The Ark of the Covenant

November 29, 2022

The Ark of the Covenant’s story begins during the Old Testament in the reign of Prophet Mosses. Foremost, God called upon commanding him to lead His people out of bondage in Egypt and return with them to the mountain. (Exodus 3:1-13) In his return Moses climbed the mountain twice to converse with God. The Holy Bible states, “Now the glory of the Lord abode upon Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days; and the seventh day God called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. And the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. And Moses entered into the midst of the cloud, and went up into the mount; and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.” (Exodus 24:16-18) On the mountain of Sinai, God inscribed the Ten Commandments on two tablets and Moses received them. Then the Ark, a portable box-like shrine, was constructed and Moses departed from Mount Sinai with Israelis.

The Israeli people were blessed, present sacrifice and reconciled with God by the Ark of the Covenant. Beginning 4327, Priest Eli was old and he had to appoint his two children, Hophni and Phineas. Unfortunately, they betrayed God and committed three sins. The first was switching of the light that was Prophet Mosses ordered to be lighted, the second is unlawfully ate the flesh that was kept for the sacrifice to God, the third and the last one is fornicating with the beautiful women that supposedly came to the ten to worship God. Tough their father Priest Eli knew about the evil deed of his sons, he didn’t nothing about it. Thus, God got disappointed and punished them through Palestine’s arising war.

The Hebrews were unusually defeated by the gentiles. Assuming their defeat was due to the unpresented of the Ark of the Covenant during the war, so they made Hophni and Phineas carry the tablet but tragedy came upon them for they were defeated and the ark was captured by the Palestine’s where they kept it by their idol named Dagon. On the following day, they found the idol broken in to pieces. The Ark of the Covenant also hit the Palestine’s with poverty and other plagues so they had to give back the ark of the covenant to the Israelis.

It was after all this rivalry and the obstacles that the tablet was kept in the temple by King Solomon. “Ethiopian Queen Sheba made her eminent journey to Jerusalem she was impregnated by King Solomon and bore him a son a royal prince who in later years stole the Ark. The name of the prince was Menelik, which means “the son of the wise man.” Although he was conceived in Jerusalem he was born in Ethiopia where the Queen of Sheba had returned after discovering that she was carrying Solomon’s child. When he had reached the age of twenty, Menelik himself traveled from Ethiopia to Israel and arrived at his father’s court. There he was instantly recognized and accorded great honor. After a year had passed, however, the elders of the land became jealous of him. They complained that Solomon showed him too much favor and they insisted that he must go back to Ethiopia. This the king accepted on the condition that the first-born sons of all the elders should also be sent to accompany him. Amongst these latter was Azarius, son of Zadok the High Priest of Israel, and it was Azarius, not Menelik, who stole the Ark of the Covenant from its place in the Holy of Holies in the Temple. The group of young men did not reveal the theft to Prince Menelik until they were far away from Jerusalem. When at last they told him what they had done he asserted that they could not have succeeded in so bold a venture unless God had willed its outcome.

Therefore, he agreed that the Ark of the Covenant should remain with them. Thus Menelik brought the Arc to Ethiopia, to the sacred city of Axum, where it has remained in Saint Mary’s church built by King Fasilidas with Portuguese assistance, The Ark of the Covenant remained in this church, called Maryam Tsion Cathedral, until 1965 when Haile Selassie (said to be the two hundred and twenty-fifth direct-line descendant of Menelik, son of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon) had it transferred to a more secure chapel, the so-called treasury, ten meters away from the northeast corner of the old church.

In past centuries, the Ark of the Covenant was brought out during important church festivals, to be taken on processions around the town of Axum. More recently its use in such processions was limited to the festival of Timkat, the major Ethiopian Orthodox celebration that occurs every January. Since the beginning of military conflicts between Ethiopia and its northern neighbor, Eritrea, the Arc has remained securely locked within the treasury. No one but the head priest of the church, not even the president of Ethiopia, is allowed to see the Ark.”

Every year all in the name of the Orthodox Tewahedo religion celebrates the day of which the Ark of the Covenant came to Ethiopia and the feast of Holy Mother Saint Mary as Zion symbolizes Her on Hidar 21 (November 30). The entire Orthodox Church named in the name of Saint Mary celebrates the feast in the commemoration of The Ark of the Covenant (the Tablet) with respect to our Holy Mother as she is the temple of God and His law transferred in-scripted by His Holy hands on each of the two tablet that prophet Mosses received in the Mount of Sinai.

All in the name of Christians Orthodox Tewahedo shall embrace the holiday where God bestowed us The Ark of the Covenant.

May God grants us mercy, peace and blessing on the blessed day, Amen!