the Source


I. From Operative To Speculative


By E. Cromwell Mensch



The most prolific source of Masonic literature is that dealing with the origin of the Craft. It is a theme which has filled many volumes, and one which invariably follows the same pattern to the point of monotony. Practically all research along these lines starts with the stone masons of Europe, and ends up with the guilds, or associations, of ancient Rome. The Temple itself as a source of origin is avoided for two reasons, the first of which is a fear of encroaching upon the secret work of the Order. The second reason is a more logical one, for it is founded in the fact that very little is known about the Temple. There were three Temples built at Jerusalem, each of which was to replace an earlier structure. The last Temple was built by Herod, and is supposedly described by Josephus, the historian. He was an eyewitness to the destruction of this last Temple, but his lack of technical knowledge is painfully evident from his description of its structural details. The Temple previous to Herod's was built by Zerubbabel, a very brief account of which is set forth in the Book of Ezra. The so-called first Temple was built by Solomon, and a fairly complete description of it is set forth in the first Book of Kings.


However, Masonry was founded long before the Temple of Solomon was built. The identification of our Craft with the Temple came about through the ambition of David. It was he who realized the importance of the Tabernacle of Moses, and planned the Temple as s substitute therefor. Through it he sought credit for the establishment of the house and kingdom of God. This ambition of David is described in the second Book of Samuel, but more particularly in the words of II Samuel 7:13, "He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever." These words

are supposedly the Lord's, uttered through the medium of Nathan, the prophet. However, they were prompted by David, for Nathan was a member of David's court.


What David really sought was a vehicle which would perpetuate the divine power of the Tabernacle. That this structure was possessed of such power is quite evident from the fact that, within its confines, Moses established the word of God among men. The Word has come down to us practically intact in the form of the Pentateuch, or first five books of the Bible; and the House still stands today! Its original form is essentially unchanged, although some of its parts have been destroyed by the violence of fire and the quantity of water, which have been visited upon it from time to time. This House and this Book were founded at one and the same time, and both are an integral part of Masonry.


This particular phase of the inquiry into the origin of Masonry deals with the shift from operative to speculative, for our ritual tells us that we no longer work in operative, but speculative Masonry only. An entirely new approach to this subject is to be had through the medium which has never changed since our Order was founded. That medium is the Holy Bible, which is placed in the same setting as Moses placed it in the beginning. Save for the legendary part of our ritual, it contains all the factual details of our Craft. When these factual details are worked out to their ultimate conclusion, it will be found  that the legendary part of our ritual comprises but a very small percentage of the whole. That the operative phase of our Order was in effect during the time of Moses is stated in Exodus 1:11, "And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pitham and Raamses." It was from the builders of these two cities that Moses recruited the founders of our Order. They were the enslaved workers of Ramses II.


Ramses II reigned over Egypt from 1292 to 1225 B.C. His reign was singularly marked by a wealth of building activities. He completed Seti's Temple at Abydos, and added to the Temples at Luxor and Karnak. He constructed at Thebes the great mortuary Temple of the Rameseum, with its colossal statues of himself; and he built the rock-cut temple at Abu-Simble. During the early part of his reign Ramses II engaged in an important campaign against the Hittites, and fought an indecisive battle at Kadesh on the Orontes River in Syria. In these forays across Palestine, and into Syria, the victor found a means to augment his labour supply in the form of prisoners of war. They were put to work building such cities as Pithom and Raamses, and it was from their ranks that Moses recruited the people of his Exodus. It is specifically stated that some of them worked in brick and mortar (Exodus 1:14). Any attempt to connect our membership with operative masonry at a later period in history is an inconsistency, for it was these builders of Pithom and Raamses who established speculative Masonry when they built the Tabernacle on Mt. Rinai.


The Tabernacle was really the first Temple, for it was, and still is, a masterpiece of the builder's art. Every part of it has a symbolic meaning far beyond anything incorporated into the Temple built by Solomon. The superb engineering employed in the design of the Tabernacle indicates that several years of study went into this feature alone prior to its actual building. Since Moses was a royal scribe by calling, he undoubtedly planned the Tabernacle in collaboration with an architect. This period of planning took place while they were still in Egypt, for a great many of its features were borrowed from those to be found in the Temples along the Nile. Its design was too intricate to have been improvised in the desert of Sinai.


Ramses II died in 1225 B.C., and was succeeded by Merneptah. From all the evidence available, it is quite plain the Exodus must have taken place fairly close to this change in the administration of the affairs of Egypt. In summing up, operative Masonry flourished during the reign of Ramses II, and the transition to speculative Masonry took place during the reign of Merneptah.


The transition to the speculative phase is definitely stated in the words of Exodus 36:8, "And every wise hearted man among them that wrought the work of the tabernacle made ten curtains of fine twined linen." This is the first of a long list of specifications, wherein Moses describes the manner in which the Tabernacle was built. It is placed first because these ten curtains of fine twined linen symbolized a pair of hands raised in supplication. Symbolically, they were so placed that Moses might tell us that no man should ever enter upon any great or important undertaking without first invoking the blessing of God.


As a protege of the royal household, Moses was raised in the pagan worship of Osiris, a deified king. The domain of Osiris was centred in an underground heaven, sealed with the doom of perpetual darkness. This great king of the spiritual world was flanked with a myriad of lesser deities, to whom tribute had to be paid before the novitiate could hope to enter. Associated with this monopoly of the Egyptian hierarchy was the tyranny and oppression of its rulers.


As Moses grew to manhood he saw that the beneficence of God came from above, and that it was the Light from the celestial sphere which caused all nature to blossom forth and prosper. His problem was to present this new doctrine to a people whose ancestors had been steeped in paganism for centuries. To this end he endowed his House with the attributes of the heavens by making every part thereof symbolic of some feature of the celestial sphere. This master plan, of course, called for the utmost secrecy, and was tied in with a key. The plan itself he concealed by scattering it throughout all five of the books of the Pentateuch, but the key was left for future ages to discover. Since every one of the 7,625 parts of the Tabernacle played a part in its symbolic meaning, the building of this House coincided with the commencement of the speculative phase of Masonry.



II. The House Erected to God


by E. Cromwell Mensch 32 degree




The House, which it was decreed in the wisdom and counsels of Deity aforetime should be built, was the Tabernacle of Moses, and not the Temple of Solomon. The Tabernacle was the vehicle used by Moses to bring the word of God to the people he had led out of Egypt. It was the shrine around which these Israelites gathered after they had migrated into Palestine. It served that purpose for something like 200 years, but had fallen into disuse by the time David came into power. Realizing the importance of the Tabernacle, David planned to replace it with the structure now known to history as Solomon's Temple. In this replacement an attempt was made to copy the Tabernacle's design, the secrets of which had been lost ever since the death of Moses. The secrets of this design were concealed by Moses in the Pentateuch, or the first five books of the Bible. Therein lies the key to Masonry, for the Temple was merely an imperfect copy of the Tabernacle.


There are two sets of specifications covering the building of the Tabernacle in the Book of Exodus. Those in Chapter 26 represent the command of God that the House should be built. Those set forth in Chapter 36 are the specifications for the actual building of the House. Exodus 36:8 is the starting point, and states that every wise hearted man that wrought the work of the Tabernacle made ten curtains of Fine Twined Linen. These curtains were 4 cubits wide and 28 cubits long. Five of them were coupled together, and the other 5 were coupled together. The result was a pair of curtains, each half of which contained 5 strips. The total width of each set of 5 strips was 20 cubits, for the individual strips were 4 cubits wide. This 20 cubits coincided with the width of the House. When assembled, they were raised over the House to form a gable roof. As there were 10 strips in all, they represented the digits of a pair of hands raised in supplication.


From this symbolic meaning it will be seen why Moses placed these curtains as the first item in his list of specifications. It was his admonition to us that no man should ever enter upon any great or important undertaking without first invoking the blessing of God. There were several thousand people engaged in the building of the House, and, obviously, only a small percentage were actually engaged in the fabrication of these curtains. And yet the language is clear, for it says "every wise hearted man that wrought

the work of the tabernacle made ten curtains." Those who chose to engage in the work were first prepared in their hearts, or became "wise hearted." They all "made" ten curtains, for this was the sign of a pair of hands raised in supplication.


The second item in the specifications was the curtains of Goats' Hair. They were superimposed above those of Fine Twined Linen, and were 4 cubits wide by 30 cubits long. There were 11 of these curtains, and this fact has stumped the experts for centuries. Ten of them may be arranged to match the 10 curtains of Fine Twined Linen. Being above the first set of curtains, those of Goats' Hair represented a pair of hands stretched forth in benediction. That this is so is gleaned from the fact that this is the only specification in Chapter 36 that needs to be filled in from the supplemental information contained in Chapter 26 of Exodus. This Chapter 26 contains the command of God, and this second pair of curtains symbolized His hands stretched forth in benediction.


Exodus 26:9 and 26:12 dispose of the 11th curtain of Goats' Hair by stating that it shall be doubled over in the forefront of the Tabernacle, and the remnant that remaineth, the half curtain that remaineth, shall hang over the backside of the Tabernacle. In other words, the 11th curtain of Goats' Hair was cut into 4 strips, each 1 cubit wide, to form the drip for the gable part of the roof. Exodus 26:13 explains how the eaves were formed on the ends, for it states that the length of these curtains shall hang over a cubit on the one side and a cubit on the other side.


The length of these Goats' Hair curtains was 30 cubits, which was symbolic of the 30 days of the solar month. The length of the curtains of Fine Twined Linen, which were protected from the sun by the upper curtains, was 28 cubits. They were symbolic of the 28 days of the lunar month.


The gable roof arrangement of the curtains of Goats' Hair formed an isosceles triangle, each leg of which was 30 cubits long. The length of its base is obtained from Exodus 26:13, which states that the curtains shall hang over a cubit on the one side and a cubit on the other side. This called for a base of 52 cubits, for the Court which encompassed the Tabernacle was exactly 50 cubits wide. The actual length of the Tabernacle was 48 cubits, which left a space of 1 cubit between each of its ends and the adjacent wall of the court. This space was approximately 24 inches wide and, no doubt, sheltered the original eavesdroppers. No such arrangement was possible in the Temple, for it was encompassed by 3 banks of chambers, which were set into the walls of the main structure.


These triangular spaces formed in the east and west walls of the Tabernacle were called pediments. They were covered with the Rams' Skins dyed red specified in Exodus 36:19. Like the roof curtains, they also were 4 cubits in width, and 12 of them exactly fitted into the 48 cubits width of the base of the pediments. There were 12 of these curtains in the east pediment, and 12 in the west pediment - together they symbolized the 24 hours of the day.


This Rams' Skins dyed red was a translucent material, and as the sun rose in the east the interior was filled with a soft, red glow. The sun at meridian height came down through an aperture in the roof, but only on occasion. As the sun was in the west at the close of the day, the soft tones which filtered through the Rams' Skins dyed red again permeated the interior. Above them were placed the Badgers' Skins, which were opaque, and were manipulated like window shades to control the lighting effects. There was no such arrangement in the Temple, for neither roof curtains nor rams' skins were employed in its construction.



The lower part of the Tabernacle was sheathed with boards, 20 of them being specified for the south wall, and a like number for the north wall. According to Exodus 36:21, these particular boards were each 10 cubits long and 1 1/2 cubits wide. Two of them, placed end to end, matched the 20 cubits width of the House, which makes it obvious that the 20 boards in both north and south walls were arranged in two stacks of 10 boards each. This height of 10 boards in each panel was symbolic of the "Ten Commandments. Exodus 36:27 specifies 6 boards for the west wall of the Tabernacle. These 6 boards were laid out end to end, and formed the bottom course for the 6 panels into which the west wall was divided. Each board was 8 cubits long, and the total length of the wall was 48 cubits. Each panel was 10 boards high, or 15 cubits, for each board was 1 1/2 cubits wide. Actually, the 6 panels of the west wall were laid out by means of a mathematical formula, which Moses designated as Jacob's ladder. This fact was unknown to the builders of the Temple, for they made the west wall of their structure 60 cubits long. The interior of the Temple was sheathed with boards, and obviously the 6 boards they used were each 10 cubits long.


The height of the Tabernacle at the apex of its roof was 30 cubits; its depth, or width, was 20 cubits; and its length, which was across the breadth of the Court, was 48 cubits. The first two dimensions were faithfully copied into the design of the Temple, for it was 30 cubits high by 20 cubits deep. But the length of the Temple, as given in I Kings 6:2, was 60 cubits. This discrepancy over the 48 cubits length of the Tabernacle is prima facie evidence that the builders of the Temple did not possess the secrets of the design of the original House. In other words "that which was lost" was the secret design of the Tabernacle, which had not been discovered at the time Solomon built his Temple.


III The Symbolism of the Father's House

by E. Cromwell Mensch 32 degree




Speculative Masonry was instituted by Moses for the purpose of bringing the true "word" of God to his followers. These were the people of the Exodus, most of whom had been engaged in building the treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses, in Egypt. They were not a literate people, for at that time the art of writing was confined to the rulers of Egypt and their official families. Although Moses himself was a loyal scribe, he knew that the only way he could spread his doctrine among the people was through the medium of symbolism. The nucleus of that symbolism was the Ark of the Covenant, in which was deposited the true word of God. The setting for this sacred instrument was the Tabernacle, every part of which symbolized some feature of the Father's house in the celestial.


This symbolism is concealed in the cabalism of the writings of Moses, and the key to that cabmlism lies in the pattern of our planetary system. For example, the superstructure of the" House was made up of 7 bents, or frames, for they were symbolic of the 7 days of the week. This may be picked up from Exodus 36:27, wherein the e boards of the sides westw@rd are specified. These 6 boards were strung out, end to end, across the 5 vertical bars, also spe@ified for this west wall in Exodus 36 : 32. Obviously, the terminal ends of boards No. 1 mnd No. 6 also were attached to vertical bars, for they were the corner bars in the north and south walls, rp,spectively. Added to the 5 sper,ified for the sides westward, these two corner bars brought the number up to 7. Each of these 7 bars was paired off with a corresponding bar in the east

wall, and, with the other members of the framing, formed the 7 bents.


The symbolism of these 7 bents is to be found in the Second Degree, wherein it is stated that in 6 days God created the heaven and the earth, and rested on the 7th day. The total number of structural numbers with which the Tabernacle was framed is also given in the Second Degree. However, this symbolism was lost in the Temple of Solomon, for the stone walls of that structure replaced the function of the 7 bents used in the Tabernacle. These bents were designed as trusses, the patern of which is indicated in the specifications for the north and south walls. Each of these walls contained 5 vertical bars. They were braced at the corners with the diagonals specified in Exodus 36:28 as corner boards, and were tied together at the top with the horizontal cross bar specified in Exodus 36:33. An extra cross bar was used in these walls

to form the eaves of the Tabernacle, and was supported on 5 struts. In all, there were 14 members in each of these end wall bents, and there were 12 members in each of the 5 intermediate bents. The bents themselves were held together at the top with a series of 60 rafters, and were also held together at the ceiling level with a series of 26 horizontal ties. In all there were 178 structural members in the Tabernacle proper.


There were also 67 structural members in the Court of the Congregation, which surrounded the Tabernacle. In the specifications, 20 pillars each were assigned to the north and south sides of the Court, and 10 to the west side. The specifications for the east side are quite complicated, and, when Properly analyzed, only yield 9 pillars for this side of the Court. To these 59 pillars must be added the 8 corner boards used as diagonal bracing at the corners of the Court, which makes the total 67.


The lower part of the Tabernacle was sheathed with boards, which were 120 in number. The 178 structural members of the Tabernacle, plus the 67 members of the Court and the 120 boards, bring the grand total up to 365. These 365 members were symbolic of the days of the year, and correspond to the phenomenon arising from the annual revolution of the earth around the sun, and its diurnal rotation on its own axis, as set forth in the monitorial work of the Second Degree. There was no such symbolism incorporated into the stone walls of the Temple, although the 1,453 columns and 2,906 pilasters used to enclose the court before the Temple were evidently multiples of 365, less 7, and 14, respectively.


The specifications for the east wall of the Tabernacle are rather brief. They simply call for a Door, and the 5 pillars of it (Exodus 36:38). Between the 5 pillars were the 4 archways, which formed the Door. In addition, there was a panel flanking the Door on either side, making a total of 6 panels in all. These, of course, matched the panels formed by the "six" boards in the west wall. These flanking panels in the east wall contained the corner boards, which served as diagonal wind bracing to impart stability to the structure. They ran from the tops of the corner posts down to the adjacent end pillars of the Door. Since these diagonal braces blanked off the use of these two end panels in the east wall, it is obvious they must have been sheathed with boards. This brings the total number of panels up to 12, for there were 6 in the west wall, 2 each in the north and south walls, and these 2 in the east wall. This also accounts for the 120 boards, for each panel was 10 boards high. These 12 panels represented the 12 tribes of Israel.


This arrangement of the panels is confirmed in Genesis 48:13, wherein it is stated that "Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand, toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near unto him." In other words, the two panels flanking the Door were named Ephraim and Manasseh. The 5 pillars of the Door are now represented by the 5 orders of architecture, although these orders were actually formulated by Vignola, worthy successor to Michel Angelo.


The parts so far enumermted are all authentic, for they have been worked out according to the bill of materials Moses left to posterity. Among other items, this bill lists the fastenings which held the Tabernacle together. As it was a portable structure, these fastenings were so designed that the House could be dismantled and reassembled at will. The structural members were held together by means of rings, but the specification covering them is very brief, and is only given in connection with the corner boards (Exodus 36:29): "And they were coupled beneath, and coupled together at the head thereof, to one ring." The ring in this case was cast with two lugs, and the corner boards had sockets in their ends, which fitted over the lugs of the ring. To make the joint secure after assembling, pins were inserted through both lug and corner boards. This same type of fastening was used wherever two or more structural members intersected each other. Where more than two structural members were brought to a common focal point, rings were supplied with additional lugs. Rings with as high as 4 lugs were used in some of the complicated portions of the bents.


The boards which formed the sheathing of the Tabernacle were also held to the framing by means of rings. These rings encircled the vertical bars and had lugs projecting outward from them in a horizontal plane. The boards themselves were joined together by means of dowel pins, in the same manner that extra leaves are joined together in a dining-room table, except that they were in a vertical plane. The lugs of the rings fitted in between the edges of two boards, and the dowel pins in the boards also passed through holes in the lugs. This type of joint is covered by the specification for the sockets and tenons of the boards in Exodus 36:24


From the use of these rings and pins it truly may be said of the Tabernacle that there was neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron heard in the House, while it was in building. These lines are to be found in I Kings 6:7, and are applied to the stone work of Solomon's Temple. It is hard to conceive of the fabrication of a stone building in which no tools of iron are employed. The insertion of the word "axe," even though it was not used, raises the question as to whether this passage was not also borrowed from the Tabernacle along with the attempt to copy its design. The axe was used to shape the boards and bars of the Tabernacle during its initial fabrication, but, after that, no tool of iron was ever required during its subsequent assemblies.



IV Mt. Gerizim and the Land of Moriah

by E. Cromwell Mensch 32 degree




The fame of King Solomon's Temple lies in the reflected glory of the House of Moses, for it was planned and built with the idea of replacing the Tabernacle with a more permanent structure. The purpose behind its building is to be found in the history of David, father of Solomon. The original Tabernacle was the vehicle which had welded the Israelites into a united mass, and had kept them united during their successful invasion of Palestine. The initial breakthrough took place at Jericho, after which the Israelites spread out to the north and south, but they did not succeed in taking Jerusalem.


Their first objective was to locate the "spot" on which to erect the Tabernacle, which was believed to be at Luz. Moses died just prior to the invasion, but he had left certain instructions, which were to be followed out after they reached the promised land. Among other things, they were instructed to put the blessing upon Mt. Gerizim, and the curse upon Mt. Ebal. Neither the geographical location of these mounts, nor the manner in which the blessing was to be bestowed, were specified. It was decided that the medium was the altar specified in Exodus 20:24, which was to be of earth, or of unhewn stone, and without steps. The allegorical meaning here, of course, is the good earth upon which we dwell.


The Israelites found Luz ill-favoured as a location for the Tabernacle, even though it had been specified by Moses as none other but the house of God and the gate of heaven in Genesis 28:17. They then moved on to Samara and set up their Tabernacle and their altar between the two peaks in that country, which are still called Mt. Gerizim and

Mt. Ebal to this day. However, the choice of this "spot" was far from unanimous, and it was not long before the Tabernacle was moved elsewhere.


About 200 years later, or in 1005 B.C.David succeeded in wresting Jerusalem away from the native Jebusites. After taking the city; he had himself declared king over both Israel and Judah. Israel was the common name applied to the Israelites of the north, for by then they had lost their tribal distinctions. David himself had risen to power under the banner of the Tribe of Judah, which had maintained its tribal identity in the south. At the

time David established himself at Jerusalem, the true location of the mount upon which a blessing was to be put was still a live issue.


In the meantime the original Tabernacle had vanished and the Ark of the Covenant had been placed in storage. The lustre of the Ark had been somewhat dimmed prior to this on account of its failure to stop the Philistines on the field of battle. Under this combination of circumstances David saw a splendid opportunity to restore the Ark to its natural setting, and, at one and the same time, establish a mount of his own upon which to put a blessing. He accordingly purchased the threshing floor of Ornan, the Jebusite, and this is the "spot" upon which the Temple was subsequently erected.



It was called the Zion, or hill, which is the literal interpretation of the word Zion. Mount would have served the purpose just as well, for it was here that he pitched a new tabernacle in order that the Ark might be brought out of storage. The use of the word Gerizim was probably avoided because this new shrine was designed to serve Israel as well as Judah, and these people of the north already had a Mt. Gerizim. We get a vague hint of this from the use of the word Moriah, which is commonly called Mt. Moriah today. The original use of this word is to be found in Genesis 22:2, which states that the sacrifice of Abraham's son Isaac was to take place in the land of Moriah, and upon one of the mountains of which he was to be told. This passage of Scripture was probably cited at that time as an authority, or precedent, for the establishment of a second mount at Jerusalem.


It was after David had pitched this new Tabernacle that he made known his intention of replacing it with a more permanent structure. With this structure he undertook to create a vehicle, which, in the words of II Samuel 7:13, he hoped would establish the throne of his kingdom forever. This hope lay in the belief that he could endow his contemplated Temple with the powers of the original Tabernacle by duplicating its design. Hiram of Tyr was called in as a collaborator, because he had previously built the palace in which David had set himself up as king over the two branches of the Israelites. Hiram was a Phoenician, and his city of Tyr was in a better position to furnish skilled artisans.


However, the basic, design of the Temple was copied from the description of the Tabernacle, or rather that part of its description which is to be found in the Book of Exodus. The builders of the Temple apparently did not understand the true cabalism of the writings of Moses, for the key to the design of the Tabernacle is concealed in the ladder Jacob supposedly dreamt about. In the words of Moses, this was none other but the house of God and the gate to heaven, as set forth in Genesis 28:17. In the previous verse, Genesis 28:16, Jacob had just awaked out of his sleep, which refers back to Genesis 28:12, and, "he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it."


The essence of the ladder of Jacob was the cubical Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle. It was projected into a column of 7 cubes on the Trestle Board, with horizontal coordinates extending out over the centre of the drawing from the upper levels of the 2nd, 4th, and 6th cubes. Below these horizontals, and on the base line, another cube was drawn to represent the Holy of Holies itself. From the centre of this Holy of Holies a series of ascending "angles" were projected upward to intercept the horizontals. At the points of intersection, vertical ordinates were dropped to the base line, and they exactly prescribed the 48 cubits length of the Tabernacle. A 7th ordinate was projected upwards into infinity, from the centre of the base line, and represented the joining of the celestial with the terrestrial sphere. This 7th ordinate was the top of the ladder, which reached to heaven. The cubes were 7 in number because they represented the 7 bodies of our planetary system which are visible to the naked eye. Each of the ascending angles were 23 1/2 degrees", because that is the celestial angle at which the earth is inclined away from the plane of its orbit.


The unit of measurement was obtained by dividing one edge of the cubical Holy of Holies into 10 equal parts. The Apex of the curtains of Goats' Hair was equal to the height of 3 cubes, or 30 cubits. Half this height, or 15 cubits, was equivalent to the combined widths of the 10 boards of the sheathing, and the upper half prescribed the height of the pediments. The descending "angles" of Genesis 28:12 exactly subtended the 1 1/2, cubits cross section of the Ark of the Covenant below the centre of the Holy of Holies". The descending ordinates exactly laid out the 7 bents, or vertical bars across which the "six" boards of Exodus 36:27 were spaced out. This is indeed none other but the House of God, and the House we proclaim was erected to God and dedicated to His Holy name.


The 7th ordinate came direct from the celestial, and was symbolic of the path down which Moses had brought the word of God, for it intersected the mercy seat of the Ark in its exact centre. This was within the cubical of the Holy of Holies, which was designated as the most Holy place. The balance of the space within the House was called the Holy place, and its several parts were symbolic of the several features of our planetary system.


Outside the House, and far off about the Tabernacle, the 12 tribes were encamped. As each tribe was encamped under the ensign of his Father's house, the encampment itself was symbolic of the 12 constellations of the Zodiac. Hence, the complete layout of Tabernacle and encampment was copied from the design of the Father's house in the celestial.


Had the builders of the Temple thoroughly understood the implications of the ladder Jacob supposedly dreamt about, it is highly improbable they would have built their structure of stone. This ladder truly located the gateway to heaven, for whenever and wherever the original Tabernacle was set up, the ladder of Jacob formed an integral part of its design. The "mount" it blessed was the mother earth on which the Tabernacle rested.




V. The Holy of Holies and the Resurrection


by Cromwell Mensch 32 degree





The Holy of Holies of King Solomon's Temple was called the Oracle, and was sometimes entirely different and apart from thee room called the "middle chamber"

of the Temple. The Temple itself was a stone building, 60 cubits long, 20 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. Around the outside of the main structure were three chambers, superimposed one above the other. These three chambers were designated as the nethermost, the middle, and the third chambers, respectively. They were narrow, corridor-like rooms, for the nethermost was 5 cubits wide, the middle 6 cubits, and the third, 7 cubits wide. The nethermost was on the ground floor level, and evidently served as a robing room, as well as a place for the storage of implements and vessels used in the ceremonials. The middle chamber was one flight up, and served as a storage vault, as did the third chamber above it. Estimates as to the value of gold, silver, and other valuables stored in these upper chambers of the Temple, run all the way from five to ten billions of dollars. In short, this middle chamber of the Temple served as the storage vault for the material wealth which found its way into the coffers of the priesthood. These chambers were an innovation peculiarly adapted to the Temple, for there was nothing comparable to them in the original Tabernacle.


The Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle was a perfect cube, formed of the veil, and the 4 pillars which supported it. This cube was the central theme of its design, and the unit of measurement by which all parts of the Tabernacle were apportioned. For practical purposes, one edge of this cube was divided into 10 equal parts, and each of these parts was called a cubit. In other words, the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle was 10 cubits long in each of its three dimensions. The Oracle of the Temple, on the other hand, measured 20 cubits in each of its three dimensions. This increase in size destroyed the perfect harmony of design which had prevailed in the Tabernacle. In the

Tabernacle, the Holy of Holies was placed in the middle of the structure, and the celestial angle of 23 1/2 degrees was brought down to the center of the cubical room. This descending angle was the essential ingredient of Jacob's ladder, and below the center of the cubical it exactly subtended the 1 1/2 cubits of the Ark of the Covenant in section. It also did the same for the Ark in longitudinal section. The 7th ordinate of Jacob's ladder intersected the Arc in its exact center, and joined the celestial and terrestrial spheres. It was the axis about which the Tabernacle formed a symmetrical design. These celestial ingredients set the Holy of Holies up as a material token that the Tabernacle was indeed none other but the House of God. This did not hold true of the arrangement in the Temple, for its Oracle was at the rear of the main room, and its volumetric displacement was 8 times that of the Tabernacle's Holy of Holies.


The resurrection, or raising of the body from the dead, was exemplified as a ritual long before Moses came onto the, scene. The very temples where he was initiated into the mysteries contain graphic illustrations of this ceremony. The central figure is Osiris, who was raised from his bier at the command of Horus. The departed soul of Osiris is shown as a graven image in the form of a bird, perched in the Erica tree at the head of the bier. Moses transposed this into a nobler

conception , by coupling the rebirth of nature with the phenomenon of the spring equinox in the celestial. This position he gave to Reuben the first born, as the beginning of Israel's strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power, Genesis 49:3. But Reuben was unstable as water, and destined not to excel, because he wentest up to his Father's bed, and then defiledst he it, Genesis 49:4. The tribe of Reuben corresponded with the constellation of Taurus, the bull. This bull was called Apis by the Egyptians, and was part of the animal worship and deification practiced by them. The doctrine of Moses pointed out that the beneficence of God came from the celestial sphere, and this figure of Apis the bull in the constellation of Taurus defiled his Father's bed. Reuben was named as the firstborn because at the time of the Exodus the spring equinox occurred in the constellation of Taurus. The rebirth is now symbolized by the Acacia, instead of the Erica tree.


It was this paganism of the bull in Taurus that caused Moses to shift the leadership to the tribe of Judah, from whence comes the strong grip of the Lion's paw. As a matter of fact, the 12 tribes of Israel originated in the Father's house, for they all correspond with the characteristics of the 12 constellations of the Zodiac. Every third one of these constellations contains one of the 4 guardian stars of the heavens; namely, Aldebaran in Taurus, Regulus in Leo, Antares in Scorpio, and Fomalhaut in connection with Aquarius. Reuben corresponded with Taurus, who defiled his Father's bed. Judah represented Leo, the lion, with the guardian star of Regulus. Regulus is described in Genesis 48:10 as the lawgiver, which shall not depart from between his (Leo's) feet until Shiloh come. The next guardian star is Antares, in the constellation of Scorpio. It was represented by Dan; for he was to be a serpent by the way, that biteth the horse heels, Genesis 49:17. This designation comes from the fact that the scorpion is the only "serpent" whose striking range is limited to the heel of the horse. The fourth guardian star is Fomalhaut, actually in the constellation of Pisces Austrinus; but the stream of water which flows from the jar of Aquarius is inseparable from Fomalhaut in this mythological presentation. Aquarius was represented by Ephraim, one of the sons of Joseph, who Genesis 49:22 says was a fruitful bough by the well. These 4 tribes, which corresponded with the constellations containing the 4 guardian stars, occupied the 4 corners of the encampment about the Tabernacle. The other eight were interspersed between - these four encamped at the corners.


The rendition of the so-called Hiramic legend has a great deal more fact in it than fiction. All that is needed is to replace the Temple with the Tabernacle. It was Moses who lived under the tyranny of Ramses II, and it was such a tyrant as he who struck first at the free speech of the individual. This is the episode that is enacted at the first station. If this blow at the power of guttural expression failed to quench the fire of independent thought, sterner measures were taken by striking at the very heart of such characters as Moses. Finally, the lash and the burdens were increased to the point where the workmen literally fell dead at their feet. The three stations which epitomize these episodes may be identified with the three stations in the Tabernacle; namely, the Altar in the east, the Candlestick in the south, and the Table of Shewbread in the north. The 12 tribes are still preserved in the 12 fellowcraft, who are assigned to the same positions in which the tribes were encamped about the Tabernacle. According to Chapter 2 of the Book of Numbers, 3 of the tribes were encamped in the east, 3 in the south, 3 in the west, and 3 in the north."


It is a common error to confuse that which was lost with the so-called "lost" word. This word is one of the most peculiar words in the dictionary, which gives it a prominence no lost word could ever assume. That which was really lost are the secrets of the Tabernacle's design, although, in a broader sense, they were merely concealed in

the cabalism of the writings of Moses. As a matter of fact, the layout of the modern lodge room more closely follows the design of the Tabernacle than it does that of the Temple. The central feature of that design was the Holy of Holies, and the Ark of the Covenant, which was subtended below its center by the angle of the ecliptic. The modern altar is in the identical position occupied by the Ark in the Tabernacle, which was in the exact center of the structure. The token of the "Word" is now on top of the Altar, whereas in the Tabernacle it was deposited inside the Ark. The Candlestick still stands at the south, although its lights have now been reduced to 3. The Golden Altar in the east still retains its position as the station of the master of ceremonies. The Table of the Shewbread originally was in the north, but this station has now been shifted to the west. The modern master of ceremonies would be somewhat at a loss in an attempt to arrange the 10 candlesticks and the 10 tables specified for the Temple of Solomon, I Kings 7:49. He would be a little more successful with the "lost" word, for a clue to both it and the design of the Tabernacle is to be found in the cabalism of Moses, when he changed the name of Abram to Abraham, and the name of Jacob to Yisrael.