What’s the big deal? Why do we care about the Ark of the Covenant?
It’s impossible to overstate the religious, cultural, and historic significance of the Ark of the Covenant. For starters, if the Ark were discovered, it would challenge the faith of billions.
Three of the world’s major religion’s prophecies claim the Ark of the Covenant will not “return to earth” until the End of Days: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. But, assuming it was discovered with a few days left on the calendar, and without angels trumpeting from the Heavens, or God and the seven horsemen of the Apocalypse galloping down the street, (Good Omens anyone?) could that shatter all of our preconceptions about religion? Well, let’s set faith aside for a sec.
Instead, let’s look at it historically.
The Ark was built to house the Ten Commandments, arguably the single most impactful article of law in western cultural tradition. Even if faith is removed from the equation, admittedly tough, can you think of a single artifact which has contributed more, for better and for worse, to our cultural heritage than the Ten Commandments? For instance, how many nations have written laws using the Ten Commandments as a their cornerstones?
But removing faith from the equation is too darn tricky. Besides the Ark supposedly being a radioactive-super-powered-weapon/radio-to-God, it was also a chest. And inside that chest were more super powers.
For instance, the rod of Aron and the divine Manna that fed the Israelites were both said to be kept inside the Ark. Both supernatural. Manna was said to just magically appear on the slopes of Mount Sinai and feed the Israelites while they wandered around for 40 years. (And it was said to taste just like chicken! Okay, not really. Just couldn’t help myself.) The Rod of Aron had a wealth of miraculous powers attributed to it, also independent of the power of the Ark. Oh yeah, then there’s the Ten Commandments, held to be jotted down by the Lord Himself. So we’ll count that as super powered also.
But on that subject, what about the Ark’s power itself?
What if the Ark was found, and we discovered it was radioactive? Or what if it was found and it was some kind of machine? There are a number of compelling ideas like this floating around also. But until there is an ounce of proof to any of them, they remain only ideas. And that, in a nutshell, is why the Ark begs at our collective imaginations.
The Ark of the Covenant represents answers to the deepest mysteries out there. Who are we as a race? Where did we come from? Are there such things as miracles like those in the Bible? Is there a God? Faithful or not, we’d like to believe that discovering the Ark would answer these questions. And with answers like those, what would tomorrow bring?