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If you've been waiting, with bated breath, for the Ethiopian Church to unveil the Ark of the Covenant, prepare to be disappointed. It appears that reports last week were somewhat overblown.
"It is not going to happen so the world has to live with curiosity," said the statement, signed only "Webmaster" in response to the WND inquiry.
The webmaster statement described the tempest as being caused either because of a translation mistake or "a slip [of the] tongue from the patriarch."
I've never been one to get heavily invested in Biblical artifacts, but I was quite intrigued by this announcement. I was also stunned at the possibility that Ethiopian Church would even consider showing its most prized artifact, after all this time. I read Sign and the Seal a few years ago, more because I love Graham Hancock's writing, than any great interest in the mystery of the Ark. I came away from the book fairly convinced that whatever it is, it's in Ethiopia. Something is being fiercely guarded there. While the Ethiopian Church is very public about having the Ark in their possession -- and uses wooden copies in elaborate rituals -- no one sees the actual item, except those charged with its protection.
The guardians of the Ark are selected from among church monks, and spend the rest of their natural lives living with Ark night and day. It is both an honor and a curse. Hancock relates the story of one guardian who abandoned his post and fled to the hills, only to be dragged back to the temple and chained at his post. It also seems to take quite a toll on the body. As has been recorded in other historical texts, on the Ark, it is very "powerful" and causes people near it to have some health problems. The Ethiopians keep it wrapped to "protect the laity" from its effects. Hancock describes the guardians he met as having developed cataracts. I believe it's in this interview that Graham Hancock recently spoke about the toll guarding the Ark takes on the body. The symptoms are, of course, consistent with radiation poisoning, which adds some credence to the theory that it was really a technological device of some kind -- Zecharia Sitchin theorized a communicator -- and may be radioactive.
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