JERUSALEM, Israel - For centuries, the search for the Ark of the Covenant has captured the imagination of movie makers, archeologists, and even a queen of England. Legends have placed the Ark in such faraway places as Ethiopia or Ireland.
Researcher and author Harry Moskoff took CBN News through the Western Wall tunnels, up to the ramparts of the Temple Mount, and into the chambers surrounding Judaism’s holiest site. His book, The A.R.K Report, chronicles his two-decade quest to find the legendary icon.
He says one theory is that it was taken out of the Temple and carried to Jericho eighteen miles away.
“It says in Jeremiah that some of the vessels of the Temple were exited, sort of escaped as it were, through this area at the destruction of the First Temple,” he explained.
Moskoff took CBN News to the spot where he believes the Ark really lies.
He believes a key clue lies behind a 570-ton rock and says high-tech search tools give credence to his theory.
“Two years ago, there were tests done by the University of Nebraska, sonar tests…using electromagnetic waves. They actually found what’s called a storage space across from here,” said Moskoff.
“So actually, there was a purpose for putting this giant stone, this massive slab here. One of the reasons, in my opinion, is to protect whatever it is on the other side. And according to my theory of where the Ark was actually buried by King Josiah, I think it was 568 BC – in back of these boulders, these massive stones,” he said.
Underneath the Temple Mount lies dozens of underground tunnels and chambers.
“Back then, 150 years ago, Charles Warren went in and actually did a survey,” Moskoff said, adding that political tensions prevent anyone from excavating underneath the Temple Mount today.
“No one’s been allowed to even put a shovel, nothing. But, basically, they were the ones that surveyed the whole area and they were the ones who picked out the tunnels...They couldn’t find the Ark.”
Warren, a British explorer, documented those tunnels at the request of Queen Victoria. He was just one of many throughout history looking for the Ark.
“When people like the Crusaders and the Knights Templar, even the Palestine Exploration Fund, which was originally commissioned by Queen Victoria, came over the centuries to look for the Ark, what they were looking for was a golden box with the staves. But what they really should have been looking for is a room. They could have been right up against the wall and on the other side of the wall is the Ark,” said Moskoff.
Moskoff believes the original Holy of Holies had another chamber directly beneath it.
“Actually, in the blueprint itself of the First Temple, a chamber should be built [exactly] the same [as the] Holy of Holies, exactly the same level of holiness as the one just above it. It was set up right from the beginning to house the Ark, with the golden floor and everything,” he said.
Moskoff explained that Solomon built the Holy of Holies so that the Ark could go below it.
He believes the Ark will be revealed one day.
“Timing is incredibly important, incredibly significant. Obviously, it’s a groundbreaking, game-changing, biblical type of discovery. My personal opinion is that when it does happen it won’t be in a clandestine way. Where we are sneaking through these tunnels, you know what I mean, and we’re bringing it out under the cover of darkness. It will be a great occasion and will help bring the Messiah. It will be something all nations will really rejoice in,” the researcher explained.
Moskoff credits Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark for the renewed interest.
“There are some things they got right about the power of the Ark…and its destructive forces shouldn’t get into the wrong hands."
Moskoff wants the world to know that the Ark is more than just a piece of history.
“It’s a real thing. Just like it did 2,700 years ago it still exists today. It’s got the broken tablets that Moses crashed down there at Mt. Sinai and the second tablets. It really does exist. We’re really going to see it hopefully in our lifetime again. It is a catalyst for the Messiah to come."
Until it is revealed, the Ark of the Covenant built by Moses in the wilderness will continue to fascinate the world.
Why does Judaism matter and how is it connected to Christianity? Learn more here.