In the Pseudo-Dionysian celestial hierarchy, the third highest order of angels. The term “throne” generally refers to a symbol of majesty and the seat of God and God’s glory, and as such it is not a spirit being. Thrones are personified in Jewish mystical literature.

The Bible has only one reference to thrones as heavenly beings or angels: Colossians 1:16, which says of Jesus, “for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or DOMINIONS or PRINCIPALITIES or AUTHORITIES—all things were created through him and for him.”

Thrones as personified heavenly beings are mentioned in texts such as the Testament of LEVI, the Life of ADAM AND EVE, the Apocalypse of ELIJAH, and the Enochian writings, among others. (See ENOCH.) In lore thrones are the “many-eyed ones.” They serve as the chariots of God and are driven by the cherubs (derived from the description in the visions of EZEKIEL).

They are characterized by peace and submission; God rests upon them. Thrones are depicted as great wheels containing many eyes and reside in the area of the cosmos where material form begins to take shape. From where they reside in the fourth HEAVEN, they chant glorias to God and remain forever in his presence. They mete out divine justice and maintain the cosmic harmony of all universal laws.

AGRIPPA says that through thrones humanity is knit together and collected into itself.” Their ruling prince is given as Oriphiel, Zabkiel, or Zaphkiel. ST. AUGUSTINE called thrones “seats.” Thrones are sometimes equated with OPHANIM and GALGALLIM.


  • Van der Toorn, Karel, Bob Becking, and Pieter W. van der Horst, eds. Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible. 2d ed. Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans, 1999.


Encyclopedia of Angels by Rosemary Guiley