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Archaeology & History

Table that held the Ark of the Covenant found ?

By T.K. Randall
December 20, 2019 · Comment icon 17 comments

Has one of the Ark's resting places been found ? Image Credit: PD - BRBurton
The stone table was found within an ancient temple unearthed approximately 20km west of Jerusalem.
The golden chest believed to have held the stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed, the Ark remains one of the most sought-after and mystifying religious artifacts in history.

For years researchers have attempted to determine where it might be or if it even still exists at all. It's last known location was King Solomon's Temple but when the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem the temple was destroyed and the Ark disappeared along with it.

Now archaeologists have discovered a distinctive stone table in the ruins of a 3,100-year-old temple near Beit Shemesh - a city with strong biblical connections to the Ark.

According to the book of Samuel, the Ark had been placed upon a 'large stone' in the city after being returned by the Philistines. Could the recently discovered table be that stone ?

The temple in which the table was unearthed, which has been undergoing excavation since 2012, is a perfect square with walls 8.5m long. Inside, archaeologists have found pottery and animal bones, suggesting that the building may have been used to conduct rituals.
"There is a lot of evidence that this was indeed a temple," said Prof. Shlomo Bunimovitz of Tel Aviv University. "When you look at the structure and its content, it's very clear that this not a standard domestic space but something special."

While the temple and its stone table do seem to roughly align with the story of the Ark being brought to Beit Shemesh, proving that the Ark really was rested upon is going to be very difficult.

One major issue is that the temple's destruction seems to pre-date the Ark story by 400 years.

"I don't think anyone would take this literally and conclude that this is the stone from the biblical story," said Prof Avraham Faust from Bar-Ilan University.

"Obviously the story was written much later, but this find might support the theory that there are some very early traditions that made their way into the Bible."

Source: | Comments (17)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #8 Posted by Debra F. II 4 years ago
: )
Comment icon #9 Posted by Debra F. II 4 years ago
Sounds like you know your stuff, it's not my expertise, just my view on things, from what I do know and believe.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Piney 4 years ago
You can overlay calendars, track celestial movements and figure out modern dates.  We figured out exactly when a Shenk's Ferry Culture ceremonial circle was laid out using a precession chart, tree ring dating, then carbon dating the trees themselves.  
Comment icon #11 Posted by Debra F. II 4 years ago
Yes good point! I get that and I think tree ring dating can be accurate. Like I said not my expertise but it doesn't change the fact that I do hear often from time to time, experts going back and forth about certain items and on certain methods used, especially on the most oldest items.
Comment icon #12 Posted by switchopens 4 years ago
This is bad logic.  This is the same deal as those people who think just because they unearthed some stick in Jerusalem, it must be a piece of the cross. If one needs to make an apriori argument, there are better reference points to use than the bible. It's a table in an old temple; I'm sure they could find more.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Manwon Lender 4 years ago
It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, it seems every year around this time some new discovery comes along that tries to rock the Christian World. This is a good example of the nonsense that occurs, they found a table, which they haven't shown in a city where according to Biblical beliefs the Ark was stored. There is no way to prove that this room with this table ever had the Ark on it.  So someone speculates that this must be the PLACE, because they can feel it in their bones, in their heart and without using common sense. Happens every year. Nothing new, but I hope one of these days t... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by jaylemurph 4 years ago
*thumbs up* —Jaylemurph 
Comment icon #15 Posted by Orphalesion 4 years ago
    If by the "old calendar" you mean the Ancient Hebrew Calender.....that one is still in use, and by more than a handful of people. Every Jewish person around the world uses it to determine the dates of their holy days. Ask them, they can often tell you all  about it and, from my experience, are the first to tell you that the Old Testament is not to be taken literal.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Debra F. II 4 years ago
Yep, thanks, I get one every year!
Comment icon #17 Posted by mesuma 4 years ago
Displayed beside the rubber ring from Noah's Ark

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