The Masonic Trowel

... to spread the cement of brotherly love and affection, that cement which unites us into one sacred band or society of brothers, among whom no contention should ever exist, but that noble emulation of who can best work or best agree ...

[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership Development] [Education] [Masonic Talks] [Masonic Magazines Online]
Articles] [Masonic Books Online] [E-Books] [Library Of All Articles] [Masonic Blogs] [Links]
What is New] [Feedback]

 Masonic quotes by Brothers

Search Website For

Add To Favorites

Help Me Maintain OUR Website!!!!!!

List of Contributors

PDF This File

Print This Page

Email This Site To ...


A word used in some of the high degrees. He was the father of Adoniram (see First Kings iv, 6 )
. Lenning in the Encyclopedie der Freimaurerei is wrong in saying that he is represented by one of the officers in the degree of Master in Isral. He has confounded Abda with his son.

The name of the Orator in the Fourteenth Degree of the Rite of Perfection, or the Sacred Vault of James VI. The word means a servant, from abad, to serve, although somewhat corrupted in its transmission into the rituals. Lenning says it is the Hebrew Habdamon, meaning a servant; but there is no such word in Hebrew.

A Hebrew word meaning servant of God. The name of an angel mentioned by the Jewish Cabalists. He is represented in Milton's Paradise Lost, Book V, lines 894-7, as one of the seraphbn, who, when Satan tried to stir up a revolt among the angels subordinate to his authority, alone and boldly withstood his traitorous designs :
Among the faithless, faithful only he;
Among innumerable false, unmoved,
unshaken unseduced, unterrified,
His loyalty be kept, his love, his zeal. The name Abdiel became the synonym of honor and faithfulness.

A secret place for the deposit of records.
A secret Order which existed about the middle of the eighteenth century in Germany, called also the 0rder of Abel The organization was in possesion of peculiar signs, words, and ceremonies of initiation, but, according to Gdicke, Freimaurer Lexicon, it had no connection with Freemasonry. According to Clavel the order was founded at Griefswald in 1745.

Grand Master of Ireland 1874 to 1885.
James Hamilton, Lord Paisley, was named Grand Master of England by the retiring Grand Master, the Duke of Richmond, in 1725. He was at that time the Master of a Lodge, and had served on the Committee of Charity during that year. He succeeded his father as Earl of Abercorn in 1734.
Grand Master of Scotland, 1755 to 1756. Also of England 1757 to 1761.
The original name of the Hebrew month Nisan, nearly corresponding to the month of March, the first of the ecclesiasticaI year. Abib is frequently mentioned in the sacred scriptures, and signifies green ears of com or fresh fruits.
The name of the first Assissin in the Elu of the Modem French Rite. The word is derived most probably from the Hebrew abi and balah, which mean father of destruction, though it is said to mean le Meurtrier du Pre, this phrase meaning in French the Murder of the Father.
See stand to and abide by.
(or ABIFF, or perhaps more correctly ABIV). A name appeared in scripture to that celebrated builder who was sent to Jerusalem by King Hiram, of Tyre, to superintend the construction of the Temple. The word, which in the original Hebrew is ...and which may be pronounced Abiv or Abif, is compounded of the noun in the construct-state '....Abi, meaning father, and the pronominal suffix i, which, with. the preceding vowel sound, is to be sounded as iv or if, and which means his; so that the word thus compounded Abif literally and grammatically signifies his father. The word is found in second Chronicles iv, 16, in the following sentence:
"The pots also, and the shovels, and the flesh hooks, and all their instruments, did Hiram his father make to King Solomon." The latter part of this verse is in the original as follows: shelomoh lamelech Abif Huram gnasah
Luther has been more literal in his version of this passage than the English translators, and appearing to suppose that the word Abif is to be considered simply as an appellative or surname, he preserves the Hebrew form, his translation being as follows: "Machte Hiram Abif dem Knige Salomo." The Swedish version is equally exact, and, instead of "Hiram his father," gives us Hiram Abiv. In the Latin Vulgate, as in the English version, the words are rendered Hiram pater ejus. We have little doubt that Luther and the Swedish translator were correct in treating the word Abif as a surname.
In Hebrew, the word ab, or father, is often used as a title of respect, and may then signify friend, counselor. wise man, or something else of equivalent character.
Thus, Doctor Clarke, commenting on the word abrech, in Genesis xli, 43, says: "Father seems to have been a name of office, and probably father of the king or father of Pharach might signify the same as the king,s minister among us." And on the very passage in which this word Abif is used, he says: " father, is often used in Hebrew to signify master, inventor, chief operator."
Gesenius, the distinguished Hebrew lexicographer, gives to this word similar significations, such as benefactor, master, teacher, and says that in the Arabie and the Ethiopie it is spoken of one who excels in anything.
This idiomatic custom was pursued by the later Hebrews, for Buxtorf tells us, in his Talmudic Lexicon, that "among the Talmudists abba, father, was always a title of honor, " and he quotes the following remarks fom a treatise of the celebrated Maimonides, who, when speaking of the grades or ranks into which the Rabbinical doctors were divided, says: "The first class consists of those each of whom bears his own name, without any title of honor; the seeond, of those who are called Rabbanim; and the third, of those who are called Rabbi, and the men of this class also receive the cognomen of Abba, Father."
Again, in Second Chronicles11, 13, Hiram, the King of Tyre, referring to the same Hiram, the widow's son, who is spoken of subsequently in reference to King Solomon as his father, or Abif in the passage already cited, writes to Solomon: "And now I have sent a cunning man, endued with understanding, of Huram my father's." The only difficulty in this sentence is to be found in the prefixing of the letter lamed, before Huram, which has caused our translators, by a strange blunder, to render the words l'Huram abi, as meaning of Huram my father's, instead of Huram my father. Brother Mackey remarked that Huram my father's could not be the true meaning, for the father of King Hiram was not another Hiram, but Abibal.
Luther has again taken the correct view of this subject, and translates the word as a surname: "So sende ich nun einen weisen Mann, der Berstand hat, Huram Abif"; that is, "So now I send you a wise man who has understanding, Huram Abif." The truth, we suspect, is, although it has escaped all the commentators, that the lamed in this passage is a Chaldaism which is sometimes used by the later Hebrew writers, who incorrectly employ, the sign of the dative for the accusative after transitive verbs.
Thus, in Jeremiah xl 2, we have such a construction: vayikach rab tabachim l'Yremyahu; that is, literally, "and the captain of the guards took for Jeremiah,"
Where the l, or for, is a Chaldaism and redundant, the true rendering being, "and the captain of the guards took Jeremiah." Other similar passages are to be found in Lamentations iv, 5; Job v, 2, ete.
In like manner we suppose the .. before Huram which the English translators have rendered by the preposition of, to be redundant and a Chaldaic form.
The sentence should be read thus : ''1have sent a cumming man, endued with understanding, Huram my father" ; Or, if considered as a surname, as it should be, Huram Abi.
From all this we conclude that the word Ab, with its different suffixes is always ud in the Books of Kings and Chronicles, in reference to Hiram the Builder, as a title of respect. When King Hiram speaks of him he calls him ''my father Hiram," Hiram Abi; and when the writer of the Book of Chronicles is speaking of him and King Solomon in the same passage, he cals him "Solomon's father'-"his father," Hiram Abif. The only distinction is made by the different appellation of the pronouns my and his in Hebrew. To both the kings of Tyre and of Judah he bore the honorable relation of Ab, or father, equivalent to friend, counselor, or minister. He was Father Hiram.
The Freemasons are therefore perfectly correct in refusing to adopt the translation of the English version, and in preserving, after the example of Luther, the word Abif as an appellative, surname, or title of honor and distinction bestowed upon the ehief builder of the Temple, as Dr. James Anderson suggests in his note on the subject in the first edition (1723) of the Constitutions of the Freemasons.

One of the traitorous craftsmen, whose act of perfidy forms so important a part of the Third Degree, receives in some of the high degrees the name of Abiram Akirop. These words certainly have a Hebrew look; but the significant words of Freemasonry have, in the lapse of time and in their transmission through ignorant teachers, become so corrupted in form that it is almost impossible to trace them to any intelligible root. They may be Hebrew or they may be anagrammatized (see Anagram) ; but it is only chance that can give us the true meaning which the two words in combination undoubtedly possess. The word Abiram means father of loftiness, and may have been chosen as the name of the traitorous craftsman with allusion to the Biblical story of Korah, Dathan and Abiram who conspired against Moses and Aaron. Numbers xvi. In the French ritual of the Second Elu it is said to mean murderer or assassin, but this would not seem to be correct etymologically. Brother Mackenzie suggests that Akirop may be from, Karab, the Hebrew meaning to join battle. He also offers Abi-ramah, to mean in Hebrew destroyer of the father.
There is an old use of the word able to signify suitable. Thus, Chaucer says of a monk that "he was able to ben an abbot," that is, suitable to be an abbot. In this sense the old manuseript Constitutions constantly employ the word, as when they say, in the Lansdowne Manuscript, that the apprentice should be "able of Birth that is ffree borne," the ff then meaning F.
A ceremonial purification by washing, much used in the Ancient Mysteries and under the Mosaic Dispensation. It is also employed in some of the advanced degrees of Freemasonry. The better technical term for this ceremony is lustration, which see. '
The band or apron,. made of fine linen, variously wrought, and worn by the Jewish priesthood. It seems to have been borrowed directly from the Egyptians, upon the representations of all of whose gods is to be found a similar girdle. Like the zennaar, or sacred cord of the Brahmans, and the white shield of the Scandinavians, it is the analogue of tho Masonic epron.
Terms of contempt used in some of the foreign rites, refering more particulary to Philippe 1e Bel and Bertrand de Gt, persecutors of the Knigths Templar.
A secret society which existed in England about the year 1783, and of whose ceremony of initiation the following account is contained in the British Magazine of that date. The presiding officer, who was styled the Original, thus addressed the candidate:
Original. Have you faith enough to be made an Original?
Candidate. I have.
Original. Will you be conformable to all honest rules which may support steadily the honor, reputation, welfare, and dignity of our ancient undertaking?
Candidate. I will.
Original. Then, friend, promise me that you will never stray from the paths of Honor, Freedom, Honesty, Sincerity, Prudence, Modesty, Reputation, Sobriety, and 'True Friendship.
Candidate. I do.
Which done, the Crier of the Court commanded silence, and the new member, being uncovered, and dropping on his right knee, had the following oath administered to him by the Servant, the new member laying his right hand on the Cap of Honor, and Nimrod holding a staff over his head:
"You swear by the Cap of Honor, by the Collar of Freedom, by the Coat of Honesty, by the Jacket of Sincerity, by the Shirt of Prudence, by the Breeches of Modesty, by the Garters of Reputation, by the Stockings of Sobriety, and by the Steps of True Friendship, never to depart from these laws."
Then rising, with the staff resting on his head he received a copy of the laws from the hands of the Grand Original, with these words, "Enjoy the benefits hereof."
He then delivered the copy of the laws to the care of the servant, after which the word was given by the secretary to the new member, namely: Eden, signifying the garden where ADAM, the great aboriginal, was formed.
Then the secretary invested him with the sign, namely: resting his right hand on his left side, signifying the first conjunction of harmony.
This organization had no connection with Freemasonry, but was simply one of those numerous imitative societies to which that Institution has given rise.

From 1802 to 1803 Grand Master of Scotland.
In the Leland Manuscript it is said that the Masons conceal "the wey of wynninge the facultye of Abrac." John Locke (though it is doubtful if it was he who wrote a commentary on the manuseript) is quoted as saying: ''Here I am utterly in the dark.'' However, it means simply the way of acquiring the science of Abrac. The science of Abrac is the knowledge of the power and use of the mystical abraxas, which see ; or very likely Abrac is merely an abbreviation of Abracadabra

[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership Development] [Education] [Masonic Talks] [Masonic Magazines Online]
Articles] [Masonic Books Online] [E-Books] [Library Of All Articles] [Masonic Blogs] [Links]
What is New] [Feedback]

This site is not an official site of any recognized Masonic body in the United States or elsewhere.
It is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion
of Freemasonry, nor webmaster nor those of any other regular Masonic body other than those stated.

DEAD LINKS & Reproduction | Legal Disclaimer | Regarding Copyrights

Last modified: March 22, 2014