If you have seen the 1981 film, Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark, the golden Ark was carried away by Indiana Jones. Of course, that was the film version. In the newly translated text, the Ark’s exact location was unclear, with the text indicating that the Ark and the treasures will only be revealed on the day the son of David, the Messiah comes. This means that the items are (for now) out of reach of treasure-seekers.
The Ark of the Covenant
The Ark is represented as a golden case, which is believed to have been made about 3,000 years ago. It was supposed to be made of acacia wood and later covered in gold, according to the Book of Exodus. Based on the Bible text, it contains the Ten Commandments that were given to Moses. The Ark was supposed to be in the Temple of King Solomon and contains other treasures aside from the Commandments.
Two crouching cherubim facing each other with their wings outstretched toward the other are on top of the Ark. Their outstretched wings form a seat. It is believed that it was the seat of God, while the Ark was the footstool.
Babylonians acting on the orders of King Nebuchadnezzar II captured and destroyed the Temple of King Solomon, also called the First Temple, twice, in 597 BC and 586 BC. It was during this time that the Ark completely disappeared.
Newly translated text
The Hebrew text, Massekhet Kelim, was translated into English by Professor Davila as The Treatise of the Vessels. Part of the text describes several treasures such as the Ark of the Covenant, God’s portable dwelling called the Tabernacle, golden musical instruments, Garden of Eden ornaments, silver trumpets, and clothing of the high priest and garments of regular priests in the thousands. Also described were the gems from Heaven or Celestial Pavement and 77 golden tables, where bread offerings (Bread of the Presence) were placed.
According to the translation, the aforementioned treasures were hidden by prophets and Levites in various locations in Babylonia and Israel while others were sent to the angels Gabriel, Michael and Shamshiel, and probably Sariel as well.
Professor Davila said that the treatise is somehow similar to the Copper Scroll, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls that were discovered near the Qumran archeological site, located in the West Bank in Western Asia. The location of a hidden treasure, not from the First Temple, was described in the Copper Scroll. In the newest translation, the treatise describes the treasures rather imaginatively, instead of factually.
From the translation into English, Professor Davila surmises that the writer was not trying to provide the actual locations of the treasures from the First Temple. It actually resembles a work of fiction, with the whole story based on several yet different legends, referring to several scriptural translations (exegesis) and not an actual guide to locate the treasures.
Professor James Davila explains that the Hebrew text that he translated, although not a guide, gives an exciting insights into the Jewish legends during the Middles Ages. It also shows how people back then understood the Bible, in the manner that were not part of the Holy Book’s prescribed interpretation.