Great part of the Masonic ceremonial has its origin in the rites of the
antiquity, adapted to the modern demands. From the ancient rites, the today’s
most visible influence is the Hebraic one (Castelani, 1993, p.19).
In the mentioned author's saying, the modern Freemasonry is considered as
heiress of the Hebraic rites, practices and traditions, beginning by the Temple
of Jerusalem, that is the archetype of the Churches, and indirectly of the
In order that I could analyze the Psalm 133, denominated Psalm of the
Fraternity or of the Concordance, I divided the work in two parts. The first one
- developed in a descriptive way - tries to place two biblical figures inside of
a historical context: Aaron, mentioned nominally, and David, that is considered
as the author of the mentioned psalm. In the same way, two geographical points
also deserved analysis: the mounts Zion and Hermon.
I also intend to comment the existent relationship between the Landmarks
and the obligation of opening a Book of the Law, in our case, the Bible, that
the psalms are part of.
In the second part of this work, I will analyze in a subjective way the
sayings of Psalm 133 and the teachings that can be extracted from it.
For the attainment of the objective, I leaned on several sources: The
Catholic Bible, books, Magazine “A Trolha”, bulletins of lodges, and several
sites of Internet, all related with the appropriate bibliography.
This word (that originated from the own English Language), in its
etymologic sense, can be understood as “frontier limits” (land = a
portion of the earth’s surface, and mark = a bounder of this portion)
that delimit a territory and that, for this reason, cannot be altered or removed.
The Grand Masonic Lodges of Minas Gerais define the Landmarks as
"... the oldest laws that govern the Universal Freemasonry, which is
characterized by the antiquity".(1) Allec Melor (1989)
defines Landmarks in the following way:
are the rules of conduct that exist since immemorial times – under the form of
written or not written law -, that are co-essential to the society, that are unalterable, and that every freemason is forced to
maintain intact, by virtue of the most solemn and inviolable commitments
In the origins of our order, norms and written rules didn't exist,
differently of the Order of the Temple that had them in the written form.(3)
Brother Francisco José Lucas, of the August and Respectable Symbolic Lodge
Baden Powell, no. 173 of G L S P, expresses as follows, about the subject:
the philosophical thought went forming itself vocally, consolidating and
being transmitted by inheritance from masters to disciples, because always
existed those who taught and those who heard and learned. All existing oral
tradition, however, submits itself to alterations and interpretations, and only
with basic principles could that philosophy of life subsist and stay up to now.
Such are the venerable Landmarks of the
Regular and Universal Freemasonry.(4)
In the same work brother Francisco tells us that no legislator wrote the
Landmarks; it is not less veridical that, no matter how much a masonic historian
looks for its origins, he will find texts related to its existence. He says
since the operative era, the Old Charges mention their principles: faith in
God, respect to the Moral Law, Lodge, secret, manliness. The Poem “Regius”
attributes to them a didactic form”. (5)
In 1723, Freemasonry proclaims in Anderson's Statutes, which mention the
General Regulations of Payne:
Provided always that the Old Landmarks be carefully preserved".
We can conclude that the Landmarks are rules of conduct that exist
since long time (without being able to precise since when), be under the
form of written law or not; that they are unalterable, and that every freemason
is forced to maintain them intact.
The great North American writer Albert G. Mackey compiled twenty-five
Landmarks, all as having accepted, and that the Grand Lodges adopted. In the
present work interests us the twentieth first that says:
is indispensable the existence in the Altar, of a Book of the Law, the Book that
according to the faith, is supposed to contain the truth revealed by the Great
Architect of the Universe. Not taking care the freemasonry of intervening in the
peculiarity of the religious faith of its members. For that, this
Landmark demands that a Book of the Law is
a indispensable part of the implements of a lodge”.(6)
We can ask: why the Book of the Law? Because it is there that we find the
religious precepts. It is the written word; it is the "Verb", the
symbolic representation of His Presence among us. The designation Book of the
Law should be understood as "Book of the Sacred Law”, therefore, it can
be changed in agreement with the own workers' religion, since there is the need
to believe in a supreme being, a creator, in order that one can become a
freemason. Definitively, a freemason cannot be atheistic.
Book of the Law can be:
Book the Deads - for the Egyptians
Bible - for the Catholics
Vedas – for the Hindus
- for the Jews
(Quran)- The Koran - for the Muslims
- THE BIBLE (7)
Printed by Gutenberg in the 15th century, and the most sold
book of the History, the Bible gathers fundamental writings for the three great
monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islamism. Actually, the Bible
is a library of 73 books written in different historical moments. Until today,
the archaeologists didn't find anything that could prove the authorship of any
biblical book. The oldest texts of the Old Testament are part of the Manuscripts
of the Dead Sea. Integral or partial copies of all the books of the Old
Testament compound those manuscripts, whose date investigation, however, showed
that the oldest ones among them were from 200 B.C., or, in other words, about
one thousand years more recent than - according to the Bible - they would have
been written. Concerning to the New Testament, the oldest writings are the
papyruses containing passages of the Apostle John’s Book, 130 A.D. The
discussion on the authorship of the bible texts has been heavy. The Bible
mentions, for instance, Moses as the writer of the first five books, but some
scholars see some differences in the literary style of Pentateuch - " five
books ", in Greek -, what would demonstrate little probability that they
could have been made by the same person's hands. Greek specialists did the first
known compilation of the Bible that today appears in the shelves of the faithful
ones in the whole world. About 200 A.D. they gathered in only one book all the
sacred texts, with the Old Testament in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek.
Little more than 100 years later, the Council of Nicaea recognized it and made
official that collection as being the Holy Bible.
The Old Testament, accepted as sacred by Jews, Christians and Muslims, is
composed of 46 books that intend to summarize the history of the Hebrew people,
from the calling of Abraham by God, which would have happened about 1850 B. C.,
until the conquest of Palestine by the armies of Alexander the Great, and the
revolts of the Jewish people against Greek domain, about 300 B. C.
The Torah of the Judaism (the word torah means "law" in Hebrew)
compound the heart of the Old Testament. In Greek, this group of books received
the name Pentateuch (five books). These five books are considered the historical
texts of the Bible, because they intend to count what happened since the
beginning of the times, besides the man's creation that, according to some
theologians, would have happened by 5000 B.C.(7)
The 27 books of the New Testament embrace a very smaller period: about 70
years, which go from the birth of Jesus to the destruction of Jerusalem by the
Romans, in 70 A.D.
THE DIVISION OF THE BIBLE(8)
The several books of the Bible, as we spoke previously, are contained in
two testaments: the Old and the New.
I - HISTORICALS
which is composed by five books, namely:
1. Genesis - that treats of the man's origin
2. Exodus - that counts the exit of the Hebrews from Egypt
3. Leviticus – it treats of the origin of the Hebrew people
4. Numbers - it tells the history of the Hebrew people
5. Deuteronomy - representations of the laws with exhortations.
of Kings I & II
II - DIDACTICS
III - PROPHETICS
1) Isaiah 2) Jeremiah 3) Baruch
4) Ezekiel 5) Daniel
1) Hosea 2) Joel 3) Amos 4)
Obadiah 5) Jonah 6) Micah 7) Nahum
8) Habakkuk 9) Zephaniah 10)
Haggai 11) Zechariah 12) Malachi
3 - PROPHETIC
of Saint Paul
of the Apostles
·Epistles to the Catholics
It is necessary to keep in mind that the formation of the Bible was slow
and very complicated. Actually, it is the result of the work of several hands,
which lasted centuries in a time when the oral tradition was the most
In the Bulletin "The Apprentice", of the Lodge Duque de Caxias,
no. 99, p.16, it can be find the following citation that corroborates our
Bible was written in a period of 1600 years, since 1500 B.C. to the year of 90
A.D., when John wrote his Saint Evangel, in Minor Asia. It (the Bible) was
written originally in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, in papyrus leaves, and later
in sheep skin”.(9)
- THE OPENING OF THE BIBLE: PSALM 133
The opening of the Sacred Book marks the real beginning of the works in a
masonic lodge, since that act, although simple - and however solemn – is of
great importance, because it symbolizes the effective presence of the Word of
the Great Architect of the Universe in that works.
In an article published by magazine “A Trolha” (The Trowel), August
1997, it can be read that the practice of using the Book of the Law was
established in 1717, beginning with G. L. of England, although there is
reference to its use starting from 1670.(10) According to Castelani,
the reading of the psalm was used for the first time by the middle of the 18th
century, by some lodges of Yorkshire, England, when still there was no fully
In a little period of time, that habit was abandoned, and yet with the
adoption of the English Rite of Emulation (that we, improperly call "of
York") the Bible used to be opened up in any of its parts, without the
reading of the verses. Nevertheless, some North American Grand Lodges, mainly
the Grand Lodge of New York, retook that habit.
In USA, in the symbolism, only the Rite of York is practiced, because the
Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite (AASR) is only practiced in the High Degrees.
From the Grand Lodge of New York, by copying, the psalm was introduced in Brazil
and in some other Obediences of South America, in the AASR. Actually, in this
one, the Book is traditionally opened up in John, and the verses to be read are
1-5 of the 1st chapter.
There are varieties in terms of the opening of the Bible: the Grand
Orient Paulista adopted, in the Apprentice's degree, to begin the meetings by
reading John 1:1-5,(11) what confirms the sayings of Bro. Castelani.
There are unconfirmed notices that Book of Ruth is opened up in some lodges of
USA, and also of England.
As far as we know, referring to the Grand Lodges, the Bible is open in
the Book of the Psalms, and the psalm number 133, which specifically points out
the excellence of the fraternal love, is the one that is read. It is also called
Psalm of the Concordance.
133rd Psalm, in the saying of Bro.Valdir Fernandes,(12) is
an eloquent description of the beauty of the fraternal love, and for this reason,
much more appropriate to illustrate a society whose existence depends on those
is important to register that the reading of this psalm was already adopted by
the ancient knights Templar, in their initiations, in the year 1128,
as it is demonstrated to us by Gomes (1999), who, in his book "the
Primitive Rule of the Knights Templar", on pages 81 and 149, translating
the " Canons of the Ritual of the Reception in the Order of the Temple",
number 678, tells us:
"...Et lê frere
chapelain dait lê saume dire que l’on dit, Ecce quam
bonum et quam incubum,/habitare frates in unum...”
And the brother chaplain should recite the psalm that says: Here is,
how it is good, how it is delicious,/ to live the brothers in good unity”.
- THE PSALMS: Classification
The name Psalms (of Hebrew = psalmus) is given to the religious and
patriotic songs of the Israelites. According to the Bible, with the movement of
fixation of the Israeli traditions in writing form by prophet Ezekiel and by his
disciples, and continuing after the restoration of Israel by several scribe
generations, several collections of the Psalms went being formed. Some of those
collections can be older, and be dated from the same time of David or even of
To Bro. Valdir, previously mentioned, the Psalms were songs destined to
the choral services of the Temple or of the Synagogues, and they were intoned
under the accompaniment of a "psaltery " (from = psalterium), that
could be perhaps a harp, zither or a lyre, as it is read in Psalms 108:1-2:
"Prepared is my heart, oh God: I will sing and make psalmody with
all my soul.
up psaltery and harps; I will wake up by the break of the dawn".
The Psalms (14) (Book of the Psalms) are part of the so-called
didactic books of the Old Testament (O.T.); they are composed by 150 psalms and
they embrace the whole field of the emotions, from the happiness to the hate,
from the despair to the hope. We can classify them in:
praise God, to His greatness, magnificence and mercy.
in which the psalmist expose the misfortunes and complaints.
thanking for benefits or assisted prayers.
asking forgiveness for personal sins or sins of the people.
deal with the history of Israel.
refer to the future Messiah,
example, those from No. 2 to No.108
refer to the concordance among the brothers, for instance, the one of No. 133
The psalms are attributed to David. It is not that David is the author of
them all. Some are attributed by the own text to Azaph, to the sons of Core, etc.,
and others are simply anonym.
The Psalms, after meticulous historical researches, allow to suppose the
possibility that the compositions cover a period of almost a thousand years,
with its apex in the monarchic era, subsequent to David, before the exile of
Babylon (between 800 and 600 B.C.). (15)
- BIBLICAL FIGURES
4.1 – DAVID (18)
The Bible defines king David as the singer of the
songs of Israel for his ability in playing zither, thanks to which he entered
king Saul's court.(16) David, or King David, was an excellent
psalmist, and the historians don't know precisely how many psalms can be
attributed to him: 73 of them are designated with the formula "Le David
", which can mean "of David", but that can also mean "regarding”
Before talking about David, it is necessary to insert him in the context
of his time.
The first civilizations of the History appeared and developed between
2.800 and 400 B.C., in the riverine areas of Middle East. They were the
civilizations of the oriental antiquity, which lived in the context of the Asian
production way, and which dispersed for five areas that were geographically and
culturally interlinked: Mesopotamia (current Iraq), Egypt, Phoenicia (area of
Lebanon), Persia (Iran) and Palestine.
About 1050 B.C., two centuries after the exodus (escape of the Jews from
Egypt to Palestine), the Hebrews had to struggle with persistence against the
Canaanites and Philistines. Joshua, successor of Moses, grouped the several
clans in 12 tribes, in the conquered lands. The Canaanite and Philistine
resistance turned indispensable the political unit of the tribes, and the
religious fidelity to a unique God, Jehovah (“YAHWEH”, The One That Is).
Saul, the first king of the Hebrews, was succeeded by David (1006 B.C.),
who stood out for defeating the giant Goliath. Under the command of David, the
Israelites took Jerusalem in the fight against the Canaanites, transforming it
in their capital. Other victories against Philistines, Moabites and Aramaic
guarantee the independence of the Kingdom of Israel. David reinforced the Jewish
tradition starting from the union of the twelve tribes.
highly prosperous, lasted 40 years. Of his union with Bath-Sheba, Salomon, that
succeeded him, was born. David was born in Bethlehem, and he is considered as an
ancestor of Jesus.
David brought to Jerusalem (Zion) the Ark of the Covenant, named the
priests' chiefs, and did everything to maintain its cult.
4.2 – AARON
The genealogy of Aaron shows that he was great-grandson of Levi, and for
this reason he is mentioned as being from the “house of Levi". Being the
older brother of Moses and firstborn son of Amram and Jochebed he helped Moses
to free the Hebrew people of the Egyptian captivity.
He was Moses’ interpreter before the pharaoh of Egypt and before the
elders of Israel. (19) Also, he was the founder of the Hebraic
priesthood, and, because of that, he became the patriarch of the priestly class.
His name means "illuminated", "elevated", or
After the liberation of the Israelites from the servitude in Egypt (Ex.13:1-2),
the firstborn ones were “elected” for the Priesthood of the Lord, which
became a definitive institution that would be ratified with the construction of
the Temple (Ex.28: 1-43).
4.2.1- Tabernacle, precursor of the Temple.
According to the instructions that Moses would have received in Mount
Sinai, the Law (Tablets of the Laws, or Decalogue), containing the foundations
of the doctrine, should accompany the Hebrew people during the whole time that
the exodus would last.
“So Moses ordered to build the Tabernacle or Awning (of Hebrew = suká),
that would be the sanctuary (in Hebrew =mishkan) for the guard of the Torah, and
for the religious occupations, during the long trip in direction to Palestine"
(Castelani, 1993, p. 61).
The Bible tells us that the Tabernacle was set up in a oblong shaped
terrain that was a hundred cubits of length by fifty of width (45 for 27,5
meters). The awning, that was the most important part of the set, was formed by
four put upon tents. The most intern tent was made of linen and the others of
purple colored skins. The larger tent was the “Kodesh” (Holy) and contained:
to the entrance, the Altar of the Perfumes; to the north, the Altar of the
Propitiatory Breads; to the south, the chandelier of seven candles (Menorah).
The smaller tent was the “Kodesh há Kodeshim” (The Most Holy), and
it was considered the most intimate and sacred place of the whole set, because
it represented the terrestrial house of God. Only had entrance in it the most
graduate priest, and just in a day of the year, the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).(20)
It was entrusted to Salomon, son of David, the task of building the Temple.
– The Ark of the Covenant.
According to the Bible, Moses would have received in Mount Horeb, in the
Peninsula of Sinai, during the trip to the Promised Land, divine instructions
that the Hebrew people should accomplish (Ex. 24:12).
"Then said the Lord to Moses, 'arise to me, to the mount, and
stay there; and I will give you Tablets of Stone and the laws, and the
commandments that I have'".
To keep the Tablets of the Law the Lord orders Moses to build an ark that
would be kept in the Tabernacle (Ex. 25:10-22).
will make a tabernacle and I will inhabit in their middle... they will make an
ark of acacia wood... and you will put inside the ark the testimony that I gave
The Ark of the Covenant (Tyrb Nwra-árow beriyth) was a trunk built of
acacia wood, and measured 1.25 meters in length, 0.75 meters in height, and 0.75
meters in width (considering that a cubit measured about 45 to 50 centimeter).(21)
Bezalel, the same person that built the Tabernacle (the dismountable
temple that was used during the crossing of the desert) built the ark.(22)
The Ark was made of acacia, fully gold lined inside, with an embroidery
around it on the outside, also made in gold. It had four rings and two poles,
which could not be removed from their place, and also covered with gold. The
gold, as much as the acacia, was considered as incorruptible, and for that
reason they were both used in the making of the ark.
The Ark was covered with a lid called propitiatory, which was adorned
with two cherubs, also made of solid gold, both turned to its center. Inside the
Ark were laid the Tablets of the Law, the Pot of Manna and the rod of Aaron that
budded (Heb. 9:4)
4.2.3 – The Symbolism of the Ark
The Ark was the most important symbol of the Jewish faith, and it served
as the only physical manifestation of God in the earth. The importance of the
Ark can be seen by its location in the Tabernacle, and later in the Temple (Sanctum
Sanctorum) as well as by the restrictions around it as, for instance, the one
that only the Supreme Priest (Aaron) could penetrate in the very holy place and,
even so, only once in a year, by the occasion of the Day of Atonement (Yom
Kippur) (Lev. 16:2).
From the reading of the Book of Exodus (25:22), one infers that the Ark
represented the Throne of God inside the Tabernacle, who was there to judge the
actions of the Hebrew people and also to transmit the principles and teachings
of His word.
According to the tradition, the Ark contained the Decalogue (the Ten
Commandments dictated by God to Moses), the rod of Aaron and a recipient with
manna. For the Israelites, the Ark represents God accompanying the Jews during
the crossing of the desert. The Ark disappeared in the seize of Jerusalem, in
586 B.C., although it is mentioned in subsequent
4.2.4 – The Garments of Aaron
The priests, for their position as speakers of the word of God, should
distinguish themselves from the other Israelites.
In fact, Aaron and his brothers were already distinguished, since they
belonged to the House of Levi, to which the Lord had granted the mission of
giving priests (with respect to that, see Castelani, op. cit. p. 83).
The garments of the priests should reflect the dignity of the function.
In Ex. 28:4... the Lord said to Moses:
will make to your brother Aaron sacred dresses in dignity sign, of ornament...
such that he be consecrated to my priesthood.Here are the dresses that should be
made: a pectoral, an ephod, a mantle, an embroidered
tunic, a mitre, a belt; it will have to be used threads of red
and blue-purple wool, gold threads of pure linen... you will also make the
pectoral... and you will fill it with clamp stones... and those stones will
have the names of the twelve tribes of Israel".
In the sequence of the verses, up to the number 29, we have the whole
range of details of those garments, not only of Aaron, but also of his brothers.
It should be pointed out that those dresses should be used whenever they,
serving as priests, arrived close to the altar, in order not to incur fault and
4.2.5 – Oil of the Unction
The Bible always speeches about the oil of the unction, which was used in
the ceremonies of the priests' consecration. It is what is found in Ex. 28:14
you will anoint them, investing them and consecrating them for they serve me as
priests... you will take the oil of the unction and you will anoint him pouring
on his head". (29)
In the Psalm 133, now analyzed, we have: "…it is like the
precious oil on the head, that goes down to the border of his garments".
Then, it appears the question: what oil was that? Which composition did
it have? The own Bible explains to us, included the explanation about its amount,
"The Lord said to Moses, 'choose the most precious aromas: 500
cycles of myrrh... 250 cycles of odoriferous rush, 500 cycles of cassia and a
hin of olive oil. It will be this the oil for the sacred unction; this will be
for me the oil of the sacred unction, from generation to generation".
Making the conversion of the amounts for the current measures;
cycle = 12 grams;
500 cycles x 12 grams = 6 kilos of myrrh.
250 cycles x 12 grams = 3 kilos of odoriferous rush.
500 cycles x 12 grams = 6 kilos of cassia.
1 hin = 6 liters of pure olive oil. (23)
5.1 – Hermon
To the north of Israel (Palestine), the Anti-Lebanon Mountain Range
exists (from “Anti-Lebanon”, one of its mountains) in opposition to the
Lebanese one, in the territory of Lebanon. In this cordillera is located Mount
Lebanon, famous for its cedars, on its hillsides.
This mountain range progresses from the northeast to the southeast for
several kilometers, and its extensions and heights are seen starting from
Mediterranean Sea. Inside of this cordillera, making boundary among Israel,
Lebanon and Syria, it is found Mount Hermon with its 2,814 meters of height, and
its hilltop always snow-covered.
According to the site execulink.com/~wblank/index.htm it is read:
Hermon, from the Hebrew word pronounced ker-mone, meaning abrupt, is the eastern
extension of the Anti-Lebanon mountain range. Consisting
of a ridge about 20 miles (32 kilometers) long with three peaks rising up to
9,200 feet (2,800 meters) above The Mediterranean Sea, it marked the northern
boundary of Israel (Deuteronomy 3:8, 4:48, Joshua 11:3, 11:17, 12:1, 13:11
Hermon, to the Sidonians (people that inhabited the valley of Sidon), it
was Sarion, and to the Amorites (another people) it was Sanir,
Because of being considered sacred, there where on its hillsides, and
even on its summit, small religious temples, whose ruins were discovered by
According to Castelani, previously mentioned, Mount Hermon, for its
supplying of wood for the construction of ships, for its sacred character, for
its dew that went down over the whole Palestine, irrigating its lands, it was,
without any doubt, in the antiquity, the most famous and important mountain of
Due to the height, the draughts coming from its cordillera take the fog
to the whole area (besides Zion), condensing there, under the dew form.
On the other hand, the thaw of its snow is the main source of water
feeding for Jordan River, and, by extension, for the Lake of Galilee and the
whole area of Palestine.
5.2 - Zion
The encyclopedia Delta Larousse defines Zion, in Arabic Djabal Sahyun, as
one of the hills on which Jerusalem was built. Geographically Mount Zion is an
elevation of about 800 meters, between the valleys of Kidron and Tyropocon, and,
according to the Bible, David took it from the Jebusites, more or less about
After the victory, it became called City of David (25) because
David moved to it, leaving the city of Hebron, taking with him the Ark of the
Covenant. Zion or Jerusalem, (27) in the Bible, it is called by other
names, namely: Zion, City of Judah, Holy City, City of God, City of the Justice,
City of the Great King, Aelia Capitolina (in Emperor Adriano's time), and
El-Kuds ("the saint") given by the Arabs.
Later, when the Ark was transferred to the Temple that Salomon had built
in Mount Moriah, the name Zion also comprehended the whole city of Jerusalem (26).
Sîyõn or Zion became the symbolic name of Jerusalem, of the
Promised Land, and of The City of David. From Zion came the word Zionism.
In the Michaelis Dictionary, it is found: ZIONISM [From the
top. Zion, Jewish denomination of Jerusalem, where there is a hill with that
name, + ism]. m. 1. Study on things referring to Jerusalem. 2. Political and
religious Jewish movement started in the 19th century, that sought
the re-establishment, in Palestine, of a Jewish state, and that became
victorious in May of 1948, when it was proclaimed the State of Israel.
6.0 - INTERPRETATIVE ANALYSIS
It is necessary to keep in mind that everything that
is written suffers the influence of the time in which the act of writing happens.
As this work consists of the analysis of one of the Psalms, and since it (the
Psalm) is part of the Bible, it is necessary to remember that the Bible was
written more than 2,000 years ago. Making use of the words of Pious XII, that
Pope, when referring to the Bible, expressed as follows:
the old oriental authors' written words, differently from what happens with our
contemporary writers, it is not frequently clear which is the literal sense...
it is indispensable that the interpreter goes mentally back to those ancient centuries
of the East... distinguishes and sees clearly what kind of literary gender
wanted to use, and in fact used, the writers of that respectable age. Because
the ancient Orientals, in order to express what they had in mind, they didn't
always use the same forms and manners of saying that we use today, but (on the
contrary) they used the ways of saying that ran among the men of their time and
of their nation".(29)
The form usually used in the poetry of the psalms is called
“parallelism ", that is the repetition of an idea, with different words,
in the same line or in the following lines. In other words, it is a repetition
of ideas, from verse to verse. (30) That parallelism, in its several
forms, and with the wealthiness of comparisons, is what gives grace and beauty
to the Hebraic poetry.
It will be under this perception that we will try to make the analysis of
the Psalm 133, denominated the Psalm of the Concordance or of the Fraternity.
OH! HOW GOOD AND PLEASANT IT IS
THE BROTHERS TOGETHER IN UNITY.
IS LIKE THE PRECIOUS OIL ON THE HEAD
GOES DOWN ON THE BEARD, THE BEARD OF AARON.
THAT GOES DOWN TO THE BORDER OF HIS GARMENTS.
IS LIKE THE DEW OF HERMON THAT GOES DOWN ON ZION
THERE, THE LORD ORDERS
BLESSING AND THE LIFE FOREVER ".
It is attributed to David the authorship of this psalm in which he exalts
the gracefulness of the fact of being the brothers together, in harmony. It must
have been written and sung with the sound of a psaltery, by the occasion of the
party of the Tabernacle, when the Israelites used to go to Zion, or Jerusalem,
in order to pray in the Temple. David, when taking the Ark of the Covenant to
his city, he also organized the religious service there. With that, it didn't
delay the flowing of Israelites to that place in order to adore YAHWEH, the
It is important to register that before the construction of Salomon’s
Temple, that would shelter the Ark of the Covenant, the Ark remained in the
Tabernacle, in the city of David, or, in other words, Zion. The Tabernacle was
the Temple of the Israelites and the religious center of the Hebraic nation.
"OH! HOW GOOD AND PLEASANT IT IS
THE BROTHERS TOGETHER IN UNITY"
This first sentence is the David’s song for the confraternization of
the pilgrims that spend the day gathered in the great esplanade of the Temple.
People from the entire Israel, that badly know each other, coming from all the
areas, congregate there as brothers and sisters, as members of a great family of
the same nation, that lives under the deep happiness of adoring only one God,
YAHWEH, or Jehovah.
Transporting this image to the present days, we could ask: is it not the
same thing we can see in our cities of Juazeiro do Norte, Congonhas, and Belém
do Pará? Does not the television show the Muslims making their annual
pilgrimage to the cities of Mecca and Medina? Or doesn’t it display the
Catholics in Aparecida's Sanctuary in São Paulo, or Fátima in Portugal, or
Lourdes in France? Or still the Party of Easter, now in the Holly Land?
"IT IS LIKE THE PRECIOUS OIL ON THE HEAD…"
In the Bible, in Lev. 8:12, we find an allusion the that passage, which
says: "...he poured some of anointing oil upon Aaron’s head and
anointed him so as to sanctify him".
That oil was a kind of myrrh and olive based perfume only used to anoint
the kings and priests, as we can conclude by reading Ex. 28:15. The verb to
pour, conjugated in the past "poured" , means that he "gushed",
without parsimony, without reservation, the oil on the head, and so abundant the
oil was that it went down on his beard; then the allusion:
"and which goes down on the beard, the beard of Aaron".
In the vulgate Bible translation, head is understood as the ear, the
vision, the palate, the sense of smell, and the hands or the tactile sense.
Therefore, “the forehead", “the head", also means the five senses,
and the poured oil means the purification of the same ones.
Bro. Minoru Tamura (32) from A R S L (August and Respectable
Symbolic Lodge) Ferraz de Vasconcelos, Orient of São Paulo, referring to this
verse, tells us:
“The scene presented by the psalmist about the unction of AARON
contains a majestic symbology. The head is the emblem, the vital center of the
existence; the beard is the emblem of the honor, because in the antiquity, it
always expressed honorability and probity, mainly in the East, by reason of the
old traditions; the garments are the emblem of the honesty and chastity, and of
special liturgical ritualistic meaning".
"AND THAT GOES DOWN TO THE BORDER OF HIS GARMENTS"
Yet Bro. Francisco Luís Nanci (33) gives, by analyzing this
psalm, a very interesting interpretation, where he says that in a mystic and
esoteric sense, our own physical body lives together with several other bodies
of subtle nature, through which our divine particle, our inner God, shows
himself in his multiple personalities, to diffuse his force and his will in us.
That in the works in Masonic Lodges (he says), when all are united,
harmonized and concentrated, that "precious" oil comes to our heads
and infuses us gradually with the Divine Energy.
The dresses represent our physical body, our external parts.
He concludes his reasoning saying that the precious oil (Divine Energy),
before flooding our dress (our body), it pours itself on our head and beard (receiver
of the manifestations coming from the presence of God), to the border of our
dresses (they are the emanations that are distributed by all our body).
"IT IS LIKE THE DEW OF HERMON..."
Israel makes boundary to the north with Lebanon and to west with Syria;
Mount Hermon marks the boundaries among those countries. Because of its height,
of 2,814 meters, his peaks are permanently covered with snow (image on the
In the desert regions, the evaporation of the humidity concentrates on
the mountains and comes back during the night under the dew form, suppressing by
this way the lack of rains, and providing the conditions for a good crop, and
giving, with that, the conditions for the fixation of the man in the area.
On the other hand, the thaw of Mount Hermon's snow is source of
alimentation for Jordan River, which supplies the area, irrigating the
Palestinian soil, bringing with that the food (blessing) for the people; bread
to be eaten.
Mount Hermon, in the vision of David, by means of its dew, is a sign of
"THAT GOES DOWN ON ZION"
Mount Zion has approximately 800 meters of altitude, therefore the
expression "...to go down on Zion", willing to say "on
the hills of Zion", because in the psalms 87:2 and 51:18, and 179 more
times, Jerusalem is called Zion. (34).
In the psalm 125:1-2 there is a beautiful reference to this respect, as
one can read:
"The ones that trust the Lord are like Mount Zion that is not
affected, but remains forever. As the hills persist around Jerusalem, like this
the Lord stays around his people from now, and forever" (highlights
"BECAUSE, THERE, THE LORD ORDERED THE BLESSING AND THE LIFE
David, when conquering the fortress of Zion, he transported to the same
fortress the Ark of the Covenant, and built for it (for the Ark) a Tabernacle.
Since then, Zion became “the city of the Lord", a place of His dwelling,
a place for His rest.
is my rest forever; here I will inhabit, for I wanted it (Psalm 132:13-14).
With the presence of the Ark of the Covenant, Zion became the religious
capital of the Israelites, a holy place, sacred, as it is inferred from the
reading of the Psalm 135:21, that tells us:
be the Lord from Zion, that inhabits Jerusalem ".
David compares the oil descending on the head of Aaron with the dew
descending on Zion. Aaron is the supreme priest, the religious chief of the
Israeli nation, he is the spiritual “head" of the Hebrew people, in the
same way that Zion is the spiritual capital of Israel. The first (first image)
purifies, consecrates a priest for the service of the Lord, making Aaron a man
pure, fair and perfect for the priestly functions.
In the second image, the dew on Zion is the water that, besides purifying,
makes possible the life around Jerusalem. It is like the oil (water) falling on
Aaron (Jerusalem), because there, in Zion, YAHWEH, the Lord (represented by the
Ark of the Covenant), had ordered His blessing forever.
The fact of the pilgrims’ being in that place, gathered together, made
possible that the blessing, besides purifying, went down for all. This to David
is something concrete. It shows itself in the nature, in the oil, in the dew, in
the rains, in Jordan River’s waters, which irrigates the land and makes it
fertile, making possible the ownership of the Promised Land.
David uses a practical language to show that Zion is the religious center
of Israel, because that was the place the Lord had chosen for His home.
The objective of this work was to try to analyze, in a historical context,
the figures of David and Aaron, and their importance inside of the religious
formation of the Hebrew people, by making an analysis of the Psalm 133.
By extension, I also analyzed the importance of the Book of the Law and
its division in Old and New Testament. I made an approach of the geographical
location of mounts Hermon and Zion, and also the inclusion of the same hills in
the historical context now analyzed. For extension of the own work, I could not
stop referring to the hole of the Ark of the Covenant and of the Tabernacle.
As illustration of my work, I enclosed several pictures of the figures
now mentioned, as well as others that I judged interesting for a better
understanding of the text.
The 133rd Psalm is known as the Psalm of the Fraternity. The
achievement of this beautiful exhortation should be the base of our conduct, the
support of the society, not only masonic but also profane.
The divine word, the teachings of the Great Architect of
the Universe, which we should follow in order to accomplish our works
with perfection, touches us like the oil, just as the dew arrives on Zion,
because He himself told us to love our neighbor "like I loved you".
To David, the unity among the brothers should be the pledge of prosperity,
and of satisfaction. The Psalm, that is allusive to the concordance, teaches us
how it is good and pleasant, living the brothers in unity, and how it is
pleasing to feel the sensation of the saint oil running by our forehead.
The oil, as much as the dew; they have the same meaning: both come – or
fall - from the high, from heaven, from the Lord. To fall is understood as going
down without obstacles, because the friendship, the fraternity, should reign
among all, without reservations, barriers or sophisms.
Our fraternity - or that one which we understand as such - should not
have the same concept as that one of the profane world. For the own fact of
belonging to an order to which we swore fidelity is enough reason to make it
different. Here, my neighbor is my brother (frater), and like the dew that falls
without obstacle should be our friendship: without sophisms, without
Because only by doing so we will be sure that the Lord will make the life
and His blessing to be poured among us, now and forever.
– Grande Loja Maçônica de Minas Gerais e a Constituição de Anderson (Grand
Masonic Lodge of Minas Gerais and Anderson's Constitution), p. 1
- Allec Mellor. Dicionário de Franco Maçonaria (Dictionary of Freemasonry), p.
- Gomes, Pindorama. A Ordem Primitiva dos Cavaleiros Templários (The Primitive
Order of Knights Templar), p.6
- salmo133.org Biblioteca de
Trabalho Maçônico (Library of Masonic Work)
- G L M M G (Grand Msonic Lodge of Minas Gerais) - LANDMARKS... p.159
– Revista Superinteressante. Abril/Maio. 2002 (Magazine “Superinteresting”.
April /May. 2002)
– Bíblia Sagrada (Holy Bible), p.8
– O Aprendiz, out. /99 (The Apprentice, Oct.99), p.16.
– Revista Trolha, ago. /97 (Magazine “Trowel”), Aug. 97, p.30
– Revista Trolha, mar. /97 (Magazine “Trowel”), Mar. /97, p. 31.
– Revista Trolha, out. /99 (Magazine “Trowel”, Oct.99, p.8
– Bíblia Sagrada (Holy Bible), p.52
– Bíblia Sagrada (Holy Bible), p.521.
- 1 Samuel 16:22-23
- Castelani, José. A Maçonaria e a Herança Hebraica
(The Freemasonry and the Hebraic Inheritance), p.82.
- id. P.62
– Medida Bíblica. Distância entre o cotovelo e ponta do dedo médio. Côvado
= cubitum (Biblical measure. Distance between the elbow and medium fingertip.
Cubit = Cubitum).
- http:/ /www.pefelix.brturbo.com/psl/b measured coins.htm
- http:/ /imagens.google.com/imgres
– Bíblia Sagrada (Holy Bible). 2 Samuel 5:6-9
– Bíblia Sagrada. Encíclica Divino Afflante Spiritu, Pio XII, parte II, parágrafo
2º (Holy Bible. Divine
Afflante Spiritu Encyclical, Pious XII, part II, 2nd paragraph)
– Dicionário Aurélio (Aurélio Dictionary) Electronic version. Version 3.0
– XXI Century
– Bro. Valdir, Revista Trolha (Magazine “Trowel”), Oct./99 p. 8
– A Ampulheta (“The Hour Glass”), n. 31, p.6.
– O Prumo (The Plumb Bob) n. 31, p.6
1.Bíblia Sagrada. Tradução Missionários Capuchinhos, Lisboa,
1971/1972 (Holy Bible. Capuchin Missionaries Translation, Lisbon, 1971/1972).
2. BOLETIM INFORMATIVO, LOJA DUQUE DE CAXIAS nº 70, Santos, n. 338. ano
XXXV, out. 1999 (INFORMATIVE BULLETIN, LODGE DUQUE DE CAXIAS no. 70, Santos, n.
338, year XXXV, Oct.1999).
3. BOLETIM TRIMESTRAL, LOJA FERRAZ DE VASCONCELOS, São Paulo, n. 31, ano
VI, Mar./Abr.2001 (QUARTERLY BULLETIN OF LODGE FERRAZ DE VASCONCELOS, São
Paulo, n. 31, year VI, Mar./Apr. 2001)
4. CASTELANI, José. A Maçonaria e sua Herança Hebraica (The
Freemasonry and its Hebraic Inheritance), Maringá, Trolha (Trowel), 1993.
5. GOMES, Pinharanda. A Regra Primitiva dos Cavaleiros Templários (The
Primitive Rule of Knights Templar), Lisbon, Hugin, 1990.
6. MELLOR, Allec. Dicionário de Franco Maçonaria (Dictionary of
Freemasonry), Rio de Janeiro, Martins Fontes, 1989.
7. MINAS GERAIS, Grande Loja Maçônica (Grand Masonic Lodge). Landmarks
and Anderson's Constitution, sd.
8. PAIVA, Antônio
Guilherme. Salmo 133 (Psalm 133). S. J. Del Rei, 1984, private.
9. REVISTA Trolha (MAGAZINE Trowel). Maringá, n. 130, Aug.1997.
10. REVISTA Prumo (MAGAZINE Plumb Bob). Florianópolis, n. 117, year XXVI,
Nov. /dez. 1997.
11. REVISTA Superinteressante (MAGAZINE “Superinteresting”). April,
12. WINTER, Enia & SALLES, Paulo, Metodologia de Pesquisa Científica
(Methodology of Scientific Research). São Paulo. Cedas.1997.
13. Internet - Sites: