King Solomon’s Temple: The Basis of Freemasonry
By Fahim A. Knight
The Middle Eastern conflict and Freemasonry are uniquely tied together, it all evolves around and is correlated to King Solomon (1024-967 B.C.E), the son of King David (1107-1007 B.C.E), the Holy City of Jerusalem, and the Temple at Mount Moriah. Thus, over seventy-five (75) percent of the Freemasonic worldview and philosophy is constructed on the building of King Solomon's Temple. But the historical accuracy of the Masonic Solomon’s Temple does not totally lineup with secular history or biblical history as recorded by each school of thought, from the Masonic point of view part of this historical legend is based on mere allegory, symbolism, simile, metaphor, prototype, etc. However, King Solomon's Temple still remains as one of the most marvelous and fascinating topics of antiquity and in contemporary thought; and is perhaps one of the most talked about edifices in the world and throughout human history. (Reference: Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas; “The Hiram Key: Pharaoh’s, Freemasons, and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus” pg. 26-35).
Thus, the Freemasonic worldview and philosophical (Speculative Masonry) justification to exist rest almost totally upon this ideological foundation, in which Freemasonry is structured on the Legend of King Solomon's Temple; looms high. The core tenets and beliefs that inculcate the Masonic allegories from top to bottom perhaps would have a difficult time existing without the legends, myths, and truths that are associated with the mythical and mystery of King Solomon's Temple, that once sits in the Holy City of Jerusalem and now forever buried due to human imperfection. (Reference: W.L. Wilmshurst; “The Meaning of Masonry” pg. 138-216).
The city of Jerusalem is deemed the city of peace, however, it has been quite to the contrary for the past 4,000 years; it has been defined by war and religious strife and political anarchy. The Jews, Christians and Muslims have fought bitter wars over the right to claim ownership and custodial entitlement to Mount Moriah. All three Abrahamic faiths have assembled theological and dogmatic authenticity to explaining why King Solomon’s Temple personifies a Jewish, Christian, and/or Islamic religious worldview. Freemasonry which incorporates the teachings of the Torah (Old Testament and the five books revealed to Moses), and the Gospel or Ingil (New Testament revealed to Yeshua Ben Yosef). (Reference: Mustafa EL-Amin; “Freemasonry: Ancient Egypt and the Islamic Destiny” pg. 96-115).
The Masonic claim to King Solomon's Temple is a lot less controversial and without the overt political and antagonistic contradictions that exist amongst the three major faith traditions, but nevertheless the sacred edifice of King Solomon's Temple lie the basis for Freemasonry to exist. The three Blue Lodge Degrees (Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason) and this writer suspect the majority and subsequent degrees (4th-32nd and Royal Arch Degrees) to follow, will still adhere to the theory and philosophical trend of emphasizing the fraternal importance of King Solomon's Temple.
The Entered Apprentice is brought from “darkness to light” on the ground floor of King Solomon's Temple, the Fellowcraft after showing acceptable proficiency in the first degree is elevated to the Middle chamber and finally to the sublime degree of Master Mason, which is styled the Holy of Holies and the Sanctum Sanctorum. This is also related to the Guild workers, Stone Masons and the Operative Masons of old who took great pride in setting a workman's standard that each tradesman were neither received or passed without having the proper qualification because ones craftsman knowledge led to one being able to require higher wages for their knowledge and labor. (Reference: Barnes & Nobles Publishers; “Symbols of Freemasonry” pg. 6-30).
King Solomon's Temple was built on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem and some have maintained that the Ark of the Covenant where Prophet Moses (received the Ten Commandments is somehow connected to this land and Mount Moriah as it pertains to Moses and the Tabernacle. However, there is a much older civilization with a much more advanced culture and evolution that existed in Cush (Ethiopia), Africa, which were the Coptic Christians and Falasha Jews who were practicing a form of Christianity and Judaism long before Moses, Abraham and Yeshua bin Yosef (Jesus). (Reference: Ella J. Hughley; The Truth About Black Biblical Hebrew Israelites (Jews).
However, one must understand that the so-called Middle East is a misnomer and it is the man made Suez Canal that separates Africa from the Middle East, which was created to cause ethnic, racial and religious confusion and division. The Muslims and the Christian claimed that God (Allah, Yahweh, Jehovah, etc.) instructed Abraham (2078-1903 B.C.E) to sacrifice his son on top of Mount Moriah ; however, depending upon one's faith tradition will determine whether that son was Isaac (1978-1798 B.C.E) or Ishmael (1992-1855 B.C.E). These various interpretations led to biblical and Quranic elucidation, and justification of the rightful heirs to this church, synagogue, mosque, temple, etc., to claiming King Solomon's Temple as their own. Also, the descendants of Ishmael became those people known today as the Arabs (who occupies Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Libya, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, etc; the Palestinians and the Israelis (Jew) have been fighting for centuries over a sacred strip of land called Israel by the Jews and is called Palestine by the Arabs , but the real owners of this land is the original man (the Nubian Hebrew Israelite) and he has yet to take his rightful place. (Reference: Drusilla Houston: “The Wonderful Ethiopians of the Ancient Cushite Empire)
These two so-called Semitic People (Arab and Jew) are actually from one ethnic and/or biological linage which is the seed of Abraham—Isaac and Ishmael. They are newcomers to this ancient land and territory. Some scholars believe that the present day Al-Asqa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock, Temple Mount, etc., is built on top of the ruins of the original King Solomon's Temple site, which was built by King Solomon according to the Old Testament Bible in 975 BCE and when Jerusalem came under Babylonian ruler-ship in 586 BCE the Temple was destroyed. (Reference: John Michael Greer; “The Encyclopedia of Secret Societies” pg. 592).
The next Temple on this site was rebuilt in 515 BCE, by Zerubbabel who was politically tied to the Persian Empire and served as Governor of Judah. The third and the most magnificent of the three Temples was built by King Herod in 18 BCE and it to, was later destroyed along with the Holy City of Jerusalem during Jewish revolt against the Romans in 70 CE. (Reference: John Michael Greer; “The Encyclopedia of Secret Societies” pg. 592). The Israeli Government in 1967 granted the Muslims full custodial rights over this controversial piece of Holy Land and religious site, which was built by THE ORIGINAL HEBREW ISRAELITES (Africans) and later rebuilt as the House of Omar.
The Masonic scholar E.R. Johnston who authored a monumental two volume work titled, "Masonry Defined" stated: "Mosque of Omar, or the Noble Sanctuary--these splendid edifices on Mount Moriah covers portion of the space once occupied by the more brilliant Temple of Solomon. It is believed to have been commenced by Caliph Omar the first of that name, and father-in-law of Mohammed. Between the years of 638 and 644 and very much enlarged, beautiful and enriched, in fact, quite rebuilt by Caliph Abd-el Melek, in 686. It was seven years in building; the Muslims believe it to stand over the rock on which Jacob was sleeping when he saw the vision of the heavenly ladder, but it is still more sacred to them, as to us, from having been the sacred rock beneath the alter of Solomon's Temple, whereon the daily sacrifices was offered. During the time of the Latin kingdom in Jerusalem this mosque became a Christian cathedral, where the service was daily sung and an alter erected on the summit of the rock. The building was called by the Crusaders ' Temple of the Lord'." (Reference: E.R. Johnston; "Masonry Defined" pg 364).
Al-Aqsa Mosque may-be splendid in design and architecture layout but it does not compare to the original King Solomon's Temple. Prophet Muhammad (570 -632 A.D.) (Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon Him) in heavenly journey (physical or dream) is said to have traveled to Jerusalem and ascended to heaven. Islam considers Jerusalem the third holiest city in Islam. This writer can vividly recall in the late 1980s or early 1990s President Muammar Qadaffi and the Libyan Pilgrims were denied Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca) by the Wahabbi Muslims but the Zionist State of Israel granted the Libyans pilgrims permission to make pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches that in the House of Omar is where the true body and tomb of Yeshua Bin Yosef (Jesus—7-127 A.D.) is housed. Muhammad also maintained that the Vatican, the Pope of Roman, and the High Imams in Jerusalem have an agreed pact with Freemasonry (this writer is not referring to your average rank and file Scottish Rite, York Rite members or my brothers of Prince Hall Order of Free and Accepted Masons). But a monetary fee is paid to the Pope and the Pope issues the Masonic Brother a traveling pass that is honored by the Imams of Al-Aqsa Mosque who in turn allow the Freemasons to physically see the well preserved body of Isa bin Yusuf (Jesus, the son of Joseph). (Reference: Nasir Makr Hakim: “The True History of Master Fard Muhammad” pg. 71-93).
Elijah Muhammad stated, "His body lies in a tomb in such manner that it reflects in four directions. This was done to keep the enemies from knowing just what direction the real body is laying. No Christian is allowed to see the body, unless they pay a price of $6,000 and must get a certificate from the Pope of Rome. The Tomb is guarded by Muslims. When Christians are allowed to see Jesus' body, they stripped of weapons, handcuffed behind their backs, and well-armed Muslims guards take them into the tomb. But, They leave the House of Omar without a doubt that the images portrayed of Isa Bin Yusuf (Jesus) are false and many learn for the first time that Isa Ben Yusuf (Jesus) was an original man. Muslims, the brothers of Jesus can go to see his body at anytime without charge." (Reference: Malachi Z. York; pg 289)
Muhammad taught and wrote that "When Joseph heard of his son Jesus' death he came and got the body from the authorities. He secured some Egyptian embalmers to embalm the body to last 10,000 years. Joseph wanted the body to last as long as the earth (petrified) but was not able to pay for such embalmment. The Egyptian embalmers put the body into a glass tube filled with a certain chemical (known only to Egyptian embalmers) that will keep one's body looking the same as when it died, that is if they get the body at a certain time, for many thousands of years--as long as no air is allowed to enter the tube that the body is in. They buried the body in the old city, Jerusalem." (Reference: Malachi Z. York; "The Problem Book", which York compiled scattered Nation of Islam lessons given to Elijah Muhammad by W.F. Muhammad. This book contributes to the Original Five Percent Nation of Gods and Earth; pg. 288).
This writer was in communication with the secretary of the Southern California Research Lodge, in which he was trying to submit a Masonic research paper and the secretary of the research society email back and said in essence, that the name of the research society was misleading; they were not involved in Masonic research because it is a dying discipline and ritual work is emphasized over the study of Speculative Masonry (Philosophical Masonry).
Secretary Norm Leeper who is a Past Master stated, “Freemasonry has largely lost it course. It is steeped in a ritual that few know anything about. There is no such thing as Masonic education in any meaningful degree. The roots of Masonry go back much further that the creation of the Grand Lodge in 1717 and has existed at least since 1390 the approximate date of the Regius Manuscript. My personal feeling (not necessarily a belief) is that concept of Freemasonry has existed probably from the beginning of man. The idea that men are brothers is not a concept exclusive to Freemasonry, yet it took the trade of stonemasons to give it formation. Freemasonry began losing its way when its teachings were ritualized -- that is when Preston worked up his lectures and elaborated by such as Webb and Cross. We Masons have now taken a catechism to be an education. Our teachers are parrots of ritual without explanation. (Reference: Norm Leeper Southern California Research Lodge; email message March 26, 2008)
This is why true Masonic learning in the Blue Lodges for the most part ends once a Masonic class is raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason (third degree), but one should understand there is no degree higher than the third degree. Albert Pike is one of the most celebrated Masonic historians in the United States and throughout the world; in his Masonic Treatise in his book titled, "Morals and Dogma" describes part of Solomon's Temple this way as it relates to the Entered Apprentice Degree, "You entered the Lodge between two columns. They represent the two which stood in the porch of the Temple, on each side of the great eastern gateway. These pillars of bronze, four fingers breadth in thickness, were, according to the most authentic account--that in the First and that in the second Book of Kings. Confirmed in Jeremiah--eighteen cubits high, with a capital five cubits high. That is, the shaft of each was a little over thirty fifty eight inches in height. . .The capital were enriched by pomegranates of bronze, covered by bronze net-work, ornamented with wreaths of bronze; and appear to have imitated the shape of the seed-vessel of the lotus or Egyptian lily, a sacred symbol to the Hindus and Egyptians. The Pillar or column on the right, or in the south, was named, as the Hebrew word rendered in our translation of the Bible, Jachin: and that on the left Boaz" (Reference: Albert Pike: "Morals and Dogma" pg. 8-9).
The majority of Freemasons do not have a clue about the allegorical and symbolic steps they took, but have become engulfed in the ritual and did not realize the building of King Solomon's Temple possess a duality of meaning and interpretations. The Masons marveled over the physical edifice and fail to realize that the true Celestial Lodge is a building of the spiritual Temple and if constructed properly will prove far greater than the physical structure of King Solomon Temple. Masonry is about character building that is imbued in Morality, Friendship, and brotherly love.
The ancient Egypt (Kemet) established the Egyptian Mystery Schools and gave the world the Seven Liberal Arts (Grammar, Mathematics, logic, Rhetoric, Music, geometry, and astronomy) the sciences, which stands as the basis to human development. The Egyptians gave the entire world enlightenment. King David and King Solomon conceived the building of Solomon's Temple by having full knowledge of the greatest Temples at Giza and Cheopa. The legend of Hiram Abiff of Tyre known in Freemasonry as the greatest Master Mason to ever live and was entrusted by King Solomon to serve as the superintendent and technical overseer to building and leading the workman in their building of King Solomon's Temple. (Reference: Rollin C. Blackmer: “The Lodge and the Craft” pg. 181-191).
Some Masonic historians maintained that Hiram Abiff worked with precious metals gold, silver, timber, stone, bronze, copper, etc., but the Square and Compass would be the working tools used in the Temple to determine plumb, level and square of the building, which is styled Wisdom (Worshipful Master), Beauty (Junior Warden, and strength (Senior Warden). (Reference: John G. Jackson: “Man, God and Civilization” pg 102-103).
Hiram Abiff, the Master Builder was prepared to complete the Temple and put his finishing touches on this sacred edifice, when a criminal conspiracy was hatched by fifteen (15) Fellowcrafts who were desirous of obtaining the Master Word that would allow them to enter other cities, towns, villages and foreign governments and qualify as Master Mason entitled to receiving higher wages. Moreover, after recognizing the danger and risk associated with a plot to murder Hiram Abiff and being fearful of the retribution coming from King Solomon, twelve (12) of the co-conspirators immediately recanted. (Reference: Malcolm Duncan: Duncan’s Ritual pf Freemasonry” pg. 103-114).
But three of these Ruffians used the same building tools that were employed to construct and beautify the Temple, but they were also utilized by the three Ruffians to cause a destructive end—death to Hiram Abiff. This is to teach the universal lessons of good and evil whether it is the story of Osiris and Seth or Cain and Abel man has the potential to vacillate between these two polarities—positive and negative. The three Ruffians did not desire to put forth the necessary work to acquire the proper signs, tokens and passwords which would allow them rightful entry. This writer heard Minister Farrakhan teach that jealousy and envy is the mother of murder. (Reference: Louis Farrakhan: “Self-Improvement: The Basis of Community Development” Study Guide for Registered Muslims).
The three Ruffians became envy and jealous that King Solomon did not choose them and chose to invest his trust in one of the most skilled builders of that day named Hiram Abiff in order to build the Temple. Yeshua Ben Yosef (Jesus) said the “Temple of God is within” They plotted to extort the master word from Hiram Abiff in order to commit forgery and deception, as well as obtained rights and privileges that were not earned or legally bestowed. (Reference: Malcolm Duncan: Duncan’s Ritual of Freemasonry” pg. 87-88).
This allegorical story or myth has played out in the legends of Mithra, Celtics Druids, Adonis, Apollo, Quetzalcoatl, Osiris, Jesus, Buddha, etc., in which the Hiram Abiff legend borrowed from much older civilizations and cultures. Kersey Graves in his book titled, “The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors” does a comparative study and analysis of the various Sun Gods and he concluded that most ancient civilizations were interdependent on older cultures; thus, Egypt (Kemet) may have introduced certain moral lessons to the world, but every culture of renown identified with these Solar Gods in some form or fashion—they understood the power of the winter and summer solstice—death and resurrection. (Reference: Anthony Browder: “Nile Valley Contribution to Civilization” pg. 53-72).
The ancients embraced phallic schools of thought and respected agriculture rites, i.e., solar ceremonies, rights of passages, and most of all systems of human morality and ethics were instituted long before the three major world religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam were established in their traditional forms. Reference: Yosef Ben Jochannon: African Origins of Major "Western Religions" ”).
The Master Builder Hiram Abiff legend should be viewed with much more significant than the Third Degree and Master Mason dramatization which is steeped in ritualism, but very few neophytes, Worshipful Masters and Grand Lodges truly understand all that this writer has written above. Many have never heard of Manly P. Hall, Albert Churchward, C. H. Vail, Godfrey Higgins, J.S.M Ward, Gerald Massey and have not taking the time to read and study Albert Pike’s treatise titled, “Morals and Dogmas” they ascend all the way up Jacobs latter (Masonic Travels) to the United Supreme Council of 33rd Degree, but it is only symbol without substance. Perhaps at some point this writer will tackle the Knights Templar and interpreted the 33rd Degree from Hiram Abiff, Jacques de Molay, Fredrick of Prussia, etc. (Reference: Alan Butler & Stephen Dafoe: “The Knights Templar Revealed” pg 207-214).
Hiram Abiff at High Noon became a victim of a horrid crime carried out by the three Ruffians who hit Hiram Abiff in head, murdering the Grand Master, but he held on to the password and demonstrated his loyalty to King Solomon and the Grand Architect of the Universe. The Masonic obligation was binding even if it meant death to the Grand Master Hiram Abiff. “My word is my bond and my bond is my life and before my word shall fail, I should give you my life.” How many of us live by our word and truly walk upward, ninety degrees and perpendicular on the square? The Masonic allegory and teachings are steeped in universal principles of morality. The three conspirators lacked character, integrity, and moral fiber, which is to teach us ultimately something about wayward human nature, but inside all of us is the ability to potentially demonstrate unconstructive human conduct. (Reference: Martin Wagner: “Freemasonry Interpreted” pg. 230-247).
We must be mindful to guard ourselves against the internal and external enemies, which is correlated to understanding the macrocosm and microcosm universe. Hiram Abiff trusted his laborers (Fellowcraft—Master Masons in training), but his attackers were initiated, Entered, and Passed; they had just enough knowledge and enlightenment to get past the Tyler who had instructions to only allow entry into the Temple based on the work and labor being instructed at that time. Hiram Abiff had incomplete work on the Trestle board and after witnessing work stoppage and confusion King Solomon became concern. (Reference: Robert Lomas: “Turning The Hiram Key” pg. 161-176).
King Solomon summons Grand Master Hiram Abiff, but later to find out Hiram Abiff was missing and had unfinished work on the Trestle board; this conduct was highly unusual for the punctual and reliable Grand Master. King Solomon sound the alarm around the court that Grand Master Hiram Abiff was missing. The enemy could come in all four directions and we must-be prepared to ward off our external and internal enemies. We should never abandon our name of Caution, it was given to protect you from yourself and others because a little bit of knowledge can prove to be dangerous. (Reference: Born In Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry” pg. 215-234).
Moreover, at the death of Hiram Abiff his body was taking to the South Gate, West Gate and East Gate and finally buried in the Northwest corner in the Temple and in the rubbish heat where there was No Light. But his body was eventually taking to a hill and buried in a shallow grave. King Solomon sent trackers to find Grand Master Hiram Abiff and after days of search these trackers were resting and next to their resting place noticed that there was some disturbed earth; there lie the decomposed body of Hiram Abiff. The Trackers notified King Solomon of the death of the Grand Master. King Solomon wanted the Ruffians who committed this crime against Grand Master Hiram Abiff caught and executed. (Reference: Allen E. Roberts: “The Craft and Its Symbols: Opening the Door of Masonic Symbolism” pg. 67-90). `
King Solomon also wanted a proper interment service and burial for the Grand Master. This story resembles the Yeshua ben Yosef (Jesus) and Lazarus story in the Bible, which Lazarus had died and his sister Martha was lamenting at the death of her brother and when Yeshua Ben Yosef (Jesus) arrived she cried out to Yeshua Ben Yosef (Jesus), if you were present you could have saved my brother Lazarus; he told them to take him where the dead man lie. Lazarus had been dead in grave for three days and his body was decomposed and smelling. Yeshua ben Yosef (Jesus) commanded Lazarus to come forth from the grave and wrapped in his grave garment Lazarus was resurrected from the dead. King Solomon used three grips (the eagle’s claw, the lions paw and the Master grip) and it was this grip that will not slip that raised Grand Master Hiram Abiff from a dead level to a living perpendicular on the square. (Reference: Gerald Massey: “Ancient Egypt the Light of the World” pg. 727-804)
The Master Word was lost at the death of Hiram Abiff, but King Solomon introduced a substitute word until future generations could find and ascertain the “real word” it is taught on the York Rite side in Royal Arch Freemasonry that only through these degrees that the “real word” is obtained. The Master Mason is given two words, but one should not be given but on the Five Points of Fellowship. The Hiram Abiff legend is also steeped and akin to the Ancient Egyptian Osirian myth, which is based on the fables of birth, death, resurrection and ascension associated with all Sun God cults and deities. (Reference: JSM Ward: “Who Was Hiram Abiff?” pg. 196-222).
Fahim A. Knight Chief Researcher for KEEPING IT REAL THINK TANK located in Durham, NC; our mission is to inform African Americans and all people of good will of the pending dangers that lie ahead; as well as decode the symbolisms and reinterpret the hidden meanings behind those who operate as invisible forces, but covertly rules the world. We are of the belief that an enlighten world will be better prepared to throw off the shackles of ignorance and not be willing participants for the slaughter. Our MOTTO is speaking truth to power. Fahim A. Knight can be reached at email@example.com.
Stay Awake Until We Meet Again,
Fahim A. Knight