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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Is Freemasonry The Outgrowth Of Some Second Temple Jewish Sect

Is Freemasonry The Outgrowth Of Some Second Temple Jewish Sect Cover No.

Again, the accusation is that Freemasonry is a religion, in this case an outgrowth or continuation of some movement in Hellenistic Judaism. There were three especially important movements during the Hellenistic period, which stretches roughly from the conquest of Alexander through the destruction of the Second Temple. They are Zadokite, Enochic and Sapiential Judaism. Each had its own literature and its own views.

Zadokite Judaism was the religion of the priesthood. Priesthood was, according to Leviticus, hereditary. All Levites had duty in the Temple. Only those who were descendants of Aaron were actually priests.

The descendants of one of his grandsons, Phineas, were the High Priests. At the time of the return from exile a family known as the Zadokites, supposedly the descendants of David’s High Priest, Zadok, controlled the High Priesthood. Their holy writings consisted of the Torah, Together With the books of Chronicles and the works of Ezra and Nehemiah. Their version of the creation story is the one in Genesis I. In it, God is the organizer who creates boundaries through order, stability and separation. The Zadokites believed that the covenant of Moses was the establishment of the priesthood, and that the major responsibility of humans was to keep the boundaries. They had no notion of an end for the universe; God had created a flawless creation, so there would never be any reason for it to end.

Thus, where the Zadokites saw a world that was created in perfection, so that the source of evil could only be bad choices by individuals, the Enochites believes that the source of evil was outside the human being, and that a second creation would be needed to cleanse the world. Enochites thought of Enoch as their great prophet, who in Genesis 5:24 ascends bodily to Heaven. They did not consider Moses to be particularly important.

A lay group, Sapiential Judaism took as its main literature Proverbs, Jonah, Job and Qohelet (Ecclesiastes). They agreed with the Zadokites that the universe was a perfect order, and rejected the Enochian notions of an end of time and an afterlife.

The Essenes were the main branch from the Enochites, and the Zadokites lead to the Sadducees and the Pharisees. The Sadducees were the High Priests, no longer Zadokites. while the Pharisees were a lay group, opposed to the Hasmoneans (the Maccabees and their descendants).

Generally it has been those inclined to dispensational fundamentalism who have misguidedly accepted the "traditional history": an historically unsupported myth linking Freemasonry’s origins to the historical construction of King Solmon’s Temple. Believing this story of Freemasonry’s origins, they see the Zadokite priesthood as the first step towards modern Freemasonry by way of a "Rex Deus" family. Judaic iconography or symbolism in masonic concordant bodies can traced to an eighteenth-century interest in biblical Israel, and not to the influence of the Rex Deus dynasty or the Knights Templar as claimed in such books as The Second Messiah.

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