The Bible doesn't include extraneous, meaningless information, and names have great significance in the Old Testament. 2 Chronicles 3:17 records,

[Solomon] set up the two pillars at the entrance of the Temple, one to the south of the entrance and the other to the north. He named the one on the south Jakin, and the one on the north Boaz. (NLT)

So what is the significance of these names? Is there a connection to the Boaz mentioned in the Book of Ruth? Do the names have a connection to the directions of the compass the pillars are associated with?


2 Answers 2


According to strong’s definition, Yakin יָכִין means He will establish. While Boaz who was an ancestor of David means quickness בֹּ֫עַז . However as the meaning of Boaz is uncertain in Hebrew it would be better to follow the Septuagint where according to Barne’s Notes on the Bible in the margin reference is translated Boaz Ἰσχύς as ‘Strength.’ “The meaning was probably "God will establish in strength" (i. e. firmly) the temple and the religion connected with it.” (Barnes' Notes)

In Revelation we find an allusion to a pillar

Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God (Revelation 3:12)

Also in 1 Timothy 3:15 the church is called “the pillar and foundation of the truth” not unlike Christ’s own words when He said that upon the rock of faith in Him (as represented by Peter’s confession) he would build his church that the gates of hell could not prevail against. (Mathew 16:18)

So we further have the idea of an unmovable church fully established in grace by faith in Messiah, who is the ‘truth’ or a pillar of truth extending from heaven down to earth. Christ Himself is that pillar of truth, and the church is also, on account of it as being his extended body on earth. This seems to be the meaning of these two pillars. Having two of them, rather than one, might be representing the dual nature of Messiah in that by his flesh He was established into his ministry, and by His divinity He was strong to perform it. This does seem to also be supported by the very nature of the church that is a 'pillar', for the church is a pillar only because it is a 'temple' of God, or his house. The principle temple, intended is the body of Christ who was the temple of God through the incarnation. This is why Jesus referred to Himself as the walking temple when he said:

Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." (NIV John 2:19)

In any event, regardless of how you entered, turning left, or turning right, this symbol of strength was weighted heavily upon the dust before you.

In summary these two pillars, ‘established in strength’ represent the God-Man by whom, as a pillar of truth, the entire universal church is established and enabled to perform the entire rule of worship for which that church was built. From the very beginning in the ancient Hebrew temple, to the invisible and unmovable church of today and tomorrow, we sing praises to our God forever and ever. The very gates of hell can’t prevail against us.


The two pillars are priest and king. They go back to the two trees in Eden (and perhaps the bronze would have turned green over time). The first tree is obedience to God (passivity towards heaven) and the second is the resulting kingly authority (activity towards earth as mediator for God).

Priests were anointed at Jachin and kings at Boaz. Jachin is the priestly foundation (establishment) and Boaz is the kingly strength (Boaz was a "mighty man").

We can trace this back even further to the forming and filling in Genesis 1, a pattern which occurs right through the Bible.

Between the two pillars is the prophet, who unites and presides over priest and king. This threefold ministry is replicated in the holy place, where Jachin is the table of bread, Boaz is the lampstand of the law, and the wisdom of the elders is the fragrant incense altar.

Finally, the Tabernacle is humaniform. It was a mobile tent "flying" in heaven if you like. Once it became Solomon's Temple, it was fixed, and thus had two bronze legs, pillars of fire, rooted to the Land as trees of righteousness. We see a reference to this in Revelation, where the angel stands upon the Land (as priest) and Gentile sea (as king), uniting them as a prophet.

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