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 Simmons notes that after the captives were led out of Jerusalem (these included the chief priest of the Temple, as well as the second priest and the three keepers of the door), the king's captain ordered the burning of the palace and the Temple--in fact, all of the city. Certainly all objects of value had been removed by the Babylonians before the torches were lit. So one might wonder why, in either the account of the stripping of the Temple, or in the record of what was restored many years later, there was no mention of the Ark of the Covenant or the Urim and Thummim. According to tradition, the Jews of Jerusalem in 175 B.C. believed that Jeremiah had been commanded of the Lord to preserve the Ark of the Covenant as a witness against Israel in times to come. So why would the Lord pick Jeremiah? Perhaps he was the legal heir to such a responsibility over the Temple because of his lineage.

     The king of Babylon had ordered his captain, Nebuzaradan, to grant any request made by Jeremiah the prophet. If the prophet had wanted access to the Temple during the time that the city's wealth was being removed, was there anyone to oppose him? The priests of the Temple had been taken captive and killed and undoubtedly lesser attendants had fled for safety. So Jeremiah could very well have taken the Ark of the Covenant and the Urim & Thummim in order to hide them. More importantly, at least for this discussion, the implication is that Jeremiah had the proper authority (Babylonian, Levitical and Jewish) to do so.