Morales summarizes the evidence that the ark is to be understood as functioning like a temple, even if we can’t say that it is a temple: It is like the cosmic mountain that emerges from the waters; it is measured and set apart; it becomes a place of sacrifice; it is filled with animals. As Morales notes, the ark gradually ascends to heaven as the waters increase, life the ark above the highest mountains (159). There are multiple verbal connections between the ark-building project and the tabernacle-building later in the Pentateuch. The ark thus does what all temples are supposed to do—it joins heaven and earth.
People who know me probably won’t be surprised to find out that his blog post reminded me of something Augustine said.