Monday, 19 December 2011

The Ark of the Covenant - Rediscovered!!!

The Ark of the Covenant was rediscovered through the leading of God.  Ron Wyatt, the archeologist whom God had permitted to re-discover a number of significant archeological finds including Noah's ark, the Red Sea crossing site with its encrusted chariot wheels, the real Mt. Sinai with its blackened top and altars, was directed by God to dig in an area outside of old Jerusalem known as the Calvary Escarpment.  The place is also known as the place of the Skull, reflecting a pattern in the rock and is fairly close to the Garden Tomb, one of the suspected burial places of Jesus (see map below).  This was in an area located between the walls of Jerusalem and the Babylonian siege wall during the siege of Jerusalem prior to its fall and destruction around 586 B.C.  Permission to excavate was granted by the Israeli government as well as by the owners of the two properties that would be affected.
A lot of rubble was removed from the excavation site and digging commenced.  Efforts were fruitless on a number of trips, extending over a 3 year period.  Finally the searchers dug into the hill, and found it honeycombed with natural tunnels, most quite narrow.  

At the time of the discovery, the diggers, an Arabian helper and Ron Wyatt came upon a small hole leading into another chamber.  The hole was enlarged and the helper crawled into the chamber first, but with a horrified look on his face, rapidly exited, never to return to the honeycombs.  Ron enlarged the access hole, entered the chamber, and when he saw the casement and the other sanctuary implements in the chamber and realized that he'd found what he'd been searching for over the past years, he fainted and remained unconscious for around 45 minutes.Ron crawling through a narrow passageway (15k)
The chamber was about 22 feet long by 12 feet wide at one end with a with a flat ceiling about 8 feet high .  It was filled to within 18 inches of the ceiling with fist sized rocks.  The sanctuary implements (see list below) were covered with dry rotted wood and animal skins of some sort.  At the far end of the chamber was a casement with a lid on it.  It was of the right size to just hold an Ark of the dimensions indicated in the Bible.
Over the next several weeks, the chamber was emptied of the filler rocks and the sanctuary implements were uncovered and cleaned up.  Also the original passageway into the chamber (through which the chamber contents had been brought in) was located.   Attempts to clear the passageway ended in futility.  [There are extensive man-made tunnels under the temple mount on which the temple of the Dome of the Rock currently stands.   Some of these extend several miles in length.]
Items identified in the chamber include:
1.     The Ark of the Covenant
2.     The Table of Shewbread
3.     The golden Altar of Incense
4.     The Golden Censer
5.     The 7-branched Lampstand (with bowl-like golden oil lamps built into the tips of the branches)
6.     A very large sword, 5' 2" long, most likely that of Goliath
7.     An ephod
8.     A miter with an ivory pomegranate on the tip
9.     A brass shekel weight
10. Numerous oil lamps
11. A brass ring (This appeared to be for hanging a curtain or something similar)
This find is probably the most significant archeological find in history.   A number of dictators, including Adolph Hitler and Mussolini, felt that possessing the Ark would give them power over their enemies and aggressively sought for it.  Yet it should be emphasized that the Ark itself has no power except as God's presence is dwelling there.  
The Israeli government after examining artifacts brought from the chamber, has confirmed to its satisfaction that the Ark has indeed been found.  However, to its credit, the government has been very careful with the release of information to prevent riots and the potential destruction of the Dome of the Rock by Jewish extremists.   Some examples of what happened when people misused the ark discovery information.
1.     A brash young intrusive tourist who called a press conference to announce the find was found by the press corps dead from a gunshot to the back of the head.
2.     A doctor of archeology from the Israeli university, as he attempted to enter the chamber became totally paralyzed in his back and legs.  He spent two weeks in the hospital and swore he'd never try to enter the chamber again.
3.     When the Israeli government released some information about the find, a riot ensued at the Dome of the Rock resulting in over 20 deaths.
The Israeli government, satisfied that the Ark has been found, has ordered the chamber to be sealed.  The entryway was covered with a steel plate and then covered with 2 feet of rock and dirt.  It awaits a better time for God to reveal it.
The following graphics are an artist's computerized renditions from eye-witness descriptions and sketches of the ark of the covenant.  The ark was viewed directly by several witnesses both through a crack running down the casement surrounding the ark (see picture below) and through a colonoscope (a flexible yet controllable fiber optic viewing device normally used for examining the insides of a colon) on a number of occasions during a two year period before the Israeli government ordered the chamber sealed. 
These pictures are adapted from segments of a computerized video clip that is on the Ark of the Covenant CD-ROM (see below).
Frontal View of Ark
Ark at 45 perspective
The ark was in a mortar casement with a lid on it which was cracked and the smaller part shifted away.  (See sketch in the last graphic below).  The crack continued through the casement to its base and permitted viewing through the crack, as well as through a colonoscope.  The poles were still in place in the rings attached to the ark. 
The atonement cover was of solid gold and was encircled by the pomegranates as mentioned in the Bible.  The two cherubim (angels), one on either end, had their wings positioned at right angles to the other, one wing covering the back side of the ark, the other at their sides.
The cherubim at either side of the ark were attached to the lid and would come off when the lid would be removed from the body of the ark.  A close-up of the cherubim's face indicated it looked much like we would expect an Levitical priest to appear, with miter and full beard, not as many artists depict angels today.
"In the back 'side' of the ark is a small cubicle.  Only during a subsequential visit into the cavern, after the stone case was removed, would this become visible.  When Ron caught sight of this, his heart almost skipped a beat.  The cubicle still contained four scrolls...presumably the original 'Book of the Law' which Moses himself wrote - the first five books of the Bible.  The books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy were there.  'Perhaps Genesis is there.  I don't know.' recalled Ron, after an examination.  'Maybe it's rolled up with one of the others. They are written on split leather scrolls.  They are still in wonderful condition, almost as if they'd been made yesterday.  They are written on soft leather. Just as the shoe leather of the Israelites did not wear out in the desert, so has this leather remained in perfect condition and shows no deterioration."  (Ark of the Covenant p. 343).  God had promised the Israelites that during their wanderings in the wilderness, their clothes and sandals would not wear out!   (Deut. 29:5)angel_of_ark.jpg (9007 bytes)
Now for some other thought-provoking findings surrounding the Ark Crucifixion site relative to Ark
  During the excavations around the Calvary escarpment,
  1. 4 cross holes were found (in a "T" pattern).  The center cross hole is behind and a bit higher than the other 3 holes.  Its position suggests that it was used for the featured criminal.  That hole was covered with a rectangular rock and had a fair sized crack at one side rendering that hole unusable for future crucifixions.
  2. A rock altar was discovered above the center cross hole.  A little ways in front of the center cross hole, a large (13' 2" diameter) tomb stone was found.   A 1st century A.D. building enclosed the altar, cross holes and the tombstone.
  3. By measurements, the tombstone fits perfectly in place over the opening of the Garden Tomb which is ~100 yards away.  The iron peg that once held the chain that sealed the tomb was sheared off by some tremendous force (the angel rolling away the stone).  An engineer's estimate of the force required to shear off the peg was around 60-80 tons. The remnants of that peg are still visible today. (see the Jesus' Tomb page)
  4. The top of the chamber where the Ark of the Covenant is located is approximately 20 feet below the base of the center cross hole!  There are dark blood stains on the sides of the crack, the casement cover and the mercy seat of the ark.
  5. The crack above the ark directly connects with the crack at the cross hole as determined by passing a metal tape measure through the crack.
  6. It is likely that the earthquake that took place at Jesus Christ's death, opened up the crack which ran from the base of the cross hole, through the rock, split open the casement lid, and cracked the casement to its base.
  7. When the Roman soldier pierced Jesus' side, His blood flowed down through the crack and the open casement lid anointing the atonement cover (mercy seat) of the Ark of the Covenant.  It fulfilled in part the Day of the Atonement (Yom Kippur) service where the blood of "the Lord's goat" was to be sprinkled on the mercy seat (see Lev. 16:7, 15, 16) atoning for the "uncleanness and rebellion of the Israelites, whatever their sins have been."  This Jesus' symbol contrasts markedly with the other goat (the scapegoat) which represents Satan.  Upon this scapegoat, all the sins from God's people were placed after the ritual cleansing of the temple, and then it was taken to a desolate place to perish.
  8. Samples of the blood stains were taken from the rock around the crack and the cracked casement lid, analyzed by an independent laboratory and proven to be human blood. However, a genetic analysis of the blood produced some interesting findings and evidence that suggest that Jesus was not born from the normal union of a man and woman, but rather of a virgin birth.*  It is the hoped that in the future, two independent geneticists will enter the chamber, remove samples under video and verify these findings.

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