Ark of the Covenant
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The priesthood of Ancient Israel was the class of male individuals, whom, according to the Hebrew Bible, were patrilineal descendants from Aaron (the elder brother of Moses), who served in theTabernacle, Solomon's Temple and Second Temple until the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE. Their temple role included animal sacrifice. The priests (Hebrew kohanim) are viewed as continuing in theKohen families of rabbinical Judaism.
The Ark of the Covenant (Hebrew: אָרוֹן הַבְּרִית ʾĀrôn Hābərît, modern pron. Aron Habrit), also known as the Ark of the Testimony, is a chest described in Book of Exodus as solely containing theTablets of Stone on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed. According to some traditional interpretations of the Book of Exodus, Book of Numbers, and the Letter to the Hebrews the Ark also contained Aaron's rod, a jar of manna and the first Torah scroll as written by Moses; however, the first of the Books of Kings says that at the time of king Solomon, the Ark contained only the two Tablets of the Law. According to the Book of Exodus, the Ark was built at the command of God, in accordance with the instructions given to Moses on Mount Sinai. God was said to have communicated with Moses "from between the two cherubim" on the Ark's cover.
The biblical account relates that during the Israelites' exodus from Egypt, the Ark was carried by the priests some 2,000cubits in advance of the people and their army, or host.When the Ark was borne by priests into the bed of theJordan, water in the river separated, opening a pathway for the entire host to pass through (Josh. 3:15-16; 4:7-18). The city of Jericho was taken with no more than a shout after the Ark of the Covenant was paraded for seven days around its wall by seven priests sounding seven trumpets oframs' horns (Josh. 6:4-20). When carried, the Ark was always wrapped in a veil, in skins and a blue cloth, and was carefully concealed, even from the eyes of the priests who carried it. There are no contemporary extra-biblical references to the Ark.