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THRONE:

  • 1. A royal seat, or chair of state. The king sits "upon the throne of his kingdom" (Deut. xvii. 18). Pharaoh delegated full power toJoseph to rule over Egypt; "only in the throne will I be greater than thou" (Gen. xli. 40). The royal throne is sometimes designated as "the throne of the kings" (Jer. lii. 32). The most magnificent throne was that of Solomon (see Jew. Encyc. xi. 441 et seq.; J. S. Kolbo made a model of Solomon's throne and exhibited it in New York city in 1888). The throne, like the crown, was a symbol of sovereign power and dignity. It was also the tribunal, the "throne of judgment" (Prov. xx. 8), where the king decided matters of law and disputes among his subjects. Thus "throne" is synonymous with "justice."
  • 2. The Throne, the abode of God, known as "Kisse ha-Kabod" (the Throne of Glory), from which God manifests His majesty and glory. Micaiah "saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the hosts of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left" (I Kings xxii. 19; compare the vision of Isaiah [vi. 1] with that of Ezekiel [x. 1]). The throne of God is Heaven (Isa. lxvi. 1); in future it will be Jerusalem (Jer. iii. 17), and even the Sanctuary (Jer. xvii. 12). Thus the idea of the majestic manifestation of God gradually crystallized in the cabalistic expression "koaḥ ha-ẓimẓum" (the power of concentration). God's Throne is the symbol of righteousness; "justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne" (Ps. lxxxix. 15 [A. V. 14]).

The Throne of Glory is an important feature in the Cabala. It is placed at the highest point of the universe (Ḥag. 12b); and is of the same color as the sky—purple-blue, like the "sapphire stone" which Ezekiel saw and which had previously been perceived by the Israelites (Ex. xxiv. 10; Soṭah 17a). Like the Torah, it was created before the world (Pes. 54a). R. Eliezer said that the souls of the righteous are concealed under the Throne (Shab. 152b). When Moses ascended to heaven to receive the Torah the angels objected, whereupon God told him to hold on to the Throne and defend his action (Shab. 88b). It is asserted that the likeness of Jacob is engraved on the Throne of Glory (Zohar, Wayiggash, p. 211a). For the throne of Elijah see Elijah's Chair.

J. J. D. E.
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