THE LEGEND OF HIRAM ABIFF
The blue lodge is centered upon the legend of Hiram Abiff. This legend has its historical basis in 1 Kings 7 and 2 Chronicles 2. King Hiram of Tyre sent a skilled man, also called Hiram, to Israel, to help King Solomon build the Temple of the Lord.
If we are to understand many of the degrees of Freemasonry, we must first understand the Masonic legend built around this “Hiram Abiff”.
Let’s take a quick glance at it … Remember this is only a Masonic legend! (Legend means non-historical story with no or limited truth)
Hiram Abiff, “a widow’s son” from Tyre, skillful in working with all kinds of metals, was employed to help build King Solomon’s Temple.
The legend tells us that one day, while worshipping the Grand Architect of the Universe (GAOTU) within the Holy of Holies, Hiram was attacked by three ruffians, who demanded the “Master’s word”, the secret name of God.
The first ruffian, named Jubela, struck Hiram across the throat with a 24 inch gauge. The second ruffian, named Jubelo, struck Hiram’s breast, over the heart, with a square. The third ruffian, named Jubelum, struck Hiram upon the forehead with a gavel, whereupon Hiram fell down dead. His blood, therefore, was shed within the temple.
Hiram’s body, was carried out the East gate of the Temple and buried outside Jerusalem on Mount Moriah.
Early the following morning, King Solomon visited the temple and found the workmen in confusion because no plans had been made for the day’s work. Fearing evil had befallen Hiram, King Solomon sent out twelve Fellowcraft Masons to look for Hiram. King Solomon himself accompanied the three who traveled East.
Having finally located the grave of Hiram, Solomon and his fellow Masons dug up the body. A search was made for the Master’s word (the name of God), but all that was found was the Letter “G”. Discovering the word was lost, a lament went up: ” O Lord, my God, is there no help for the widow’s son? ”
Solomon summoned all twelve Fellowcraft Masons, formed a circle around Hiram’s body, and attempted to raise him from the grave.
They first took hold of Hiram’s body with the “Boaz” grip of the first degree. This failed to achieve its purpose.
They then re-positioned their hold upon Hiram’s body using the “Jachin ” grip of the second degree. This also failed to accomplish its purpose.
Solomon finally raised Hiram from the dead by using the third degree grip of the Master Mason, the five points of fellowship (explained shortly), and by uttering in Hiram’s ear the phrase Ma-Ha-Bone. (other renditions of the legend of Hiram Abiff leave Hiram in the grave)
While the degrees of the Blue Lodge are based upon this part of the legend. The Scottish and York base themselves largely upon the Hiramic legend after Hiram Abiff’s resurrection.
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