The throne, as a symbol of authority, was portable. Two kings, of Israel and Judah, sat on their thrones at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria (1 Kings 22:10). Jeremiah 1:15 warned that the conquering kings would place their thrones before the gates of Jerusalem. Jeremiah foretold that Nebuchadnezzar would set his throne at the entrance to Pharaoh’s palace in Tahpanhes (Jer 43:10).

Ancient thrones were of opulent magnificence. The remains of a throne of rock crystal were found in the ruins of Sennacherib’s palace. Solomon’s throne was made of ivory overlaid with gold, with six steps leading up to it, with a lion on either side of each step. The back was carved with the figure of a bull’s head, the symbol of strength, and two lions stood beside the arm rests (1 Kings 10:18-20). The lions were prob. carved figures of winged cherubim. The throne room was called the “Hall of Judgment” (7:7).

Messianic passages suggest that one called the Branch will build the Temple and sit on the throne (Zech 6:13). The Ancient of Days will sit on His throne with priests by His side (Dan 7:9). When the Son of man returns in glory, He will take His place on His throne (Matt 25:31; Luke 1:32). Believers will sit on thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel (Matt 19:28).

Warning is given that the one who would exalt his throne on high with God’s will be cast into Sheol (Isa 14:13-15), where kings sitting on thrones will rise to greet the new arrivals (Isa 14:9, 10).

The ascension of the king was accompanied by an enthronement festival and rite. The main elements of it can be reconstructed from the detailed accounts of Solomon’s enthronement (1 Kings 1:32-40) and that of Joash (2 Kings 11:4-20). The main elements were the anointing of the king, the blowing of the trumpets, a procession accompanying the new king from the holy place to the throne where obeisance was paid to him.

Divine kingship was widely accepted in the ancient Near E, but the belief was not universal. It is unlikely that the kings of Israel were considered divine but only that they were God’s unique instruments.


S. H. Hooke, ed., The Labyrinth (1935); A. Richardson, A Theological Word Book of the Bible (1950), 105, 106; A. R. Johnson, Sacral Kingship in Ancient Israel (1955); &--;—, “Throne,” EBr, XXII (1957), 163.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

thron. (kicce’, a "seat" in 2Ki 4:10; a "royal seat" in Jon 3:6; thronos): Usually the symbol of kingly power and dignity. Solomon’s throne was noted for its splendor and magnificence (1Ki 10:18-20; compare 2Ch 9:17-19). It symbolizes:

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

(5) Heavenly kingdoms or rulers (angels: Col 1:16).