Interesting early version of HAB

Discussion in 'History and Research' started by hanzosbm, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

    705
    553
    113
    Reading the Secret Teaching of All Ages today, I came across a passage giving some information about Hiram that I had not previously read. Since Manly Hall was...shall we say, a little carefree with his statements, I went to the original source (a little book with the rather lengthy title of "...History of Freemasons, Containing Their Origine, Progress, and Present State: An Abstract of Their Laws, Constitutions, Customs, Charges, Orders and Regulations, For the Instruction and Conduct 0f the Brethern: A Confutation of Dr. Plot's False Insuations: An Apology, Occasioned by Their [unintelligible] in the Canton of Berne, and in the Pope's Dominions: and a Select Number of Songs and Other Particulars, For the Use of the Society") which Hall dates to 1771. I couldn't find the date, but based on a few of the letters it mentions in the text, that sounds right.

    http://masoniclibrary.com/books/The Pocket Companion and History of Free-masons (1754).pdf

    There is a lot of good information in this book, but the part in regards to HAB is as follows:

    "He sent him also a man of his own name, a Tyrian by birth, but of Israelitish descent, who was a second Bezaleel, and honoured by his King with the title of Father; and in 2 Chron II 13 is called Hiram Abif. This inspired Master was, without question, the most cunning, skillful, and curious workman that ever lived, whose abilities were not confined by building only, but extended to all kinds of work, whether in gold, silver, brass, or iron; whether in linen, tapestry, or embroidery; whether considered as an architect, statuary, founder, or designer, separately or together, he equally excelled. From his designs, and under his direction, all the rich and splendid furniture of the Temple, and its several appendages, were begun, carried on, and finished. Solomon appointed him, in his absence, to fill the chair, as Deputy-Grand-Master, and in his presence, Senior Grand-Warden, Master of Work, and general overseer of all artists, as well those whom David had formerly procured from Tyre and Sidon, as those Hiram should now send."

    It goes on to say that upon the completion of the Temple, King Hiram and Hiram Abif returned to consecrate it, but then, something happens.

    "The Temple of Jehovah being finished, under the auspices of the wise and glorious King of Israel, Solomon, the Prince of Architecture, and the Grand Master Mason of his day, the fraternity celebrated the Cape-Stone with great joy; but their joy was soon interrupted by the sudden death of their dear and worthy Master Hiram Abif; nor less was the concern of King Solomon, who after some time allowed to the Craft to vent their sorrow, ordered his obsequies to be performed with great solemnity and decency, and buried him in the Lodge near the Temple, according to the ancient usages among Mason; and long mourned for his loss."

    A few things I found interesting here:
    1) HAB is the Senior Warden in this early telling. And considering that he supervised the craft while at work, this makes sense.
    2) Obviously, the story of his death is a bit different than in our current ritual.
    3) There's a LOT of detail in this story. This book does cite some sources which I have yet to look into, so I don't know how much was the author's invention versus coming from earlier sources.

    To me, it is interesting to see various pieces of the story we all know starting to appear. The Graham MS from 1726 has the raising, but with Noah. Around 1723 we start seeing HAB showing up more and more in the history of the fraternity, but not as a central figure. Here, we see HAB dying at the Temple at the completion of the build. It definitely appears that the ritual we have today is made up of fragments of existing legends at the time that were pulled together and squeezed into a single cohesive story.

    I thought the brethren might be interested.
     
  2. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

    1,485
    417
    83
    Why was Noah dropped?
     
  3. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

    3,702
    2,543
    133
    hanzosbm likes this.
  4. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    6,218
    2,613
    183
    Very interesting stuff indeed!
     
  5. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

    1,485
    417
    83
    The dropping of the Noah story is potentially important. In the earlier 3rd, Noah was raised by his sons. In the current 3rd Hiram stays in the grave. How is that a relevant scenario for raising the candidate?
     
  6. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

    1,795
    1,713
    133
    His story was all wet and couldn't stay afloat.
     
    Warrior1256 and Zack like this.
  7. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

    1,485
    417
    83
    Where in mythology do we find a father raised from the dead by a son?
     
    dfreybur likes this.
  8. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

    705
    553
    113
    Noah wasn't raised from the dead. They lift the body and then put it back. Just like Hiram.
     
    Glen Cook likes this.
  9. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

    1,795
    1,713
    133
     
    ej6267 likes this.
  10. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

    1,795
    1,713
    133
    Pinocchio :D
     
  11. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

    1,485
    417
    83
    Actually it was Horus (son of the widow Isis by artificial insemination) that later raised his father Osiris.

    Osiris is the Greek rendition of Asar thus the Lord of Light raised Asar. Later Jesus raised Lazarus.

    Horus is the Greek rendition of Heru. Heru is rather close to Hiram.

    Hiram
    masc. proper name, from Phoenician/Hebrew Hiram, perhaps short for Ahiram, literally "brother of the lofty."
    https://www.etymonline.com/word/hiram


    So who is the lofty?

    Is the lofty the same as the most high?
     
    dfreybur likes this.
  12. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

    705
    553
    113
    James, while I know your opinions tend to take a lot of flak around here, I, for one, appreciate your ideas even if I do not always agree with them.

    That being said, on this particular instance, I'm afraid I disagree. We don't really know where a lot of this stuff comes from, and Egyptian mythology is as possible an origin as the next. However, from a logical point of view, if one were to believe that this is the story of Horus in disguise, it would mean that it was at one time intentionally changed AWAY from Horus, only then to later be changed back to a name, which, you believe, is intentionally designed to mirror the original? Were they (the ones who created this story) trying to tell the story of Horus, or were they trying to disguise it? It just doesn't add up.

    In my humble opinion, the origins of the story lay in its core elements; a learned master who dies, taking with him some important knowledge, and those left behind who are left missing that knowledge but still hold on to a shadow of it.
     
    Glen Cook likes this.
  13. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

    1,485
    417
    83
    >literally "brother of the lofty."

    So who are "the lofty" of which Hiram is the brother?
     
  14. Luigi Visentin

    Luigi Visentin Registered User

    80
    26
    18
    ... is a work that is in the line of the Anderson's version which includes a lot of "new stuffs" which were not present in early manuscripts. Basically the author expands the "story" illustrated in the Constitutions according to the evolution that the Freemasonry was taking during that years.
    Instead, an Italian book of 1746 Relazione della Compagnia de' liberi muratori estratta da varie memorie, e indirizzata all'abate Carl'Antonio Giuliani dal cavalier Valerio Angiolieri Alticozzi patrizio cortonese, guardia del corpo di S.M.I. accademico apatista, etc ... 1746 written by Valerio Angellieri Alticozzi (can be found on Google Books too), who likely was not a Mason, is pretty precise with the indication of lodges' structure, organization and rituals (mainly of French origin but English documens where missing in that period), has the same opinion of Dr. Plot about the artifact use of biblical characters in order to give a distorted idea of the antiquity of Freemasonry. The same book however reports a very interesting indication that on the beginning of '700 there were still old elements mixed with the new ones.
    About "Hiram Abif" (not the biblical character but the character that was hidden below the biblical name), it is not exactly correct that he was absent in the Legend of the Craft. Basically he was present but hidden below the part dedicated to saint'Alban. Takings some of the elements about saint Alban indicated in the Legend and other elements taken from the modern masonic legend it is possible to find a medioeval character, which real existence is questionable) that has many similarities: saint Reinold (in the two "flavours" knight and monk). The modern legend of Hiram Abif "was built" taking mainly these elements and rearranging them.

    By the way, saint Reinold is from 1706 ... the patron saint of the stonecutters and is feast is today! ;)
     
    Raymond Walters likes this.
  15. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    6,218
    2,613
    183
    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!
     
  16. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

    1,795
    1,713
    133
    Bastardized claim... Hiram does NOT mean "Brother of the lofty".

    The name means "MY brother is EXALTED (raised!)" (or in the very least - "brother OR (the) lofty" - which is NOT what you claim). The word is actually a "title" earned by brothers who become learned and improved, and have raised above the ordinary-norm toward mastery.

    It was woven into our play to point out to the candidate what they must do to earn the title if they are not to be ruffians, those characters who were also woven into the tale specifically to contrast those who earn what they are given from those that don't.
    It ain't those who haven't done the Work, as in, haven't done their proper research and due diligence before they conjecture and pontificate. They are those who have brought order to the chaos of their hearts and minds, aligned them with each other, and brought into their lives, through their Work, Strength, Wisdom and Beauty such that all are present and all are in agreement with each other and with life and have done so in Masterful ways.

    BTW - You asked: Where in mythology do we find a father raised from the dead by a son?

    Then you offered this:

    So, are you now claiming Jesus is a myth and that he was the son of Lasarus?
     
    Warrior1256 and Glen Cook like this.
  17. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    6,218
    2,613
    183
    Good question.
     
  18. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

    1,795
    1,713
    133
    Thanks. I was inspired.
     
    Warrior1256 likes this.
  19. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

    1,485
    417
    83
    >So, are you now claiming Jesus is a myth and that he was the son of Lasarus?

    Here is my original statement - just in case you misread it

     
  20. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

    705
    553
    113
    I wanted to add something here. I'm a bit upset with myself that I had not read the entirety of Masonry Dissected earlier. It's dated 1730 and has a version of the Legend almost identical to our one. It's a catechism, and thus has far less detail than our ritual does, but the elements are there.
     

Share My Freemasonry