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The Ark of the Covenant?

by - September 28 2010

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church fervently believes that the Ark of the Covenant, the holiest object in the ancient Jewish temple and first love of Indiana Jones, is contained within a tiny chapel in Aksum. The official story is that Melenik the first, son of Solomon, took/stole the Ark back to Ethiopia around three thousand years ago. In support of their claim they point out that the Hebrew bible makes no mention of the Ark after this point.

Scholars are more skeptical. Nobody except the high priest has been allowed to see the Ark and there is no written record of the Ethiopians claiming to have the Ark before the seventeenth century. One would think that if the Ethiopians had had the Ark before then, they would have though it worthy of bragging about, and one would have thought that if another culture had heard that the Ethiopians had it, they would have thought it was worth writing down. Even so, the Ethiopian claim to have the ark is apparently strong enough that some Jewish visitors apparently once tried to rush the chapel and snatch it back.