A lot of ink has been spilled covering the lives of history's most influential figures, but how much of the forest is lost for the trees? In Charles River Editors' Legends of the Bible series, listeners can get caught up to speed on the lives of the Bible's most important men and women in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known.
The ark of the covenant is perhaps the most legendary and mysterious relic mentioned in the Bible, fascinating Jews and Christians for thousands of years and even spurring some to search for it. It is mentioned in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, as well as the Qur'an, and in Revelation it is described as, "The golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant," while the Book of Kings described it as only containing the two tablets of the law that Moses carried down from Mount Sinai.
What the sources did agree on is that the ark was the holiest relic in possession of the Israelites, and it was carried with the utmost care by priests during the Exodus out of Egypt. Exodus also described the ark in detail and the elaborate manner in which it was adorned with gold and set up in its own temple, the Tabernacle, when the Israelites stopped. Naturally, it was always well out in front of the rest of the processions as the Israelites moved. The ark's whereabouts and history are documented in the Bible through several generations.