The meanings, origins and ancient traditions surrounding Christian symbols date back to early times when the majority of ordinary people were not able to read or write and printing was unknown. Many were 'borrowed' or drawn from early pre-Christian traditions.
The Definition and Meaning of the Ark of the Covenant as a Christian Symbol
Catholic Christian symbolism in art provides a clear graphic illustration which represents people or items of religious significance. What is the definition and the meaning of the Ark of the Covenant Christian Symbol? The Ark of the Covenant of the Covenant was a sacred chest where Moses placed the two tables of stone containing the Ten Commandments. The Ark was also the name given to a boat built by Noah (Noah's Ark) to save his family and animals from the Flood.
Reference to the Ark of the Covenant in the Bible
The Easton Bible Dictionary provides the following definition, meaning and emblem for the Ark of the Covenant in the Bible.
The Ark of the Covenant was made of acacia or shittim wood, a cubit and a half broad and high and two cubits long, and covered all over with the purest gold. Its upper surface or lid, the mercy-seat, was surrounded with a rim of gold; and on each of the two sides were two gold rings, in which were placed two gold-covered poles by which the Ark of the Covenant could be carried (Num. 7:9; 10:21; 4:5,19, 20; 1 Kings 8:3, 6).
Over the Ark of the Covenant, at the two extremities, were two cherubim, with their faces turned toward each other (Lev. 16:2; Num. 7:89). Their outspread wings over the top of the Ark of the Covenant formed the throne of God, while the Ark of the Covenant itself was his footstool (Ex. 25:10-22; 37:1-9).
The Ark of the Covenant was deposited in the "holy of holies," and was so placed that one end of the poles by which it was carried touched the veil which separated the two apartments of the tabernacle (1 Kings 8:8).
During the journeys of the Israelites the Ark of the Covenant was carried by the priests in advance of the host (Num. 4:5, 6; 10:33-36; Ps. 68:1; 132:8).