The Tabernacle, called “Mishkan” in Hebrew, is the precursor to the Temple. It last stood in the West Bank, by the way. Side Note: Makes you wonder how the Palestinian Arabs (called simply “Palestinians” these days) get away with saying the West Bank is their ancestral homeland when they only arrived during the 1800’s and the Jews can prove links as far back as 4000 years ago.

Let’s look at all the Tabernacle objects and their various symbolism.  Sacrificial altars, Seven-branched candlesticks (later taken to Rome as war booty), the mysterious Ark of the Covenant (still lost), the huge sacred curtain symbolizing perhaps the “virgin’s veil” (hymen), etc.  Here are some cool photos of the Tabernacle and its “furnishings” recreated by a group of Tabernacle devotees in Israel itself.  They built a life size replica of the Tabernacle / Mishkan (pictured left).

EXERCISE 1:  This lesson is undergoing remodeling and portions have been thrown out making way for new, but in the meantime, you may get credit for taking this lesson by doing the following.  Do some online research (or look in books, or check out the Old Testament!) and make a list of all the items, tools and trappings used in the Tabernacle.  Send your list to the School with the subject line:  Templars Tabernacle Exercise from ______________ (your magikal name).  For extra credit, tell some of the symbolism associated with some of the objects.

The Ark of the Covenant, that famous holy box, fabled among nations, to touch it causes death, movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark are made about it — what’s the big deal?

AND.  Where is the Ark now?  Oh how many have asked that question–including the likes of Adolph Hitler.  Most serious scholars who approach this mystery without romantic adventuring delusions, agree that it was probably looted by the Babylonians and later melted down by them after they captured Israel and destroyed Solomon’s Temple in the 5th Century BC.  However, it is very likely they never laid a hand on it, since it was so holy an object and a secret hiding place for it no doubt existed in the maze of caves and tunnels below the Temple.  If it DID survive the Babylonian looting, since it has holy powers and no mention was ever made of it after that, it may still be hidden.  Probably buried deep under the Temple Mount, still humming with power.  The Templars may have discovered it, proof of their digging and excavating under the Temple is on the record.  They may not have found that ultimate prize, however, and when the Muslim hoards finally cut the Templar’s work short, forcing the Knights of Christ to flee, IF they knew where it was, the Templars may have decided to leave it hidden there.

EXERCISE 2:  As mentioned above, this lesson is undergoing remodeling, so to get credit for completing it, do some online research (or books) and find at least one theory as to the fate of the Ark, and one picture or drawing of the Ark itself.  Note the URL’s where you found each and send them to the School with the subject line Templars Ark Exercise from _______________ (your magikal name).

Pictured left, Inside the Ark of the Covenant as recreated lifesize.  See the Bowl for Manna, the Tablets of the 10 Commandments and Aaron’s Rod? Way cool.

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