The Sphinxes flanking the front entrance to the House of the Temple are adorned with inscriptions in both Phoenician characters and Egyptian hieroglyphs. The sphinxes symbolize the pillars that stood at the entrance of Soloman’s Temple, named Jachin and Boaz.
The Sphinx of Power (north side), with its eyes fully open, has the Hebrew name “Boaz” inscribed in Phoenician characters on on each side of its pedestal. The Egyptian hieroglyphics carved on the front mean “in strength.”
The Sphinx of Wisdom (south side), with its eyes half-closed, has the Hebrew name “Jachin” inscribed in Phoenician on each side of its pedestal. The Egyptian hieroglyphics carved on the front mean “to establish.”
The sphinxes were sculpted on-site by renowned sculptor Adolph Alexander Weinman (1870–1952), best known for designing the Mercury Dime and the Walking Liberty Half Dollar. He sculpted these impressive sphinxes from two solid blocks of limestone from P-M-B Quarry of Indiana Quarries Company of Bedford, Il. in 1913. The each block weighed 165 pounds per cubic foot—about 76 tons!