Acacia tree near Eilat, tb022704005

A few months ago, Ferrell Jenkins posted a photo of an acacia tree.  His photo, like the one above, shows a typical tree in southern Israel.  The question I’ve always had is: how can you make the ark of the covenant, measuring about 4 by 2.25 by 2.25 feet, out of a tree with so little wood?

Here’s the answer:

Acacia tree in Wilderness of Sin, tb032506825

I didn’t have my tape measure handy for recording the size, but the people in the photo give perspective.  This tree is located in the Sinai peninsula, only a few dozen miles from Jebel Musa, the traditional location of Mount Sinai.

The observation is made in Picturesque Palestine (1882) that the acacia seyal tree is the “only timber tree of any size in the Arabian Desert” (4: 53).

Wady Feiran, pp4070 Acacia tree in Wadi Feiran.  Source: Picturesque Palestine, vol. 4.