Noah's Ark
Red Sea Crossing
Mt. Sinai
Ark of Covenant
Ron Wyatt
Discovery News
Watch Videos
Bible Study
More Discovery
Contact Us


 Order our DVD





Ark of the Covenant Discovery, Part 2

The Apocrypha

Before we continue, there ARE two references in non-biblical sources which are interesting. In the Apocryphal book of 2 Maccabees, we read:

    2:2 The records show that it was Jeremiah who... 4,... prompted by a Divine message, the prophet gave orders that the Tent of Meeting and the Ark should go with him. Then he went to the mountain from the top of which Moses saw God's promised land. 5 When he reached the mountain, Jeremiah found a cave-dwelling; he carried the tent, the Ark, and the incense altar into it, then blocked up the entrance. 6 Some of his companions came to mark out the way, but were unable to find it. 7 When Jeremiah learned of this he reprimanded them. `The place shall remain unknown', he said, `until God finally gathers His people together and shows mercy to them. 8 Then the Lord will bring these things to light again, and the glory of the Lord will appear with the cloud, as it was seen both in the time of Moses, and when Solomon prayed that the shrine might be worthily consecrated.

The writer in this letter to "Jewish kinsmen in Egypt, the Jews who are in Jerusalem, and those in the country of Judea," explains where he received this information:

    "These same facts are set out in the official records and in the memoirs of Nehemiah.  Just as Nehemiah collected the chronicles of the kings, the writings of prophets, the works of David, and royal letters about sacred offerings, to found his library, so Judas also has collected all the books that had been scattered as a result of our recent conflict. These are in our possession, and if you need any of them, send messengers for them."

Also worthy of note: the quote in 2 Maccabees, above, could have been mis-translated over the years and originally have stated that the Ark was hidden NOT in the mountain Moses was ON when he viewed the promised land (Mt. Nebo, Deu. 32:49), but instead it could mean that the Ark was hidden IN the mountain that Moses SAW when he viewed the promised land. From Nebo he would have been able to see Jerusalem because of its high altitude.

In the Pseudepigraphal book called "The Paralipomena of Jeremiah" (meaning "the remaining words of Jeremiah") it is also written that Jeremiah, in obedience to God's command, hid the sacred objects from the temple just before the destruction of Jerusalem. Neither of these books are to be trusted as completely accurate - however, they do show a strong tradition that has Jeremiah hiding, or having someone else hide, the Ark and other objects from the temple. Is there any truth in these two books? Perhaps. Since Jeremiah WAS the prophet in Jerusalem during the time of Josiah (when the Ark was brought back into the temple) and he continued through to the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, it is logical to believe it possible that God directed him to have the Ark and other sacred items hidden. Also, Jeremiah wrote:

    JER 3:16 And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more.

The implication here is that at the time he wrote this (during the reign of Josiah, v. 6), they still had the Ark in their possession. This entire passage, which begins with verse 6, is a plea to turn from their apostasy, although their captivity was already foretold by Isaiah. Therefore, could this above verse about the Ark of the Covenant be a prediction that they no longer will have it when they return from captivity? Just two verses later, he writes:

    JER 3:18 IN THOSE DAYS the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and THEY SHALL COME TOGETHER OUT OF THE LAND OF THE NORTH to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers.

The "land of the north" was Babylon where they would soon spend 70 years in captivity. If this understanding is correct, it indicates that Jeremiah DID have knowledge that they would no longer have the Ark when they returned from Babylon. But also important to note is that he CLEARLY indicated that "neither shall that be done ANYMORE", which is proof that there is no promise of it ever being reinstated. In fact, in Ezekiel, when he gives the instructions for the temple, he gives NO instructions which included the Ark. It was never mentioned.

Since Jerusalem was surrounded by the Babylonian siege wall during the time the Ark seemed to have disappeared, Ron believed it may have been possible for someone to have taken it to a location within the siege wall and not be detected. The quotes we read above agree with the "time," but we just don't know for sure - and again, these books are not inspired so we cannot rely on them.

The Location of the Site

Jerusalem is situated on two hills, traditionally referred to as "Mt. Moriah" and Mt. Zion". Moriah is the one on the right, while Zion is on the left (although the Bible refers to the entire city as "Zion"). To the extreme right can be seen the beginning of the Mt. of Olives. "Moriah" is mentioned only twice in the Bible - first as the place Abraham was told to take Isaac and offer him as a sacrifice, and second as the place where the temple was built:

    GEN 22:2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

    2CH 3:1 Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the Lord appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

The quarry which contains the site Ron was to excavate, is part of the northern extension of Mt. Moriah. On the east, south and west sides of Jerusalem are very deep valleys which protect the city from foreign invaders. But on this north side, they were vulnerable. Therefore, a "dry moat" or trench was quarried out of "Mt. Moriah" on the north side to prevent an enemy from being able to simply reach and break through the wall along this ridge. Then, at some unknown point in time, the northern portion of Moriah, now separated from the city, was used as a stone quarry. Starting on the south end of this now separated part of Moriah, on the western side, stone was cut out of the mountain, lowering the ground level to that of the trench which extends just outside of the north wall.

The site Ron pointed to was along the quarried face (escarpment) of Mt. Moriah. This cliff-face is referred to by some as "the Calvary escarpment" because it contains the "skull-face" that many believe was "Golgotha" or "Calvary" where Christ was crucified. It also contains the site traditionally called "Jeremiah's Grotto", the "Garden Tomb" (where many believe Christ was buried) and St. Etienne which contains a large complex of Jewish tombs dating to the first and second temple periods cut into the side of the mountain. The escarpment is many hundreds of feet long. And it was Ron's belief that this WAS the general area of the crucifixion, and the Garden Tomb, he also believed, was indeed that of Joseph of Arimathaea which had once held the body of Christ. But these things were not related to this project. He was now searching for the Ark of the Covenant.

 Next Page:: The Ark of the Covenant, Continued


This page courtesy anchorstone.com

MOREJoseph . FAQ . HOME . Ron Wyatt . Discovery News . Watch Video . Study Topics