Throne of God

The Throne of God from the first Russian engraved Bible, 1696.

The Throne of God is the reigning centre of God in the Abrahamic religions: primarily Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The throne is said by various holy books to reside beyond the Seventh Heaven and is called Araboth in Judaism,[1] and al-'Arsh in Islam. Many in the Christian religion consider the ceremonial chair as symbolic or allegorical.


Micaiah (1 Kings 22. 19), Isaiah (Isaiah 6), Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1)[2] and Daniel (Daniel 7. 9) all speak of God's throne, although some philosophers such as Saʿadiah Gaon and Maimonides, interpreted such mention of a "throne" as allegory.[3]

The heavenly throne room or throne room of God is a more detailed presentation of the throne, into the representation of throne room or divine court.

Micaiah's throneroom vision

Micaiah's extended prophecy (1 Kings 22:19) is the first detailed depiction of a heavenly throne room in Judaism.

Zechariah's throneroom vision

Zechariah 3 depicts a vision of the heavenly throne room where Satan and the Angel of the Lord contend over Joshua the High Priest in the time of his grandson Eliashib the High Priest. Many Christians consider this a literal event, others such as Goulder (1998) view the vision as symbolic of crisis on earth, such as opposition from Sanballat the Horonite.[4]

Dead Sea Scrolls

The concept of a heavenly throne occurs in three Dead Sea Scroll texts. Later speculation on the throne of God became a theme of Merkavah mysticism.[5]


God the Father on a throne, Westphalia, Germany, late 15th century.

In the New Testament, the Throne of God is talked about in several forms.[6] Including Heaven as the Throne of God, The Throne of David, The Throne of Glory, The Throne of Grace and many more.[6] The New Testament continues Jewish identification of heaven itself as the "throne of God",[7] but also locates the throne of God as "in heaven" and having a second subordinate seat at the Right Hand of God for the Session of Christ.[8]


The Book of Revelation describes the Seven Spirits of God which surround the throne, and John wishes his readers in the Seven Asian churches to be blessed with grace from God, from the seven who are before God's throne, and from Jesus Christ in Heaven. John states that in front of the throne there appears to be "a sea of glass, clear as crystal", and that the throne is surrounded by a lion, an ox, a man, and a flying eagle; each with six wings and covered with eyes, who constantly cry "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come" repeatedly. It is also said that "out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices".[9]


In Islamic theology, The Throne (Arabic: العرش Al-ʿArsh) is the greatest thing ever created by God.[10] Muslims believe God created the throne as a sign of his power and not as place of dwelling.[11]

The Qur'an mentions the throne some 25 times (33 times as Al-'Arsh), such as in verse 23:116:

So Exalted be Allah, the True King - None has the right to be worshipped but He - Lord of the Supreme Throne![12]

The Qur'an depicts the angels as carrying the throne of God and praising his glory, similar to Old Testament images.

...those who bear the Throne, and all who are round about it, sing the praises of their Lord and believe in Him and ask forgiveness for those who believe. - Quran 40:7
...and you shall see the angels going round about the Throne glorifying the praise of their Lord; and judgment shall be given between them with justice, and it shall be said: all praise is due to God, the Lord of the Worlds. - Quran 39:75

The Ayat al-Kursi (often glossed as "Verse of the footstool"), is a verse from Al-Baqara, the second sura of the Qur'an, and is regarded as the book's greatest verse. It references the Throne, and also God's greatest name, Al-Hayy Al-Qayyoom ("The Living, the Eternal").[13] Scholars of hadith have stated that the Prophet Muhammad said the reward for reciting this verse after every prayer is Paradise,[14] and that reciting it is a protection from the devil.[15]

Prophetic hadith also establish that The Throne is above the roof of Al-Firdaus Al-'Ala, the highest level of Paradise where God's closest and most beloved servants in the hereafter shall dwell.[16]

See also


  1. In Seventh Heaven
  2. "Ezekiel 1.26" in the 1901 American Standard Bible.
  3. Bowker 2005, pp. Throne of God entry
  4. M. D. Goulder The Psalms of the return (book V, Psalms 107-150) 1998 p.197 "The vision of Joshua and the Accuser in Zechariah 3 seems to be a reflection of such a crisis."
  5. Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls: N-Z Lawrence H. Schiffman, James C. VanderKam - 2000 "References to heavenly thrones occur in three Dead Sea Scroll texts. In the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice ... Speculation on the throne of God and its associated creatures becomes an important aspect of Merkavah mysticism"
  6. 1 2 Kittel 1966, pp. 164–166
  7. William Barclay The Gospel of Matthew: Chapters 11-28 p340 Matthew 23:22 "And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it."
  8. Philip Edgecumbe Hughes A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews p401 1988 "The theme of Christ's heavenly session, announced here by the statement he sat down at the right hand of God, .. Hebrews 8:1 "we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven")"
  9. "Revelations Chapter 4" in the New Testament.
  10. Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 8/302, 303.
  11. The Creed of Imam Al-Tahawi.
  12. [al-Mu’minoon 23:116].
  13. Book 004, Number 1768: (Sahih Muslim).
  14. Sunnan Nasai’i al Kubra, (6/30), At-Tabarani; Al-Kabeer (8/114).
  15. Saheeh Al Bukhari - Volume 3, Book 38, Number 505.
  16. Saheeh al-Bukhaari (#2581).
  • Arnold, Edwin (1998). Pearls of the Faith (1998 ed.). Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 0-7661-0243-2.  - Total pages: 340
  • Bowker, John (2005). The concise Oxford dictionary of world religions (2005 ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-861053-X.  - Total pages: 702
  • Kittel, Gerhard (1966). Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Volumes 3-4 (1966 ed.). Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 0-8028-2245-2.  - Total pages: 1116
  • O'Shaughnessy, Thomas J. (December 1973). "God's Throne and the Biblical Symbolism of the Qur'ān". Numen. BRILL. 20 (3): 202–221. doi:10.1163/156852773x00376. JSTOR 3269642. 
  • Pickthalll, Marmaduke; Hanauer, James Edward (1935). Folk-lore of the Holy Land: Moslem, Christian and Jewish (1935 ed.). Forgotten Books. ISBN 1-60506-065-8.  - Total pages: 280
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