Q. What’s your take on the announcement that the Ark of the Covenant is about to be unveiled? I’m guessing it’s a fake because of Rev. 11:19. Even so, does the Ark play any role in the end days or is this a distraction?
A. A lot of confusion surrounds the claim that the Ark of the Covenant rests in Ethiopia. According to tradition, the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon had a male child together. This tradition gets its support from 1 Kings 10:13 :
King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired and asked for, besides what he had given her out of his royal bounty. Then she left and returned with her retinue to her own country.
Proponents say the phrase “all that she desired” included a son. This son, named Menelik, stayed with Solomon until age 18, learning the religion of his fathers’ people. Then he went back to Ethiopia to assume the throne. As a parting gift Solomon supposedly had a replica of the Ark of the Covenant made for him. But a group of priests, upset with the way Solomon was allowing the pagan religions of his many wives to influence him, conspired with Menelik to take the real ark instead, and that’s how it got to Ethiopia.
This tradition is supported by the facts that Ethiopia adopted the Jewish religion, their kings carried the title “Lion of Judah” and there’s a sizable Ethiopian population in Israel today, called the Falasha Jews. The question no one can answer is whether the Ark in Ethiopia is the real one or the replica.
There’s no indication in the Bible that the Ark of the Covenant plays any part in End Times events, and according to Ezekiel’s prophecy there is no Ark in the 3rd Temple. By the way even the original Ark is a replica of the one the appears in Heaven in Rev. 11:19.