A Dictionary Of Masonic
Words And Phrases

A Dictionary Of Masonic
Words And Phrases

J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q  
R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z  




Jachin - He doth establish The two great pillars of Solomon's Temple called Boaz and Jachin. Jachin is a combination of two words, Jah, a name of Jehovah, and iachin, meaning establishment. The full significance of the name is, therefore, "With God's help to establish,"

Jacob's Ladder - Jacob's vision in which he saw a stairway from earth to Heaven with angels descending and ascending.

Jah - A name forJehovah.

Jesus and the Temple - Jesus was carried to the Temple when he was only forty days old for purification ceremonies. Again at twelve, for Passover in Jerusalem and later for public ministry.

Judah - The fourth son of Jacob and the founder of the tribe bearing his name.

Keepers of the House Shall Tremble - The failings of the body in old age or as weakened by the approach of death. The usual interpretation is that the arms and legs are the keepers.

Landmark - Marking boundaries of lands by stone pillars or heaps of stones.

Level of Equality - The fundamental principle that all men are created equal, with certain inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happines.

Light - Light is the symbol of knowledge, Just as God spoke into existence physical light, so He is the original source of all true knowledge.

Light of Life - The source of enlightenment and knowledge for life's darkness, perplexities and doubts is the Holy Bible -- the Great Light of Masonry.

Lily Work - An emblem of peace and purity which occupies a place of conspicuousness and distinction in the Temple and its furniture.

Lion of the Tribe of Judah - Emblematically of strength. Refers to Christ, the anointed of God and royal head of God's Kingdom.

Lodge - Three or more Freemasons, "in regular assembly and properly opened and prepared for work or business," constitutes a Lodge.

Lost Word - The lost word was the ineffable name of God.

Master of the Lodge - This title signifies "teacher," not Lord. The Master is to the Lodge what the sun is to the day .

Master Builder - An architect, a skilled worker and a capable artisan. One who is qualified in heart and mind, by skill in moral and spiritual science, and by Holy consecration to erect temples of immortal characters.

Metal Tools - The preparation of all materials for the building of Solomon's Temple was done in the forests and quarries as the use of metal tools in the actual construction of sacred altars and edifices was forbidden.

Money Changers - Exchange bankers who set up tables in the Temple where Jewish coins for Temple offerings were exchanged for foreign moneys, charging fees for their services.

Mystic Tie - Tthe bond of fraternal love, where men of the most discordant opinions are united in one band, meet at one altar, even when fighting in opposing armies or affiliated with different religions.

Names of the Temple - The Temple built by Solomon, which occupies such importance throughout the symbolisms and legends of Freemasonry, is given a number of names in the Bible: The Palace of Jehovah, The House of Sanctuary, and The House of Ages.

Naphtali - Naphtali was the fifth son of Jacob and the founder of the tribe bearing his name.

New Name - With the change in character and fortune, it is often appropriate that one be given a new name.

North Side - In Masonic symbolism the North Side of the Lodge represents God's exalted throne.

Northeast Corner - As one receives more light in Masonry he reaches the Northeast Corner which is representative of the cornerstone of a great moral and spiritual edifice.

Obligation - The oath in such covenants is given in the name of God, and perjury in such oaths is subject to severe penalties.

Opening of the Lodge - The Lodge must be opened in due and ancient form and the Master must be reminded of the dignity and character of himself and of his position. The other officers must be impressed with the respect and veneration due from their stations and the Fraternity in Lodge assembly and in work must maintain a reverential awe for Deity, and must look to the Great Light of Freemasonry, the Holy Bible, for guidance and instruction. The Lodge must be opened and closed with a Prayer.

Peace on Earth - The principles and tenets of Freemasonry teach "peace on earth and good will to men."

Pearly Gates - The beauty and glory of Solomon's Temple and its furnishings were symbols and prophecies of the superior Temple, that house not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens, with its gates of pearl.

Pillars of Brass - The two giant bronze pillars, Boaz and Jachin were significant features of King Solomon's Temple that stood in front of the entrance to the Great Porch at the east entrance of the Temple.

Pillars of Wisdom - The seven great pillars of wisdom are regarded by Masons to be of value in the building of a moral and spiritual edifice.

Pitcher Be Broken at the Fountain - The heart is the fountain of human life, and the great vein which carries the blood to the right ventricle is symbolically called the pitcher. When this is broken as a result of the decrepitude of old age or by human disease, death soon follows.


Plumbline - A tool used to maintain a perpendicular walls. In Masonry it is a symbol of justice and uprightness in our deals with our fellowmen.

Poor - One of the tennets of Freemasonry is the duty of rendering aid and sustenance to those in need.

Porch - The Great Porch of the Temple of Solomon a distinctive recognition in the ritual and teachings of Masonry.

Prayer - A petitions to Deity in behalf on one's own needs and others, A communion with God.

Preparation - In Masonry it is the preparation of moral, ethical and spiritual vocations.

Prudence - Regulating our conduct by the dictates of reason and in obedience to the cardinal virtues of faith, hope and love.

Raised - "Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason" refers to the final symbolic ritual of the Third Degree celebrating our faith in the Final Resurrection of our bodies.

Resurrection - Freemasonry is built on two cardinal beliefs: A belief in God, and a belief in a Resurrection to a future life.

Reverence for God - Anything and everything that represents God to the mind of man should be held sacred and in Reverence.

Rubbish of the Temple - Repersentive of worldly and material things of life which prevent proper moral, ethical and spiritual growth.

Sabbath Day - Freemasonry recognizes man's constitutional requirement for one day's rest. The Sabbath Day is honored as an allotted period for rest and Divine Worship.

Sanctuary - Holy places dedicated to the services and worship of God.

Sanctum Sanctorum - The Latin phrase referring to the Holy of Holies or innermost chamber of King Solomon's Temple where the Ark of the Covenant was kept.


Scripture Readings - The Bible must be on the altar in the Lodge, spread open for opening the Lodge and during its work and to be opened at certain passages during the Degrees. At Psalms 133 for the First Degree, Amos, chapter 7 for the Second Degree, and 1Ecclesiastes, chapter 12 for the Third Degree.

Self Support - The duty to support one's self and his family by individual initiative and personal labor is a universal tenet of Freemasonry.

Shibboleth - A word used by followers of Jephthah to test certain of the Ephraimites who because of their Ephraimite dialect, they pronounced it Sibboleth.

Silver Cord - "Or ever the silver cord be loosed" is an expression descriptive of the delibitations of old age or approaching death.

Solomon - peaceable - Solomon was the son of David and Bathsheba, and David's successor on the throne of Israel.

Spiritual Temple - Symbolic of the building of King Solomon's Temple, for the more important superstructure of moral, ethical and spiritual components knows as the Spiritual Temple.

Stand To and Abide By - This is a unique pledge of every mason and means that he convenants himself to stand by and obey every regulation of the Order, that he will be governed at all times by its laws and rules, and that the landmarks of the Fraternity will be followed faithfully in every detail.

St. John the Baptist - Masons honor St. John the Baptist as the forerunner of the Messiah and Saviour. The names of the Holy St. John the Baptist and the Holy St. John the Evangelist are reverently associate in significant rituals of the Masonic Fraternity.

St. John the Evangelist - As a disciple of St. John the Baptist, John, a son of Zebedee and brother of James, was among the earliest to follow Jesus and to enter into full Christian discipleship. In Masonic history and in rituals, St. John the Evangelist is highly honored and his memory beautifully commemorated.

Tabernacle - A moveable structure build at Moses' directions from a pattern given to him by God in a revelation. A central place for worship.

Table of Shewbread - One article of furniture in the Tabernacle was a table made of acacia wood. It was furnished with dishes, bowls, spoons and covers, all made of pure gold. Twelve cakes of bread made of fine flour, in two rows of six, called shewbread. They were removed every Sabbath and fresh bread supplied in their place. Only the priests were allowed to eat this removed bread.

Temple - In Freemasonry a number of rites and ceremonies associated with the building of King Solomon's Temple. The Temple has been kept alive through innumerable symbols and rituals.

Temple Builder - In Freemasonry the legend of the Temple builder forms a significant part of the Third Degree.

Temple of the Body - In Masonry we are taught that man's body is to be made a fit Temple for the indwelling of God.

Ten Commandments - The laws of Moses are the moral code by which all human relations with God and with mankind should be regulated.

Testimony - In ancient Israel and other societies, the putting off of the shoes was a testimony of reverence for God or for an earthly superior.

Three Chambers - The upper, middle and lower chambers of King Solomon's Temple were rooms adjoining the main building fitted for quiet communication with God.

Tiler - The duty of the Tiler/Tyler is to provide protection for the Lodge when it is organized and ready for business, closing the doors, keeping away eavesdroppers and intruders.

Troubles of Life - Freemasonry recognizes the fact that man in his sin-fallen state is the natural heir to sufferings, frailties, weaknesses, trial and troubles; and that release and renewal of strength may be found only in God.

Trust in God - As a candidate crosses the threshold of the Lodge, and throughout all the ceremonies and rites of Freemasonry, he is required to "put his trust in God."

Tubal-cain - The son of Lamech, a descendant of Adam through the Cainite line, and thought of in Masonry as the father of skilled workmanship in artistic productions for building purposes.

Unity - Masons are constantly taught to avoid "confusion among the workmen," discord, strife, jealousies and vain discussions on non-essentials; and to cultivate zealously and fervently the spirit of true unity in the Lodge and in the Fraternity.

Untempered Mortar - Weak mortar with incorrect ingredients or the ingredients improperly mixed. In Masonry untempered mortar is symbolic of dishonest and fraudulent mistures in the building of character or in the construction of the institution of Freemasonry.

Veiled Allegory - A thing spoken like a parable, with hidden meaning .

Veil of the Temple - A curtain or partition which separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place in the temple.

Visitors - No Mason is allowed to regard as a stranger or visitor any Brother Mason, even though he has no acquaintance with him, and even if he may be of some other religion, country or nationality.

Vows - Vows are the covenants of heart and conscience which serve as the main force of heart and character in faithfully observing the obligations verbally expressed before the altar.

Wages - Masons who built King Solomon's Temple were paid wages, but there is no Biblical reference as to the daily wage paid. The true and enlightened Mason finds his rewards in the gratifying and beneficial results of his studies, and in the fruitful products of his Masonic deeds.

Wayfaring Man - A traveler or transient, one with no settled home, is often referred to as a wayfaring man.

White - White is symbolic of purity in its various uses in Masonry.

White Stone - The white stone is a token of fraternal friendship and helpfulness as well as enduring alliance.

Widow's Son - Masons are sometimes referred to as "sons of the widow" as this was the title applied to Hiram, chief architect of Solomon's Temple.

Widows and Orphans - Masons are solemnly pledged to make special provision for widows and orphans in need, especially among families of the Fraternity.

Winding Stairs - The Temple of Solomon had a winding stairway consisting of fifteen steps leading from the porch to the second floor. These are symbols in the work of Freemasonry.

Wisdom of Solomon - King Solomon represents the highest degree of wisdom. The East, the source of light, symbolizes the wisdom needed for success in life. The East is represented by the pillar that supports the Lodge and by the Worshipful Master.


Word - The WORD symbolizes Divine Truth. The search for the Word in any sense means ultimately the search for Truth. Masonry is, in its essence, the search for Truth. The written word of God hold a pre-eminent place in all Degrees of Masonry and in all of its teachings.


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