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||THE holy LAND EPISODE||By Roderick GriersonRoderick Grierson top top the Ark in ~ AksumAccording come Ethiopian tradition, the Ark the the covenant is kept in the ancient holy city the Aksum. Because that centuries, the good relic was maintained in the Church of mary of Zion, whereby the emperor Iyasu is videotaped as having actually seen that and talked to that in 1691. Currently it is kept in the Chapel that the Tablet, which was constructed beside the church during the regime of the critical emperor Haile Selassie. The relic is entrusted to a solitary guardian, that burns incense before it and also recites the Biblical publication of Psalms. No one else can technique it, consisting of the high monk of Aksum. The guardian is not just a monk, but a virgin together well, and he offer the Ark until he appoints a follower as his own fatality approaches.The standard account that the Ark in Ethiopia is found in a middle ages epic composed in Geez, The Glory of Kings. It explains how the Queen of Sheba had heard that King Solomon possessed an excellent wisdom, and also traveled to Jerusalem so the she can learn come govern her own people an ext wisely. When she arrived, Solomon to be impressed by her intelligence as well as her beauty. He began to hope the he might have a boy by her, back the epic is anxious to tell that is readers the the king was not thrust by lust, but by a setup to fill the planet with sons who would be serve the God the Israel. The queen did develop a son, and after he had grown he set out from Ethiopia to visit his father. Solomon anointed him together king of Ethiopia, and then instructed the elders the Israel to send their very own sons to Africa to serve him as counselors. Due to the fact that the young Israelites were desperately unhappy the they would never see Jerusalem and also its temple again, they chose to lug the Ark through them. In fact, The Glory of kings tells us that the Ark chin had decided to leaving Jerusalem due to the fact that the Jews had abandoned the faith that God had actually revealed to them. The epic provides a history for two crucial themes of the medieval Solomonid dynasty: the descent of the royal family members from King Solomon, and the existence of the Ark that the covenant as proof of the sanctity the the Ethiopian state. Among the great mysteries the this epic was when it to be written, and when the legacy of the Ark in Ethiopia began. We know from the proof of coins and also inscriptions that the ancient kings the Aksum to be pagan until the 4th century A.D., as soon as they converted to Christianity. There is no proof that they claimed descent from King Solomon or the they were especially interested in the Ark of the Covenant. The more quickly report the the Ark had actually been lugged to Ethiopia shows up at the end of the 12th century, once an Armenian named Abu Salih composed in Arabic at Cairo that the Ethiopians possessed the Ark of the Covenant, and that the was brought by a huge number the Israelites descended from the household of King David, that were white and also red in complexion and also had blond hair hair. While famous writers have asserted that Abu Salih is clearly stating the the Ark was lugged by a mysterious tape of Europeans quite than through Ethiopians, his account cannot be taken in this way. In the song of Solomon, we read that Solomon own white and also red cheeks and also hair choose fine gold. Abu Salih seems to be relying ~ above the authority of the holy bible to describe a people that he had actually never checked out himself but who were stated to be concerned the kings of Israel.Perhaps the many remarkable function of the Ark the Abu Salih describes is that is decoration. Crosses would be a really unusual feature for an old Israelite Ark, although middle ages Christian artist did often assume that if Christianity were the true confidence the Ark would certainly quite normally have shown its central symbol. If his account is reliable, it would certainly seem the Abu Salih is describing a later on Christian Ark. Also though an ancient wooden box might have made it through in the dry air that a sealed Egyptian tomb, the humidity that the Ethiopian rainy season would be very damaging. The question as such arises of even if it is an Ark might have decayed in Ethiopia, yet the rock Tablets of Moses for which the Ark that the covenant had to be made would endure unharmed. In fact, the earliest accounts by international travelers in Ethiopia describe a tablet rather than an Ark, and also the research undertaken because that the recent publication published by Roderick Grierson and Stuart Monro-Hay has revealed the the clergy at Aksum also describe the an excellent relic as a tablet rather 보다 an Ark. Lock use words sellat, which way "tablet", fairly than tabot, which could mean either "ark" or "tablet". The ambiguity of the word tabot has made the concern of the Ark in Ethiopia very an overwhelming to understand. Not just is it supplied for the Ark the the agreement in the Old Testament, that is also used because that the tablet at Aksum, and also for the 10s of countless altar tablets in every Ethiopian church. Each of this altar stones, on i m sorry the sacraments that the Christian liturgy are consecrated, is believed to it is in a replica that the Ark. In fact, each one is believed actually to be the Ark. This has meant that foreign travelers in Ethiopia have often construed Ethiopians to it is in talking around the Ark the the covenant described in the Old Testament once they space really speaking around a tabot in a local church. The rich symbolism that surrounds the tabot and also the Ethiopian traditions about the Ark is a resource of mystical impetus for the Ethiopian church in the liturgy, and also especially throughout the great processions such as Timkat or Hedar Seyon, festivals that commemorate the Baptism the Christ in January and also the arrival of the Ark in November. It is this legacy of extensive spirituality that is the key to expertise the nature of Ethiopian claims around the Ark. While spiritual stones noting the covenant between God and also man have survived in Mecca for at least sixteen centuries, and also while over there is no reason why an ancient stone tablet can not have survived in ~ Aksum as well, the clergy in Aksum plainly believe that much more than one tablet or Ark deserve to be the real and true Ark.


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Together a careful reading of the Hebrew and Greek version of the Bible likewise reveals evidence of an ext than one Ark, the Ethiopian tradition should no be believed to be impossible or incredible. It seems that the Ark really is at Aksum, however in a way that is much more surprising than most writers on the subject have assumed.||THE holy LAND EPISODE||EXPLORE all THEMESRELATED STORIESIs the Ark of the commitment at Aksum?=Roderick Grierson top top the Ark in ~ Aksum=Louis Farrakhan top top Ethiopia"s significance to afri Americans