The Web of Hiram

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Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite

4. Secret Master

5. Perfect Master

6. Intimate Secretary

7. Provost and Judge

8. Intendant of Buildings

9. Master Elect of Nine

10. Master Elect of Fifteen

11. Sublime Master Elected

12. Grand Master Architect

13. Royal Arch of Enoch

14. Grand Elect, Perfect and Sublime Master Mason

15. Knight of the East or Sword

16. Prince of Jerusalem

17. Knights of the East and West

18. Knight of the Rose-Croix de Heredom

19. Grand Pontiff

20. Grand Master of all Symbolic Lodges

21. Noachite or Prussian Knight

22. Knight of the Royal Axe

23. Chief of the Tabernacle

24. Prince of the Tabernacle

25. Knight of the Brazen Serpent

26. Prince of Mercy

27 Commander of the Temple

28. Knight of the Sun

29. Knight of St Andrew, or Patriarch of the Crusades

30. Knight Kadosh

31. Grand Inspector Commander

32. Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret.

33. Inspector-General


The Fifteenth Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, and the First Degree of the Historical Series


The annual meetings of all Councils of Princes of Jerusalem are held on the 20th day of the tenth month Tebet: stated meetings, at such other times as may suit their convenience. Officers should be elected at every annual meeting, all installed on the 23rd day of the eleventh month - Adar - thereafter

Originally, it was the province of every Council of Princes of Jerusalem to inspect and watch over, with due care and fidelity, Lodges of Perfection, and see that their "work" was done in conformity with the regulations and landmarks of the order. This duty of a Council has never been abrogated, but is seldom exercised.

The Grand Feast-day of Princes of Jerusalem shall be celebrated on the 23rd day of the eleventh month, Adar, which is the anniversary of the day when thanks were given to the Almighty for the reconstruction of the Temple. Their other Feast-days are as follows:

The 20th day of the tenth month, called Tebet, when " the ambassadors made a triumphant entry into Jerusalem, on their return from Babylon."

The equinoctial days, in the months of March and September, in memory of the Temple having been built twice.

Five members constitute a quorum: a Council can not be opened with a less number.

If a Prince gives another Prince a challenge, he should be excluded forever.

Princes are strictly to observe the rule enforcing justice and good order, and their conduct in life should be irreproachable.

If any member of a Council or Lodge shall be present at, or aid, or assist in giving or receiving any of the sublime or symbolic degrees in a clandestine or irregular manner, contrary to the true intent and meaning of the statutes and regulations of the Supreme Council, or of the constitutions and laws of true Ancient, Free and Accepted Masonry, he subjects himself to expulsion.

A Prince of Jerusalem who visits an inferior Council or Lodge, should present himself clothed with the dress and ornaments of a Prince; and when his approach is announced, the presiding officer sends a Prince of Jerusalem to examine him, and if he reports in his favour he should be received under the arch of steel, and be escorted by four Brethren, and seated on the right hand of the presiding officer. An entry of his name and rank should be made on the engraved tablets, that he may thereafter receive due honours without examination; the same ceremonies should be observed when he retires as when he entered.

Princes have the right of being covered in all subordinate Lodges, Chapters, or Councils, and of addressing the Chair without first asking permission.

If at any election of officers, a Prince of Jerusalem solicits votes for himself or any other person, he should be forever expelled.


This degree, which is intimately connected with the one that succeeds it, relates to the Babylonish captivity, which lasted seventy years, the release and return of the 42,360 captives to Jerusalem, and the attempt to build the Second Temple under the direction of Zerubbabel or Sheshbazzar. King Cyrus also permitted the return of the Holy Vessels and Ornaments which had been removed by Nebuzaradan at the time of the destruction of the First Temple.

The return of the captives was contested at the bridge over the river Euphrates, but unsuccessfully; and finally, when labouring to lay the foundation of the Temple, beset on every side by enemies, Zerubbabel ordered that the Masons should work with the sword in one hand and a trowel in the other, that they might be able at any moment to defend themselves from attack.

The Second Temple was forty-six years in construction.

The purpose of the Degree of Knight of the East or Sword is to animate and encourage the Mason to be active in his duties, by presenting in an effective manner some illustrious examples of Humility, Patience, Truth, Wisdom, Chivalric courage and Devotion, as displayed by our ancient Brethren. and also to preserve the remembrance of the events upon which the grade is founded. In this, and the succeeding degree, the initiate appears in a double capacity, as a Craftsman and a Warrior, who must be constantly on the alert, ready either for work or for combat.


A Council of Knights of the East or Sword requires three apartments:

First - Hall of the West.

Second - Hall of the East.

Third - Road from Jerusalem to Persia.


Represents a Grand Lodge of Perfection at Jerusalem. The hall is decorated with red, the furniture in general disorder, and the altars prostrated. The lights are seventy in number, arranged in groups of seven each. A curtain at the East end of the hall conceals a blazing glory.


Represents the interior of the Palace of King Cyrus, and should be decorated according to the usual custom of the Orientals. A throne occupies one end of the hall, with seats for the Minister of State and Counsellors. The room is hung in green. It is brilliantly lighted, by no particular number or arrangement of lights. In the East is a superb throne. In the West are two oriental seats in the North and South, seats for the brethren. The Throne is elevated by two steps, and adorned with gold-lace and fringe.

Behind the throne is a transparency representing the dream of Cyrus to wit, a roaring lion ready to spring upon him; above it a brilliant Glory, surrounded with luminous clouds; and in the centre of the Glory the Ineffable name of God, in Samaritan letters. Out of the clouds an eagle emerges, bearing in his beak a pennant, upon which are the words, "Restore Liberty to the Captives." Below the luminous clouds are Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar, loaded with chains, the former on all-fours, eating grass.


A bridge is represented extended, over a river, and a rude altar at the end near the first apartment.


1. Thrice Potent Grand Master.

2. Senior Grand Warden.

3. Junior Grand Warden.

4. Grand Orator.

5. Grand Master of Ceremonies.

6. Grand Captain of the Guards.

All in black robes with their appropriate jewels.


1. Cyrus, King of Persia, in royal robes.

2. Grand Master of Cavalry.

3. Grand Master of Infantry.

4. Grand Master of Palace.

5. Grand C. of Guards.

6. Counsellors.

All in appropriate costumes.

Guard, soldiers, etc, with javelins or pikes.

King Cyrus and the Grand Masters of Cavalry, Infantry, and of the Palace, wear an order, or broad watergreen colored sash, with a green rosette at the bottom, worn from the right shoulder to the left hip.

The green turbans have a golden sun embroidered on the front.

The apron, worn only in the first apartment, is of crimson velvet edged with green; on the flap are embroidered in gold a bleeding head and two swords crossed; in the centre of the apron, three triangles forming a chain with triangular links.

The jewel of gold is three triangles, one within the other, diminishing in size, and enclosing two naked swords crossed, hilts downward, resting on the base of the inner triangle.

The term knight will be added to all titles except the Master's. Each Knight wears a silver trowel with an ebony handle at his right side.

Step - advance boldly by four and one, sword in hand.

Age - ten weeks of years.

Battery - five and two.

Banner of the order - green silk bordered with red; on it are represented a lion and a wolf.


The labours in the Council of Princes of Jerusalem being suspended, the members who are to sustain the parts in the second apartment, or Hall of the East, will immediately repair to that apartment and robe themselves, in order that they may be in readiness when Zerubbabel arrives, and will be stationed as follows

While the second apartment is being prepared, the candidate, who has been clothed with a black robe, is permitted to enter the first apartment without obstruction, where he discovers the brethren engaged in earnest conversation, in groups of two or more.

Previous to admitting the candidate into the Lodge, a copy of the following will be placed in his hands by the Tyler:

Brother-You are summoned to appear this day at a convocation of Grand, Elect, Perfect and Sublime Masons, at our usual rendezvous. The seventy years of captivity have nearly expired. Cyrus has ascended the throne. We may now be restored to liberty. Come to us. Obey the sign.


O Lord our God, and the God of our fathers! thou didst appoint a stated period for the captivity of thy people in Egypt and Babylon, and thou hast taught us the signs whereby we may learn the approach of our redemption from the long captivity which thy just judgment inflicted upon us. Arise, O Lord! and have mercy upon thy Zion, for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come. Stir up the heart of Cyrus, thy servant; for it is written, "The heathen shall fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory." Into thy hands we commit our undertaking. From thee alone do we expect success in our endeavours; for vain is the help of man without thee.

Finally, O Lord, we pray thee to incline the hearts of all our brethren to assist in the work on which we this day solicit thy blessing.

Amen. So mote it be.

Rise, my brethren! The God of Battles is with us. Our petition. has been heard. Let our deliberations to-day be guided by sound discretion. Have faith, my brethren, and success will attend us.

God speaketh once -yea, twice - but man perceiveth it not. In a dream - in a vision of the night - when deep sleep falleth upon men, then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instructions.

"An angry lion was about to throw himself upon me and devour me, and, while quaking with fear, I looked for some place of shelter. A splendid light, proceeding from a 'glory,' suddenly dazzled my sight, and I perceived two of my predecessors, Nebuchadnezzar and Balthasar, in the garb of slaves, and loaded with chains. I heard a voice saying to me: 'Loose the bonds of wickedness.' ' Undo the heavy burdens.' 'Let the oppressed go free.' Break every yoke.'

My spirit was troubled, and my sleep fled from me.

Thus saith Cyrus, King of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth hath the Lord God of heaven build him a given me, and he has charged me to house in Jerusalem, in Judea. Who among you are of his people? The Lord his God be with him, and let him go up.

You see represented, my brethren, the desolation into which has fallen the work of the greatest of Masons; the walls of the Temple demolished, the altar overthrown, the ornaments devastated, and fear and suspicion among the workmen. But at length a change is taking place; our hopes are revived, our chains are broken, our losses are about to be repaired, and our works recommenced. The stones for rebuilding will be taken from the quarries of Tyre, and the wood from the forests of Lebanon, because the second Temple should in all parts be like unto the first, to signify that Masonry is a unity and cannot suffer any material change. You will now visit the outer works and reflect; for of the principal architects of the first Temple, God was the first, Solomon was the second, and Hiram was the third.

Knights, the glorious work of rebuilding the Temple is now our object. For you, Zerubbabel and your companions, has been reserved so great a work. The obligation which you have just taken secures its execution. We stand in need of chiefs to guide us, and who, at the same time, will be our defenders. In the swords with which you are armed, and which you know so well how to preserve, we have the warrant of a successful protection.

Knights, if you consent that Zerubbabel and his associates shall rule the labours of Masonry, building temples and tabernacles in our hearts, and protecting the workmen from their enemies, give the + of assent.

Approach and receive the attributes of your new state, and a knowledge of the mysteries of our reunion.

You have been decorated by King Cyrus with the title of "Knight of the East," and I now decorate you with that of "Knight Mason." This trowel is its symbol. You will work henceforth, Sir Knights,' with the trowel in one 'hand and the sword in the other. This sash of water-green colour must accompany you in all Lodges. It is the mark of knighthood, to which you were admitted by the king, and signifies our hope of being re-established. We have added, in order to preserve the memory of our liberator, this rosette, which is Placed at the bottom of the sash.


Cyrus, The King, to Sysina and Sarabason, sendeth greeting.

Be it known unto you, that I have given leave to all the Jews that are in my dominions, to return into their own Country, and there to rebuild their Capital City, with the Holy Temple at Jerusalem, in the same place where it stood before. I have likewise sent my messenger, Mithridates and Zerubbabel, the Governor of Judea, to superintend the building, and to see it raised sixty cubits upward from the ground and as many over; the walls to be three rows of polished stones, and one of the wood of the Country, together with an Altar for Sacrifices; and all this to be done at my charge.

It is my further pleasure that they receive entire to themselves, all the profits and revenues that were formerly enjoyed by their predecessors, and that they have an allowance paid them of 205,500 drachmas, in consideration of beasts for Sacrifices, wine and oil; and 2,500 measures of wheat, in lieu of fine flour, and all this to be raised upon the tribute of Samaria; that the priests may offer up sacrifices according to the laws and ceremonies of Moses, and pray daily for the King and the Royal family, and for the welfare and happiness of the Persian Empire: and let no man presume to do anything contrary to the tenor of this my royal will and proclamation, upon pain of forfeiting life and estate.


Home Lectures of the Craft Lectures of the Holy Royal Arch Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite The Royal Order of Scotland York Rite Side Degrees English Knights Templar Order of Women Freemasons Walter Leslie Wilmshurst Preston Illustrations of Masonry Masonic Tutor Support

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