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What are Jachin and Boaz in the Bible?

Jachin and Boaz are the names of two bronze pillars that stood at the entrance of the temple Solomon built. They can be read about in 1 Kings 7:15–22 and 2 Chronicles 3:15–17. These free-standing pillars were in the courtyard of the temple where the public gathered to witness daily sacrifices, to observe the administration of justice, and to participate in worship songs, dances, and processions. These pillars stood on either side of the entrance to the Holy Place where only men and priests could enter. (Inside the Holy Place, there was another restricted area called the Holy of Holies that only the high priest could enter just once per year on the Day of Atonement). These pillars acted as a symbol of the gateway to the divine dwelling and gave the people a glimpse of the grandeur within the temple that they would otherwise never see.

The pillars were shiny bronze standing an impressive thirty feet high with eight-foot capitals on top. They were hollow, but four-fingers thick and about six feet in diameter. Temples to other gods and kings at the time also had free-standing columns at their entrances, but these measurements are larger than their contemporaries. The capitals were covered in ornate bronze work that included two hundred pomegranates lined in two rows, wreaths of chain work, lattices of checkered meshwork, and intricate lilies throughout. This artistry was wrought by God's enabling of Hiram of Tyre who was "full of wisdom, understanding, and skill for making any work in bronze" (1 Kings 7:14). The striking appearance of these impressive pillars was meant to bring glory, not to the artisan, but rather to God Himself, the Creator and sustainer of all things (Colossians 1:16–17).

The temple faced east so on the southern doorpost, the pillar was called Jachin and the pillar on the northern doorpost was called Boaz. Jachin means "he [God] will establish" and Boaz means "in strength," so these pillars reminded the people that this temple was established in strength by Yahweh Himself. These names also pointed to the fulfilment of God's promise in Exodus 15:13 and 17. After God freed the people from slavery in Egypt and rescued them from the pursuing Egyptian army, Moses sang a song of praise which included the lines, "In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling… You will bring them in and plant them on the mountain of your inheritance—‚ÄČthe place, LORD, you made for your dwelling, the sanctuary, Lord, your hands established" (Exodus 15:13, 17 NIV, emphasis added). Thus, Solomon's temple was the holy dwelling place that God established in strength, just as He had promised over five hundred years before.

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