Boaz and Jachin

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Image of a 3rd-century (AD) glass bowl which depicts Solomon's Temple. Jachin and Boaz are the detached black pillars shown on either side of the entrance steps.
Artist's impression.

According to the Bible, Boaz and Jachin were two copper, brass or bronze pillars which stood in the porch of Solomon's Temple, the first Temple in Jerusalem.[1]


According to Josephus in Antiquities of the Jews, Boaz (Hebrew בֹּעַז bōʿaz "In him/it [is] strength") stood on the left when entering Solomon's Temple, while Jachin (Tiberian Hebrew יָכִין yāḵîn "He/it will establish") stood on the right,[2] and the two were made by Hiram.[3][4]

The pillars had a size nearly six feet (1.8 metres) thick and 27 feet (8.2 metres) tall. The eight-foot (2.4 metres) high brass chapiters, or capitals, on top of the columns bore decorations, in brass, of lilies. The original measurement as taken from the Torah was in cubits, which records that the pillars were 18 cubits high and 12 cubits around, and hollow—four fingers thick. (Jeremiah 52:21–22). Nets of checkerwork covered the bowl of each chapiter, decorated with rows of 200 pomegranates, wreathed with seven chains for each chapiter, and topped with lilies (1 Kings 7:13–22, 41–42).

The pillars did not survive the destruction of the First Temple; Jeremiah 52:17 reports: "The Chaldeans broke up the bronze columns of the House of the Lord". II Kings 25:13 has a similar account. The pillars were carried away in pieces for ease of transportation. When the Second Temple was built, they were not returned and there exists no record of new pillars being constructed to replace them.[5]


The Romanesque Church of Santa Maria Maggiore at Tuscania has a recessed entrance flanked by a pair of free-standing stone columns intended to evoke Boaz and Jachin.[6]

In popular media[edit]

  • Some variants of the Tarot card The High Priestess depict Boaz and Jachin. The card appears in the deck of a traveling Mexican showman in Cormac McCarthy's novel, Blood Meridian: "The woman sat like that blind interlocutrix between Boaz and Jachin inscribed upon the one card in the juggler's deck that they would not see come to light, true pillars and true card, false prophetess for all."[7]
  • Russell Hoban's novel The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz.[8]
  • Jakin, an incorporated town in the southwest of the U.S. state of Georgia, takes its name from the pillar.[9]
  • In The Lost Symbol (a novel by author Dan Brown), the villain Mal'akh had tattooed Boaz and Jachin on both of his legs.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ See (1 Kings 7:15, 1 Kings 7:21; 2 Kings 11:14; 23:3).
  2. ^ Larson, William. "Those Mysterious Pillars Boaz and Jachin". Pietre Stones. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  3. ^ Josepheus, Flavius. "The Antiquities of the Jews". Project Guternberg. Retrieved July 8, 2015. Chapter 3 
  4. ^ According to 1 Kings 7:21, the pillar to the south was Jachin, and the pillar to the north was Boaz. Since the temple entrance faced due east, that would put Boaz on the right as one entered and Jachin on the left as one entered.)
  5. ^ Pillars of the Temple, the Jewish Bible Quarterly, Vol. 42, no. 4
  6. ^ Hamblin, William J. and Seeely, David Rolph, Solomon's Temple; Myth and History, Thames and Hudson, 2007, p. 109
  7. ^ McCarthy, Cormac. Blood Meridian. p. 94, Vintage paperback.
  8. ^ The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz.
  9. ^ Resolution on Jakin centennial, Georgia House of Representatives Archived 2008-05-21 at the Wayback Machine..

External links[edit]