FOOTSTOOL (Heb. keves, Gr. hypopodion). A word used in Scripture both literally (2Chr.9.18) and figuratively: of the earth (Isa.66.1; Matt.5.35); of the temple (Lam.2.1); of the ark (Ps.99.5); and of subjection, especially of heathen enemies by the messianic King (Ps.110.1; Luke.20.43; Acts.2.35).
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
The 15 Scripture references to this term may be classified as literal or figurative. Of the former are the two passages: 2Ch 9:18 and Jas 2:3. In these the footstool was a sort of step or support for the feet placed before the throne or any pretentious seat.
Of figurative uses, there are the following groups:
(1) Of the earth: Isa 66:1; Mt 5:35; Ac 7:49.
(2) Of the ark: 1Ch 28:2.
(3) Of the Temple: Ps 99:5; 132:7; La 2:1; compare Isa 60:13.
(4) Of heathen enemies subdued by the Messianic King: Ps 110:1; Mt 22:44 the King James Version; Mr 12:36; Lu 20:43; Ac 2:35; Heb 1:13; 10:13.
Thus the uses of this term are mainly metaphorical and symbolic of subjection, either to God as universal Lord or to God’s Son as King by redemptive right. Compare 1Co 15:25-27, in which all things, including death, are represented as subject to Christ and placed beneath His feet.
Leonard W. Doolan