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Symbolical Masonry, by H.L. Haywood, [1923], at

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For many years the Jewish tribes had been harassed on one side by the Philistines and on the other by the Ammonites, the latter a rude Bedouin tribe of crafty, fearless desert people. Made desperate by their losses the Israelites at last gathered behind a semi-barbarous chieftain from the land of Tob, a region just north of the Ammonites and full of folk almost as barbarous as they. This chieftain, whose name was Jephthah and who suffered the disgrace of illegal birth, easily bested the foes and was afterwards made one of the Judges of Israel. (See Book of Judges.)

On this, the men of the Jewish tribe of Ephraim became jealous of the new leader and undertook to destroy his power. They crossed over to the east side of Jordan where Jephthah lived and there engaged him in war. After he had thoroughly whipped them he set groups of his men at each of the Jordan fords to intercept the refugees. But Jephthah discovered that the Ephraimites were so much like his own soldiers in appearance that confusion would result so he hit upon the ingenious expedient of having every suspect undertake to say "shibboleth" as he waded across the river. The Ephraimites were as unable to frame the sound of "sh" as Englishmen are to pronounced the Scotch "och." The nearest they could

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come to the pronunciation was "sibboleth." This betrayed them, and forty-two thousand were slain.


Among all primitive peoples the gods were supposed to have need of food; from that idea arose the custom of placing gifts on the altar, a custom as universal as it was ancient. The nature of the gifts was determined, usually, by the occupation of a people; the shepherds, for example, offered a sheep or a lamb, while agricultural peoples appropriately gave fruits or grain. This explains why it was that the Greeks and Romans, in their early periods, so often brought to their altars gifts of corn, oil and wine.

The same people also were accustomed to offer similar gifts to the gods when they undertook the erection of a building. Thinking to appease the gods for taking possession of the soil they would place fruits and grains in the bottom of the foundation pits, a practice well described by Ovid in his mythical history of the building of Rome: "A pit is dug down to the firm clay," he writes, "fruits of the earth are thrown to the bottom, and a sample of earth of the adjacent soil. The pit is filled with the earth, and when filled an altar is placed over it," etc. The present-day habit of placing valuables in a cornerstone is a reminiscence of that ancient custom.

The Masonic reader will understand from this our custom of using corn, wine and oil in the dedication of Masonic buildings. But these things have a very different significance in the Fellow Craft lecture: there they symbolise the wages of the workmen, alluding to Nourishment, Refreshment, and Joy. This symbolism interprets itself. It is nothing more than a figurative manner of saying to the candidate: "If you actually put into practise

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the teachings of this degree you will receive a rich reward; you will be nourished in mind and body; you will be refreshed by the consciousness of work well done; you will know the joys of brotherhood, of achievement, of a life well lived." Compared with such wages money compensation is a very poor thing.

Next: Chapter XLI. The Letter G