of bulrushes in which
See also:Pharaoh's daughter found the
See also:infant Moses (Exodus ii . 3), and (2) of the
See also:great vessel or
See also:ship in which Noah took
See also:refuge during the
See also:flood (
See also:Genesis vi.–ix.) . Noah's
See also:Ark.— According to the
See also:story in Genesis, Noah's ark was large enough to contain his
See also:family and representatives of each kind of animal . Its dimensions are given as 300 cubits long, 50 cubits broad and 30 cubits high (cubit= 18-22 in.) . It was made of "
See also:gopher "
See also:wood, which has been variously identified with
See also:pine and
See also:cedar . Before the days of the " higher
See also:criticism " and the rise of the
See also:modern scientific views as to the origin of
See also:species, there was much discussion among the learned, and many ingenious and curious theories were advanced, as to the number of the animals and the space necessary for their reception, with elaborate calculations as to the subdivisions of the ark and the quantities of
See also:food, &c., required to be stored . It may be interesting to recall the account given in the first edition of the
See also:Encyclopaedia Britannica (1771), which contained a
See also:summary of some of these various views (substantially repeated up to the publication of the eighth edition, 1853) . "Some have thought the dimensions of the ark as given by Moses too scanty . . . and hence an
See also:argument has been
See also:drawn against the authority of the relation . To solve this difficulty many of the
See also:ancient Fathers and the modern critics have been put to miserable shifts . But Buteo and
See also:Kircher have proved geometrically that, taking the cubit of a
See also:foot and a
See also:half, the ark was abundantly sufficient for all the animals supposed to be lodged in it . Snellius computes the ark to have been above half an acre in
See also:area .
. . and DrArbuthnot computes it to have been 81,062 tuns . . . if we come to a calculation the number of species of animals will be found much less than is generally imagined, not amounting to a
See also:hundred species of quadrupeds, nor to two hundred of birds . . . . Zoologists usually reckon but an hundred and seventy species in all . The progress of the " higher criticism," and the gradual surrender of attempts to square scientific facts with a literal
See also:interpretation of the Bible, are indicated in the shorter account given in the eighth edition, which concludes as follows:—" the insuperable difficulties connected with the belief that all the existing species of animals were provided for in the ark, are obviated by adopting the
See also:suggestion of
See also:Stillingfleet, approved by
See also:Smith, le Clerc, Rossenmuller and others, that the deluge did not extend beyond the region of the
See also:earth then inhabited, and that only the animals of that region were pre-served in the ark." The first edition also gives an
See also:engraving of the ark (repeated in the
See also:editions up to the fifth), in shape like a long roofed box, floating on the
See also:waters; the animals are seen in
See also:separate stalls . By the
See also:time of the ninth edition (1875) precise details are no longer considered worthy of inclusion; and the age of scientific
See also:mythology has been reached . For a comparative study of the occurrence of the ark in the various deluge myths, in the
See also:present edition, see DELUGE; COSMOGONY; BABYLONIA AND
See also:ASSYRIA . The Ark of the
See also:Law, in the Jewish synagogue, is a chest or
See also:cupboard containing the scrolls of the Torah (
See also:Pentateuch), and is placed against or in the
See also:wall in the direction of Jerusalem . It forms one of the most decorative features of the synagogue, and often takes an architectural design, with columns,
See also:arches and a dome . There is a
See also:fine example in the synagogue at Great St Helens,
See also:London . (X.) Ark of the
See also:Covenant, Ark of the
See also:Revelation, Ark of the Testimony, are the full names of the sacred chest of
See also:acacia wood overlaid with gold which the Israelites took with them on their
See also:journey into
See also:Palestine . The Biblical narratives reveal traces of a considerable development in the traditions regarding this sacred
See also:object, and those which furnish the most
See also:complete detail are of
See also:post-exilic date when the
See also:original ark had been lost .
See also:fuller titles of the ark originate in the belief that it contained the " covenant " (berith) or " testimony " (`eduth), the technical terms for the Decalogue (q.v.) ; primarily, however, it would seem to have been called " the ark of Yahweh" (or " Elohim "), or simply " the ark." The word itself (dron) designates an ordinary chest (cp . Gen . 1 . 26; 2
See also:Kings xii. xo), and the (
See also:late) description of its appearance represents it as an oblong box 21 cubits long, x4 cubits in549 breadth and height (roughly I.2 by •75 metres) . It was lined within and without with gold, and through four
See also:golden rings were placed staves of acacia wood, by means of which it was carried . A slab of the same
See also:metal (the so-called "mercy-seat," kapporeth, Gr. hilasterion) covered the top, and this was surmounted by two
See also:Cherubim (Ex.
See also:xxv . 10-22,
See also:xxxvii . 1-9) . The latter, however, are not mentioned in earlier passages (Dent. x . 1, 3), and would naturally increase the
See also:weight of the ark, which, according to 2 Sam. xv . 29, could be carried by two men . The ark was
See also:borne by the
See also:Levites (Deut. x .
8), and the latest narratives amplify the statement with a
See also:wealth of detail characteristic of the post-exilic
See also:interest in this
See also:order . (See LEvITEs.) An interesting passage
See also:relating the commencement of an Israelite journey vividly illustrates the power of the sacred object . As the ark started, it was hailed with the cry," Arise, Yahweh, let thine enemies be scattered, let them that hate thee flee from before thee," and when it came to
See also:rest, the cry again rang out," Return, O Yahweh, to the myriads of families of
See also:Israel" (Num. x . 33-36) . This saying appears to imply a settled
See also:life in
See also:Canaan, but both affirm the warlike significance of Yahweh and the ark . Thus it is the permanent
See also:pledge of Yahweh's gracious presence; it guides the
See also:people on their journey and leads them to victory . It is no mere receptacle, but a sacrosanct object as much to be feared as Yahweh himself . To presume to fight without it was to invite defeat, and on one notable occasion the Israelites attempted to attack their enemy
See also:north of Kadesh without its aid, and were. defeated (Num. xiv . 44 sq.) . There are many gaps in its
See also:history, and although at the
See also:crossing of the
See also:Jordan and at the fall of
See also:Jericho the ark figures prominently (Josh. iii. sq., vi. sq.), it is unaccountably missing in stories of greater
See also:national moment . Once it is found at
See also:Bethel (
See also:Judges xx . 27 sq.) .
It is met with again atShiloh, where it is under the care of Eli and his sons, descendants of an ancient family of priests (I Sam. ii . 28; cp . Josh. xviii . I) . After a great defeat of Israel by the
See also:Philistines it was brought into the
See also:field, but was captured by the enemy . The trophy was set up in the
See also:temple of Ashdod, but vindicated its superiority by overthrowing the
See also:Dagon . A plague smote the city, and when it was removed to Ekron, pestilence followed in its
See also:wake . After taking counsel the Philistines placed the ark with a votive offering upon a new cart drawn by two cows . The beasts went of their own
See also:accord to Beth-shemesh,, where it remained in the field of a certain
See also:Joshua . Again a disaster happened through some obscure cause, and seventy of the sons of Jeconiah were smitten (r Sam. vi . 19, R.V., margin) . Thence it was removed to the
See also:house of Abinadab of Kirjath-jearim, who consecrated his son to its service (r Sam. iv.-vii .
I) . For many years the ark remained untouched—apparently forgotten . Shiloh disappears from history; neither
See also:Saul nor even
See also:Samuel, whose youth had been spent with it, takes any further thought of it . After a remarkable
See also:period of obscurity, the ark enters suddenly into the history of
See also:David (2 Sam. vi.) . Some time after the capture of Jerusalem the ark was brought from
See also:Judah, but at the threshing-
See also:floor of Nacon (an unintelligible name) Abinadab's son Uzzah laid hands upon it and was struck down for his impiety . On this account the place is said to have received the name
See also:Perez-Uzzah ("
See also:breach of Uzzah ") . It was taken into the house of Obed-
See also:edom the Gittite (i.e. of
See also:Gath); and brought a blessing upon his house during the three months that it remained there . Finally the
See also:king had it conveyed to the city of David, where a
See also:tent was prepared to shelter it . Once at Jerusalem, it seems to have lost its unique value as the token of Yahweh's presence; its importance was apparently merged with that of the Temple which Solomon built . The foundation of the capital would pave the way for the belief that the national god had taken a permanent dwelling-place in the royal seat . The prophets themselves
See also:lay no weight upon the ark as the central point of Jerusalem's holiness . The real Deuteronomic
See also:code does not mention it, and to
See also:Jeremiah (iii .
16) it was a thing of no consequence . Later, in the age of the priestly
See also:schools, the ark received much
See also:attention, although it must obviously be very doubtful how far a true recollection of its history has survived . But nowhere is any
See also:light thrown upon its
See also:fate . The invasion of Shishak, the 550 capture of Jerusalem by Joash (2 Kings xiv . 13,14), the troublous reign of
See also:Manasseh, the destruction of Jerusalem by
See also:Nebuchadrezzar, have found each its supporters . The
See also:wild legends of its preservation at the taking of Jerusalem (2 Mace. ii. and else-where) only show that the popular mind was unable to
See also:share the view that the ark was an obsolete relic . More poetical is the tradition that the ark was raised to
See also:heaven, there to remain till the coming of the
See also:Messiah, a thought which embodies the spiritual idea that a heavenly pledge of God's covenant and faithfulness had superseded the earthly
See also:symbol.' A critical examination of the history of the Israelite ark renders it far from certain that the object was originally the
See also:peculiar possession of all Israel . Many different traditions have gathered around the story of the Exodus, and the ark was not the only divinely sent
See also:guide or forerunner which led the Israelites . Its presence at Shiloh, and its prominence in the life of Joshua, support the view that it was the palladium of the
See also:Joseph tribes, but the traditions in question conflict with others . The account of the commencement of the ark's journey associates it with Moses and his
See also:kin (Num. x . 29 sqq.)—that is, with the south Palestinian clans with which the
See also:term " Levites " appears to be closely connected . (See LEVITES.) A distinct
See also:direct into Judah is implied by certain old traditions (see
See also:CALEB), but this is subordinated to the more comprehensive account of the journey
See also:round by the east of the Jordan .
(See Exodus, THE.) The narratives in i Sam. iv.–vi. stand on a
See also:plane by themselves, and the
See also:gap between them and 2 Sam. vi. has not been satisfactorily fixed . But it is not certain that the two belong to the same cycle of tradition; Kirjath-jearim and Baal-Judah are identified only in later writings, and the behaviour of Saul's daughter (2 Sam. vi . 15 sqq.) may conceivably imply that the ark was an unknown object to Benjamites . It is of course possible that the ark was originally the sacred
See also:shrine of the clans which came direct to Judah, and that the traditions in r Sam. iv.–vi., Josh.iii. sqq. are of secondary origin, and are to be associated with its appearance at Shiloh, the fall of which place, although attributed to the time of Samuel, is apparently regarded by Jeremiah (
See also:xxvi . 6) as a
See also:recent event . Of these two divergent traditions, it would seem that the one which associates it with the kin of Moses and David may be traced farther in those late narratives which connect the ark closely with the Levites and even attribute its workmanship to Bezalel, a Calebite (Ex. xxxi . 2; I Chron. ii . 19 sqq.) . The tradition in Psalms cxxxii . 6.of the
See also:search for the ark at Jaar (Kirjath-jearim) and Ephratah is not clear; but a comparison with r Chron. ii . 50 seems to show that it recognized the " Calebite " origin of the ark . See, on this, S.A.
See also:Cook, Critical Notes on 0 .
T . History (
See also:Index s.v.), and, for other views, Kosters, Theol . Tijd.
See also:xxvii . 361 sqq.;
See also:Cheyne, Encyc . Bib . " Ark "; G .
See also:Westphal, Yahwes Wohnstatten, pp . 55 sqq., 85 sqq . (
See also:Giessen, 1908) . Whether the ark originally contained some symbol of Yahweh or not has been the subject of much discussion . Thus, it has been held that it contained
See also:stone fetishes (meteoric stones and the like) from Yahweh's original abode on
See also:Sinai or
See also:Horeb . As the palladium of the Joseph tribes, it has even been suggested that the bones of Joseph. were treasured in the ark .
Others have regarded it as an empty portable
See also:throne,2 or as a receptacle for sacred serpents (analogies in Frazer,
See also:Pausanias, iv. pp . 292, 344) . That it contained the tables of the law (Deut. x . 2; 1 Kings viii . 9) was the later Israelite view, and the subsequent development is illustrated in Heb. ix . 4 . It is enough to decide that the ark represented in some way or other the presence of Yahweh and that the safety of his followers depended upon its security (analogies in Frazer, Paus. x. p . 283) . The Semitic
See also:world affords many examples of the belief that a man's religion was
See also:part of his
See also:political connexion and that the
See also:change of
See also:nationality involved 'Cp . Rev. xi . 19, and W . R .
Smith, Old Test. in Jeu' .
See also:Church, Index . For later traditional material, see Buxtorf, De Area Foederis (
See also:Basel, 1659) . ' But see Budde, Expos . Times (1898), pp . 398 sqq . ; Theolog .
See also:Stud. u . Krit . (1906), pp . 489-507 . The possibility must be conceded that there were several arks in the course of
See also:Hebrew history and that separate tribes or groups of tribes had their own sacred object.change of curt .
He who leaves his
See also:land to enter another, leaves his god and is influenced by the religion of his new home (I Sam. xxvi . 19;
See also:Ruth i. i6 sqq.), but strangers know not " the cult of the God of the land " (2 Kings xvii . 26) . No nation willingly changes its god (Jer. ii . II), and there are means whereby the follower of Yahweh may continue his worship even when outside Yahweh's land (2 Kings v . 17) . When a people migrate they may take with them their god, and if they conceive him to be a spiritual being who cannot be represented by an image, they may
See also:desire a symbolical expression of or, rather, a substitute for his presence . Accordingly the conception of the ark must be based in the first instance upon the beliefs of the particular clans or tribes whose sacred object it was . See further, W . R . Smith, Religion of the Semites, p . 37 ; Schwally, Kriegsaltertumer, i. p .
9 ; Revue biblique (1903), pp . 249 sqq . ; and on the ark, generally, in addition to the literature already cited, Kautzsch,Hastings'
See also:Diet . Bible, v. p . 628; A . R . S .
See also:Kennedy, Century Bible: Samuel (Appendix) ; E .
See also:Meyer, Die Israeliten, Index s.v . Lade," ; and R . H .
See also:Kennett, Enc. of Rel. and Ethics .
(S . A .
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