(usually some form of יָשַׁב, yashab, to sit; κάθεδρα). There is no mention made of chairs in the Old Test., but seats of various kinds are named.
(1.) כִּסֵּא, kissah (from כָּסָה kasah, to cover, also occurring twice, Job 26:9; 1Ki 10:19, in the form כִּסֵּה), is a throne, a royal throne, as in De 17:18: 2Sa 8:13, or the elevated seat of the high-priest, 1Sa 1:9; 1Sa 4:13, but is sometimes applied to a seat in general, though usually with some honorary distinction, as 1Sa 2:8; Isa 22:23. SEE THRONE
(2.) מוֹשָׁב, moshab (from יָשַׁב, yashab, to sit), means any seat, as 1Sa 20:18,25; Job 29:7, hence the site of a city, 2Ki 2:19; an assembly or session, as Ps 1:1, and the dwelling of men, Ge 25:34, and often.
(3.) The word ,תּכוּנָה, tekunah (from תָּכַן, takan, to weigh), is rendered "seat" in the A. V., Job 23:3, but means rather dwelling, abode.
(4.) Finally, shebeth, שֶׁבֶת, is the infinitive of the verb yashab, יָשַׁב (see No. 2, above), used substantively, as in Am 6:8.
Orientals usually seat themselves upon mats or carpets on the floor. In the houses of the wealthy there are spread pillows, or cushions, stuffed with cotton; and sometimes broad low sofas, or divans, are used, with arms, stuffed cushions, and costly ornaments. Upon these divans, as well as upon the floor, they sit with the legs bent under, and crossed in a half-kneeling posture. Among some of them Europeans have even introduced chairs. The Ancient Egyptians had chairs and ottomans in great variety and of the most elegant forms, much in the modern fashion (Wilkinson, Anc. Egypt. i, 58 sq.); and no doubt the wealthy Hebrews imitated them. SEE HANDICRAFT. In later times the Hebrews adopted the custom of reclining upon couches at table (1Sa 9:22; Am 6:4; Es 7:8; Mt 23:6; Lu 7:37-38). Among the Romans a chair of a particular form was used by the magistrates when administering justice, and this is called "the judgment-seat" (Mt 27:19; Ac 18:12,16; Ro 14:10). SEE JUDGMENT-SEAT.
The place in which a person is seated regulates, in Eastern nations, the degree of rank or precedence which he claims for himself or receives from others. In Persia the distance from the throne within which the dignitaries of the (court and nobles may sit is regulated by the strictest etiquette. The same particularity is observed in every department of public and private life, in the formal divan, in the social feast, and even in the retire-merit of the domestic chamber. To this peculiarity there are many allusions in Scripture: thus "the seat of Moses," in which the scribes and Pharisees sat, expresses metaphorically the dignity which belonged to their office as teachers or expounders of the law; "the seat of honor," to which allusion is made in the Apocrypha, was the highest seat in the synagogue so much coveted by the Pharisees. Thrones are mentioned only in reference to deity or sovereignty; every other kind of dignity is determined by the seat. It was usual for persons who were greatly respected to be employed as judges or arbitrators; and for such seats were provided in some public place, round which the people respectfully stood, paying the most respectful reverence to the person deemed worthy of occupying the seat. SEE ATTITUDE.