D'oh" level. Outside sources do not mention Tut either, which would mean we could say "no contemporary non-Egyptian sources mention King Tut" and be technically correct. Like the technically correct advice given near Seattle to an airplane pilot lost in fog. Collect (talk) 13:39, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Note also his scholarly appearance [10] on an ABC program "Search for the Ark of the Covenant." Link is to Cline's part (1:58 to 2:17) - and transcript is there as well (He appears in a few of Amanpour's documentaries). Collect (talk) 13:39, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

ThanksCollect for the link to the online version of Clines' book. There's a page missing in what I can see, but in what I have I see him saying that "the ark of the covenant is not mentioned in any contemporary extra-biblical references", so I'm a bit puzzled as to what you and Doug are discussing here.
That said, I must say I'm not easy with taking Clines as a source. He just doesn't "interrogate the tex", as they say. For example, he doesn't ask himself when Exodus was written, he just accepts that it's the first mention of the ark because it comes first in the bible and deals with a very early period of Israel's history. In fact there's a pretty-near universal consensus that Exodus is later than Joshua or Samuel - it dates from about500-450 BC, while those Joshua-Kings date from about 650 (very roughly) in their present form.
Also, he doesn't really ask what the ark was about. The dimensions seem significant to me - when the bible gives numbers they often mean something. And what was it for? the usual answer is that it was the footstool for the invisible God of Israel as he sat on his throne (the mercy seat).
But he lists a lot of books that could be useful, and his discussion of later ideas of what happened to the ark is really interesting - I'd use that part.
Just some thoughts :) PiCo (talk) 22:52, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
What I am discussing is that one ought not take a single quote from a popular book without examining the actual content of that book - which is about "where is the Ark now?" and thus Cline is making the point that the Babylonians clearly did not rate the Ark as a major treasure else some Babylonian would have mentioned it in the relative handful of Babylonian mentions of the Jews at all. Cline then clearly notes that there are many later mentions of the Ark - just not from the folks who would presumably have looted it. Collect (talk) 22:59, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
That sentence in the first para of the lead does have a "stuck on" look to me (it doesn't flow naturally from the rest of the para). And I'd agree also that it's hardly surprising that there are no non-biblical mentions - who's going to notice some nomads wandering round Sinai? There are no records at all from the Philistines, about anything, and none from the Babylonians for the period when they captured Jerusalem (they must have existed, but they've never been found). So it seems a bit unnecessary.
What I'd do with the article is begin with a description of where the biblical mentions are found - Cline has that, and I trust him enough there. Then describe what it looked like, its history and use, and end by noting that it disappears from the biblical record with the destruction of Jerusalem. Then some of the really interesting material - when the various texts were written and ow reliable they are (Exodus is late and not reliable, Judges is pretty early). What the ark was for - it wasn't a box for the tablets, as Cline says, it was God's footstool, and when the early Israelites went into battle with it they were carrying God with them. (Presumably the enemy carried their gods as well). Maybe a note on what the tablets were, too - it's not clear that they contained the Ten Commandments, since when Moses reads from them he reads out the instructions for building the Tabernacle. And of course the most interesting part of all, where it is today. I think Cline is good on that. PiCo (talk) 23:56, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
Here's a good source, from Eerdmans Bible Dictionary. What do you think of using this? PiCo (talk) 00:37, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
Part of the possible confusion lies in the modern usage of "ark" as the cabinet in which the Torah is kept. Clearly, though, something would have been held in any such special chest - likely anything which was viewed as having been touched by Elohim - hence the belief that the tablets would have been held in it. As the Ark antedates most written Hebrew, the amount of written material in it would have had to be small. Collect (talk) 00:46, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
Quite possibly. Anyway, I've changed the introductory sentence, using Eerdmans' Dictionary of the Bible as a source, which is better than using primary sources - Wiki policy is not to use primary sources. Some things have been deleted, and I have no objection to those things being in the article, but my thinking is that the first sentence should be as short as possible to tell the reader in a nutshell what is being discussed. Comment? (Oh yeah - that sentence from Cline got deleted. But I still think Cline has useful information).PiCo (talk) 10:44, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
It may well be Wiki policy not to use primary sources, but where the Bible is concerned, and the article is about what is mentioned in the Bible, it would surely be best to refer to the Bible verse directly rather than say that in such and such a Bible dictionary it says that so and so is stated in the Bible. Kanjuzi (talk) 04:28, 22 February 2016 (UTC)

Inclusion of new reference materialsEdit


Have you read the articles? If not, then what is your opinion worth? This person is one of just a few people who have rebuilt this device in the world. So, if your not aware of this, then perhaps you should read the article before you blindly power trip. Is everything suspect here without even a cursory investigation?

Seems like your just playing favorites here, and your reverts have nothing to do with the subject, because you havent read the links included. Am I right? Is it really important to power trip over something you dont even have a knowledge about?

I will go ahead and revert this until you read it and present a valid argument. None has been presented thus far, there are no scholors among you.. just reversion specialists the way it looks to me.

What say you? MrX, Doug Weller, Kanjuzi?

03:00, 22 February 2016‎ MrX (talk | contribs)‎ . . (42,023 bytes) (-308)‎ . . (Reverted to revision 706169446 by Doug Weller: WP:LINKSPAM and non-notable publication. Please take it to the talk page if you really believe this material merits inclusion. (TW)) (undo | thank) — Preceding unsigned comment added by SammuleRobberts (talkcontribs)

Yes, I agree - there are a lot of works on religious topics (most notably, on this topic, The Sign and the Seal by Graham Hancock), many of which are interesting and stimulating but which don't stand up to scholarship. An encyclopedia entry should stick to what is established fact, however. Kanjuzi (talk) 04:02, 22 February 2016 (UTC)
It's spam. Three link to the same new age website are three links too many. See WP:ELNO. We also determine which content to include by consensus, which means that if someone objects to boldly added content, you don't keep forcing it back in. In this case, three editors have objected and a fourth seems to agree that these links are not something we want in this article.- MrX 04:14, 22 February 2016 (UTC)
I've told the editor about reliable sources, etc. There are clear policy arguments against including this. No way does an unknown writer with no mentions in reliable sources merit inclusion. Doug Weller talk 12:43, 22 February 2016 (UTC)
"Secret of the Vine Mystery School" appears to not meet WP:EL requirements ab initio, nor is it "vandalism" to remove such a disputatious non-RS site telling people the "truth" one of the accepted purposes of "external links". Collect (talk) 16:13, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
I've taken the editor to ANI. He's clearly not going to stop. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Doug Weller (talkcontribs) 19:35, 24 March 2016 (UTC)

Islamic sourcesEdit

I removed this sentence "the Children of Israel, at the time of Samuel and Saul, were given back the Tabut E Sakina (the Casket of Shekhinah) which contained remnants of the household of Musa (Moses) and Harun (Aaron) carried by angels which confirmed peace and reassurance for them from their Lord." since the Quran verse quoted doesn't say anything about Samuel and Saul, and also replaced the Quran translation with another closer to the original (the 'Ark of the Covenant' is not mentioned, only the word 'chest'). Also 'Tabut E Sakina' is not an Arabic phrase but Persian, so it is confusing here. Kanjuzi (talk) 05:12, 22 February 2016 (UTC)

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Possible locations sectionEdit

Is this section supposed to be a definitive list of all the possible locations for the Ark of the Covenant? If so, shouldn't Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland and Oak Island, off the coast of Nova Scotia be included? Charlotte Allison (Morriswa) (talk) 23:48, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

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Why isn't the word mythical used?Edit

I see no evidence that it ever existed, therefore it should be described as a mythical box.--Shim shabim (talk) 06:02, 15 September 2018 (UTC)

Biblical testimony is testimony and evidence, same as any other historical document. 2602:30A:C0AE:D990:B449:BEDF:B2ED:734 (talk) 11:05, 14 October 2018 (UTC)

It might have containedEdit

"apologetic verse in 1 Kings 8:9 stating that “There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb" (Mt Sinai) may be an indication that the Ten Commandments had substituted something else. "Early Israelites worshipped Canaanite gods like Baal and El, as suggested by the 8th-century Hebrew inscriptions found at a shrine in Kuntillet Ajrud, in northeast Sinai, and by both the biblical subtext and the archeological record.""The Bible appears to describe the ancient Israelites, from Moses onward, as staunch monotheists who sometimes err towards paganism and are punished for their sins by God. But this picture may be the result of mostly self-serving propaganda by the priests and scribes of the late monarchic or post-exilic periods." [11]

The article discusses the book “The Invention of God”, the possiblity the Ark contained statues of Baal and Asherah, etc. Doug Weller talk 18:38, 10 September 2017 (UTC)

Various textsEdit

The introduction states: "According to various texts within the Hebrew Bible, [the ark] also contained Aaron's rod and a pot of manna." 1 Kings 8:9 states that the ark contained only the stone tablets with the ten commandments. The only texts that suggest a relation with manna and / or Aaron's rod and the ark, yet only in a very indirect way, are Exodus 16:33,34 and Numbers 17:25 (compare Numbers 20:9!). The idea that the ark also contained a pot of manna and Aaron's rod stems from Hebrews 9:4, not from the Hebrew Bible. Bertrand77 (talk) 20:34, 5 November 2018 (UTC) and edited Bertrand77 (talk) 08:33, 8 November 2018 (UTC)

Kiryat Yearim and FinkelsteinEdit

The quote purporting to present Finkelstein's opinion on the Kiryat Yearim structure is misleading and out of context. Quotes of Finkelstein often come out as telegraphic "Hebrish", contradicting his actual meaning. Under the United Monarchy of Israel prior to King David's conquest of Jerusalem from the Jebusites, the Ark was in Kiryat Yearim . After the conquest and the building of the First Temple by King Solomon, it was installed in the Temple in the Holy of Holies and became the focus point of the Israelite proto-Jewish religion. After the division of the kingdom into the northern kingdom (Israel with its capital at Shomron/Samaria) and the southern kingdom (Judah with its capital at Jerusalem), the 10 northern tribes comprising the Kingdom of Israel (Samaria) were thrown into a theological crisis. The centrality of Jerusalem came into question for political reasons, which bordered on heresy for some, particularly after the northern Omride dynasty built a "competing" temple at Shomron (the Sebastia site). According to the clearly Judahite author of the Bible, many North-Israelites even fell back into Baal-worshipping and paganism and virtually all the North-Israelite kings (such as Ahab) "did evil in the eyes of the Lord". The southernmost northern tribes such as Binyamin etc were particularly unhappy and some were loyal to Judah rather than Israel and continued to pilgrimage to Jerusalem. That is where Kiryat Yearim is (the southernmost tribes of the northern 10 tribes of Israel). Finkelstein's important point is that the Kiryat Yearim structure is a post-division North-Israelite one, not a United Monarchy one, so it has nothing to do with the fact that the Ark had been at Kiryat Yearim before it was moved to Jerusalem. It's a commemorative North-Israelite structure within the context of the northern 10 tribes "losing" Jerusalem and trying to deal with that for hundreds of years, until the destruction of the northern kingdom by the Assyrians, the disappearance of the 10 tribes or their morphing into Samaritanism while the Judahites/Jews were in exile in Babylon. This is a vitally important point because anyone seeing the structure and connecting it with the Bible story, would naturally say that this is where the Ark rested for many years - however, Finkelstein says, it didn't, because this took place centuries beforehand. All this time the Ark is sitting happily within the Temple in Jerusalem in the heart of the Kingdom of Judah, which is the narrative relevant to the continuation of the history of the Judahites=Judeans=Jews, until the destruction of the First Temple by the Babylonians well over a century after the destruction of Israel by the Assyrians. But the existence of the Ark in the Temple in Jerusalem is not what Finkelstein is discussing at all, he is discussing the Kiryat Yearim structure and disproving the natural gut reaction that this was the resting place of the Ark back in David's days. The text that I deleted and Doug Weller reverted, is a caricature of all the above and is completely out of context within the opening paragraph, because it refers to the Kiryat Yearim structure, not to an entirely unconnected question which is whether the Ark, ostensibly safely ensconced in the Temple in Jerusalem a century or two earlier, was actually a legend or not. One can certainly discuss that hypothetical-theoretical question too (I don't know who has ever raised it with regard to the First Temple), but the Kiryat Yearim structure obviously has no bearing on it at all and the Finkelstein quote simply cannot be inserted where it was. Monosig (talk) 17:31, 3 February 2020 (UTC)

@Monosig: are you saying that you think that the Times article misrepresents Finkelstein's position? It seems to me that this is what you're saying. If so, you need to provide another RS that contradicts what the Times says. Shinealittlelight (talk) 17:57, 3 February 2020 (UTC)
@Monosig: see my analysis below. Doug Weller talk 10:14, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

Possible misrepresentation of FinkelsteinEdit

Our current version cites one source--The Times of Israel--in support of the claim that Finkelstein does not believe that the ark ever existed. But I can find no evidence in his writings that this is his view. In fact, in earlier writing, he seems clearly to talk about the ark as if it was real. See, for example, this source. The claim that the ark never existed is extraordinary. The attribution of an extrordinary claim to Finkelstein requires stronger sourcing, it seems to me, than this one news source. I propose saying that Finkelstein has doubts about the historicity of the ark narrative. I think more sources can be provided for that claim, which is less specific. Shinealittlelight (talk) 04:24, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

It's true that in some of his writings he relates the biblical stories but, and it's an important but, without saying they are true, indeed going to to suggest that they aren't literal history.
The Times article says "The large elevated platform, Finkelstein believes, was constructed by the northern kingdom as a shrine to the biblical story of the ark. The excavations at Kiriath-Jearim shed light on the strength of Israel (the Northern Kingdom) in the early 8th century, including, possibly, its domination of Judah,” Finkelstein told The Times of Israel. “They also illuminate an important theme in the Bible – the Ark and its history.”
Forward[12] quotes him as saying "“The story of the ark is fascinating; but it can teach us mainly about the world of the authors,”
Haaretz[13] clearly is discussing the Ark as a story, and then says "Finkelstein believes that the story of the ark reflects an ideology of unification between the two Hebrew kingdoms,", and quotes him "“The kingdom of Israel under Jeroboam developed a system of key shrines that were connected to its important traditions. The Bethel shrine was associated with the stories of Jacob, the Samaria shrine with the Exodus. Here, in Kiryat Yearim, was the shrine to the ark of the Lord that was connected to Kiryat Yearim.” No suggestion there that it was real.
Jerusalem Post[14]"“The Ark Narrative depicts realities from the 8th century B.C.E.. It is difficult to assume that a memory from the 12th century B.C.E. was preserved until the 8th century with no continuous writing tradition.” That's a pretty clear statement that he doesn't think the Ark was a real object. Doug Weller talk 10:11, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. I think that these quotes suggest what I said: he's skeptical of the historicity of the ark narrative. But you can be skeptical of the historicity of a narrative without claiming that the object the narrative is about ever existed. E.g., many historians are skeptical of the narratives about Jesus in the Bible, but still think that Jesus himself existed. Given that he never says directly that the ark didn't exist, and given the earlier work I posted in which he talks about the ark as if it were real, I think my interpretation makes more sense, and is the more careful, conservative interpretation. But this is difficult, and I feel like the best thing would be to look at more of his work than I have had time to do (there's a lot of it!). Shinealittlelight (talk) 13:07, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
I decided to email Prof. Finkelstein. He confirms that the Times report is in error. Here is what he wrote to me:
Dear Shine,
Thank for alerting me to this.
Indeed, I think that the Ark did exist and that it was located at Kiriath-jearim (in the temple of the Ark) which was built in the first half of the 8th century BCE by Jeroboam II King of Israel. After all, there are representations of an object such as this in ancient Near Eastern art.
When was the Ark first introduced and where it was kept are questions difficult to answer – perhaps it came from Shiloh as the Ark Narrative in the Book of Samuel says. Another big question is, for how long was the Ark kept at Kiriath-jearim. Thomas Romer and I think that the story about King David moving the Ark to Jerusalem is a late Judahite addition to the original Israelite narrative. But when was it taken from Kiriath-jearim to Jerusalem – in the late 8th or late 7th century BCE -- is still an open question.
Romer and I will soon write an article on the historical background of the Ark Narrative.
All best wishes and thanks again,
Israel Finkelstein
Shinealittlelight (talk) 13:52, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
Thanks. I was going to but never got around to it. I'm glad I didn't, wouldn't want him pestered. Doug Weller talk 14:06, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
The good news is that I think the forthcoming article with Romer will be interesting and probably will have a lot of useful info for our article. Shinealittlelight (talk) 14:07, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
As the person triggering this discussion, it was clear to me from the beginning that this was Finkelstein's position. ToI is only an online news site and I understand Hebrish when I see it. To say in response "That's a pretty clear statement that he doesn't think the Ark was a real object" is a little over the top. Shine thank you very much for making the effort to contact him. Monosig (talk) 13:56, 8 December 2020 (UTC)
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