Masonic Symbols and Finding the Lost Word of a Master Mason: Guest Post by Nate Beck
Guest Post by Nate Beck
Masonic Symbols and Finding the Lost Word of a Master Mason
In the Third Degree ritual of Freemasonry, Hiram Abiff, who is the Architect of King Solomon’s Temple, is slain by three Fellow Craft Masons who try to get him to reveal the Secret Word of a Master Mason. Upon Hiram’s death, the Word is then lost.
It is one of the most enduring mysteries of the age for what that special Word might be. Perhaps, the same Word spoken of in the Gospel of John 1:1?
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
In the story of the murdered Master Mason, the three murderers are found and judged for the murder of Hiram Abiff, whose body is removed from the shallow grave they threw him in, to a more honorable resting place. Then the remaining Masons are instructed to keep a substitute Masonic Word until “the Word that was lost”, should be found again with the help of a Mysterious Centre of a Circle.
That substitute Word has been given throughout the last four hundred years in various forms, such as “Marrow-In-the-Bone”, “Ma-Ha-Bone, and “Machbenah”. According to historian David Stevenson, “Thus ‘machbenah’ looks distinctly like an attempt to pass off the word as Hebrew. This seems to have been influential, but attempts to give it a plausible Hebrew meaning are not convincing.” The Origins of Freemasonry, page 149.
However, with all due respect to our historian Mr. Stevenson, I believe I have found an explanation that fits perfectly. We are dealing, after all, with a story that deals with a Hebrew king, a Hebrew Temple, and other Biblical elements!
So, is there a Hebrew word from the Bible that explains the “Substitute Word of a Master Mason”? I believe there is.
A BUILDER SMITTEN
Remember, the story involves the murder of the Chief Architect, and Craftsman of Solomon’s Temple, Hiram. It is even explained in various rituals of the Master Mason that the Word ‘Ma-Ha-Bone” actually means “the builder is smitten” or “is dead”, or, as I have found “is rejected or refused.”
What I have found, while exploring the Bible for any semblance of a story where masons, builders, or temple workers are murdered, for a possible Biblical origin for the Hiram story, is a peculiar phrase in Psalm 118:22-23kjv:
“The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.”
The Hebrew words translated “the builders refused” is none other than “Maasu haBoniym.” It is easy to see how that phrase could’ve been corrupted into Ma-Ha-Bone, by Masons who did not know the Hebrew that the Masonic ritual writers were familiar with!
Thus, for me at least, I believe I have successfully solved the mystery of the Substitute Word of a Master Mason!
Now it remains to find the Original Word of a Master Mason…the so-called Lost Word……
~Guest Post by Nate Beck
King James Bible, 1611
Neville, Mike Sacred Secrets: Freemasonry, the Bible and Christian Faith England, The History Press, 2013
Stevenson, David The Origins of Freemasonry: Scotland’s Century, 1590-1710 Cambridge University Press, 1988
Strong’s Concordance of the Bible, Hebrew Lexicon.