INTENDANT OF THE BUILDINGS
MASTER IN ISRAEL
The Eighth Grade of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, and the Fifth
Degree of the Ineffable Series
The death of Hiram the Chief Architect, threw the workmen of the Temple of
King Solomon into great confusion; and for a time the construction of the
building was stayed, for the want of essential plans and an expert director
of the work. The period of mourning having expired, King Solomon, upon
consultation, determined to appoint five Superintendents - one for each of
the five Departments of Architecture - and under their supervision the building
progressed. The ceremony of installing the Superintendents, is in this degree
exhibited, instructions given, and lessons of virtue inculcated.
The Apartment and its Decorations
The apartment represents the middle chamber of King Solomon's Temple, with
various symbols of truth and wisdom displayed. The hangings are crimson,
with a blue canopy in the East, sprinkled with stars.
The lights are twenty-seven in number, in groups of nine each - each group
forming a triple triangle.
The altar is immediately in front of the Master, on which are five other
lights. Over the Master is suspended a blazing star, with five points, and
in its centre the Hebrew letter J (I), thrice repeated; this star is surrounded
by the triple interlaced triangle.
Officers, Titles, Etc.
The Lodge consists of five members only, representing the five Chief Architects,
who were appointed temporarily, in the place of the lamented Grand Master
The Master sits in the East, is termed Thrice Potent, and represents Adoniram,
the son of Abda, President of the Board of Architects.
Senior Warden, in the West, represents Joabert, a Phoenician, Chief Artificer
Junior Warden, in the South, represents Stolkin, a Hebrew, Chief Carpenter.
Master of Ceremonies, in the North, represents Selec, the Giblemite, Chief
Captain of the Guard, in the North, represents Gareb, a Hebrew, Chief Worker
in Silver and Gold and Engraver.
During a reception, the Thrice Potent represents King Solomon, and is robed
and decorated as in Perfection; the Senior Warden represents Zadok, the Priest and is clothed in a white robe and mitre; the Junior Warden represents Ahishar,
Governor of the House, and wears a black robe and the collar and apron of
The brethren sit about the Lodge in the form of a triangle.
Regalia, Jewels, Etc.
Apron - Triangular in shape, white, lined with crimson and bordered with
green; on the area is depicted a five- pointed star, with the Hebrew J (I),
thrice repeated, in the centre, and over that a balance; on the flap is
a triangle, with one of the following letters in each angle: (the initials
of the words Ben-khurim, Achar, and Jakinah).
Cordon, or Order - A broad crimson sash, worn from the right shoulder to
the left hip; at the point is suspended the Jewel, by a green ribbon.
Jewel - A golden triangle, similar to that described on the flap of the
Steps - Five Grand Steps, the heels to a square.
Age - Three times nine - equal to twenty-seven
Battery - *****
If Thou true wisdom from above, wilt graciously impart.
To keep Thy perfect laws I will, devote my zealous heart.
Direct me in the sacred ways, to which Thy precepts lead,
Because my chief delight has been, Thy righteous paths to tread.
T.: P.: My Brethren, to become an Intendant
of the Building, it is necessary that you be skilful architects and learned
in the knowledge of the East and Egypt. But it is equally necessary that
you should be charitable and benevolent, that you may sympathize with the
labouring man, relieve his necessities, see to his comforts and that of his
family, and smooth for him and for those who depend upon him the ragged way
of life, - recognizing all men as your brethren, and yourselves as the almoners
of God's bounty.
T.: P.: I will restore Thy judges, as at the
first. and Thy councillors, as at the beginning; for the light of the righteous
shall be established, as the Lord giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh
Understanding and Knowledge.
S.: W.: Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant,
or a labouring man that is poor and needy; on the day when he earns it thou
shalt give him his hire, nor shall the sun go down upon it: for he is poor,
and it is his life: lest he cry against thee unto the Lord, and God punish
thee for this sin.
When thou beatest thine olive-trees,
thou shalt not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the stranger, the
fatherless, and the widow: when thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard,
thou shalt not glean it afterwards; it shall be for the stranger, the
fatherless, and the widow.
T.: P.: If there be among you a poor man, and
one unable to work, of thy brethren, within any of thy gates, thou shalt
not harden thy heart nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother, but shalt
open thy hand unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need;
for thou art but God's treasurer, to dispense his benefits to the poor.
S.: W.: If thy brother be waxen poor, and be
compelled to serve thee, thou shalt not rule over him with rigor, but shalt
fear thy God. Nor shalt thou discharge those whose labour is their life because
thy profits are not large; but thou shalt be God's almoner, for He hath but
lent thee all the wealth thou hast and thou art but his trustee for the poor,
the suffering, and the destitute.
The battery of five, the five lights on the altar, the five steps, the
five-pointed star, and the travel five times about the body of the Lodge,
are all emblematical of the first five Chief Architects.
The age is that of a Master Mason (9), multiplied by that of an Entered
Apprentice (3), representing that the Architects, or Intendants, were thrice
powerful as Masters and Chiefs of Architecture; hence the number of lights
in the Lodge.
My brother, I now with pleasure decorate you with a crimson cordon or order,
to which is suspended by a green ribbon a triangular plate of gold-the Jewel
of the degree. The crimson is emblematical of that zeal which should characterize
you as an Intendant of the Building; and the green, of the hope that you
will honour and advance the Craft, and supply, so far as in you lies the
power, the place of our late Grand Master Hiram.
I also decorate you with this triangular apron, of white, lined with crimson
and bordered with green. On it you will observe the five-pointed star.
The number five in this degree, my brother, has many allusions, some of which
have already been explained to you; it is also to remind us of the five points
of fellowship : that we are to go on a brother's errand or to his relief,
even barefoot and upon flinty ground; to remember him in our supplications
to the Deity; to clasp him to our heart and protect him against misfortune
and slander; to uphold him when about to stumble and fall; and to give him
prudent, honest, and friendly counsel. Such are the duties you are especially
to observe and to teach to others, for they are the first ordinances of Masonry.
Form of the Lodge
This lodge is hung with red, and illuminated with twenty-seven lights,
distributed by three times nine, besides five great lights, which are placed
at the foot of the altar, opposite to Thrice Puissant Master, who represents
Solomon, King Israel. The first warden represents Tito Prince Herodim ; the
second, Adoniram, the son of Abda. Solomon stands in the east, and the wardens
in the west, forming a triangle. Adoniram acts as Grand Master of the ceremonies.
All the brethren wear a red triangular collar round their necks, to which a
triangle is suspended, on one side of which are engraved the initials of
the following words - Benhoram, Echad, Jachinai signifying Freemasons have
one God. Oh! the eternal ! On the reverse the initials of Judaha, Ky, Jaca
- signifying God, the Lord. In the middle of the triangle, on the one side,
is engraved G, and on the other side, the letter A, signifying Grand Architect.
The apron is white, lined with red, and bordered with green. It has a star
in the middle, darting nine rays. Above that is drawn or embroidered a pair
of scales. On the flap is a triangle: with the letters B, A, I, in the angles.
Form of Opening the Lodge
The Thrice Puissant Grand Master holds a sceptre his hand and says, - Illustrious
brethren, are we tiled?
A. Thrice Puissant Master, we are safe and secure here.
Q. What is the clock?
A. It is break of day.
The T. P. M. then strikes the altar five times, which is repeated by Tito
and Adoniram with their mallets.
T. P. M. As it is break of day, it is time to
begin work. My brothers, this lodge is opened.
All the brethren clap their hands five times, and make the sign of admiration,
by carrying their right hand to their foreheads, the fingers a little extended
to prevent the light; then extend their arms and hands, looking to heaven.
After this, they let their hands fall on their bellies, forming a triangle,
with the two thumbs and fore-fingers.
Form of Reception
The candidate must be barefoot. The Thrice Puissant Master says - Brother
Tito, how shall we repair the loss which we have sustained by the melancholy
and traitorous murder of our never-to-be-forgotten master, Hirain Abif? You
know that it was he alone who was to be entrusted with the decorations of
the secret chamber, where everything the dearest and the most respectable
initials were to be concealed. There the ark was to be deposited, and, by
the presence and protection of the Almighty, was insured. Scarcely had this
great master set about this work, when he was snatched from us by the most
horrid and infamous plot. Most illustrious wardens, advise me what to do.
Tito. Thrice Puissant Master, I am fully aware of the loss we have sustained,
as well as of the difficulty we have to repair it. In my opinion, the only
remedy we have is, to appoint a chief for each of the five orders of
architecture, and that we unite to give him every assistance in our power
towards the completion of this third secret master.
T. P. M. Most illustrious prince and brother
Tito, your advice is too good to be neglected ; and to show you how much
I am swayed by it, I now appoint you, Brother Adoniram, and Abda his father,
to inspect the work. Go to the middle chamber, and see if there be any of
the chiefs of the five orders of architecture there.
The grand Master of the Ceremonies withdraws to the other room, and inquires
if there be any chiefs there. The candidate answers, - I am here. The G.
M. C. puts to him the following
Q. Are you possessed of zeal to apply with scrupulous attention to the works
which the Thrice Puissant Master will commit to your care?
A. I look upon it as the greatest happiness and advantage I am blessed with.
to have an opportunity of conversing with him on the great and glorious work,
when he purposed to erect a temple to the Almighty, worthy of his glory.
Adoniram receives from the candidate the sign, token, and word of the three
first degrees; after which he leads him to the door of the lodge, and knocks
three, five, and seven times at intervals. The door is opened by a brother,
to whom Adonirain says, - The brother, whom I introduce, is one who works
in the middle chamber. He is allowed to pass, and is taken by the hand by
Adoniram, with the master's grip, to the middle of the lodge, where he is
instructed to kneel on a square flag stone, opposite to a table, behind which
Tito sits, who puts a sprig of cassia, or any other green sprig, into his
hand, and then in that position, he takes the obligation: the penalty which
is, to observe all rules laid down by the grand council of the princes of
Jerusalem, under the penalty of all former obligations, with the addition,
"that his body may be severed in two, and bowels torn out, and given as a
prey to the fowls of the air, in justice and equity.' Amen. Amen. Amen.
The obligation over, a brother comes behind, covers him with a red veil,
lifts him up, sets him on a stool in the middle of the lodge, and thus addresses
My dear brother - Solomon, King of Israel, being willing and desirous to
carry on to the highest degree of perfection, if possible, the works commenced
by Hiram Abif, he has thought proper, to effect this business, to employ
the five chiefs of the five orders in architecture, assisted by the three
Princes Herodim Tito, Abda, and his son Adoniram. He was was well convinced
of their zeal and abilities, and therefore, hoped to to see the work completed
in a masterly manner. We flatter ourselves, my dear brother, that you will
contribute with all your might to this grand end. As you represent a dead
man, it must be to you an emblem, that, in order to succeed in this great
work, you must execute it with the same spirit as our respectable master,
Hiram Abif, would have done. You must also be possessed of the same spirit
and resolution as he was - which was to prefer death to the divulging of
the mysteries of the Order. We hope you will follow his example. I will now
raise you, not as you were raised before, but as Hiram Abif was raised by
Adoniram takes the candidate's right elbow in his left hand, with the right
gives him the master's grip, and, by three pulls lifts him and throws the
veil from his face. All the Puissant Grand Masters give him the sign, token,
The first sign is that of amazement and surprise, which is done by lifting
your hands as high as your cheeks, the fingers perpendicular, and both thumbs
touching the ears, so as to form two squares. In walking, you stop as if
astonished; and when standing, throw your body back.
The second sign is to clap your right hand to your forehead. with your fingers
and nails turned on the eyes, and say, - Ben, horam. Your brother answers
by interlacing the fingers of both hands, and by putting the back part of
them to the left side of the belly, and looking up to heaven, says, - Echad.
The third sign is that of grief, figurative of the Fellow Craft's sign. Carry
your right hand to your heart, and at the same time your left hand low down
on the left side, as if to struggle. Then move your elbow three times in
a circular manner from side to side, and say, - Ky; to which the other responds.
The token is to touch each other's heart, pass and take each other with the
right hand by the middle of the arm, and, with the left hand, by the elbow:
pass it three times. The one utters the grand word Jachinai, and the other
Q. Are you an Intendant of the Building?
A. 1 have taken five steps of exactitude, and have penetrated into the inner
part of the temple. I have seen the effects of the great and resplendent
light in the middle of which I have seen, in Hebrew characters, the three
mysterious letters - I, I, I without knowing what they mean.
Q. How were you received Intendant of the Building ?
A. By acknowledging my ignorance.
Q. Why were you raised to that degree ?
A. In order to expel the darkness in which I am encircled, and to get such
light as would regulate my heart, and enlighten my understanding.
Q. In what place were you introduced ?
A. In a place full of wonder and charms, where virtue and Sovereign wisdom
Q. What is the duty of an Intendant of the Building 7
A. To keep the brethren steady in the practice of virtue, by setting them
a good example to correct their works.
Q. Why is it required, in this degree, before you are admitted, to show that
you are well instructed in the three firet degrees of Masonry?
A. To shew that it is only gradually that we can arrive at perfection.
Q. What do you learn from the three first degrees?
A. The first teaches moral virtue ; the second, political virtue ; and the
third, heroic virtue.
Q. Why were you obliged to take your steps backwards as well as forwards
in your different degrees?
A. To show that the progress; towards virtue was slow and gradual; that we
must by humility curb that pride which is natural to us, before we can presume
to hope for perfection and also, that we must judge so far impartially of
our action and so far effectually govern our passions, as not to leave anything
exceptionable in our conduct.
Q. Can you explain the mysteries of our lodge?
A. I will endeavour to do it in the best manner I can.
Q. What do the three mysteries in your jewel signify?
A. Jachinai signifies divine beauty - Judah divine wisdom. The three letters
I, in the middle of the triangle of the blazing star, are the initials of
the sacred and nameless word.
Q. What does the circle in the inside of the third triangle imply?
A. The immensity of God's power, which hath neither beginning nor end.
Q. What do the three in the circle mean?
A. Oh! the Eternal alone possesseth the attributes of Divinity.
Q. What are the chief attributes of the Divinity?
A. Beauty 6. Omniscience 11. Justice 7. Wisdom 7. Eternity 8. Compassion
10. Boundless 10. Perfection 8. Creation and mercy 14. These make in all
the number 81.
Q. Explain to me the square of nine, which you see in the triple triangle.
A. Nine, thrice multiplied by three, makes 81.
Q. Why do you place Solomon, King of Israel, in the temple?
A. In memory of his being the first who constructed a temple to his Lord.
Q. Why do you place a brazen sea in the temple?
A. To let us know that the temple of God is holy, and that we must not enter
it before we are purified from all uncleanness.
Q. What does the left side of the temple signify?
A. Masonry, under the laws of types and ceremonies.
Q. What does the right side of the temple signify?
A. Freemasonry, under the laws of grace and truth.
Q. What is the meaning of the tomb, which is under the threshold of the door
of the sanctuary in your degrees of Perfect Master and Provost and Judge
A. It shows that we must be purified by death, before we can enter, into
the mansions of bliss.
Q. What does the candlestick with seven branches signify?
A. The presence of the Holy Spirit in the heart of those who faithfully observe
Q. Why are you barefooted at the time of reception?
A. Because Moses was so when on the mount.
Q. What did you hear before you entered the lodge?
A. Five great strokes.
Q. What do they denote?
A. The five points of felicity.
Q. What happened in consequence, and what was done with you?
A. A warden immediately appeared, who supported and carried me round the
temple five times.
Q. What was his intention in so doing?
A. Surprise, wonder, and grief took possession of my mind all the time.
Q. Why were you thus affected?
A. I was thus affected at the sight of what was enclosed in the blazing star.
Q. Pray what could that be?
A. Something that was mysterious, and appertaining to the Grand Architect
of the universe, which I hope to be acquainted with in time.
Q. Why had the stars five points or rays?
A. It was to show, first, that in the construction of the temple the five
orders of architecture were made use of : Second, to represent the five points
of felicity : third, the five senses, without which man is imperfect : fourth,
the five lights of Masonry; and fifth, the five zones of Masonry.
Q. What are the five points of felicity?
A. To walk, to intercede for, to pray, to love, and to assist your brethren,
so as to be united with thern in heart and mind.
Q. Why were you seized with wonder?
A. It was on seeing the beauty and ornaments of the temple, whereof 1 saw
but a part.
Q. Why did you not see the whole?
A. A thick veil concealed a part of my view; but I hope that the strong desire
which I have to improve in my zeal for the royal art will disperse the cloud
in time, which now obstructs my sight from them.
Q. Why were you seized with grief?
A. Because all the wonders I saw brought to my remembrance the melancholy
end of our respectable master, Hiram Abif.
Q. How were you made to walk?
A. By the five points of exactness.
Q. And what do you mean by this?
A. I mean the five solemn steps which I took in advancing to the foot of
the throne of the powerful King of Israel, where I took my obligation in
Q. Why, at your reception, were you obliged to represent a dead man?
A. It denotes to us that good Masons should be silent to the world, and refrain
from its vices.
Q. What do the scales imply which are put into your hand?
A. An emblem of justice to my brethren. By the said scales I ought also to
weigh my own actions, and to regulate my own conduct, in order to justify
the good opinion conceived of me by appointing me a master in Israel, and
an Intendant of the Building.
Q. Have you seen your illustrious and Perfect Master today?
A. I have seen him.
Q. Where was he placed, and how clad?
A. He was placed in the east under a canopy, bespangled with brilliant stars,
and clad with azure and gold.
Q. Have you any remains of darkness about you?
A. The morning star lights me, and the mysterious stars guide me.
Q. Where were you thus conducted?
A. I cannot tell you.
Q. How old are you?
Q. What number have you marked?
A, Five, seven, and fifteen.
Q. Where did you remark them, and what do you mean?
A. 1 remarked them in the arrangement of the lights, and have already explained
the two first numbers. The last represents the fifteen masters, headed by
Mahabone, who found the body of Hirani Abif.
Q. Why do you wear a green ribbon, and the same colour on your apron
A. To teach me that virtue and zeal in Masonry are the only roads to lead
me to true and sublime knowledge.
Q. What does your jewel represent?
A. The triple essence of the Divinity.
Form of Closing in this Degree
T. P. M. What is the clock, Illustrious Warden?
A. Thrice Puissant, the day is at an end.
T. P. M. Remember, illustrious brethren, and
think often of the five point's of felicity. It is time to rest.
The T. P. M. and wardens strike five times each. All the brethren clap five,
seven, and fifteen times, and the lodge is closed.
G.: O.: My brother, but little need be said
to you of the history of this degree, as it is fully given in the reception.
You have on this occasion represented one of the five chief architects appointed
by King Solomon to conduct the work upon the Temple, in the place of Hiram,
the chief architect, who had been murdered. The king was always desirous
of carrying to the highest state of perfection the work he had begun in
Jerusalem, and upon the loss of the skilful Hiram, much concern was felt
as to whether the original design of the structure could be completed and,
also, as to whether the arrangements that had been projected for ornamentation
and decoration would not fail for want of skill and ability on the part of
the workmen. Pending these difficulties, on consultation, it was recommended
by the High Priest, Sadoc, and Ahishar, Governor of the House, that five
artificers, who had been pupils of Hiram, should be placed, as chiefs, over
five departments in the construction of the edifice, and that at least the
building could proceed, until they could find a Grand Master Architect.
Adoniram, the son of Abda, was selected as the President of the Board of
Architects, the others being Joabert, a Phoenician the chief artificer in
brass; Stolkin, a Hebrew, chief carpenter; Selec, the Giblemite, chief
stone-mason; and Gareb, a Hebrew, chief worker in silver and gold, and chief
King Solomon was well aware that the zeal and abilities of these brethren
would be exerted to the utmost in bringing to perfection so glorious a work.
In like manner, we expect you to do all in your power to promote the grand
design of Masonry, and to bring to perfection the works of this Lodge of
Intendants of the Building, exercising and propagating charity and benevolence,
educating the poor orphan, comforting the sick and distressed, and providing
refuge for the unfortunate.
You have learned in your previous degrees that, in order to succeed in the
great work of erecting a temple not made with hands, and dedicated to the
Grand Architect of the Universe, you must emulate the same spirit, the same
fortitude and resolution possessed by our Grand Master Hiram - preferring
your integrity to your life.
You will still advance toward the light -- toward the star blazing in the
distance - which is an emblem of the divine truth, given by God to the first
men, and preserved amid all the vicissitudes of ages in the traditions and
teachings of Masonry. Here, as everywhere in the world, Darkness struggles
with Light, and clouds and shadows intervene between you and the truth.
You are now, my brother, a student of the morality of Masonry, with which,
we trust, you will become imbued, as for some time you will be exclusively
occupied in its study. Step by step you must advance toward perfection in
the moral code of Masonry: each Masonic degree is meant to be one of those
steps: each is a development of a particular duty, and in the present one
you are taught charity and benevolence. With these two virtues, man can best
prepare for that future which he hopes for. The law of our being is love
of life-this wonderful creation of God-and its interests and adornments,
love of the world; not a low and sensual love, not love of wealth, fame,
ease, power, and splendour, not low worldliness, but the love of earth as
the garden on which the Creator has lavished such miracles of beauty - as
the habitation of humanity - the dwelling-place of the wise, the good, the
active, and the loving - the place for the exercise of the noblest passions,
the loftiest virtues, and the tenderest sympathies : this is the charity
or love we would teach in this degree, for God himself is love, and every
degree of charity that dwells in us is the participation of the divine nature.