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Journey of the Aron (Ark of the Covenant)

Feb 22, 2016


וַיְהִ֥י דְבַר־שְׁמוּאֵ֖ל לְכׇל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וַיֵּצֵ֣א יִשְׂרָאֵל֩ לִקְרַ֨את פְּלִשְׁתִּ֜ים לַמִּלְחָמָ֗ה וַֽיַּחֲנוּ֙ עַל־הָאֶ֣בֶן הָעֵ֔זֶר וּפְלִשְׁתִּ֖ים חָנ֥וּ בַאֲפֵֽק׃

and Shmuel's word went forth to all Yisrael.Yisrael marched out to engage the Philistines in battle; they encamped near Even Ha-Ezer, while the Philistines encamped at Aphek.

vai-Y'-hee d'-var sh'-mu-AYL l'-kol yis-ra-AYL, va-y'-tze Yis-ra-AYL lik-RA-at p'-lish-TEEM la-mil-KHA-mah, va-ya-KHA-nu al ha-E-ven ha-E-zer, u-p'-lish-TEEM kha-NU va-a-FEK

1 Samuel 4:1

וַיְהִ֗י מִיּ֞וֹם שֶׁ֤בֶת הָאָרוֹן֙ בְּקִרְיַ֣ת יְעָרִ֔ים וַיִּרְבּוּ֙ הַיָּמִ֔ים וַיִּהְי֖וּ עֶשְׂרִ֣ים שָׁנָ֑ה וַיִּנָּה֛וּ כׇּל־בֵּ֥ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל אַחֲרֵ֥י יְהֹוָֽה׃

A long time elapsed from the day that the Aron was housed in Kiryat Ye'arim, twenty years in all; and all the House of Yisrael yearned after Hashem.

vai-HI, mi-YOM she-VET ha-a-RON b'-ki-ri-YAT ye-a-RIM, va-yir-BU ha-ya-MEEM, va-yi-HU e-SREEM sha-NAH, va-yi-NA-hu kol-BAYT yis-ra-AYL a-kha-RAY a-do-NAI. (Selah)

1 Samuel 7:2

וַיִּקְרְא֣וּ פְלִשְׁתִּ֗ים לַכֹּהֲנִ֤ים וְלַקֹּֽסְמִים֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר מַֽה־נַּעֲשֶׂ֖ה לַאֲר֣וֹן יְהֹוָ֑ה הוֹדִעֻ֕נוּ בַּמֶּ֖ה נְשַׁלְּחֶ֥נּוּ לִמְקוֹמֽוֹ׃

Then the Philistines summoned the priests and the diviners and asked, “What shall we do about the Aron of Hashem? Tell us with what we shall send it off to its own place.”

vai-yik-RE-u f'-lish-TEEM la-ko-HA-neem v'-la-kos-MEEM lay-MOR: ma na-a-SEH la-a-RON a-do-NAI, ho-di-U-nu ba-ME n'-sha-l'-KHE-nu lim-KHO-mo. (s)

1 Samuel 6:2

וְאֵ֙לֶּה֙ טְחֹרֵ֣י הַזָּהָ֔ב אֲשֶׁ֨ר הֵשִׁ֧יבוּ פְלִשְׁתִּ֛ים אָשָׁ֖ם לַיהֹוָ֑ה לְאַשְׁדּ֨וֹד אֶחָ֜ד לְעַזָּ֤ה אֶחָד֙ לְאַשְׁקְל֣וֹן אֶחָ֔ד לְגַ֥ת אֶחָ֖ד לְעֶקְר֥וֹן אֶחָֽד׃

The following were the golden hemorrhoids that the Philistines paid as an indemnity to Hashem: For Ashdod, one; for Azza, one; for Ashkelon, one; for Gath, one; for Ekron, one.

v'-AY-leh t'-kho-RAY ha-za-HAV a-SHER he-SHEE-vu f'-lish-TEEM a-SHAM la-a-do-NAI, l'-ash-DOD e-KHAD, l'-a-ZAH e-KHAD, l'-ash-k'-LON e-KHAD, l'-GAT e-KHAD, l'-e-k'-RON e-KHAD.

1 Samuel 6:17


This map traces the journey of the Ark of the Covenant from the Tabernacle in Shiloh to the City of David in Jerusalem, as described in I Samuel 4:1-7:2 and II Samuel 6:2-17.

  1. Shiloh was the home of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) for 369 years. After losing a battle to the Philistines, the Children of Israel take the Ark of the Covenant from the Mishkan in Shiloh to the battlefield, hoping that the Ark’s presence would protect them (I Samuel 4:3-4).
  2. Even Ha-Ezer is where the Israelites set up camp for their battle against the Philistines (I Samuel 4:1). The Ark is brought from Shiloh to Even Ha-Ezer, where it is captured (I Samuel 4:11).
  3. After defeating the Israelites and capturing the Ark, the Philistines bring the Ark from Even Ha-Ezer to the Philistine city of Ashdod, where they place it in the temple of their god, Dagon (I Samuel 5:1-2). As a result, the statue of Dagon collapses and God sends a plague upon the people of Ashdod (I Samuel 5:3-7).
  4. The Ark is moved from Ashdod to the Philistine city of Gat (I Samuel 5:8), where the people of Gat also suffer from the godly plague (I Samuel 5:9).
  5. From Gat, the Ark is brought to the Philistine city of Ekron. The people of Ekron also suffer and demand that the Ark be sent back to Israel (I Samuel 5:10-11).
  6. Fearing death, the Philistines send the Ark back to Israelite city of Bet Shemesh (I Samuel 6:11-12). The people of Bet Shemesh rejoice over the Ark but are punished for gazing at it (I Samuel 6:19-21).
  7. The people of Bet Shemesh send for the inhabitants of Kiryat Ye’arim to take the Ark. It is brought to the house of Avinadav in Kiryat Ye’arim where it remains for 20 years (I Samuel 6:21-7:2).
  8. After capturing the city of Jerusalem from the Jebusites, King David establishes it as the political and spiritual capital of his kingdom. He sends for the Ark at the house of Avinadav in Kiryat Ye’arim.  Though it is placed in the home of Oved Edom the Gittite for three months, it eventually reaches its ultimate destination (II Samuel 6:2-17).

Find out more about the Ark of the Covenant and Where is the Ark of the Covenant Today?

Related Names and Places: Ark of the Covenant

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