Why Was it Called an “Ark of the Covenant”?

Noah’s Ark, the Ark of the Covenant, Moses Cradle of Reeds, and a Manger – What Do They All Have in Common?

2/1/23 – from One for Israel“Why is it Called an Ark”?

What are the parallels between Noah’s Ark, the Ark of the Covenant, the tiny cradle which held Moses as he floated down the rive to his destiny, and the cradle in that stable which held the baby Jesus, as He entered the world and His future destiny as the ultimate sacrifice for the sin of all mankind?

Noah’s Ark – Provided Salvation from the Flood of Judgement

The “Floating Zoo” that Saved the Few Righteous from God’s Judgement

Noah’s Ark was constructed by Noah, the tenth from Adam, upon commands from the Lord. In Hebrew, the word for this ark was “ta-va”. Its only used twice in the Bible – for Noahs’ Ark, and later for the small cradle holding the little baby Moses as he floated down through the reeds awaiting his ultimate destiny.

Like Noah’s ark, Moses cradle is also called an “ark” in Hebrew – a “ta-va.. Just as Noah’s ark was used to save the few souls worth saving in pre-Flood times, Moses cradle would hold the “savior” figure for the Jewish people (a prelude to the ultimate Savior, Messiah Yeshua) who would eventually be held in bondage by Pharaoh.

Note: Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay 

The Ark of the Covenant – Held a Means of Salvation for His People

God’s Meeting Place – His Law, His Grace, and Mercy

The Ark of the Covenant, in Hebrew, means “chest” (“aron”). It is one of the most sought after sacred artifacts of all time. The Bible, in Hebrews 9:4, states that the Ark contained “the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant.” It is mentioned throughout the Old Testament, and again in the New.

The Ark of Moses was a focal point for salvation. Housed within the Tabernacle, it was situated within the Holy of Holies – a meeting place where the people could be saved from the wages of sin – when the priest entered in, on behalf of the people, to make atonement for them, on the “mercy seat” of the Ark. This Ark, and the items within it, are a prefigure of Christ, the ultimate sacrifice which was given once and for all for the sins of mankind.

Whereas the Ark of the Covenant held the tablets of stone of the Law of Moses, Christ Jesus himself was and is the Law of Moses – having fulfilled in Himself all the requirements of the Law, yet never having sinned. What man could never accomplish by trying to keep the Law, Christ Jesus did – He was the sinless “Lamb of God” who, by giving His life for all, provided the ultimate sacrifice to pay for all of mankind’s sins. Just as the precious treasures of the God for the Jews – the tablets, the manna, and Aarons rod – were preserved for the Jews in the Ark, all those that put their trust in Jesus are made righteous and preserved by God from judgement: For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of work, lest anone should boast.” Note: Photo is of Moses and Joshua bowing before the Ark (c. 1900) by James Tissot

The Cradle of Moses – Saved Moses for His Destiny as a Savior

Salvation for Moses, a Pre-figure of the Messiah to Come

The small cradle that held the baby Moses was a means of saving him from death, just like Noah’s ark was the means of saving human kind from the certain death brought on by the wickedness of the world, and the Flood. This is the only other place in the Bible where the Hebrew word for ark – “ta-va” – is used. His mother placed him in that cradle to save him, in hopes someone would see him and save his life.

By being in that tiny reed cradle, Moses life was saved. A life which would one day be the means by which God would save His people and set them free from slavery of death. Moses was a pre-figure of Christ Jesus, the Savior of the world which was to come. Jesus said: “Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, in whom you have put your hope. Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, in whom you have put your hope. If you had believed Moses, you would believe Me, because he wrote about Me. (John 5:45-46) Photo by Mabel Amber:

The Manger that Held the Baby Jesus – A Cradle for THE Savior to Come

Cradled in a Manger, the Future Savior of the World

Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth, was born into a humble state – much like Moses. Like Moses’ cradle, the manger of Jesus held Him as He entered our time, space and dimension to take up His mission: to provide Himself a sacrifice for our sins. He willingly gave His life for us, so that we could be made righteous with God by faith in Jesus, our Lord and Savior (by grace are you saved by faith…)

In a sense, these arks or cradles were each a type of “chest” for holding a precious treasure…

Parallels Between the Four “Chests” of Treasure

  • Noah’s Ark was a gigantic chest of salvation for those that were faithful to the Creator. By taking shelter in the Ark, they were safe for the duration of God’s Judgement. Like Noah and his family residing safely within the ark, all those that place their trust in Jesus are place “in Christ”, and are no longer subject to condemnation.
  • The Ark of the Covenant was a chest which preserved God’s Law in the form of the tablets of the commandments, the manna which sustained his people in the wilderness, and Aaron’s rod. Just as the Ark had the power of God resting upon it, so Jesus was and is “the image of God” to all mankind. In Colossians 1:15,
  • The cradle or chest of reeds which held Moses carried the one who would lead God’s chosen people out of slavery and
  • into the promised land. So too all those that believe in Jesus as Lord, and have received him into their heart, are freed from slavery to sin, and delivered into the kingdom of God. (Col 1:13)
  • The manger or chest which held Jesus was not unlike the cradle that held Moses as he floated down the stream to his future Egyptian mother. Jesus entered life in that cradle the same way Moses floated down the river to his destiny as a means to God’s salvation. In fact, Jesus even proclaimed to the Jews that if they had know Moses, they would know Me, for “he wrote of me” (John 5:46)

Both Noah’s Ark, the Ark of the Covenant, the small cradle holding Moses, and the manger holding the baby Jesus, are all

“types” of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. It is in Him also that we are saved from slavery to sin, and inevitable death. By confessing with your mouth the Lord Jesus as your Savior, believing in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, and trusting your life with Him, your life is safely “hid with Christ” – free from judgement, and the law of sin and death. You are no longer a slave to sin, but free in Christ – to walk with Him, and talk with Him, say by day. All those that place their trust in Him are being remade, day by day, into new creatures, with God’s eternal life springing up within them, and flowing out to all those around them. “In Him is light, and that is the Light of men.”(John 1:4)

But let me ask you.  Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus? If you don’t have a relationship with your Creator, you can!  Give Jesus a  chance!  Don’t put it off.  Say a sincere prayer right now, ask Him into your life and to wash you, cleanse you of all your sins, and make you “a new creation”!   You have nothing to loose everything to gain.  Here is a  link to Billy Graham’s web site that can show you how you can invite Jesus into  your life and be the creation He has always intended you to be. You too can be his “special treasure”.

>> Take Me to Steps to Peace With God ==>  http://www.billygraham.org/SH_StepsToPeace.asp


Got questions: “Moses and Jesus” – https://www.gotquestions.org/Moses-and-Jesus.html

One for Israel: “Why is it Called an Ark?”https://www.oneforisrael.org/bible-based-teaching-from-israel/why-is-it-called-an-ark/