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 Post subject: Ark of the Covenant
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 6:08 pm 
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I was wondering if anybody had heard about this. I was doing some research on the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and found this. I guess at the Old Cathedral of St. Mary of Zion (in Ethiopia) there is a small structure called the Sanctary Chapel of the Ark of the Covenant. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC) claims to have the real Ark of the Covenant, from the OT. I can't find any evidece to refute this, but none to conferm it either. Here is how I found out about it: http://www.*************/ny/ethiocrown/Churches.html

The Chapel is guarded by one man, called the Nebre-Id. No one but him is allowed inside (and I'm not even sure he is, I can't remember). The Nebre-Id appoints his successor, and that is how the chapel is guarded.

I just posted this to see what anybody thinks. I myself feel inclined to believe the EOC in this matter. As a church with valid apostolic succession, I feel that God could have very well have trusted them with such a holy relic. What do all of you think?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 6:08 pm 
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By the way, if you check out the link I gave, the EOC has some beautiful churches.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 6:42 pm 
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Yes, the Ethiopian Christians have long claimed to possess the original Ark of the Covenant, which their legends say was stolen from the Holy of Holies by King Solomon's bastard son (by the Queen of Sheba) Menelik I. There is, of course, no evidence that Menelik ever existed, or if he existed, that he was the son of either Solomon OR the Queen of Sheba, nor is there any reason to believe the Ethiopian tale of Solomon's seducation of Makeda, the Queen of Sheba.

The tale of Menelik's theft of the Ark is related in the Kebra Negast, a medieval apocryphal book that is included in Ethiopian Bibles, and I believe is considered by Ethiopian Orthodox to be canonical and inspired, or maybe "deuterocanonical."

Holy Scripture contradicts the Ethiopian legend of Menelik's theft of the Ark, because the Ethiopians say the Ark was stolen in King Solomon's reign, whereas the Bible shows King Josiah about 400 years later cleansing the Temple, and then issuing a command to the priests and Levites to place the Ark back in the Holy of Holies after the cleaning and repairs were complete. If the Ark was stolen 400 years earlier, why did the Holy Spirit tell us it was still there in Jerusalem during Josiah's reign?

Frankly, we Christians aren't all that interested in Old Covenant relics like the Ark of the Covenant, since we have the true Ark of the Covenant, the Blessed Virgin. Jeremiah prophesied that the day would come when no one would really care about the existence and the location of the Ark of the Old Covenant -- those days came long ago. Why get excited about the shadows when you can see the reality that, with the aid of the Light, cast the shadows?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:01 pm 
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I just thought that it may just be very interesting to know the location of such a historical jewel. It is important to the history of salvation (if it still exists). However, you are right, it no longer carries any importance, because God no longer dwells within it.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:01 pm 
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I do wonder what's in the chapel though.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:35 pm 
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I saw a TV documentary about that a few years ago. It was pretty interesting, even documenting different historical theories about what happened to some of the lost tribes of Israel. But, the show was clear that the existence of the Arc could neither be confirmed nor denied. The guardian of the chapel would allow no one access.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:45 pm 
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Do you remember what tv station that documentary was on, maybe I can get a copy.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:06 pm 
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I believe Crisis magazine had an article about this a few years ago....IIRC they were pretty favorable to the opinion that the Ark is in that Ethiopian Church.

I found it rather unbelieveable because of the way that the people who supposedly have the Ark talk about it.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:09 pm 
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zachk1983 wrote:
Do you remember what tv station that documentary was on, maybe I can get a copy.
Oh good grief...um, I think it was before we had cable, so it must have been one of the networks...I'll see if I can google or something and find out. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:39 pm 
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When I first read about it, I googled about that chapel all day. I couldn't find a whole lot of anything. Although, in refrence to Polycarps statement above, I found an article that shows that it's very likely that the Arc found it's way to that chapel, but not how the EOC says it did. I'm thinking that perhaps the EOC found the Arch, and after time, wondering how they got it, they referred to Kebra Negast.

I find the EOC profoundly interesting. I'm reading a lot of the theological documents of theirs. I'm still discerning if they are in hearisy or just schisim.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:40 pm 
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I think this may be it, but I'm not sure. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:44 pm 
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The origins of the EOC are in the split of the Church after Chalcedon, but as to whether they still hold to the Monophysite heresy, I don't know...

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:58 pm 
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I was reading on a couple of their websites, them describing the nature of Christ. The way they describe it is a bit different than our (latin) theological language. We say that Christ had two natures (devine and human) fully in one person. In their theological language they can't differenciate between a nature and a person, they are one in the same. From what I read, they teach that after the incarnation, Christs human nature was fused with His devine nature, resulting in One nature only. I can't find a source where they go into any greater detail on this, nor do I really expect them to, because it is a mystery of their faith. From what I have read, however, it doesn't appear that their teaching on the nature of Christ is heriticial, just explained differently.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 9:04 pm 
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If they deny that Christ has two natures than yes that would be heretical, I thought that we signed some sort of document with them that said we agree with them on this point. Maybe you have come across it?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 9:08 pm 
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It's not that they deny that Christ had two natures, but that those natures fused into union with each other, being defined as only one nature, a human/devine nature. I don't find any heretical point in that. Just different theological language, meaning the same thing.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 9:13 pm 
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According to II Maccabees, Jeremiah took the Ark and concealed it in a cave somewhere in the Holy Land. The whereabouts of the Ark would not be revealed until the coming of the Messiah and the time of Israel's redemption. The next time we see the Ark in the Bible, in Rev. 11, it's up in heaven. So, whatever is in Axum, it ain't the Ark -- not if the Bible is true, that is. Maybe AN ark, a replica or forged duplicate of the Ark, but not THE Ark.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 10:17 pm 
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polycarp, do you think the ark described in revelation is the ark... or is it indeed describing the Blessed Mother......since immediately after it is described, it went into
1 And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

the II maccabees quote is here...

4 It was also contained in the same writing, how the prophet, being
warned by God, commanded that the tabernacle and the ark should accompany him, till he came forth to the mountain where Moses went up, and saw the inheritance of God.

5 And when Jeremias came thither he found a hollow cave: and he
carried in thither the tabernacle, and the ark, and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door.

6 Then some of them that followed him, came up to mark the place: but
they could not find it.

7 And when Jeremias perceived it, he blamed them, saying: The place
shall be unknown, till God gather together the congregation of the people, and receive them to mercy.

8 And then the Lord will shew these things, and the majesty of the
Lord shall appear, and there shall be a cloud as it was also shewed to
Moses, and he shewed it when Solomon prayed that the place might be sanctified to the great God.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 10:54 pm 
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Maybe St. John saw both the Ark and the Blessed Virgin, though it seems the vision showed the Ark merely as a symbol of Mary.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 11:32 pm 
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the arc is described as a women clothed with the sun. This has always been used as evidence of her assumption.

and concerning the lost tribes, wouldn't persian jews of today be from the lost tribes?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 11:56 pm 
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I saw a show once that claimed the Ark went to an island (elephant island?) where a replica of the temple was build and then down the Nile to an island in the lake there where another replica temple was built and it stayed there for many years and the guardians were Jews who became Christians and eventually moved it up to Ethiopia. I think they interviewd the supposed guardian too. He related the common story about Bathsheba taking the ark there.

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