Definition of Mercy seat in English:

Mercy seat


  • 1Theology. The lid of gold, decorated with two winged cherubim, covering the Ark of the Covenant, upon which God is said to have been enthroned, and taken as representing the divine presence in the world; (hence) the throne of God in heaven.

  • 2Christian Church (originally and chiefly US). A seat or rail occupied at a religious meeting by penitents or those wishing to testify.


Mid 16th century; earliest use found in The New Testament. From mercy + seat, after German Gnadenstuhl. The German word renders Hebrew kappōreṯ (corresponding to Hellenistic Greek ἱλαστήριον in the Septuagint, post-classical Latin propitiatorium in the Vulgate). In his earlier New Testament translation, Tyndale has ‘the seate off grace’ (Hebrews 9:5), again after Luther's Gnadenstuhl; all versions of the Wycliffite Bible have propitiatory in both Exodus and Hebrews.


Mercy seat

/ˈməːsi siːt/