Meet the “Jewish Indiana Jones” Searching for the Lost Ark of the Covenant

January 22, 2015

5 min read

The Ark of the Covenant has inspired a whole sector of humanity to chase after one of the world’s most treasured – and missing – items. In what is known today as the Lost Ark, the search continues for Judaism’s most holy and significant artifact of religious and historical importance.

Meet Harry Moskoff, the man who is becoming known as the “Jewish Indiana Jones.” A filmmaker and researcher by hobby and an IT specialist by trade, Moskoff has spent the last 25 years of his life dedicated to uncovering the location of the Lost Ark.

“Truth of the matter is, for the last 25 years, it’s been a personal hobby of mine to find the Makom Hamikdash, the exact location where the Jewish Temple once stood,” he told Breaking Israel News.

Inspired by the teachings of Maimonides, Moskoff has met with world renowned rabbinical and archaeological authorities in Israel as he comes closer to finding the Lost Ark.

God first commanded Moses to build the Ark of the Covenant in the Book of Exodus:

“Have them make an Ark of acacia wood – two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold molding around it…Then put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law, which I will give you.” (Exodus 25:10-16)

Plated with pure gold and mounted with two golden Cherubim, the Ark was carried by the Levites as the Jewish nation wandered in the desert for 40 years. Playing a significant role in various Biblical accounts, the Ark is described as having supernatural powers.

Eventually, the Ark came to rest in the First Temple, which was built by King Solomon. The Ark was placed in a special inner room known as the Holy of Holies, where the High Priest would enter once a year on Yom Kippur.

The Ark was last seen in 586 BCE when the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem and destroyed the First Temple. What happened to the Ark remains unknown until today.

Harry Moskoff inside the cave where the Temple Scrolls were found in Qumran. (Photo: Courtesy)
Harry Moskoff inside the cave where the Temple Scrolls were found in Qumran. (Photo: Courtesy)

Moskoff believes that he is getting closer to finding the true location of where the Ark is buried – right under the Temple Mount itself. His “Moskoff Theory” explains that where we believe the location of the Holy of Holies is – the current location of the Dome of the Rock – is in fact wrong.

Based on historical, archaeological, topographical and biblical evidence, the Moskoff Theory states (in simple terms) that when we find the true location of the Holy of Holies, the Ark of the Covenant may very well be found in a secret chamber built directly underneath, in a room built for it by King Solomon, who foresaw the destruction of the Temple. He Designed this underground Temple room to hide and protect the Ark for future generations until the advent of the Third Temple.

“Is the Dome of the Rock the real place of the Temple? Some Jewish sages argue that God would never put any building on top of the Holy of Holies,” Moskoff explains. “The Dome of the Rock is not on the Foundation Stone, but rather the highest point on Mount Moriah.”

Moskoff explained that after researching various theories by well-known historians who claim to know the exact location of the Jewish Temples and where various features, such as the altar, stood, he realized that “they all cancelled each other out.”

“I found in one theory that some things just didn’t make sense with the original topography of the mountain. It didn’t jive,” he said. “So I went to another famous theory and found that things didn’t make sense from a scriptural perspective.”

“The game changer that made me pursue with interest the Lost Ark was a book published in 1982 called ‘In the Shadow of the Temple’ by the great Israeli archaeologist Meir Ben-Dov. That book changed my whole perspective,” Moskoff said.

In his book, Ben-Dov recalls the discovery of a tunnel spoken about in Jewish scripture that was used by ritually impure priests. The tunnel is said to run directly under the Temple Mount.

“The tunnel ran to the south under the Mount into a ritual bath with a fire and bathroom. This place is described in the Talmud. He (Ben-Dov) found that tunnel and it exists today, described in the exact same way,” Moskoff said.

“This tunnel was blocked up 150 years ago and it is clear that the original finders wanted it to remain closed. Over 2,000 years old, the tunnel exists in complete form. If we go through that tunnel it would lead us to the exact location of the Temple because we know from scripture where it surfaced.”

“Following the tunnel would either prove or disprove the Moskoff Theory! It would tell us the exact place of the altar, Holy of Holies and the location of the Ark,” he explained.

“The archaeologists were not religious and it was a huge find,” he continued. “Once I read about this find, I thought how all the other theories were not possible with the direction of the tunnel. Something clicked and I realized that what we think about the Temple Mount today is not all correct.”

Harry Moskoff with Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. (Photo: Courtesy)
Harry Moskoff with Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. (Photo: James D. Long)

While some may roll their eyes and say Moskoff is just another adventurer out for glory, this notion is far from the truth. He is the first person to ever come close to finding the Ark in a way that makes sense.

“I’ve spoken with other archaeologists and researchers. None of them have the scriptural sources or references where the holiest and most valuable item ever in history is located,” Moskoff stated. “None of them are looking for the Ark from a true Jewish, traditional, biblical perspective combining all the sources.”

“Everyone is looking in Ethiopia and other places where there are no real proofs as to the location of the Ark.”

When asked about the importance of his quest, Moskoff explained his belief that in today’s world, with the ­­­­worsening geopolitical situation surrounding Jerusalem, finding the Ark would “validate and strengthen the Jewish connection and rights to Jerusalem.”

“I discovered that when talking about the Ark, you can’t not talk about what is happening in Israel today. Every day, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount are in the headlines. By discovering the Ark and even other Temple related artifacts, we can have an effect on the validation of the Jewish connection to Jerusalem,” he said.

Moskoff has become one of the world’s foremost experts on the Ark of the Covenant. Explaining in further detail the “Moskoff Theory,” Judaism’s Indiana Jones published “The A.R.K. Report” and an accompanying documentary which further features how Moskoff is reaching new levels of understanding about the Lost Ark.

Backed by a historical and biblical understanding, Moskoff is narrowing the gap between an important part of Jewish history and modern times. “The idea is to raise awareness and inspire people. This is just the beginning for Israel,” he said.

“In the big picture of Jewish history, things are speaking up and coming to a close. We can’t deny it. Things are happening now to the Jewish people and I want to tell people, show people, that there is a great and holy future for Israel.”

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