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Contents of the Ark of the Covenant

Rabbi Ari ShvatTammuz 3, 5772
412
Question
Dear Rabbi: According to Judaism, were the Rod of Aaron & Gold Jar of Manna *ever* literally within the Ark of the Covenant in addition to the Tables of the Commandments? Christians assert that the above orientation is the case based on the writings of the New Testament (Hb. 9:4); however, this would appear to conflict with what is written in 1 Kgs. 8:9 & 2 Chron. 5:10. If the Rod of Aaron & Gold Jar of Manna were not kept within the Ark of the Covenant, were they placed next to (i.e. - "before", "in front of", etc.) the Ark within the Holy of Holies, as suggested by Ex. 16: 34 & Nm. 17:25, as well as Talmud, Tractate Baba Bathra 14a-14b, Talmud, Tractate Berakhot 8b, & Talmud, Yoma 52b? Thank you for your assistance in this matter!
Answer
Shalom Michael, You are correct, for the Tosefta Sotah13, 1, explains that the rod and the jar of manna were inside the Holy of Holies, next to the ark, and not in the ark. With Love of Israel, Rav Ari Shvat
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