Ark of the Covenant Jewelry Box

(Reproduction)

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The Ark of the Covenant or of the Testimony was a chest, originally constructed by Moses at God's command (Exodus XXV, 10), in which were kept the two tables of stone, on which were engraved the Ten Commandments.  This ark contained, likewise, a golden pot filled with manna, Aaron's Rod, and the tables of the covenant.  It was at first deposited in the most sacred place of the Tabernacle and afterward placed by Solomon in the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Temple, and was lost upon the destruction of that building by the Chaldeans.  The later history of the ark is buried in obscurity.  It is supposed that, upon the destruction of the first Temple by the Chaldeans, it was carried to Babylon among other sacred utensils which became the spoil of the conquerors.  But of it subsequent fate all traces have been lost.   The ark was made of shittim wood, which is a species of acacia, overlaid, within and without, with pure gold, and was about three feet nine inches long, two feet three inches wide, and of the same extent in depth.  It had on its side two rings of gold, through which were placed staves of shittim wood, by which, when necessary, the ark was borne by the Levites.  Its covering was of pure gold, over which was placed two figures called cherubim, an order of exalted angelic beings, with expanded wings.   The covering of the ark was called kap-po-reth, a Hebrew word pronounced kaw-fer and meaning to blot out or pardon, and hence its English name of mercy-seat, as being the place where the intercession for sin was made.

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