Here are a couple of typical Lion Couch scenes, similar to the scene in Facsimile #1 from the Book of Abraham:
And here is a Senet board for comparison:
The hypothesis suggested here is that it is meaningful that it looks like a lion couch, as well as a sled. In Egyptian funeral processions, the "boat" containing a mummy was actually a sled that carried the mummy shaped like a boat:
Since the sun appeared to die in the west every evening, it made sense that the dead should end there too. So to get to the tomb in the necropolis, a trip across the Nile was necessary. The embalmers transported the mummy across the river on a boat, where it was picked up by the mourners on the other side. The mummy would be placed on a boat-shaped sled called a bier. This pretend funeral barge was either pulled by oxen or it was just dragged by people. As the funeral procession made its trip to the tomb, servants carried food and drink, shabtis, the canopic jars, and the mummy's possessions. Several priests walked in the procession too, reciting spells and prayers from the Book of the Dead. (http://www.neferchichi.com/mum5.html)The boat/sled was pulled by oxen sometimes.
The Senet Game Board is associated closely with a bier/lion couch.
One of the young pharaoh’s favorite diversions was playing games of chance. Like many ancient Egyptians, he was particularly fond of the game of senet in which the movement of pawns on a checkerboard was decided by the throw of knucklebones or casting sticks. The religious text of the Book of the Dead refers to senet as one of the pastimes in the afterlife. Of the 4 game boxes found in the Annex, this one made of wood with ebony and ivory veneer was the finest. Recumbent on a leonine frame which rested on a small sledge, it was dismantled and scattered throughout the tangle of rifled objects in the crowded chamber. (http://www.kingtutexhibit.com/catalogs/tutankhamun_catalog.pdf)Now, let us have a look at Facsimile #1 again for a moment:
Note tat the four canopic jars (the four sons of Horus), below the couch. These are reminiscent of game pieces. The canopic jars are similar to small statuettes called shabtis, which were funerary figurines, which are also similar to the game pieces.
Next, here is a picture of some shabtis for comparison:
Now, look at Facsimile #1 again:
Pay attention to the right of it, at the columns of characters. Now, looking at a Senet board vertically rather than horizontally, we notice that the three rows/columns in the Senet board definitely resemble the arrangement of the columns of to the right of Facsimile #1:
In the senet board, some of the squares have characters written on them. As we saw in previous articles, some Senet and Mehen Game Pieces had writing on them. Some ancient Mesopotamian tokens used for economic purposes and for game boards there had writing on them. It is interesting that the Hebrew High Priest breastplate has a similar pattern of squares and stones with writing. A visual comparison of this with a Senet board is interesting:
Hugh Nibley writes:
Philo has described the garment of the high priest: "On the collar, stones were fitted in, two being costly emeralds of exceeding value, on which the names of the patriarchs of the tribes were engraved, six on each, making twelve in all." And on the breast are twelve other precious stones of different colors resembling seals, three rows of four each. Pholo tells us that the garment of the high priest is a representation of the heavens. The two great emeralds represent the hemispheres, the one above the earth and the other below it. The twelve precious stones in 4 x 3 rows are representations of the Zodiac. The whole arrangement is called logeion; all heavenly bodies are arranged according to reason and analogy, and there is nothing illogical about it. (One Eternal Round, p. 454).So, the rows and so forth are representative of a ZODIAC, or a calendrical, astronomical set of symbols based on constellations, just like the Ring Dances. Other traditions from around the world seems to indicate that the traditions surrounding Facsimile 1 are indeed astronomical. With the waters underneath the lion couch, what we are dealing with is the waters in the heavens (the Heavenly Nile or the Milky Way), or that which is above the Raqia (Raukeeyang), or the firmament/expanse.
In this connection, it is interesting that among Australian natives, they have traditions about the stars where their heroes would be live among the stars, and this would play a part in their initiation rites:
In such a rite or bora at Mount Milbirriman, seven fires were lighted round an oval ring; at the south end stood a native threatening a big clay figure of a crocodile with a spear. The seven fires represented the Pleiades, who were seen as seven young men dancing to a song sung by three young women in Orion's Belt. The clay-figure in the middle of the ring was a giant crocodile frequenting the dark river of the Milky Way; the novices were told that this fiery monster would swallow them if they showed any weakness in passing through the rites. (Origins of Astrology, by Jack Lindsay, p. 93).
It Therefore, it seems that what we are dealing with is the waters in the heavens (the Heavenly Nile or the Milky Way), or that which is above the Raqia (Raukeeyang), or the firmament/expanse, coupled with dancers, and a ring of fire.Also, the breastpiece of the priest was a pouch that contained the Urim and Thummim, which were stones like tokens. The Urim and Thummim were sometimes used in different ways of divination to find out the will of the Lord, including the casting of lots, like the casting of dice or anything else in a game that uses randomness to determine what comes next in the game. For example some scholars have come to the following conclusion:
1 Samuel 14:41 is regarded by biblical scholars as key to understanding the Urim and Thummim; the passage describes an attempt to identify a sinner via divination, by repeatedly splitting the people into two groups and identifying which group contains the sinner. In the version of this passage in the Masoretic Text, it describes Saul and Jonathan being separated from the rest of the people, and lots being cast between them; the Septuagint version, however, states that Urim would indicate Saul and Jonathan, while Thummim would indicate the people. In the Septuagint, a previous verse uses a phrase which is usually translated as inquired of God, which is significant as the grammatical form of the Hebrew implies that the inquiry was performed by objects being manipulated; scholars view it as evident from these verses and versions that cleromancy was involved, and that Urim and Thummim were the names of the objects being cast. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urim_and_Thummim)Cleromancy is the tossing or casting of objects to divine answers, etc.