I have a theory of where the Ark of the Covenent is. In fact I think it's rather obvious. It's hidden right under the noses of a whole lot of people who walk in circles around it guarding it without even knowing what it is that they are guarding: First, if you were a Jewish high priest at the time on the Babylonian seize of Jerusalem what would you do? Let see, you could hid the Ark in the Temple...knowing that the Babylonian army was going to rip the Temple apart looking for it (which is what they apparently did) OR You could sneak it out of Jerusalem thru the vast maze of tunnels that run under the city and hide it somewhere. Where would you go with it? You could sent a detachement of 40 or 50 armed Priests to guard it, but where would you bring it? Let's see, if you went east you'd run into the Babylonians, if you went North you'd run into the Assyrains, if you went southwest you'd run into the Egyptians. All of which would would be very curious about a caravan 40-50 Jewish priests going thru their territory and all of which had large armies that could confiscate it and give it as a prize to their King. Where else could you go? South into the Arabian desert where there where no major civilzations or armies and where 40-50 Priests would be a considerable force to have to deal with. Now, where did the Hodge come from? Mohammud? No. The hodge was a pre-Islamic religious custom that went on for as long as anyone knows. Pagan Arabs traveled to Mecca to walk around that building for reasons that know one knows. When Mohammud conquoered Mecca, why didn't he put an end to the Hodge - a pagan custom? Possibly because the Hodge was, like the religion that he created, based on Judaism. Which BTW begs another question - how did Mohammud, raised as a Pagan, know so much about Judaism? Possibly because their was a large Jewish population in Mecca. So, according to my theory, The Jewish Priests brought the Ark of the Covenant to Mecca, and rather than building a huge temple to house it, they built a small building to house it - so as not to draw attention. Next, they posted unarmed guards around it - who walked around it guarding it, but would not say why. Meccans out of curiousity started joining the Jewish guards. Soon it became a Meccan cultural ritual, then a religiuos ritual. Word spread throughout the the Arabic world and people started coming from all over to walk around this building - a myth began that it was the house of the Gods. The Mohammud took over. No longer was it to be considered the house of the gods. But, the Hodge was continued - Mohammud, of course, did know what was in it. And so the Hodge continues today. Muslims from all over the world are required to walk in circles around this pre-Islamic building, according to a pre-Islamic religious ritual, not knowing what is in the building or why they have to do their duty of walking around it.