The Ark of God - it's Glory, Power, and Presence                      Updated: 13 March 1999

A chronological study by the geographic movements of the ark of God. Associated doctrines: (1) God's glory (2) Ten commandments (3) Cherubims (4) Holy of holies or inner sanctuary (5) Mercy-seat (6) Priests

Period 1. Genesis to Judges (1 hr)   (No Temple & Tabernacle)

#1 (W)

1445 BC

(Mt Sinai)


of Ark

glory with man

Acacia wood overlaid with gold, 2 Ĺ x 1 Ĺ x 1 Ĺ cubits with rim of gold and 4 rings for carrying poles.

2) The cover is the mercy seat with 2 Cherubims facing each other with wings (pure gold). Cherubims were present in Garden of Eden, Genesis 3:24 and Ezekiel 10-11. 1 Kings 6 the Cherubims were 10 cubits or 180" high with large wings (Solomon's Temple). Also see Seraphims in Isaiah 6:1-6. Other angels appeared as men.

3) Inside the Ark are two tablets of stone with the 10 commandments. Later there was Aaronís rod (Nu 17:10) a gold bowl full of manna (Ex 16:33). (Hebrews 9:4) Possibly the Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 31:26) The Ark was the 1st furnishing God gave instructions on the design.. The Ark is placed in the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle. The High Priest entered here 1x per year on the Day of Atonement.

4) Construction of the Ark was last. Exodus 36-39 (37:1-9)

5) Ark of the covenant or testimony (Exodus 22:22). The whole structure (tabernacle or the tent of the testimony.)

Dedication of the tabernacle and the glory of God

Creative power in Genesis 1:1-2, disobedience by Adam and Eve, Cherubims

Focus on angels, ark and 10 commandments, law to all people of all times. (1st covenant or testament).        Rev 22:14.Also Cherubims - # times, which books.

Satan was the anointed cherub. Cherub or cherubim used 93 times in OT and 1 in NT






#2 (W)

1405 BC


3:15, 4:11

the Jordan

goes before his people

Crossing the Jordan (God's power as a result of obedience and faith) We must take the 1st step.

2) 40K men, left wives and children behind, 12 stones, heap of water

3) Joshua 3:11 The ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth.

Salv/growth truths Red Sea/Jordan River

#3 (W)

1405 BC

the nation

of Jericho


Joshua 22:1-34

around Jericho

goes with his people

Battle belongs to the Lord

2) Tabernacle and Ark stays at Shiloh from now through period of Judges (1360-1050 BC) (345 years)

Notes: W=Worship - obedience Joshua 1:7-9

J or F = judgment or fear - disobedience

1 Corinthians 10:11,13

God - Glory, Power and Presence are inseparable. Man's reaction Worship - all or fear when judgment is near or present.

Glory is the expression of holiness as beauty is the expression of health. God's glory is the correlation of his holiness.

Paul to Corinthians - shall I come to you in blessing or a rod 1 Corinthians 4:21. Psalm 23 Little Jesus

Period 2. Eli to Saul (1 hr) Focus on Power and Presence of Ark (Ark & Ark with Tent)

#4 (J)

1050 BC

the High Priest

of Shiloh

Samuel 4:3 Ė 22

Joshua 22

of Ark

's presence departs from Israel

Eli the high priest and also a judge. He had 2 wicked sons, Hophni and Phinehas who died in war.

2) The Ark is useless without obedience (Joshua 1:8-9) and captured by Philistines.

3) Eli was 98 years old and heavy. He died upon hearing the Ark was captured.

4) Eliís daughter-in-law gave birth to child and died after heard Ark was captured.

5) Child named Icabod "No glory" or The glory has departed from Israel, for the Ark of God has been captured. None of Eli's descendants were levites or priest thereafter.

6) Samuel at temple with Eli as a child. Shiloh was central location for the sanctuary (tabernacle) between Jerusalem and Bethel. Between 12 tribes. In times of Judges. Typical of eastern religions where pilgrimages are made to a shrine or temple at a central location.

Saul scolded by Samuel 1 Samuel 13:8-15. 2 Chronicles 26:17-18 Leper for rest of his life. In exile only the kings office was exercised - Daniel and Ezekiel. After return - Haggai and Zechariah - prophetic office. Zertubabbel - king. Joshua, son of Nun - high priest. Zech 3.

Church government: NT deacons acts 6 - gifts and offerings - priests

Acts 13 Barnabas - minister of the word (pastor) - prophet

Acts 20:17-35 general oversight - elders - kings

Christ and apostles - united 3 offices. Presbyterian.







#5 (W)

1050 BC

part (a)

the idol

temple at Ashdod

Samuel 5:1 Ė 12

falls before Ark

worship God (Every knee shall bow)

Dagon had head and upper body of man and lower body of fish. Philistines are sea people. Father of Baal.

2) Dagon fell on his face 2 times before the Ark. Idolís head and hands broke off the 2nd time.

3) Falling forward is Biblical 100% of the time. Danger of not limiting God and Holy Spirit to the revelation of the Holy Scriptures. Fall on face Ė glory or fear or reverence (man). Bow or kneel Ė same. (6 Mar 99 shhhh dream)

4) Temple of Dagon also place of Samson's death and where Saul's head was fastened.

#6/7 (J) (J)

1050 BC

part (b)

to Gath to Ekron

Samuel 5:1 Ė 12


of God

Boils, rats and deadly great destruction followed the Ark of the Covenant.

#8 (W)

1050 BC

part (c)


to Beth-shemesh (road)

Samuel 6:1-18

's direction

's divine sovergnity

Diviners warned Philistines not to harden their hearts as Pharaoh did in Egypt. Return the Ark.

2) Philistine return Ark to Israel on 2 cows that were never yoked and were nursing baby cows.

3) 5 Kings bring give trespass offering of 5 golden boils and golden rats.

#9 (J)

1050 BC

of Beth-shemesh

Samuel 6:19-20 Numbers 4:15-20

at Ark

treat Sacred and holy as common (irreverence)

Disobeyed the revealed will of God in the Scriptures.

2) Obedience to Word is first. Who can stand in the presence of the Lord?

3) 50,070 (?) of Israel died due to the sin of the Levites.

#10 (W)

1050 BC

the Levite

(Levite home)

Samuel 6:21-7:2

I Chronicles 13:7


(54 years?) (20)

Saul did not go after the Ark. Why?

Ark stayed at home of Abinadab. Abinidab had 2 sons, Uzzah and Ahio.

2) Saul reigned from 1052-1011 BC. King David reigned from 1011-971 BC.

3) Long civil war between the house of Saul (northern tribes) and the house of David (southern tribes).

4) King David captured Jerusalem from the Jebusites and made this city the capital of the nation.

Period 3. King David to King Solomon (1 hr) (Ark with Tent to Solomon's Temple)

#11 (#8) (J)

996 BC

the Priest

to Jerusalem (road)

Samuel 6:1-9

1 Chronicles 13:1-14

of Ark/Death

has standard and requires obedience

David had music, dancing, joy, and celebration. Time of rejoicing.

2) Ox carried Ark on a new cart. As Ox stumbled Uzzah broke the fall. Upon touching the Ark he instantly died.

3) David became angry when Uzzah died. (1st evidence of Davidís pride before his fall) As Moses when he hit the rock with anger (for water) instead of speaking to it.

4) David was ignorant of what the Scripture said. Hosea 4:6 Not rejecting word, but ignorant 2 Tim 2:15)

#12 (W)

996 BC

the Gittite

(Levite home)

Samuel 6:10-12

of the Ark (3 months)

presence brings blessing.

A levite. Belonged to the class of doorkeepers and from the tribe of Dan. In the Levitical city of Gath-rimmon, near Joppa (?) 4 cities for Levites in Dan. Oded-edom of the Kohathites (non priests).

#13 (W)-(J)

996 BC


to Jerusalem (road)

Samuel 6:12-23

I Chronicles 15:1-16:3

before the Ark

standard and method in worship

David learned lesson of Joshua. Not to turn to the left or the right, but to obey the Scriptures. The Ark was carried by 4 priests with posts through the 4 rings.

2) David dances before the Ark with all his strength, as the riff-raff (Hebrew Bible), and reveals his nakedness which shames Micah. (2nd evidence of Davidís pride before his fall). Davidís cutting reply to Micah is in response to her correct evaluation.

3) King David had period of rest from the enemies of Israel. History of city of Jerusalem, City of Peace. Center of worship.

#14 (J)

996 BC

the Prophet

(in tabernacle)

Samuel 7:1-3

1 Chronicles 17:1-2

for Ark denied

nature is peace

David desire to build a house for the Ark. Nathan say go ahead, whatever is upon your heart, the Lord is with you."

2) Nathan has a vision from God who prohibits David from building a house for the Ark because he is a man of war and much blood. Prophesizes his son Solomon, a man of peace will build the house.

3) This is the 3rd evidence of King Davidís pride before his fall.

4) Cause (6 events) and effect (17 events-last 20 years) of King David's fall. King for 40 years, died at 70.

#15 (W)

959 BC


(in temple)

Kings 8:1-13

built for Ark

glory fills his house

Solomon began reign in 971. Built foundation in 966 BC and completed temple 7 years later in 959 BC. Dedicated temple on the Feast of Tabernacles and year of Jubilee. 7x7=47. 1 of 3 annual festivals of celebration.

2) Solomon's Speech, Prayer of Dedication and Blessing the Assembly (1 Kings 8:14-21, 22-53, 54-61).

Go into Solomon's words more.

3) Only the 2 tablets of stone in the ark. The 15' x 15' Cherubims were much larger than in the tabernacle and set on the sides of the ark, not on top of the mercy seat.

Period 4. King Jehoboam to King Herod (1 hr) (Solomon's Temple - No Temple - Zerubabbel's Temple)

#16 (J)

697 BC


Kings 21

II Chronicles 33:7

put where Ark was

people do not know glory of God

1) Levites seek protection of the Ark from Manassah under Pharaoh Necho.

#17 (W)

640 BC


Chronicles 35:3

not in temple

people honor Godís presence

Ezekiel 10 - 11 Cherubim present and glory of the Lord departed until Ezekiel 43.

2) 642 Ark transferred to Elephantine Island, Egypt.

3) Josiah seeks Arkís return; dies fighting Necho, 2 Chronicles 35.

4) Little sanctuary - type of God's presence in believer during church. Little part of glory of God. When Christ departed. The comforter.

Jeremiah - God the Father Isaiah - God the Son Ezekiel - God the Spirit

1st covenant/testament - 18 moves of Ark recorded.

All evil kings after Josiah and Ezekiel came on the scene.??? Ezekiel fell on face in 43:3-4, 1:28, 9:8 Rev 1:12-17 Lord picked up every time. Glory departed from east and returned for the east Ez 11:32, 43:2. 4 visions of Ezekiel

#18A (J)

586 BC

destroyed then Judah in exile


of Temple & Ark

departs God's people

After Solomon died the kingdom divided in 931 BC. Northern (19 evil kings , fall to Assyria in 721 BC after 210 years) and southern Kingdom (20 kings, 4 good. Fall to Babylonia after 345 years). 14 prophets of God were before the fall of Jerusalem to Babylonia in 586 BC.

2) 1st captivity in 606 BC of Daniel 1:1-2, 6, 2 Kings 24:1.

3) 2nd captivity in 597 BC of 10,000 including Jehoiachin and Ezekiel.

4) 3rd captivity in 586 BC, Jerusalem destroyed.

5) 538 BC is fall of Babylonia (Daniel 5). Persia is next empire to rise.


516 BC

and Nehemiah

rebuilt after return from exile


rebuilt and dedicated

in God himself and his Word.

1st return from exile 536 BC and begin rebuilding the temple, Ezra 1:4-3:13. Rebuilding hindered by Samarians, Ezra 4:1-24. Temple rebuilt and dedicated in 516 BC. (The holy of holies did not contain the ark?)

2) 470 BC Ark transferred from Elephantine Island, Egypt to Tano Kirkos Island, Ethopia.

3) 2nd return from exile 458 BC Ezra 7-8 followed by reforms, Ezra 9-10.

4) 3rd return from exile 444 BC Nehemiah 1:1-2:8 followed by rebuilding the wall of the city of Jerusalem, Nehemiah 2:9-6:19 and instruction in the law, Nehemiah 8-10. 400 silent years. Called Zerubbabel's temple - no ark, Cherubims, nor glory in inner sanctuary.

5) Ark is destined to be presented to the Messiah on Mt. Zion, Isaiah 18, Zeph 3:10.


100 BC ?


Capacity for 210,000 people. Here is where Jesus drove out the money changers at the beginning and end of his ministry.

2) The Holy of Holies or inner sanctuary only contained a large stone for the sprinkling of blood.

3) Wood partition had 2 curtains which were solid. The High Priest entered from one side then walked to other side on 2nd curtain to enter into the inner sanctuary.

4) 3 great annual feasts where all Israel were to celebrate at temple in Jerusalem. 1. The Passover. 2. Pentecost 50 days later (giving of the law). 3. Tabernacles on the 7th month, greatest celebration for thanks in harvest.

Prophets - Saints - Pharisees (separated ones)


586 BC to Present

Search of the Lost Ark

mystery of the Church

Movie "Indians Jones". 2) Like Moses body, similar circumstances.

Period 5. The Life and Death of Jesus Christ (1 hr) Mysteries? (Herod's Temple)

#19A (W)

1 AD

the Priest

in Jerusalem


of John the Baptist

's presence in the angel

After no prophets. God has not spoken to man for over 400 years. Fear fell upon him.

2) Lot fell to burn incense, only 1 time in lifetime and most honorable of all 4 daily courses. Only for morning session at 6th hour (0900). Another selected to offer incense for the evening worship. 24 courses of priests had duty 2 times a year for a one week period.

3) Zacharias and wife were both righteous and obeyed all the commandments of the Lord, blameless.

4) His son John the Baptist was in the spirit and power of Elijah. He fulfilled the prophecy of Malachi

#19B (W)

1 AD


of Jesus Christ


#19C (W)

27 AD




Baptism in water

for ministry

salvation or after. Normally after. Depends on circumstances of salvation.

#19D (W)

30 AD


1:14, 11:4, 17:5, MT 17:1-5

of Jesus Christ


Destroy this temple and it shall be raised in 3 days

Hebrews 12:1-2 The glory set before him he endured the shame and suffering of the cross.

#19E (W)

30 AD

and Gentile

in temple


Mk 15:38, Lu 23:45

of Jesus Christ

mystery of Godliness

The earthly ark and Holy of Holies was open when the price and penalty for mankind's sin was paid by our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. "It is finished" then "He cried "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit" VICTORY

2) The sun was darkened, the earth quaked and the rocks split, and graves were opened. Many of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; their graves opened and they appeared to many in the holy city after His resurrection.

3) Tearing of veil opened a "new and living way" Hebrews (10:19-22). See example 21 below. Torn from top to bottom.

4) 2nd covenant or testament

Period 6. The Individual Believer (1 hr) mystery? (Believer's Body the Temple)

#20A (W)

34 AD

Acts 2, 8


- Christ in you, the hope of glory

Baptism of Holy Spirit and Fire. Blessing and Judgment Just and Justice by the Scriptures. Man and doctrines can rob us of our rewards.

2) Was the Ethopian Treasurer on a mission or a special purpose, Acts 8 concerning the ark.

#20B (W)

56-57 AD

Cor 3:12-17, 6:19-20

2 Cor 6:11 - 7:1

- Christ in you, the hope of glory

Today our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit

#20C (W)

67 AD

Christ Jesus

9:3-5, 10:19-25 *

Jesus Christ

The earthly ark was only a "symbol" or "copy" of the heavenly one ( Hebrews 9:8-9,23-24).

2) Jesus Christ now sits at the right hand of the throne of God as our mediator and helper. As our Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16).

3) For the glory set before Him, Christ humbled himself and bore the suffering of the cross (Hebrews 12:1-2)


#20D (W)



1 Cor 10:31, 2 Cor 4:6, 17

1 Peter 1:8, 16-18, James 2:1

Baptism by spirit and fire. Fire is judgment and cloven tongues on individual. Begins at personal pentecost and ends at judgment seat of Christ for believer. For unbeliever? Context of passage - study.


#20E (J)



Cor 3:12-17, 6:19-20

2 Cor 6:11 - 7:1

- Christ in you, the hope of glory

Presence or experience/emotion. Not all experiences of God Grounded in Hebrews 6

2) 330 ADArk transferred from Lake Tana to Axum, Ethopia, where it remains until today.Guarded by a fort by Coptic Christians.



#20F (J)




- when glory departs (presence = of the Holy Spirit) then the great tribulation or wrath of God. Now we are his workmanship.

Period 7. The Future Mysteries?


#21 (W)



of all ages/


Holy of Holies


11:19 Rev 20

Acts 15:13-18, Amos 9:11-12

of God

David's Tent

Our hope in glory!

Isreal's hope on earth!

The ark of His covenant was seen in the temple. Where God dwells in glory. The Ark symbolizes God's presence, atonement, mercy, and covenant with his people.

2) There are lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake and great hail (which occur at the 7th bowl (Revelations 16:17-21) and are the climax of the 7th trumpet). 7 seals-7 trumpets-7 bowls (vials of wrath of God, Rev 15:1, last 1/2 of tribulation or Great Tribulation)

3) In wrath remember mercy. Judgment to come. Love and judgment. Glory and fear. Contradictions or paradoxes of the God of the Bible.

Temple of God


#22 (W)

After Trip

1000 yrs


on earth


 Christ our King

#23 (W)


of all ages

Heaven, New Earth, New Jerusalem

21:22-24 Ezekiel 43:1-7???

temple anymore

hope in glory!?

can glimpse this glory. Jesus saw, Paul saw. Heb 12:1-2

1 Corinthians 1:10, 13, 31

LESSONS FROM EXAMPLES IN COMPARING the Past, Present and Future scripture on the Ark.

1. #2 God goes before his people

2. #3 God goes with his people

3. #4 God departs his people due to disobedience of the Scriptures

4. #5 God will have all worship Him

5. #6/7 God's Judgment

6. #9 God requires reverence to His things

7. #11 God's way and standard require obedience (morals and worship)

8. #12 God's blessing

9. #13 Pride goes before a Fall

10. #14 God of peace

11.#15 God's glory

12. #16/17 Darkness/light

Period 5 - past (includes 1-5 or fulfillment or culmination), period 6 - present, period 7 - future