Tutankhamun, The Tabernacle And The Ark Of The Covenant -- By: Alan R. Millard

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 07:2 (Spring 1994)
Article: Tutankhamun, The Tabernacle And The Ark Of The Covenant
Author: Alan R. Millard


Tutankhamun, The Tabernacle And The Ark Of The Covenant

Alan R. Millarda

Tutankhamun’s treasures help us understand more clearly two things which are described in the Bible. Both belong to the time of the Exodus, that is, within a century of Tutankhamun’s burial. (ca. 1352 BC)

The first is the Tabernacle, the sacred tent-shrine where God was present.

In King Tutankhamun’s tomb, four gold-plated shrines protected the embalmed body, each fitting inside the other, and all made to take apart — like the Israelite Tabernacle. Here is seen the outermost of the four shines.

This was a prefabricated structure that could be dismantled, carried in pieces from place to place, and reassembled. Its walls were a series of wooden frames linked together by cross-rails running through rings on the vertical posts.

All the wooden parts were covered with gold, and the posts stood on silver sockets. A set of ten curtains, brilliantly embroidered, hung round the sides and over the top of the framework.

To make it weatherproof, a covering of skins was stretched over the whole thing.

Egypt’s craftsmen had been making prefabricated portable pavilions and shrines for many centuries. One lay in the tomb of a queen from the time of its burial, about 2500 BC, until its excavation in 1925. A gold-plated wooden frame provided a curtained shelter for the queen on her journeys.

In Tutankhamun’s tomb four gold-plated wooden shrines protected the king’s body. The largest is 18 ft long, 12 ft 9 in wide and 7 ft 6 in high. A second shrine fitted inside the first, a third inside the second, and a fourth inside again. Each side was made of a wooden frame fitted with carved panels, covered with thin sheets of gold.

The undertakers had brought the

A wooden box with rings and carrying poles, found in King Tutankhamun’s tomb, illustrates the Biblical “ark of the covenant,” the sacred box in which God’s laws were carried.

parts separately along the 5 ft 3 in-wide entrance passage of the tomb, then fitted them together in the burial chamber. In their haste they had not matched all the parts correctly!

Covering the second shrine was a linen veil decorated with gilt bronze daisies representing the starry sky. The roofs of two of the shrines reproduce a very ancient form. ...

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