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The First two Pillars

Today in Masonic History we present the First two Pillars.

Freemason's are familiar with the pillars of Solomon's temple, biblically these are not the first two pillars mentioned.

First some back story leading to the first two pillars. Genesis, in part, tells the story of Cain and Abel. Biblically they are the first sons of Adam and Eve after they leave the Garden of Eden. Cain slew Abel and Cain was cast out to never live in the sight of God again. After Cain's departure Adam and Eve have another son Seth. It is the offspring of Cain and Seth which leads us to the building of the first two pillars. Biblical scholars are somewhat undecided on this subject.

In the first version of the creation of the two pillars, Seth's descendants, including Enoch and Lamech, led virtuous lives. It should be noted Cain had descendants also named Enoch and Lamech. The descendants of Seth are credited with developing astronomy, the division of time into weeks, months and years (both solar and lunar) and to have evolved Hebrew Characters. They were warned by a prophecy of the end of the World. To protect their knowledge they inscribed the it on two pillars. Both writings were identical in the hopes one or the other survived the destruction of the World. The first was made of brick, the other of stone.

In the other version it is the descendants of Cain, the children of Lamech, who actually are the ones who develop the knowledge and inscribe the information on the pillars. Lamech married two women, the first was Adah. Adah gave birth to Jubal and Jabal. Jubal is said to have been the father of stringed instruments and pipes. Jabal was the father of "those who live in tents and raise livestock." Lamech's second wife was Zilla, she gave birth to Tubal-Cain who "forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron". Tubal-Cain also had a sister Naamah (sometimes Na'amah) who is believed to have been the first person to undertake weaving. Again the information is inscribed on the brick and the stone pillars when there is a prophecy of the destruction of the World.

In both versions of the story, the method of the destruction is not clear in the prophecy. It is either inundation (flooding or a deluge) or conflagration (fire or burning). In both stories the motivation for inscribing the information on the two pillars is to survive inundation and conflagration. The concept of preserving knowledge was later applied to the pillars of King Solomon's Temple. Regardless of which antediluvian (before the biblical flood) story is ascribed to, the original pillars were meant to safeguard the knowledge which had been accumulated prior to the destruction of the World. Just as knowledge is believed to have been stored in the pillars of King Solomon's Temple.

This article provided by Brother Eric C. Steele.