The Mercy Seat - Root Source
Author: Gidon Ariel

Published Date: May 15, 2016



cherubimLinda Folsom from San Antonio, Texas, USA asks:

Would you explain what the Mercy Seat represents in the Old Testament and also for Christians today?
Thank you in advance and thank you for sharing your divine wisdom with me.

Thanks for writing Linda!
I admit, at first I did not know what you were referring to:-)
The Hebrew translation of Mercy Seat or Seat of Mercies, is כסא רחמים Kissay Rachamim.
A google search for this phrase mostly brings back references to Yeshivat Kissay Rachamim, a leading advanced Jewish studies academy in Israel, though I could not find a clear reason for this name. I am guessing it is a hint at a great teacher’s name, and also hints at a post-Biblical prayer El Melech Yoshev Al Kissay Rachamim (text in Hebrew and English: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/141011/Share%20a%20Prayer/elmelech.pdf)
There are other sources that come to mind, countering Kissey Rachamim with Kissay Din – seat (or throne) of mercy vs. throne of strict law. Interestingly, while the term Kissay Rachamim does not appear at all in the Bible(!), the term Kissay Din does! Proverbs 20:8 http://biblehub.com/proverbs/20-8.htm
But then I thought to google Mercy Seat, and was quite surprised to see that it is a “thing” in Christianity https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercy_seat#In_the_New_Testament
So if you are asking about the element in the Temple or the Tabernacle, I would dare refer you to a contemporary scholar Rabbi Ezra Bick: http://etzion.org.il/vbm/english/parsha.61/19teruma.htm

Happy hunting!

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