tebah could mean a boat, something pitch coated, a certain material, a life preserver, or a certain shape.
Had the original name for the ark been tebah (tbh), it is quite logical that the Egyptians should use the same term for their own (misguided) form of transport into the netherworld - the coffin.
By the time Moses is on the scene his mother's basket also fits the description tebah, the word Moses also selected for the original ark. The "box" connotation is not strongly supported because Moses employs a completely different word for the Ark of the Covenant.
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