07 February 2014
There have been television programs about attempts to find the Ark of the Covenant; one (Ancient X-Files) aired two days ago on some cable channel, and concerned the quest of one archaeologist who speculates that the artifact is to be located in tunnels that underlie the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church holds that the ark is not lost at all, but, rather, is kept inside a church in the ancient city Axum. And then, of course, there was the ludicrously overrated feature film Raiders of the Lost Ark, which placed the Biblical treasure in Egypt but offered no explanation as to how it got there. According to documents alluded to in 2 Maccabees 2:4-8, on the other hand, the prophet Jeremiah had the ark sealed within a cave on what is now called Mount Pisgah, and declared that it would not need to be rediscovered but would someday be revealed by God. The Second Book of the Maccabees is considered apocryphal by many Christians, and so this account perhaps need not be taken as authoritative; if one is to search for the Ark of the Covenant, though, doesn't it make sense to start by looking in a place that has actually been named as its repository?