The Thrones (Ancient Greek: θρόνος, pl. θρόνοι; Latin: thronus, pl. throni) are a class of celestial beings mentioned by Paul the Apostle in Colossians 1:16. According to the New Testament, these high celestial beings are among those Orders at the Christ's service. They are the carriers of the Throne of God, hence the name.
According to Matthew Bunson, the corresponding order of angels in Judaism is called the abalim or "arelim/erelim, but this opinion is far from unrivaled. The Hebrew word erelim is usually not translated "Thrones", but rather "valiant ones", "heroes", "warriors". The function ascribed to erelim in Isaiah 33:7 and in Jewish folklore is not consonant with the lore surrounding the Thrones.
Thrones are sometimes equated with Ophanim (Wheels or Galgallin), since the Throne of God is usually depicted as being moved by wheels, as in the vision of Daniel 7:9 (Old Testament). However the Thrones, (Gr. thronos) are a distinct form of celestial spiritual being, usually portrayed as adoring elder men in Christian scripture. The cherubim carry, by moving the Ophanim, the throne of God. They are said to be great wheels covered in eyes.
Rosemary Ellen Guiley (1996: p. 37) states that:
The 'thrones'; also known as 'ophanim' (offanim) and 'galgallin', are creatures that function as the actual chariots of God driven by the cherubs. 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. 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.
Western Wisdom Teachings
- Colossians 1:14-20
- 1 Peter 3:21-22
- Bunson, Matthew. Angels A to Z. New York:Crown Trade Paperbacks, 1996. ISBN 0-517-88537-9.
- Louis Ginzberg: Legends of the Jews 5:23, n. 64; 5:417, n. 117
- Guiley, Rosemary Ellen (1996). Encyclopedia of Angels. ISBN 0-8160-2988-1, p.37
- http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/areopagite_13_heavenly_hierarchy.htm#c6 (accessed 11 of April 2018)