Jakin and Boaz

JAKIN AND BOAZ (jā'kĭn, bō'ăz, Heb. yākhîn, he will set up; bō‘az, fleetness, strength). The names of two symbolic pillars in the porch of Solomon’s temple, Jakin on the south, Boaz on the north. They were designed by Hiram of Tyre (1Kgs.7.13-1Kgs.7.22), hence of Phoenician origin. They were at first ornamental but came to have a religious meaning, guarding the doors to the sacred halls.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

These were the names of the two bronze pillars that stood before the temple of Solomon. They were not used in supporting the building; their appearance, therefore, must have been solely due to moral and symbolic reasons. What these are it is not easy to say. The pillars were not altar pillars with hearths at their top, as supposed by W.R. Smith (Religion of the Semites, 191, 468); rather they were "pillars of witness," as was the pillar that witnessed the contract between Jacob and Laban (Ge 31:52). At difficulty arises about the height of the pillars. The writers in Kings and Jeremiah affirm that the pillars before the porch were 18 cubits high apiece (1Ki 7:15; Jer 52:21), while the Chronicler states that they were 35 cubits (2Ch 3:15). Various methods have been suggested of reconciling this discrepancy, but it is more probable that there is a corruption in the Chronicler’s number. On the contruction of the pillars and their capitals, see Temple. At the final capture of Jerusalem they were broken up and the metal of which they were composed was sent to Babylon (2Ki 25:13,16). In Ezekiel’s ideal temple the two pillars are represented by pillars of wood (Eze 40:49).

W. Shaw Caldecott