(כַּסֵּא, kisse; θρόνος, a seat, as often rendered; twice כַּסֵּה, kisseh, 1 Kings 10:19; Job 26:9; Chald. כָּרסֵא, horse, Da 5:20; Da 7:9, so called as being covered, i.e. either the seat itself or with a canopy) applies to any elevated seat occupied by a person in authority, whether a high- priest (1Sa 1:9), a judge (Ps 122:5), or a military chief (Jer 1:15). In Ne 3:7 the term is applied to the official residence of the governor, which appears to have been either on or near to the city wall. In the holy of holies, between the cherubim, was the throne of Jehovah, the invisible king of the Hebrews (Ex 25:22). SEE PAVILION.
The use of a chair in a country where the usual postres were squatting and reclining was at all times regarded as a symbol of dignity (2Ki 4:10; Pr 9:14). In order to specify a throne in our sense of the term, it was necessary to add to kiss the notion of royalty; hence the frequent occurrence of such expressions as "the throne of the kingdom" (De 17:18; 1 Kings 1, 46; 2Ch 7:18). The characteristic feature in the royal throne was its elevation: Solomon's throne was approached by six steps (1Ki 10:19; 2Ch 9:18); and Jehovah's throne is described as "high and lifted up" (Isa 6:1; comp. Hom. Odyss. 1, 130; 4:136; Curtius, 5, 2, 13). The materials and workmanship were costly: that of Solomon is described as a 'throne of ivory" (i.e. inlaid with ivory), and overlaid with pure gold in all parts except where the ivory was apparent. It was furnished with arms or "stays," after the manner of an Assyrian chair of state (see Rawlinson, Herod. 4:15). The steps were also lined with pairs of lions, the number of them being perhaps designed to correspond with that of the tribes of Israel. As to the form of the chair, we are only informed in 1Ki 10:19 that "the top was round behind" (apparently meaning either that the back was rounded off at the top or that there was a circular canopy over it). In lieu of this particular, we are told in 2Ch 9:18 that "there was a footstool of gold fastened to the throne." but the verbal agreement of the descriptions in other respects leads to the presumption that this variation arises out of a corrupted text (Thenius, Comm. on 1 Kings, loc. cit.) a presumption which is favored by the fact that the terms כֶּבֶשׁ and the Hop- hal-form מָאַחָזַים occur nowhere-else. — The king sat on his throne on state occasions, as when granting audiences (1Ki 2; 1Ki 19; 1Ki 22:10; Es 5; Es 1), receiving homage (2 Kings, 11:19), or administering justice (Pr 20:8). At such times he appeared in his royal robes (1Ki 22:10; Jon 3:6; Ac 12:21). Archelaus addressed the multitude from "an elevated seat and a throne of gold" (Josephus, War, 2, 1, 1). A throne was generally placed upon a dais or platform, and under a canopy; and in the sublime description of the King of kings (Revelation 4), this latter is compared to the emerald hue of the rainbow. In Re 4:4; Re 11:16 the elders who represent the Church as reigning with Christ are seated on thrones placed around his; and in 2, 13 Satan is represented as imitating the royal seat of Christ. For modern Oriental thrones, see Van Lennep, Bible Lands, p. 643.
Mr. Layard discovered in the mound at Nimriud, among other extraordinary relics, the throne on which the Assyrian monarchs sat three thousand years ago. It is composed of metal and of ivory, the metal being richly wrought and the ivory beautifully carved. The throne seems to have been separated from the state apartments by means of a large curtain, the rings by which it was drawn and undrawn having been preserved (Nin. and Bab. p. 198). The chair represented on the earliest monuments is without a back, the legs are tastefully carved, and the seat is adorned with the heads of rams.
The cushion appears to have been of some rich stuff, embroidered or painted. The legs were strengthened by a cross-bar, and frequently ended in the feet of a lion or the hoofs of a bull, either of gold, silver, or bronze (Nineveh, 2, 235). The throne of the Egyptian monarchs is often exhibited on the ancient monuments. SEE CHAIR.
The throne was the symbol of supreme power and dignity (Ge 41:40), and hence was attributed to Jehovah both in respect to his heavenly abode (Ps 11:4; Ps 103:19; Isa 66:1; Ac 7:49;
Re 4:2) and to his earthly abode at Jerusalem (or 3:17), and more particularly in the Temple (17:12; Eze 43:7). Similarly, "to sit upon the throne" implied the exercise of regal power (De 17:18; 1Ki 16:11; 2Ki 10:30; Es 1; Es 2), and "to sit upon the throne of another person" succession to the royal dignity (1Ki 1; 1Ki 13). The term '"throne" is sometimes equivalent to "kingdom" (2Ch 9:8; Ac 2:30; Heb 1:8). So, also, "thrones" designates earthly potentates and celestial beings, archangels (Col 1:16). SEE SEAT.