The two columns

The fact that the Masonic Lodge refers explicitly to the temple of Solomon is demonstrated by the presence, at the entrance, of the two columns, Jachin and Boaz. Boaz means Hebrew in force, and Jakin (as written in the Masoretic text) means God will edify, will establish with certainty. These are the two columns that stood in the porch of the Temple of Solomon and which are described in 1 Kings/3 Kings 7; 15-22 and 2 Chronics/2 Paralipomena 3; 15-17. They stood to the right and left of the temple entrance, as a kind of guardians of the threshold. According to 1 Kings/3 Kings 7; 21 and 2 chronics/2 Paralipomena 3; 17, Boaz is the left-hand column. The problem was from which side you look: from the holy to the entrance, or from the entrance to the holy of holies, and this problem has an unexpected historical career in Freemasonry. The presence of Boaz and Jachin in the Masonic Lodge has been attested since the first ritual texts that have come to us, more accurately, since 1724.

Then we read in The Great Mystery of Free-Masons Discovered:

Q. How many pillars?

A. Two; Jachin and Boaz.

Q. What do they represent?

A. Strength and stability of the church in all Ages.

This text shows us that there is at least one version of the ancient Masonic ritual where the significance of Jachin and Boaz is correctly described and integrated into a Christian vision. However, we immediately notice, even from the same year 1724, that in other rituals the biblical significance is altered, perhaps because the brethren then tended to associate the initial B, under which the Boaz column was codified, with the English term “beautiful” (beautiful), The normal expression of beauty, which will become part of Another ensemble of the Lojii pillars. Thus, we read in two related texts, The Whole Institution of Masonry (1724) and The Whole Institution of Free-Masons Opened (1725), the following: Jachin signifies strength and Boaz beautiful (Jachin means strength and Boaz beauty). The Masonic Lodge has an ensemble of three symbolic pillars, appointed in the ritual of Pritchard from 1730 (Masonry Dissected, London, J. Willard) Large pillars of support: wisdom, strength, and beauty. These three are not certified at 1724 but are likely to appear after 1725 and represent at home a doubling of the jackets of Jachin and Boaz, with their meaning of strength and beauty, to which wisdom has been added. Boaz, however, has nothing in common with the meaning of “beauty”, but with the meaning of “force”, because it means in Hebrew “in force”. At the same, Jachin means “God will edify. Thus, the two columns, read together, convey the message “God will Edify,” a reference to a promise that God made to David, recorded in 2 Samuel/2 Kings 7; 13 and 1 chronics/1 Paralipomena 28; 7. The promise meant to Solomon, the son of David, who the Lord says, “he will build the house of my name, and I will strengthen the throne of his reign forever.

The Bible itself admits several descriptions of the columns. The name of the left appears in the Septuagint as Baaz, and in the Vulgata as Booz, although in the Hebrew text is Boaz. 2 Chronicles 3; 17, in the Septuagint version, translates altogether into Greek: Ischys (“Force, Power”) for Boaz and Kathorthosis (“Establishing with certainty”) for Jachin. The latter is spelled in Hebrew Jakin, the scripts used by the Romanian Masonic ritual being the one from the Vulgata (Jachin). In Septuaginta, the Iachoum graph also appears (1 Kings/3 Kings 7; 21).

The Hebrew book speaks of two brass poles on which a crown is placed (Capitel). The pillar is, in fact, a column, both by dimensions and by composition. The dimensions of 1 Kings/3 Kings are those taken in the ritual of Pritchard: 18 Elbows height (8.23 m), 12 elbows circumference (5.49 m), 5 elbows Crown height (2.28 m). The pillar, inside, is empty, and its wall is the 4-finger thickness (8 cm). The Crown (the surrender) was a 4-string (1.83 m) at the mouth. In the York ritual practiced in the US, the dimensions are those of 2 chronics/2 Paralipomena, with the height of 35 elbows (16 m) and from the Septuaginta, with the thickness of a wide palm.

In Freemasonry, the significance of the columns Jachin and Boaz is major and originates both from the senses of their presence in the Temple of Solomon and the Gothic tradition. The columns stand at the entrance of the lodge, which associates from the first moment the lodge, as sacred space, with the temple of Solomon. The authors of the Anglo-Saxons have indicated, as ancient times, that these two columns called Poles symbolically send to the pillar of the cloud and the Pillar of Fire by which God led the Jews into the exodus, the way of the Escape (Exodus 13.21: And the Lord went before them: the day in the pillar of Cloud, showing them the way, and at night in the Pillar of Fire, enlightening them, that they may walk day and night.)The theory comes first in 1769, at Pastor Wellins Calcott (A Candid Disquisition, London), which is taken over by Dr. George Oliver (The Historical Landmarks and Other Evidence of Freemasonry Explained, 1843) and is encouraged by Henry Wilson Coil (Masonic Encyclopedia). It has a spectacular hermeneutic effect: It shows that freedom, liberation, is a sacred basis of the Masonic Lodge, which gives the sacred validity of the involvement of the Brotherhood in the great movements of the liberation of the human being.

The same Coil, starting from the chairs of the American York Rite, where it is stated that Jachin and Boaz were so constructed as to resist “conflagration and flooding”, it puts them in connection with Lamech’s two pillars, mentioned in the Gothic constitutions. The Gothic constitutions had taken over, most likely from Josephus Flavius (Jewish Antiquities, vol. I), the myth of the two pillars that the Antediluvians had written their entire science, not to be lost. They had written their entire science, not to be lost. At Josephus Flavius It was about the sons of Seth who had learned of the coming of a dreadful catastrophe from a prophecy of Adam. But they didn’t know if the cataclysm would arrive through the water or through the fire. So they wrote the whole science on two pillars, one of the brick, the other in stone, because one, at least, could resist. In gothic constitutions, ever since Ms. Cooke (the second oldest gothic text; dates back to the 15TH century), the two pillars are mentioned but are placed on the side of Lamech’s sons, and one was made of marble and the other from an esoteric material, Lacerus/Laterno/Latres, which floated on the water. If you can add this connotation to the Jachin and Boaz columns today, then we get a new hermeneutic spectacular effect: The lodge would also acquire the sacred basis of saving or preserving the science of the world. This sacred ground is fully consistent with the teachings and purpose of Masonic improvement, which is based on the royal art, the Art of the plenary use of science in the glory of God.

In masonry, the columns of Jachin and Boaz seem to have always been connected with the two supervisors of the lodge, strengthening the special relationship between the composition of the room and the hierarchy of the human group. The first supervisor takes care of the Squid column, today Jachin in most rites; The second supervisor takes care of the Apprentice column, today Boaz in most rites. Originally, however, in all rites, Boaz was the column of the squid and left as you look from the Orient to the west, on the platform of the first supervisor. During the great reversing operated by modern, Jachin and Boaz changed places, supervisors and Masonic degrees. According to Coil (op. cit.), this change would have happened in 1740, but we find it already in progress at 1730, in Pritchard’s ritual, where Boaz is already at the I level, alongside Jachin, and Jachin appears alone at the second degree. So, in our opinion, the modification was initiated in 1725, together with many others, at the suggestion of Desaguliers; But it’s more generalized and with transitional periods, as we can see from Pritchard’s ritual. Today, the French rite maintains the Boaz column and the sacred Word of the second degree, most of the other rites transferring them to the I degree. The connection between the two columns and the two supervisors is so tight that in some Andersonian rites, such as Emulation, Jachin and Boaz have become totally subordinate to supervisors, defending as two pillars on the platforms of supervisors. When the Lojii works open, the Boaz pillar is lowered and the Jachin is lifted. The shutdown is reversed. The rites that position the Jachin and Boaz columns on one side and the other of the entrance use the Corinthian style for them. In some of those rites, the columns wear globes, a certified innovation in the middle of the 18TH century. On the Boaz column lies the terrestrial Globe, and on the Jachin, the celestial.

The altars (EBR. Misbehave, Aram. Madbah, Gr. thysiasterion, lat. altaria) are sacred places where a special honor is brought to a god. This honesty generally refers to sacrifice. Construction of the Stone Age proves that the altar was conceived as a platform or a table of rock where the sacrifices were stabbed or burnt (setting on fire). But European traditions show that it can be a wider space than a platform, and the stone table can be replaced by a pit (for example) where the blood of the offering is leaking. These European traditions have been implanted in the present form of the Christian altar in all churches, except for the Neo protestant cults: we find a sacred space (the middle of the church) called the altar and where there is a table, called the table of the shrine. The altar table is the prototype of the Masonic altar because it is found in the church both the Sacred book and the most sacred tools of the cult.

The Hebrew word mizbeah means “place of sacrifice”. However, in the Hebrew canon, the altar is two kinds: there is an altar for burning all and another for incense. The Church of Christ transformed the meaning of the term into space with a table in the center, the table playing the role of the sacrificial man because the sacrifice of the Eucharist is on it. This transformation did not suddenly happen, but over time; And only after the Christian population had become predominantly non-Jew.

Masonry took over the existence of the altar from Christian practices, but only in the form of a meal. The Masonic Shrine of Symbolic Freemasonry is a mass on which the three great lights are located: The Book of Sacred Law, the square and the compass. She is generally placed at the Orient, near the venerable table (in the Royal Arch sits in the center of the Lodge).

It is the place where the vows are lodged, so it could be characterized as the sacred center of the Orient. Coil (Masonic Encyclopedia) denotes it: “The most important feature of a Masonic Lodge of America”. In the French rite the altar is mistaken for the mass of Venerable, and the Book of Sacred Law is no longer compulsory, generally finding only the square and the compass. In ancient Masonic documents, the altar does not appear as a distinctive feature of a lodge. It is highly probable that the masons of operations used the altars of the churches they were building. Coil notes that in the year 1772, when Preston makes detailed descriptions of the Masonic Lodge, he mentions nothing about the altar. But it does not mean that the altar does not exist! Thus, in a ritual of the Rose-Cross Knights of the Year 1765, it is stated that “in the second apartment” must be lifted “a shrine covered in black. In the middle of it is placed a crucified Christ between two candles of bright yellow wax. The master is seated on the last step of the altar and to the right. ”

In high grades, the altar can have different locations and different objects. I have already seen the situation in the old Rose-cross ritual (today this high degree has renounced Christ). In the Royal Arch ritual, I stated, the altar is located in the middle of the temple; In the rank of Knight Kadosh we find him in the third apartment, and on him stands the objects symbolizing the degree; In the Scottish rank, Trinitar bears the statue of Truth, etc. Other grades, such as 14, 23 and 24 of the R:. S:. A:. A:. I am talking about the altar of the pre-breads, the altar of perfumes, the altar of sacrifices, in accord, of course, with the reality of Solomon’s temple.

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