Ark of the Covenant
II. Purpose.—Its purpose was to contain inviolate the divine autograph of the two tables,
that“covenant” from which it derived its title. It was also probably a reliquary for the pot of manna and the rod of Aaron.
III. History.—Before David’s time its abode was frequently shifted. It sojourned among
several, probably Levitical , families , 1 Sam. 7:1; 2 Sam. 6:3, 11; 1 Chron. 13:13; 15:24, 25, in
the border villages of eastern Judah, and did not take its place in the tabernacle, but dwelt in
curtains, i.e., in a separate tent pitched for it in Jerusalem by David. Subsequently the
temple,when completed, received, in the installation of the ark in its shrine, the signal of its
inauguration by the effulgence of divine glory instantly manifested. It was probably taken
captive or destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, 2Esdr. 10:22, so that there was no ark in the second
William Smith, Smith’s Bible Dictionary(Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1986).