Aron in Hebrew. See Exodus 37:1-9. A simple box without legs (Rashi). Others, however, state that it had legs (Ibn Ezra on Exodus 25:12) or a lower rim (cf. Yoma 72b).
|2 and a half cubits...|
The dimensions of the ark were thus 3' 9' x 2' 3' x 2' 3'. According to others, the cubits here were only of 5 handbreadths, and the ark's dimensions were 3' 1.5' x 1' 10.5' x 1' 10.5'.
Some say that the walls of the ark were a handbreadth (3 inches) thick (Yoma 72b, Rabbenu Chananel ad. loc.; Abarbanel; Maaseh Choshev 8:2). According to others, it was one half handbreadth (1.5 inches) or a fingerbreadth (0.75 inches) thick (Bava Bathra 14a; Bareitha Melekheth HaMishkan 6).
Some say that this was like a thin box of gold around the wooden box (Yoma 72b; Ralbag). According to others, the box was gilded with gold leaf (Yerushalmi, Shekalim 6:1. See note on Exodus 30:3.
Or 'crown,' zer in Hebrew. According to the first opinion above (see note, this verse, 'layer'), the outer gold box extended a little more than a handbreadth above the wooden core of the ark, so as to protrude slightly above the cover when it was placed on the ark (Yoma 72b; Rashi; Midrash Agadah). Others say that this implies that the edges of the wooden core should also be covered (Chizzkuni).
Some say that the purpose of this rim was to hold the ark-cover (Rashi; Ralbag). Josephus (3:6:5), however, states that the cover was held on with hinges.