The Old Testament  
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Inside a Monastery on an island in Lake 
Tana. Local legend has it that the Arc of 
the covenant was kept here for a long time...
         Picture to be added!
Above the progress of the excavation on the Elephantine island in the river Nile. There are still visible the foundation of a temple...
ST. Emmanuel, one of the most elegantly build church in Lalibela! This monolithic Church is carved out of one rock and Holy mass is performed everyday!
       Updated  March 2016
--> Read chapter 18 in the book of prophet Isaiah, 716 to 687 BC 
 The Old testament offers great reading and it is definitely a good source of events happened at a very old age. At the same time though, as we read we are looking for some clues! My personal interest was to trace the Arc of the covenant through the ages!  Reading the Bible carefully, the Arc of the covenant is adequately  described and its whereabouts well documented in several chapters and from various people but only until the reign of King Solomon 970 to 931 BC. After that you can not find even a word mentioning the Arc anywhere in the Bible ! Isn't this strange?
 In the 'Gebra Negast' the old Ethiopian history book, there is the tale of Menelik, Queen of Sheba and king Solomon's son, who on his visit to Israel, he and some other youths took on his return back to Ethiopia the Arc of the covenant!
Passages from the Bible where Ethiopia is mentioned
 Reading the passage below especially chapter 18.7  that  prophet Isaiah wrote, sometime between 716 to 687 BC we can easily see that he got wind of the high priests intention, in view of the eminent Assyrian invasion, to take the Arc of the covenant in a more safe place and at the same time conceal the event from everybody else!
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Since the first Greek edition of our Bible, in the Old Testament there is mention of Ethiopia in several places!          
 The most interesting writing about Ethiopia you will find  in the book of prophet Isaiah ( 716 to 687 BC ) chapter 18 :

"1 Land of whirring wings beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, sending ambassadors  on vessels of papyrus over the waters. Go swift messengers to a nation tall and smooth, to people feared near and far, a nation mighty and conquering, whose land the rivers divide".

On verse 1 and 2, there is no doubt that prophet Isaiah is talking about Ethiopia! And he continues:

3 "All inhabitants of the world you who live on the earth, when a signal is raised on the mountains, look! When a trumpet is blown listen!

4 For thus the lord said to me: I will quietly look from my dwelling like clear heat in the sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.

5 For before the harvest, when the blossom is over and the flower becomes ripening grape, he will cut of the shoots with pruning hooks and the spreading branches he will hew away. 

6 They shall all be left to the birds of prey of the mountains and to the animals of the earth. And the birds will summer on them and all the animals of the earth will winter on them!

7 At that time gifts will be brought to the Lord of hosts from a people tall and smooth from people feared near and far, a nation mighty and conquering , whose land the rivers divide, to Mount Zion the place of the name of the Lord of hosts."

 In the above we first read a warning in paragraph 4 & 6 and then in paragraph there is a hidden message which is still puzzling me: He starts 'in time top come, Ethiopians will bring offerings to God' here he is clearly talking about Ethiopia as there is no other country in Africa with as many rivers and in the last sentence he is talking about the Arc of the Covenant (!) as the name was 'Zion'  or 'mount Zion' also the Jews at that time believed that GOD did reside on the 'mercy seat' between the two cherubim on top of the Arc of the Covenant!
 Don't forget that this passage was written sometime between 716 to 687 BC and was labeled "An Oracle concerning Ethiopia". 
 I strongly believe that this was not an 'oracle' but a report or a message for future generations... Most probably he had direct information from the high priests of the temple and he knew about their intension (plan) regarding the danger approaching from Babylon! In which case I understand that the priests, on the other hand, had advance knowledge about the Jews of Ethiopia and therefore the escape route was already planned!
* Please take time and read for yourself in your own Bible passage 18 in the book of the prophet Isaiah! 

 Other prophets mentioning Ethiopia in the past:

 Prophet Amos who lived between 783 to 743 BC in chapter 9:7 writes:
 "Are you and the Cushites (Ethiopians) all same to me sons of Israel? says the Lord"
Prophet Zephaniah during the reign of king Josiah in Israel, sometime between 640 and 622 in chapter 3:10 writes:
"From beyond the rivers of Cush (Ethiopia) my suppliants, even the daughters of the dispersed will bring me offerings" 
 In the readings above there is no doubt that they are talking about Ethiopia and again there is mention of the people who defected in the land of the deserters... You should also read Herodotus (500 BC) accurate description the passage through and beyond Meroee!
                            Other relevant chapters:
The Babylonian captivity foretold:
- Prophet Jeremiah chapter 18:23.  King Zedekiah send Pashhur and the priest Zephaniah to prophet Jeremiah for consultancy. The prophet answer to them "Thus says the Lord: I will give king Zedekiah of Judah and his servants as well as the remaining people of this city into the hands of king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon".
In this chapter we clearly read Jeremiah's prophecy about the capture of Jerusalem well in advance and again on another paragraph he is telling us in advance that after 70 years of captivity all Jews taken hostage to Babylon will return home!      
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          You can also read related subjects:
Exodus  What really happened!
Elephantine island  Joachim Krekler's excavations...
Herodotus an accurate account...
The Falashas The Jews of Ethiopia
The Arc of the Covenant  It vanished without any account
in the Bible!
The Queen of Sheba and king Solomon...
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