The Ten Commandments

What is the Ark of the Covenant?

According to Judeo-Christian tradition, the Ark of the Covenant is a decorative box that holds the tablets containing the Ten Commandments, also called the Law. The Ark was constructed by skilled craftsmen in Sinai; it was made exactly to God’s specifications, which are first mentioned in the Bible in Exodus 25:10–22. The Israelites carried the Ark with them into the Promised Land, where King Solomon (tenth century B.c.) built a permanent temple to house it. When the Babylonians captured Jerusalem in 586 B.C., the Ark was either destroyed or taken. If it survived, its location is a mystery that has intrigued scholars and archeologists, as well as popular culture. However, some scholars believe the Ark never really existed.


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