The Ark of the Covenant is, perhaps, the most famous lost artifact of all time. According to biblical accounts, it contained the Ten Commandments and was used by Moses to communicate directly with God. Its ultimate fate remains an enduring mystery to this day. However, not everyone is convinced that the Ark was a mystical object. They believe that the Ark can be explained by science, specifically electrical engineering. Do their claims hold any merit?
Intriguing observations about the Ark of the Covenant
According to the Book of Exodus, Moses built the Ark of the Covenant based on instructions he received from God while atop Mount Sinai. The Israelites proceeded to carry it for the next forty years while they wandered through the desert. While at rest, they stored it inside a portable, sacred temple-like structure known as the Tabernacle. The Ark performed many strange, mystical feats. To mention just a few:
- It killed those who touched it: “And when they came to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.” II Samuel 6: 6-7
- It was unapproachable while in the Tabernacle: “And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” – Exodus 40:35
- It was used to communicate with God: “And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.” – Exodus 25:22
Nikola Tesla’s Speculations on the Ark of the Covenant
For centuries, the Ark was viewed as a mystical object from God, beyond the knowledge of man. However, that changed on September 9, 1915, when the famous scientist Nikola Tesla published an article entitled The Wonder World to be Created by Electricity. In it, he made the following astounding claim:
…Moses was undoubtedly a practical and skillful electrician far in advance of his time. The Bible describes precisely and minutely arrangements constituting a machine in which electricity was generated by friction of air against silk curtains and stored in a box constructed like a condenser. It is very plausible to assume that the sons of Aaron were killed by a high tension discharge…
The term condenser is an older word for what we now know as a capacitor, or an electrical machine capable of storing energy. Tesla thought that the Ark generated static electricity by causing air to rub against curtains. This created static electricity which was then stored inside the Ark, turning the box into a giant Leyden Jar. But how did this work exactly?
The Secret of the Ark of the Covenant?
According to Michael Blackburn and Mark Bennett, the true secret lies within the Tabernacle (in the picture below, the Ark is in the foreground while the Tabernacle is being constructed in the background). The Tabernacle was a roofless, three-walled wooden structure. It was closed off with curtains made of different materials, including goat’s hair and rams’ skins. These curtains rubbed against each other, creating an initial static charge. As this charge built up, the entire structure along with the Ark became highly electrified. At full tilt, Blackburn and Bennett estimate that the Ark would’ve been capable of carrying a charge in the range of fifty thousands volts.
Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis
The theory that the Ark carried massive amounts of static electricity accounts for the oddities mentioned above. First, anyone foolish enough to touch it risked death by electric shock. Second, the enormous build-up of static electricity within the Tabernacle would’ve been more than enough to keep Moses from entering it. And third, the communications from God could be explained by an electrical discharge. In other words, when the static electricity within the Ark reached a certain level, it would’ve been able to overcome air resistance and in effect, jump from one cherubim to the other one. This would take the form of “an intense burst of brilliant light of considerable duration and power.”
It must be noted that this theory doesn’t explain everything. According to the Bible, the waters of the River Jordan parted before the Ark. Also, after being captured by the Philistines, they suffered boils, tumors, and other plagues which they attributed to the Ark. In addition, the Ark was instrumental in bringing down the walls of Jericho, acting as a sort of ancient weapon of mass destruction.
So, was the Ark a piece of ancient, brilliant technology? There seems to be a distinct possibility that this is the case. But until adventurers manage to locate it, its exact nature will remain one of history’s most enduring mysteries.