Prior to 1948 there was a very large Jewish population that lived and thrived in Yemen. There were Temples and Jewish neighborhoods next to Mosques. Children and adults of both faiths and traditions enjoyed eachothers companionship and commerce.
In 1948 the State of Israel was formed in the land occupied for millennia by the Palestinians. The welcome mat was out for any Jewish people who wanted to come to their new homeland and most of the Jews in Yemen left. It was a sad time for most Yemenis and the economy struggled to adjust with the sudden loss of such fine craftsmen. Even today, Yemen is famous for its filagree silver jewelry yet it is no longer manufactured because of the loss of the Jewish artisans.
Yemen's ancient architecture owes much to its past Jewish population. The city of Sana'a -- the capital -- is unique in its design and appearance. I spent many weeks there while visiting the surrounding villages associated with discoveries of stones and artifacts containing the ancient language. The people are especially friendly and have extremely strong family and tribal ties that far exceed their allegiance to their country. In fact, in the Northern regions of Yemen, near the archaeological site of Sheba in Marib, the national government was largely insignificant.
Yemen is the most heavily armed country in the world. There are between 3 and 4 AK47s for each man, woman and child. Children as young as 8 can shoot these weapons like a sniper and often have their own weapons (loaded) decorated with colored twine and smurf stickers.
Most of the country outside the metro region is mountainous. Small villages were built in the time of the Crusaders on top of steep inclines and resemble castles. There is usually only one entrance which can be easily defended from attack and just about everything is made from stone.
I was told there were only two types of crime in Yemen -- auto theft and revenge. The accidental killing of a family member -- perhaps by one of America's drones -- requires that the family take a life. It's an honor thing, as old as time itself. One can easily see how the indiscriminate bombing that took place in Iraq, and continues in Afghanistan, would have a domino effect, quickly turning the entire peaceful Yemeni population into a heavily armed death squad.
But that's not the reason America should think twice about making Yemen the next war front. There are more prophecies written in the old language that seem to have foreseen the events of today.
More prophecies with the Ark
Let me summarize what I learned from the translations. I've had time to learn who was "the son" or "the lord" and especially what was "the box of El." Here is the story:
Menelek, the only son of Queen Saba (i.e. Queen Sheba) and Solomon, was depressed when he learned that his father's kingdom had been overcome and the Temple in Jerusalem was sacked. His grief was deep ("...the happiness of the Son was poisoned...") and this worried his mother. Shortly after this invasion of Jerusalem, Menelik received word that the Ark of the Covenant (the "box/cell of the Lord" AT-EL), formerly housed in Solomon's Temple, was relocated for its protection.
Following her only son's instructions, Menelik is buried with the Ark. However, his mother has a smaller chamber constructed adjacent to the Ark chamber with a secret peephole ("...aperture...") so that she can monitor his condition. She secretly plans to open the chamber and rescue her son should he be in danger and has had one of the chamber walls constructed without mortar.
As time passed, the thundering noise and movement of her son ceased. Upon opening the secret peephole, the Queen saw a worm crawl out. This suggested that maybe Menelik had died. The Queen was determined to open the chamber and rescue her son but she recalled his faith and remembered his words, that he would be buried for "a long time." She wept ("...cried an ocean of tears...") that his vision of the future also included the revelation that she had doubted his word and she prayed that he would forgive her for her doubts.
The Queen then "dimmed" her kingdom [see right Translation: The Mother (M) dimmed (AMYM) her nation(LM) because of (YN) the good Lord's (ligature-EL) goodness/sign (TV).] in Yemen and moved her entourage to Ethiopia, confounded her language to Himyaritic, a copy of the Ark was made and she allowed the buried palace and its courtyard to be consumed by the desert sands. There it remained for almost 3000 years until it was discovered by Wendell Philips, ironically the character on whom Indiana Jones was based in the movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark.
(Inscription [right] describes the mother "M" dimming her nation for the Lord.)
DO NOT OPEN -- a warning
In the Yemen museum there is another stone which dictates the conditions that should exist prior to any attempt at opening the chamber. These include the occupation of the land by a "friendly" nation and the warning that the Ark must not be moved and should not be used for any national or personal benefit. The Ark is to be used for the benefit of all mankind and petitions (asking for special favors) to the Lord are to be made by collective prayer in the area of the buried Chamber and through the "priests" of the Ark (Menelik?).
Following the burial of the chamber and the surrounding temple, Queen Saba "dimmed her kingdom" and moved to Ethiopia with the prohibition that the area where the Ark and Menelik were buried should be forgotten, lest future hostile nations and "blind prophets" should seek it out.
Is the Ark still there? The courtyard was never excavated. In the Summer of 2001, the University of Calgary scanned it with ground penetrating radar and located the chamber. But then the events of September 11, 2001 forever changed the politics of Yemen, and all Arab nations. The sand has again claimed the site, which is now under tribal control.
Recently, some Italian tourists attempted to visit the site and were killed by an improvised explosive. This sent a strong message to all outsiders that the site was off limits. The area is also subject to Yemen's separatist movement with the local tribes wishing to return to a divided Yemen and Aden, where their tribal influence will remain supreme.
Who needs the Ark?
The Ark is needed for the construction of the future Third Temple -- a building which is connected with the belief that the Messiah will return to Earth to rule all men -- which is to be built on the site of the past temples. This location is currently occupied on the Temple Mount by a very important Islamic Mosque.
The Third Temple is a necessity for both Jews and Messianic Christians and is especially relevant in what many perceive as the "end times."
Is this why America, acting as proxy for Israel, is anxious to invade Yemen? I honestly think so. How else would the Ark be retrieved from such a heavily armed population. Why else would war be declared on these friendly and extremely independent people? What will happen if the Ark is moved -- against all the written warnings?
We shall see.
As a former member of the Epigraphic Society and a working acquaintance with Bill McGlone, I find your story most fascinating and provocative. But what about the Al Qaeda? The only mention of the group is in the title. Surely not all the men of northern Yemen, each with four automatic rifles, are terrorists. Is Al Qaeda operating and training on or near the Marib site? Is there a race between Al Qaeda and Allied forces to secure the alleged Ark of the Covenant for obvious military reasons? I'd like to read your take on Al Qaeda in Yemen.
The area surrounding Marib was heavily armed and controlled by tribes who are devout Moslems. They were like this for hundreds of years and are not members of anything like Al Qaeda. Often their anger has been directed towards their own national government. It is mere semantics to now claim they are members of an organized anti-American group.
The separatist movement in Yemen has recently resulted in the bombing of tribes in the North by the US backed Saudi Arabian air force, with the consent of the US backed Yemeni national government. Again, indiscriminate killing requires revenge and the cycle continues and escalates.
At the time, the BBC article reminds us, Osama bin Laden was actually working for and with the American government. His family was the "guest" of the government. You will recall that after 911, the same day, the only half dozen planes allowed to fly were those taking the binLaden family back to Saudi Arabia at special orders from Bush.
The binLaden family, including Osama, were partners with Bush senior in his company that sells arms -- the Carlyle Group.
Osama made a statement right after the 911 attack that he didn't know who Al Qaeda was and had never heard of them. Yet he was supposedly the head of the group! We were not, at the time, allowed to hear this message because it was alleged to contain secret words to "cells" in America. Later it was released but the media never made it an important story. By then the myth of Al Qaeda was already part of our culture.