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CARM Theological Dictionary

Ark of the Covenant

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Also called the "Ark of the Testimony" (Exodus 30:6), "Ark of God" (1 Samuel 3:3), and the "Ark of the covenant of the Lord" (Deuteronomy 10:8). The Ark of the Covenant was very sacred to the Ancient Jews. It was a rectangular box made of Acacia wood about 4 10:1.5 10:1.5 feet. It was covered with gold and was carried by poles that were inserted into rings located on the four corners. On top was a lid called "The Mercy Seat" which had two Cherubs with outstretched wings pointing towards each other. Inside of the Ark were the tablets of the Ten Commandments, a jar of manna, and Aaron's Rod that budded (Hebrews 9:4). It served as the symbol of the very presence of God. The Ark of the Covenant was place in the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle and later in the Temple. Once a year, the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies and sprinkle blood on the Mercy Seat. This was symbolic of the forgiveness of the sins of the Jewish nation.

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Entry for 'Ark of the Covenant'. CARM Theological Dictionary. 2013.

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