Ark of Covenant – fig. a decorated chest which is one of the main cult equipments of the ancient Israelites. It symbolised the presence of Yahveh, perhaps the throne of God; according to the Bible, the stone tablets of the Decalogue were stored inside it. The Israelites brought the Ark of the Covenant from the desert, then it was stored in various sanctuaries, and from the time of David – in Jerusalem. It went missing after the capture of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 586 BC. Later legends (e.g. from the 2 Maccabees) speak about its hiding, but it was probably seized and destroyed by enemies. A common theme in the Jewish and Christian art.
The content of this entry has been prepared on the basis of the source materials of the Polish Scientific Publishers PWN.