Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Elizabeth Esguerra Castillo writes

The Lost Ark of the Covenant
Oh, Kingdom of Aksum
Regal, ancient reminiscent of ancient civilization
Nestled between the beauteous Mediterranean
And the Great Indian Ocean
You are full of epic memorabilia.
The Roman Empire and ancient India
Both involved in your trade,
Oh, Kingdom of Aksum
Now seen in Eritrea and Ethiopia,
Home of the legendary Queen Sheba.
Oh, where is the lost Ark of the Covenant
The mystery behind is yet to be unraveled,
Azariah, son of the High Priest, dreamed about you
Upon leaving the walls of Jerusalem,
Your relic taken somewhere in Ethiopia. 

Carrying the Ark of the Covenant: gilded bas-relief, Basilique Cathédrale Sainte-Marie d'Auch

1 comment:

  1. According to the “Kebra Nagast” (The Glory of Kings), in her 6th year of rule the queen of Sheba heard about king Solomon and traveled to Jerusalem during the construction of his Temple. She remained for 6 months, converted to Judaism from sun worship, and became the king’s lover on the final night of her stay. Nine months and 5 days after she left, she gave birth to a son, Bayna-Lehkem (“son of the wise man”). When he was 22 years old he traveled to Jerusalem to meet his father. He declined Solomon’s offer to name him his heir, so his father recognized him as Menelik I of Ethipoia and ordered his counselors, officers, and elders to send their firstborn sons with him to serve as his royal staff. Azariah, the firstborn son of high priest Zadok, had a dream that Menelik should steal the Ark of the Covenant (Ārôn Habbərîṯ), a gold-covered acacia chest that contained a pot of manna, Aaron's miraculous rod which budded, and the Ten Commandments given to Moses on Mt. Sinai. The Angel of the Lord then helped Azariah steal it because Israel had provoked God’s wrath. The Ark was put in a wagon that was “suspended in the air” and was “swifter than eagles that are in the sky, and all their baggage traveled with them in wagons above the winds.” After failing to recover the Ark, Solomon dreamt that his son should have it and he Zadok to keep its disappearance a secret. The Ark was taken to Tana Kirkos, a small island in Lake Tana, where it remained for 8 centuries before being relocated to Aksum, a naval and trading power that ruled part of Ethiopia from ca. 400 BCE to the 10th century. It is reportedly still in a small chapel in the monastic complex of the Re-ese Adbarat Kidiste Kidusan Dingel Maryam Ts’iyon (St. Mary of Zion), church, originally built for ‘Ezana, the kingdom’s 1st Christian ruler. It is guarded by a succession of virgin monks, 1 of whom lives his entire life inside the confines of that and is the only person who can see the relic. Another 125 virgin monks on Tana Kirkos and keep a bronze tray and other ancient instruments that Menelik took from Jerusalem. “Emek Halchah,” a Hebrew book published in Amsterdam in 1648, contained an ancient text “Massekhet Kelim” (Teatise of the Vessels), which claimed that Shimmur the priest hid some of Solomon’s treasures when Jerusalem was sacked by the Babylonians in 586 BCE, and that the angels Shamshiel, Michael, Gabriel and perhaps Sariel took other treasures, but their location will not be revealed until the coming of the Messiah.


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