Read part 1.
A Jewish tradition exists that the Ark had been buried under the “Chamber of Wood” in the Temple prior to the Babylonian destruction in 586 BC. We should note, however, that this tradition appeared hundreds of years later than the destruction of the Temple. Furthermore, the rabbi that mentioned this tradition was opposed by other rabbis in the Talmudic discussion on this subject in Yoma 53b. The fact that this discussion took place in approximately 160 A.D. and that such an act of burying was not recorded either in the Bible or in previous apocryphal books makes this tradition questionable. This does not prevent, however, some orthodox rabbis in Jerusalem today from believing that the Ark is still underneath the Temple Mount and will be recovered someday by archaeologists or Jewish religious leaders. It is often overlooked, however, that the subterranean sections of the Temple Mount have been dug up or explored a number of times since 586 B.C. People like Herod the Great (37-4 B.C.), the Moslem conquerors (640 A.D. ff.), the Crusaders (1199 AD ff.), the Turks (1540 AD ff.), and the British explorer Charles Warren (1850-70) dug up or explored all the subterranean regions of the Temple Mount and no one claimed to have found the ark. It is often forgotten that Warren was a dedicated Free Mason who was actually searching for the ark! Rabbinic “reports” about a so-called ark-sighting after the ‘67 War are purely apocryphal and have no independent confirmation or photographs. While the remote possibility still exists that it is in a hidden chamber under the mount, only time will tell and skepticism about its presence there is highly advisable.