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The Chronicles of Philosophus: Violating the Sabbath

On the day of the Sabbath, the builders were exiting the temple after they had worshiped to return to their homes. It was the law among the Jewish builders that they could not work on the Sabbath, but they noticed one of their fellow craftsmen, a man named Amon who was born in Gebal, mixing mortar in order to proceed with work on the judge’s house which was being constructed at that time. They became incensed that he was ignoring the law of their religion and approached him in numbers in order to rebuke his desire to work on a holy day.

“Why do you insult God your Father by rejecting his day of rest?” yelled one of the members of the mob. “Perhaps he should be employed to build the temples of the pagans!” shouted another.

Amon spoke saying, “I have no quarrel with you or your Lord, I only subscribe to the religion of my land which has created no ordinance against working on this day. For is there any law by which I am to abide which requires that I rest on the Jewish Sabbath?”

The craftsmen talked amongst themselves before one spoke. “Have you not heard the commandments which Moses has received upon Mount Sinai? Do you deny the very commandment of your Lord?”

The craftsmen became even more excited as some began to suggest that Amon should be brought before the priest. Others said that he should be stoned. Finally, they decided to fetch one of the master builders from their assembly. Zachariah was sent to the temple of the builders, where the master builders were and approached Philosophus, who immediately followed him to the angry mob of craftsmen.

Hearing their cries for Amon’s prosecution, Philosophus shouted “Silence my Brothers! What charge do you desire to bring against your fellow craftsman?”

The most vocal of the group replied, “He denies the commandments of our Lord and is performing work on the Sabbath which has been forbidden.”

Philosophus asked of Amon, “Do you worship as your father did?”


“Was he a Jew?”

“No, he was raised in Gebal and worshiped the God of that land as his father had done before him.”

“When you were obligated as a builder, did you take your obligation in the name of Jehovah, the God of the Jews?”


“Were you ever informed that under the law of the order that you must conform to the laws of their religion?”


Then Philosophus asked of the group of craftsmen, “Were you obligated in the name of Jehovah, the God of the Jews? Were you ever informed that under the law of the order that you must conform to the laws of the Jewish religion?”

The group was silent. Philosophus said, “You were only instructed that it is required that you to follow the tenets of your personal religion, for the name of the God you worship does not determine whether you are an able craftsman. The order does not regard a man for his personal religion, but for his desire to be industrious, to improve his craft, and to assist his fellow Brethren.”

One of the craftsmen then inquired, “But who will inspect his work? For the master builders all follow the Judaic law.”

Philosophus walked over to the work station of Amon, picked up a trowel and spread a layer of mortar over one of the perfect ashlars to examine its consistency. The Brethren questioned this action in whispers among themselves, for they believed that Philosophus was now in violation of his religion. One shouted, “Master, you violate the commandment of your God!”

Philosophus once again spoke. “Did I come from your home land? Have I ever been circumcised or accepted in your temple?” The Brethren were silent for none of them had ever seen Philosophus worship at their synagogue. “Neither this Brother nor myself are children of Abraham; I will inspect his work. Now return to your homes and attend to the duties of your religion.”

The craftsmen agreed and apologized to Amon for their accusations. Before returning to their abodes, they saluted him as a Brother. From that time it became a custom among the builders to tolerate the laws and customs of their Brother’s individual religion.

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  1. All I could think about was that Amon’s batch of mortar was going to be ruined by the time he got back to work, and he’d be so disgusted that he’d give up for the day and go home.

    Damned busybodies.

  2. I agree with Tom in that I figured the mortar would have set… It is a good point concerning a persons belief. I have sat in many U.S. Churches, and studied with many various people. I have seen changes, and I disagree with some. I do not let that stop me from socializing with others, and I do not try to change their beliefs. I do from time to time state my differences, but try to do that in a way as not to offend anyone. I do enjoy studying the history of our people from all over the World, as well as their beliefs

  3. You are correct Tom: damned busy bodies. Yet, this is still a big problem in our current organization. When Masons do not respect the differences in the religious opinions of their Brethren, they ruin the mortar which unites our fraternity.

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