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A striking of hands and feet, so as to produce a sudden noise. There is a ceremony called the shock, which was in use in the reception of an Apprentice in the beginning of the nineteenth century, and is still used by some Lodges in what is called the Shock of Entrance, and by all in the Shock of Enlightenment. Of the first shock as well as of the second, there are evident traces in some of the earlier rituals of the eighteenth century, and there is no doubt that it was an ancient ceremony, the gradual disuse of which is an innovation (see Shock of Entrance and Shock of Enlightenment) .
SHOCK OF ENLIGHTENMENT.
A ceremony used in all the Degrees of Symbolic Freemasonry. By it we seek to symbolize the idea of the birth of material light, by the representation of the circumstances that accompanied it, and their references to the birth of intellectual or Masonic light. The one is the type of the other; and therefore the illumination of the candidate is given with a ceremony that may be supposed to imitate the primal illumination of the universe—most feebly, it is true, and yet not altogether without impressiveness. The Shock of Enlightenment is, then, a symbol of the change which is now taking place in the intellectual condition of the candidate. It ts the symbol of the birth of intellectual light and the dispersion of intellectual darkness.
SHOCK OF ENTRANCE.
A ceremony formerly used on the admission of an Entered Apprentice, but becoming obsolete. In the old initiations, the same word signified to die and to be initiated, because, in the initiation, the lesson of death and the resurrection to eternal life was the dogma inculcated. In the initiation of an Apprentice in Freemasonry the same lesson begins to be taught, and the initiate, entering upon a new life and new duties, disrupting old ties and forming new ones, passes into a new birth.
This is, or ought to be, necessarily accompanied by some ceremony which should symbolically represent this great moral change. Hence the impression of this idea is made bit the symbolism of the shock at the entrance of the candidate.
The shock of entrance is then the symbol of the disruption of the candidate from the ties of the world, and his introduction into the life of Freemasonry. it is the symbol of the agonies of the First death and of the throes of the new birth.
Among the ancient Israelites, the shoe was made use of in several significant ways. To put off the shoes, imported reverence, and was done in the presenee of God, or on entering the dwelling of a Superior To unloose one's shoe and give it to another was the way of confirming a contract.
Thus we read in the Book of Ruth, that Boaz having proposed to the nearest kinsman of Ruth to exercise his legal right by redeeming the land of Naomi, which was offered for sale, and marrying her daughter-in-law, the kinsman, being unable to do so, resigned his right of purchase to Boaz; and the narrative goes on to say (Ruth iv, 7 and S), "Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbor: and this was a testimony in Israel. Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe." The reference to the shoe in the First Degree is therefore really as a symbol of a Covenant to be entered into. In the Third Degree the symbolism is altogether different. For an explanation of it, see Discalceation.
A Hebrew compound word, meaning close-guarded captive. Stolkin, mentioned in the Ninth and other Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
An instrument used to remove rubbish. It is one of the avorking-tools of a Royal Arch Mason, and symbolically teaches him to remove the rubbish of passions and prejudices, that he may be fitted, when he thus escapes from the captivity of sin, for the search and the reception of Eternal Truth and Wisdom
SHRINER OATH OF ALLEGIANCE.
See Flag Ceremony.
SHRYOCK, THOMAS J.
When Thomas J. Shryock died on February 3, 1918, he was in the midst of his thirty-second year as Grand Master, Grand Lodge of Maryland—almost twice the length of office held by any predecessor in his own or in any other Grand Lodge. Such a record is now impossible among modern American Grand Jurisdictions which elect a new Grand Master each year (New York reselects for one year, Massachusetts for two) but one that coul l have surprised no Mason in Great Britain where it has long been a tradition among the three Grand Lodges to reselect the same Grand Master for many years on end.
General Shryock, the great-grandson of a Revolutionary Lieutenant-Colonel, was born in Baltimore, February 27, 1851. He held almost every office of high rank in Masonry; was a railway president, a businessman, bank director, was director or treasurer of hospitals, was once police commissioner of Baltimore; and from having been Brigadier General on the staff of Governor Henry Lloyd came into the title of "the General" by which he was everywhere known. Among his countless Honorary Lodge memberships was one in Solomon Lodge, 346t, of England, of which the Worshipful Master was Robert Freke Gould, and which had among its subscribing and Honorary Members Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., William Howard Taft Duke of Connaught, Count Goblet d'Alviella, and the Kings of Denmark and Sweden.
There are certain Masonic Degrees, which, not being placed in the regular routine of the acknowledged Degrees, are not recognized as a part of Ancient Freemasonry, but receive the name of Honorary or Side Degrees. They constitute no part of the regular ritual, and are not taken under the specific control of either Grand Lodges, Grand Chapters, or any other of the legal, Administrative Bodies b of the Institution. Although a few of them are very old, the greater number are of a comparatively modern origin, and are generally supposed to have been indebted for their invention to the ingenuity of either Grand Leeturers, or other distinguished Freemasons.
Their history and ceremonies are often interesting, and so far as we have been made acquainted with them, their tendency, when they are properly conferred, is always moral. They are not given in Lodges or Chapters, but at private meetings of the Brethren or companions possessing them, informally and temporarily called for the sole purpose of conferring them. These temporary assemblies owe no allegiance to any supreme controlling Body, except so far as they are composed of Master or Royal Arch Masons, and when the business of conferring the Degrees is accomplished, they are dissolved at once, not to meet again, except under similar circumstances and for a similar purpose.
Some of them are conferred on Master Masons, some on Royal Arch Masons, and some only on Knights Templar. There is another class which femalesX connected by certain ties of relationship with the Fraternity, are permitted to reeeive; and this fact, in some measure, assimilates these Degrees to the Freemasonry of Adoption, or Female Freemasonry, which is practised in France and some other European countries, although there are important points of difference between them . These female Side Degrees have received the name of Androgyrwous Degrees, from two Greek words signifying man and woman, and are thus called to indicate the participation in them by both sexes.
The principal Side Degrees that have been practised in the United States of America are as follows:
The Grand Lodges of England and Scotland each have three Lodges in Sierra Leone, on the west coast of Africa.
SIGHT, MAKING MASONS AT.
The prerogative of the Grand Master to make Freemasons at sight is described as the eighth landmark of the Order. It is a technical term, which may be defined to be the power to initiate, pass, and raise candidates, by the Grand Master, in a Lodge of Emergency, or, as it is called.in the Book of Constitutions, an Occasional Lodge, specially convened by him, and consisting of such Master Masons as he may call together for that purpose only; the Lodge ceasing to exist as soon as the initiation, passing, or raising has been accomplished, and the Brethren have been dismissed by the Grand Master.
The following item appeared in the Leeds Mercury, April 7 to 14, 1730, and bore the heading, London.
A few days since, their Graces the Dukes of Richmond and Montague, accompanied by several Gentlemen, who were all Free and Accepted Masons, according to Antient Custom, form'd a Lodge upon the Top of a Hill near the Duke of Richmond's Seat, at Goodwood in Sussex, and made the Right Hon. the Lord Baltimore a Free and Accepted Mason. It is but right to say that this doctrine is not universally received as established law by the Craft. Brother Mackey did not think, however, that it was ever disputed until within a comparatively recent period.
It is true that Brother Cole (Freemasons Library, book 51), as far back as 1817, remarked in reference to the custom in the United States that it was "a great stretch of power, not recognized, or at least, he believed, not practised in this country." But the qualifying phrases in this sentence, clearly show that he was by no means certain that he was correct in denying the recognition of the right. Brother Cole, however, would hardly be considered as competent authority on a question of Masonie law, as he was evidently unacquainted with the Book of Constitutions, and does not quote or refer to it throughout his voluminous work.
In that Rook of Constitutions, however, several instanees are furnished of the exercise of this right by various Grand Masters.
In 1731, Lord Lovell being Grand Master, he "formed an Oeeasional Lodge at Houghton Hall, Sir Robert Walpole's House in Norfoll;," and there made the Duke of Lorraine, afterward Emperor of Germany, and the Duke of Neweastle, Master Masons. We do not quote the case of the initiation, passing and raising of Frederick, Prince of Wales, in 1737, which was done in "an Occasional Lodge," over which Doctor Desaguliers presided, because, as Desaguliers was not the Grand Master, nor even, as has been incorrectly stated by the New York Committee of Correspondence, Deputy Grand Master, but only a Past Grand Master, it cannot be called a making at sight. He most probably acted under the Dispensation of the Grand Master, who at that time was the Earl of Darnley.
But in 1766, Lord Blaney, who was then Grand Master, convened "an Occasional Lodge," and initiated, passed, and raised the Duke of Gloucester.
Again in 1767, John Salter, the Deputy, then acting as Grand Master, convened "an Occasional Lodge," and conferred the three Degrees on the Duke of Cumberland. In 1787, the Prince of Wales was made a Freemason "at an Occasional Lodge convened," says Brother Preston, "for the purpose at the Star and Garter, Pall Mall, over whieh the Duke of Cumberland— Grand Master—presided in person."
It has been said, however, by those who deny the existence of this prerogative, that these Occasional Lodges were only Special Communications of the Grand Lodge, and the "makings" are thus supposed to have taken place under the authority of that body, and not of the Grand Master. The facts, however, do not sustain this position. Throughout the Book of Constitutions, other meetings, whether regular or special, are distinctly recorded as meetings of the Grand Lodge; while these Oeeasional Lodges appear only to have been convened by the Grand Master for the purpose of making Freemasons.
Besides, in many instances the Lodge was held at a different place from that of the Grand Lodge, and the officers were not, with the exception of the Grand Master, the officers of the Grand Lodge. Thus the Occasional Lodge which initiated the Duke of Lorraine was held at the residence of Sir Robert Walpole, in Norfolk, while the Grand Lodge always met in London. In 1766, the Grand Lodge held its communications at the Crown and Anchor, but the Occasional Lodge, which in the same year conferred the Degrees on the Duke of Gloucester, was convened at the Horn Tavern. In the following year, the Lodge which initiated the Duke of Cumberland was convened at the Thatched House Tavern, the Grand Lodge continuing to meet at the Crown and Anchor.
But Doctor Mackey also held that a conchlsive argument d fortiori, a stronger reason, may be drawn from the dispensing power of the Grand Master which has never been denied.
No one ever has doubted, or can doubt, the inherent right of the Grand Master to constitute Lodges by Dispensation, and in these Lodges, so constituted, Freemasons mav he legally entered, passed, and raised. This is done every day. Seven Master Masons applying to the Grand Master, he grants them a Dispensation, under authority of which they proceed to open and hold a Lodge and to make Freemasons. This Lodge is, however admitted to be the mere creature of the Grand Master, for it is in his power at any time to revoke the Dispensation he had granted, and thus to dissolve the Lodge.
But if the Grand Master has the power thus to enable others to confer the Degrees and make Freemasons, by his individual authority out of his presence, are we not permitted to argue à fortiori, all the more, that he has also the right of congregating seven brethren and causing a Freemason to be made in his sight?
Can he delegate a power to others which he does not himself possess? And is his calling together an Occasional Hodges and making, with the assistanee of the Brethren thus assembled, a Freemason "at sight," that is to say, in his presence, any thing more or less than the exercise of his dispensing power for the establishment of a Lodge under Dispensation for a temporary period and for a special purpose. The purpose having been effected, and the Freemason having been made, he revokes his Dispensation, and the Lodge is dismissed. If we assumed any other ground than this, we should be compelled to say that though the Grand Master might authorize others to make Freemasons when he was absent, he could not do it himself when present.
The form of the expression "making Masons at sight" is borrowed from Laurence Dermott, the Grand Secretary of the Atholl Grand Lodge; "making Masons in an Occasional Lodge" is the phrase used by Anderson and his subsequent editors. Brother Dermott (Ahimen Rezon), commenting on the thirteenth of the old regulations, which prescribes that Fellow Crafts and Master Masons cannot be made in a private Lodge except by the Dispensation of the Grand Master, says: "This is a very ancient regulation, but seldom put in practice, new Masons being generally made at private Lodges; however, the Right Worshipful Grand Master has full power and authority to make, or cause to be made, in his worship's presence Free and Accepted Masons at sight, and such making is good. But they cannot be made out of his worship's presence without a written Dispensation for that purpose. Nor can his worship oblige any warranted Lodge to receive the person so made, if the members should declare against him or them; but it such case the Right Worshipful Grand Master may grant them a Warrant and form them into a new Lodge."
But the fact that Brother Dermott uses the phrase does not militate against the existence of the prerogative, nor weaken the argument in its favor. For, in the first place, he is not quoted as authority; and secondly, it is very possible that he did not invent the expression, but found it already existing as a technical phrase generally used by the Craft, although not to be found in the Book of Constitutions. The form there used is "making Masons in an Oecasional Lodge," tvlnich, as we have already said, is of the same signification.
The mode of exercising the prerogative is this: The Grand Master summons to his assistance not less than six other Freemasons, convenes a Lodge, and without any previous probation, but on sight of the candidates confers the Degrees upon him, after which he dissolves the Lodge and dismisses the Brethren.
This custom of making Freemasons at sight has been practised by many Grand Lodges in the United States of America, but is becoming less usual, and some Grand Lodges have prohibited it by a constitutional enactment. A few noted eases may be mentioned: John Wanamaker, at Philadelphia; former Vice-President Charles W. Fairbanks, at Indianapolis, Indiana; Rear-Admiral Winfield Seott Sehley, at Washington, Distriet of Columbia; and when William Howard Taft was President-Eleet, he was made a Freemason "at-sight" on February, 1909, at Cineinnati, by the Grand Master of Ohio.
A valuable historical account of Making Masons at Sight was contributed to the Neco Age, Mareh, 1925, by Brother William L. Boyden, Librarian at Washington of the Supreme Couneil, Southern Jurisdietion, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
Signs constitute that universal language of which the commentator on the Leland Manuscript avs that "it is a thing rather to be wished than hoped for." It is evident, however, that such a substitute for a universal language has always existed among mankind. There are certain expressions of deas which, by an implied common consent, are familiar even to the most barbarous tribes. An extension forward of the open hands will be understood at once by an Australian savage or an American Indian as a gesture betokening peace, while the idea of war or dislike would be as readily conveyed to either of them by a repulsive gesture of the same hands. These are not however, what constitute the signs of Freemasonry. It is evident that every secret oeiety must have some conventional mode of disinguishing strangers from those who are its members, and Freemasonry, in this respects must have followed the universal custom of adopting such modes of recognition.
The Abbé Grandidier (Essais Historiques et Topographiques, page 422) says that when Josse Dotzinger, as architect of the Cathedral of Strassburg, formed, in 1452, all the Master Masons in Germany into one body, "he gave them a word and a particular sign by which they might recognize those who were of their Confraternity." Martene, who wrote a treatise on the ancient rites of the monks (De Antiquis Monachorum ritibus), says that, at the Monastery of Hirsehau, where many Masons were incorporated as Lay Brethren, one of the officers of the monastery was called the Master of the Works; and the Masons under him had a sign which he describes as pugnam super pugnam pone uicissim quasi simules constructores marum; that is, they placed alternately fist upon fist, as ef imitating the builders of ways. He also says, and other writers confirm the statement, that in the Middle Ages the monks had a system of signs by which they were enabled to recognize the members of their different Orders.
Krause ( Kunsturkunden iv, page 420) thinks that the Freemasons derived their custom of having signs of recognition from this rule of the old monks. But we can trace the existence of signs to remote antiquity. In the Ancient Mysteries, the initiates were always instrueted in a sign. Thus, when a wreath was presented to an initiate of the Mysteries of Mithras by another, instead of receiving it, he east it upon the ground, and this gesture of casting down was accepted as a sign of recognition.
So, too, Apuleius (Metamorphoses) describes the action of one of the devotees of the Mysteries of Isis, and says: "He walked gently, with a hesitating step, the ankle of the left foot being slightly bent, in order, no doubt, that he might afford me some sign by which I might recognize him. " And in another work (Apologia) he says:
"If any one happens to be present who has been initiated into the same rites as myself, if he will give me the sign, he shall then be at liberty to hear what it is that I keep with so much care."
Plautus, too, alludes to this custom in one of his plays (Miles Gloriosuos iv, 2) when he says: Cedo Signum si horune Bacohorum est
Give me the swn, if you are one of these Bacchantes.
Signs, in fact, belong to all secret associations, and are no more peculiar to Freemasonry than is a system of initiation. The forms differ, but the principle has always existed.
SIGNS, UNIVERSALITY OF.
Churchward, Yarker, Ward, Cockburn, and a number of other Masonic writers of their way of thinking, have made much of the fact, or at least have tried to, that "Masonic Signs" have been encountered among Congo tribes, Eskimos, Melanesians, the Hairy Ainus, etc., and that on many occasions such tribesmen have responded to Masonic signs.
The difficulty with their "fact" is that there is too much of it. Some 175 separate, distinct, identifiable, nameable motions can be made by the hands, arms, legs, torso, head, eyes, the whole body, etc.; each and every one of those motions has been employed as a "sign" by at least one people, and usually bysmany, not once but thousands of times.
It would be a strange anomaly if explorers, traders, soldiers, missionaries, and other travelers among the so-called "primitive" people did not encounter "Masonic signs"; as for that, the "Masonic signs" were not originated or invented by Masons, who were never able to alter anatomy, but were chosen by them from among the 175 possible motions, gestures, etc., suitable for use as "signs." For at least nine centuries our own Navajo people have had an outdoor ceremony strikingly like our Third Degree; but if one of them who has been made a Mason is asked if they are the same he will smile and say, "They have nothing in common."
So with a Pueblo ceremony similar to HA.-. (the writer has not only seen and studied these ceremonies on the spot, but has taken part in a few portions of them). Two young traders of New Mexico (both Masons) rode horseback to San Diego and return without once using a highway, and visited some twenty Indian peoples en route with whom they conversed easily by the still-living, stillused old Indian sign language. A sign in use somewhere, even if identical with one of our own, proves nothing about Freemasonry—Freemasonry never had the slightest connection with "the ancient gods" (which, incidentally, almost never were "gods"; American Indians have never had any "gods"). Consult Sign Talk, by Ernest Thompson Seton; Doubleday, Page & Co.; Garden City, L. I.; 1918;1725 signs are explained. Frazer's Golden Bough is an encyclopedia of the subject.
Every Freemason who receives a Certificate or Diploma from a Grand Lodge is required to affix his signature in the margin, for a reason which is given under the words We Varietur, which see.
A ring on which there is an impression of a device is called a signet. They were far more common among the ancients than they are among the moderns, although they are still used by many persons. Formerly, as is the custom at this day in the East, letters were never signed by the persons who sent them; and their authenticity depended solely on the impression of the signets which were attached to them.
So common was their use among the ancients, that Clement of Alexandria, while forbidding the Christians of the second century to deck their fingers with rings, which would have been a mark of vanity, makes an exception in favor of signet rings. "We must wear," he says, "but one ring, for the use of a signet; all other rings we must east aside." Signets were originally engraved altogether upon stone; and Pliny says that metal ones did not come into use until the time of Claudius Caesar.
Signets are constantly alluded to in Scripture. The Hebrews called them nosed Sabaoth, and they appear to have been used among them from an early period, for we find that when Judah asks Tamar (Genesis xxxviii, 18) what pledge he shall give her she replies, "Thy signet, and thy bracelets, and thy staff that is in thine hand."
They were worn on the finger, generally the index finger, and always on the right hand, as being the most honorable; thus (Jeremiah xxu, 24) we read: "As I live, saith the Lord, though Coniall, the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were the signet upan my right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence."
The signets of the ancients were generally sculptured with religious symbols or the heads of their deities. The sphinx and the sacred beetle were favorite signets among the Egyptians. The former was adopted from that people by the Roman Emperor Augustus. The Babylonians followed the same eustom, and many of their signets, remaining to this day, exhibit beautifully sculptured images of BaalBerith and other Chaldean deities.
The impression from the signet-ring of a King gave the authority of a Royal Decree to any document to which it was affixed; and hence the delivery or transfer of the signet to anyone made him, for the time the representative of the King, and gave him the power of using the royal name.
SIGNET OF TRUTH.
The signet of Zerubbabel, used in the instructions of the Royal Arch Degree, is also there called the Signet of Truth, to indicate that the neoDhvte who brings it to the Grand Council is in search of Divine Truth, and to give to him the promise that he will by its power speedily obtain his reward in the possession of that for which he is secking. The Signet of Truth is presented to the aspirant to assure him that he is advancing in his progress to the attainment of truth, and that he is thus invested with the power to pursue the search.
SIGNET OF ZERUBBABEL.
This is used in the American instructions of the Royal Arch Degree. It refers to a passage of Haggai (ii, 23) where God has promised that he will make Zerubbabel His signet. It has the same symbolic meaning as is given to its synonym the Signet of Truth, because Zerubbabel, as the head of the second Temple, was the symbol of the searcher after truth. But something may be said of the incorrect form in which it is found in many Chapters.
At least from the time when Cross presented an engraving of this signet in his Hieroglyphic Chart, and perhaps from a much earlier period, for he may possibly have only perpetuated the blunder, it has been represented in some Chapters by a triangular plate of metal. Now, an unattached plate of metal, in any shape whatsoever, is about as correct a representation of a signet as a walking-eane is of a piece of money.
The signet is and always has been a finger-ring, and so it should be represented in the ceremonies of the Chapter. What the peculiar device of this signet was—for every signet must have a device—we are unable to show, but we may suppose that it was the Tetragrammaton, perhaps in its well-known abbreviated form of a god within a triangle. Whether this was so or not, such a device would be most appropriate to the symbolism of the Royal Arch teaching.
Significant is malting a sign, from two Latin words meaning respectively make and sign. A significant word is a sign-making word, or a word that is equivalent to a sign; so the secret words used in the different Degrees of Freemasonry, and the knowledge of which bceomes a sign of the possession of the Degree, are called significant words. Such a word Lenning calls ein bedeutendes Wort, which has the same meaning.
SIGN OF ASSENT.
Brother Henry F. Berry M. A., of the Public Record Office in Ireland, discovered among the papers of Archbishop Ussher preserved in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin a complete Code of manual signs used by the Vietorine Canons at Saint Thomas's Abbey, Dublin. The Latin code contains the following item:
Pro signo annuendi, leva manum moderate et move non inversam sed ut exterior superfieies sit sursum.
For the sign of assent, lift the hand moderately, and move it, not inverted but so that the outer surface may be upwards.
The above code is published in the Journal of the Royal Society of At uaries of Ireland, part il. volume ii, 1892.
SIGN OF DISTRESS.
This is probably one of the original modes of recognition adopted at the revival period, if not before. It is to be found in the earliest ceremonies extant of the eighteenth century, and its connection with the legend of the Third Degree makes it evident that it probably belongs to that Degree. The Craft in the Eighteenth Century called it sometimes the Jliaster's Clap, and sometimes the Grand Sign, which latter name has been adopted by the Freemasons of the Ninetecnth Century, who call it the Grand Hailing Sign, to indicate its use in hailing or calling a Brother whose assistance may be needed.
The true form of the sign has unfortunately been changed by carelessness or ignorance from the ancient one, which is still preserved in Great Britain and on the Continent of Europe. It is impossible to be explicit; but it may be remarked, that looking to its traditional origin, the sign is a defensive one, first made in an hour of attack, to give protection to the person. This is perfectly represented by the European and English form, but utterly misrepresented by the American. The German Rite of Schroeder attempted some years ago to induce the Craft to transfer this sign from the Third to the First Degree. As this would have been an evident innovation, and would have contradicted the ritualistic history of its origin and meaning, the attempt was not successful.
The Recording Angel of Islam.
See Secrecy and Silence.
Dwellers in the Priories of Cluny and Hirsan in the eleventh century were placed under rigid discipline as to speech. Those of Cluny were the first to adopt the system of signs for daily intercommunication, which system, by eonsent or permissal, granted after application through three special messengers from the Priory of Hirsan, was adopted by that Priory in all its elaborateness, and indeed enlarged and perfected by the well-known Abbot William. The doctrine of a perfect silence in such extensive communities became noteworthy in history. These earnest and devoted men, under strong discipline, as Conversi or barbati fratres, Returned or Bearded Brethren, were encouraged in the Abbeys of the Middle Ages. Their labors were eonducted in companies of ten each, under Deans of the Monastery, who were in turn instructed by Wardens and Superiors.
An inscription aceidentally discovered in 1880 by a native pupil of Schick, a German architect, who had long settled in Jerusalem. is chiseled in the rock that forms the southern wall at the channel which opens out upon the ancient Pool of Siloam, and is partly eoneealed by the water. The modern Pool includes the older reservoir, supplied with water by an excavated tunnel, 1708 yards long, communicating with the Spring of the Virgin, which is cut through the ridge that forms the southern part of the Temple Hill. The Pool is on the opposite side of the ridge, at the mouth of the Tyropoeon Cheesemakers valley, which was filled with rubbish, and largely built over.
The inscription is on an artificial tablet in the rock, about nineteen feet from the opening upon the Pool.
The first intelligible copy was made by Prof. A. H.Sayce, whose admirable little work, called Fresh Light .-om the Ancient Monuments, gives full details.
Doctor Guthe, in March, 1881, made a complete facsimile copy of the six lines, which read thus:
(Behold) the excavation! now this is the history of the excavation. While the excavators were still lifting up the pick, each towards his neighbor and while there were yet three cubits to (excavate there was heard) the voice of me than calling to his neighbor, for there was an excess in the rock on the right hand (and on the left). And after that on the day of excavating, the excavators had struck pick against pick, one against the other, the waters flowed from the spring to the pool for a distance of 1200 cubits. And (part) of a cubit mas the height of the rock over the head of the excavators.
The engineering skill must have been considerable, as the work was tortuous, and yet the excavators met at the middle. There is no date, but the form of the ztters show the age to be nearly that of the Moabite stone. Scholars place the date during the reign of Hezekiah and in that event appraise it as the oldest Hebrew inscription known. "He made the pool and the aqueduct and brought the water into the city" (Second Kings xx, 20). The discovery was an importent one. Professol Sayce deduces the following
The modern city of Jerusalem occupies very little of the same ground as the ancient one, the latter stood entirely on the rising ground to the east of the Tyropoeon valley, the northern portion of which is at present occupied by the Mosque of Omar, while the southern portion is uninhabited. The Tyropoeon valley itself must be the Valley of the Sons of Hinnom, where the idolaters of Jerusalem burnt their children in the fire to Moloeh. It must be in the southern cliff of this valley that the tombs of the kings are situated," they being buried under the rubbish with which the valley is filled; and " among this rubbish must be remains of the city and temple destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. Here, as well as in the now obliterated Valley of the Cheesemakers, probably lie the relies of the dynasty ox David.
Hebrew inscriptions of an early date have hitherto long been sought for in vain. Seals and fragmentary inscriptions have heretofore been discovered. Several of these seals have been found in Babylonia and Mesopotamia, and are regarded as memorials of the Jewish exiles; but the Schick discovery gives us a writing certainly as old as the time of Isaiah.
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