03-14-2017, 03:58 PM
A brief history of Freemasonry.
1. ~4000BC: The first tradesmen specializing in Stonemasonry form regional orders of craftsman to build local great works such as Stonehenge, the Tower of Babel, The Ziggurat, The Great Pyramids, The Hanging Gardens, etc. Like most trades today, the craftsmen were organized into a hierarchy of degrees based on their skill in the trades. Apprentices, Fellowcrafts(journeymen), and Masters. Sub-hierarchies also existed within the main degrees. Novice, Assistant, Laborer, Carpenter, etc. Only a Master of the building crafts would have the skill and knowledge necessary to calculate the stresses on massive structures and design arches and pillars capable of holding them up. Geometry and mathematics were crucial skills for the ancient master mason and architect. Skills that were very rare among the general populace, and even rare among the educated elite.
~1200BC Skilled Masons and true masters of their craft become highly sought after, especially in the middle east where most of the ancient civilizations developed. Such Master Masons were requested to work outside their own country, and a system of recognition is developed to allow such masters to travel over international borders. A master mason was thus recognized as being an international person, who could travel and work his trade in any country.
~970BC Solomon Begins Construction of His Temple to Jhvh/Yhwh in Jerusalem. He contacts King Hiram of Tyre who helped his father, King David, build his palace, and asks for a Master Mason to Design and Oversee its construction. King Hiram Sends another man, also named Hiram (apparently a common name in Tyre at the time, like Thomas, Richard, or Harold in Medieval England). Hiram Abiff, the master mason, while a skilled craftsman, isn't politically or religiously important, but he is the Grand Master of Skilled Masons in the Levant at the time, and oversees the issuance of the passwords that allow other Masons to travel the world and ply their trade.
~964BC. Hiram Abiff is murdered and the passwords are lost. King Solomon and King Hiram promote from within the workmen a new grandmaster to finish the temple and make up new passwords to share with promoted master masons and other kings to accept workmen from foreign lands.