The ark was made of acacia [shittim] wood, and ornamented with gold designs inside and outside. It had a rim to keep the cover in place, on which the cherubim stood, and rings at the four corners for the poles with which it was carried.
The ark was the most mysterious of all the Jewish symbols, in the estimation of the Rabbies. The Egyptians used an ark as a symbol of mother earth, which received the body which earth had nourished, and they also made it a symbol of hope and of faith in immortality, saying that the body would be revived and come out of the ark again in a new birth. In their fable of Osiris the mystical body was placed in an ark on a certain day [17th Athor], with solemn ceremonies, during a festival. The body of the dead Apis was also placed in an ark, and was then Osir-Apis, Serapis, the dead Apis or Osiris in the under world.
Three days after the body of Osiris had been put into the ark the priests played the second act in the sacred drama, and pretended to discover the lost Osiris, that is the Sun that had been in the underworld, during the three longest nights of winter, and was said to be born again, and as the young son, began its life anew, on our 25th of December.
The ancient writer, Pausanias, says the emblem of Bacchus was kept in an ark, was made by Vulcan, and was the gift of Jupiter to Dardanus, and Eusebius says that the Phoenicians used an ark in the mysteries of the Cabeiri, and the Greeks in the worship of Ceres and Proserpine.
The tabernacle was a type of the universe, and the ark represented the central source of life, law, authority, and the residence of the Creator.
The Cherubim in Ezekiel i.11 that are said to have four wings, and in Isaiah vi.2 six. The Cherubim on the curtains had only two faces, but the carved cherubim had four each.
Seraphim before God
Avenar, the Jewish astrologer, names the Wolf [zeeb, the word in the Hebrew text] as the Oriental sign of the constellation called Gemini, and figured by the Egyptians and Greeks by two men, or a man and a woman, and by the Hindu as two girls. The Egyptians fabled that the god Anubis had his station in this sign, and he was the type of the planet Mercury, which was a morning star at one time and an evening star at another season of the year. The Egyptians had names for all the various phenomena of nature, and the horizon just after the setting of the sun was called Anubis, who is figured with a jackal’s [wolf’s] head. He is called the golden , in reference to the golden tints of clouds at this time of the day. Joseph and Benjamin are the sons of Rachel, and the word Rachel is Hebrew for sheep.