chef sets (protokathedria): It was one of the reproaches urged by our Lord against the scribes and Pharisees that they loved the chief seats in the synagogues (Mt 23:6; Mr 12:39; Lu 11:43; 20:46). These were special seats set in front of the ark containing the Scriptures and of the reader's platform, and facing the congregation. They were specially reserved for those who were held in the highest honor in the congregation. There were seventy-one such seats in the great synagogue of Alexandria, which were occupied by the members of the great Council in that city (see SYNAGOGUE).
J. Macartney Wilson