In Ancient Text, a Prophecy About Ark of the Covenant

Scholar translates treatise into English for first time

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 11, 2014 3:50 PM CST

(Newser) – A Hebrew text fully translated into English for the first time adds to the story of the Ark of the Covenant, but—we'll spare you the suspense—it doesn't say where it is. The closest the "Treatise of the Vessels" comes to disclosing the location of the chest said to contain the Ten Commandments is to say that the locale "shall not be revealed until the day of the coming of the Messiah son of David," LiveScience reports. The treatise, which the Daily Mail notes dates to at least the 1400s, describes the treasures in Solomon's Temple, which the Hebrew Bible says was burned in the sixth century BC.

There were, for instance, "seventy-seven tables of gold, and their gold was from the walls of the Garden of Eden that was revealed to Solomon," and "the number of stones was forty-six thousands and the number of pearls was the same." The treatise asserts that some treasures "were hidden in various locations in the Land of Israel and in Babylonia, while others were delivered into the hands of the angels," notes James Davila, the translator. But the piece shouldn't be taken as factual, Davila says; instead, "I think the writer was approaching the story as a piece of entertaining fiction." He adds to the Mail: "The text tells us no more about where the Ark and other treasures might be than if you watched the film" Raiders of the Lost Ark. (Click for another tale of missing treasure.)

A businesswoman from the Philippines releases balloons next to a model of the Ark of the Covenant in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013.
A businesswoman from the Philippines releases balloons next to a model of the Ark of the Covenant in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013.   (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)
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