ark, in the Bible. 1 Boat of Noah, which he built at God's command to preserve his family and certain creatures from the Deluge. 2 Ark of the Covenant, the sacred wooden chest of the Hebrews, representative of God or identified with Him. It was overlaid with gold inside and out and was always heavily veiled; the high priest alone could look upon its uncovered surface. Especially guarded, it was carried about by staves thrust through rings on its side, for to touch it was a profanation punished by death. Uzza, while escorting the Ark, inadvertently broke this law and so lost his life. As its presence implied victory, it accompanied the warriors into battle, where once it was captured by the Philistines. Restored after many years, the Ark found a resting place in Solomon's Temple.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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