3:15 In front of the temple he made two pillars which had a combined length 1 of 52½ feet, 2 with each having a plated capital seven and one-half feet high. 3 3:16 He made ornamental chains 4 and put them on top of the pillars. He also made one hundred pomegranate-shaped ornaments and arranged them within the chains. 3:17 He set up the pillars in front of the temple, one on the right side and the other on the left. 5 He named the one on the right Jachin, 6 and the one on the left Boaz. 7
1 sn The figure given here appears to refer to the combined length of both pillars (perhaps when laid end-to-end on the ground prior to being set up; cf. v. 17); the figure given for the height of the pillars in 1 Kgs 7:15, 2 Kgs 25:17, and Jer 52:21 is half this (i.e., eighteen cubits).
3 tn Heb “and he made before the house two pillars, thirty-five cubits [in] length, and the plated capital which was on its top [was] five cubits.” The significance of the measure “thirty-five cubits” (52.5 feet or 15.75 m, assuming a cubit of 18 inches) for the “length” of the pillars is uncertain. According to 1 Kgs 7:15, each pillar was eighteen cubits (27 feet or 8.1 m) high. Perhaps the measurement given here was taken with the pillars lying end-to-end on the ground before they were set up.
4 tn The Hebrew text adds here, “in the inner sanctuary,” but the description at this point is of the pillars, not the inner sanctuary.
5 tn Or “one on the south and the other on the north.”
6 tn The name “Jachin” appears to be a verbal form and probably means, “he establishes.”
7 tn The meaning of the name “Boaz” is uncertain. For various proposals, see BDB 126-27 s.v. בֹּעַז. One attractive option is to revocalize the name asבְּעֹז (bÿ’oz, “in strength”) and to understand it as completing the verbal form on the first pillar. Taking the words together and reading from right to left, one can translate the sentence, “he establishes [it] in strength.”