#30 - What was in the Ark of the Covenant?
The skeptic's misunderstanding:
Only the two tables of Moses.
"There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt." 1 Kings 8:9
"There was nothing in the ark save the two tables which Moses put therein at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt." 2 Chronicles 5:10
The tables of Moses, a golden pot filled with manna, and Aaron's budded rod.
"The ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant." Hebrews 9:4
Very likely, the pot of manna and Aaron’s rod were put in the Ark of the Covenant some time between the end of Solomon’s reign and the destruction of Jerusalem = hundreds of years. 1 Kings 8:9 and 2 Chronicles 5:10 describe the contents of the Ark at the same event: the dedication of the Temple by Solomon. The verses say “There was nothing” not “there is nothing” or “there was never anything else in the Ark”. There was no ordinance that stipulated that nothing else which was holy could be placed in it later. Who did, and the reason for placing the additional items in, is unknown, but apparently someone did later on.