By the time the bulk of the Jews had assembled at Mount Horeb Moses was an old man in his 80's. It was here that he received the Ten Commandments. The account of him bringing these down Mount Sinai, in the form of two stone tablets, is certainly questionable, particularly as he is reported to have done so twice (7). It would seem more likely that he received the Commandments in inspirational form, and then had them set to stone once he had returned to his people. It is highly improbable that he could ever have twice carried down those heavy stone slabs from some way up a rocky 7000’ (2150m) mountain, let alone after 40 days without sustenance. Furthermore, the Apocrypha seems to confirm this, in that Moses was commanded "to write the Laws in the presence of the people of Israel." (8).

In due course, a special gold-encased Covenant Box of acacia wood, called the Ark, and supported by two long gold-encased wooden poles, was made in which to carry the now Sacred Tablets with their engravings. It was not large; it measured 50 x 30 x 30 inches (1.20 x 0.75 x 0.75m). Nevertheless, it would have been heavy enough with all its gold cladding and embellishments, besides containing the two Tablets and other sacred artefacts. (9).

Although there appears to be no Biblical evidence to support this, it seems both logical and reasonable to assume that some time later the Ark, together with its adornments and carrying poles, was transported by means of a four-wheeled cart. Later accounts of the movement of the Ark, as reflected in both Books of Samuel, seem to imply this. The Ark itself was always kept carefully veiled whenever outside the large tented Tabernacle. The Tabernacle itself had been devised soon after the construction of the Ark, and was always erected whenever the Israelites were likely to remain static for any length of time.

In due course, the tribe of Levi was designated as the future source of hereditary priests appointed to guard the Ark.