Journey of the Aron (Ark of the Covenant)

Feb 22, 2016


וַיְהִי דְבַר־שְׁמוּאֵל לְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֵּצֵא יִשְׂרָאֵל לִקְרַאת פְּלִשְׁתִּים לַמִּלְחָמָה וַיַּחֲנוּ עַל־הָאֶבֶן הָעֵזֶר וּפְלִשְׁתִּים חָנוּ בַאֲפֵק׃

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.

1 Samuel 4:1

וַיְהִי מִיּוֹם שֶׁבֶת הָאָרוֹן בְּקִרְיַת יְעָרִים וַיִּרְבּוּ הַיָּמִים וַיִּהְיוּ עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וַיִּנָּהוּ כָּל־בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל אַחֲרֵי יְהֹוָה׃

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.

1 Samuel 7:2

וַיָּקָם וַיֵּלֶךְ דָּוִד וְכָל־הָעָם אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ מִבַּעֲלֵי יְהוּדָה לְהַעֲלוֹת מִשָּׁם אֵת אֲרוֹן הָאֱלֹהִים אֲשֶׁר־נִקְרָא שֵׁם שֵׁם יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת יֹשֵׁב הַכְּרֻבִים עָלָיו׃

Then David and all the troops that were with him set out from Baalim of Yehuda to bring up from there the Aron of Hashem to which the Name was attached, the name LORD of Hosts Enthroned on the Keruvim.

2 Samuel 6:2

וַיָּבִאוּ אֶת־אֲרוֹן יְהֹוָה וַיַּצִּגוּ אֹתוֹ בִּמְקוֹמוֹ בְּתוֹךְ הָאֹהֶל אֲשֶׁר נָטָה־לוֹ דָּוִד וַיַּעַל דָּוִד עֹלוֹת לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה וּשְׁלָמִים׃

They brought in the Aron of Hashem and set it up in its place inside the tent which David had pitched for it, and David sacrificed burnt offerings and offerings of well-being before Hashem.

2 Samuel 6:17

וּמִן־הַתְּכֵלֶת וְהָאַרְגָּמָן וְתוֹלַעַת הַשָּׁנִי עָשׂוּ בִגְדֵי־שְׂרָד לְשָׁרֵת בַּקֹּדֶשׁ וַיַּעֲשׂוּ אֶת־בִּגְדֵי הַקֹּדֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר לְאַהֲרֹן כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהֹוָה אֶת־מֹשֶׁה׃

Of the blue, purple, and crimson yarns they also made the service vestments for officiating in the sanctuary; they made Aharon's sacral vestments—as Hashem had commanded Moshe.

Exodus 39:1

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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).

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