Has the Ark Of The Covenant been found in Israel? A document called Massekhet Kelim, or Treatise of the Vessels, seems to indicate it was purposefully hidden.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, a potentially Philistine ritual building was uncovered from before the time of the Jewish First Temple created by King Solomon.
Unlike how the Ark Of The Covenant is often depicted in movies, it's not some super-weapon that the Nazis would covet. In fact, the Jewish Torah, or the Old Testament of the Bible, describes how the holy relic was once captured by an enemy nation only to have them give it back after plagues began to befall them.
So what is inside the Ark Of The Covenant? While movies do tend to depict the exterior correctly, according to 1 Kings 8:9 it originally only contained Moses' two stone tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments. Exodus 16:33 and Numbers 17:10 describes Aaron's staff and manna being kept nearby the Ark Of The Covenant, but apparently before it was lost those two objects were placed inside according to Hebrews 9:3.
You might ask, so how was the Ark Of The Covenant lost? The last time its location is mentioned at all is in 2 Chronicles and 2 Kings, when King Josiah of Judah ordered the priests to return it to Jerusalem. Around 40 years later the Babylonian empire invaded the city, captured all the valuables, and burned everything else to the ground, including the Temple.
So some claim the Ark Of The Covenant is in heaven. Others say it might be buried somewhere in the Temple Mount, with the possibility that the Muslim Dome of the Rock covers it up. But James Davila, a professor at the University of St. Andrews, says the recently translated text the "treasures were concealed by a number of Levites and prophets." Unfortunately, Davila also believes the Treatise of the Vessels was written as a work of fiction:
"The writer draws on traditional methods of scriptural exegesis [interpretation] to deduce where the treasures might have been hidden, but I think the writer was approaching the story as a piece of entertaining fiction, not any kind of real guide for finding the lost Temple treasures. My guess is that whoever wrote the Treatise of Vessels came up with the same idea [of writing a treasure list on metal] coincidentally on their own, although it is not unthinkable that the writer knew of some ancient tradition or custom about inscribing important information on metal."Worse, the text also claims the Ark Of The Covenant "shall not be revealed until the day of the coming of the Messiah son of David." It apparently is very similar to the Copper Scroll found in Qumran cave three, which is considered to be something of a treasure map. But there's another non-canonical book called 2 Maccabees that describes in more detail what supposedly occurred before the Babylonian invasion:
"[The prophet Jeremiah], following a divine revelation, ordered that the tabernacle and the ark should accompany him and...he went off to the mountain which Moses climbed to see God's inheritance. When Jeremiah arrived there, he found a room in a cave in which he put the tent, the ark, and the altar of incense; then he blocked up the entrance.... Some of those who followed him came up intending to mark the path, but they could not find it. When Jeremiah heard of this, he reproved them: 'The place is to remain unknown until God gathers his people together again and shows them mercy. Then the Lord will disclose these things, and the glory of the Lord will be seen in the cloud, just as it appeared in the time of Moses and when Solomon prayed that the Temple might be gloriously sanctified.'"While the documents agree on that much, the Treatise of the Vessels also introduces Shimmur the Levite, who's never mentioned anywhere in the Bible. There's also more inconsistencies in this new story, since Shimmur supposedly hid the Ark Of The Covenant and other golden treasures, but then other sections mention angels doing the hiding.
What do you think about this potential Ark Of The Covenant discovery?