Masonic History Part 3

If we rely on Manetho for Egyptian history, he tells us that the founding of Egyptian history was in 3500 BC. Now the dilemma is that geological sounding on the stones of the Sphinx say it was around for the flood of 7500 BC. That would mean civilization was at least 4000 years older than we had previously thought. Good thing though, because a place like Jericho was a major thorn in the historian’s side, since it had been dated to 6000 BC and that didn’t coincide with our dating the agricultural revolution to only 5000 BC. If there’s a lesson to be learned from all this, it’s that history is still this great unknown that we have arranged into preconceived concepts and beliefs, usually derived from what we’ve been taught in school, often by teachers that were even less informed than some of their students (no offence intended to any of you teachers reading this), and we must learn to question everything if we truly want to learn.

In previous articles I've explained the Roman and Sumerian connections (http://hubpages.com/hub/Masonic-History-Part-2) to established customs and traditions. Though well aware of the traditional reliance on the Temple of Solomon for architecture, the use of Hebrew words, and our movements through the inner sanctum, there is still a basic refusal amongst Masons to accept that the ancient Jewish traditions are more than a fancy or coincidence. That perhaps they are the actual origins and we’ve only forgotten over time just exactly how they were arrived at. Similar to Manetho’s Egyptian history, Masons have somehow erased the early years and lost the connection to its origins.

Let me take a moment to recap exactly what was written by Mackey in his revised Encyclopedia of Freemasonry. Under Jewish Rites and Ceremonies; he writes that there was a popular resurgence of Judaism as a novelty in fourteenth century Europe. Sort of like our passion for Thai and Indian food, teak and wicker furniture, brass ornaments, statues of elephants, etc., that we have now. He records that it first began in Italy, spread to Constantinople and Germany and then on to France. Just as Madonna and so many others in America are studying the Jewish Kabbala, Jewish Mysticism was equally popular back then.

To quote, he states, “It was during this period that the legend of Hiram Abif first became known, according to Brother George H. Fort, and Jehovah’s name and mystic forms were transmitted from Byzantine workmen to Teutonic sodalities and German gilds.”

This is a very neat and tidy explanation of how so much of Jewish custom and traditions got incorporated into Freemasonry and why we as Masons should not look any further beyond the fourteenth century for our origins but it falls short of explaining the use of procedural rites that were the exclusive knowledge of Levites that would have not been part of the Kabalistic teachings of this time period. And as a descendant of priests, in particular from the 24 families of the high priesthood, as Kahana (http://hubpages.com/hub/Kahanas_Voice) , I should know when knowledge of priestly rites has exceeded the common knowledge that would have been available in the 14th century.

For these particular features to have appeared in modern Freemasonry would have meant that they came from original sources and to appreciate that, we must look at the Levite builders that were a gild until themselves amongst the priesthood. Unlike the general priesthood that would have a constant function and role to maintain within the temple, whether it be the sacrifices, the musicians, or even the guards to the inner portico, the builders were only required on an as needed basis, which meant they had to teach and maintain their skills over successive generations in order to be ready for an emergency. And as I’ll now explain, the time periods between their callings to service were quite long and irregular.

Ancient Judea

Assembled by King David, then finally put to work by King Solomon, only a handful of these priestly aritsan builders were required to maintain and repair the Temple over time. The questions we must answer are in regard to what this large group of master craftsmen did in the off-time. They were called upon roughly 33 years after the completion of Solomon’s Temple to conduct repairs after Shishak took Jerusalem. (See http://hubpages.com/hub/Masonic-History) Then we know that one hundred and thirteen years after that, repairs were necessary again, under King Joash. Then one hundred and twenty-eight years after that, Hezekiah had the Temple repaired, and restored those sections that his father Ahaz had taken down in order to appease his Assyrian master, King Tiglath-Pilezer. Then Babylon came and conquered Judah, and one hundred and four years later, Josiah repaired that damage, only to have the Temple entirely destroyed thirty-six years later. Fifty-two years later permission was granted by the Persians for the Jews to rebuild their Temple, which was a major undertaking taking some twenty-one years to complete do to the on-off nature of succeeding Persian Emperors. Co-incidentally, the Samaritans required Levite builders to build their own temple on Mount Gerzim, and another Temple was built on the island of Elephantine in Egypt a couple of hundred years later. Finally, following his ascent to the throne in 40 BC, Herod began a major refurbishing of the second Temple that took almost forty years to complete.

So as is evident from the long gaps between the building, repairs and rebuilding, there are several questions that require answering.

a) Whom were this brotherhood of Levite Priests that became master masons?

b) What did they do in their down time in order to keep their skills pristine?

c) Where did they go during the exile periods?

d) If they maintained their craft as families, passing down from generation to generation, then how were the surplus craftsmen employed if only a few were required in Jerusalem.

e) What were some of their signs and traditions that marked them as part of a brotherhood?

f) How far did they extend their gild across the globe?

g) Why is this early history so shrouded in mystery?

h) How can we prove that history actually transpired as described?

Being able to answer these questions will provide us with much of the evidence required to restructure the early origins of freemsonry.

Concealing the Inheritance

As will become overwhelmingly evident in future articles, the early Judean origins of freemasonry cannot be dismissed. But having a foundation so steeped in the Old Testament world only creates a moral dilemma when trying to comprehend why Freemasonry tries so hard to appear areligious. Because of Masonry’s constant attempt to be an ethical guide to its members without favouring any particular religion, it has been accused in the past of also being anti-Church, or anti-religious. A paradox when one thinks about how an organisation can be accused on one hand of being a religion unto itself, and on the other hand the enemy of religion. It is neither substitute nor replacement but essentially an enhancement for all men to better understand their own religious beliefs and to assess them in a framework of universal brotherhood.

If we are able to appreciate the irony of these facts, the essential reasons why the founding fathers of Freemasonry found it necessary to create a brotherhood outside and uncontrolled by religious dogma yet originating from one of the most intense religious structures ever developed, then we in turn will be better able to understand why it was deemed necessary to hide and conceal its early origins to such a great extent. In order to be a universal doctrine that unites the brotherhood of man, references to any particular religion had to be subjugated by a higher purpose. Even today one merely has to say, Islam, Judaism or Christianity and you will receive a response anywhere from adoration to persecution depending on your audience, yet the moral message of any of the great religions is not only identified with by those audiences but desired.  The emotions to the reference point are allowed to overwhelm the message and this is exactly what the early freemasons comprehended.  But no matter how much you try to conceal the reference point, the footprints from the past are clearly discernable. 

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Comments 7 comments

CatholicMason profile image

CatholicMason 5 years ago

@?

All of the anti-Masonic bullshit is based on the works of Capt. William Morgan, who only became an anti-Masonic person after he was refused to be allowed to join the Order after it was proven that never received the rank of captain from any military. He was a liar.

Interestly, every single anti-Masonic piece of literature only references each other and there is none which has any credence or fact to support their ludricous claims.

If you'd like an interesting read in the fanciful works of fiction, check out his book: A commentary on Freemasonry.

Lastly, on his death bed, he admitted that it was all crap and that he was just angry at the Masons for tarnishing the false image he spent so many years cultivating for himself.

Note for anyone who is considering joining:

We will look into your past, to determine if you are a Honourable, Just, Upright and Free man who possess Sound Judgement and Strict Morals. We don't admit liars, criminals and hoodlums.


7 years ago

Reading some of these accusations ammuses me. Secret books? Maybe written by people with wild imaginations. Nothing is written down, thats why it stays secret. 34th chair, guess you will never know.


alanbedford 7 years ago

Correct, kahana. My grandfather was Worshipful Master in England, and he was no devil-worshipper. It was more of a social society for getting in with important people. The Masons of Chile have always been very powerful,their political party (Partido Radical)elected 3 presidents in the 20th century, and they still dominate the legal profession, sports and the firemen. Many Chilean Jews and Arabs are Masons.


Kahana profile image

Kahana 7 years ago Author

Modesto,

Like many societies, religious or secular, there are those that add on rituals and rites that have nothing to do with the established order. In Freemasonry you have York Rites (12 levels) and Scottish Rites (33 levels). But in saying that, you have these other organisations that claim to be part of Freemasonry and they are very unmasonic being merely a political, social or of literary character. That is where the confusion arises. When you start looking at the Rites of Zinnendorf, or the Rites of Cagliostro you have moved into this arena of mystic organisations which are outside of Freemasonry yet try to present themselves as part of the organisation.

It would be hard to fathom that of the 33 levels, the good will, the care of orphans and widows, the establishment of retirment villages, the charitable donations to medical causes, etc., could be mistaken as anything other than a positive reinforcement of the goodness in mankind. To reach the 33rd degree practically takes a lifetime, so to beleive that someone dedicated to the best that man can be will suddenly convert into a satanic, evil and hate mongering individual as soon as he moves on to some hidden and undisclosed 34th degree just doesn't make a lot of sense.

As for your suggestion that there are secret books, yes there are. I possess quite a few of them. But they are about as secret as any lodge or organisation with its ceremonies, rituals and habits would be. Every lodge has its library and soon as one is initiated, the books are available to read and learn. What amazes me is that as soon as an organisation wants to limit access information to its members only, someone in the public wants to shout conspiracy!


Man from Modesto profile image

Man from Modesto 7 years ago from Kiev, Ukraine (formerly Modesto, California)

Kahana,

Thanks for the clarification on the Worshipful Master. However, I guarantee you that there is a document to be signed to attain 33rd degree. There are also secret books.

Did you know that high ranking masons alter the facades of their homes? I received one of these books from a contractor in Philly who was being recruited. There were diagrams detailing how to add columns, windows and white picket fences according to ones degree. These went up to 38.

I believe most masons do NOT understand the satanic underpinnings of masonry.


Kahana profile image

Kahana 7 years ago Author

Actually that's not correct. The worshipful master is the leader of each individual lodge and they are elected and rotated on an annual basis. They sit in what is referred to as the Chair of Solomon but that significance is only that the Worshipful Master rules the lodge for that period of time. Masons do pay their respects to the Grand Architect of the Universe. So there's an obvious attempt to acknowledge a single universal creator. Unfortunately, there are numerous stories and even three Papal bulls that still condemn Freemasonry based on the falsehoods of satanic worship, etc. This is hopefully where the articles I'm writing can help in creating a better awareness of what is nothing more than a benevolent and charitable society which uses ritual for creating bonds of brotherhood. Because of the rituals, organized religion feels threatened. But as you mentioned, there are many ministers and other religious leaders that are also Masons. Is there an issue with acknowleging a single creator that all mankind can look up to? I would hope not. I would think that is what Jesus actually hoped for all of mankind.


Man from Modesto profile image

Man from Modesto 7 years ago from Kiev, Ukraine (formerly Modesto, California)

There are many famous masons. These include Billy Graham and Kenneth Copeland.

Masons worship an entity called "Worshipful Master". He is alternately called "Allah" and has a prophet named Mohammed, but no son named Jesus. To attain the 33rd degree, an initiate to the higher (still somewhat secret) degrees must sign a document attesting that "Worshipful Master" is actually satan.

If any mason desires to abandon their oath, they must request to be allowed to break the agreement. Any person who desires Heaven must break with the devil and come to Christ.

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