Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Ark of the Covenant and the Rastafarians

THIS IS A NEW ONE: The Rastafarian Messiah Guarding the Ark of the Covenant.
The Rastafarian connection to the Jewish nation goes even deeper with their more surprising claim of knowing the location of the Lost Ark of the Covenant. Followers of Selassie in Ethiopia claim they are in possession of the Ark, which they describe as an acacia wood box covered in gold, originally taken by Queen Makeda, also known as the Queen of Sheba, and Menelik, her son by King Solomon. They allegedly removed the Ark from the Temple without Solomon’s knowledge.

The whereabouts of the Ark of the Covenant have been unknown since the destruction of the Temple, leaving room for even this Rastafarian theory to be true. Since its abduction by Makeda and Menelik, the Ark is believed to be protected by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which preserves it in the famous cathedral of Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion, originally built in the 4th century CE.
I knew about the claims of the Ethiopian Church to have the Ark of the Covenant (see, e.g., here, here, and here), but I did not know of any specific Rastafarian claim on the Ark. A little Googling produces the following. The old Church of St Mary of Zion in Axum goes back to the fourth century, although it has been repeatedly rebuilt. It is where the Ark of the Covenant resides according to the traditions of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. In 1955 the Emperor Haile Selassie built the new Church of St. Mary of Zion next to the old church. More details here. So there is a Rastafarian connection to the Ark tradition, albeit a somewhat indirect one.

More on Rastafarianism is here and here and links. More on Axum (Aksum) is here and links. And more on the Ark of the Covenant is here and links.