Links Index

Previous Page



Next Page

LinksPile/Bible/WebWalk 5

Ark of the Covenant

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

• Learn more about citing Wikipedia •

Jump to: navigation, search

The Ark of the Covenant (???? ????? in Hebrew: aron habrit) is described in the Hebrew Bible as a sacred container, wherein rested the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments as well as other sacred Israelite objects. According to the Biblical account, the Ark was built at the command of God, in accord with Moses' prophetic vision on Mount Sinai (Exodus 25:9-10). God communicated with Moses "from between the two cherubim" on the Ark's cover (Ex. 25:22). The Ark and its sanctuary were "the beauty of Israel" (Lamentations 2:1). Rashi and some Midrashim suggest that there were two arks - a temporary one made by Moses, and a later one made by Bezalel (Hertz 1936)

The Biblical account relates that during the trip of the Israelites, the Ark was carried by the priests ~2,000 cubits (Numbers 35:5; Joshua 4:5) in advance of the people and their army or host (Num. 4:5-6; 10:33-36; Psalms 68:1; 132:8). When the Ark was borne by priests into the bed of the Jordan, the river was separated, opening a pathway for the whole of the host to pass over (Josh. 3:15-16; 4:7-18). The Ark was borne in a seven day procession around the wall of Jericho by three priests sounding seven trumpets of rams' horns, the city taken with a shout (Josh. 6:4-20). When carried, the Ark was always wrapped in a veil, in tachash skins (the identity of this animal is uncertain), and a blue cloth, and was carefully concealed, even from the eyes of the Levites who carried it.



* 1 Terminology

* 2 Description

o 2.1 Contents

o 2.2 Sanctity and consecration

* 3 Other references to the Ark in Scripture

o 3.1 In the Bible

o 3.2 In the Qur'an

* 4 History

o 4.1 Mobile vanguard

o 4.2 Captured by the Philistines

o 4.3 In the days of King David

o 4.4 In Solomon's temple

o 4.5 The Babylonians and afterwards

* 5 Fate of the Ark

o 5.1 Concealment

+ 5.1.1 Mishnayot

+ 5.1.2 Marble tablets of Beirut

+ 5.1.3 Copper scroll

+ 5.1.4 Ben Ezra synagogue texts

* 6 Rumoured present locations

o 6.1 Africa

+ 6.1.1 Ethiopian Orthodox Church

+ 6.1.2 Valley of Kings

o 6.2 Middle East

o 6.3 England

o 6.4 Ireland

* 7 Mary as Ark of the New Covenant

* 8 Media references

o 8.1 Television and film

o 8.2 Games

* 9 See also

* 10 Further reading

o 10.1 References

* 11 Scenario

* 12 External links

- Terminology

The Hebrew word aron is used in the Bible to designate any type of ark, chest or coffer, for any purpose (Genesis 50:26; 2 Kings 12:9, 10). The Ark of the Covenant is distinguished from all others by such titles as "Ark of God" (1 Samuel 3:3), "Ark of the Covenant" (Josh. 3:6; Hebrews 9:4), "Ark of the Testimony" (Ex. 25:22).

The Ark is referred to by several names in the Bible, among them the Ark of the Testimony, the Ark of the Covenant, the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord of all the Earth, the Holy Ark and the Ark of thy God's strength

Transporting the Ark of the Covenant: gilded bas-relief at the Cathedral of Auch

Transporting the Ark of the Covenant: gilded bas-relief at the Cathedral of Auch

- Description

The Bible describes the Ark as made of acacia or shittah-tree wood. It was a cubit and a half broad and high, and two and a half cubits long (about 130 cm x 78 cm x 78 cm or 4.29 x 2.57 x 2.57 feet, for Egyptian royal cubit was most likely used). The Ark was covered all over with the purest gold. Its upper surface or lid, the mercy seat (Hebrew: ?????, Kaporet), was surrounded with a rim of gold.

On each of the two sides were two gold rings, wherein were placed two wooden poles (with a decorative sheathing of gold), to allow the Ark to be carried (Num. 7:9; 10:21; 4:5,19, 20; 1 Kings 8:3, 6). Over the Ark, at the two extremities, were two cherubim, with their faces turned toward one another (Leviticus 16:2; Num. 7:89). Their outspread wings over the top of the Ark formed the throne of God, while the Ark itself was his footstool (Ex. 25:10-22; 37:1-9). The Ark was placed in the "Holy of Holies," so that one end of the carrying poles touched the veil separating the two compartments of the tabernacle (1 Kings 8:8).

- Contents

According to the Bible, the two tablets of stone constituting the "testimony" or evidence of God's covenant with the people (Deuteronomy 31:26) (i.e. The Ten Commandments) were kept within the Ark itself. A golden jar containing some of the manna from the Israelites' trek in the wilderness, and the rod of Aaron that budded, were added to the contents of the Ark (Ex. 16:32-34; Heb. 9:4), but apparently were later removed at some point prior to the building of Solomon's temple, as the Tanakh states in I Kings 8:9 that there "was nothing in the Ark save the two tablets of stone." While Heb. 9:4 states these items were placed "inside" the Ark, Ex. 16:33-34 and Num. 17:10 use the expression "before" the Ark; some see a contradiction here, as the correct meaning of these phrases is open to interpretation. A Rabbinic tradition states that Moses also put the broken fragments of the first tablets of the Law into the Ark (Hertz 1936).

- Sanctity and consecration

Even Aaron, brother of Moses and the High Priest, was forbidden to enter the place of the Ark, except once per year on a designated day, when he was to perform certain ceremonies there (Lev. 16). Moses was directed to consecrate the Ark, when completed, with the oil of holy ointment (Ex. 30:23-26); he was also directed to have the Ark made by Bezalel, son of Uri of the tribe of Judah, and by Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan (Ex. 31:2-7). These instructions Moses carried out, calling upon every "wisehearted" one among the people to assist in the work (Ex. 35:10-12). Bezaleel the artist made the Ark (Ex. 37:1); and Moses approved the work, put the testimony in the Ark, and installed it.

According to the Haggadah written in the Mishnaic and Talmudic periods (circa 200-500 AD), after installment in the second Temple, the Ark and the operation of the Temple was supervised by the angel Metatron. There are numerous possible etymologies for the name Metatron, one being from two Greek words ???? ??ó??? after and throne. There are no references to Metatron in the Jewish Tanakh (Old Testament), the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) or any Islamic source.

In Deut. 10:1-5, a different account of the making of the Ark is given. Moses is made to say that he constructed the Ark before going upon Mount Sinai to receive the second set of tablets. The charge of carrying the Ark and the rest of the holy implements was given to the family of Kohath (of the tribe of Levi). They, though, were not to touch any of the holy things that were still uncovered by Aaron (Num. 4:2-15).

- Other references to the Ark in Scripture

The Ark of the Covenant is mentioned in both the Bible and the Qur'an.

- In the Bible

The Ark carried into the Temple

The Ark carried into the Temple

The only mention of the Ark in the books of the prophets is the reference to it by Jeremiah, who, speaking in the days of Josiah (Jer. 3:16), prophesies a future time when the Ark will no longer be used. In the Psalms, the Ark is twice referred to. In Ps. 78:61 its capture by the Philistines is spoken of, and the Ark is called "the strength and glory of God"; and in Ps. 132:8, it is spoken of as "You and the ark of Your strength." The Ark is also mentioned in several passages in Exodus and 1 Samuel, including Exodus 25:10-22 and 1 Samuel 4:3-22 and 5:7-8.

The Ark is mentioned in one passage in the deuterocanonical 2 Maccabees 2:4-10, which contains a reference to a document saying that the prophet Jeremiah, "being warned of God," took the Ark, and the tabernacle, and the altar of incense, and buried them in a cave on Mount Nebo (Deut. 34:1), informing those of his followers who wished to find the place that it should remain unknown "until the time that God should gather His people again together, and receive them unto mercy." Hebrews 9:4 states that the Ark contained "the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant." Finally, in the Book of Revelation the Ark is described as being in the 'temple' of God in heaven (Rev. 11:19). The Ark is last seen in God's 'temple' just before a woman gives birth to the man child (Rev. 12:1-2), both stalked by a dragon and his angels cast to earth (Rev. 12:3-17).

- In the Qur'an

There is a brief mention of the Ark of the Covenant in Islamic literature. This mention is in the middle of the narrative of the choice of Saul to be king. The Qur'an states:

And (further) their Prophet said to them: "A Sign of his authority is that there shall come to you the Ark of the Covenant, with (an assurance) therein of security from your Lord, and the relics left by the family of Moses and the family of Aaron, carried by angels. In this is a Symbol for you if ye indeed have faith."


Various historical Islamic scholars have stated that the Ark may have held a chrysolite or ruby figure, with the head and tail of a she-cat and with two wings. Al-Tha'alibi, in "Qisas al-Anbiya" (The Stories of the Prophets), give an earlier and later history of the Ark[citation needed].

According to most Muslim scholars, the Ark of the Covenant has a religious basis in Islam, and Islam gives it special significance. Muslims believe that it will be found by Mahdi near the end of times in the city of Antakya. These Islamic scholars believe inside there will be relics left by the people of Moses and the people of Aaron. There might be the sceptres of Moses, Aaron's rod, Plates of the Torah, and Aaron's turban[citation needed].

- History

- Mobile vanguard

In the march from Sinai, and at the crossing of the Jordan river, the Ark preceded the people, and was the signal for their advance (Num. 10:33; Josh. 3:3, 6). The Ark of the Covenant burned the thorns and other obstructions in the wilderness roads. According to tradition, sparks from between the two cherubim killed serpents and scorpions. (I and II Chronicles)[1] During the crossing of the Jordan, the river grew dry as soon as the feet of the priests carrying the Ark touched its waters; and remained so until the priests -- with the Ark -- left the river, after the people had passed over (Josh. 3:15-17; 4:10, 11, 18). As memorials, twelve stones were taken from the Jordan at the place where the priests had stood (Josh. 4:1-9).

The Ark was carried into battle, such as in the Midian war (Num. 31). In the capture of Jericho the Ark was carried round the city once a day for six days, preceded by the armed men and seven priests sounding seven trumpets of rams' horns (Josh. 6:4-15). On the seventh day the seven priests sounding the seven trumpets of rams' horns before the Ark compassed the city seven times and with a great shout, Jericho's wall fell down flat and the people took the city (Josh. 6:16-20). After the defeat at Ai, Joshua lamented before the Ark (Josh. 7:6-9). When Joshua read the Law to the people between Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal, they stood on each side of the Ark. The Ark was again set up by Joshua at Shiloh; but when the Israelites fought against Benjamin at Gibeah, they had the Ark with them, and consulted it after their defeat.

- Captured by the Philistines

The Ark is next spoken of as being in the tabernacle at Shiloh during Samuel's apprenticeship (1 Sam. 3:3). After the settlement of the Israelites in Canaan, the Ark remained in the tabernacle at Gilgal for a season, then was removed to Shiloh until the time of Eli, between 300 and 400 years (Jeremiah 7:12), when it was carried into the field of battle, so as to secure, as they supposed, victory to the Hebrews; and it was taken by the Philistines (1 Sam. 4:3-11), who sent it back after retaining it seven months (1 Sam. 5:7, 8) because of the events said to have transpired. After their first defeat at Eben-ezer, the Israelites had the Ark brought from Shiloh, and welcomed its coming with great rejoicing.

In the second battle, the Israelites were again defeated, and the Philistines captured the Ark (1 Sam. 4:3-5, 10, 11). The news of its capture was at once taken to Shiloh by a messenger "with his clothes rent, and with earth upon his head." The old priest, Eli, fell dead when he heard it; and his daughter-in-law, bearing a son at the time the news of the capture of the Ark was received, named him Ichabod—explained as "Where is glory?" in reference to the loss of the Ark (1 Sam. 4:12-22).

The Philistines took the Ark to several places in their country, and at each place misfortune resulted to them (1 Sam. 5:1-6). At Ashdod it was placed in the temple of Dagon. The next morning Dagon was found prostrate, bowed down, before it; and on being restored to his place, he was on the following morning again found prostrate and broken. The people of Ashdod were smitten with boils; a plague of mice was sent over the land (1 Sam. 6:5). The affliction of boils was also visited upon the people of Gath and of Ekron, whither the Ark was successively removed (1 Sam. 5:8-12).

After the Ark had been among them seven months, the Philistines, on the advice of their diviners, returned it to the Israelites, accompanying its return with an offering consisting of golden images of the boils and mice wherewith they had been afflicted. The Ark was set in the field of Joshua the Beth-shemite, and the Beth-shemites offered sacrifices and burnt offerings (1 Sam. 6:1-15). Out of curiosity the men of Beth-shemesh gazed at the Ark; and as a punishment, seventy of them (fifty thousand seventy in some ms.) were smitten by the Lord (1 Sam. 6:19). The Bethshemites sent to Kirjath-jearim, or Baal-Judah, to have the Ark removed (1 Sam. 6:21); and it was taken to the house of Abinadab, whose son Eleazar was sanctified to keep it. Kirjath-jearim was the abode of the Ark for twenty years. Under Saul, the Ark was with the army before he first met the Philistines, but the king was too impatient to consult it before engaging in battle. In 1 Chronicles 13:3 it is stated that the people were not accustomed to consult the Ark in the days of Saul.

- In the days of King David

At the very beginning of his reign, David removed the Ark from Kirjath-jearim amid great rejoicing. On the way to Zion, Uzzah, one of the drivers of the cart whereon the Ark was carried, put out his hand to steady the Ark, and was smitten by the Lord for touching it. David, in fear, carried the Ark aside into the house of Obed-edom the Gittite, instead of carrying it on to Zion, and here it stayed three months (2 Sam. 6:1-11; 1 Chron. 13:1-13).

On hearing that the Lord had blessed Obed-edom because of the presence of the Ark in his house, David had the Ark brought to Zion by the Levites, while he himself, "girded with a linen ephod," "danced before the Lord with all his might" — a performance that caused him to be despised and scornfully rebuked by Saul's daughter Michal (2 Sam. 6:12-16, 20-22; 1 Chron. 15). This unjustified derision on her part resulted in the permanent loss of her fertility. In Zion, David put the Ark in the tabernacle he had prepared for it, offered sacrifices, distributed food, and blessed the people and his own household (2 Sam. 6:17-20; 1 Chron. 16:1-3; 2 Chron. 1:4).

Levites were appointed to minister before the Ark (1 Chron. 16:4). David's plan of building a temple for the Ark was stopped at the advice of God (2 Sam. 7:1-17; 1 Chron. 17:1-15; 28:2, 3). The Ark was with the army during the siege of Rabbah (2 Sam. 11:11); and when David fled from Jerusalem at the time of Absalom's conspiracy, the Ark was carried along with him until he ordered Zadok the priest to return it to Jerusalem (2 Sam. 15:24-29).

- In Solomon's temple

When Abiathar was dismissed from the priesthood by Solomon for having taken part in Adonijah's conspiracy against David, his life was spared because he had formerly borne the Ark (1 Kings 2:26). It was afterwards placed by Solomon in the temple (1 Kings 8:6-9). Solomon worshiped before the Ark after his dream in which the Lord promised him wisdom (1 Kings 3:15). In Solomon's Temple, a Holy of Holies was prepared to receive the Ark (1 Kings 6:19); and when the Temple was dedicated, the Ark -- containing nothing but the two Mosaic tables of stone -- was placed therein. When the priests emerged from the holy place after placing the Ark there, the Temple was filled with a cloud, "for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord" (1 Kings 8:10-11; 2 Chron. 5:13, 14).

When Solomon married Pharaoh's daughter, he caused her to dwell in a house outside Zion, as Zion was consecrated because of its containing the Ark (2 Chron. 8:11). King Josiah had the Ark put into the Temple (2 Chron. 35:3), whence it appears to have again been removed by one of his successors.

- The Babylonians and afterwards

Believed to be the place where the Ark of the Covenant sat before King Solomon's Temple was destroyed. A dome was later built by the Arabs who now refer to it as the Dome of Spirits.

Believed to be the place where the Ark of the Covenant sat before King Solomon's Temple was destroyed. A dome was later built by the Arabs who now refer to it as the Dome of Spirits.

When the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and plundered the temple, the Ark entered the domain of legend. Many historians suppose that the ark was probably taken away by Nebuchadnezzar and destroyed. The absence of the ark from the Second Temple was acknowledged. The Ark is finally re-established to the Temple in vision: "Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the Ark of his Covenant" (Rev. 11:19 NIV).

- Fate of the Ark

In contrast to the view of many historians (who suppose that the Ark was taken away and destroyed), variant traditions about the ultimate fate of the Ark include the intentional concealing of the Ark under the Temple Mount; the removal of the Ark from Jerusalem in advance of the Babylonians (this variant usually ends up with the Ark in Ethiopia); the removal of the Ark by the Ethiopian prince Menelik I (purported son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba); removal by Jewish priests during the reign of Manasseh of Judah, possibly taken to the Jewish Temple at Elephantine in Egypt; the miraculous removal of the Ark by divine intervention (Cf. 2 Chronicles); and even the destruction of the original ornate Ark under King Josiah's reforms (when it may have been seen as violating the commandment against graven images) and replacement with a simple wooden box, easily lost when the Temple fell.

- Concealment

Some believe that the Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle of the Lord was hidden. This is referenced by five separate sources (except from the previous mentioned in 2 Maccabees):

1. the Mishnayot of Rabbi Hertz

2. the Marble Tablets of Beirut

3. the Copper Scroll (though the Ark is not mentioned by name)

4. the ancient Ben Ezra Synagogue sacred texts

5. the deutero-canonical Book of 2 Esdras reports that the Prophet Jeremiah concealed the Ark on Mt. Nebo

- Mishnayot

The Mishnayot introduction included ancient records that Rabbi Hertz called the "Mishnayot". Hertz used the term "Mishnayot", since the text of the Mishnayot is missing from the Mishnah (Mishna), which is the first section of the Talmud, a collection of ancient Rabbinic writings including also the Gemara, "the summary", and containing the Jewish religious law.[2]

The "missing" Mishnaic text in the Mishnayot is called the Massakhet Keilim, written in twelve chapters. Each chapter of the Mishnayot describes vessels which were hidden under the direction of Jeremiah the Prophet by five holy men (Shimor HaLevi, Chizkiah, Tzidkiyahu, Haggai the Prophet and Zechariah the Prophet), seven years prior to the destruction of Solomon's First Temple, because the dangers of Babylonian conquest were imminent. The Mishnayot describing this hiding was then written in Babylon during the Babylonian Captivity.

The first chapter of the Mishnayot describes the vessels that were hidden - including the Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle of the Lord, i.e. the Mishkan, the Tablets of Moses, the altar (with cherubim) for the daily and seasonal sacrifices (the ushebtis), the Menorah (candelabra), the Qalal (copper urn) containing the Ashes of the Red Heifer (ashes from a red cow sacrificed under Moses, necessary for ritual purification of the priests), and numerous vessels of the Kohanim (priests).

The second chapter of the Mishnayot states that a list of these treasures was inscribed upon a copper tablet. This is the Copper Scroll found at Qumran.

- Marble tablets of Beirut

In 1952 two large marble tablets were found in the basement of a museum in Beirut, stating they were the words of Shimor HaLevi, the servant of HaShem, and the writing on the tablets is the entire missing text of "Massakhet Keilim" (Mishnayot) including reference to the Copper Scroll.[citation needed]

- Copper scroll

The first of the Dead Sea Scrolls was discovered in 1947, and the famed Copper Scroll - made of 99% copper and 1% tin - was found at Qumran in 1952. The Copper Scroll is an inventory - written in Hebrew - of treasures, thought by some to be from Solomon's First Temple, hidden before the destruction of that temple by the Babylonians and treasures which have not been seen since.

The Copper Scroll states that a silver [or alabaster?] chest, the vestments of the Cohen Gadol (Hebrew High Priest), gold and silver in great quantities, the Tabernacle of the Lord (perhaps the Mishkan) and many treasures were hidden in a desolate valley - under a hill - on its east side, forty stones deep. The Mishkan was a "portable" Temple for the Ark of the Covenant. The writings in the Copper Scroll were confirmed 40 years later in the 1990s through an ancient text found in the introduction to Emeq HaMelekh ("Valley of the King(s)") -- a book published in 1648 in Amsterdam, Holland, by Rabbi Naftali Hertz Ben Ya’acov Elchanon (Rabbi Hertz).

- Ben Ezra synagogue texts

Work in the 1990s showed that in 1896, almost one hundred years previous, Solomon Schechter at Cambridge University in England had acquired 100,000 pages of ancient Hebrew texts from the Genizah (repository for aged sacred Jewish texts) of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo, Egypt. A copy of the "Tosefta" (supplement to the Mishnah) was found in these texts, included among the text on Keilim (vessels). This "Tosefta" is the same text as cited by Rabbi Hertz as his source for the Mishnayot.

- Rumoured present locations

Some have claimed to have discovered or have possession of the Ark.

- Africa

Some sources suggest that during the reign of King Manasseh (2 Chron 33) the Ark was smuggled from the temple by way of the Well of Souls and taken to Egypt, eventually ending up in Ethiopia. There are some carvings on the Cathedral of Chartres that may refer to this. Another theory was dramatized by George Lucas, Philip Kaufman and Lawrence Kasdan in their story and screenplay for the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark, which was directed by Steven Spielberg. The movie theorized that the ark was taken when Pharaoh Sheshonk (biblical Shishak) warred with the Israelites and took the ark to the Egyptian City of Tanis.

- Ethiopian Orthodox Church

The Chapel of the Tablet at the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion allegedly houses the original Ark of the Covenant.

The Chapel of the Tablet at the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion allegedly houses the original Ark of the Covenant.

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Axum, Ethiopia is the only one in the world which still claims to possess the Ark of the Covenant. According to the Kebra Nagast, after Menelik I had come to Jerusalem to visit his father, King Solomon, his father had given him a copy of the Ark, and had commanded the first-born sons of the elders of his kingdom to travel back to Ethiopia to settle there. However, these Israelites did not want to live away from the presence of the Ark, so they switched the copy with the original and smuggled the Ark out of the country; Menelik only learned that the original was with his group during the journey home. Solomon lost not only the Ark to his son by the Queen of Sheba but the divine favor that went with it.[3]

Although it was once paraded before the town once each year, the object is now kept under constant guard in a "treasury" near the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion, and only the head priest of the church is allowed to view it. Most Western historians are skeptical of this claim. [citation needed]

- Valley of Kings

Andis Kaulins claims that the hiding place of the ark, said specifically by ancient sources (such as the Mishnayot), to be

"a desolate valley under a hill - on its east side, forty stones deep".

Today, it is believed by some that this refers to the Tomb of Tutankhamun (east side of the Valley of Kings, ca. forty stones deep). Some believe that what was found there are the described treasures, including the Mishkan and the Ark of the Covenant.[4]

- Middle East

In 1989, the late Ron Wyatt claimed to have broken into a chamber while digging underground beneath Mount Moriah, also known as The Temple Mount. He claimed to have seen the ark and taken photographs. All photos came out blurry (leading to skepticism of the claim). According to Wyatt the excavations were closed off (because of private property concerns) and, to the extent of knowledge, no one has seen the ark since. Ron Wyatt was widely seen in the Biblical archaeology community as an attention seeker, often announcing he had found Biblically important objects with little or no hard evidence to back up his claims.

Vendyl Jones claimed to have found the entrance to the chamber in the cave of the Column - Qumran. Here, he stated, is where the Ark was hidden prior to the destruction of the First Temple. Arutz Sheva quoted Jones stating he would reveal the ark on Tisha B'Av (August 14, 2005), the anniversary of the destruction of both the First and Second Temples.[5] However, this did not occur. On Jones' website he states that he was misquoted and actually said it would be appropriate if he discovered the ark on Tisha B'Av. Jones is waiting for funding to explore the cave.

Modern excavations near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem have found tunnels, but digging beneath the Temple Mount is somewhat restricted. One of the most important Islamic shrines, the Dome of the Rock, sits in the location where the First Temple of Solomon once stood. Archeologist Michael Rood states that King Solomon married into the Egyptian Royal Family so as to gain the Egyptians' famed knowledge of sand hydraulic technology. King Solomon reportedly, when building the temple, put the Ark of the Covenant on a platform which could be lowered down into a tunnel system if the Temple were ever overrun. in 586 B.C. King Nebuchadnezzar's troops destroyed the temple and carried off the temple treasures but did not find the Ark of the Covenant which had been lowered into the cave system below and secreted away by Levite priests.

- England

In 2003, historical author Graham Phillips traced the route of the Ark through research using Biblical texts as being taken to Mount Sinai in the Valley of Edom by the Maccabees, along with other religious teasures. It remained here until the 1180's, when Ralph de Sudeley, the leader of the Templars who apparently found the Maccabean treasure at Jebel al-Madhbah, returned home to his estate at Herdewyke in the county of Warwickshire in central England, taking the treasure with him[6].

- Ireland

During the turn of the 20th century the Hill of Tara was excavated by British Israelites who thought that the Irish were part of the Lost Tribes of Israel and the hill somehow contained the Ark of the Covenant. Tara and the Ark of the Covenant: A Search for the Ark of the Covenant by British Israelites on the Hill of Tara, 1899-1902, by Mairead Carew (2004). This book describes the story of the British-Israelite excavations on Tara and places them in their archaeological, historical, cultural and political context.

- Mary as Ark of the New Covenant

In Catholic and Orthodox theology, the Ark of the Covenant is seen as the Old Covenant type or foreshadowing of the place of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the New Covenant. Pope Pius XII explained the connection in his apostolic constitution "Munificentissimus Deus":

"Just as the New Covenant surpasses the Old, so the new Ark of the Covenant (Our Lady) is superior to the old. The old Ark contained the word of God inscribed on stone tablets, but the new Ark contained the Incarnate Word of God. The old Ark held the Law that could not justify, but the new Ark held Jesus Christ Who Himself is the eternal New Covenant with God; He Who justifies and saves."

There are several direct parallels between between the Old Testament accounts of the Ark and the account of Mary in the Gospel of Luke:

* The words of Ex. 40:34-38, referring to the cloud of the Lord's presence "covering" the tent of the Ark are echoed in Gabriel's words to Mary in Luke 1:35: "...the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow."

* David greets the Ark in fearful awe with the words "How shall the ark of the Lord come to me?" (2 Sam.6:9); Elizabeth greets Mary with the words, "Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"

* In 2 Samuel 6:10-12 the ark is sent to the hill country of Judea and stays at the household of Obededom for three months; similary, Mary journeys to Elizabeth's house and stays there three months.

* Just as David danced in the presence of the Ark (2 Sam. 6:14), the babe in Elizabeth's womb (John the Baptist) dances in the presence of God's Shekhinah in Mary's womb (Luke 1:41).

Additionally, in Revelation, St. John, immediately after seeing the Ark in heaven, sees the woman "clothed with the sun" who bears the Child who will rule the world (Revelation 11:19-12:5).

This teaching is found in the writings of the Fathers of the Church. A sermon attributed to St. Athanasius addresses the Blessed Virgin thus: "O Ark of the new covenant, clad on all sides with purity in place of gold; the one in whom is found the golden vase with its true manna, that is the flesh in which lies the God-head." St. Gregory Thaumaturgus wrote: "Let us chant the melody that has been taught us by the inspired harp of David, and say, ‘Arise, O Lord, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy sanctuary.’ For the Holy Virgin is in truth an ark, wrought with gold both within and without, that has received the whole treasury of the sanctuary" (Homily on the Annunciation to the Holy Virgin Mary). [[1]]

In the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, one of the titles by which Mary is addressed is "Ark of the Covenant".

- Media references

- Television and film

Indiana and Sallah lift up the Ark of the Covenant

Indiana and Sallah lift up the Ark of the Covenant

* The Ark of the Covenant was the focus of the 1981 adventure film Raiders of the Lost Ark. The plot suggests that Adolf Hitler, deeply interested in supernatural power and the occult, wants to acquire the Ark in order to rule the world. The Ark's location in the movie is Tanis, Egypt. Intrepid archaeologist Indiana Jones opposes the Nazis and succeeds in keeping it from them. The Ark is shown to be extremely powerful and dangerous to those who do not understand it. It is last seen being boxed up and stored in a vast U.S. government warehouse, presumably never to be seen again. The crate in which the Ark is placed at the end of the movie has the serial number 9906753. A very similar serial number (9906573) also appears on a mysterious crate in the first official Teaser poster to the fourth Indiana Jones film, leading to fan speculation that the Ark will be showcased once again. In the sequel Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, a picture of the Ark is shown on the wall of a tomb from the First Crusade.

* The Ark is "seen again" (after the events of Raiders) in Honey, I Blew Up the Kid. It is in the giant warehouse where Wayne Szalinski's (Rick Moranis) shrink ray is held. It is seen in its crate when he finds his shrink ray.

* In the TNT movie The Librarian: Quest for the Spear a young man named Flynn Carsen becomes the new Librarian and discovers that many treasures including the Ark are hidden in a secret chamber miles below the surface of the earth.

* A first season episode of the television series Xena: Warrior Princess uses the Ark as a plot device. In "The Royal Couple of Thieves", Xena recruits the King Of Thieves to assist her in stealing the Ark from a profiteering warlord. Xena returns it to its rightful people.

- Games

* In the video game Tomb Raider series, Lara Croft discovers the Ark in an unseen adventure.

* In the video game Bloodrayne, it is inside a wooden crate inside a Nazi stronghold.

* In the computer game Medieval 2, the Ark is an 'ancillary' that can be acquired by completing a Crusade mission requested by the Pope.

* In the computer game Evil Genius, the Ark is a piece of loot that can be stolen in an optional mission, though it cannot be used or opened.

* In the computer game Spider-Man, in the 'What If?' mode, the Ark is in one of the warehouse crates.

* In the computer game Broken Sword: The Angel of Death (renamed Secrets of the Ark in North America) the Ark is featured prominently.

* The time-travel card game Chrononauts includes a card called "Lost Ark of the Covenant" which players can symbolically acquire from the year 587 BC.

* In the computer game Riddle Of The Sphinx the Ark is in the sphinx in a hidden chamber the player is trying to get to. When opened, the credits roll.

- See also

1050s BC


Mystery: Ancient astronaut theory, Baghdad Battery

Ethiopia: Axum, Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church

Hebrews: Most Holy Place, Solomon's Temple, Sanctuary, Shittah-tree, Cherub, History of ancient Israel and Judah, Tabernacle, Jewish symbolism, Book of Judges, Books of Chronicles, Exodus, Idolatry.

Middle Eastern: Arab, Ashdod, Israel, Philistines

"Manna": Nehushtan, Shittah-tree, Ley line

Rastafari movement

People: Joshua, Samuel, Solomon, Menelik I, Theodulf

Other: Science and the Bible, Acacia, Foucault's Pendulum (book), Rennes-le-Château, Lost History, Mikoshi

Cinema: Raiders of the Lost Ark

- Further reading

* Carew, Mairead, Tara and the Ark of the Covenant: A Search for the Ark of the Covenant by British Israelites on the Hill of Tara, 1899-1902]. Royal Irish Academy, 2003. ISBN 0954385527

* Fisher, Milton C., The Ark of the Covenant: Alive and Well in Ethiopia?. Bible and Spade 8/3, pp. 65-72, 1995.

* Grierson, Roderick & Munro-Hay, Stuart, The Ark of the Covenant. Orion Books Ltd, 2000. ISBN 0-7538-1010-7

* Hancock, Graham, The Sign and the Seal: The Quest for the Lost Ark of the Covenant. Touchstone Books, 1993. ISBN 0-671-86541-2

* Hertz, J.H., The Pentateuch and Haftoras. Deuteronomy. Oxford University Press, 1936.

* Leeman, Bernard, Queen of Sheba and Biblical Scholarship. Queensland Academic Press, 2005. ISBN 0-9758022-0-8

* Ritmeyer, L., The Ark of the Covenant: Where it Stood in Solomon's Temple. Biblical Archaeology Review 22/1: 46-55, 70-73, 1996.

- References

1. ^ "Ark of the Covenant". Jewish Encyclopedia.

2. ^ Mock, Robert, "The Hiding of the Ark".

3. ^ See Hancock, excerpt

4. ^ Kaulins, Andis, "Mishnayot".

5. ^ Robins, Gerard, "Vendyl Jones and the Ark of the Covenant". [Original: Jewish Herald Voice Newspaper, Houston, TX. May 2000.] (mirror site).

6. ^ Phillips, Graham (April 2005). The Templars and the Ark of the Covenant: The Discovery of the Treasure of Solomon. Bear & Company. ISBN 1591430399.

- Scenario

* Biblical scenario for peplum on the Ark of the Covenant at the time of king David by John Zehwyn for producer

- External links


Wikibooks has more on the topic of

Ark of the Covenant

Classic Texts

* "Shemot - Chapter 25". Tanach - Torah, Judaica Press.


* "Ark of the Covenant". The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume I.

* Pendleton, Philip Y., "A Brief Sketch of the Jewish Tabernacle". 1901. (International Sunday-school Lessons for 1902. Standard Eclectic Commentary comprising original and selected notes, explanatory, illustrative, practical. Embellished with maps, diagrams, chronological charts, tables, ect.)

* Barrow, Martyn, "The Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25:10-22)". 1995.

* Kaulins, Andis, "Ark of the Covenant".

* Shyovitz, David, "The Lost Ark of the Covenant". Jewish Virtual Library.

* Chester Comstock "The Ark placed in historical and geographical context" Art History


* "Ark of the Covenant".


* JAH, "The Ark of The Covenant in Ireland".

* Israel National News "Kabbalist Blesses Jones: Now's the Time to Find Holy Lost Ark". Iyar 5765, May, 2005.

* Peters, Aland, "Templars excavaton of Solomon's Temple".

* Searcy, Jim, "The Ark of the Covenant: Present Location and Importance". Cyprus.

* Wyatt, Ron "The Ark of the Covenant: Ron Wyatt's description of his excavations for 3.5 years, and his claim to have seen it".


* "The Ark of the Covenant". Old Testament - Exodus, The Brick Testament.

* "[2]". Book and Interactive CD-ROM detailing find of the Ark.

Link collections

* Shapiro, Gerald N., "A small selection of the information collected on the subject". September 19, 2004.

Original article text

* Initial text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897 listing of the Ark

* Portions of this article have been taken from the Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906 listing Ark of the Covenant


v • d • e

Ark of the Covenant Topics

Traditions Jews • Muslims • Christians

People Israelites • Levites • High Priest • Bezaleel • Tribe of Judah • Aholiab • Tribe of Dan • Kohath • Tribe of Levi • Jeremiah • Mahdi • Joshua • Eleazor • Menelik I • Samuel • Solomon • Theodulf

Contents Stone tablets • Ten Commandments • Manna • Aaron's rod • Cherub • Plates of the Torah • Aaron's turban • Nehushtan • Copper Scroll

Construction Techash skins • Acacia • Shittah-tree • Gold • Mercy seat • Two wooden poles

Locations Mount Sinai • Jericho • Jordan River • Holy of Holies • Kadosh Kadoshim • Jericho • Ai • Shiloh • Gibeah • Gilgal • Eben-ezer • Dagon • House of Abinadab • Temple Mount • Qumran • Dome of the Rock • Well of Souls • Cathedral of Chartres • Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion • Tomb of Tutankhamun • Most Holy Place

References Bible • Qur'an • Deuterocanonical books • Mishnayot • Raiders of the Lost Ark • Old Testament • New Testament • Book of Judges • Books of Chronicles • Exodus

Retrieved from " "

Categories: All articles with unsourced statements | Articles with unsourced statements since October 2007 | Articles with unsourced statements since April 2007 | Articles with unsourced statements since June 2007 | Ancient mysteries | Jewish mysticism | Hebrew Bible topics | Tabernacle and Jerusalem Temples


Jebel al-Madhbah

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

• Find out more about navigating Wikipedia and finding information •

Jump to: navigation, search

The Siq, facing the Treasury, which lies at the foot of Jebel al-Madhbah

The Siq, facing the Treasury, which lies at the foot of Jebel al-Madhbah

Jebel al-Madhbah is a mountain at Petra, in present-day Jordan, which a number of scholars have proposed as the Biblical Mount Sinai[1], beginning with Ditlef Nielsen in 1927[2]. The mountain is colloquially known as Zibb 'Atuf, meaning penis of love in Arabic, presumably on account of the two carved obelisks located at the summit. The top 8 metres of the original peak was carved away to form the obelisks, destroying evidence of whatever earlier structures had been located there, except for hints that shiny blue slate once covered the summit[3].; the biblical description of Sinai mentions sapphire paving[4], which at that time referred to shiny blue paving, rather than paving made from what is now called sapphire[5].

The name Jebel al-Madbah means mountain of the altar, and is well deserved since it's summit is covered in a number of different altars, including some that are circular, and others that are square, carved into the rock. One possible reason for Madbah being considered sacred is the fact that there have been many reports and sightings of plasma phenomona at al-Madhbah over the centuries[3], possibly equating with the dramatic biblical descriptions of devouring fire on the summit of Sinai[6]. The sacred nature of the mountain is not limited to the summit; the Treasury building, which is thought to have a ritual purpose, is carved into the mountain's base, facing the Siq; the loud trumpeting sound caused by wind funnelling down the siq is referred to by local Bedouins refer to the sound as the trumpet of God[3], matching the biblical description of a loud trumpet at Sinai[7].

The mountain is over a thousand metres high, but a rock staircase winds its way from the top down to the valley below; the valley in which Petra resides is known as the Wadi Musa, meaning valley of Moses. At the entrance to the Siq is the Ain Musa, meaning spring of Moses; the 13th century Arab chronicler Numairi stated was Ain Musa was the location where Moses had brought water from the ground, by striking it with his rod.

- References

1. ^ Peake's commentary on the Bible

2. ^ Ditlef Nielsen, The Site of the Biblical Mount Sinai – A Claim for Petra (1927)

3. ^ a b c Phillips, Graham (April 2005). The Templars and the Ark of the Covenant: The Discovery of the Treasure of Solomon. Bear & Company. ISBN 1591430399.

4. ^ Exodus 24:10

5. ^ Cheyne and Black, Encyclopedia Biblica, Hoshen

6. ^ Exodus 24:17

7. ^ Exodus 19:16

- See also

* Archaeology

This article about a religious building or structure is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.

This Jordan-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.

Retrieved from " "

Categories: Mountains of Jordan | Sacred mountains | Archaeological sites in Jordan | Ancient Near Eastern temples | Edom | Religious building and structure stubs | Jordan stubs


Petra (from ????? "petra", rock in Greek; Arabic: ???????, Al-Butra-) is an archaeological site in southwestern Jordan, lying on the slope of Mount Hor[1] in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. It is famous for having many stone structures carved into the rock. The long-hidden site was revealed to the Western world by the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812. It was famously described as "a rose-red city half as old as time" in a Newdigate prize-winning sonnet by John William Burgon. Burgon had not actually visited Petra, which remained accessible only to Europeans accompanied by local guides with armed escorts until after World War I. The site was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985 when it was described as "one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage."[2]



* 1 Geography

* 2 History

o 2.1 Roman rule

o 2.2 Religion

o 2.3 Decline

* 3 Petra today

* 4 See also

* 5 Notes

* 6 References

- Geography

Rekem is an ancient name for Petra and appears in Dead Sea scrolls such as 4Q462 associated with Mount Seir. Additionally, Eusebius and Jerome (Onom. sacr. 286, 71. 145, 9; 228, 55. 287, 94) assert that Rekem was the native name of Petra, supposedly on the authority of Josephus (Antiquities iv. 7, 1~ 4, 7), Pliny the Elder and other writers identify Petra as the capital of the Nabataeans, Aramaic-speaking Semites, and the centre of their caravan trade. Enclosed by towering rocks and watered by a perennial stream, Petra not only possessed the advantages of a fortress but controlled the main commercial routes which passed through it to Gaza in the west, to Bosra and Damascus in the north, to Aqaba and Leuce Come on the Red Sea, and across the desert to the Persian Gulf.

The end of the Siq

The end of the Siq

Excavations have demonstrated that it was the ability of the Nabataeans to control the water supply that led to the rise of the desert city, in effect creating an artificial oasis. The area is visited by flash floods and archaeological evidence demonstrates the Nabataeans controlled these floods by the use of dams, cisterns and water conduits. Thus, stored water could be employed even during prolonged periods of drought, and the city prospered from its sale.[3][4]

The Theatre

Although in ancient times Petra might have been approached from the south (via Saudi Arabia on a track leading around Jabal Haroun, Aaron's Mountain, on across the plain of Petra), or possibly from the high plateau to the north, most modern visitors approach the ancient site from the east. The impressive eastern entrance leads steeply down through a dark and narrow gorge (in places only 3–4 metres wide) called the Siq (the shaft), a natural geological feature formed from a deep split in the sandstone rocks and serving as a waterway flowing into Wadi Musa. At the end of the narrow gorge stands Petra's most elaborate ruin, Al Khazneh ("the Treasury") hewn directly out of the sandstone cliff.

The Monastery at Petra

A little further from the Treasury, at the foot of the mountain called en-Nejr is a massive theatre, so placed as to bring the greatest number of tombs within view. At the point where the valley opens out into the plain, the site of the city is revealed with striking effect. The amphitheatre has actually been cut into the hillside and into several of the tombs during its construction. Rectangular gaps in the seating are still visible. Almost enclosing it on three sides are rose-colored mountain walls, divided into groups by deep fissures, and lined with knobs cut from the rock in the form of towers.

- History

So far, no method has been found to determine when the history of Petra began. Evidence suggests that the city was founded relatively late, though a sanctuary may have existed there since very ancient times. This part of the country was traditionally assigned to the Horites, probably cave-dwellers, the predecessors of the Edomites.[5] The habits of the original natives may have influenced the Nabataean custom of burying the dead and offering worship in half-excavated caves. However, the fact that Petra is mentioned by name in the Old Testament cannot be verified. Although Petra is usually identified with Sela which also means a rock, the Biblical references[6] are not clear. 2 Kings xiv. 7 seems to be more specific. In the parallel passage, however, Sela is understood to mean simply "the rock" (2 Chr. xxv. 12, see LXX). As a result, many authorities doubt whether any town named Sela is mentioned in the Old Testament.

It is unclear exactly what Semitic inhabitants called their city. Apparently on the authority of Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews iv. 7, 1~ 4, 7), Eusebius and Jerome (Onom. sacr. 286, 71. 145, 9; 228, 55. 287, 94), assert that Rekem was the native name and Rekem appears in the Dead Sea scrolls as a prominent Edom site most closely describing Petra. But in the Aramaic versions Rekem is the name of Kadesh, implying that Josephus may have confused the two places. Sometimes the Aramaic versions give the form Rekem-Geya which recalls the name of the village El-ji, southeast of Petra. The capital, however, would hardly be defined by the name of a neighboring village. The Semitic name of the city, if not Sela, remains unknown. The passage in Diodorus Siculus (xix. 94–97) which describes the expeditions which Antigonus sent against the Nabataeans in 312 BC is understood to throw some light upon the history of Petra, but the "petra" referred to as a natural fortress and place of refuge cannot be a proper name and the description implies that the town was not yet in existence. Brünnow thinks that "the rock" in question was the sacred mountain en-Nejr (above). But Buhl suggests a conspicuous height about 16 miles north of Petra, Shobak, the Mont-royal of the Crusaders.

More satisfactory evidence of the date of the earliest Nabataean settlement may be obtained from an examination of the tombs. Two types may be distinguished—the Nabataean and the Greco-Roman. The Nabataean type starts from the simple pylon-tomb with a door set in a tower crowned by a parapet ornament, in imitation of the front of a dwelling-house. Then, after passing through various stages, the full Nabataean type is reached, retaining all the native features and at the same time exhibiting characteristics which are partly Egyptian and partly Greek. Of this type there exist close parallels in the tomb-towers at el-I~ejr [?] in north Arabia, which bear long Nabataean inscriptions and supply a date for the corresponding monuments at Petra. Then comes a series of tombfronts which terminate in a semicircular arch, a feature derived from north Syria. Finally come the elaborate façades copied from the front of a Roman temple. However, all traces of native style have vanished. The exact dates of the stages in this development cannot be fixed. Strangely, few inscriptions of any length have been found at Petra, perhaps because they have perished with the stucco or cement which was used upon many of the buildings. The simple pylon-tombs which belong to the pre-Hellenic age serve as evidence for the earliest period. It is not known how far back in this stage the Nabataean settlement goes, but it does not go back farther than the 6th century BC.

A period follows in which the dominant civilization combines Greek, Egyptian and Syrian elements, clearly pointing to the age of the Ptolemies. Towards the close of the 2nd century BC, when the Ptolemaic and Seleucid kingdoms were equally depressed, the Nabataean kingdom came to the front. Under Aretas III Philhellene, (c.85–60 BC), the royal coins begin. The theatre was probably excavated at that time, and Petra must have assumed the aspect of a Hellenistic city. In the reign of Aretas IV Philopatris, (9 BC–AD 40), the fine tombs of the el-I~ejr [?] type may be dated, and perhaps also the great High-place.

Urn Tomb

- Roman rule

In 106, when Cornelius Palma was governor of Syria, that part of Arabia under the rule of Petra was absorbed into the Roman Empire as part of Arabia Petraea, and the native dynasty came to an end. But the city continued to flourish. A century later, in the time of Alexander Severus, when the city was at the height of its splendor, the issue of coinage comes to an end. There is no more building of sumptuous tombs, owing apparently to some sudden catastrophe, such as an invasion by the neo-Persian power under the Sassanid Empire. Meanwhile, as Palmyra (fl. 130–270) grew in importance and attracted the Arabian trade away from Petra, the latter declined. It seems, however, to have lingered on as a religious centre. Epiphanius of Salamis (c.315–403) writes that in his time a feast was held there on December 25 in honor of the virgin Chaabou and her offspring Dushara (Haer. 51).

- Religion

The Nabataeans worshipped the Arab gods and goddesses of the pre-Islamic times as well as few of their deified kings. The most famous of these was Obodas I who was deified after his death. Dushara was the main male god accompanied by his female trinity: Uzza, Allat and Manah. Many statues carved in the rock depict these gods and goddesses.

The Monastery, Petra's largest monument, dates from the first century BC. It was dedicated to Obodas I and is believed to be the symposium of Obodas the god. This information is inscribed on the ruins of the Monastery (the name is the translation of the Arabic "Ad-Deir").

Plan of the Byzantine church, 5th century AD.

Plan of the Byzantine church, 5th century AD.

Christianity found its way into Petra in the 4th century AD, nearly 500 years after the establishment of Petra as a trade center. Athanasius mentions a bishop of Petra (Anhioch. 10) named Asterius. At least one of the tombs (the "tomb with the urn"?) was used as a church. An inscription in red paint records its consecration "in the time of the most holy bishop Jason" (447). The Christianity of Petra, as of north Arabia, was swept away by the Islamic conquest of 629–632. During the First Crusade Petra was occupied by Baldwin I of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and formed the second fief of the barony of Al Karak (in the lordship of Oultrejordain) with the title Château de la Valée de Moyse or Sela. It remained in the hands of the Franks until 1189. According to Arab tradition, Petra is the spot where Moses struck a rock with his staff and water came forth, and where Moses' sister, Miriam, is buried.[7]

- Decline

Petra's decline came rapidly under Roman rule, in large part due to the revision of sea-based trade routes. In 363 an earthquake destroyed buildings and crippled the vital water management system.[8] The ruins of Petra were an object of curiosity in the Middle Ages and were visited by the Sultan Baibars of Egypt towards the close of the 13th century. The first European to describe them was Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812.


Al Khazneh (The Treasury) (Arabic: ??????) is one of the most elaborate buildings in the ancient city of Petra in Jordan. As with most of the other buildings in this ancient town, the structure was carved out of a sandstone rock face. Its classical Roman-influenced architecture has made it a popular tourist attraction.

Al Khazneh was originally built as a royal tomb, probably between 100 BC and 200 AD.[1] Its Arabic name Treasury derives from a legend that bandits or pirates hid their loot in a stone urn high on the second level. Significant damage from bullets can be seen on the urn. Local lore attributes this to Bedouins, who are said to have shot at the urn in hopes of breaking it open and spilling out the "treasure" within (the decorative urn however, is solid sandstone). Many of the building's architectural details have eroded away during the two thousand years since it was carved and sculpted from the cliff. Religious unrest in the area during recent years has reportedly resulted in further damage to the site.


Her name occurs in early Safaitic graffiti (Safaitic han-'Ila-t "the Goddess") and she was worshipped by the Nabataeans of Petra and the people of Hatra, who equated her with the Greek Athena & the Roman Minerva. According to Wellhausen, they believed Alla-t was the mother of Hubal (and hence the mother-in-law of Mana-t).


Links : Pile : Bible : WebWalk : 5

Prev Page

Links Index

My Blog


Next Page

Roy Harbin


The Evil White Man

The Staks

Roy L. Harbin