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Boaz and Jachin

Boaz and Jachin

Boaz and Jachin, two pillars, stood in the porch of Solomon's Temple, the first Temple in Jerusalem (1 Kings 7:21; 2 Kings 11:14; 23:3).

Description

Boaz ("fleetness, strength") stood on the left and Jachin ("founding"), also spelled Jakin (יָכִין, Standard Hebrew Yaḫin, Tiberian Hebrew Yāḵîn) stood on the right. The pillars had a size nearly thick and tall. The high brass chapiters or capitals on top of the columns bore decorations of brass lilies. The original measurment was in cubits. The pillers stood 35 cubits tall. And the Spheres at the top were another 5 cubits making a total of 40 cubits.

The Bible records that King Solomon sent to the King of Tyre (1 Kings 5), Hiram I (reigned 969-936 BC), for help in the building of his temple. To help Solomon, Tyre sent Hiram, a widow's son, but also a man of Tyre (1 Kings 7.) Hiram had expertise in crafting brass. He cast the pillars eighteen cubits high and twelve cubits around, and hollow, 4 fingers thick. (Jeremiah 52:21-22). Nets of checkerwork covered the bowl of each chapiter, decorated with rows of two hundred pomegranates, wreathed with seven chains for each chapiter, and topped with lilies. (1 Kings 7:13-22, 41-42)

The Bible says that King Hezekiah instituted a religious iconoclastic reform, and removed the objects from the Temple. When the young reforming king came to the throne of Judah in the late 8th century BC:

"He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan." .

I Kings

15. And he cast two pillars of bronze, each one eighteen cubits high, and a line of twelve cubits measured the circumference of each. 16. Then he made two capitals of cast bronze, to set on the tops of the pillars. The height of one capital was five cubits, and the height of the other capital was five cubits. 17. He made a lattice network, with wreaths of chainwork, for the capitals which were on top of the pillars: seven chains for one capital and seven for the other capital. 18. So he made the pillars, and two rows of pomegranates above the network all around to cover the capitals that were on top; and thus he did for the other capital. 19. The capitals which were on top of the pillars in the hall were in the shape of lilies, four cubits. 20. The capitals on the two pillars also had pomegranates above, by the convex surface which was next to the network; and there were two hundred such pomegranates in rows on each of the capitals all around. 21. Then he set up the pillars by the vestibule of the temple; he set up the pillar on the right and called its name Jachin, and he set up the pillar on the left and called its name Boaz. 22. The tops of the pillars were in the shape of lilies. So the work of the pillars was finished.

Derived contexts

  • the Masonic figure Hiram Abiff
  • Some variants of the Tarot card the High Priestess depict Boaz and Jachin in reverse representing an anti-temple or rejection of Solomon's religion.
  • Russell Hoban's novel The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz
  • Jakin, an incorporated town in the southwest of the U.S. state of Georgia, takes its name from the pillar

Quoted from Manly P. Hall's "Secret Teachings of all Ages" p.307-8

"The right Tablet of the law (Moses' Decalogue) further signifies Jachin-the white pillar of light; the left Tablet, Boaz-the shadowy pillar of darkness. These were the names of the two pillars cast from brass set up on the porch of King Solomon's Temple...On top of each pillar was a large bowl-now erroneously called a ball or globe-one of the bowls probably containing fire and the other water. The celestial globe (originally the bowl of fire), surmounting the right-hand column (Jachin), symbolized the divine man; the terrestrial globe (the bowl of water), surmounting the left-hand column (Boaz), signified the earthly man. These two pillars respectively connote also the active and the passive expressions of Divine Energy, the Sun and the Moon, sulphur and salt, good and bad, light and darkness. Between them is the Sanctuary they are a reminder that Jehovah is both an androgynous and an anthropomorphic deity. As two parallel columns they denote the zodiacal signs of Cancer and Capricorn, which were formerly placed in the chamber of initiation to represent birth and death-the extremes of physical life. They accordingly signify the summer and winter solstices, now known to Freemasons under the comparatively modern appellation of the "two St. Johns...In the mysterious Sephirothic Tree of the Jews, these two pillars symbolize Mercy (Jachin) and Serverity (Boaz). Standing before the gate of King Solomon's Temple, these columns had the same symbolic import as the obelisks before the sanctuaries of Egypt. When interpreted Qabbalistically, the names of the two pillars mean 'In strength shall My House be established.'"

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