Verse 5. For there are set thrones of judgment. If discontented with the petty judgments of their village lords, the people could bring their hard matters to the royal seat, and the beloved King would be sure to decide aright; for the judgment thrones were
The thrones of the house of David. We who come to the church and its public worship are charmed to come to the throne of God, and to the throne of the reigning Saviour.
"He reigns! Ye saints, exalt your strains:
Your God is King, your Father reigns:
And he is at the Father's side,
The Man of love, the Crucified."
To a true saint the throne is never more amiable than in its judicial capacity; righteous men love judgment, and are glad that right will be rewarded and iniquity will be punished. To see God reigning in the Son of David and evermore avenging the just cause is a thing which is good for weeping eyes, and cheering for disconsolate hearts. They sang of old as they went towards the throne, and so do we. "The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice." The throne of judgment is not removed, but firmly "set," and there it shall remain till the work of justice is accomplished, and truth and right are set on the throne with their King. Happy people to be under so glorious a rule.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 5. Thrones of judgment. On a throne of ivory, brought from Africa or India, the throne of many an Arabian legend, the kings of Judah were solemnly seated on the day of their accession. From its lofty seat, and under that high gateway, Solomon and his successors after him delivered their solemn judgments. That "porch" or "gate of justice," still kept alive the likeness of the old patriarchal custom of sitting in judgment at the gate; exactly as the Gate of Justice still recalls it to us at Granada, and the Sublime Porte -- "the Lofty Gate" at Constantinople. He sat on the back of a golden bull, its head turned over its shoulder, probably the ox or bull of Ephraim; under his feet, on each side of the steps, were six golden lions, probably the lions of Judah. This was "the seat of judgment." This was the throne of the house of David. Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, in "Lectures on the History of the Jewish Church."
Verse 5. It was a worthy commendation that David uttered in the praise of Jerusalem when he said, There is the seat for judgment; the which appointing of that seat for judgment was an argument that they loved justice. And first, the place wherein it was set assures us hereof, for it was set in the gate, where through men might have passage to and from the judgment seat. Secondly, the manner of framing the seat in the gate, namely, that the judges of force must sit with their faces towards the rising of the sun, in token that then judgment should be as pure from corruption, as the sun was clear in his chiefest brightness. Oh happy house of David, whose seat was set so conveniently, whose causes were heard so carefully, and matters judged so justly! Henry Smith, 1560-1591.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- There are thrones of judgment in the sanctuary. Men are judged there.
- By the law.
- By their own consciences.
- By the gospel.
- There are thrones of grace: "Of the house of David."
- Of David's Son in the hearts of his people.
- Of his people in David's Son. G.R.