On either side of the entrance of the The Hague Temple is a tall column reminiscent of those of the temple of Solomon. At the construction of this bliblical temple king Solomon had called for Hiram from Tyre, a worker in brass (after whom Hiram Page and Hyrum Smith are named). Besides a molten sea that rested on twelve oxen he also made two pillars of brass that were placed at the porch of the temple.
Symbol of kingship
Both pillars were given a symbolic Hebrew name by Hiram. “And he set up the right pillar, and called the name thereof Jachin: and he set up the left pillar, and called the name thereof Boaz” (1 Kings 7:21). Right and left in this scripture means south and north as seen from the temple. Jachin means “He will establish” and Boaz means “in him is strength”. Both meanings are closely related to the concept of kingship.
In words that seem to correspond to the meaning of Jachin the Lord said to King David: “And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever” (2 Samuël 7:16); and “I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations” (Psalms 89:3-4). Furthermore, the Lord promised to David’s son and successor King Solomon: “I will establish his kingdom … and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever” (2 Samuel 7:12-13).
Similarly, the following words seem to correspond with the meaning of Boaz: “The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself” (Psalms 93:1); “the Lord made the heavens. Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary” (Psalms 96:5-6).
Based on these passages the southern pillar Jachin seems connected with the king of Israel and the northern pillar Boaz symbolic for the King of Kings (Revelation 19:16) or the Lord. This is confirmed in the Old Testament, because during the coronation of David in the temple “the king stood at his pillar at the entering in” (2 Chronicles 23:13; also 2 Kings 11:13-14; 2 Chronicles 34:31). That the northern pillar Boaz was associated with the Lord appears in a text which makes clear that God’s throne was seated “upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north” (Isaiah 14:13).
The pillars at the entrance of the temple emphasize that those that enter, enter the palace of the King (Boaz) and also belong themselves to “a royal priesthood” (Jachin) (1 Peter 2:9). “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:10) through the teaching and the preparation received in the house of the Lord.
“For if you will that I give unto you a place in the celestial world, you must prepare yourselves by doing the things which I have commanded you and required of you,” says the Lord. “That you may come up unto the crown prepared for you, and be made rulers over many kingdoms” (Doctrine and Covenants 78: 7,15).
Symbol of inheritance in Gods kingdom
That a temple pillar symbolically indicates an inheritance in God’s kingdom is also apparent from the following New Testament text: “Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out” (Revelation 3:11- 12). The permanence and eternal salvation is also emphasized in this text.
Symbol of covenants
After the Lord had appeared to Jacob in a dream in which he confirmed to him the same promises that Abraham and Isaac had received, Jacob said, “Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.” (Genesis 28:16-18). The pillar served as a monument or memorial of that event.
Then Jacob called that holy place Bethel (Hebrew for house of God). “And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the aLord be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee” (Genesis 28:20-22). For Jacob it was a sacred place where he received promises from the Lord and vowed or covenanted with the Lord to keep his commandments. This is exactly what temples are meant for.
Even some 1,200 years later, this principle was still practiced by the covenant people. In a last attempt to move the people to justice, Josiah, one of the few righteous kings of the kingdom of Judah (the ten tribes of the northern kingdom had already been led away), gathered all the elders of Judah at the house of the Lord. “And the king stood by a pillar [e.g. the southern pillar called Jakin], and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep his commandments” (2 Kings 23:3).
Even today the pillars alongside the entrance of the temple remind us of the covenants made within its sacred walls.
Symbol of God’s presence
The two columns also bring to mind two other pillars mentioned in the King James Bible. In Exodus we read about the covenant people: “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people (Exodus 13:21-22). The symbolism of the two pillars on either side of the entrance of the The Hague Temple points out therefore that the presence of God will be constantly in that house (Doctrine and Covenants 109:12).
What reinforces the Old Testament image of a Jachin and Boaz at the entrance of the The Hague Temple, is that the temple door, like the original pillars, is made of copper with a solid brass handle.