Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 10

Solomon’s throne and its meaning

1 Kings 10:18-20

We often say that the purpose of a work of art is for display or to impress people. However, that is not the main purpose of a truly great work of art. Great works of art have a powerful message, which can be even clearer than speech.

Such was Solomon’s throne, his royal seat. Solomon probably sat there when he issued his laws, his royal commands and his judgments. That throne was powerful evidence of Solomon’s authority as king.

Solomon’s seat was high because God had raised him to a position of high (great) authority over people. However, it was only 6 steps high because Solomon was a man, and not a god. Perhaps Solomon designed the throne with 6 steps because God created man on the 6th day in Genesis 1:26-31.

Solomon’s throne had the best and most beautiful materials to show the wealth that God had given him (3:13). Lions were famous for their strength (Proverbs 30:30) and bold attitudes (Proverbs 28:1); the lion in Genesis 49:8-10 is a word-picture of the royal authority of Judah, the tribe (family group) from which Solomon came. So, Solomon had models of lions on his throne. There were 12 lions on the 6 steps, probably because Israel had 12 tribes. The soldiers from all 12 tribes should be bold, like lions – but they all should support the king whom God has chosen.

Solomon did not copy this design from the throne of a foreign king. He wanted it to be different, because Israel is God’s nation. So, its people must be careful not to imitate the wrong behaviour of people in other nations.

Next part: Solomon's wealth and his wisdom (1 Kings 10:21-25)


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