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Ark of Covenant

Does newly-translated Hebrew text reveal insights into King Solomon’s treasures?

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A newly translated ancient Hebrew text claims to know where the treasures from King Solomon’s temple were hidden.  However, the exact location is not revealed and, according to the text, “shall not be revealed until the day of the coming of the Messiah son of David”.

According to the Bible, Solomon was the third king of Israel. The son of King David, he was renowned for his wisdom, the size of his harem and the splendour of his kingdom. During his reign, he is said to have accumulated a huge fortune from mining and trading. Archaeologists and treasure-hunters have searched for the treasures of King Solomon for more than a century. 

The old text, known as the Massekhet Kelim (“Treatise of the Vessels”) comes from a Hebrew book, Emek Halchah, written in 1648 and published in Amsterdam, and has just been translated by James Davila, a professor at the University of St Andrews.

According to the text, the treasures were hidden by a number of Levites and prophets and “hidden in various locations in the Land of Israel and in Babylonia, while others were delivered into the hands of the angels Shamshiel, Michael, Gabriel and perhaps Sariel”. 

Davila believes that the original author has drawn upon different legends and traditional methods of scriptural interpretation to deduce where the treasures might have been hidden, and while he dismisses it as “a piece of entertaining fiction”, he also acknowledges that there are remarkable similarities between what is written in the text, and what was revealed in the ancient metallic “Copper Scroll”, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls found near the site of Qumran in the West Bank. The Copper Scroll also discusses the location of hidden treasure, although it is not known what treasure it is referring to.

The Copper Scroll, which dates back around 1,900 years, and is made of copper, shows several "striking parallels" with the newly translated treatise, Davila said. For example, the Treatise of the Vessels says that the treasures from Solomon’s Temple were recorded on “a tablet of bronze”, a metal like the Copper Scroll, and both the Treatise of the Vessels and the Copper Scroll both refer to “vessels” or “implements”, including examples made of gold and silver.

The Treatise of the Vessels reveals that the hidden treasure includes: "seventy-seven tables of gold, and their gold was from the walls of the Garden of Eden that was revealed to Solomon, and they radiated like the radiance of the sun and moon, which radiate at the height of the world."

Is the Treatise referring to the same treasure as that recorded on the Copper Scroll?  Are these true and accurate records or just a work of ‘entertaining fiction’ as the translator supposes? If real, the next question of course is – where is it?

By April Holloway



Tsurugi's picture

The problem with comparing these texts to modern fiction is that there was no possibility of mass-replication. The author would produce the original text by hand, and that was the sole copy unless other people undertook to make copies, also by hand, a laborious and difficult task at best.
Because written texts were so rare, literacy among general populations was correspondingly low; there wasn't anything to read, so why learn?
And if there's only one copy of your work of fiction, and almost no one could read it anyway, what the hell is the point??

The invention of the printing press, enabling mass production of texts, resulted in a sharp rise in literacy. Only then was there a general market for fiction in the form of the printed word.

Because of this, casual dismissals of ancient texts as mere works of fiction strike me as being somewhat disingenuous.

Peter Harrap's picture

In 400 years time, H.G.Wells stories will be regarded as fact, and very possibly Harry Potter as an incarnation of God.

None of these old writings mean more than they do. None can be substantiated as having any holiness or divine authority other than that claimed for them by interested parties, and to state that undateable copper scrolls are other than skilful forgeries, is naive. Besides, even old manuscripts of whatever age, are of no more significance than are the aforementioned modern authors.

Suggest you rethink history and accept that fakes were created then, just as they are now, and that greed for gold has impelled enormous production of writings claiming lost treasure wherabouts, sold to you sir for a few thousand dollars…..

Tsurugi's picture

Wow....the description of the treasure sounds like...the Metal Library?

But the Metal Library(if there is any truth to the legends about it) is in South America!

If we consider that every bit of discovery is one piece of a large puzzle, we can accept that it is far too early to make a definitive declaration. So we must read everything and consider every discovery with a grain of salt. Truth will eventually reveal itself as the puzzle pieces are added.

That being said, I find it at least interesting that the late Ron Wyatt claimed to have located the Ark under and just outside the city walls of Old Jerusalem (near Herod's Gate).
His story was that he met the Angels that had been guarding the ark and its content from its creation. They informed him that he would not be taking it out of its location and that it would become know in the time of the end.
The ark was moved to its current location by the prophet Jeremiah and the priests of the temple just before the Temple was destroyed.
Call me crazy, but that seems to parallel this particular articles points of interest.

Interested in updates on the site.


aprilholloway's picture


April Holloway is a Co-Owner, Editor and Writer of Ancient Origins. For privacy reasons, she has previously written on Ancient Origins under the pen name April Holloway, but is now choosing to use her real name, Joanna Gillan.

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