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1 Chronicles 29:23 ASV

Then Solomon sat on the throne of Jehovah as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.

Does this verse mean that Solomon sat on God's chair in heaven?

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To me, it seems this is just a short version of what in the previous chapter David calls "the throne of the kingdom of Jehovah over Israel":

and of all my sons (for Jehovah hath given me many sons), he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of Jehovah over Israel.

So it's the physical seat for the king in Jerusalem, not something in heaven.

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Of course not; Solomon was a man on earth, who succeeded his earthly father, king David, to take over the rule of the earthly nation of Israel after David's death. Solomon only ever sat on a literal throne in the ancient city of Jerusalem, commencing in the year 971 BC (ending 931 BC 1 Kings 11:42).

However, a throne is always much more than a mere 'chair' even though it does serve the function of a seat. It represents a seat of government, of rule, and the only one entitled to sit on it is the legal ruler of that government. Thus, in Britain, when rehearsals take place for the Queen's speech to her government, the lady who is the stand-in for the Queen at the rehearsal is never allowed to actually sit on the throne. Only the lawfully appointed Monarch can sit on that throne.

In heaven, the throne of God is mentioned a lot in the book of the Revelation, and a particular Greek word is used - 'thronos' - which is different to the Greek word for a seat - 'kathedra'. Chapter 4 details God's heavenly throne of glory, upon which he sits. However, in chapter 12 the vision switches to the symbolic birth in heaven of a man-child, where the satanic great red dragon stands poised to devour at the moment of birth. Then is born one who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron, and this child "was caught up unto God, and to his throne". In chapter 5 further depictions show this one to be Jesus Christ looking as if a lamb that had been slain, and he is in the center of God's throne in heaven. Fascinating imagery!

But none of that applies to Solomon. He never sat on a heavenly throne, let alone the very throne of Jehovah God! No, he was, for 40 years, the earthly representative of the Kingdom of God, sitting on an earthly throne that depicted physically that which was a spiritual and heavenly reality - God's Kingdom with its throne of unparalleled glory in heaven.

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What does "Solomon sitting on the throne of Jehovah" mean?

Jehovah was originally meant to be the sole king over Israel. (see Exodus 15:18; 1 Samuel 8:7) As Jehovah's human representatives, Saul, David, etc. would administer God's law to the nation from a physical representation of Jehovah's kingdom.

In the topic of "Appointed Times of the Nations" in the Insight on the Scriptures, we are given a clear indication of what the phrase in question means:

Jerusalem was the capital of the nation of Israel, whose kings of the line of David were said to “sit upon Jehovah’s throne.” (1Ch 29:23) As such, it represented the seat of the divinely constituted government or typical kingdom of God operating through the house of David. With its Mount Zion, it was “the town of the grand King.” (Ps 48:1, 2) Hence, Jerusalem came to stand for the kingdom of the dynasty of King David, much as Washington, London, Paris, and Moscow represent the ruling powers of present-day nations and are so referred to in news communiqués. After Jerusalem was trampled on by the Babylonians, its king being taken into exile and the land laid desolate, no member of the Davidic dynasty again ruled from earthly Jerusalem. But the Scriptures show that Jesus, the Messiah, who was born in the line of David, would rule from heavenly Mount Zion, from heavenly Jerusalem.​—Ps 2:6, 7; Heb 5:5; Re 14:1, 3. [bold mine]

The topic of "Kingdom of God" gives additional information:

The kings thereafter appointed by Jehovah were to serve as God’s earthly agents, not diminishing in the least Jehovah’s own sovereignty over the nation. The throne was actually Jehovah’s, and they sat thereon as deputy kings. (1Ch 29:23) Jehovah commanded the anointing of the first king, Saul (1Sa 9:15-17), at the same time exposing the lack of faith the nation had displayed.​—1Sa 10:17-25. [bold mine]

[All scripture quotations from the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (Study Edition)]

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While David and his successors were earthly kings, they were to recognize that the real king of Israel was God.

  • 1 Sam 8:7, 8 - And the LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you. For it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected Me [God] as their king. Just as they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking Me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you.
  • 1 Sam 24:6 - So he said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master [King Saul], the LORD’s anointed. May I never lift my hand against him, since he is the LORD’s anointed.”
  • 2 Sam 19:21 - But Abishai son of Zeruiah said, “Shouldn’t Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the LORD’s anointed?”
  • 1 Chron 28:5 - And of all my sons—for the LORD has given me many sons—He has chosen Solomon my son to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel.
  • 1 Chron 29:23 - So Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king in place of his father David. He prospered, and all Israel obeyed him.
  • 2 Chron 9:8 - Blessed be the LORD your God, who has delighted in you to set you on His throne to be king for the LORD your God. Because your God loved Israel enough to establish them forever, He has made you king over them to carry out justice and righteousness.”
  • 2 Chron 13:8 - And now you think you can resist the kingdom of the LORD, which is in the hands of David’s descendants.
  • Ps 5:1, 2 - Give ear to my words, O LORD; consider my groaning. Attend to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to You I pray.
  • Ps 44:4 - You are my King, O God, who ordains victories for Jacob.

Note that it is a simple matter of history that David’s descendants were not always faithful and the earthly Davidic dynasty ended in 586 BC with the final capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. However, the New Testament calls Jesus Christ, Messiah, “the Son of David” as a direct fulfilment of the (ultimately) eternal throne of David which Jesus inherited. Matt 1:1, 20, 9:27, 12:23, 15:22, 20:30, 15, 21:9, 15, Mark 10:35, Luke 1:32, 33, 18:38, 39, John 1:49, Acts 13:32-37, Heb 1:8. See also Rev 11:15, 19:16. Such a Messiah was prophesied long ago: Ex 15:18, Ps 10:16, 61:7, 68:16, 92:8, 93:5, 146:10, Isa 9:7, 47:7, Lam 5:19, Micah 4:7, etc. Compare Isa 55:3 with Acts 13:34 and John 1:49.

Note especially, what the angel said to Mary before Jesus’ birth in Luke 1:32, 33 –

He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever. His kingdom will never end!”

Thus, Jesus sat on the throne of God, first occupied by King David as vice-regent of God in Israel. This fulfilled the Davidic Royal covenant as documeted in the appendix below.

APPENDIX - Davidic Royal Covenant.

The Davidic Royal Covenant is set out in detail in 2 Sam 7, 23:5, 1 Kings 6:11, 12, 8:25, 1 Chron 17:11-14, 2 Chron 6:14-16, 7:17, 18, 13:5, Ps 89:4, 29, 34, 39, 132:11, 12, Jer 33:21, Eze 37:15-28.

This is an eternal covenant (2 Sam 23:5, 1 Kings 9:5, 2 Chron 13:5, Eze 37:25, 26)

The provisions of the Davidic Covenant were as follows.

  • God promised to make David, a shepherd king over Israel. 2 Sam 7:9, 1 Kings 8:25, 2 Chron 21:7.
  • God promised to defeat all David’s enemies and give him peace on all sides, 2 Sam 7:9
  • David’s name would be great, 2 Sam 7:9-11
  • God promised there would always be a blood descendant of David on his throne, by an eternal “covenant of salt” (ie very solemn), 2 Chron 13:5, forever, 2 Sam 7:13, 15, 16, Eze 37:26, (2 Sam 23:5).
  • God promised that the descendant of David would have God as his Father and he would be His son, 2 Sam 7:14.
  • David’s son, Solomon, was the person to build the temple, 2 Sam 7:12, 13.
  • David and his descendants must remain faithful to God and keep all that is written in the Book of the Law (Deuteronomy), Deut 17:18, 31:26.

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