If you don’t think the Ark of the Covenant was a transmitter for communicating with space ships (“God”), you just haven’t read the details yet.
The Ark of the Covenant is a container, whose location is currently unknown, said to house the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments. Von Daniken and Brasington suggest that the “ark of the covenant, as well as being a repository for the Ten Commandments and the law, also housed a transmitter that could communicate with the cloud-ships.” The more I read about it, the more I think they’re right. But, as we will see, whatever the Ark of the Covenant was, the instructions for creating and using it were extraordinarily bizarre, detailed, and intricate.
Yahweh dictated to Moses the kinds of offerings the people were required to make to Yahweh (most of which luckily they had taken from the Egyptians, on Yahweh’s orders, when fleeing Pharaoh), and Yahweh said they must use those offerings to make him a sanctuary so that he “may dwell among them”:
Exodus 25:1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.
3 And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass,
4 and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair,
5 and rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood,
6 oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense,
7 onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate.
8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.
9 According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.
Yahweh dictated instructions for building an ark (chest) of shittim wood (probably Acacia seyal) overlaid with pure gold, about [45 inches long by 27 inches wide, and 27 inches high], in which the covenant, or testimony, he had dictated to Moses, and which the Israelites had agreed to follow, would be placed.
Exodus 25:10 And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof.
11 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about.
16 And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee.
Yahweh said to Moses, “There [at the ark] I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim….”
Exodus 25:17 And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof.
18 And thou shalt make two cherubim of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.
19 And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubim on the two ends thereof.
20 And the cherubim shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be.
21 And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee.
22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.
Yahweh also gave specific instructions for the construction and placement of a gold-plated table where a dozen loaves of showbread were to be left for him at all times in a prescribed pattern. According to the Mishnah, the oldest collection of Jewish law, the table could be disassembled into small portions, so that any piece that was no longer pure could be cleaned in a Mikvah, a ritual bath. Yahweh also commanded that implements for the table such as dishes and spoons and covers were to be produced, of pure gold, including ke’arots, which were probably the golden forms used in making the showbread, and tesawot, which may have been intended to cover the loaves.
Exodus 25:29 And thou shalt make the dishes thereof, and spoons thereof, and covers thereof, and bowls thereof, to cover withal: of pure gold shalt thou make them.
30 And thou shalt set upon the table showbread before me always.
According to Chronicles 9:32, the Kohathite clan were “over the showbread, to prepare it every sabbath”; some scholars believe the Kohathites were the keepers of a secret recipe, more complex and esoteric than the “fine flour” mentioned in Leviticus.
Leviticus 24:5 And thou shalt take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof: two tenth deals shall be in one cake.
These were not small loaves, ten etzba (finger-breadths) long and five etzba wide, with rims or horns that were seven etzba long. The Mishnah says that the loaves were made using three molds (golden, according to the scholar Maimonides); one mold was used for the dough, one to bake the bread in, and one to make the bread keep its shape after baking. Leviticus gives further showbread instructions.
Leviticus 24:6 And thou shalt set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the pure table before the Lord.
7 And thou shalt put pure frankincense upon each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire unto the Lord.
8 Every sabbath he shall set it in order before the Lord continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant.
According to the Mishnah, the bread was to be placed in equal piles, not rows, and there were 28 hollow golden tubes, 14 for each pile, and the tubes were either half-round with an open top, or open at only one end. They were arranged upon two fork-shaped gold supports that were set into each end of the table or perhaps set into the floor at each end of the table, with the golden tubes arranged in between such that, it was believed, air was conducted among the loaves. Here’s how the Gemara, the rabbinical commentaries and analysis of the Mishnah, envisioned it:
The four fork-like supports were let into the floor, two at each end of the table. They extended above the table, and between them, above the table, fourteen tubes, closed at one end, were fastened, forming a grate-like receptacle for the loaves. The lowest cake of each heap rested on the table; each of the next four rested on three tubes; the two upper cakes on two tubes. [(comp. Josephus, “B. J.” v. 5, § 5; “Ant.” iii. 6, § 6).]
The showbread was to be replaced every Sabbath, at which time, according to the Mishnah, two priests stood at one side of the table, and four more priests, holding the new showbread, stood across the table from them. As the two priests removed the old bread, the four priests put the new bread into place, so that there would always be showbread in position.
At the same time, two more priests would replace the pots of frankincense that, according to the historian Josephus, were made of gold and placed one atop each of the two piles of showbread. Some sources say the frankincense was mixed with salt, and some sources say the pots were placed not atop the piles but in between them.
After the showbread was replaced, the High Priest would eat five (!) of the week-old cakes, and the priests who had been on duty that week would split the other seven.
Leviticus 24:9 And it shall be Aaron’s and his sons’; and they shall eat it in the holy place: for it is most holy unto him of the offerings of the Lord made by fire by a perpetual statute.
New American Standard Bible (©1995) translates the above verse as, “It shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place; for it is most holy to him from the Lord’s offerings by fire, his portion forever.”
Yahweh also gave detailed instructions for making a menorah, which is a candlestick to be made out of pure beaten gold, holding seven lamps, and also instructions for attendant vessels such as tongs and snuffdishes:
Exodus 25:37 And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it.
38 And the tongs thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, shall be of pure gold.
39 Of a talent of pure gold shall he make it, with all these vessels.
40 And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was showed thee in the mount.
So Yahweh and Moses had gone over the blueprints in person previously, when Moses visited “the mount.” [The table for the showbread was to be positioned opposite the Menorah, with the Altar of Incense between them.]
A tabernacle (a lightweight portable dwelling) was to be built to hold the Ark of the Covenant. The instructions are long but interesting; I’m including just a bit of it here so you can see how precise Yahweh was about how he wanted the tabernacle constructed and also how he wanted the furniture arranged:
Exodus 26:1 Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubim of cunning work shalt thou make them.
2 The length of one curtain shall be eight and twenty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: and every one of the curtains shall have one measure.
3 The five curtains shall be coupled together one to another; and other five curtains shall be coupled one to another.
4 And thou shalt make loops of blue upon the edge of the one curtain from the selvedge in the coupling; and likewise shalt thou make in the uttermost edge of another curtain, in the coupling of the second.
12 And the remnant that remaineth of the curtains of the tent, the half curtain that remaineth, shall hang over the back side of the tabernacle.
13 And a cubit on the one side, and a cubit on the other side of that which remaineth in the length of the curtains of the tent, it shall hang over the sides of the tabernacle, on this side and on that side, to cover it.
17 Two tenons shall there be in one board, set in order one against another: thus shalt thou make for all the boards of the tabernacle.
18 And thou shalt make the boards for the tabernacle, twenty boards on the south side southward.
19 And thou shalt make forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards; two sockets under one board for his two tenons, and two sockets under another board for his two tenons.
20 And for the second side of the tabernacle on the north side there shall be twenty boards,
21 and their forty sockets of silver; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board.
22 And for the sides of the tabernacle westward thou shalt make six boards.
23 And two boards shalt thou make for the corners of the tabernacle in the two sides.
24 And they shall be coupled together beneath, and they shall be coupled together above the head of it unto one ring: thus shall it be for them both; they shall be for the two corners.
25 And they shall be eight boards, and their sockets of silver, sixteen sockets; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board.
26 And thou shalt make bars of shittim wood; five for the boards of the one side of the tabernacle,
27 and five bars for the boards of the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the side of the tabernacle, for the two sides westward.
28 And the middle bar in the midst of the boards shall reach from end to end.
29 And thou shalt overlay the boards with gold, and make their rings of gold for places for the bars: and thou shalt overlay the bars with gold.
30 And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which was showed thee in the mount.
31 And thou shalt make a veil of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubim shall it be made.
32 And thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold: their hooks shall be of gold, upon the four sockets of silver.
33 And thou shalt hang up the veil under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the veil the ark of the testimony: and the veil shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy.
34 And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place.
35 And thou shalt set the table without the veil, and the candlestick over against the table on the side oLOf the tabernacle toward the south: and thou shalt put the table on the north side.
Yahweh also gives Moses instructions for building and arranging an altar for burnt offerings, which reads in part:
Exodus 27:1 And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three cubits.
2 And thou shalt make the horns of it upon the four corners thereof: his horns shall be of the same: and thou shalt overlay it with brass.
3 And thou shalt make his pans to receive his ashes, and his shovels, and his basins, and his fleshhooks, and his firepans: all the vessels thereof thou shalt make of brass.
4 And thou shalt make for it a grate of network of brass; and upon the net shalt thou make four brazen rings in the four corners thereof.
5 And thou shalt put it under the compass of the altar beneath, that the net may be even to the midst of the altar.
6 And thou shalt make staves for the altar, staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with brass.
7 And the staves shall be put into the rings, and the staves shall be upon the two sides of the altar, to bear it.
8 Hollow with boards shalt thou make it: as it was showed thee in the mount, so shall they make it.
The New American Standard Bible (©1995) translates verse 5 as, “You shall put it beneath, under the ledge of the altar, so that the net will reach halfway up the altar.”
Yahweh also gives Moses instructions for building a “court of the tabernacle,” made of fine linen hangings 100 cubits long [150 feet]. He says olive oil is to be provided to keep the lamp [candlestick?] always burning.
Exodus 27:2 You shall make its horns on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it, and you shall overlay it with bronze. —New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Exodus Chapter 28 describes in extensive detail the garments that were to be made for Moses and Aaron and the other high priests when they went about their holy duties. [Not only…. The Garments for the Priests, Ex. 39.1-31]
Exodus 28:1 And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abi’hu, Ele-a’zar and Ith’amar, Aaron’s sons.
2 And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, for glory and for beauty.
3 And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise-hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.
4 And these are the garments which they shall make; a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a broidered coat, a mitre, and a girdle: and they shall make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.
5 And they shall take gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen.
6 And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, and of purple, of scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cunning work.
7 It shall have the two shoulderpieces thereof joined at the two edges thereof; and so it shall be joined together.
8 And the curious girdle of the ephod, which is upon it, shall be of the same, according to the work thereof; even of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen.
9 And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel:
10 six of their names on one stone, and the other six names of the rest on the other stone, according to their birth.
11 With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, shalt thou engrave the two stones with the names of the children of Israel: thou shalt make them to be set in ouches [settings for precious stones] of gold.
12 And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before the Lord upon his two shoulders for a memorial.
13 And thou shalt make ouches of gold;
14 and two chains of pure gold at the ends; of wreathed work shalt thou make them, and fasten the wreathed chains to the ouches.
15 And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it.
16 Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof.
17 And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row.
18 And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond.
19 And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst.
20 And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings.
21 And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes.
22 And thou shalt make upon the breastplate chains at the ends of wreathed work of pure gold.
23 And thou shalt make upon the breastplate two rings of gold, and shalt put the two rings on the two ends of the breastplate.
24 And thou shalt put the two wreathed chains of gold in the two rings which are on the ends of the breastplate.
25 And the other two ends of the two wreathed chains thou shalt fasten in the two ouches, and put them on the shoulderpieces of the ephod before it.
26 And thou shalt make two rings of gold, and thou shalt put them upon the two ends of the breastplate in the border thereof, which is in the side of the ephod inward.
27 And two other rings of gold thou shalt make, and shalt put them on the two sides of the ephod underneath, toward the forepart thereof, over against the other coupling thereof, above the curious girdle of the ephod.
28 And they shall bind the breastplate by the rings thereof unto the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, that it may be above the curious girdle of the ephod, and that the breastplate be not loosed from the ephod.
29 And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the Lord continually.
30 And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; Num. 27.21 · Ezra 2.63 · Neh. 7.65 and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goeth in before the Lord: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the Lord continually.
31 And thou shalt make the robe of the ephod all of blue.
32 And there shall be a hole in the top of it, in the midst thereof: it shall have a binding of woven work round about the hole of it, as it were the hole of an habergeon, that it be not rent.
33 And beneath upon the hem of it thou shalt make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about the hem thereof; and bells of gold between them round about:
34 a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, upon the hem of the robe round about.
35 And it shall be upon Aaron to minister: and his sound shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy place before the Lord, and when he cometh out, that he die not.
36 And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE Lord.
37 And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be.
38 And it shall be upon Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord.
39 And thou shalt embroider the coat of fine linen, and thou shalt make the mitre of fine linen, and thou shalt make the girdle of needlework.
40 And for Aaron’s sons thou shalt make coats, and thou shalt make for them girdles, and bonnets shalt thou make for them, for glory and for beauty.
41 And thou shalt put them upon Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him; and shalt anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office.
42 And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:
43 and they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place; that they bear not iniquity, and die: it shall be a statute for ever unto him and his seed after him.
Exodus Chapter 29 deals with the consecration of Aaron and his sons so as to be holy enough to serve in the “priest’s office.” It goes into great detail about animal sacrifices on the altar and how to dispense with various parts of the animals, fat and skin, flesh and dung. It talks a lot about blood as being part of the sanctification process, for instance:
Exodus 29:19 And thou shalt take the other ram; and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram.
20 Then shalt thou kill the ram, and take of his blood, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, and upon the thumb of their right hand, and upon the great toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about.
21 And thou shalt take of the blood that is upon the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon the garments of his sons with him: and he shall be hallowed, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons’ garments with him.
Exodus Chapter 30 begins with instructions for building an incense altar in front of the ark’s veil:
Exodus 30:8 And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even [burn forever?], he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations.
9 Ye shall offer no strange incense thereon, nor burnt sacrifice, nor meat offering; neither shall ye pour drink offering thereon.
10 And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonements; once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations: it is most holy unto the Lord.
Yahweh goes on to require a half-shekel tax from “every man [20 years old or older] [as] a ransom for his soul.” He gives instructions for building a laver, a brass basin in which to wash:
Exodus 30:17 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
18 Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, Ex. 38.8 to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein.
19 For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat:
20 when they go into the tabernacle of the congregation, they shall wash with water, that they die not; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn offering made by fire unto the Lord:
21 so they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not: and it shall be a statute for ever to them, even to him and to his seed throughout their generations.
He then gives recipes and use instructions for an anointing oil and incense:
Exodus 30:22 Moreover the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
23 Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels,
24 and of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive a hin:
25 and thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be a holy anointing oil.
26 And thou shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and the ark of the testimony,
27 and the table and all his vessels, and the candlestick and his vessels, and the altar of incense,
28 and the altar of burnt offering with all his vessels, and the laver and his foot.
29 And thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy: whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy.
30 And thou shalt anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office.
31 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, This shall be a holy anointing oil unto me throughout your generations.
32 Upon man’s flesh shall it not be poured, neither shall ye make any other like it, after the composition of it: it is holy, and it shall be holy unto you.
33 Whosoever compoundeth any like it, or whosoever putteth any of it upon a stranger, shall even be cut off from his people.
34 And the Lord said unto Moses, Take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; these sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be a like weight:
35 and thou shalt make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered together, pure and holy:
36 and thou shalt beat some of it very small, and put of it before the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation, where I will meet with thee: it shall be unto you most holy.
37 And as for the perfume which thou shalt make, ye shall not make to yourselves according to the composition thereof: it shall be unto thee holy for the Lord.
38 Whosoever shall make like unto that, to smell thereto, shall even be cut off from his people. [Ex. 37.29]
Yahweh charged a couple of men to “devise cunning [and curious] works”.
Exodus 31:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 See, I have called by name Bez’aleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah:
3 and I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,
4 to devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,
5 and in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.
6 And I, behold, I have given with him Aho’li-ab, the son of Ahis’amach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise-hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee;
7 the tabernacle of the congregation, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is thereupon, and all the furniture of the tabernacle,
8 and the table and his furniture, and the pure candlestick with all his furniture, and the altar of incense,
9 and the altar of burnt offering with all his furniture, and the laver and his foot,
10 and the clothes of service, and the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest’s office,
11 and the anointing oil, and sweet incense for the holy place: according to all that I have commanded thee shall they do.
12 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.
14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you. Every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
NOTES AND EXCERPTS:
From The Alpha and the Omega – Chapter Four, by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 1995, all rights reserved:
“The Clouds and Darkness”
At Sinai Moses was given a divine revelation concerning the nature, construction, and furnishings of the tabernacle (Exod. 25:40). The work was carried out by Bezaleel, Oholiab, and their workmen (Exodus 36:1-38); and when the task was accomplished, the tent was covered by a cloud and was filled with the divine glory (40:34).
The description in Exodus 26-27 and 35-38 present the structure as a portable shrine. The tabernacle (Heb. ‘ohel, mo’edh, tent of meeting, Canaanite mishkan, dwelling, Gr. skene, tent) stood in an outer court enclosure or court, described in Exodus 27:9-18 and 38:9-20. The designation ‘ohel mo’edh (Exodus 33:7 et al.) represents the name of the tabernacle here, as a place of revelation, where the people met with God. The word mo’edh has been discovered in an Egyptian document dated c. 1100 B.C. referring to an assembly of the citizens of Byblus. Later in Isaiah 14:13 it refers to the assembly of the gods in pagan Canaanite writings. This tabernacle combine political and social functions with the religious revelations given by God to his covenant assembly. The doctrine of the shekinah glory, which developed in the Intertestamental period was also related to the words shakhan (KJV “dwell” Exodus 25:8; 29:45) and mishkan, denoting a local manifestation of divine glory.
The ancient Hebrew cubit measured eighteen inches, thus the enclosure were one hundred fifty feet in length and seventy-five feet in width. The sides were covered with curtains made from finely woven linen about seven feet long which were fastened at the top by hooks and at the bottom by silver clasps to sixty supporting pillars of bronze, place at intervals of seven feet. On the east end was an opening about twenty feet wide screened by thirty foot wide curtains embroidered in red, purple and blue. The pillars had capitals (KJV “chapiters”) overlaid in silver and were set in bases (KJV “sockets”) of bronze, held in position by bronze pins (27:19; 38:20).
In the center of the open court was the great altar of burnt offering made from acacia wood overlaid with bronze (Exodus 27:1-8), which was eight feet square by five feet in height, with its four corners projecting probably “horns.”
To the west end of the enclosure, parallel to the long walls, stood the tabernacle itself. It was a rectangular structure about forty-five feet by fifteen feet, which was divided into two parts, a Holy Place and a Most Holy Place. It consisted of forty-eight “boards” (Heb. qerashim, board Exo. 26:15 KJV, NASB; frame JB, MLB, NIV, RSV; plank NE; is found on a Canaanite tablet describing the “throne room”, a trellis pavilion of the deity El) some fifteen feet in height (10 cubits) and over two feet wide (1_ cubit), overlaid with gold and made of shittim wood. All this was held together (26:17-30) by horizontal bars, sockets, and tenons.
The completed tabernacle was divided into two compartments by a curtain (vail) on which cherubim were embroidered in red (scarlet), purple and blue, and was suspended on four acacia (shittim) supports (26:31-34).
In (26:33-5) the outermost area was known as the Holy Place (thirty feet by fifteen feet) and the innermost part, the Holy of Holiesor the Most Holy Place was fifteen feet square. Also mentioned is the mercy seat on the ark of the testimony the location of the candlestick (menorah).
The entrance to the tabernacle was screened by embroidered curtains supported by five acacia pillars overlaid with gold (26:35-37).
The wooden framework of the tabernacle was adorned by ten linen curtains (Exodus 26:1-7) that were embroidered and decorated with figures of cherubim. It measured forty feet long (28 cubits) and six feet wide (4 cubits), and joined in groups of five to make two large curtains. All were fastened together by means of fifty loops and golden clasps (KJV “taches”) to form one long curtain sixty feet long and forty-two feet wide. This was draped over the tabernacle so that the embroidery was visible from the inside through the apertures of the trellis work, and then covered with three protective coverings: (26:7-13)
* 1st goat’s hair (11 curtains 30 by 4 cubits, 1 folded over); (26:14)
* 2nd red-dyed rams’ hides,
* and the 3rd is speculated on the term tahash leather (KJV “badger’s skins,” NIV “hides of sea cows”) which is connected etymologically with the early Egyptian word tj-h-s, used as a process of treating leather.
The contemporary Phoenician shrines had a flat roof, thus possibly the tabernacle did also.
Verbatim articles describing materials of which the Ark of the Covenant and Tabernacle were made:
From Uses of Gold by Rajib Singha, published 3/3/2010:
…Perhaps, gold is one element which is the most useful mineral on Earth…. From the very beginning of recorded history, gold has been in myriad of uses for mankind. Its occurrence is in the form of grains in rocks, veins and alluvial deposits. Out of all metals which are known, gold posses a high degree of ductility [ability to be drawn into a fine wire] and malleability and it is dense, soft and shiny. Apart from these, properties which make gold find numerous applications in industries, are its resistance to corrosion, electrical conductivity, infrared reflectivity and thermal conductivity.
…ductility. This is evident from the gold foil which is placed in Toi museum, Japan. This foil is about 0.5 square meter and it was formed by hammering a gold nugget of about 5 mm in diameter.
Coming to the industrial uses of gold… Solid state electronic devices work on very low voltages and currents. However, the contact points are prone to corrosion and being tarnished, which interrupt the proper functioning of the devices. This is overcome by the use of gold, which not only conducts the electricity, but also keeps the contacts free of corrosion. This is the reason why electronic devices which have gold in their built, are more reliable than those who don’t. Uses of gold in electronics are in contacts, switches, relays, soldered joints, connecting wires and connection strips. Television sets, cell phones, calculators, personal digital assistants, global positioning system units and other small electronic devices are products which have gold as one of their building components.
The desktop computers or laptop computers which you see and use everyday, also use gold as an efficient and reliable conductor. Unlike other metals, gold is more efficient in transmitting rapid and accurate digital information from one component to the other in such devices. The edge connectors and plug-and-socket connectors contain gold which is alloyed with other metals.
Nanotechnology is one of the major achievements in the scientific field and even this makes uses of gold, which is more reliable than other elements. Apart from this, future technologies like those which are aimed at water purification, mercury control and control of diesel emission have the prospect of using gold in their projects, due to its unique chemical and metallurgical properties.
Coming to uses of gold in medical science, most of us are aware of dental filling which also makes use of this metal. You may think of getting an iron filling, but few days later, this idea would seem to have been a good one. Dental filling using gold, is although, a pricey affair, but the metal’s superior performance and aesthetic look and appeal are worth the investment. Gold is an inert metal, i.e., it does not react with any other substance. Apart from this, it is non-allergenic and provides ease to dentists to work with it. Keeping all these things in mind, the metal is used in fillings, crowns, bridges and orthodontic appliances. However, pure gold is far from being used, as it is too soft to withstand any wear and tear. That’s why it is alloyed with other metals. Medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lagophthalmos (abnormal condition in which an eye cannot close completely), liver and ear diseases, anergia, etc. also have the implementation of gold.
Gold being a dependable connector and conductor, finds numerous application in almost all space vehicles which are manufactured by NASA. … gold has the property of being a perfect reflector of Infrared (heat) radiation. In space programs, gold sheets are employed as radiation shield, as they can deflect the burning heat of the sun. The famous US Columbia space shuttle was manufactured using gold in its brazing alloys, fuel cell fabrication, coated plastic films and electrical contacts. How much of gold was used? More than 40.7 kg.
Other uses of gold are in the form of catalysts and in many engineering applications. In places like North America, gold-coated glasses are used for several climate controlled buildings and cases. As these glasses are coated with gold, they reflect solar radiation outward, thus, bringing down the cooling and heating costs by a large extent. Thin sheets known as gold leaf, are used on the external and internal surfaces of buildings. Not to mention the uses of gold in awards and as a symbol of high status. Even in food and drinks and in cosmetics and beauty applications, gold finds its usefulness and efficiency…
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc; the proportions of zinc and copper can be varied to create a range of brasses with varying properties. In comparison, bronze is principally an alloy of copper and tin. Bronze does not necessarily contain tin, and a variety of alloys of copper, including alloys with arsenic, phosphorus, aluminum, manganese, and silicon, are commonly termed “bronze”. The term is applied to a variety of brasses and the distinction is largely historical. Brass is a substitutional alloy. It is used for decoration for its bright gold-like appearance; for applications where low friction is required such as locks, gears, bearings, doorknobs, ammunition, and valves; for plumbing and electrical applications; and extensively in musical instruments such as horns and bells for its acoustic properties. It is also used in zippers. Because it is softer than most other metals in general use, brass is often used in situations where it is important that sparks not be struck, as in fittings and tools around explosive gases.
Brass has a muted yellow color, which is somewhat similar to gold. It is relatively resistant to tarnishing, and is often used as decoration and for coins. In antiquity, polished brass was often used as a mirror.
Although forms of brass have been in use since prehistory, its true nature as a copper-zinc alloy was not understood until the post medieval period because the zinc vapour which reacted with copper to make brass was not recognised as a metal. The King James Bible makes many references to “brass”. The Shakespearean English form of the word ‘brass’ can mean any bronze alloy, or copper, rather than the strict modern definition of brass. The earliest brasses may have been natural alloys made by smelting zinc-rich copper ores. By the Roman period brass was being deliberately produced from metallic copper and zinc minerals using the cementation process and variations on this method continued until the mid 19th century. It was eventually replaced by speltering, the direct alloying of copper and zinc metal which was introduced to Europe in the 16th century.
Onyx is a cryptocrystalline form of quartz. The colors of its bands range from white to almost every color (save some shades, such as purple or blue). Commonly, specimens of onyx available contain bands of colors of white, tan, and brown…. Onyx is also mentioned in the Bible at various points, such as in Genesis CH. 2 ver.12 and the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. and such as the priests’ garments and the foundation of the city of Heaven in Revelation. 
Onyx Agate where the bands are straight, parallel and consistent in size…. The word “quartz” comes from the German Quarz (help·info), which is of Slavic origin (Czech miners called it k_emen). Other sources attribute the word’s origin to the Saxon word Querkluftertz, meaning cross-vein ore.
Quartz is the most common material identified as the mystical substance maban in Australian Aboriginal mythology. It is found regularly in passage tomb cemeteries in Europe in a burial context, such as Newgrange or Carrowmore in the Republic of Ireland. The Irish word for quartz is grian cloch, which means ‘stone of the sun’. Quartz was also used in Prehistoric Ireland, as well as many other countries, for stone tools; both vein quartz and rock crystal were knapped as part of the lithic technology of the prehistoric peoples.
While jade has been since earliest times the most prized semi-precious stone for carving in East Asia and Pre-Columbian America, in Europe and the Middle East the different varieties of quartz were the most commonly used for the various types of jewelry and hardstone carving, including engraved gems and cameo gems, rock crystal vases, and extravagant vessels. The tradition continued to produce objects that were very highly valued until the mid-19th century, when it largely fell from fashion except in jewelry. Cameo technique exploits the bands of color in onyx and other varieties.
Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder believed quartz to be water ice, permanently frozen after great lengths of time. (The word “crystal” comes from the Greek word __________, “ice”.) He supported this idea by saying that quartz is found near glaciers in the Alps, but not on volcanic mountains, and that large quartz crystals were fashioned into spheres to cool the hands. He also knew of the ability of quartz to split light into a spectrum. This idea persisted until at least the 17th century.
In the 17th century, Nicolas Steno’s study of quartz paved the way for modern crystallography. He discovered that no matter how distorted a quartz crystal, the long prism faces always made a perfect 60° angle.
Charles B. Sawyer invented the commercial quartz crystal manufacturing process in Cleveland, Ohio, United States. This initiated the transition from mined and cut quartz for electrical appliances to manufactured quartz.
Quartz’s piezoelectric properties were discovered by Jacques and Pierre Curie in 1880. The quartz oscillator or resonator was first developed by Walter Guyton Cady in 1921. George Washington Pierce designed and patented quartz crystal oscillators in 1923. Warren Marrison created the first quartz oscillator clock based on the work of Cady and Pierce in 1927.
Quartz crystals have piezoelectric properties; they develop an electric potential upon the application of mechanical stress. An early use of this property of quartz crystals was in phonograph pickups. One of the most common piezoelectric uses of quartz today is as a crystal oscillator. The quartz clock is a familiar device using the mineral. The resonant frequency of a quartz crystal oscillator is changed by mechanically loading it, and this principle is used for very accurate measurements of very small mass changes in the quartz crystal microbalance and in thin-film thickness monitors.
Properties [of linen]: Highly absorbent and a good conductor of heat, linen fabric feels cool to the touch. Linen is among the strongest of the vegetable fibers, with 2 to 3 times the strength of cotton. It is smooth, making the finished fabric lint free, and gets softer the more it is washed. However, constant creasing in the same place in sharp folds will tend to break the linen threads. This wear can show up in collars, hems, and any area that is iron creased during laundering. Linen has poor elasticity and does not spring back readily, explaining why it wrinkles so easily.
Linen fabrics have a high natural luster; their natural color ranges between shades of ivory, ecru, tan, or grey. Pure white linen is created by heavy bleaching. Linen typically has a thick and thin character with a crisp and textured feel to it, but it can range from stiff and rough, to soft and smooth. When properly prepared, linen fabric has the ability to absorb and lose water rapidly. It can gain up to 20% moisture without feeling damp.
When freed from impurities, linen is highly absorbent and will quickly remove perspiration from the skin. Linen is a stiff fabric and is less likely to cling to the skin; when it billows away, it tends to dry out and become cool so that the skin is being continually touched by a cool surface. It is a very durable, strong fabric, and one of the few that are stronger wet than dry. The fibers do not stretch and are resistant to damage from abrasion. However, because linen fibers have a very low elasticity, the fabric will eventually break if it is folded and ironed at the same place repeatedly.
Mildew, perspiration, and bleach can also damage the fabric, but it is resistant to moths and carpet beetles. Linen is relatively easy to take care of, since it resists dirt and stains, has no lint or pilling tendency, and can be dry cleaned, machine washed or steamed. It can withstand high temperatures, and has only moderate initial shrinkage.
…The discovery of dyed flax fibers in a cave in Georgia dated to 36,000 BP suggests people used wild flax fibers to create linen-like fabrics from an early date. The use of linen for priestly vestments was not confined to the Israelites. Plutarch wrote that the priests of Isis also wore linen because of its purity.
In the Jewish religion, the only law concerning which fabrics may be interwoven together in clothing is one which concerns the mixture of linen and wool. This mixture is called shaatnez and is clearly restricted in Deuteronomy 22:11 “Thou shalt not wear a mingled stuff, wool and linen together” and Leviticus 19:19, “’…neither shall there come upon thee a garment of two kinds of stuff mingled together.’” There is no explanation for this in the Torah itself and is categorized as a type of law known as chukim, a statute beyond man’s ability to comprehend. Josephus suggested that the reason for the prohibition was to keep the laity from wearing the official garb of the priests. while Maimonides thought that the reason was because heathen priests wore such mixed garments. Others explain that it is because God often forbids mixtures of disparate kinds, not designed by God to be compatible in a certain way, with mixing animal and vegetable fibers being similar to having two different types of plowing animals yoked together. And that such commands serve both a practical as well as allegorical purpose, perhaps here preventing a priestly garment that would cause discomfort (or excessive sweat) in a hot climate.
atonement: reparation for a wrong or injury : she wanted to make atonement for her husband’s behavior.
• Religion reparation or expiation for sin : the High Priest offered the sacrifice as atonement for all the sins of Israel.
• ( the Atonement) Christian Theology the reconciliation of God and humankind through Jesus Christ.
ORIGIN early 16th cent. (denoting unity or reconciliation, esp. between God and man): from at one + -ment , influenced by medieval Latin adunamentum ‘unity,’ and earlier onement from an obsolete verb one [to unite.]
genesis 9:5 Young’s Literal Translation
‘And only your blood for your lives do I require; from the hand of every living thing I require it, and from the hand of man, from the hand of every man’s brother I require the life of man;’
In many indigenous Australian Aboriginal peoples’ traditions, ochre (particularly red) and blood, both high in iron content and considered Maban, are applied to the bodies of dancers for ritual. As Lawlor states:
In many Aboriginal rituals and ceremonies, red ochre is rubbed all over the naked bodies of the dancers. In secret, sacred male ceremonies, blood extracted from the veins of the participant’s arms is exchanged and rubbed on their bodies. Red ochre is used in similar ways in less-secret ceremonies. Blood is also used to fasten the feathers of birds onto people’s bodies. Bird feathers contain a protein that is highly magnetically sensitive.
Lawlor comments that blood employed in this fashion is held by these peoples to attune the dancers to the invisible energetic realm of the Dreamtime. Lawlor then connects these invisible energetic realms and magnetic fields, because iron is magnetic.
The Ancient Greeks believed that the blood of the gods, ichor, was a mineral that was poisonous to mortals.
In Judaism, blood cannot be consumed even in the smallest quantity (Leviticus 3:17 and elsewhere); this is reflected in Jewish dietary laws (Kashrut). Blood is purged from meat by salting and soaking in water.
Another ritual involving blood involves the covering of the blood of fowl and game after slaughtering (Leviticus 17:13); the reason given by the Torah is: “Because the life of the animal is [in] its blood” (ibid 17:14).
Also if a person of the orthodox Jewish faith suffers a violent death, religious laws order the collection of their blood for burial with them.
Consumption of food containing blood is forbidden by Islamic dietary laws. This is derived from the statement in the Qur’an, sura Al-Ma’ida (5:3): “Forbidden to you (for food) are: dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which has been invoked the name of other than Allah.
Blood is considered as unclean and in Islam cleanliness is part of the faith, hence there are specific methods to obtain physical and ritual status of cleanliness once bleeding has occurred. Specific rules and prohibitions apply to menstruation, postnatal bleeding and irregular vaginal bleeding.
Main article: Jehovah’s Witnesses and blood
Based on their interpretation of scriptures such as Acts 15:28, 29 (“Keep abstaining…from blood.”), Jehovah’s Witnesses neither consume blood nor accept transfusions of whole blood or its major components: red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets (thrombocytes), and plasma. Members may personally decide whether they will accept medical procedures that involve their own blood or substances that are further fractionated from the four major components.
From Wikipedia: Maban
This article’s factual accuracy is disputed. Please see the relevant discussion on the talk page. (August 2009)
Maban or Mabain is a material that is held to be magical in Australian Aboriginal mythology. It is the material from which the Clever Women and Clever Men  and Elders  of Indigenous Australia supposedly derive their magical powers. Maban is variously identified by different Australian Aboriginal tribes with quartz crystals, australites, mother of pearl, blood, ochre, feathers, Desert Rose, seeds, etc. The potent polyvalent term maban also shares meanings with the term ‘shaman’ and may be employed to denote Clever Women and Clever Men directly.
During the ceremony in which a karadji initiates an apprentice, maban is used and spiritually “inserted” into the body of the apprentice. Lawlor (1991: p. 374) states that:
A. P. Elkin compiled descriptions of Aboriginal initiations from diverse clans and distant tribes and found, beneath the innumerable variations, underlying universal themes. The most common was the implanting of a resonant substance in the body.
Lawlor (1991: p. 374)[unreliable source?] affirms that the insertion of quartz crystals or mabain into the body of the postulant is a consistent initiatory theme.
Aerodynamically shaped Australite
Lawlor (1991: p. 374-375) states that: Throughout Australia one of the most consistent themes in Aboriginal initiation is the insertion into the body of quartz crystals, or mabain. This procedure symbolizes the transformation of consciousness from physical to psychic levels. The Aborigines seek quartz crystals with internal fractures that produce vivid rainbow light refractions. These fractures signal that the stone resonates powerfully with the primordial energies of the Rainbow Serpent.
Blood and ochre
In many indigenous Australian peoples’ traditions ochre, feathers and blood, all high in iron content and considered Maban, are applied or adorned to the bodies of dancers for ritual. As Lawlor (1991: p. 102-103) states:
In many Aboriginal rituals and ceremonies, red ochre is rubbed all over the naked bodies of the dancers. In secret, sacred male ceremonies, blood extracted from the veins of the participant’s arms is exchanged and rubbed on their bodies. Red ochre is used in similar ways in less secret ceremonies. Blood is also used to fasten the feathers of birds onto people’s bodies. Bird feathers contain a protein that is highly magnetically sensitive.
Lawlor comments that blood employed in this fashion is held by these peoples to attune the dancers to the energetic realm of the Dreamtime. Lawlor then draws information from different disciplines charting a relationship between these invisible energetic realms and magnetic fields, iron and magnetism having a marked relationship.
Seed power and totem design
Guruwari may be translated as “Seed Power” and “Totem Design” and the energetic concept to which it refers is a pervasive cultural meme throughout indigenous Australia. Following is a quote from Lawlor (1991: p. 36) who references the source of this anthropological scholarship to Munn (1984): “Guruwari refers to the invisible seed or life-energy that the Creative Ancestors deposited in the land and in all forms of nature.
The first clear example of Buddhist settlement in Australia dates to 1848. However, there has been speculation from some anthropologists that there may have been contact hundreds of years earlier; in the book Aboriginal Men of High Degree, A.P. Elkin cites what he believes is evidence that traders from Indonesia may have brought fleeting contact of Buddhism and Hinduism to areas near modern-day Dampier. Elkin interpreted a link between Indigenous Australian culture and Buddhist ideas such as reincarnation. He argued this link could have been brought through contact with Macassan traders. There was also speculation due to reports of Chinese relics appearing in northern Australia dating to the 15th century, although it may have been brought much later through trade rather than earlier exploration. Not only maban-crystal, but also “magic cord” is used in the making of “clever men” in Australia. The “magic cord” is reminiscent of the Indian rope trick or of the silver cord. Elkin cited linguistic commonalities of certain far northern Australian indigenous words and lexical items and ancient southern Indian ‘Dravidian’ languages. There are also documented analogues and marked similarities in their kinship systems.
cherub ( pl. cherubim) a winged angelic being described in biblical tradition as attending on God. It is represented in ancient Middle Eastern art as a lion or bull with eagles’ wings and a human face, and regarded in traditional Christian angelology as an angel of the second highest order of the ninefold celestial hierarchy.
1 a natural or artificial hollow into which something fits or in which something revolves : the eye socket.
• the part of the head of a golf club into which the shaft is fitted.
2 an electrical device receiving a plug or light bulb to make a connection.
This first of its kind scientific-historical research project, run under the auspices of Professor Zohar Amar of Bar Ilan University, includes on its team archaeologists, nutritional engineer Arye Cohen, the Shteibel wheat mill, the Sharon Portos labs for food additives, and the Shifon bakery, located in the Sha’ar Binyamin industrial park north of Jerusalem.
Professor Amar has previously done groundbreaking research into the sources of the components of the ketoret incense used in the Holy Temple, and the sources of the biblical colors used for dying the garments of the High Priest, the techelet, (sky-blue), argaman, (purple), and tola’at sheni, (scarlet). Professor Amar has worked closely with the Temple Institute, most recently harvesting the tola’at sheni worms for use in dying, and in preparing the techelet, argaman and tola’at sheni used for dying the threads woven into the avnet belt of the lay priests.
From Wikipedia: Mitre:
In ancient Israel, the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) wore a headress called the Mitznefet (often translated into English as “mitre”), which was wound around the head so as to form a broad, flat-topped turban. Attached to it was the Tzitz, a plate of solid gold bearing the inscription “Holiness to YHWH” (Exodus 39:14, 39:30).
Ouches [filigree settings] ornamental work of fine (typically gold or silver) wire formed into delicate tracery : [as adj. ] delicate silver filigree earrings.
• a thing resembling such fine ornamental work : a wedding cake of gold and white filigree. ORIGIN late 17th cent. (earlier as filigreen, filigrane): from French filigrane, from Italian filigrana (from Latin filum ‘thread’ + granum ‘seed’ ).
Bless: ORIGIN Old English based on blood (i.e., originally perhaps [mark or consecrate with blood] ). The meaning was influenced by its being used to translate Latin benedicere ‘to praise, worship,’ and later by association with bliss.
also broken loose, out of control.
Young’s Literal Translation:
And Moses seeth the people that it is unbridled, for Aaron hath made it unbridled for contempt among its withstanders,
consecrate [literally says consecrate your hand to Jehovah]
dedicate formally to a religious or divine purpose
The high priest was trained to operate it.
Joshua 3:7, priests’ feet touched water, with ark, kept water back
Electrocuted priests, Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu; they offered “unholy fire before the Lord… And fire came forth from the presence of the Lord and devoured them.” (Lev 10:1-20); in sep incident, Uzzah (2 sam 6:6-7)
Joshua Ch 6: Jericho wall collapses
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gjallarhorn Scholar Rudolf Simek comments that the use of a horn as both a musical instrument and a drinking vessel is not particularly odd, and that the concept is also employed with tales of the legendary Old French hero Roland’s horn, Olifant. Simek notes that the horn is among the most ancient of Germanic musical instruments, along with lurs, and, citing archaeological finds (such as the 5th century Golden Horns of Gallehus from Denmark), comments that there appears to have been sacral horns kept purely for religious purposes among the Germanic peoples, understood as earthly versions of Heimdallr’s Gjallarhorn, reaching back to the early Germanic Iron Age.
Ark captured by Phil (god Dagon, statue fell 2 times) against Eli’s sons
5:11 So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said, Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go again to his own place, that it slay us not, and our people: for there was a deadly destruction throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there.
Plague of tumors, ended when Ark returned to Beth-shemesh (ancient city, “house of the sun”) with offering of golden mice and golden tumors. David transports ark to Jerusalem. Uzzak touched ark, killed.
The account in 1 Samuel 5.2–7 relates how the ark of Yahweh was captured by the Philistines and taken to Dagon’s temple in Ashdod. The following morning they found the image of Dagon lying prostrate before the ark. They set the image upright, but again on the morning of the following day they found it prostrate before the ark, but this time with head and hands severed, lying on the miptān translated as “threshold” or “podium”. The account continues with the puzzling words raq dāgôn nišʾar ʿālāyw, which means literally “only Dagon was left to him.” (The Septuagint, Peshitta, and Targums render “Dagon” here as “trunk of Dagon” or “body of Dagon”, presumably referring to the lower part of his image.) Thereafter we are told that neither the priests or anyone ever steps on the miptān of Dagon in Ashdod “unto this day”. This story is depicted on the frescoes of the Dura-Europos synagogue as the opposite to a depiction of the High Priest Aaron and the Temple of Solomon.
In an Ethiopian account (Kebra Nagast) it is maintained that the Queen of Sheba had sexual relations with King Solomon (of which the Biblical and Quranic accounts give no hint) and gave birth by the Mai Bella stream in the province of Hamasien, Eritrea. The Ethiopian tradition has a detailed account of the affair.
The boy was a son who went on to become Menelik I, King of Axum, and founded a dynasty that would reign what became the Christian Empire of Ethiopia for 2900+ years (less one usurpation episode and interval of ca. 133 years until a “legitimate” male heir regained the crown) until Haile Selassie was overthrown in 1974. Menelik was said to be a practising Jew, had been gifted with a replica Ark of the Covenant by King Solomon, but moreover, the original was switched and went to Axum with him and his mother, and is still there, guarded by a single priest charged with caring for the artifact as his life’s task.
The claim of such a lineage and of possession of the Ark has been an important source of legitimacy and prestige for the Ethiopian monarchy throughout the many centuries of its existence, and had important and lasting effects on Ethiopian culture as a whole. The Ethiopian government and church deny all requests to view the alleged ark.
There is much mystery about exactly what the ephod is. At least in part, an ephod is an article of clothing worn by ancient Jewish high priests, associated with the ark of the covenant and the oracle of Urim and Thummin. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ephod :
A passage in the Book of Exodus describes the Ephod as an elaborate garment worn by the high priest, and upon which the breastplate, containing Urim and Thummim, rested. According to this description, the Ephod was woven out of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet threads, was made of fine linen, and was embroidered “with skillful work” in gold thread (Exodus 28:6-14) the Talmud argues that each of the textures was combined in six threads with a seventh of gold leaf, making twenty-eight threads to the texture in total (Yoma 71b). The Biblical description continues without describing the shape or length of the ephod, except by stating that it was held together by a girdle, and had two shoulder straps which were fastened to the front of the ephod by golden rings, to which the breastplate was attached by golden chains; (Exodus 28:6-14) from this description it appears to have been something like a minimalist apron or a skirt with braces, though Rashi argued that it was like a woman’s riding girdle. The biblical description also adds that there were two engraved gems over the shoulder straps (like epaulettes), made from shoham (thought by scholars to mean malachite, by Jewish tradition to mean heliodor, and in the King James Version is translated as “onyx”), and with the names of the twelve tribes written upon them; the classical rabbinical sources differ as to the order in which the tribes were named on the jewels (Sotah 36a). —http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ephod
Shiloh was the religious capital of Israel for 300 years before Jerusalem, where the “whole congregation of Israel assembled…and set up the tabernacle of the congregation…” (Joshua 18:1) to house the Ark of the Covenant. “According to Talmudic sources, the tent sanctuary remained at Shiloh for 369 years (Zevachim 118B) until the Ark of the Covenant was taken into the battle camp (1 Samuel 4:3-5) at Ebenezer and captured by the Philistines at Aphek (probably Antipatris). At some point during its long stay at Shiloh, the portable tent seems to have been enclosed within a compound or replaced with a standing structure that had “doors” (1 Samuel 3:15) a precursor to the Temple. The Mishkan [tabernacle] left Shiloh when Eli HaCohen died.
Shiloh was the center of Israelite worship. The people assembled here for the mandatory feasts and sacrifices, and here lots were cast for the various tribal areas and for the Levitical cities. This was a sacred act, revealing how God would choose to parcel out the land within the tribes.
Generations later, Samuel was raised at the shrine in Shiloh by the high priest Eli. Samuel began prophesying at a young age and continued to serve in the Tabernacle, but not as a priest because he was not from the family of Aaron.
When the Philistines defeated the Israelites at Aphek, one contingent of Philistines carried the Ark of the Covenant off to Philistia, while another contingent apparently marched on Shiloh and destroyed the shrine (1 Samuel 4:4-5, Psalms 78:60 and Jeremiah 7:4). Apparently the Tabernacle was removed before the Philistines arrived, and it was shipped to Gibeon, where it remained until Solomon’s time. The Ark was soon returned to Israel, but was subsequently kept in Kiryat-Yearim until David had it brought to Jerusalem. It never returned to Shiloh.