Thursday, February 22, 2007

b'Arafel & The Ark Of The Covenant


From on the location of the Ark Of The Covenant:


Solomon was a formidable expert in riddles (we learn from Josephus). He also knew how to "double talk", as in the famous episode of the two mothers fighting for the infant (1 Kings 3:25). On ordering to have the child cut in two, he succeeded in understanding who was the real mother.

Therefore, one has to accurately analyze Solomon's words. This is particularly true when we read the speech he gives to the People of Israel at the emotional moment of the inauguration of the new Temple. He says, according to the accepted translations (1 Kings 8:12-13): "God said He will dwell in the midst ("arafel" in hebrew); I indeed built you a Palace ("beit zvul" in hebrew). These two words, "arafel" and "zvul", are eminently suspicious. There is no midst on the Temple Mount and the word "zvul" does not appear again in the Bible!

Later on, in the same speech, Solomon gives us a hint. He proceeds with the following words: " heaven and heaven's heavens cannot contain You…" (1 Kings 8:27). This is to remind us that, according to tradition, there are seven heavens. And the same tradition (see in the Kabbala) tells us that heavens have names: "arafel" is the lowest and "zvul" is a higher one.

Now we can "translate" the real message of Solomon: "God said that He will dwell in a lower level; I indeed built you a House on a higher level." In other words, the Temple was built on the apparent ground, but the Holy of Holies with the Ark itself were underground. This explains why the Temple could be destroyed but the Ark would not be spotted.

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