Phoenix Chapter No. 34 Mark Master Mason Initiation and Official Visit(PID:30537598126) Source
posted by alias antefixus21 on Wednesday 26th of October 2016 05:48:45 AM
Cookstown Masonic Temple. banahtorah.blogspot.ca/2006/07/12-tribes-of-israel-banner... Grapes: Asher - One of twelve banners representing the twelve tribes of Israel. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribe_of_Asher According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Asher (Hebrew: אָשֵׁר, Modern Asher, Tiberian ʼĀšēr; "happy one") was one of the Tribes of Israel. According to the biblical Book of Joshua, following the completion of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelite tribes Joshua allocated the land among the twelve tribes. According to biblical scholar Kenneth Kitchen, this conquest should be dated slightly after 1200 BC. However, the consensus of modern scholars is that the conquest of Joshua as described in the Book of Joshua never occurred. In the biblical account, Joshua assigned Asher western and coastal Galilee, a region with comparatively low temperature, and much rainfall, making it some of the most fertile land in Canaan, with rich pasture, wooded hills, and orchards; as such Asher was particularly prosperous, and known for its olive oil. The Blessing of Moses appears to prophesy this allocation, although textual scholars view this as a postdiction. From after the conquest of the land by Joshua until the formation of the first Kingdom of Israel in c. 1050 BC, the Tribe of Asher was a part of a loose confederation of Israelite tribes. No central government existed, and in times of crisis the people were led by ad hoc leaders known as Judges (see the Book of Judges). With the growth of the threat from Philistine incursions, the Israelite tribes decided to form a strong centralized monarchy to meet the challenge, and the Tribe of Asher joined the new kingdom with Saul as the first king. After the death of Saul, all the tribes other than Judah remained loyal to the House of Saul, and followed his son Ish-bosheth, but after Ish-bosheth's death, the Tribe of Asher joined the other northern Israelite tribes in making David, who was then the king of Judah, king of a re-united Kingdom of Israel. On the accession of Rehoboam, David's grandson, in c. 930 BC the northern tribes split from the House of David to reform a Kingdom of Israel as the Northern Kingdom. Asher was a member of the kingdom until the kingdom was conquered by Assyria in c. 723 BC and the population deported. From that time, the Tribe of Asher has been counted as one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. In the New Testament, Anna the prophetess and her father, Phanuel, are described as belonging to the Tribe of Asher. Territory: Despite the connection to this general geographic region, it is difficult to determine from the Torah the exact boundaries of the tribe, to the extent that it is even uncertain whether Asher even had continuous territory. Sites which according to the Bible were allocated to Asher, and whose locations have since been identified, appear to be a scattered distribution of settlements rather than a compact and well-defined tribal region. Despite appearing to have had good contact with the markets of Phoenicia, Asher appears, throughout its history, to have been fairly disconnected from the other tribes of Israel; additionally it seems to have taken little part in the antagonism portrayed in the Torah between the Canaanites and the other tribes, for example in the war involving Barak and Sisera. Critical scholars generally conclude that Asher consisted of certain clans that were affiliated with portions of the Israelite tribal confederation, but were never incorporated into the body politic. Origin: According to the Torah, the tribe consisted of descendants of Asher the fourth son of Jacob, from whom it took its name. Critical scholars view this as an eponymous metaphor. Asher is one of the two descendants of Zilpah, originally a handmaid of Leah, the other being Gad; critical scholars claim that the authors intended this to mean Asher and Gad were not of entirely of Israelite origin. Archaeological evidence: A group named Aseru, living in a similar region to Asher in the 14th century BC, are mentioned in Egyptian monuments of the period. Identification with the tribe of Asher is plausible according to views that place the Exodus at the end of the Hyksos period but conflicts with views that date it to the 13th century. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Easton, Matthew George (1897). "article name needed". Easton's Bible Dictionary (New and revised ed.). T. Nelson and Sons. References: ^ Kitchen, Kenneth A. (2003), "On the Reliability of the Old Testament" (Grand Rapids, Michigan. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company)(ISBN 0-8028-4960-1) ^ “Besides the rejection of the Albrightian ‘conquest' model, the general consensus among OT scholars is that the Book of Joshua has no value in the historical reconstruction. They see the book as an ideological retrojection from a later period — either as early as the reign of Josiah or as late as the Hasmonean period.” K. Lawson Younger, Jr. (1 October 2004). "Early Israel in Recent Biblical Scholarship". In David W. Baker; Bill T. Arnold. The Face of Old Testament Studies: A Survey of Contemporary Approaches. Baker Academic. p. 200. ISBN 978-0-8010-2871-7. ^ ”It behooves us to ask, in spite of the fact that the overwhelming consensus of modern scholarship is that Joshua is a pious fiction composed by the deuteronomistic school, how does and how has the Jewish community dealt with these foundational narratives, saturated as they are with acts of violence against others?" Carl S. Ehrlich (1999). "Joshua, Judaism and Genocide". Jewish Studies at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, Volume 1: Biblical, Rabbinical, and Medieval Studies. BRILL. p. 117. ISBN 90-04-11554-4. ”Recent decades, for example, have seen a remarkable reevaluation of evidence concerning the conquest of the land of Canaan by Joshua. As more sites have been excavated, there has been a growing consensus that the main story of Joshua, that of a speedy and complete conquest (e.g. Josh. 11.23: 'Thus Joshua conquered the whole country, just as the LORD had promised Moses') is contradicted by the archaeological record, though there are indications of some destruction and conquest at the appropriate time.Adele Berlin; Marc Zvi Brettler (17 October 2014). The Jewish Study Bible: Second Edition. Oxford University Press. p. 951. ISBN 978-0-19-939387-9. ^ Joshua 19:24-31 ^ This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Singer, Isidore; et al., eds. (1901–1906). "article name needed". Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company. ^ Richard Elliott Friedman, Who Wrote the Bible? (Harper San Francisco) (1987) ISBN 0-06-063035-3 ^ a b Peake's commentary on the Bible ^ 2 Samuel 2:9-10 ^ Luke 2:36 ^ a b c d e Jewish Encyclopedia Jewish Virtual Library: Dog: Benjamin - One of twelve banners representing the twelve tribes of Israel. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribe_of_Benjamin According to the Torah, the Tribe of Benjamin (Hebrew: שבט בִּנְיָמִין, Modern Shevat Binyamin, Tiberian Shevaṭ Binyāmîn) was one of the Tribes of Israel descended from Benjamin, the youngest son of the patriarch Jacob and his wife Rachel. In the Samaritan Pentateuch the name appears as Binyamīm (Hebrew: בנימים, "Son of my right hand"). From after the conquest of the promised land by Joshua until the formation of the first Kingdom of Israel, the Tribe of Benjamin was a part of a loose confederation of Israelite tribes. No central government existed, and in times of crisis the people were led by ad hoc leaders known as Judges (see the Book of Judges). Almost the entire tribe of Benjamin, women and children included, was wiped out by the other Israelite tribes after the Battle of Gibeah (related in the Hebrew Bible in Judges 20). The text refers several times to the Benjaminite warriors as "men of valour"  despite their defeat. A remnant of the tribe was spared: "those few who remained"  were allowed to marry women of another town, whose husbands had been killed, to enable the tribe to continue (Judges 21). Tribe of Benjamin: Tribe of Benjamin (light blue, lower centre) Geographical rangeWest Asia Period Confederated Tribes of Israel Dates? – c. 1050 BCE Major sites Jerusalem Preceded by New Kingdom of Egypt Followed by Kingdom of Israel (united monarchy) According to the Torah, the Tribe of Benjamin (Hebrew: שבט בִּנְיָמִין, Modern Shevat Binyamin, Tiberian Shevaṭ Binyāmîn) was one of the Tribes of Israel descended from Benjamin, the youngest son of the patriarch Jacob and his wife Rachel. In the Samaritan Pentateuch the name appears as Binyamīm (Hebrew: בנימים, "Son of my right hand"). From after the conquest of the promised land by Joshua until the formation of the first Kingdom of Israel, the Tribe of Benjamin was a part of a loose confederation of Israelite tribes. No central government existed, and in times of crisis the people were led by ad hoc leaders known as Judges (see the Book of Judges). Almost the entire tribe of Benjamin, women and children included, was wiped out by the other Israelite tribes after the Battle of Gibeah (related in the Hebrew Bible in Judges 20). The text refers several times to the Benjaminite warriors as "men of valour"  despite their defeat. A remnant of the tribe was spared: "those few who remained"  were allowed to marry women of another town, whose husbands had been killed, to enable the tribe to continue (Judges 21). Responding to a growing threat from Philistine incursions, the Israelite tribes formed a strong, centralised monarchy. The first king of this new entity was Saul, from the tribe of Benjamin, (1 Samuel 9:1-2) which at the time was the smallest of the tribes. He reigned from Gibeah for 38 years (1 Samuel 8-31). After Saul died, all the tribes other than Judah remained loyal to the House of Saul, but after the death of Ish-bosheth, Saul's son and successor to the throne of Israel, the tribe of Benjamin joined the northern Israelite tribes in making David — then king of Judah — king of the united Kingdom of Israel and Judah. On the accession of Rehoboam, David's grandson, in c. 930 BCE the northern tribes split from the House of David to reform a Kingdom of Israel. The tribe of Benjamin remained a part of the Kingdom of Judah until Judah was conquered by Babylon in c. 586 BCE and the population deported. Character: In the Blessing of Jacob, Benjamin is referred to as "a ravenous wolf"; traditional interpretations often considered this to refer to the might of a specific member of the tribe, either the champion Ehud, king Saul, or Mordecai of the Esther narrative, or in Christian circles, the apostle Paul. The Temple in Jerusalem was traditionally said to be partly in the territory of the tribe of Benjamin (but mostly in that of Judah), and some traditional interpretations of the Blessing consider the ravenous wolf to refer to the Temple's altar, as simile in regard to the heavy presence there of biblical sacrifices. Some scholars believe that it instead originates from the tribe having the figure of a wolf in its standard. In Jewish Rabbinic literature, the Tribe of Benjamin is believed to correspond to the Hebrew month of Kislev. Battle of Gibeah: Main article: Battle at Gibeah The tribe of Benjamin is initially described in the Bible as being very pugnacious, for example in the Song of Deborah, and in descriptions where they are described as being taught to fight left handed, so as to be able to wrong foot their enemies (Judges 3:15-21, 20:16, 1 Chronicles 12:2) and where they are portrayed as being brave and skilled archers. (1 Chronicles 8:40, 2 Chronicles 14:8) However, an abrupt change of character to one of placidity occurs in the text after a traumatic incident for the tribe. The Book of Judges recounts that the rape of the concubine of a member of the tribe of Levi, by a gang from the tribe of Benjamin resulted in a battle at Gibeah, in which the other tribes of Israel sought vengeance, and after which members of Benjamin were killed including women and children. Six hundred of the men from the tribe of Benjamin survived by hiding in a cave for four months. The other Israelite tribes were grieved at the near loss of the tribe of Benjamin. They decided to allow these 600 men to carry on the tribe of Benjamin but no one was willing to give their daughter in marriage to them because they had vowed not to. To get around this, they provided wives for the men by killing the men from the tribe of Machir who had not shown concern for the almost lost tribe of Benjamin as they did not come to grieve with the rest of Israel. 400 virgin women from the tribe of Machir we found and given in marriage to the Benjaminite men. There were still 200 men remaining who were without a wife so it was agreed that they could go to a Jewish festival and hide in the vineyards, and wait for the young unmarried women to come out and dance. They then grabbed a wife each and took her back to their land and rebuilt their houses. (Judges 19-21) Territory: According to the Hebrew Bible, following the completion of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelite tribes, Joshua allocated the land among the twelve tribes. Kenneth Kitchen dates this conquest to just after 1200 BCE. However, according to the consensus of modern scholars, the conquest as described in the book of Joshua did not occur. The Bible recounts that Joshua assigned to Benjamin the territory between that of Ephraim to the north and Judah to the south, with the Jordan River as the eastern border, and included many historically important cities, such as Bethel, Gibeah, and encroached on the northern hills of Jerusalem. (Joshua 18:11-28) Modern Israeli scholars have identified most of the towns mentioned in the Book of Joshua and that belong to the lot of Benjamin. Only those towns and villages on the northern-most and southern-most territorial boundary lines, or purlieu, are named in the land allocation—though, in actuality, all unnamed towns and villages in between these boundaries would still belong to the tribe of Benjamin. The Babylonian Talmud names three of these cities, all of which were formerly enclosed by a wall, and belonged to the tribe of Benjamin: Lydda (Lod), Ono (Kfar 'Ana = كفر ئنا - wherein is now built Or Yehudah), and Gei Ha-ḥarashim. Presumably, the westward boundary of the tribe of Benjamin would have stretched as far as the Mediterranean Sea. Marking what is now one of the southern-most butts and bounds of Benjamin's territory is "the spring of the waters of Nephtoah" (Josh. 18:15), a place identified as Kefar Lifta (كفر لفتا), and situate on the left-hand side of the road as one enters Jerusalem. It is now an abandoned Arab village. The word Lifta is merely a corruption of the Hebrew name Nephtoah, and where a natural spring by that name still abounds. Though Jerusalem was in the territory allocated to the tribe of Benjamin (Joshua 18:28), it remained under the independent control of the Jebusites. Judges 1:21 points to the city being within the territory of Benjamin, while Joshua 15:63 implies that the city was within the territory of Judah. In any event, Jerusalem remained an independent Jebusite city until it was finally conquered by David in c. 11th century BC and made into the capital of the united Kingdom of Israel. After the breakup of the United Monarchy, Jerusalem continued as the capital of the southern Kingdom of Judah. The ownership of Bethel is also ambiguous. Though Joshua allocated Bethel to Benjamin, by the time of the prophetess Deborah, Bethel is described as being in the land of the Tribe of Ephraim. (Judges 4:5) Then, some twenty years after the breakup of the United Monarchy, Abijah, the second king of Kingdom of Judah, defeated Jeroboam of Israel and took back the towns of Bethel, Jeshanah and Ephron, with their surrounding villages. Ephron is believed to be the Ophrah that was also allocated to the Tribe of Benjamin by Joshua. Its situation, between the leading tribe of the Kingdom of Israel (Ephraim), and the leading tribe of the Kingdom of Judah (Judah),may have been prophesied in the Blessing of Moses, where it is described as dwelling between YHWH's shoulders. Some textual scholars view this as a postdiction - maintaining that the poem was written long after the tribe had settled there. Fate: After the dissolution of the united Kingdom of Israel in c. 930 BCE, the Tribe of Benjamin joined the Tribe of Judah as a junior partner in the Kingdom of Judah, or Southern Kingdom. The Davidic dynasty, which had roots in Judah, continued to reign in Judah. As part of the kingdom of Judah, Benjamin survived the destruction of Israel by the Assyrians, but instead was subjected to the Babylonian captivity; when the captivity ended, the distinction between Benjamin and Judah was lost in favour of a common identity as Israel, though in the biblical book of Esther, Mordecai is referred to as being of the tribe of Benjamin, and as late as the time of Jesus of Nazareth some (notably Paul the Apostle) still identified their Benjamite ancestry: If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised on the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.”  See also Benjamin Tribal allotments of Israel References: ^ Judges 20:44-46; the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges suggests that the description should only have occurred once, in verse 46, and also appeared in verse 44 as the result of "a copyist's error", see Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges on Judges 20, accessed 18 November 2016 ^ Judges 21:7 in the New Living Translation ^ ancienthistory.about.com/od/israeljudaea/f/UnitedMonarchy... ^ Genesis 49:27 ^ a b c d Jewish Encyclopedia ^ Kitchen, Kenneth A. (2003), "On the Reliability of the Old Testament" (Grand Rapids, Michigan. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company)(ISBN 0-8028-4960-1) ^ “Besides the rejection of the Albrightian 'conquest' model, the general consensus among OT scholars is that the Book of Joshua has no value in the historical reconstruction. They see the book as an ideological retrojection from a later period — either as early as the reign of Josiah or as late as the Hasmonean period.” K. Lawson Younger, Jr. (1 October 2004). "Early Israel in Recent Biblical Scholarship". In David W. Baker; Bill T. Arnold. The Face of Old Testament Studies: A Survey of Contemporary Approaches. Baker Academic. p. 200. ISBN 978-0-8010-2871-7. ^ ”It behooves us to ask, in spite of the fact that the overwhelming consensus of modern scholarship is that Joshua is a pious fiction composed by the deuteronomistic school, how does and how has the Jewish community dealt with these foundational narratives, saturated as they are with acts of violence against others?" Carl S. Ehrlich (1999). "Joshua, Judaism and Genocide". Jewish Studies at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, Volume 1: Biblical, Rabbinical, and Medieval Studies. BRILL. p. 117. ISBN 90-04-11554-4. ^ ”Recent decades, for example, have seen a remarkable reevaluation of evidence concerning the conquest of the land of Canaan by Joshua. As more sites have been excavated, there has been a growing consensus that the main story of Joshua, that of a speedy and complete conquest (e.g. Josh. 11.23: 'Thus Joshua conquered the whole country, just as the LORD had promised Moses') is contradicted by the archaeological record, though there are indications of some destruction and conquest at the appropriate time." Adele Berlin; Marc Zvi Brettler (17 October 2014). The Jewish Study Bible: Second Edition. Oxford University Press. p. 951. ISBN 978-0-19-939387-9. ^ Tractate Megillah 4a ^ Walid Khalidi, All That Remains, Washington, D.C. 1992, pp. 300-303. ^ 1 Chronicles 11:4-8 ^ Greenfeld, Howard (2005-03-29). A Promise Fulfilled: Theodor Herzl, Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion, and the Creation of the State of Israel. Greenwillow. p. 32. ISBN 0-06-051504-X. ^ "Timeline". City of David. Ir David Foundation. Retrieved 2007-01-18. ^ 2 Chronicles 13:17-19 ^ Joshua 18:20-28, esp 23 ^ Deuteronomy 33:12 ^ Richard Elliott Friedman, Who Wrote the Bible? (Harper San Francisco) (1987) ISBN 0-06-063035-3 ^ Esther 2:5 ^ Philippians 3:4b-6 CORN, WINE AND OIL: by: Unknown The wages which our ancient brethren received for their labors in the building of King Solomon's Temple are paid no more. In the lodge we use them as symbols, save in the dedication, constitution and consecration of a new lodge and in the laying of cornerstones, when once again the fruit of the land, the brew of the grape and the essence of the olive are poured to launch a new unit of brotherhood into the fellowship of lodges; or to begin a new structure dedicated to the public use. Corn, wine and oil have been associated together from the earliest times. In Deuteronomy the "nation of fierce countenance" which is to destroy the people "shall not leave thee either corn, wine or oil." In II Chronicles we read "the children of Israel brought in abundance the first fruits of corn, wine and oil -."Nehemiah tells of "a great chamber where aforetime they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the new wine and the oil - " and later "then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn, the new wine and the oil into the treasures." There are other references in the Great Light to these particular forms of taxes, money and tithes for religious purposes; wealth and refreshment. In ancient days the grapes in the vineyard and olives in the grove and the grain of the field were not only wealth but the measure of trade; so many skins of wine, so many cruses of oil, so many bushels of corn were to them as are dollars and cents today. Thus our ancient brethren received wages in corn, wine and oil as a practical matter; they were paid for their labors in the coin of the realm. The oil pressed from the olive was as important to the Jews in Palestine as butter and other fats are among occidentals. Because it was so necessary, and hence so valuable, it became an important part of sacrificial rites. There is no point in the sacrifice which is only a form. To be effective it must offer before the Altar something of value; something the giving of which will testify to the love and veneration in which the sacrificer holds the Most High. Oil was also used not only as a food but for lighting purposes; more within the house than in the open air, where torches were more effective. Oil was also an article of the bath; mixed with perfume it was used in the ceremonies of anointment, and in preparation for ceremonial appearances. The "Precious ointment upon the head, which ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard, that went down to the skirts of his garment;" as the quotation has it in our entered Apprentice Degree, (and Nevada's Master Mason opening and closing) was doubtless made of olive oil, suitably mixed with such perfumes and spices as myrrh, cinnamon, galbanum and frankincense. Probably oil was also used as a surgical dressing; nomadic peoples, subject to injuries, could hardly avoid knowledge of the value of soothing oil. With so many uses for oil, its production naturally was stimulated. Not only was the production of the olive grove a matter of wealth, but the nourishing and processing of the oil gave employment to many. Oil was obtained from the olive both by pressing - probably by a stone wheel revolving in or on a larger stone, mill or mortar - and also by a gentle pounding. This hand process produced a finer quality of oil. "And thou shalt command the children of Israel that they bring pure olive oil beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always." (Exodus, 27-20.) The corn of the Bible is not the corn we know today. In many, if not the majority of the uses of the word, a more understandable translation would be simply "grain." The principal grains of the Old Testament days were barley and wheat; corn represents not only both of these, but all the grains which the Jews cultivated. Our modern corn, cultivated and cross-bred was, of course, unknown to the ancients, although it might be going too far to say they had no grain similar to the Indian maize from which our great corn crop has grown. An ear of grain has been an emblem of plenty since the mists of antiquity which shroud the beginnings of mythology. Ceres, goddess of abundance, survives today in our cereals. The Greeks call her Demeter, a corruption of Gemeter, our mother earth. She wore a garland of grain and carried ears of grain in her hand. The Hebrew Shibboleth means both an ear of corn and a flood of water. Both are symbols of abundance, plenty and wealth. American Masonic use of a sheaf of wheat in place of an ear of wheat - or any other grain such as corn - seems rather without point or authority. As for the substitution occasionally heard, of "water ford" for "water fall," we can only blame the corrupting influence of time and the ignorance of those who have permitted it, since a water "Ford" signifies a paucity, the absence of water, while a water "Fall" carries out both the translation of the word and the meaning of the ear of corn - plenty. Scarcely less important to our ancient brethren than their corn and oil, was the wine. Vineyards were highly esteemed both as wealth and as a comfort - the pleasant shade of the "vine and fig tree" was a part of ancient hospitality. Vineyards on mountain sides or hills were most carefully tended and protected against washing away by terraces and walls, as even today one may see the hillsides of the Rhine. Thorn hedges kept cattle from helping themselves to the grapes. The vineyardist frequently lived in a watch tower or hut on an elevation to keep sharp look-out that neither predatory man nor beast took his ripening wealth. The feast of Booths, in the early fall, when the grapes were ripe, was a time of joy and happiness. "New Wine" - that is, the unfermented, just pressed-out juice of the grape - was drunk by all. Fermented wine was made by storing the juice of the grape in skins or bottles. Probably most of the early wine of Old Testament days was red, but later the white grape must have come into esteem - at least, it is the principal grape of production for that portion of the world today. Corn, wine and oil form important and necessary parts of the ceremonies of the dedication, consecration and constitution of a new lodge. Lodges were anciently dedicated to King Solomon, but as we all know, our modern lodges are dedicated to the Holy Sts. John. "and since their time there is represented in every regular and well-governed lodge a certain point within a circle, emborderd by two parallel perpendicular lines, representing those saints." This symbol of the point within the circle is far older than King Solomon's Temple. The two lines which emborder it, and which we consider represent the Saints, were originally representative of the summer and winter solstices. The Holy Sts. John have their "days" so closely to the summer and winter solstices - (June 24 and December 27 are almost coincident to June 21 and December 21) that there can be little doubt that both lines and dates represented to our "ancient brethren" the highest and lowest points which the sun reached in its travels north and south. They are, most intimately connected with the time of fecundity and harvest, the festivals of the first fruits, the depths of winter and the beginning of the long climb of the sun up from the south towards the days of warmth which that climb promised. Hence corn, wine and oil - the produce of the land - are natural accompaniments to the dedication of a lodge which it is hoped will prosper, reap in abundance of the first fruits of Masonic cultivation and a rich harvest of ripe character from the seeds it plants. Corn, wine and oil poured upon the symbolic lodge at the ceremony which creates it, are essential to "erection" or "consecration." All lodges are "erected to God and Consecrated to the services of the Most High." From earliest times consecration has been accompanied by sacrifice, a free-will offering of something of real value to those who thus worship. Hence the sacrifice of corn, wine and oil - the wealth of the land, the strength of the tribe, the come-fort and well-being of the individual - at the consecration of any place of worship or service of God. Like so much else in our ceremonies, the idea today is wholly symbolic. The Grand Master orders his Deputy (or whatever other officer is customary) to pour the Corn, the Senior Grand Warden to pour the Wine and the Junior Grand Warden to pour the oil upon the "lodge" - usually a covered structure representing the original Ark of the Covenant. The corn is poured as an emblem of nourishment; the wine as an emblem of refreshment and the oil as an emblem of joy and happiness. The sacrifice we thus make is not actual, any more than Masonic work is physical labor. The ceremony should mean to those who take part in it, to those who form the new lodge, that the symbolic sacrifice will be made real by the donation of the necessary time, effort, thought and brotherly affection which will truly make the new lodge an effective instrument in the hands of the builders. When the Grand Master constitutes the new lodge, he brings it legally into existence. A man and a woman may be married in a civil ceremony of consecration. But as the joining of a man and woman in matrimony is by most considered as a sacrament, to be solemnized with the blessing of the Most High, so is the creation of a new lodge, but the consecration is also its spirit. In the laying of a corner stone the Grand Master also pours, or causes to be poured, the corn, wine and oil, symbolizing health, prosperity and peace. The fruits of the land are poured upon the cornerstone to signify that it will form part of a building which shall grow, be used for purposes of proper refreshment, and become useful and valuable to men. The ceremonies differ in different Jurisdictions - indeed, so do those of the dedication, consecration and constitution of a lodge - but the essential idea is the same everywhere. regardless of the way in which they are applied in the ritualistic ceremonies. It probably matters very little what varieties of grain, of oil and juice of the grape are used in these ceremonies. The symbolism will be the same, since the brethren assembled will not know the actual character of the fruits of the earth being used. The main theme is that "Fruits of the Earth" are being used, no matter which fruits they are! To be quite correct though, barley or wheat should be used for the corn, olive oil for the oil, and sacramental wine, such as is permitted by the Volstead Act (during the days of the prohibition!) for religious purposes for the wine. It may be noted, however, that "new wine" or unfermented grape juice was used by the children of Israel as a sacrificial wine, the ordinary grape juice in no way destroys the symbolism. Mineral oil, of course is oil, and is a "fruit of the earth" in the sense that it comes from the "clay which is constantly being employed for man's use." The oil of Biblical days, however, was wholly vegetable, whether it was the olive oil of commerce, or the oil of cedar as was used in burials. Corn, wine and oil were the wages paid our ancient brethren. They were the "Master's Wages" of the days of King Solomon. Masons of this day receive no material wages for their labors; the work done in a lodge is paid for only in the coin of the heart. But those wages are no less real. They may sprout as does the grain, strengthen as does the wine, nourish as does the oil. How much we receive and what we do with our wages depends entirely on our Masonic work. A brother obtains from his lodge and from his Order only what he puts into it. Our ancient brethren were paid for their physical labors. Whether their wages were paid for work performed upon the mountain and in the quarries, or whether they received corn, wine and oil because they labored in the fields or vineyards, it was true then, and it is true now, that only "in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread." To receive the equivalent of corn, wine and oil, a brother must labor. He must till the fields of his own heart or build the temple of his own "house not made with hands. "He must labor to his neighbor or carry stones for his brother's temple. If he stands, waits, watches and wonders he will not be able to ascend into the Middle Chamber where our ancient brethren received their wages. If he works for the joy of working, does his part in his lodge work, takes his place among the laborers of Freemasonry, he will receive corn, wine and oil in measures pressed down and running over, and know a Fraternal Joy as substantial in fact as it is ethereal in quality; as real in his heart as it is intangible to the profane of the world. For all of us then corn, then wine and then oil are symbols of sacrifice, of the fruits of labour, of wages earned. For all of us, "SO MOTE IT BE!"
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