Masonic Symbols from the Bible by Nate W. Beck

square_and_compasses_5Guest Post by Nate Beck

Nate Beck is an avid researcher on the Bible, Alchemy and other mysteries of God. His knowledge and insight on differing subjects is impressive. He enjoys sharing his findings on the many paths he follows and I am glad to offer some of them here for those interested. Please leave comments for him below.

Masonic Symbols from the Bible

For the past three years I have researched Freemasonry in depth trying to uncover the truth about this organization. During that time, the single thing that has amazed me the most is the fact that Masonry takes many of its major symbols from the Bible! I am not a Mason, but a Bible student, and this has been one of the main underlying factors for why I studied it for that long. Much is said about “Masonic secrets”, but I consider this to be their greatest “secret”. A secret that is really hidden in plain sight, but which very few actually discuss.

I thought it would be nice to write a short reference guide to these “secrets”, showing where in the Bible these things come from. Though these are called “Masonic”, really they were in the Bible long before Masonry ever existed. Freemasonry uses so many Biblical elements in fact, that there is actually an absurd theory that Masons had a hand in producing the King James Bible. I don’t believe this for a minute, but it is humorous.

It is a fact that the following symbols are used in basic, Blue Lodge Freemasonry with it’s degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason. You can confirm this fact in pretty much any Masonic book. These nine are my favorites! I hope you enjoy these Masonic Symbols From the Bible. Many thanks to Jenny for allowing me to post this to Mysterious Writings.

ALL SEEING EYE: Psalm 33:18, Ezra 5:5

COMPASS: Proverbs 8:27-28

CORNERSTONE: Psalm 118:22, Isaiah 28:16

HIRAM: 1 Kings 7:13-14

JACHIN AND BOAZ: 1 Kings 7:21

MIDDAY SUN: Job 11:17, Psalm 55:17, Acts 26:13

PLUMBLINE: Amos 7:7-8, Zechariah 4:10

SQUARE: 1 Kings 7:5, Revelation 21:16, 1 Kings 5:18

WINDING STAIRS: 1 Kings 6:8, Ezekiel 41:7

A King James Bible. Public Domain.

 

Copyright 2016 by Nathan W. Beck. Not to be reproduced in any form without express permission from the author.

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32 Responses

  1. Jenny Kile says:

    Thank you Nate. Always a pleasure to share your research. An impressive list of Masonic References to now explore. thanks again. ~jenny

  2. Nate Beck says:

    You are very welcome!

    I am very happy to finally be in a stage of my research where I am not struggling with someone else’s research, but am enjoying my own discoveries and ideas. Not that I am unappreciative of other researchers.

    I am hoping to greatly expand this article in a book. Much more is hidden in the Bible than what I could ever discuss. And there are plenty more Biblical items of interest that are utilized in Freemasonry.

    I hope this brings as much enjoyment as I received putting it together.

    Thank You!

    PS: Love the image for the article. It’s perfect 🙂

  3. Buckeye Bob says:

    I think this stuff is extremely interesting.
    There’s something that goes to the core of the human experience in it all.

  4. JL says:

    In the picture, would that be considered a compass or a scribe? Why would Mason’s feel the need to hide their association to the Bible? Does religious persecution play a part?

    Good article, I would like to read more on this subject.Thanks Nate and Jenny

    • Buckeye Bob says:

      JL, I think the Mason’s association with the Bible is pretty clear. It’s right there in everything they do and are based on.
      But it’s a strange thing. The Masons accept anyone who believes in One God, no matter what religion that is, from what I understand. That’s what makes it strange.

      I don’t know much about it, but it strikes me that the Masons (builders originally, a guild structure that protected their freedoms from kings and tyrants), and this adherence to “One God” (the greatest builder of all) is a very deep subject matter.

      I may be off base, and I know that. Any insight is appreciated, especially from Nate or any others with real expertise.

    • Nate Beck says:

      Hi JL,

      The picture above depicts both a square and a compass. Not sure what you mean by “scribe”.

      Also, I wouldn’t say that Masons hide their ritual associations with the Bible. I just think it is something that is not usually acknowledged. And what’s worse, most closed-minded Christians simply write most of these symbols off as occult symbols, while ignoring the fact that these symbols are in scripture as well.

      I for one share the opinion that symbols are largely morally neutral, and the meanings we attach to them are entirely an individual matter of interpretation. Symbolism, whether Masonic, Biblical or occult are very subjective for the most part.

      For example, say I passed out a handful of the above scripture references for just one of these symbols to, say, 50 Christians of various denominations, and then asked their opinion. I would most likely get about 100 differing opinions, at least. It’s not good to be too dogmatic about certain things.

      I find it is far better to share our opinions and enjoy eachothers various thoughts and interpretations, than to argue who is right or wrong. But of course, this is just my subjective opinion lol.

      • JL says:

        Nate, all very interesting. If I desired to study this more as it seems you have done in depth can you make a recommendation on a good place to start? As far as the scribe goes they are very similar to a compass, for example say you had a wavy wall that you wanted a board to fit tight to, you would lay the edge of the board tight to the wall then follow the contour transferring the shape to the board to be cut to fit.

        • JL says:

          oh, sorry Nate I see your recommendations below I just need to read a little farther. Thank you for your gift of knowledge.

          • Nate Beck says:

            JL,

            You are very welcome 🙂

            I didn’t even know what a scribe was lol. So, thank you for your knowledge as well!

            As for a good place to start. I think the best book to start with is Dr. Brent Morris’s ‘The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Freemasonry’. That’s where I started. Dr. Morris is very likeable and is a Mason I highly respect.

            Hope this helps.

            • JL says:

              Ok that is a good place to start, I resemble that title. I was surprised to find so many famous people that are or were FM. Strange also they mostly have big smiles on their faces like they know a secret that some don’t.

  5. Nate Beck says:

    I thank you all for your kind remarks.

    I do not consider myself an “expert” on anything, nor do I ever care to be. I find that title to go along with rife arrogance that I want no part of. I consider myself a student and learner, always wanting to find the truth.

    That said, I am no expert on Freemasonry. But, after three years of research, I’d like to think I know of a good book or two lol.

    Though I can’t endorse every viewpoint of the authors, I would recommend the following books to anyone who would like to research this fascinating subject even further.

    ‘Sacred Secrets: Freemasonry, the Bible and Christian Faith’ by Mike Neville

    ‘Sources of Masonic Symbolism’ by Alex Horne

    ‘Masonic & Occult Symbols Illustrated’ by Dr. Cathy Burns

    ‘The Masonic Myth’ by Jay Kinney

    ‘Should A Christian Be A Mason?’ by David W. Daniels

    ‘The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Freemasonry’ by Dr. S. Brent Morris.

    ‘Darkness Visible’ by Walton Hannah

    ‘Is It True What They Say About Freemasonry?’ by Arturo de Hoyos and Dr. S. Brent Morris

  6. horatio says:

    Do you not think that this would simply be the case?
    If you take the establishment/standardisation of masonry (written and documented) as a 17th/18th century gentleman’s club, then in all likelihood the original members would all have been Christian. So when the rituals were formalised, they turned to ‘their’ VSL for inspiration. That would have been the Bible.
    If the history of masonry (speculative) goes back beyond the 17th century as an oral tradition, then still the same applies – ie if the early group wanted to trace their history back to Solomon’s first Temple (to give a pedigree), then where else would they have got their information from? What source other than the Bible? What sources other than the Bible talk about Solomon, the Temple, the Hirams?
    As for the building symbology, then once a link to the Temple had been established, G_d as the architect is then also an old (and understood) and appropriate(d) motif – the compasses and square being then the symbols of the architect/geometrician.

    • Nate Beck says:

      Horatio!

      Couldn’t agree more!

      That the men who founded Freemasonry were Christian, or at least Deists, who knew the Bible very well (better than most today, I might add), is another one of those plain facts that somehow doesn’t get discussed too often, even by most Masons themselves!

      Thank you for the comment!

  7. horatio says:

    Wouldn’t their reticence to discuss the ‘religious’ components be two or three fold:
    1) Quite a few masons just see masonry as a ‘social club’ – a golf/cricket club parallel – and are more interested in the contacts they can make more than the meaning of their own ritual.
    2) AFAIK both religion and politics are frowned on as topics of discussion within the lodge precincts. In a fraternity that is universal under GAOTU – discussing one specific religion over any other could potentially cause divisions – the opposite of what masonry is about.
    3) That by divorcing masonry from any one religion and using the symbolism of the GAOTU, largely the symbols used are of a geometrician/architect – so even though a specific religion may refer to the same terms, the origin of the terms in masonry are as linked to the GAOTU. Once you have geometry and architecture, references to the ‘tools’ used in those ‘sciences’ are then not specifically religious in any way. And masons are actively encouraged to study the sciences. To perceive their G_d through the rules. Number and shape are an obvious starting point for that.

    So, even though the Bible may contain the terms, I’m not sure that that is how a mason is supposed to view them. They (IMHO) would be expected to abstract the terms as GOATU is an abstract, or a view of an aspect, of a universally accepted singular deity.

  8. Buckeye Bob says:

    One of the things that strikes me about the Free Masons is the intricate humanity involved.
    Unrelated to the Masons, but as an example:
    Years ago I had read about a WWII story involving the Baton Death March.
    A US soldier trapped in that horror had been a star football player who had a remarkable game in the Rose Bowl. He had his Rose Bowl ring, and it was taken away by the Japanese soldiers. (I can’t recall what his name was.)
    Later, a Japanese officer came along and handed it back to him. He said he studied in the US and was at that game, what a great game he had had, and then saw his ring and won it in some game of chance. He told him to hide it away. And that US soldier eventually survived and came home with his ring.

    Even enemies can be “friends” of some sort or other. And this seems to be woven into the Free Masons too, in my opinion. A common cause sort of recognition that transcends politics, religion, or whatever else is going on.

  9. Nate Beck says:

    Horatio,

    I agree with your last post, but I believe we are getting way past the purpose or point of the article lol.

    My purpose is to share the Biblical heritage of Freemasonry, not to argue the whys or wherefores of the fraternity. I’m way past all that.

    just letting you know where I stand in regards.

    Feel free to comment further.

  10. horatio says:

    But that’s the point – is there a Biblical heritage? Just because the Bible shares certain terms, it is a leap to say that the Bible was the source for all the terms and symbols.
    I am not aware (but then I don’t profess to study ancient civilisations) of references to Solomon, Hiram and the Temple outside of the Bible – so the rituals including those as ‘motifs’ to me seem to stem from there, but as for other symbols such as the tools of an architect/geometrician seem to be more universal. The common tools that reinforce masonry, do not then appear to have the same heritage. Almost as though two ideas – one to abstract morality to the use of certain working tools and one to reinforce the concept of the one GAOTU had been merged.

  11. Nate Beck says:

    Horatio,

    At no point do I claim that the Bible was the source for “all” Masonic terms and symbols. There are an abundance of symbols in Masonry that are not Biblical.

    As for Masonry having a Biblical heritage as far as it’s symbols are concerned, the Masonic books, written by Masons themselves, that I recommended earlier pretty much establish that.

    Seems pretty plain to me lol.

    • horatio says:

      Nate,
      And I didn’t say ‘all’ Masonic symbols – I think I said ‘all the symbols’ – referring to the symbols in your article where you quote certain symbols and then their usage in the Bible.
      I think my reply made it clear that I was saying that some of the symbols you mention you can assume came from the Bible – as what other source would there be? BUT the references in the Bible to the more generic symbols that relate to geometry/architecture are more likely to be coincidence given that masonry uses GAOTU as an aspect – so the working tools related to an architect/geometrician are not necessarily/obviously based on any Biblical reference.

      Oh, and just as an aside anyway – if you believe the ‘history of masonry’ then masonry predates the written OT and vastly predates the NT. So is the influence of terms/symbols not the other way round anyway?

  12. HaywardG says:

    Great to see writing of yours again Nate !

    One of the first introductions I had into the relationship between Freemasonry and the Bible was visiting a lodge set up for the Royal Arch ritual. With the twelve tribes set up at their stations and their banners much in the same way described in the encampment surrounding the tabernacle in Numbers.

    Wheras I do agree that the Bible was obviously used because of its familiarity and strong moral bearing for the time, I also think that there are additional layers of interpretation that are meant to be indicated by it. If the teachings and practices of Christianity would have sufficed, then there would be no additional need for the creation of Freemasonry to begin with.

    Another tangent to consider (one that I find greatly intriguing but not conclusive) is the tying together of the symbols and practices of the Rosicrucians with the advent of Freemasonry, for example. Rosicrucianism is, at the surface, most completely open about its consideration and relationship to the mysteries of Christianity. But for anyone coming from a Christian background, this is not the kind of Christianity that would appear readily available. It isn’t something entirely (or remotely) orthodox.

    It is this sort of fact that might give cause for some to question why the subject was presented as hidden in such fashion (such as their fear of religious persecution or for the development of some clandestine power society). Yet the other, more simple, possibility is that it wasn’t purposefully hidden at all, but the reason why the meaning of the subject isn’t readily available is because it just takes much time to cogigate and approach an understanding of it.

    Some are quite comfortable worshipping in general assembly, and then there are those that are compelled to further into the temple.

    • Nate Beck says:

      Hi Hayward,

      Good to hear from you 🙂

      Rosicrucianism is something I admire. I would describe myself as a more mystically minded Christian, and I think mainstream Christianity, as it is today, ignores much of the Bible actually. I find this to be true in my day to day life among fellow believers.

      For example, when I tell some Christians that many Masonic symbols are also Biblical symbols, I get cross eyed looks and scowls. In fact, I do not consider this to be an enlightened age for Christianity at all. It is a close minded age for Christianity, where rigid dogma and empty worship and empty Bible study takes the place of true spirituality and contact with the Spirit of God! Rosicrucianism, and other forms of spiritual quests are more in keeping with the Bible that I cherish so much. It is largely a Christianity with very little of Christ, that I see from day to day.

      Thank you for your thoughts. I am thinking of doing another piece on Alchemy Symbols of the Bible. Maybe I should study for Rosicrucian symbols of the Bible as well, such as the Rose and Heart!

      Hmmmm…..you got me set on another course Hayward.. Thank you, this should be fun 🙂

      • HaywardG says:

        Hi Nate-

        Its a sticky issue with me also. Having been baptized and attending a Catholic university, I have a range of experiences both supporting and critical of contemporary Christian ideals. That being said, the I greatly admired the rigorous and studious nature of the Catholic education system that held strong discipline in support of the liberal arts and sciences as well as the Western philosophical and theological tradition.

        In today’s public settings, it certainly does not seem ideal for the nurturing of spiritual ideals or matters pertaining to faith in general, in my experience. Mention faith in any secular branch of culture and society and you are also likely to get cross eyed looks and fewer invitations to lunch or dinner. Although, that could very well depend on which branch or faction one is engaged with. I keep my beliefs and opinions largely to myself, unless entering into conversation with those who are obviously interested in the subject to begin with.

        Which makes these things all the more precious and valuable, if you ask me.

        I look forward to reading your thoughts on alchemy and Rosicrucian symbolism. I might run a parallel line of inquiry about alchemical symbolism and its cosmological implications if I can.

        • Nate Beck says:

          Hi Hayward,

          Yeah, I’m pretty much the same way with talking to people about my faith. I don’t proselytize, cuz usually it doesn’t do any good anyway, and people you talk to end up in worse condition that they were before you said any thing.

          Better spend your time only helping people who want it or appreciate it.

          I’m going to start delving into Rosicrucianism this weekend.

      • Buckeye Bob says:

        Nate, this is a closed minded age, period. Look at the divide in politics and even science.
        I’d love to see something on alchemy. And that brings up another thought related to this piece.
        Where did the Biblical symbols come from?
        The more I think about this, it seems to me that these symbols have their roots in their own science, and then were taken into a wider scope. The only reason they we are viewing them as from the Bible may be because of it’s ancient roots and the lack of other sources of it’s kind?

  13. Nate Beck says:

    Hi Buckeye Bob,

    It is sad, but there are a very limited number of ancient sources that have come down to us intact.

    I share the belief that the Bible as in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament is both a Divine and Human product. As for the source of Biblical symbols, I believe that is an area of study that is very complex. As for things like Solomons Temple and Hiram, I believe those were real people and buildings. Hiram is used as a symbol of the Master Mason in Freemasonry.

    Other symbols that are more theological in nature, such as the All Seeing Eye, I believe, would derive from a combination of human thought and experience with the divine revelations from the God who watches over all of us.

    However, these questions don’t have a simple answer, but each person is free to discover what means the most to them and how they view such things fascinating subjects. It’s an enjoyable subjectivism, which adds to the allure and power of such symbols!

  14. Buckeye Bob says:

    Good post, Nate.
    I’m busy getting organized and ready for my Fenn treasure search, so I’m feeling a lack of concentration for such a complex topic.
    But I hope to see more on this in the future. This whole topic is something I’ve always wanted to explore more for myself.
    And again, I’m very interested in the subject of symbols in alchemy too.
    Jenny’s got quite a site here, I hope to be around for years to come.

  15. Nate Beck says:

    Buckeye Bob,

    Well best of luck finding Fenn’s elusive chest my friend. Thank you for the discussion. I will be around as long as God grants (no joke, I was almost killed today when a driver ran a red light!!! Thank God my wife prayed before we left the house!)

    Jenny is a great one and a great friend 😊😊😊 anyone is very blessed to know her and her work! You can email me too anytime if interested.

    Be safe searching for that gold!

  16. Nate Beck says:

    Thanks guys. Yeah, we didn’t get hit or anything, so thank God! And thank my wife! She is definitely my better half 😍

  17. Nate Beck says:

    Hello All,

    I’ve decided to go in a new direction with my research and instead of perhaps mis-labeling the symbols in the Bible that I like to focus on, I would like to call this series Mysterious Symbols of the Bible. I like this idea much better than saying “Alchemical symbols or Rosicrucian symbols of the Bible etc etc….

    Just as I received objection to calling the above Biblical symbols “Masonic”, so I would receive like objection. After all, these symbols exist in the Bible in their own context with their own contextual meaning in the history and theology of Judeo-Christian Faith.

    Also, I would like to do new articles on previous subject matter that was in old articles that were on Mysterious Writings in the past, that have since been removed for personal reasons. Only this time, they will not be set in a Masonic or Alchemic or even Rennes-le-Chateau context so much as they were before.

    Nothing like a fresh new perspective! Thanks for reading 🙂

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