[b-hebrew] Stone slab replacing the Ark of the Covenant

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Wed Aug 3 03:17:18 EDT 2005

This entire discussion is based on a fallacious assumption. The Bible does
not say that Shishak entered Jerusalem, it says that he "came up against"
Jerusalem, and that he took the "otsarot" of the temple and the king's
house. It says nothing of the Ark or any other ritual object. While
"ostarot" is usually translated as "treasures", and people tend to think of
the Ark as one of the "treasures of the Temple", it really means
"treasuries", that is the money (probably in gold and silver bullion) that
was in the Temple and the royal treasury. Chances are, that Shishak never
even got to Jerusalem - Rehoboam headed him off at Gibeon (which is
mentioned on the Bubastite relief at Karnak) with a huge bribe of gold and
silver. The only other objects specifically mentioned are Solomon's gold
shields. It does not make sense for the Ark not to have been mentioned, if
indeed Shishak took it as well.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Yitzhak Sapir" <yitzhaksapir at gmail.com>
To: "George Athas" <gathas at hotkey.net.au>
Cc: "b-hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, August 03, 2005 7:09 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Stone slab replacing the Ark of the Covenant

> George Athas wrote:
> > If the picture which Patrick sent the link for
(http://www.sacred-texts.com/egy/emec/img/03300.jpg) is not from Bubastis,
can someone tell us where it is from, and what it is depicting?
> >
> > Best regards,
> >
> > Lecturer in Biblical Languages
> > Southern Cross College
> > Sydney, Australia
> The short answer is: a sculpture representing Rameses III. accompanied
> by his priests
> and high officers and the sacred bull Apis.  The page where the picture (
> http://www.sacred-texts.com/egy/emec/emec03.htm ) was taken from says:
> (the picture itself is figure 48)
> The Israelites, however, borrowed fewer religious opinions and
> ceremonies from Egypt than did the other neighbouring nations. But the
> brazen Serpent which stood in Jerusalem until the reign of Hezekiah (z
> Kings xviii. 4.), and the calves which were worshipped at Dan and at
> Bethel (1 Kings xii. 28), would seem to be parts of the Egyptian
> idolatry, against which the Prophets so earnestly warned their
> countrymen. Those chapters, also, in the Book of Genesis which
> describe the Garden of Eden; its being watered without rain; the
> sacred tree (see Fig. 29); the cherub with drawn sword guarding the
> entrance; the serpent, at first upright and talking to Eve (see Fig.
> 25), then creeping on its belly, and the after war against it (see
> Fig. 64), and which attempts to explain the origin of sin and death,
> would seem to belong to the Egyptian mind rather than to the Jewish.
> In the reign of Solomon the intercourse between Egypt and Judea became
> very close, and it was, perhaps, in that reign, or soon afterwards,
> that those chapters about the fall of man were written.
> The ark which was borne along by poles resting upon men's shoulders,
> and contained some of the more sacred emblems of the Jewish religion,
> need not have been copied from any foreign form of temple service,
> because it was naturally wanted, when the tabernacle, the centre of
> their national worship, was moved about from town to town, as in the
> time of the Judges; but we may remark that in a sculpture representing
> Rameses III. accompanied
> by his priests and high officers and the sacred bull Apis, we see that
> an ark, of the same size as the Jewish ark, was carried along upon
> men's shoulders in the sacred procession (see Fig. 48). That this
> Egyptian ark was a prison may be judged from the models of trees at
> the top; as in some paintings we see wicked imps, the punishing gods,
> imprisoned in cells which are shown to be pits under ground by the
> trees growing over them. In Genesis, chap. xxxvii., we read that
> Joseph was imprisoned by his brothers in a pit
> or dry well. But what was shut up in the Egyptian ark we are not told,
> and it is perhaps idle to conjecture; but the only other portable
> prison or cage that we know of was the basket in later times carried
> by the priestesses in procession through the streets of Alexandria,
> which seems to have held a live serpent, the emblem of sin and evil,
> and the great enemy of the human race (see Fig. 85). The quarrel
> between mankind and the great serpent is the subject of many of the
> sculptures in the tombs, and it always ends with the enemy being
> conquered, and usually taken prisoner, though sometimes killed.
> Yitzhak Sapir
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