So the Today Show interviewed Tudor Parfitt about his “discovery” of the lost ark. Click here to see the clip of that interview.
It caught my attention as I was laying in bed, and thought- I’ve got to see this story. But as he talked and showed a picture of it- I started wondering if he was trying to force his opinion (not the full Biblical description) of what he thought it should look like. As I was listening, I caught his reasoning that there were 2 descriptions of the ark-one simpler and one complex.
Here is the passage he pulled from for the simpler version:
1 At that time the LORD said to me, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones and come up to me on the mountain. Also make a wooden chest. [a] 2 I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Then you are to put them in the chest.”
3 So I made the ark out of acacia wood and chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I went up on the mountain with the two tablets in my hands. 4 The LORD wrote on these tablets what he had written before, the Ten Commandments he had proclaimed to you on the mountain, out of the fire, on the day of the assembly. And the LORD gave them to me. 5 Then I came back down the mountain and put the tablets in the ark I had made, as the LORD commanded me, and they are there now. (NIV)
So going back to Exodus- here is the timetable:
- 1. the Israelites get to Mt. Sinai
- 2. they are commanded by God to consectrate themselves for 3 day. before He comes down to cover Mt. Sinai with His presence (in the form of a cloud)
- Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.
- Moses is called up to the top of the mountain to meet with God.
- God tells him to warn the people not to put a foot on the mountain. So Moses goes back down and tells the people (Ex. 19)
- 6. God spoke the Ten Commandments-the people grew afraid and didn’t want God to speak directly to them, but to Moses (Ex 20)
- So Moses went up to speak with God. At this point God starts giving Moses all the rules to live by (Ex. 20-23)
- God tells Moses go back down, and have Aaron, some of the other priests and the elders to come worship (Ex 24)
- Moses tells all the people the laws of God and writes them down.
- The priest and elders worship, and Moses is invited back up the mountain where God was going to give Moses the laws written in stone tablets. Moses goes back up and stays there for 40 days.
- Here is the full story of the ark: Ex. 25: 10- 22: 10 “Have them make a chest of acacia wood—two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. [b] 11 Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold molding around it. 12 Cast four gold rings for it and fasten them to its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other. 13 Then make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. 14 Insert the poles into the rings on the sides of the chest to carry it. 15 The poles are to remain in the rings of this ark; they are not to be removed. 16 Then put in the ark the Testimony, which I will give you. 17 “Make an atonement cover [c] of pure gold—two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. [d] 18 And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. 19 Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. 20 The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover. 21 Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the Testimony, which I will give you. 22 There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the Testimony, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites.
- Ex. 24-32 is God’s detailed description of the ark, tabernacle and all that goes into it, as well as the priestly duties and garments.
- Enter in the scared disappointing Israelites who convince Aaron to create an idol for them to worship (Ex 33) God gets angry at the people, Moses pleads with God to spare them. Then when Moses himself sees the people’s sin, gets angry and throws the tablets down and they break. He rebukes them and (love this) grinds the idol into powder and makes the people drink it! He goes back up to the mountain to plead with God to forgive them (Ex 33).
- Move to Ex 34 Moses goes back to the mountain, this time he had to chisel the tablets out, and spends another 40 days and nights in God’s presence as God rewrote the law on the tablets.
So that was a long way of going about saying I doubt that what this guy found was the real Ark. Granted it is really old-I’ll give him that, but even then it is only 1,300 year old. Did you like how he reasoned the time difference-well tradition has it the first one self-combusted, and this one was built on the ashes of the first. Hmmm…
I would love to hear your thoughs on this one!