Where is the ark of the covenant now that David carried around with the Ten Commandments inside of it?
Unlike certain entertaining movies that depict the ark of the covenant being an easy archeological find (referring to Indiana Jones), the biblical whereabouts of the ark of the covenant is less clear.
The last mention of the ark in Scripture is when King Josiah commands it be returned to the temple in Jerusalem in as part of honoring the Passover:
2 Chron. 35:3 And he said to the Levites who taught all Israel and who were holy to the Lord, “Put the holy ark in the house that Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, built. You need not carry it on your shoulders. Now serve the Lord your God and his people Israel.
Subsequently in history Jerusalem was invaded, twice, by King Nebuchadnezzar. We read of this second siege, around 600BC, in 2 Kings:
2 Kings 24:10 At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up to Jerusalem, and the city was besieged.
2 Kings 24:11 And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to the city while his servants were besieging it,
2 Kings 24:12 and Jehoiachin the king of Judah gave himself up to the king of Babylon, himself and his mother and his servants and his officials and his palace officials. The king of Babylon took him prisoner in the eighth year of his reign
2 Kings 24:13 and carried off all the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king's house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold in the temple of the Lord, which Solomon king of Israel had made, as the Lord had foretold.
Perhaps the ark was included in these treasures raided from the temple and simply not mentioned? Or it may have been destroyed or lost in the chaos of the attack? Or even buried beneath the Temple Mount prior to Nebuchadnezzar's arrival? Ultimately, we will never know. The Lord does not want Israel and the world to remain focused on the ark now that the Messiah, Jesus Christ, has appeared to fulfill everything the ark represented. As the Lord spoke through Jeremiah:
Jer. 3:16 “It shall be in those days when you are multiplied and increased in the land,” declares the LORD, “they will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the LORD.’And it will not come to mind, nor will they remember it, nor will they miss it, nor will it be made again."
Interestingly, the Apostle John talks later in scripture of an ark in Heaven:
Revelation 11:19 Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.
However as we can read earlier in Hebrews 9:23, the earthly temple and ark are only a "copy of the heavenly things". So this ark in heaven is the true original version from which Moses modeled his construction, which one day we as believers will see with all the majesty of heaven.