from an article in Israel My Glory magazine by Jimmy DeYoung, internationally known Bible prophecy teacher and conference speaker
There is much speculation as to the location of the Ark of the Covenant. Its design was given to Moses by God Himself. It was made of acacia wood plated with gold and contains the two stone tablets with the Ten Commandments inscribed on them, as well as the golden pot of manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded. Built during the Exodus, it was in the Holy Place of the Tabernacle as the Jews wandered in the desert for 40 years on their way to the Promised Land of Israel. Later it was placed in the Holy of Holies in the temple built by King Solomon. It was central to temple worship it was sprinkled with blood once a year on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, first for the sins of the high priest, and then for the sins of the nation of Israel.
But where is it now? And when was it removed from the temple? Among TV reports it was supposedly taken to Ethiopia, or it was carried off to Rome. Others claim it was stolen by Babylon and taken there. However, none of these who claim these things have ever seen the Ark.
I (Jimmy) have talked with two rabbis and a Temple Mount expert who have gone on record as having been to the location of the Ark of the Covenant. Rabbi Yehuda Meir Getz was for decades the rabbi of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Rabbi Shlomo Goren was the first head of the Military Rabbinate of the IDF and the first to offer prayer at the Western Wall after the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967. He also started a training center for the future priests of the 3rd temple.
In 1982 both men went under the Temple Mount to an area where they claim the Ark of the Covenant now rests. When Gershon Salomon, founder of the Temple Mount Faithful, was asked to join these two rabbis on this quest, he was so excited he forgot to put on his shoes before rushing there.
Though we have the testimony of these honorable and trustworthy men, the matter ultimately rests on God’s Word. II Chronicles 35:3 reads “Then he (King Josiah) said to the Levites who taught all Israel, ‘Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, built. It shall no longer be a burden on your shoulders.’” The Hebrew word for ‘house’ is bayith. It may also be translated ‘inner chambers’, ‘dungeon’, or ‘nethermost point’. (It is well known that there exist an enormous amount of tunnels and secret passages under the Temple Mount.)
The text does not refer to placing the Ark in the Temple; it had been in the first Temple’s Holy of Holies for many years (I Ki. 8; II Chr. 5). Rather, Josiah recognized the threat posed by the Babylonians and Egyptians. These two empires were battling each other at the time and Israel was caught in the middle. To protect the Ark from being stolen by either nation, King Josiah – a man ahead of h is time – ordered the Levites to put the Ark in a secret, secluded hiding place underneath what is now the Dome of the Rock. It never resided in the 2nd temple, rebuilt after the Babylonian captivity.
II Chronicles 35:3 is the last mention of the Ark in the historical books. Jeremiah 3:16 refers to it saying that, when the Messiah comes, no one will mention the Ark any more. The Ark is a ‘type’, or picture of the promised Messiah. When the real thing arrives, the type is unnecessary. The final passage referring to the Ark is Revelation 11:19, which mentions the original Temple in heaven as having its own, original Ark of the Testimony.
The Ark of the Covenant has never left Jerusalem. I (Jimmy) believe it now sits in a safe, secret, secluded hiding place prepared by God through King Solomon to protect it for when it will be needed in the last days in the next (3rd) Temple, the Tribulation Temple – which will be built shortly after the Rapture of the church. But it won’t be needed for the Millennium. Jesus Himself will be all that is needed in the Kingdom to come!