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the ark of the covenant

the ark of the covenant

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alienjunkyard

Dec-22-2016 7:55 AM

 

 

 Hello all, not sure if this theory has been covered before, please let me know or move the thread if so...

Ridley Scott has made clear his influence and interest in 'classic' themes of creation and godhead; Paradise Lost, a War in Heaven, the Fall of Man, Prometheus, the Covenant between God and Creation.

After reading through some of the excellent threads on this site, I got to thinking about this iconography. The shoulder patch strongly suggests the Ark of the Covenant to me. Best known in popular culture perhaps as the nazi melting macguffin in Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Mr Scott and his team will no doubt have consulted the original sources of this icon and its symbolism.

In Christian biblical writings the ark is referred to as the repository of the words of god, the ten commandments in the form of two stone tablets. The outer form being to prevent the contents from being seen by the common man.

In the Hebrew bible, it is described as also containing manna and Aaarons rod, a powerful item that could transform itself into other physical states, ( staff to snake, staff to tree). Additionally, when transformed into an almond tree it produced fruit that on one side of the tree were poisonous,the other being sweet. Manna being the magical food provided to the faithful by the Christian deity.

The lid of the container is referred to as kapporeth, probably derived from kaphar, which is often considered to mean cover, the literal meaning of kaphar is wipe out, implying that kapporeth means thing of wiping out/ of cleaning. There are references to rituals performed to cleanse sin by pouring bulls blood onto the lid of this object.

In Islamic sources, the ark is variously referred to as holding remnants from the family of Moses such as rods, robes and shoes as well as the two tablets. It is described as containing the 'spirit of tranquillity' as well as 'the dwelling or presence of God'.

Summarising the three strands of Abrahamic religion, the ark can be viewed as holding divine information, as well as being a divine foodstuff. It also possesses strong transformative abilities for both creation and destruction. It can also be considered a thing of wiping out/ of cleaning.

How might this fit into Alien Covenant and the overall Alien/ Engineer narrative?

Admittedly this is from the uniform of a Covenant crew member, and the expedition would have minimal knowledge of what to expect in deep space. But how about the paymasters? How much of Weylands information remains accessible to the senior corporate staff in the newly formed Weyland Yutani.

It was revealed in the original Alien film that Weyland Yutani have a standing order to investigate any signs of extraterrestrial/ alien life, the seeking of advanced alien technology.

The Covenant is described as a colony ship. So a Manifest Destiny in space; the expansion of humanity, empire building. Is there a religious theme here? The seeking of a promised land by the chosen people, an extension of the belief that Earth is promised to mankind, that the Universe itself is ours for the taking. A covenant. Is there a figure like Elizabeth Shaw who is influenced by religious thought and has chosen the ships name?

It is more likely perhaps that Ridley Scott has named the ship and chosen the Ark image for the uniform to signpost the broader theme of the film, to emphasise in small ways the drama that is to play out.

The search for the creator, to engage with this entity as an equal, or to usurp. To create or break a covenant.

The bioforming material, the 'black goo' can be seen as a crucible of creation, an Ark. However, it has only displayed destructive transformations thus far in Prometheus. Given that several of the readings of the purpose of the Ark in Abrahamic tradition is to transform, to destroy, to wipe out, in terms of the Alien/ Prometheus universe this reinforces the notion of the black goo as a weapon.

There has been a war in heaven. And mankind is currently picking through the ruins. What if there are no engineers left? Maybe we saw the last one trying to complete the mission. Wiping out the Earth for whatever reason. Perhaps they will continue to remain a mystery, and their motivations.

Who is left then? Only acquisitive corporations and their unfortunate employees. And David, a psychotic AI who now perhaps controls the Ark, or is trying to. Who or what is his covenant with?

 

Seem to have rambled on a bit. Sorry about that. Keen to see how the film plays out and always enjoy others thoughts and artworks on here. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Responses to the ark of the covenant

alienjunkyard

Dec-22-2016 8:23 AM

yikes. that wasn't planned. transmission corrupted by deep space frequency erosion. or something.  

 

Hello all, not sure if this theory has been covered before, please let me know or move the thread if so...

Ridley Scott has made clear his influence and interest in 'classic' themes of creation and godhead; Paradise Lost, a War in Heaven, the Fall of Man, Prometheus, the Covenant between God and Creation.

After reading through some of the excellent threads on this site, I got to thinking about this iconography. The shoulder patch strongly suggests the Ark of the Covenant to me. Best known in popular culture perhaps as the nazi melting macguffin in Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Mr Scott and his team will no doubt have consulted the original sources of this icon and its symbolism.

In Christian biblical writings the ark is referred to as the repository of the words of god, the ten commandments in the form of two stone tablets. The outer form being to prevent the contents from being seen by the common man.

In the Hebrew bible, it is described as also containing manna and Aaarons rod, a powerful item that could transform itself into other physical states, ( staff to snake, staff to tree). Additionally, when transformed into an almond tree it produced fruit that on one side of the tree were poisonous,the other being sweet. Manna being the magical food provided to the faithful by the Christian deity.

The lid of the container is referred to as kapporeth, probably derived from kaphar, which is often considered to mean cover, the literal meaning of kaphar is wipe out, implying that kapporeth means thing of wiping out/ of cleaning. There are references to rituals performed to cleanse sin by pouring bulls blood onto the lid of this object.

In Islamic sources, the ark is variously referred to as holding remnants from the family of Moses such as rods, robes and shoes as well as the two tablets. It is described as containing the 'spirit of tranquillity' as well as 'the dwelling or presence of God'.

Summarising the three strands of Abrahamic religion, the ark can be viewed as holding divine information, as well as being a divine foodstuff. It also possesses strong transformative abilities for both creation and destruction. It can also be considered a thing of wiping out/ of cleaning.

How might this fit into Alien Covenant and the overall Alien/ Engineer narrative?

Admittedly this is from the uniform of a Covenant crew member, and the expedition would have minimal knowledge of what to expect in deep space. But how about the paymasters? How much of Weylands information remains accessible to the senior corporate staff in the newly formed Weyland Yutani.

It was revealed in the original Alien film that Weyland Yutani have a standing order to investigate any signs of extraterrestrial/ alien life, the seeking of advanced alien technology.

The Covenant is described as a colony ship. So a Manifest Destiny in space; the expansion of humanity, empire building. Is there a religious theme here? The seeking of a promised land by the chosen people, an extension of the belief that Earth is promised to mankind, that the Universe itself is ours for the taking. A covenant. Is there a figure like Elizabeth Shaw who is influenced by religious thought and has chosen the ships name?

It is more likely perhaps that Ridley Scott has named the ship and chosen the Ark image for the uniform to signpost the broader theme of the film, to emphasise in small ways the drama that is to play out.

The search for the creator, to engage with this entity as an equal, or to usurp. To create or break a covenant.

The bioforming material, the 'black goo' can be seen as a crucible of creation, an Ark. However, it has only displayed destructive transformations thus far in Prometheus. Given that several of the readings of the purpose of the Ark in Abrahamic tradition is to transform, to destroy, to wipe out, in terms of the Alien/ Prometheus universe this reinforces the notion of the black goo as a weapon.

There has been a war in heaven. And mankind is currently picking through the ruins. What if there are no engineers left? Maybe we saw the last one trying to complete the mission. Wiping out the Earth for whatever reason. Perhaps they will continue to remain a mystery, and their motivations.

Who is left then? Only acquisitive corporations and their unfortunate employees. And David, a psychotic AI who now perhaps controls the Ark, or is trying to. Who or what is his covenant with?

 

 

Facehuggers

Dec-22-2016 8:44 AM

Interesting discussion! Thank you for sharing!

Indeed, the COVENANT relates to biblical themes where like in the Ark, life is preserved for further reproduction in paradise.

Well, that's how I interpret it... But heck, I'm an atheist lol

alienjunkyard

Dec-22-2016 8:48 AM

thanks. yup, being attached to no religious view I attempted a 'systemic' analysis. as Mr Scott is using those themes. very keen to see how it all plays out.

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