A Catholic friend of mine repsectfully asked me a question about the Ark of the Covenant. He does not doubt that it is indeed in Ethiopia, but he wants to know how to reconcile this tradition with what the Scriptures say. Below are the biblical references that he says seem to conflict with the what our Kebra Nagast teaches regarding how and when the Ark came to Ethiopia. Can my Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo brothers please shed some light on this? HaileAmanuel, Hiywot, Amdetsion, and AmdeBirhan, can you help me out here?
I don't mind some insight from other OO Christians, but please only respond if you have some solid explanation. Thanks.
Here is what my friend wrote regarding this matter:
Dear Gebre Menfes Kidus:
You asked for the scripture citations on the Ark.
Second Chronicles says that King Josiah (649-609 BC) had the Ark put
back in the temple:
2Ch 35:3 And he said to the Levites who taught all Israel and who were
holy to the LORD, "Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son
of David, king of Israel, built; you need no longer carry it upon your
shoulders. Now serve the LORD your God and his people Israel.
Jeremiah prophesied under Josiah and was in prison in Jerusalem when the
city was captured by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.
Second Maccabees ch. 2says
2Ma 2:1 Now it is found in the descriptions of Jeremias, the prophet,
that he commanded them that went into captivity, to take the fire, as it hath
been signified, and how he gave charge to them that were carried away
2Ma 2:2 And how he gave them the law, that they should not forget the
commandments of the Lord, and that they should not err in their minds,
seeing the idols of gold, and silver, and the ornaments of them.
2Ma 2:3 And with other such like speeches, he exhorted them that they
would not remove the law from their heart.
2Ma 2:4 It was also contained in the same writing, how the prophet,
being warned by God, commanded that the tabernacle and the ark should
accompany him, till he came forth to the mountain where Moses went up, and saw the inheritance of God.
2Ma 2:5 And when Jeremias came thither he found a hollow cave: and he
carried in thither the tabernacle, and the ark, and the altar of
incense, and so stopped the door.
2Ma 2:6 Then some of them that followed him, came up to mark the place:
but they could not find it.
2Ma 2:7 And when Jeremias perceived it, he blamed them, saying: The
place shall be unknown, till God gather together the congregation of the
people, and receive them to mercy.
2Ma 2:8 And then the Lord will shew these things, and the majesty of the
Lord shall appear, and there shall be a cloud as it was also shewed to
Moses, and he shewed it when Solomon prayed that the place might be
sanctified to the great God.
So, we've got he Ark in the Temple some four centuries after Solomon
according to scripture. That seems to be a conflict with the Ethiopian
tradition. I'd like to know what your priest says. Or, what some other
Peace to all,