Mount Nebo – Moses and the Ark of the Covenant

menorah with lit candles

When the Babylonians destroyed the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem – did a Jewish prophet bring the Ark of the Covenant to a place called Mount Nebo and hide it? And did he choose that place because it was where Moses – the man who received the Ten Commandments – had died on nearly reaching the Promised Land? And – third question – was the Ark here all along while the Knights Templar frantically looked for it in Jerusalem?

Tantalising questions!

I visited Mount Nebo in 2013 but found no answers. The view over the surrounding countryside that Moses must have seen in his final hours is stunning. And at the summit of Mount Nebo is a Byzantine church commemorating the spot where he passed away. But no trace of the Ark of the Covenant which has remained out of human sight for two and a half thousand years.

How the Ark of the Covenant gets to Mount Nebo

Moses received the Ten Commandments from God. He then led the Israelites to the Promised Land but was not permitted to enter. Instead he died on Mount Nebo. Fast forward a few centuries – how many we don’t know – and we have a Babylonian army marching on Jerusalem. They seize the city and destroy the Jewish Temple built by King Solomon.

Within that temple there was a room called the Holy of Holies where God was believed to literally dwell. In that room was the Ark of the Covenant. Within that gilded casket was the Ten Commandments and other items such as manna that had fallen from heaven. As the Babylonians wrecked Jerusalem, the prophet Jeremiah took the Ark and buried it on Mount Nebo.

And it’s never seen again. Even the Knights Templar can’t locate it. By then, it had been missing for 1500 years. Today, we haven’t heard a squeak from the Ark of the Covenant for two and a half thousand years. Maybe it’s there on Mount Nebo guarded by the ghost of Moses. Who knows?

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