Legends about the Ark of the Covenant published

Research Policy Office
Friday 10 January 2014
An bas-relief image of the Ark of the Covenant from the Auch Cathedral, France

A newly translated text, the “Treatise of the Vessels” (Massekhet Kelim, in Hebrew), claims to reveal where treasures from King Solomon’s temple were hidden and discusses the fate of the Ark of the Covenant itself. The earliest known copy of the text is from the seventeenth century and it is unknown how long before this it was composed. The Ark of the Covenant is a chest that, when originally built, was said to have held tablets containing the 10 commandments; it was allegedly housed in Solomon’s Temple.

The translated text, which is a collection of entertaining legends about the lost treasures of the Temple, says that the “treasures were concealed by a number of Levites and prophets” writes Prof. James Davila of the School of Divinity in the book “Old Testament Pseudepigrapha More Noncanonical Scriptures, Vol. 1” (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2013). Prof. Davila is the first to translate the full text to English.

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