Posted: December 9, 2015 in When the Wolf Howls
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Dagger for When the Wolf Howls

Chapter 17

Jesse’s family was well respected and this is why Samuel had entrusted the Ark into Abinadab’s keeping after the Philistines had returned it. He was an older brother of king David, the second eldest in the family of Jesse. One of his sons, Eleazar had been consecrated to guard it.

Eleazar and Abinadab’s other sons, Uzzah and Ahio, David’s nephews, were direct cousins to Absalom.

It had been decided that the Ark of the Covenant would be brought to Jerusalem in time to celebrate the day of Atonement. Sacrifices would be made to atone for the sins of the priests and the people.

The news quickly spread to the rest of Israel and on the sacred day called Trumpets on the first day of Tishri, they gathered at the gate, nine days before the day of Atonement to discuss the details with king David Himself.

The Day of Trumpets was a holy day and days such as this were often used to celebrate and to share with friends and family.

Zadok the priest was a mine of information and enjoyed spending time with the children and answering their questions as preparations were made.

“It is now written in the annals of our history,” said Zadok, “Jericho had probably expected an immediate attack that day, but the same procedure was followed for six days. From the city walls, they watched as a long procession of our people circled around the city. First of all came the armed guard marching and holding up banners, then after that came seven priests with seven trumpets. Next came the Ark of the Covenant, it’s gold flashing in the sunlight, followed by the rear guard. Then on the seventh day the procession circled round the city seven times. The priests carried the Ark of the Covenant for about three hours that day. That’s when the miracle occurred!” The boys eyes were wide with anticipation. “At the end of the seventh circuit the clear voice of Joshua rang out,

‘Shout! For Jehovah Sabaoth has given you the city!’ So when the priests blasted on the trumpets, the people gave a loud shout. Right at that moment Jehovah Sabaoth, the Lord of hosts, gave orders to a number of His angels to push down the walls of Jericho and the walls of Jericho collapsed in a thunderous tumult of rubble.” Pure excitement coursed through Absalom’s imagination. He would have loved to have been there to see it all happen.

“Rabbi, what is the Ark of the Covenant. Is it like the Ark of Noah?” said Ahio, Absalom’s younger cousin. They all laughed, but Zadok regarded the question seriously.

“There is no need to laugh. That is a good question, but no, it is not, my son.” He used the term ‘son’ affectionately. These were his pupils and he had come to love them.

“Come closer, all of you, and let me explain it to you.” Jonathan, Ahimaaz and Ahio came and sat on the steps while Absalom and Uzzah remained off to the side. They listened carefully as the priest began to speak of the mysteries of the Ark. Each of them sat in awe and silence as he spoke, only occasionally asking him a question or making a comment to show that they understood.

“I have already spoken to you about the Ark of Noah, but the ark of the Covenant is not like the Ark that God told Noah to build. It is much smaller than that.”

Ahio and Uzzah were Absalom’s cousins and were educated with David’s sons under the tuition of Zadok and Abiathar. Their father Abinadab, the second eldest brother of king David, had been one of those on the front lines of the Israelite army who had witnessed David slaying the giant called Goliath. He was a well-respected man and the Ark of the Covenant had been entrusted into his keeping.

Absalom got on well with Uzzah. Ahio talked too much and was a bit too young for Absalom, but he related well with Uzzah. Uzzah was sensible and quiet and Absalom could talk with him for hours about what was happening in the kingdom and how he would do things if he were king. Being a little older than Absalom, Uzzah listened and gave him practical advice. In Absalom’s thinking, Uzzah was his royal counsellor. When he became king he would have Uzzah there to see to the practical details, like Ahithophel did for David.

Uzzah seemed to enjoy listening to Absalom’s dreams. Absalom had even shown him the dagger that Joab had given to him.

Ahio sat with childish curiosity as Zadok spoke of the Ark. “Was it as small as the Ark of Moses?” he said.

“No my son, not quite that small. It is two and a half cubits long and one and a half cubits wide and high, about the size of the feed troughs you see in Bethlehem, small enough to be carried from place to place. God told Moses himself exactly how He wanted it to be made.”

Zadok said, “On top is a seat called the mercy seat, and two golden angels with wings outspread are looking down from either side onto the Mercy Seat. This is where God’s presence dwells.”

“Why are the angels on the top and what is inside the Ark?” Uzzah asked. At this point, a servant came to Zadok and whispered something to him.

“You’re questions will have to wait until tomorrow. I have work to do,” said Zadok with a gleam in his eye and despite the objections the lessons for the day concluded.


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