Ark Of The Covenant Found? Newly Translated Hebrew Text Lists King Solomon’s Treasures And Their Possible Locations

By Ajit Jha on January 10, 2014 11:23 AM EST

Ark of the Covenant
This is an artist's rendering of the holy Ark of the Covenant, the greatest of King Solomon's treasures. (Photo: Shutterstock)

King Solomon, the mythical hero of biblical Israel, is famed for his wisdom - but also his wealth. Archaeologists and historians have wasted lifetimes searching for the legendary Solomon treasures. A recently translated Hebrew text may likely offer some clues on ancient biblical treasures including the Ark of Covenant. The translated work, called Treatise of the Vessels, by James Davila from St. Andrews University claims that the temple artifacts from King Solomon's period could be scattered all about the Middle East. Davila says that the exact location is still up in the air.

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The translated text lists many treasures including precious religious stones, ornaments from the Garden of Eden, musical instruments made of gold, and the Tabernacle. The holiest treasure among them all, the Ark of the Covenant is a gilded case nearly 3,000 years old. According to the biblical text, the Ten Commandments given to Moses by God were placed in the Ark, which was kept in King Solomon's Temple. Alongside the Commandments, the Ark was filled with a variety of treasures. The Babylonians, however, destroyed the Temple in 587 BCE resulting in the disappearance of the coveted artifact. Archaeologists have searched for the treasure for centuries, and have no clues whether the Ark was destroyed or lies hidden somewhere. The newly translated 15th century text, however, claims that a number of Levites and prophets concealed the treasures.   

The son of King David and Queen Bathsheba, Solomon was the third king of Israel, reigning between 965 and 925 BCE. Israel was at the peak of prosperity during his reign. According to the Book of Kings, he had a thousand wives and concubines. He was a prolific writer who composed 3000 proverbs (many are still in use) and 1,005 songs. Apart from magnificent fortresses and palaces, he built the first Holy Temple, which housed the treasures of Solomon and the ancient Israelites, since lost to history.

Davila's work has least narrowed down the likely places where the legendary treasure could be located. "Some of these (treasures) were hidden in various locations in the Land of Israel and in Babylonia, while others were delivered into the hands of the angels Shamshiel, Michael, Gabriel and perhaps Sariel," wrote Davila in an article in the book "Old Testament Pseudepigrapha More Noncanonical Scriptures Volume 1."

The translated text suffers however from several inconsistencies that will make it hard for an archaeologist to undertake a serious research. The prologue for instance, states that the treasure was hidden by Shimmur the Levite and his companions. Later in the text, Shamshiel and other angels were said to have hidden or kept the treasures. 

It is important to remember that Davila is only a translator, not the author to have made the inconsistencies. "I believe the author looked at various legends without much concern about making them consistent," he said. 

Image above courtesy of Shutterstock.

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