This was the usual position adopted by a Jewish preacher. The chair of the preacher was placed near the spot where the lesson was read. These synagogues were built with the end pointed towards Jerusalem, in which direction the Jew ever loved to turn as he prayed (Dan. 6:10). The men eat on one side of the building, the women on the other. There was always at the end of the chamber an ark of wood, a memory of the sacred ark of the covenant, which once, with its golden mercy-seat, hallowed now and again with the presence of the visible glory, was the chief treasure of the temple on Mount Zion. In the “ark” were kept the Law (the five books of Moses) and the rolls of the prophets.
Spence-Jones, H. D. M., ed. St. Luke. Vol. 1. London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909. Print. The Pulpit Commentary.