Q. In 1 Kings 8:9 it says there was nothing in the ark save the two tablets of stone. Then in Hebrews 9:4 it says Aaron’s rod and the golden pot of manna are also in it. I would like to know why they are not mentioned in Kings. Is it spiritual somehow? Aaron’s rod and the pot of manna are mentioned in Exodus and Numbers as being in the ark. So again why were they not mentioned ? I am doing a study on 1 Kings 8 and would appreciate your input.
A. In Exodus 16:33 God told Moses to place a jar full of manna “before the Lord”. Moses didn’t receive the 10 commandments (the Testimony) until Exodus 20 and the Ark didn’t exist yet either. In Exodus 25:10-16 God commanded Moses to make the Ark, which was done in Exodus 37. The 10 commandments were placed inside the Ark in Exodus 40 when the Tabernacle was first set up, and that must be when Aaron put the jar “in front of the Testimony” as Exodus 16:34 indicates. Only the stone tablets were placed in the ark at that time.
Later, in Numbers 17:10, God told Moses to put Aaron’s staff “in front of the Testimony”. This could mean in front of the Ark. The writer of Hebrews said the tablets,the jar of manna, and the staff all wound up inside the Ark (Hebr. 9:4). But as you said, when Solomon brought the Ark into the Temple, only the stone tablets were mentioned as being inside (1 Kings 8:9).
The rod and the jar of manna could have been placed in the ark earlier but removed before the Ark was brought into the temple, or placed inside the Ark afterward, but the Bible doesn’t say exactly when it happened.