Who was Hiram Abiff really, one of the three mystical founders of Freemasonry?
Hiram Abiff resembles Jesus Christ in the respect that he was killed and resurrected too. Was he a real person or is his story just an allegory? What makes matters confusing is the fact that there were at lest two Hiram: Hiram, King of Tyre and Hiram Abiff. According to Freemasonry, Hiram Abiff was David’s and Solomon’s architect, who built David a house and Solomon a temple.
What’s mysterious about that? Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and that the Sacred Spirit lives inside you? (1Co 3.16). This means that Hiram Abiff wasn’t only David’s and Solomon’s architect, he is also your and my architect, turning our personalities into temples. Come again? Why aren’t we aware of Hiram Abiff doing this work on us? Well, we are still missing the ear to hear and the eye to see. 😉
Let’s have a closer look at Hiram Abiff’s legend. In order to do so, we need the mystical Bible code: Gematria. The Gematria we are interested in, is 273. It embraces Hiram Abiff (ChVRM ABYV) and the phrase the stone refused by the builders (ABN MASV H’BVNYM). This phrase is an epithet of Jesus Christ, who was first refused by his contemporaries, but later became the corner stone of a a new spiritual tradition. With Hiram Abiff it was the other way around. When his fellow builders tried to force him to reveal the magical word or formula by which the temple is completed, he refused. His reasoning: the Holy of Holies was incomplete and still missing the Ark of the Covenant. Angry about the refusal, his fellow builders killed him and Hiram Abiff took the magical word into the grave. There, it became the hidden light – AVR GNVZ, which also adds up to 273.
We all know the beautiful verses of John 1, which equal the Word (logos) with Light and Life. The (hidden) Light is the key to the secrets of the Great work (the Greek he kleis has also the value 273). This is the key to the knowledge that the lawmakers have taken away from people (Jesus complained about that), the key to the bottomless abyss, and the key to immortality – the prize of the great work (the Greek for immortality, atheanasia, is also part of the 273 Gematria).
Do you already have a hunch, who Hiram Abiff is? Shall we ring up the curtain already? Hmm … maybe not quite yet. 😉 Did you know that Moses had such a mysterious architect too? In Moses’ case, it was Bezalel. Apparently, Bezalel was an even more spectacular fellow than Hiram Abiff. Bezalel possessed such great wisdom that he could combine the letters of the alphabet with which heaven and earth were created. This alphabet is of course the Hebrew alphabet, which forms the sacred Bible code, but also conceals the archetypes of the spiritual Torah into which God looked prior to performing creation.
His profound wisdom allowed Bezalel to erect the tabernacle’s sanctuary, where God’s presence can be witnessed. To put things into perspective: already the sanctuary’s candle was so complex that Moses couldn’t comprehend it, although God showed him a heavenly blueprint twice. But when God described it to Bezalel, the latter understood and made it at once. Moses was so amazed that he exclaimed that Bezalel must have been in God’s shadow when God showed him the heavenly blueprint. That’s where Bezalel got his name from: El’s Shadow.
Bezalel, BTzLAL, has the value of 153 and is thereby connected to the following terms and phrases: I am Jehovah Elohim (ANY YHVH ALHYM) – the famous monotheistic statement, the Passover (H’PSCh) – indicating an early milestone of the great work, He is faithful (NAMN ChVA) – faith is the substance of all things desired, he shall cause to inherit (YBChLBH) – Bezalel will enable us to inherit God’s powers, and last but not least Sons of Elohim (BNY H’ALHYM) – hinting primarily at Adam, our true identity, since Elohim created Adam in His-her image and likeness.
Bezalel is said to have been just thirteen years of age when he accomplished the great work, owing his wisdom to the merits of his pious parents. His grandfather was Hur, his grandmother Maryam, and he was one of Moses’ grandnephews. The number 13 gives another great clue, since it’s the number of the Hebrew words ‘love’ and ‘unity’. We are also reminded of the 13th Tarot card, Death, which holds the secret of immortality – the reward of the great work. The 13th Tarot card is associated with the Imaginative Intelligence, and illustrates the path on the Tree of Life that links Netzach (Victory) to Tiphareth (Beauty), uniting personal desires with the unconditional, cosmic love residing in Tiphareth, the Sephirah of Adam and Christ.
The meaning of the name David, The Beloved-One, adds nicely to the big picture. Noteworthy, David united Israel, but was still fallible, which indicates the difference between being loved and to love. Indeed, we all want to be David and to be loved, but much more so, we want to love like Jesus Christ did. Jesus Christ promoted an unconditional and benevolent love that doesn’t ask for anything, not even to be loved in return – like the sun in the sky that shines on all of us, not bothering what we do with the energy it bestows on us.
I know, it sounds odd that we can turn our selfish, wanting love into a radiating, unconditional love through an act of imagination, but we are not talking fancies here. We are talking disciplined, spiritual, creative imagination – the vision of our true self. Anyways, here’s a clue to the spiritual significance of the fact that Jesus is considered to be a descendant of David.
The sanctuary’s candle mentioned earlier is the seven-branched menorah, a lamb-stand of seven lights that has a single stand (or root). Seven lights with one root – that rings a loud bell, doesn’t it? Mind that menorah is part of the 301 Gematria encompassing the terms ‘Elohim’ (whose powers are sevenfold), ‘fire, ‘the life-breath’, ‘foundation’ and the phrase ‘I will speak to him in a dream’ – the latter a reference to prophecy. Indeed, the menorah signifies the seven inner holy planets (chakras), which are fueled by the one thing or energy from which all things were, are, and will be made. The great work cannot be performed without perfecting the inner, holy planets, since these are, besides other things, the seven communication channels through which we receive higher guidance and wisdom – shoot, now I gave it away!
Yes, Hiram Abiff and Bezalel are the Hierophant, the inner teacher, the Priest Whisperer, the small inner voice that spoke to Elijah (1Kings19:12) and other prophets, which is also the voice of the Inner Christ. Hierophant means Revealer of Sacred Subjects, it was the name of the chief officer in the Eleusian mysteries. He is the true Pontifex (literally bridge-maker), uniting our mind with our higher self. Psychologically speaking Hiram Abiff symbolizes intuition – our ability to receive higher guidance.
The Hierophant is indeed the stone refused by the common builders. He is refused by people, who look for God, love, guidance, and happiness outside themselves. But the opposite is true, indicated by Jesus’ second, neglected name: Emmanuel, which means God-Is-Immanent.
In Hebrew, stone is ehben, ABN, which can be extrapolated to AB+BN, meaning Father and Son. Most of all, it signifies the union of God Child and God Father of which Jesus Christ spoke so often. This is really good news, since once we gain access to the Inner Christ (through the Hierophant, Hiram Abiff or Bezalel), we are automatically connected to God Father as well. This is also shown by the fact that, on the Tree of Life, the path of the Hierophant connects Chokmah (wisdom) with Chesed, the first being the Sephirah of Jehovah, God Father, the Life-power, and the the heavens ruling (the zodiac).
At this juncture we need to get a bit technical to resolve a confusion that stems from an odd statement about Hiram Abiff in the Chronicles. Solomon asked Hiram, King of Tyre for help, since he was utterly hopeless to complete the task to build a great house for Elohim, whom neither the heavens, nor the heavens of heaven could contain. Hiram, King of Tyre, responded to Solomon as follows (2Ch 2:13/14): “I sent you a skillful man, imbued with understanding, of Hiram my father’s*… his father was a man of Tyre, skillful in working with gold, silver, brass, iron, stone, and timber, in purple, blue, fine linen, and crimson, a great engraver…” Strange right? Looks like there are three Hiram: King Hiram, the father of the skilled man, Hiram Abiff, and Hiram Abiff himself. It looks as if King Hiram either sent his father or himself.
Paul Case resolves the confusion as follows: although the Hierophant connects Chokmah with Chesed, the Revealer of the Mysteries is actually Binah, the Great Mother. Why? Because Binah emanates Chesed. But only after the path from Chokmah to Chesed is established too, Binah can function as the Inner Teacher. This reminds of the phrase I am Jehovah Elohim (part of Bezalel’s Gematria). In short: spiritual guidance is a teamwork of Elohim (Binah) and Jehovah (Chokmah).
2Ch 2:13 agrees with this, since Hiram Abiff was imbued with understanding – that’s Binah. Mind that the odd phrase ‘of my father’s‘ also alludes at Chokmah, to which the term Ab, father, is assigned.
This becomes even clearer when we consider the associations between the three pillars and founders of Freemasonry, Solomon, King Hiram, and Hiram Abiff. In Freemasonry, the right pillar of the Tree of Life is called the Pillar of Wisdom, which King Solomon manages. The left pillar is the Pillar of Strength to which Hiram, King of Tyre is assocated, and the middle pillar is the Pillar of Beauty, ruled by Hiram Abiff.
And these are their Gematria:
- Melek Shelomoh (King Solomon): 465
- Churum Melek Tsore (Hiram King of Tyre): 640
- Churum Abiv (Hiram Abiff): 273
These three numbers adds up to 1378, the birth year of Brother C.R., the founder of Rosicrucian Order, whose initials are none other than those of Christ. Brother C.R. reminds us also of Choor (Horus’ ancient name), written with two Hieroglyphs that correspond to the Greek Chi and Rho (mind that Horus was a son of a widow too).
In particular, Hiram Abiff represents Tiphareth, which is also the throne of the messianic power that redeems our personalities by turning them into a House of God. And this has to be taken literally: “Out of the raw material of the natural man, the divine man is unfolded. Out of the corruptible body of the natural man is made the truly incorruptible body of the spiritual man. This incorruptible body is sometimes called the solar body, and various other names have been given to it. What we wish to emphasize here is that it is an actual body and that it is made here on earth, not in a far-off heaven after death.” – Paul Foster Case, The True and Invisible Rosicrucian Order, page 53.
The connection between Hiram Abiff and the Redeemer is also indicated in the Gematria of 267, which involves the odd phrase of Hiram my father’s (L’ChVRM ABY), but also Nazarite (NZYR) – Jesus was a Nazarene, and Merkabah (MRKBH), Ezekiel’s heavenly chariot, which is, besides the Temple, another illustration of the perfected human personality mentioned by Paul Case. On a side note: it is said that one needs the Merkabah in order to cross the abyss between Chesed and Binah, the Heavens.
Back to the Revealer of the Mysteries: Moses was the Grand Hierophant or High Priest of Jehovah, the bearer of the Hidden Light (wisdom). In Qabalah, wisdom is known to come in two forms: universal knowledge and the sacred substance of which the Heavens were created. In the Song of Solomon the latter is alluded to as the little sister without breasts for which we have no name. Yes, that’s the High Priestess, the forever virgin, who gives birth to the Christ-consciousness once we discover her in her secret temple deep inside out being (note that she connects Kether and Tiphareth on the Tree of Life). As you can see, her temple is open, like a tabernacle, indicating that the birth of the Christ-consciousness is only the beginning of the great work, whereby the construction of the temple designates the intermediate phase, and the building of the adytum or Holy of Holies marks its completion.
All this may sound a bit overwhelming on first sight, but only so because numerical and symbolic references weave such a thick web of associations throughout the Bible and related scriptures. But don’t worry, the great work is simple: we just need to acquire wisdom (the kingdom of heaven where we arrive when we cross the abyss), and everything else will be provided for. And this acquisition is easy too: we just need to remember – that’s where the High Priestess comes in again, since she rules the power of memory – as does the moon, which, as a clasp, holds the Hierophants cloak in place.
Before we close this post, let’s have a closer look at the symbolism of the 5th Tarot card, the Hierophant. The letter associated with this Tarot card is V. In Hebrew, V is used as a conjunction – the grammatical means of union, in our context the union of our personal consciousness with Christ and even God.
The letter name Vav means nail. It is the nail with which Jesus was nailed to the cross, whereby the crucifixion alludes to the ultimate sacrifice that completes the great work. That’s why, when Jesus died, the veil of the Holy of Holies ripped apart. Exposed, the Holy of Holies gave view to the Ark of the Covenant above which hovered Shekinah, God’s presence. On a side note: Jehovah’s ineffable name is chanted by the High Priest(ess) in the Holy of Holies – that’s the magical word or formula Hiram Abiff’s fellow builders tried to mug.
Astrologically, the Hierophant is connected with Taurus, which is ruled by Venus, arching back to the Gematria of 13 (love and union). Taurus rules our outer ears as well as our inner ear, with which we can hear the voice of the Priest Whisperer, the ear that Jesus asked us to grow. Noteworthy, Taurus also manages the entire neck area that unites the lower body with the head.
Both, the Hierophant and the two witnesses in front of him bear the symbols of the yoke. The yoke signifies union as well; in particular, the union with the bull, Aleph, the life-power. The Hierophant’s yoke harnesses the raw life-power, the root energy of the seven inner holy planets or chakras, allowing us to deploy the Sacred Spirit to fuel our great work.
On a side note: Solomon constructed the temple with the help of 72 angels and demons, whereby those are the constructive and destructive expressions of the 36 zodiacal decanates – that’s Solomon’s ruling over the Pillar of Wisdom comes in handy.
The Book of Formation assigns the title Triumphant and Eternal Intelligence to the Hierophant. Sounds magnificent, doesn’t it? Well, this intelligence is yours for the taking. Just grow yourself that inner ear that permits you to hear the small, still voice within. From that moment on, you can sit back, relax and watch how Solomon, King Hiram, and Hiram Abiff will do all the work for you. Most truly: Only Jehovah builds the house. Those who try to build it themselves, labor in vain. Only Jehovah can guard the city, all others guard in vain. – Psa 127:1 (note: this verse is titled A Song of Degrees for Solomon).
* The New King James Version translates L’ChVRM ABY as ‘Huram, my master craftsman‘. Other versions are ‘Hiram of my father‘ or ‘Hiram my father‘, the latter suggesting that King Tyre sent his father of the same name.