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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


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thrōn . ( כּסּא , kiṣṣē' , a "seat" in 2 Kings 4:10; a "royal seat" in Jonah 3:6; θρόνος , thrónos ): Usually the symbol of kingly power and dignity. Solomon's throne was noted for its splendor and magnificence (1 Kings 10:18-20; compare 2 Chronicles 9:17-19 ). It symbolizes:

(1) The exalted position of earthly kings, rulers, judges, etc., their majesty and power (of kings: Genesis 41:40; 1 Kings 2:19; Job 36:7 , etc.; denoting governing or judicial power: 2 Samuel 14:9; Nehemiah 3:7; Psalm 122:5 , etc.; often equivalent to kingdom or reign: 1 Samuel 2:8; 1 Kings 1:37 , 1 Kings 1:47 , etc.; in this connection we note the expressions: "a man on the throne of Israel," 1 Kings 2:4 , etc.; "to sit upon a throne" 1 Kings 1:13 , 1 Kings 1:17 , etc.; Jeremiah 13:13 , etc.; "to set a person on a throne," 2 Kings 10:3; "the throne of Israel," 1 Kings 8:20 , etc.; "the throne of David" 2 Samuel 3:10 , etc.; of Solomon, 2 Samuel 7:13 , etc.; of Joash, 2 Chronicles 23:20 , etc.). In Jeremiah 17:12 it is equivalent to "temple" ("A glorious throne ... is the place of our sanctuary"); it symbolizes the power of the Gentiles being hostile to the people of Yahweh ( Psalm 94:20 ), and is used metaphorically in Isaiah 22:23 ("He (i.e. Eliakim) shall be for a throne of glory to his father's house").

(2) The majesty and power of Yahweh as the true king of Israel; He "is enthroned above the cherubim" (1 Samuel 4:4 the Revised Version margin; compare 2 Samuel 6:2; 2 Kings 19:15; Solomon's throne is really Yahweh's throne (1 Chronicles 29:23 ), and there shall come a time when Jerusalem shall be called "the throne of Yahweh" (Jeremiah 3:17 ) and the enemies of Yahweh shall be judged by him ("I will set my throne in Elam," Jeremiah 49:38 ). According to Ezekiel 43:7 , the Lord said of the future temple: "This is the place of my throne."

(3) The rule of the promised theocratic king (the Messiah), its everlasting glory and righteousness. He, too, is Yahweh's representative, inasmuch as He "shall rule upon his throne" (Zechariah 6:13 ). Thus, the permanence of the throne of David is warranted (Isaiah 9:7 ); eternal peace (1 Kings 2:33 ), loving-kindness and justice (Isaiah 16:5 ) characterize his reign. The New Testament points to Jesus as this promised king (Luke 1:32; compare Acts 2:30; Hebrews 12:2 ); Christ Himself refers to His future state of glory (Matthew 25:31 ) and guarantees His faithful disciples a similar distinction (Matthew 19:28; compare Luke 22:30; Revelation 20:4 ).

(4) The matchless glory, the transcendent power and absolute sovereignty of God (and Christ); Micaiah "saw Yahweh sitting on his throne," etc. (1 Kings 22:19; compare 2 Chronicles 18:18 ); Isaiah and Ezekiel had similar visions (Isaiah 6:1; Ezekiel 1:26 ); compare also Daniel 7:9 and Revelation 4:2 (and often); in trying to depict the incomparable greatness of the King of kings, the Bible tells us that His throne is in heaven ( Psalm 11:4 , etc.) and, moreover, that heaven itself is His throne (Isaiah 66:1; Matthew 5:34 , etc.); His reign is founded on righteousness and justice (Psalm 89:14; compare Psalm 97:2 ) and of eternal duration (Psalm 45:6; compare Hebrews 1:8; Lamentations 5:19 ); He acts justly and kindly (Psalm 9:4 and Psalm 89:14 ); He defends His glory (Jeremiah 14:21 ); He manifests His holiness (Psalm 47:8 ) and His grace (Hebrews 4:16 ), and yet His dealings with us are not always fully understood by us (Job 26:9 ).

(5) Heavenly kingdoms or rulers (angels: Colossians 1:16 ). See KING , KINGDOM .

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Throne'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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