This is a continuation of my ongoing report. I recently decided to listen to the Bible in an effort to gain a closer relationship with God. I purposefully listen not with the intent to study. I have a hard time reading the Bible I just start looking things up and I don't make much progress. I am listening to the Bible Experience (http://www.inspiredby.com/) which is a dramatized NIV version with many famous African American leaders, singers, actors and artists. (Even Samuel L. Jackson) As I listen through the Bible, hopefully I will make it all the way through, I will post notes and thoughts I have.
I have set aside a post for the Ark of the Covenant. Mostly because I have always been fascinated with it; ever since I saw Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Childhood dreams and wishes it was still around and that I could be the one to find it. What a pipe dream.
The temple dedication is the last chronological reference to the Ark of the Covenant. The contents are listed as the stones of the Covenant.
The next reference (familiar to anyone who has seen Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.)
The next vague reference is to the raid on the temple by Pharaoh Shishak. Sheshonk I (c. 945-924 BC) may or may not be the "Shishak" of the Old Testament (I Kings 14:25-28; II Chronicles 12:2-12). A quick internet search on Google reveled two opposing ideas of who Shishak is.
The account of Shishak raiding the temple does not specifically mention the ark but it says he stole all the temple treasures. If Sheshonk had taken it, he would have promoted it everywhere and we would no doubt see it written of in his tomb. Egyptians love to write of their victories especially over other gods.
When Titus destroyed the second temple, he advertised that he took the holy relics. You can see them to this day on the Arch of Titus. Antiochus Epiphanes stole one when he plundered the temple and a new one had to be made, which would have been the one that Titus took. The point being these were important pieces and when they were taken; it was clear and documented who did the taking.
Another theory I have heard was that Solomon sent the Ark to Ethiopia with his son. In fact, the Ethiopians claim to this day it is in the Chapel of the Tablet in Axum, Ethiopia.
"As the story goes, the Queen of Sheba, one of Ethiopia's first rulers, traveled to Jerusalem to partake of King Solomon's wisdom. On her way home, she bore the king's son, Menelik. After Menelik went to Jerusalem to visit his father, Solomon gave him a copy of the Ark and commanded that officials of his kingdom travel back to Ethiopia to settle there. But the royal entourage that was traveling to Ethiopia could not bear to be away from the Ark, so they switched the copy with the original and smuggled the real thing out of the country. Menelik learned of this only on his way home and reasoned that since the Ark's powers hadn't destroyed his entourage, it must be God's will that it remain in Ethiopia. " Pasted from <http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20080705/news_1c05ark.html>
Other people think that it was taken before or after the Babylonia captivity.
Here is a clue that it may have still have been in the Temple. Sennacherib planned to take Judah and sent a letter blaspheming God. Hezekiah took the scroll to the Temple of the Lord:
"Hezekiah prayed before the Lord and said, “O Lord, the God of Israel, who are enthroned above the cherubim, You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth." NASB (2 Kings 19:15)
Are the Cherubim the ones on the ark or the ones that were part of the temple? Given the past kings desecrated the temple, to the point they did not know they had the book of Moses in the temple. All over the temple area idols were setup and priest of the other gods were setup there. Could the Ark have still been there?
To me it sounds like it was hidden for a reason. For what purpose I can only speculate.