As the English word "ark" is an archaic word, it will be helpful to know what this word means as well as the Hebrew words that are translated as "ark."
    Excavating the Bible with Jeff A. Benner
About | Newsletter | Store    

Excavating the Bible Newsletter #003

Greetings Excavators:

Jeff A. Benner We have read, spoken and heard the phrase "Ark of the Covenant" a countless number of times, but have we ever taken the time to learn what those words mean? Like most Bible readers, probably not. But as we shall soon see, there is more to this phrase than meets the eye.

Book Project: Honey in the Acacia

Heading: What is an Ark?

In the English translations of the Bible you will find two arks, Noah’s Ark and the Ark of the Covenant. The word “ark” is an archaic English word that comes from the Latin word arca, meaning “box.” We can easily see the “ark of the covenant” as a “box,” but why would the “ark” of Noah be considered a “box?” The description of Noah’s ark is provided in Genesis 6:15 and the description is given as “300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high,” which could be called a very large rectangular “box.”

The word “ark” in “Noah’s Ark,” is the Hebrew word tevah, a word for a “floating vessel.” In the Bible there are two “floating vessels.” The first is Noah’s “vessel” and the second is Moses’ “vessel,” the “basket” that the infant Moses was placed in and set adrift in the reeds (see Exodus 2:3).

The Hebrew word for “ark” in “Ark of the Covenant,” is aron, which means “box.” It is related to the Hebrew word or meaning “light,” in the sense that “light” brings about “order.” In Genesis 1:3 God says, “Let there be light.” What is the first thing you do when you walk into a dark room? You turn the light on so you can see. You are bringing about order out of the chaos of darkness. A box is also used to make order. You place things in it, so you don’t have a bunch of things scattered all over the place.

In the Bible there are three “boxes,” Joseph’s burial “box” (see Genesis 50:26), Jehoiada’s “box” (see 2 Kings 12:9) and the “box” of the covenant, or what has come to be better known as the “Ark of the Covenant.”

Jeff A. BennerJeff A. Benner
Excavating the Bible
October 25, 2023
Open in your Web Browser

Newsletter Archives

Please feel free to share this newsletter with interested friends and family.

Would you like to get Mr. Benner's Newsletter in your email?
Join his "Excavating the Bible" mail list!

   © 2023 Jeff A. Benner