Prophetic Symbolism: The Two Pillars of Solomon’s Temple

2 Chronicles 3:3,17; Matthew 12:42; Matthew 16:13-18

Now these are the things wherein Solomon was instructed for the building of the house of God…And he reared up the pillars before the temple, one on the right hand, and the other on the left; and called the name of that on the right hand Jachin, and the name of that on the left Boaz.

[Jesus said:] And, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): The Church is a temple which Christ is the Builder of, Zechariah 6:11-13. Herein Solomon was a type of Christ.

ALEXANDER MacLAREN (1826-1910): Jesus Christ is the Son of God―the Temple Builder. In this respect “a greater than Solomon is here,” inasmuch as Jesus is Himself the true Temple, being for all men, which Solomon’s structure only shadowed, the meeting-place of God and man, in whom God dwells and through whom we can draw near to Him, the place where the true Sacrifice is once for all offered, by which Sacrifice sin is truly put away. And, further, Jesus is greater than Solomon in that He is, through the ages, building up the great Temple of His Church of redeemed men, the eternal temple of which not one stone shall ever be taken down.

THOMAS COKE (1747-1814): Perhaps there may be an allusion to the two pillars of Solomon’s temple, Jachin and Boaz.

ADAM CLARKE (1760-1832): These were no doubt emblematical.

MATTHEW HENRY: Their significancy is intimated in the names given them: Jachin―“He will establish;” and Boaz―“in Him is strength”…The gospel church is what God will establish, what He will strengthen, and what the gates of hell can never prevail against.

ADAM CLARKE: I will strengthen them in the LORD; and they shall walk up and down in his name, saith the LORD,” Zechariah 10:12.―I, the God of Israel, will strengthen them in the Lord Jesus, the Messiah.

ROBERT HAWKER (1753-1827): We here discover where the strength of the Church lies, and in Whom alone she finds victory, even in Christ.

JOHN GILL (1697-1771): Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength,” Isaiah 26:4. Christ is the LORD JEHOVAH, which is, and was, and is to come, self-existent, eternal, and immutable; and in Him is strength, as well as righteousness for His people; and that for everything it is wanted for, to bear up under temptations and afflictions, to withstand every spiritual enemy, to exercise every grace, and discharge every duty: and this strength is everlasting; it always continues in Him, and is always to be had from Him; He is the “eternal” God, who is the refuge of His people, and His “arms” of power and might “underneath” them are “everlasting:” the words may be rendered, “for in Jah” is “Jehovah, the Rock of ages;” Jehovah the Son is in Jehovah the Father, according to John 10:38.

MATTHEW POOLE (1624-1679): God and Christ are the strength of the church, and of all believers.

ALEXANDER MacLAREN: Christ is, in inmost reality, all which the Temple was but in the poorest symbol―And He is the Lord of the Temple.

THOMAS GOODWIN (1600-1679): As the Son of God indeed speaks of building and contriving anew of His house, as a prerogative proper to Him as the Son, which to the same purpose the apostle Paul in like manner allegeth: “Christ as the Son over his own house, is the builder thereof,” Hebrews 3:3-5―which prerogative Christ here holds forth, saying, “I will build my church.

MATTHEW HENRY: The foundation on which it is built is “this Rockand it must be meant of Christ, for “other foundation can no man lay,” 1 Corinthians 3:11; see Isaiah 28:16Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation.”

H. A. IRONSIDE (1876-1951): Strange that anybody would think that our Lord meant He would found His church on a mere man. Not Peter, but Christ is the “Rock.” Peter agrees with this, for in his first epistle he speaks of Christ as the living stone, and of himself and all believers as living stones who have come to Christ and are built upon Him, 1 Peter 2:4-8.

JOHN GILL: Christ is the “Rock” on which the church and every believer is built, against which “the gates of hell cannot prevail;” and He has been the Rock of His people in ages past, and will be in ages to come.

MATTHEW HENRY: “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it;” neither against this truth, nor against the church which is built upon it…This assures us that the enemies of the church shall not gain their point. While the world stands, Christ will have a church in it, in which His truths and ordinances shall be owned and kept up, in spite of all the opposition of the powers of darkness.

THOMAS COKE: Our Lord’s meaning therefore is, that the Christian church shall never be annihilated; no, not by the united force of men and devils combined against it.

MATTHEW HENRY: And it is against the mind of Christ, that His people should have troubled hearts even in troublous times.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): I will build my church.” See how positively He speaks. Not, “I think I will.” Not, “I may,” but “I will.” Beloved, these “shalls” and “wills” are the very marrow of the Gospel! They make the strength of it. Take the “shalls” and “wills” out of the Bible and put in conditional “ifs” and “buts” and “perhaps,” in their place—what a desolate appearance it would present! These “shalls” and “wills” stand like Jachin and Boaz, the great pillars of the Temple, right at the entrance, and we must see to it that we never give up these potent “shalls” and “wills,” but hold fast and firmly to them!

MATTHEW HENRY: This is our comfort―though the times will be very troublous, and this good work will meet with great opposition, yet it shall be carried on, and brought to perfection at last.


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