Jachin and Boaz in Religious and Political Perspective

Carol L. Meyers

Carol L. Meyers, “Jachin and Boaz in Religious and Political Perspective,” in The Temple in Antiquity: Ancient Records and Modern Perspectives, ed. Truman G. Madsen (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1984), 135–50.

Two pillars flanked the entrance to the sacred center of Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem. Aside from their utility and beauty they had symbolic meaning, as did many other structures and appurtenances of the ancient temple. In the present essay Carol L. Meyers brings to bear recent research on these pillars which shows: (1) that the olive wood and cedar were chosen for specific and temporal reasons; (2) that the pillars were seen in cosmic perspective, somehow reflecting in a microcosm the theory of the dwelling of the heavenly realm; (3) that they were perceived as a gate to holy space and to holy time, and provided both a fortress and a sanctuary for ritual acts; and (4) that they suggested the identification of religious and political power under divine sanction (thus the temple locus and rituals legitimatized the state). This essay is published by permission of Joseph Fitzmeyer on behalf of the Catholic Biblical Quarterly.

T. G. M.

The general fascination of traditional and critical biblical scholarship with the nature and appearance of the Jerusalem (Solomon’s) temple is epitomized in many ways by the unremitting interest in the twin pillars flanking its entrance. Over the years, countless attempts have been made to explain, describe, and otherwise comprehend these elaborately commented features of ancient Israel’s premier religious edifice. Their enigmatic names as well as the tantalizing availability of certain kinds of archaeological data have added to the range and complexity of the scholarly discussion. [1]

This extraordinary attention accorded to Jachin and Boaz, which are known only from the Old Testament text and not directly from excavated material, is the result of two interrelated difficulties. First, the text in 1 Kings 7 (vv. 15–22, 41–42), which is the major source of information about these columns, is replete with textual problems and lexical obscurities. Second, the other texts that mention them [2] provide information which is often at odds with the core passage in 1 Kings 7. That this situation is to be expected, since the texts come from a span of hundreds of years during which the temple itself was altered repeatedly, [3] does not diminish the difficulty in attempting to utilize all the biblical passages which mention the two pillars. As a result of these two problems, it has been virtually impossible to establish a secure reconstruction of either their appearance or, equally significant, their architectural placement and function.

Our discussion here will not add to the plethora of materials that have sought to delineate Jachin and Boaz with respect either to their form or their position. Rather, it is our contention that their significance within the Solomonic building scheme can be examined apart from the obscurity of their physical existence. That does not mean that their size, shape, and situation can be ignored. Instead, it means that an understanding of their meaning and importance need not be tied to any absolute resolution of concrete details. To put it another way, the symbolic value of Jachin and Boaz can be apprehended without full knowledge of their physical reality.

That they must be examined from the standpoint of symbolism is apparent from their unique situation, both as features in the architectural ground plan of the Solomonic temple and simultaneously as items in the repertoire of objects and appurtenances associated with the temple’s usage. While scholars have struggled to locate the pillars on the hypothetical blueprint of the Jerusalem temple, thus attributing to them some participation in the architectural realm, most have also been cognizant of the fact that their description in the 1 Kings temple passage is not included in the verses relating the structural details of the temple. Rather, Jachin and Boaz stand at the beginning of the series of bronze vessels [4] made by the craftsman Hiram of Tyre, as outlined in 1 Kings 7:13–45. Seemingly without structural significance, they have been considered by a few scholars to be purely decorative or ornamental, but by most to have symbolic significance. The variety of suggestions for the latter role is noteworthy, [5] indicating a strong measure of conjecture.

While the meaning of the pillars evaded the generation of scholars in the thirties and forties who investigated the Jerusalem temple in the light of Near Eastern archaeology, the existence of such pillars flanking the entrances to other sacred structures of the ancient world was established. The most notable example is the temple of Tell Tainat, [6] of singular importance in its close architectural relationship to the temple described in 1 Kings. Other remains of such columns were identified in the Syro-Palestinian area. Jachin and Boaz thus could be recognized as related to features that existed in at least some other major temples of the Late Bronze Age or early Iron Age. While the most recent discussions of the twin pillars acknowledge such analogies, they admit that uncertainty about their meaning nonetheless remains. [7]

Such persistent uncertainty cannot be relieved at present by any fresh information available from philological study of the biblical text describing the columns, nor from evidence provided by current archaeological research. What can be done, however, to remove some of the enigma is to analyze their meaning in the context of the extended socio-political role that religious edifices played in the ancient world. Religion and ritual are not to be seen as isolated or compartmentalized features of Israelite life. Rather, the cultic ceremonies and sacred structures of ancient Israel must be seen as part of the political ideology of the realm. [8] For the period of the Solomonic temple’s construction, the realm happens to be a monarchy with imperial extent.

Biblical Data

As we have asserted above, the peculiar significance of Jachin and Boaz is related to their existence simultaneously as architectural features of the temple and as bronze objects associated with the inner courtyard (hehazer happenimit). Several features of the biblical description must be stressed in this connection.

The twin pillars stand at the entry to the ‘ulam, variously translated “portico,” “porch” “vestibule,” or “entrance hall.” [9] Whether or not they are structural irrelevant to the fact that they are clearly associated with the ‘ulam “He set up the pillars at the ‘ulam of the temple” (1 Kgs 7.21; cf. v. 19). None of the above translations of ‘ulam, however, indicates the ambivalence of its nature within the overall temple plan. Understanding this ambivalence is essential for our investigation of the pillars at the entry to the ‘ulam.

The ‘ulam is generally considered the outermost of the three parts of the Jerusalem temple, which seems to have had a tripartite plan similar to that of the Tainat megaron and other Syro-Hittite temples of the late second and early first millennia. Yet several features of the ‘ulam must be underscored insofar as they cast some doubt on its being an integral part of the tripartite plan.

  1. The side chambers of the temple, the importance of which should not be overlooked in that they represent more than twice as much floor space as the temple proper, [10] flank only the hekal (“main room,” “nave,” etc.) and its subdivision, the debir (“holy of holies,” “inner sanctuary,” etc.). The ‘ulam is thus set apart from the full temple structure.
  2. The dimensions of the temple are given for the hekal and the debir together as a unit, sixty cubits long and twenty cubits wide (1 Kgs. 6:2). The measurements of the ‘ulam are listed separately for this entity, which stood “in front of the house.” The implication is that the ‘ulam is an attachment to the temple or “house of Yahweh,” [11] but not an integral part of it. In this connection, note also that the temple and tabernacle have the same proportions except that the latter, a portable structure, lacks the ‘ulam.
  3. The entrance to the ‘ulam is of a different order from the entrance to the other two parts of the temple proper. Elaborate olive-wood doors (1 Kgs. 6:31) were constructed for the entrance to the debir. Cypress-wood doors were ordered for the passage into the hekal (1 Kgs. 6:33). Immediately following this sequence is a notice about the ‘ulam which does not present a doorway, as one might expect from the flow of the text here. Rather, in a verse that is out of character with the preceding doorway passages, (1 Kgs. 6:36), the construction of the inner court is mentioned, anticipating its fuller description in 1 Kings 7:12. Instead of a presentation of an entrance to the ‘ulam, which would be expected to be included in this series of doorway descriptions, another kind of information, the manner of construction of the inner court, is provided since there was no door to the ‘ulam to describe.
  4. Details of wood paneling for the walls, ceiling, and floor of the hekal and its innermost shrine (debir) are enumerated in 1 Kings 6:15–20, with the gold overlay for the inner shrine also being delineated. No such information is provided for the ‘ulam.
  5. The lack of comparable data concerning walls and ceilings for the ‘ulam is related to the manner of the latter’s construction. The ‘ulam is constructed of triple courses of large hewn stones surmounted by a wooden superstructure of cedar beams (1 Kgs. 7:12; cf. 6:36). [12] This is identical with the technique for building the great court of the palace area and also the temple court (hehazer happenimit). In other words, the construction technique of the ‘ulam is linked, not with that of the internal space of the hekal / debir of the House of the Lord, but rather with the open or external space, the courtyards.

This series of details concerning the ‘ulam indicates that it is perhaps best understood as a courtyard to the temple, the microcosmic House of God. Inasmuch as the temple was the earthly counterpart of God’s heavenly dwelling, [13] it would not have been complete without that indispensable feature of a permanent Near Eastern residence, a courtyard. [14] Thus the ‘ulam needs to be defined more precisely than by such terms as “porch” or “portico.” Rather it belongs to the conceptual world of courtyards. Thus pillars at its entry stand within the realm of gateposts, marking the entryway to the larger domain of the deity, which includes court as well as house proper.

Several other features of Jachin and Boaz, as delineated in the biblical text, must be stressed. These pillars, notwithstanding the difficulty in reconstructing their appearance on the basis of the 1 Kings description, were clearly imposing entities. This is so on two accounts.

First, they were of great size, the columns themselves being eighteen cubits high according to 1 Kings 7:15 (cf. 2 Chr. 3:15 and Jeremiah LXX, which record thirty-five cubits). Each column was surmounted by a capital or double capital [15] of at least five cubits. They thus stood no less than twelve meters high and were nearly a meter in diameter. If these dimensions (or at least the diameter, which is the only relevant dimension in terms of archaeological remains) are compared with the measurements of analogous column bases uncovered at entryways to Semitic temples, it becomes clear that Jachin and Boaz were considerably larger. Indeed, the Solomonic temple as a whole appears to have been significantly bigger than its analogues. Tainat, [16] for example, is roughly two-thirds the size of the Jerusalem temple of 1 Kings and lacks the side chambers which, it must be underscored, augment the size of the temple in its outward appearance.

Second, Jachin and Boaz, or at least their capitals, were extraordinarily elaborate. There is considerable attitude in the specific interpretation of the description in 1 Kings 7:16–20 and 41–42, but there is consensus that the capitals belong to the category of floral capitals that were characteristic features of monumental architecture in the biblical world. If there be any doubt as to their striking appearance, the credentials of the artisan, whose Tyrian father was a “worker in bronze . . . full of wisdom, understanding, and skill” (1 Kgs 7:14), serve to emphasize the artistry involved.

If we emphasize the striking size and appearance of Jachin and Boaz and ignore the artistic detail of the internal furnishings of the temple, we do so because of the public visibility of the pillars in contrast to the invisibility of the temple’s interior. The temple was not a house of worship but rather a residence for God. As such, the inside of the temple was essentially off limits, unseen by the population as a whole or even by the general clergy. [17] The connection of the laity and of anyone but the designated priesthood with the Jerusalem temple was thus relegated to the space outside the temple proper. The courtyard of the temple was thus the focus of “public” involvement with the temple, the place of sacrifice, of justice, of song and dance, of procession. [18]

Aside from these pillars, a rather flat and relatively unbroken exterior would have presented itself, fortress-like, to the external viewer. [19] Thus the twin pillars loomed large at the entry to the temple, providing the visual link to the unseen grandeur within. Understanding their symbolic value becomes all the more critical from such a perspective, since they stood to represent to the world at large that which existed unseen within the building.

Iconographic Data

The archaeologically recovered remains of pillars flanking temple entrances have already been noted. In addition to such parallels, there are graphic renderings which depict pairs of columns on seal cylinders, brick reliefs, seals, stone vessels, and bronze gates. From earliest times, artistic convention in the Near Eastern world relied upon such depictions to convey the image of the divine dwelling reached by passage through doorposts and/or gateposts. [20] In a kind of graphic synecdoche, particularly appropriate to the small-scale glyptic art in which the preponderance of such renderings are found, two vertical posts flank a scene the content of which leaves no doubt that those posts represent the sacred structure within which that scene is being enacted.

With respect to the content of such scenes, one pertinent observation can be made: the scenes are basically of two kinds, mythic and cultic. In the former instance, particularly clear in the vigorous naturalism of seals from the old Akkadian period, [21] a god in his cosmic setting is flanked by gateposts which are sometimes accompanied by the doorkeepers controlling the important access through these doors. The god steps out on his mountain peaks, sun rays streaming from his shoulders, master of his heavenly abode. The awesome and vast cosmic sweep of the god’s dwelling is made comprehensible to humanity by the architectural reality of the gateposts, the finite structures giving access to the infinite realm of the god. In another kind of mythic scene, the god enthroned in his celestial palace appears seated between tall posts or standards, representing the structure in which his throne of repose is situated.

The other kind of scene, depicting cultic activity, shares with the mythic motifs the convention of twin pillars standing for a whole building. The presence of worshippers approaching god, or more likely the god’s statue, identifies the cultic nature of these compositions. Such worship scenes include representations off flanking pillars of the same character as those in the mythic scenes. In so doing, they convey the idea that the earthly temple, indicated in pars pro toto fashion by the gated entryway, is to be identified with the god’s cosmic abode.

The features of these doors or gate leaves, insofar as they are discernable in the minute modeling of cylinder seats, show them to be fashioned after the columns used in monumental temple architecture. For the early Sumerian period, for example, the bound reed bundles that formed the structural supports of the earliest shrines are used to indicate such shrines. [22] Columns with scroll capitals or volutes appear in other contexts, such as Hittite seals and Palestinian model shrines, [23] attesting to contemporary architectonic fashion.

This kind of iconographic material demonstrates two aspects of the ancient visual arts relevant to our consideration of Jachin and Boaz.

First, inhabitants of the biblical world, from Sumerian times down through the neo-Assyrian period and later, were familiar with a variety of iconographic depictions of shrines in which the whole structure or temple was indicated by a pair of columns. These columns seem to represent either the doorposts of the shrine itself or the gateway that provided access to the sacred area as a whole. It is often difficult and perhaps ultimately meaningless to make such a distinction, although the isolated nature of the pillars without overhead framing would tend to support the idea of courtyard gates. The critical meaning is the notion of passage from profane space to holy space, from the mundane to the supra-mundane. The doors and/or gates stand for the holy and mark this highly significant boundary.

Second, there exists an identity in the conventions for depicting the god’s cosmic palace shrine and his earthly temple shrine. This merging of iconographic representation is the visual counterpart of what is ritually and symbolically expressed in the temple service, whereby ritual actions bring about the presence of the deity into the earthly counterpart of his heavenly dwelling.

Temple Architecture and State Ideology

One of the most fundamental aspects of ancient thought systems, and one which Western man must often struggle to recognize inasmuch as it is essentially foreign to modern secular polities; is the identification of the socio-political power structure within the deity. [24] The exercise of power is not simply the result of the agreement of the governed, as it is for charismatically claimed leadership. Rather, the essentially coercive power represented by dynastic states derives legitimacy from the close connection of such states with divine sovereignty. The religious sphere is hardly separate or autonomous; rather it is an integral and critical component of political power and authority. It provides divine and incontrovertible sanction for state actions that otherwise might not be popularly acclaimed nor seen as generally beneficial. [25]

Such an understanding of the interrelatedness of religion and politics, of temple and kingship, in the biblical world has been well established. However, this appreciation of the cultic expression of socio-political values has not focused directly enough on the matter of communication. If a religious ideology is to be effective in consolidating and sustaining support for the regime, it must be successfully communicated at least to that portion of the population responsible for implementing state policy.

What are the mechanisms for conveying the fundamental message that the god is inextricably connected with the dynastic power? There are three possibilities. [26] Perhaps the most effective means would be the written word; yet in the ancient world, with minimal literacy and expensive modes of publication, the written message receives in importance. The second possibility, the verbal or oral form of communication, would thus have been essential, though this is the most elusive for us since it is available to us only as it has been preserved in writing and thereby relegated to the form of the written message. Finally, the visual message would have played a significant role, providing the sustained availability of the written word along with the wider accessibility of the spoken word.

The temple constructed in any dynastic capital, by its very existence, was the visual communication of the divine component of and support for the political realm. The construction of a new capital, with palace and temple, by the initiator of a political structure was not only a pragmatic establishment of a locus for the bureaucracy of government but also a symbolic statement, communicating both to eye witnesses and to those further afield, who merely heard of the capital splendors, that the god was the guarantor of the state.

The transformation of the mundane materials-wood, stones, bricks, metal-of which a building was constructed into a temple, into a divine residence which participated in the cosmic model of that residence and thus was distinct from a normal building, was an essential part of the communication process. The dedicatory ceremonies with which the construction of temples was culminated achieved two important goals. The presence of the deity in his earthly home was effected, and the facts of his presence and thus of his legitimization of the regnal power responsible for erecting this house were communicated to all those who participated in witnessed, or heard of these ceremonies. The grander the dedication and the more elaborate the feast, the more powerful was the manner in which these combined goals were achieved.

Within the overall context of a dedication, the specific device or process for achieving divine presence and public recognition thereof was the procession in which the image of the god (or gods) was carried, preferably through the city so that all could see it, into the temple precincts and ultimately into the temple with its waiting niche for the god. [27] The impact of such a ceremony was obviously greatest at the time it was carried out. However, the political realm required the ongoing legitimization that the divine presence in the temple conveyed. And as memory of the great dedication inevitably waned, it could nonetheless be sustained through a combination of communication devices: written, in dedicatory plaques, stelae, or wall inscriptions; oral, in annually repeated rituals recalling or reenacting the primal entry of the god into the temple; and visual, through the artistic or graphic portrayal of the original entrance event.

The ongoing visual communication of such a momentous occasion, which had great significance for the realm and its stability, was typically and appropriately effected in many capital cities of the ancient Near East in the reliefs and sculptures at the gateways to the royal complex of these cities. [28] Their wide visibility was assured by the heavy flow of traffic at such locations, and they deal with the theme of the god’s entry through the gate into his precinct. Thus the gate itself through which the god’s procession entered the city and temple at the time of dedication was emblazoned with a sculptural record of that event. The gateway represented, visually, the divine legitimization of the realm once the statute of the god had disappeared into its largely inaccessible niche in the adytum.

Jachin and Boaz and the Solomonic State

The reign of Solomon continued many of the policies and programs initiated by the dynastic founder, his father David. Yet Solomon’s kingship is indelibly marked by the administrative changes he made in the political and religious organization of the realm. [29] The centerpiece of his regnal activity, both in its own time and for all succeeding generations, was the construction of a royal palace complex which included a temple, a permanent house for Yahweh, and perhaps the most famous building of the ancient world.

Solomon’s motives for undertaking the expensive and elaborate temple project have been contrasted with the Davidic reliance on the Shilonite ark tradition. [30] In such a schema, David’s charismatic accession to kingship and his continued utilization of a tent-shrine for the ark represent a political ideology more akin to that of the preceding tribal period. David achieved cultic or divine legitimacy for his rule in his transfer of the ark to Jerusalem and his placement of it within the tent. The meaning of these events can be related to the role of the Canaanite Tent of El, which represented assembly and consensus and which thus was more congenial to a more limited kingship that would continue covenant tradition. [31] David’s centralization and consolidation of rule were effectively represented in his establishment of a national capital in Jerusalem, in the city of David. [32]

In building a temple for the ark, the symbol of Yahweh’s presence, Solomon incorporated the Davidic covenantal traditions into a structure representing the permanent and eternal dwelling of Yahweh, and thus the permanent legitimacy of his dynastic power. [33] This action does seem to contrast with David’s more limited construction projects. Yet however innovative Solomon’s architectural and administrative activities may appear, they actually constitute the culmination of processes already set in motion by David’s imperial conquests. Davidic sovereignty over non-Israelite groups was established by military force, and his taking of Jerusalem and placing of the ark there were directed towards internal consolidation of a newly formed state. Solomon, in the stage beyond subjugation, had to build up the temple-palace complex, not so much to reject or enlarge Davidic precedent, but rather to establish the mechanisms for imperial control of regions beyond the tribal territories.

The Solomonic temple and palace thus served the needs of the capital of a minor Levantine empire. The palace provided the administrative and residential space for the king and his bureaucracy, and the temple supplied the vital visual message that the king had the divinely sanctioned power to carry out his imperial governance. [34] With the ark sequestered out of sight in the debir, the critical entrance of Yahweh into his Jerusalem house was signified by the twin pillars Jachin and Boaz.

These pillars can be linked iconographically to the paired gateposts described above, as known in Near Eastern royal art. They stood at the entry of the ‘ulam, which according to our analysis is the microcosmic forecourt of Yahweh’s microcosmic house (hekal plus debir). The pillars signified the historic passage of Yahweh, as symbolized by the ark, into the earthly counterpart of his cosmic dwelling. For all who saw them towering over the temple courtyard within the palace complex, they heralded the enormously significant fact of the legitimacy of Solomonic rule. They communicated visually to bureaucrats and emissaries the message crucial for effective rule, namely, that the Davidic dynasty was carrying out God’s will in its administration of the Israelite territory and also the adjacent kingdoms, from the Euphrates to the border of Egypt.


[1] For a full discussion from an architectural perspective and including a review of suggested meanings, see Th. A. Busink, Der Tempel von Jerusalem, I. Band, Der Tempel Salomos (Leiden: Brill, 1970). See also the discussion and bibliography in R. B. Y. Scott, “Jachin and Boaz,” Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible 2:780–81; the summary in J. B. Gray, I & II Kings, 2nd ed. rev. (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1970), pp. 183–89; and the work of J. Ouellette in “Jachin and Boaz,” Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Supplement, p. 469, and in “The Basic Structure of Solomon’s Temple and Archaeological Research,” The Temple of Solomon, Religion and the Arts, no. 3, ed. J. Gutmann (Missoula, Mont.: Scholars Press, 1976), pp. 7–11.

[2] 2 Kings 25:16–17; 2 Chronicles 3:13 2 Chronicles 3:13, 15–17; Jeremiah 52:17, 20–23.

[3] See C. Meyers, “The Elusive Temple,” Biblical Archaeologist 45 (1982): 33–41.

[4] Perhaps this grouping led Albright to his conviction that the pillars must have had an instrumental function. He contended, following W. R. Smith, that they were lofty cressets. See his “Two Cressets from Marisa and the Pillars of Jachin and Boaz,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 85 (1942): 18–27; and Archaeology and the Religion of Israel, 4th ed. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1956), pp. 144–48. Compare the critique by J. L. Myres, “King Solomon’s Temple and Other Buildings and Works of Art,” Palestine Exploration Quarterly 80 (1948): 29.

[5] In addition to cressets, they have been called fire altars, obelisks, phalli, twin mountains, sacred stones, pillars of heaven, and trees of life. See, for example, R. B. Y. Scott, “The Pillars of Jachin and Boaz,” Journal of Biblical Literature 58 (1939): 143–49, and G. E. Wright, “Solomon’s Temple Resurrected,” Biblical Archaeologist 4 (1941): 21, 26.

[6] Compare the description R. B. Y. Scott, “Jerusalem Temple,” Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible 4:535–37.

[7] As in Gay, I & II Kings, p. 186. See also M. Greenberg, “Religion, Stability, and Ferment,” in A. Malamat, ed., Age of the Monarchies, World History of the Jewish People, vol. 2 (Tel Aviv: Jewish History Publications, 1979), pp. 86:87; S. G. F. Brandon, Man and God in Art and Ritual (New York: Scribner’s, 1975), p. 107; and H. H. Rowley. Worship in Ancient Israel (Philadelphia Fortress, 1967), p. 81.

[8] The importance of the temple in legitimizing the political organization of the monarchy has long been recognized. However, the dynamics of such legitimization are now being examined and explicated in a particularly useful way as the result of current appreciation of the social-scientific approach to biblical studies. See, for example, the work of J. Lundquist, “The Legitimizing Role of the Temple in the Origin of the State,” Society of Biblical Literature seminar paper 1982.

[9] Compare the description R. B. Y. Scott, “Jerusalem Temple,” Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible 4:535–37.

[10] See the calculations of L. Waterman, “The Treasuries of Solomon’s Private Chapel” Journal of Near Eastern Studies (1947): 161–63.

[11] For a useful discussion of the term “temple” for “House of Yehweh,” see M. Haran, Temples and Temple-Service in Ancient Israel (Oxford: Clarendon, 1978), pp. 13–15; and “Temples and Cubic Open Areas as Reflected in the Bible,” Temples and High Places in Biblical Times, ed. A Biran (Jerusalem: Hebrew Union College. 1981), pp. 31–36.

[12] Gray (I & II Kings, p. 175) believes that this combination-three stone courses plus one wooden course-was repeated several times to achieve a greater height. However, such a notion ignores the identity ‘ulam construction with court construction.

[13] See the discussion of that heavenly dwelling by D. N. Freedom, who associates it with Sinai/Horeb (“Temple Without Hands,” Temples and High Places in Biblical Times, pp. 21–30).

[14] The ‘ulam, as we have already noted, is precisely the element of the divine residence not included in the tabernacle description, which presents a movable tent shrine. For the relationship between tabernacle and temple, see F. M. Cross, “The Priestly Tabernacle in the Light of Recent Research,” Temples and High Places in Biblical Times, pp. 169–80.

[15] As S. Yeivin contends (“Jachin and Boaz,” Palestine Exploration Quarterly 91 [1959]: 1–15).

[16] The dimensions of the Tainat building are 13 m. x 25 m.

[17] As Haran (Temple Service, 224–26) points out, the whole sphere of temple ritual, which constitutes a “single organic whole,” was part of the “sole prerogative of the high priest.” The people and the rest of the priestly functionaries may have known to varying degrees what existed and what took place within the temple proper, but they never witnessed it themselves.

[18] Greenberg, “Religion, Stability, and Ferment,” pp. 86–89. It is to be noted, however, that inasmuch as the temple was part of a larger royal or palace complex, the “public” may have been normally limited to the officials and functionaries who had regular access to and business in this complex.

[19] See the various modern scholarly reconstructions (such as Wright-Stevens, Molenbrink, Busink, etc.), which are reproduced in Meyers, “The Elusive Temple,” pp. 34, 38, 39. The fortress-like quality of the building is not unrelated to its capacity as treasury and storehouse.

[20] B. Goldman (Sacred Portal [Detroit: Wayne State, 1966], pp. 69–100) presents a convenient synopsis of the range of such depictions as well as an analysis of their symbolism.

[21] For example, B. Buchanan, Cylinder Seals, Catalogue of Ancient Near Eastern Seals in the Ashmolean Museum, vol. 1 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1966), pp. 61–65, especially nos. 345–47.

[22] E. Strommeyer and M. Hirmer, Art of Mesopotamia (New York: Abrams, n.d.), plates 17, 20/21, 23.

[23] E. Akuragal, Art of the Hittites (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1962), pl. 45; Yeivin, “Jachin and Boaz,” figs. 1, 2, 3.

[24] See G. E. Mendenhall, Tenth Generation (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University, 1973), pp. 187–91; M. Liverani, “The Ideology of the Assyrian Empire,” in M. T. Larsen, ed., Power and Propaganda, Mesopotamia, vol. 7 (Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag, 1979), p. 301; and A. Soggin, “The Davidic-Solomonic Kingdom,” Israelite and Judean History, eds. J. H. Hayes and J. M. Miller (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1977), p. 377.

[25] See the general discussion of S. N. Eisenstadt, “Observation and Queries about Sociological, Aspects of Imperialism in the Ancient World,” Power and Propaganda, pp. 21–33.

[26] Liverani, “ideology,” pp. 301–2

[27] R. D. Barnett, “Bringing God into the Temple,” Temples and High Places in Biblical Times, pp. 10–13.

[28] Barnett shows this for Hittite and neo-Hittite sites in Syria and southern Anatolia, as well as for the Assyrians and Sumerians (“Bringing God into the Temple,” pp. 12–15).

[29] Soggin, “Davidic-Solomonic Kingdom,” pp. 367–69. See also F. M. Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1973), pp. 237–38; and “Priestly Tabernacle,” pp. 175–77.

[30] Cross, Canaanite Myth, pp. 232–34, 240–41; and “Priestly Tabernacle,” pp. 174–75.

[31] Cross, Canaanite Myth, pp. 232–34, 240–41.

[32] T. Ishida, The Royal Dynasties in Ancient Israel (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1977), pp. 130–35, cf. p. 146.

[33] This can be compared with the erection of Baal’s temple, described in R. J. Cliford, “The Temple in Ugaritic Myth,” Symposia, ed. F. M. Cross (Cambridge: American Schools of Oriental Research, 1977), pp. 137–45. Baal’s military victories, stages one and two, are analogous to David’s accomplishments; and stages three and four can be related to Solomon’s actions.

For a discussion of the Davidic covenant and its relationship to Solomonic rule see Cross, Canaanite Myth, pp. 219–45; Ishida, Royal Dynasties, pp. 80–117; and G. Widengren, “King and Covenant,” Journal of Semitic Studies 2 (1957): 7–10, 21–24.

[34] See Liverani’s description (‘Ideology,’ pp. 27–99) of the role of ideology in the exploitation created by imperial control.