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

Masonic symbols lost word

Lost Treasure

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.


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.


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10 Responses

  1. Illinosghost says:

    Great post! Enjoyed reading it…

  2. Nate Beck says:

    Thank you Illinosghost,

    Glad you like it 🙂

    I really like your symbol there!

    New Article Coming Soon: ‘The Treasure of the Threefold Triplicity’

  3. JC1117 says:

    Well done, Nate.

    I greatly enjoyed your writing, also. Great research.

    “The Builder is smitten…dead…rejected…refused.”

    “The Stone which the builders refused is become the Head Stone of the Corner.”

    I believe that All things point to Christ.

    Ephesians 2:20 “…Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.”

    He IS The Word…and was crucified for openly saying so.

    I believe Hiram was killed because he wouldn’t break his covenant with Christ (aka the Old Testament Jehovah/Lord.) Obviously, this meant that Hiram could not speak the Word(s) which the Lord forbade him.

    He was obviously entrusted with Sacred Knowledge and Words.

    • Nate Beck says:

      Many thanks JC1117,

      I wholeheartedly agree that Christ, the Tekton from Nazareth, is the Cornerstone and all things point to Him!

      There are many parallels to the Hiram story and Christ! Perhaps I may cover this in a future article!

  4. HaywardG says:

    Hi Nate-

    Great research!

    Taken it all in comprehensively– it seems cyclical:

    The stone that the builder’s rejected = the rejected stone= rough ashlar= the stone used as the cornerstone and thus beginning the foundation of the temple. (explored here also:

    The ‘builder smitten’ as personification of the former, rejected stone, the stage before becoming exalted to level of the “accepted stone”, or accepted builder the perfect stone/builder of the perfect ashlar.

    The perfected ashlar= the philosopher’s stone- = stone of the wise, who through wisdom do men (or women) attain ‘resurrection’ after becoming raised.

    Great connected with original hebrew. Always looking forward to more of your ideas–

    best, HG

  5. Nate Beck says:

    Thanks Hayward,

    I concur! I liken it to the alchemical idea of the First Matter being composed of despised material that people deem worthless, but is, in fact, the most valuable of all!

  6. Mark says:

    The Cicle with the dot in the Center represents the symbol for the Sun. The word Logus (Word) in The Bible by definition can include a symbol.

    This is similar to Voltaires saying ” God is a Circle whose Center leads to Everywhere and whose Circumference leads to Nowhere.” The Circumference of the circle is both a reference to the shape of the Sun, and to the phenomenon referred to as Revelation where the Earth revolves around the Sun in a Circle. The actual symbol for the Sun is the Still Point located in the Center of the Circle.

    Circular Movement = Time
    Stillness = Timelessness

    Hence we have The Bible verse …

    Psalms 46:10 Be Still and know that I am God.”

  7. Nate Beck says:

    Love your thoughts Mark! I love the way you connect that verse with the center of the circle!!!! 😁😁😁 Wow that’s awesome!

    • Mark says:

      Thanks Nate.😊

      Part of the point that I was trying to make is that the circular movement of the earth around the Sun defines the phenomenon of Time … as a form of measurement. By Timelessness or Stillness, I don’t mean “No
      Time.” It’s more like a feeling of being Centered in the Present (the Eternal). It’s the Circular Movement which causes us to reflect on the past and future.

      Part of the beauty of Voltaires statement is that this it can apply to ANY Center of a Circular Orbit … not just to the Sun. For example, the Moon orbits around the Earth in a Circle. From the perspective of the Moons orbit around the Earth, the Earth represents the Center of the Movement.

      So if a person were to meditate facing the direction of the Moon, then the person would experience a state of Inner stillness on an Inner level because they’d feel more centered in the Earth, whereas if they meditate facing the direction of the Sun, they’d experience this state of Outer Stillness.

      Hatha Yoga
      Yoga = Union
      Ha (of Hatha) = Sun
      Tha (Hatha) = Moon

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