“The cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the Presence of Hashem filled the Mishkan.” Exodus 40:34 (The Israel Bible™)
An in-depth study of the original Hebrew words describing the Ark of the Covenant in the Hebrew Bible has revealed that the Ark was actually a volatile holy communication device, extremely dangerous to those handling it.
Over 3,000 years ago, the Children of Israel threw off the yoke of slavery and escaped from Egypt into a desert wilderness. Moses, their leader, had the almost impossible task of forging this group into a nation — a nation that was destined to become one of the great players of the ancient Near East.
During their wanderings the Bible reports that Moses was instructed by the Lord to fashion a golden box: the Ark of the Testimony/Covenant. The Ark, well-known from the legends of all the Abrahamic religions, has remained an enigma. Was it a real object? What was its purpose?
Now, through a multi-year study of the original Hebrew words in the Five Books of Moses and by comparing those words meanings with cognates across 17 other ancient languages, biblical researcher Roger D. Isaacs has recognized that the Bible was indicating the Ark was actually a communication device.
It was also highly dangerous to those handling it. Isaacs posits that common words like ‘glory’, ‘holy’, and ‘sin’ have been mistranslated over the millennia and originally had very different, technical meanings that related directly to a device, the Ark, that operated within the laws of physics and chemistry.
The laws given to the Hebrews (primarily through the Ark) included those for everyday living as well as those necessary for working with the Ark itself. The latter laws were specifically designed to protect from radioactive contamination from a cloud, Isaacs believes. It was this cloud, which contained a radioactive substance, that descended on the Ark through which communication was transmitted.
Although controversial and challenging to traditional Biblical interpretation, scholars have welcomed Isaacs’ research, spread across two books: Talking With God and The Golden Ark. The late Rabbi Jacob Milgrom, Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at U.C. Berkeley, one of the world’s leading authorities on Leviticus, called the book “an enormous, imaginative work. I think I would call it a modern midrash (Torah commentary).”
When asked how he hoped his discoveries would contribute to the field, Isaacs said, “There have been countless interpretations of what the words in The Five Books really mean. I have tried in mine to adhere to the obvious logic expressed so clearly by those words and not to veer from their meanings. It is through this attempt that I hope to bring some clarity to this ancient work, which has challenged readers for millennia.”
This article written in cooperation with Roger D. Isaacs. To learn more, click here.