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Algoma District Travelling Square

 

KING SOLOMON & KING SOLOMONS TEMPLE - April 06, 1994

   

PRESENTED TO: KENOGAMISIS LODGE A.F. & A.M. No. 656 BY THUNDER BAY LODGE A.F. & A.M. No. 618

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO

 

The D.D.G.M. R. Wor. Bro. Roy Teniuk on his official visit to Kenogamisis Lodge was joined by W. Bro. Glen Harris and members of Thunder Bay Lodge No. 618 to present the Travelling Square to the Worshipful Master of Kenogamisis Lodge.

 

Thunder Bay Lodge members present were; Wor. Master Glen Harris, R.W. Bro. J.H. McMullin, Wor. Bro. Gordon Whatley.

  

A short talk on King Solomon and King Solomonís Temple was given by Wor. Bro. Gordon Whatley of Thunder Bay Lodge No. 618.

  

KING SOLOMON AND KING SOLOMONS TEMPLE

 

Right Worshipful Sirs, Very Wor. Sirs, Wor. Sirs and Brethren.

 

Masonry as we know is rich in Symbolism and the two most predominate symbols are LIGHT and BUILDING.

 

The source of light is the Holy Bible.

 

The greatest of all legendary builders were the architects of King Solomonís Temple.

 

The topic tonight is about King Solomon and his Temple.

 

Most of our ritual and symbolism is based on the Holy Bible and Solomonís Temple.

 

The first 27 pages in the Bible that we were all given after our 3rd degree tells a fairly detailed story about the building of the Temple and Citadel.

 

I did some research beyond that and would like to share a bit of it with you.

 

KING SOLOMON and KING SOLOMONíS TEMPLE

 

King Solomon was one of four sons of King David and Queen Bathsheba.  Accurate dates of his birth are vague, assuming he was 14 years old when he became King and if the year 1005 B.C. is taken as the completion of the Temple then the date of his birth would be about 1030 B.C.

 

Solomon started building the Temple in the fourth year of his reign and it took seven years to build it.

 

Chronologically it would be something like this -

 

Born 1030 B.C. - Became King 1016 B.C. - Started building 1012 B.C.  and finished the Temple in 1005 B.C.

 

Solomon was schooled under some of the great masters of the time and was well versed on the plans for the Temple from his father.

 

The first visions of plans for a great Temple of worship came to Moses in his stay of 40 days and 40 nights on Mount Sinai.

 

Jehovah then put them in writing and then past them to King David whose architects began working on plans.

 

King David then passed them to his son when he became King to implement them.

 

Solomon in his great wisdom held counsel with his wise men and with his allies and master builders of the great nations.

 

He had a good relationship with his neighbours like Hiram King of Tyre, and the King of Egypt.  Solomon married Pharaohís daughter.

 

He had a visit from the Queen of Sheba on a trading mission and he lavishly entertained in his palace.

 

King Solomon reigned for 40 years and apparently died a very old man.  King Solomonís Temple lasted 400 years.

 

Solomonís Temple was built on Mount Moriah located within the walled city of Jerusalem.

 

An immense amount of wealth was needed to build the Temple. Solomonís treasury was already very wealthy from the spoils of King Davidís wars.

 

Solomon raised taxes and divided Israel into 12 districts (one for each month of the year) so they had to take their turns provisioning the court for that month.

The Temple being erected was mainly for a Nomadic people, so many of the wealthy nomadic Israelite traders who traveled from country to country gave generously of their gold Ė silver Ė diamonds -- sapphires and fine linens and rugs etc.

 

There seemed to be no end of the wealth pouring into the treasury to fund the grandest and most costly structure ever erected and dedicated to the worship of God.

 

An estimate of the cost of just the gold and silver that went into building and furnishing of the Temple was over five billion dollars at 1940 prices.

 

It is written that one hundred thousand talents of gold was used and a million talents of silver.

A talent is equal to 131 pounds or 48 kilograms.

 

The ten golden candlesticks on the Altar had a value today of over $300,000 dollars.

 

The Altar was inlaid with gold and the Ark of the Covenant completely overlaid with gold.

 

The many Brass pillars were all filleted with silver.  But in those days there was no great account taken of the tremendous wealth of which a large part of it came from Solomonís treasury -- thanks to his father King David.

 

Thousands and thousands of men, horses and chariots were necessary to carry out the work.

 

A census was taken and it was found that there were 153,000 foreign workers available, seventy thousand to work as labourers and eighty thousand to be hewers in the forests and workers in the quarries.  There was another three-thousand six hundred men to oversee the workers.  Four thousand horses and chariots were supplied from Solomonís stables.  Many of the craftsmen and stone masons were sent from Tyre by Hiram King of Tyre.

 

The country of Tyre had many fine craftsmen who worked with stone and timber and they had an advanced knowledge of iron work and brass and even the alloy bronze.

 

Imagine all of the organizing, planning and control necessary to feed house and pay them.  If you remember the labourers were paid with corn, wine and oil and the craftsmen with specie.

 

In other words labourers worked for room and board and the craftsmen were paid in currency of the times.

 

The purpose of the Temple was a place of Holy Worship and a safe place to keep priceless religious memorabilia.

 

The Ark of the Covenant was a beautiful chest made of the hard, heavy wood of the Acacia Tree, and was inlaid with gold.  It held the Decalogue (Two stone tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments).

 

In the Ark was also Aarons Rod -- The Sacred Cubit -- A rod exactly one cubit in length which was the standard measure of length for building the Temple.

 

The Ark also contained some Manna from Heaven, the divinely supplied spiritual nourishment supplied to the Israelites in their journey through the wilderness.

 

King Solomonís Temple was a rectangle 100 cubits by 50 cubits (about 200 x l00 feet.  The standard cubit was about 25 inches in our measure (64 centimetres today).

 

The Temple covered 2.5 acres and the whole court covered 25 acres. 

 

A perfect square was made in the front of the Temple that measured exactly 100 cubits by 100 cubits which made an exact acre.

 

The United States system of land measure was derived from King Solomonís Temple.

 

The stone used for the building came from a vast underground quarry located north of the Temple still within the walls of Jerusalem.

 

The Stone is called Dolomite -- itís a white limestone that is fairly easy to shape but it hardens when in the air for a time, to become a durable building stone.

 

The shaping of all the stone was done at the quarry by the stone cutters and moved by horses and chariots to be put in place at the building.  Most of the blocks were cut to 10 cubits or 8 cubits.

 

We know of the two large pillars that stood at the entrance of the Temple were cast in brass.  At least one of the writers thought it might be bronze because they knew how to make the alloy bronze about that time.

 

Solomon ruled as King for 40 years.

 

King Solomonís Temple lasted for 400 years.

 

The Temple was destroyed in the year 586 B.C. by the Babylonians on orders from King Nebuchadnezzar.

 

Everything of value was plundered and disappeared with the plunderers.  In the year 536 B.C. the Jews started to rebuild the Temple by building a foundation and an altar.

 

It was about 20 years later before the rebuilding was finished by The Prince of Judah and was called Zerubbabelís Temple.

 

The Temple was actually rebuilt a third time by King Herod in the time of Jesus Christ.

 

Today a 7th Century Mosque, a public place of worship, occupies the site of King Solomonís Temple.

 

Actually the TEMPLE part of that whole complex that Solomon built was only the one large room that contained the Altar and the Ark and where the prayers were heard.  The rest of the building and the court was called The Court of Jehovah.

 

After Zerubbabel rebuilt it the whole building was designated as the TEMPLE.

 

When King Herod rebuilt for the third time the whole building and the whole court was designated as the TEMPLE.

 

King Solomon has been traditionally ascribed as the author of three books in the bible, namely The Book of Proverbs, The Song of Solomon and Ecclesiastes.

 

I think we have to marvel at what they could accomplish nearly 3000 years ago.

 

Knowledge and planning- Architecture and building.

 

Wealth - Great amount of wealth needed - and being able to get it.

 

Distance - to bring in materials - Timbers from Lebanon.

                                                   - Iron, Brass and manpower from Tyre.

                                                   - Stone from the quarry.

 

Organization - Feeding, Housing and paying more men than would live in a large city today.

 

Caring - for 4000 horses and chariots.

 

All this without machinery and only crude tools and instruments.  Also thousands of tons of fill were brought to the site to level the ground for the Temple building.

 

Some very Amazing feats.

 

 

Finally, an interesting fact that happened in more recent times was that the Grand Lodge of Canada once had a duly chartered constituent lodge in Palestine.  A group of brethren thought it would be appropriate to have a lodge at work in the land of King Solomon.

 

After making overtures to the Grand Lodges of England, Scotland and Ireland as well as the United States, all of them declined to issue a warrant.  Finally in 1873 a dispensation was granted to The Royal Solomon Mother Lodge in Jerusalem by the Grand Lodge of Canada who had not been informed about the previous refusals.

 

Warrant No.293 was issued to them in the same year.

 

The ceremony of constitution and the first installation were performed in King Solomonís quarries beneath the city of Jerusalem.

 

The first Worshipful Master was a Past Grand Master of Kentucky M.W. Bro. Rob Morris.

 

The lodge apparently survived for about 25 years but because Canada was so remote from Jerusalem proper supervision was impossible and the lodge drifted into careless, slipshod unconstitutional ways.  So in 1901 the Grand Secretary suspended their warrant.

 

Some members defied the suspension and continued to meet so it wasnít till 1907 that the Grand Master cancelled the warrant and notified all other jurisdictions of his actions.

 

End of story.

  

Research Publications;

Masonic Bible - By John Wesley Kelchner

History of the Jews - By Paul Johnson

Research Papers - By Jerome B. Frisbee (Lindsay California)

Whence Come We - Various Encyclopaedias

  

 Presented by W. Bro. Gordon Whatley

 (M.W. Bro. William Pellow, Grand Master 1988 Ė Legislated dropping the use of the word TEMPLE on the Building in favour of Lodge.)