Question of the week: Where is the ark of the covenant? Will it ever be recovered and used again?
My very brief answer: Ask Indiana Jones.
My slightly longer answer: The last time the ark of the covenant is described in the Bible as an existing object is in 2 Kings 23:21–23 and 2 Chronicles 35:1–6. In those texts, Judah’s King Josiah asks the Levites to return the ark of the covenant to the temple in Jerusalem. In this context, Jeremiah prophesies that the ark would soon cease to be a significant item of worship and implies that the ark would be destroyed and not remade. According to Jeremiah 3:16, “This is the Lord’s declaration—no one will say again, ‘The ark of the Lord’s covenant.’ It will never come to mind, and no one will remember or miss it. Another one will not be made.” This text is not saying that no one will ever again mention the ark of the covenant. Clearly, the context indicates that it was mentioned. Rather, this text is saying that never again will the ark of the covenant or a reconstruction of the ark of the covenant play a significant role in Jewish worship.