Sunday, 28 June 2009

Unveiling the Ark?

Extraordinary the random stuff one can find on the Internet!

I stumbled across this news report from a few days ago, announcing the imminent announcement of the unveiling of the Ark of the Covenant which, according to the Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, has been preserved in a church in Axum, Ethiopia (Weird to have a report of an announcement of an announcement. Perhaps they could also have announced that the Archbishop was going to announce that he would announce the announcement of the unveiling? Then again, of course, we know from St Thomas that one cannot have an infinite regression of announcements, don't we). Researching further, it turns out the Archbishop was misquoted, and the Ark will not be unveiled, but he still claims its authentic.

It turns out that there is a tradition dating back several centuries that the Ark was in Ethiopia (not 642BC, as the above article claims, which is over 50 years before the Babylonian Exile) but of course this contradicts the clear witness of Scripture. 2 Macc 2:4-8 states that Jeremiah took the Ark with the Tabernacle and the altar of incense and hid them in a cave on Mt Nebo before the Siege of Jerusalem in 587, and he told those who searched for the cave but could not find it that the Ark would only be found once more when "God gathers His people together again and shows His mercy" and that then the Shekinah glory of the Lord would appear (which sounds to me like the Parousia).

One wonders how the Ethiopians get around that passage.

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