MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE BIBLE (THE ARK OF THE COVENANT)

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This ark of the testimony is better known by its alternate name, “ark of the covenant” (Deuteronomy 31:26. It is also called “the ark of God” (1 Samuel 3:3).  It was a sacred portable chest that symbolized God’s grace and guidance in the lives of the Israelites.

God had already given instructions for the building of the ark (Exodus 25:10-22).  In this passage, He directed Moses and Aaron to place it inside the completed tabernacle. It belonged in the most sacred room of the building-the Holy of Holies or Most Holy Place (Exodus 26:34; see note on Exodus 40:2).

Inside the ark was a copy of the law, or testimony, that God had revealed to Moses to direct the lives of the Israelites as His covenant people (Exodus 25:21).
According to Hebrews 9:4, the ark also contained Aaron’s rod and a memorial sample of the manna that God provided for the Israelites in the wilderness (see note on Exodus 16:32).

ARK-RELATED EVENTS

  1. Priests carried the ark ahead of the people when they crossed the Jordan River into Canaan. The river was miraculously divided when their feet touched the water (Joshua 3:6-16).
  2. The Philistines captured the ark (1 Samuel 4:10-11), then returned it to the Israelites when they were afflicted with a strange disease (1 Samuel 5:8-10; 6:1-15).
  3. King David danced with joy before the ark when it was lodged in a special place he had prepared for it in Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 15:1, 29).


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