Submitted by Companion Gary Jascur
Ark of the Covenant
Ray V. Denslow and Charles C. Hunt, A HISTORY OF CRYPTIC RITE 2 VOL. (General Grand Council, R.&. S.M., 1931), vol 1 page 99, states that the degree was appended to an old manuscript ritual book of Morin’s 25th degree rite which belonged to an old Jewish family of Jamaica. There is a similar copy known as the UNMARKED MANUSCRIPT BOOK FROM BX 31 located in the Archives vault of the House of the Temple of the Supreme Council 33 degree, S.J. 9Washington D.C.) may have originated under the Royal Arch, as given under the Constitution of Dublin).
In the course of the degree, the last brother is let down into an arch by the help of two brethren where he finds a pedestal with a gold Delta (triangular) plate. On it a copy of the law and a book of the arts and sciences. Also, a considerable treasure, which he hands up to his 2 companions by means of a rope, retaining only the pedestal with the gold plate affixed to it, after which he is hauled up by them who let him down, having the pedestal and gold plate in his arms.
After presenting their finds, “the Grand Master address the 2 zealous brethren thus, ‘dear brethren, among the things you have found, is the real and true Grand Masters Word, which was lost by the death of our respectable Grand Master, Hiram Abiff…”
Sometime later, the candidate is taught the word; “one is instructed to say I_; the other B_; and the third L_, and so alternately until everyone has completed the same…”
In the 1783 Franken Manuscript version of the Perfect Master degree, we read that following Hiram’s death a triangular stone was made with the letters I.M.B. engraved thereon, “the I. being the initial of the ancient master’s word, and the M.B. the initials of the new word.”
We find a parallel in the 1782 Rectified Scottish Rite’s degree of Scottish Master of Saint Andrew, where we read …a square polished stone upon which is a triangular gold plate, bearing the sacred word JEHOVA and the angle of the three letters J\B\M\, which are the initials of three of the preceding grades. (the liturgy of the Rite of Strict Observance Reformed and Rectified 1905, the Rite of Strict Observance, Warrenton N.C. printed by Edward Allen 1934).
Here are, the following explanation for the four similar sets of letters associated with the Triangle:
1) The A.B.L. (t.c.k.) of the English Royal Arch, with the permutations AB, BAL, LAB, ETC.
2) The I_ B_ L_ of the Knight of the Royal Arch, being the “lost word.”
3) The I.M.B. of the 1783 Franken Manuscript, wherein I= the “ancient” word and M.B. = the “new “word.
4) The J\B\M\ of the Rectified Scottish Rite signifying the initials of the words of the craft degrees.
What was the significance of the triangle with three letters?
Harry Mendoza in his excellent study makes a remarkable discovery. By substituting Hebrew for Latin on a Christian “Trinitarian Device” the mysterious ALEPH, BETH AND LAMED on the British Royal Arch triangle are produced.
LATIN ENGLISH HEBREW
Pater Father Ab
Filius Son Ben
Spiritus Spirit Leb
A concise Dictionary of the words in the Hebrew Bible notes that Leb is used very widely for the feelings, the will and even the intellect. Appealing as it may appear, the Hebrew scriptures do not use “Leb” as a designation for the Divine Spirit. The Hebrew text employs RUACH ELOHIM, “Spirit of God,” ROUACH YHWH, “Spirit of the Yahweh,” and RAUACH HAKODESH, “Holy Spirit.” In George Smith’s work, THE USE AND ABUSE OF FREE-MASONRY, there was an illustration which was strikingly similar to the English Royal Arch triangle. At each corner was found a Hebrew letter and the triangle is observed. Puzzled by the word ELIJAH in the center- a position usually reserved for Deity. Although ELIJH means “YAHWEH is my God,” examination of even an earlier work by (Georgius Von Welling’s Opus Mago Cabbilisticum et Theosphicum 1760. All of his illustrations have been reproduced in Manly P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of all Ages. 1928 reprinted 1977 by Ohilosophical Research Society, Los Angeles.)
The word Geist in German for Spirit, Jehovah and Elohim in Hebrew =God. Surround the triangle, while Eheieh in Hebrew, “I AM,” appears in the center. The engraver of Smiths drawing likely misread the word Eheieh and substituted Elijah.
PREPARED BY GARY JASCUR FROM THE BOOK OF FREEMASONS BOOK OF THE ROYAL ARCH BY BERNARD E. JONES FIRST PUBLISHED IN GREAT BRITAIN 1957 AND HEREDON MYSTERY ROYAL ARCH WORD