Who Was Hiram Abiff?
by J.S.M. Ward
Every Freemason must have at some point asked himself the above question.
In Masonic teachings Hiram Abiff is the architect of King Solomon’s Temple and his story is one of faithfulness and death before dishonour.
But more than that, Hiram Abiff (or Adoniram as he is known in some texts) is the template of excellence in Masonry and appears throughout the centuries in many Masonic degrees in various guises, lessons and references.
A figure of virtue, justice, skill and honour, if Freemasonry has a hero that hero is Hiram Abiff.
In Craft Freemasonry, the Third Degree , or Raising, is for many Masons a very moving experience.
Central to the degree is the figure of Hiram and, so important to it is he, that it seems necessary to understand Hiram to truly understand Freemasonry.
This book aims to explore this key, yet mysterious figure in Freemasonry from a historical, symbolic and sociological point of view.
It not only reveals the exact Biblical references to Hiram Abiff, but also draws on other scriptures to give a clear picture to the reader about what has been said in original sources.
Armed with the above the author applies this understanding to the teachings surrounding Hiram in his various forms and roles in Masonic ritual, exploring and explaining the symbolism throughout. He then goes on to compare Masonic teachings with other ceremonial traditions that involve a slain and risen figure, some with striking similarity to the enactment of the story of Hiram found in every lodge.
Drawing on his extensive historical and anthropological knowledge, JSM Ward takes us on a tour examining countless traditions across the world and showing the reader what possible links there could be to the secret rites of Knights Templar, the Ancient Egyptian tradition of Osiris and the Greek Adonis, as well as other traditions from the time of Solomon.