Chic African Culture Africa Factbook

Menelik I Ark of the Covenant

Menelik the First is significant in African history, particularly Ethiopian history, renowned for bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Ethiopia. 

Ark of the Covenant Ethiopia

Menelik I is a legendary figure in the Ethiopian tradition. He is believed to be the son of King Solomon of Israel and the Queen of Sheba, making him part of a line of rulers said to be descended from this union.

According to Ethiopian tradition, Menelik I is renowned for bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Ethiopia. The Ark, which is said to contain the tablets of the Ten Commandments, is considered one of the most sacred objects in Judaism.

The Ark of the Covenant, as described in the Bible's Old Testament, is a sacred chest made of acacia wood and covered in gold. It is said to contain the stone tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments that were given to Moses on Mount Sinai. The Ark was considered the most sacred relic of the Israelites and was kept in the Holy of Holies in the Temple of Jerusalem.

According to Ethiopian tradition and the Kebra Nagast, also known as Glory of the Kings, is a sacred text of Ethiopian Christianity, Menelik I's journey to Jerusalem to visit his father, King Solomon, and his subsequent return with the Ark of the Covenant is a central narrative. 

The story of Menelik I and the Ark of the Covenant, as told in the Kebra Nagast, is a cherished part of Ethiopian history and culture. It symbolizes the ancient ties between Ethiopia and Jerusalem and is a testament to Ethiopia's deep historical and religious heritage.

Menelik I

Kebra Nagast Story of Menelik I and the Ark of the Covenant 

In ancient times, there was a powerful king named Solomon in Jerusalem, and he was known for his wisdom and wealth. At the same time, in a faraway land called Ethiopia, there was a legendary queen known as the Queen of Sheba. She heard about Solomon's wisdom and traveled to Jerusalem to meet him.

When the Queen of Sheba met King Solomon, she was deeply impressed by his wisdom and the grandeur of his kingdom. They became friends, and it's said that they fell in love. During her stay, they had a son together, Menelik I.

As Menelik grew up in Ethiopia, he became curious about his father, King Solomon, and wanted to meet him. The people of Ethiopia agreed, and they decided to send Menelik on a journey to Jerusalem to see his father.

When Menelik arrived in Jerusalem, he spent several years there. But as time went on, Menelik and some Ethiopian priests had a secret plan. They decided to take something very important back to Ethiopia with them – the Ark of the Covenant.

Menelik, the priests, and a group of trusted companions took the Ark, a sacred chest believed to hold the Ten Commandments, and a replica of it. They embarked on a journey back to Ethiopia, carrying this precious treasure with them.

After a long and challenging journey, Menelik and his group brought the Ark to Ethiopia. They placed it in a special sanctuary in the city of Axum, and this became a holy place for the Ethiopian people. The Ark was seen as a symbol of their connection to the biblical stories of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.


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