What are Jachin and Boaz?Question: "What are Jachin and Boaz?"
Answer: Jachin and Boaz are the names of two bronze pillars erected at the entrance to the vestibule of Solomon’s temple, according to 1 Kings 7:21. Construction of the temple in Jerusalem began in 966 BC and was finished seven years later. The story of the building of the temple is found in 1 Kings 7 and 2 Chronicles 3.
In order to have the best possible fittings for the temple, Solomon hired a man named Hiram (or Huram) from Tyre to do the bronze work. Hiram was known for his wisdom, understanding, and skill in bronze working (1 Kings 7:13–14). Scripture gives much detail concerning the pillars Jachin and Boaz: “A network of interwoven chains adorned the capitals on top of the pillars, seven for each capital. [Hiram] made pomegranates in two rows encircling each network to decorate the capitals on top of the pillars. He did the same for each capital. The capitals on top of the pillars in the portico were in the shape of lilies . . . . On the capitals of both pillars, above the bowl-shaped part next to the network, were the two hundred pomegranates in rows all around” (verses 17–20).
Jachin and Boaz stood at the entrance to the temple’s vestibule or portico. Their dimensions indicate the extent of the work involved in creating them. Including the decorative tops of the pillars, Jachin and Boaz stood approximately forty-five feet tall, with a circumference of eighteen feet (1 Kings 7:15–20). The brass used to make the twin pillars had been taken by King David from the king of Zobah as part of the spoils of war (1 Chronicles 18:8–9).
The pillar on the south of the entrance which was called Jachin, and one on the north named Boaz. Both 2 Chronicles and 1 Kings say that “he” set up the pillars and “he” named them Jachin and Boaz. Commentators are divided as to whether “he” refers to Hiram or Solomon. Whoever named them, their names are significant. Jachin (pronounced yaw-keen) means “he will establish,” and Boaz signifies “in him is strength.” Taken together, the names were a reminder that God would establish the temple and the worship of His name in strength.
The pillars Jachin and Boaz were destroyed along with the rest of the temple by the Chaldeans (Jeremiah 52:17), but the names’ meaning lives on in the spiritual kingdom of God. The names of the pillars represent the strength and stability of God’s promises of a kingdom that will last forever (Daniel 6:26; Luke 1:33; Hebrews 1:8; Revelation 11:15).
Recommended Resource: 1 & 2 Kings, Holman Old Testament Commentary by Gary Inrig
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Questions about 1 Kings
What are Jachin and Boaz?