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Alphabetically Arranged with Cyclopedic Meanings and Bible References

Jachin - Jehovah doth establish

Is the right-hand pillar facing eastward, that is, on the south, that stood at the porch of King Solomon's Temple.  Dividing this name into syllables, we find the first syllable is Jah, the name of Jehovah in poetry; while the word (iachin), means to establish, therefore linking the two together we have, "With God's help to establish."  1 Kings 7:21  -  2 Chron. 3:17

Jacob's Ladder

The introduction of Jacob's ladder into the symbolism of Speculative Masonry is to be traced to the vision of Jacob, which is thus substantially recorded in the twenty-eighth chapter of the book of Genesis: When Jacob, by the command of his father Issac, was journeying toward Padan-aram, while sleeping on night with bare earth for his couch and a stone for his pillow, he beheld the vision of a ladder, whose foot rested on the earth and whose top reached to heaven.  Angels were continuously ascending and descending upon it, and promised him the blessing of a numerous and happy prosperity.  When Jacob awoke, he was filled with pious gratitude, and consecrated the spot as the house of God.  It is a symbol of progress, its three principal rounds representing Faith, Hope and Charity, present us with the means of advancing from earth to heaven, from death to life--from mortal to immortality.  Hence its foot is placed on the ground-floor of the Lodge, which is typical of the world, and its top rests on the covering of the Lodge, which is symbolic of heaven.  Gen. 28:12


What is the name of Jehovah in poetry, and where recorded?  Jah is the name of Jehovah in poetry and is recorded in Psalms 68:4 

Jaina Cross

Used by several Orders, and found in the abbeys of Great Britain and on the monuments of India.  Its significations are many.  This cross was adopted by the Jainas, a heterodox sect of the Hindu's, who dissent from Brahmanism and deny the Vedas, and whose adherents are found in every province of Upper Hindustan.  They are wealthy and influential, and form an important division of the population of India.  This symbol is also known as the fylfot or swastika.  It is a religious symbol mentioned by Weaver in his Funeral Monuments, by Dr. H. Schliemann as having been found in the presumed ruins of Troy, by De Rossi and others in the catacombs of Christian Rome, and there termed the Cruz dissimulata, or concealed cross.  It has been found on almost every enduring monument on the globe, of all ages, and in both hemispheres.  EXAMPLE


It is strange that the old Freemasons, when inventing their legend, which gave some prominent place to Pythagoras as "an ancient friend and brother," should have entirely forgotten his biographer, Jamblichus, whose claims to their esteem and veneration are much greater than those of the Samian sage.  Jamblichus was a Neoplatonic philosopher, who was born at Chalcis, in Calo, Syria, and flourished in the fourth century.  He was a pupil of Porphyry, and was deeply versed in the philosophic systems of Plato and Pythagoras, and, like the latter, had studied the mystical theology of the Egyptians and Chaldeans whose divine origin and truth he attempts to vindicate.  He maintained that man, through theurgic rites and ceremonies, might commune with the Deity; and hence he attached great importance to the initiation as a means of inculcating truth.  He carried his superstitious veneration for numbers and numerical formula to a far greater extent than did the school of Pythagoras; so that all the principles of his philosophy can be represented by numbers.  Thus, he taught that one, or the monad; was the principle of all unity as well as diversity, the duad, or two, was the intellect; three, the soul; four, the principle of universal harmony; eight, the source of motion; nine, perfection; and ten, the result of all the emanations of the to en.  It will thus be seen that Jamblichus, while adopting the general theory of numbers that distinguished the Pythagorean school, differed very materially in his explanations.  He wrote many philosophical works on the basis of these principles, and was the author of a Life of Pythagoras, and a Treatise of the Mysteries.  Of all the ancient philosophers, his system assimilates him most--if not in its details, at least in its spirit--to the mystical and symbolic character of the Masonic philosophy.


The application of one, or more, coats of oil varnish, baked and polished, on papier maché work and tin plate.  Usually black, but other colors have been used.  An imitation of the famous lacquering of Japan.

Japhet - extension

Japhet, or Japheth, was the eldest son of Noah.  It is said that the first Ark -- the ark of safety, the archetype of the Tabernacle -- was constructed by Shem, Ham, and Japhet under the superintendence of Noah.  Hence these are significant words in the Royal Arch Degree.  Gen. 5:32


Japanese influence in the art of cloisonné enameling, lacquer work, and other Oriental wares, using plant motifs and curving lines which highly influenced the Art Nouveau artisans.  Structure, expression, and quality of art, characteristic of the Japanese, i.e. two-dimensional graphics etc.

Jedadiah - beloved of God

This was a special name given to Solomon at his birth by Nathan, the prophet and tutor of the young son of David... 2 Sam. 12:24,25


Jehovah is, of all the significant words of Freemasonry, by far the most important.  Reghellini very properly calls it "the basis of our dogma and of our mysteries."  In Hebrew it consists of four letters, and hence is called the tetragrammaton, or Four-lettered Name; and because it was forbidden to a Jew, as well as a Freemason, to pronounce it, it is also called the Ineffable or Unpronounceable Name.  For its history refer to the sixth chapter of Exodus, verses 2, 3.  


In the book of Jeremiah 18 to 20th verses are the old Hebrew covenants, which parallel a part of the basis of Speculative Science.  Jere. 34:18-20


The capitol of Judea, and memorable in Masonic history as the place where was erected the Temple of Solomon.  It is early mentioned in Scripture, and is supposed to be the Salem of which Melchizedek was king.  At the time that the Israelites entered the Promised Land, the city was in possession of the Jebusites, from whom, after the death of Joshua, it was conquered, and afterward inhabited by the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.  The Jebusites were not, however, driven out; and we learn that David purchased Mount Moriah from Ornan or Araunah the Jebusite as a site for the Temple.  It is only in reference to this Temple that Jerusalem is connected with the legends of Ancient Craft Masonry.  In the degrees of chivalry it is also important, because it was the city where the holy places were situated, and for the possession of which the Crusaders so long and so bravely contested.  It was there, too, that the Templars and the Hospitalers were established as Orders of religious and military knighthood.

Jerusalem Cross

A cross potent with a small Greek cross in the angle of the arms.  So-called because this type of cross became the symbol for the Kingdom of Jerusalem after the Holy City fell to the First Crusade in 1099.


Jesters, usually so-called, but more formally named the Royal Order of Jesters, is an organization evolved out of the good fellowship of members of the Mystic Shrine during a voyage to Honolulu, February 15 to March 7, 1911.  An offhand ceremony grew into a ritual, and to local Courts and a National Body, very much of its success due to the initiative of William S. Brown, many years the Treasurer of the Mystic Shrine; Lou B. Winsor, Past Imperial Potentate and Grand Secretary of Michigan, and others of their genial kind who organized and led the Body whose local units were limited to thirteen initiates yearly.  Initiation, by invitation, and unanimous ballot, limited to members in good standing of the Mystic Shrine.  The slogan "Mirth is King," expounded by Jester Brown, and the poem by Edmund Rowland Sill, "The Fool's Prayer," recited by Jester Winsor, have furnished inspiration.  Officers, thirteen, bear the titles:  Director, Tragedian, Property Man, Impressario, Treasurer, Soubrette, Light Comedian, Serio Comic, Heavy Man, Leading Lady, Judge, High Constable, Stage Manager; the national officer's titles are the same but preceded by the word Royal.

Jesus, Description of the Person of

The following was taken from a manuscript in the possession of Lord Kelly--and in his library--and was from an original letter of Pulius Lentullus at Rome.  It being the custom of Roman governors to advise the Senate and people of such material things as happened in their province in the days of Liberius Ceasar.  Publius Lentullus, president of Judea, wrote the following epistle to the Senate concerning our Savior;  "There appeared in these days a man of great virtue, named Jusus Christ, who is yet living among us, and of the Gentiles is accepted for a prophet of truth, but his own disciples call him the Son of God.  He raiseth the dead and cures all manner of diseases.  A man of stature somewhat tall and comely, with very reverend countenance such as the beholders may love and fear.  His hair, the color of chestnuts full ripe, plain to the ears whence downward it is more orient, and curling and wavering about his shoulders.  In the midst of his head is a seam or partition after the manner of the Nazerites.  His forehead, plain and very delicate.  His face without a spot or wrinkle--beautiful with a lovely red.  His nose and mouth so formed as nothing can be reprehended.  His beard thickish--in color like his hair--not very long, but forked.  His look innocent and mature.  His eyes grey--clear and quick.  In reproving he is terrible--in admonishing courteous.  Plain spoken--pleasant in conversation--modest in gravity.  It can not be remembered that any have seen him laugh, but many have seen him weep.  In proportion of body most excellent.  His hands and arms most delicate to behold.  In speaking, very temperate, modest and wise.  A man for his singular beauty, surpassing the children of men."


The Freemason's ornaments are three jewels, the square to the Worshipful Master, the level to the Senior Warden, and the plumb-rule to the Junior Warden.  Those who are entrusted with them must possess great talents.  When the Lodge is at labor, the jewels of their office are worn on a collar about the neck.  A Past Master of a Lodge is entitled to wear a pocket jewel denoting his former station and rank.

Jewels of a Lodge

Every Lodge is furnished with six jewels, three of which are moveable and three immovable.  The movable are the rough ashlar, the perfect ashlar, and the trestleboard.  The immovable are the square, the level, and the plumb -- the square in the East, the level in the West, and the plumb in the South.

Jewish Rites and Ceremonies

A period of excitement in favor of the rites of Judaism centered upon and pervaded the people of various nations during the early portion of the fourteenth century.  The ceremonies grew and took fast hold upon the minds of the Romans, and, combining with their forms, spread to Constantinople and northwest to Germany and France.  The Jewish rites, traditions, and legends thus entered the mystic schools.  It was during this period that the legend of Hiram first became known (Bro. G. H. Fort), and Jehovah's name, and mystic forms were transmitted from Byzantine workmen to Teutonic sodalities and German gilds.  Thus, also, when the Christian enthusiasm pervaded the North, Paganism gave way, and the formal toasts at the ceremonial banquets were drunk in the name of the saints in lieu of those of the Pagan gods.


One of the most ancient seaports in the world, on the Mediterranean Sea, about 35 miles northwest of Jerusalem.  Here the materials for building the first and second temples, sent from Lebanon, Tyre and other places, were landed, and conveyed to Jerusalem.  Its harbor is shallow and unprotected from the winds; but on account of its convenience to Jerusalem, it became the principal port of Judea, and is still the great landing-place of pilgrims and travelers to the Holy Land.  This port city is now called Jaffa. 2 Chr. 2:16

Joseph - he shall add

The eleventh point of the ancient English lectures.  As the tribe of Joseph was composed of the two half tribes of Ephraim and Mannaseh and considered the most superficial of the twelve tribes, so has the ceremony of the northeast corner of the Lodge been considered the most superficial part of Masonry.  And such was the eleventh point of the celebrated English lectures of the twelve original points.  Gen. 49:22

Josephus, Flavius

A Jewish author who lived in the first century, and wrote in Greek, among other works, a History of the Jews, to which recourse has been had in some of the high degrees, such as the Prince of Jerusalem, and Knight of the Red Cross, or Red Cross of Babylon, for details in framing their rituals.  Masonry, especially in some of the high degrees, has recourse to his works.


The high priest who, with Zerubbabel the Prince of Judah, superintended the rebuilding of the Temple after the Babylonian captivity.  He was the high priest by lineal descent from the pontifical family, for he was the son of Josadek, who was the son of Seraiah, who was the high priest when the Temple was destroyed by the Chaldeans.  He was distinguished for the zeal with which he prosecuted the work of rebuilding, and opposed the interference of the Samaritans.  He is represented by the High Priest in the Royal Arch Degree according to the York and American Rites.


Every Freemason, when he is initiated into the Craft, is taught to consider human life as a journey.  He would faint with fatigue, lose himself in unknown roads, or fall over high precipices if he was not supported, faithfully conducted, and fraternally warned.  By these means he arrives in safety at the end of his journey, and is permitted to receive light himself, that he may be able to support, lead, and warn others when traveling the same road.

Judah - praised

The entrance of the candidate was symbolized by the tribe of Judah, because they were the first to cross the Jordan and enter the promised land, coming out of the darkness and servitude of the wilderness, as it were, into the light and liberty of Canaan.  Judah was the fourth son of Jacob, and the fourth point of the ancient English lectures.  The device on the banner of his tribe was a lion.  Gen. 49:8-12

Jug Masons

This was a name given to certain clandestines who imposed upon the weak and credulous during the anti-Masonic agitation of American history, claiming to confer upon them the degrees of the Blue Lodge, often accepting a jug of whiskey for a fee.  They operated in the mountain regions of the Carolinas and Georgia.

Jugate - See accolated.

Junior Deacon

This officer is the especial attendant of the Senior Warden; and being seated at his right hand, is prepared to carry messages from him to the Junior Warden, and elsewhere about the Lodge as he may direct.  He takes very little part in the ceremonies of conferring the degrees, but as he is placed near the outer door, he attends to all alarms of the Tiler, reports them to the Master, and at his command, inquires into the cause.  The outer door being thus under his charge, he should never permit it to be opened by the Tiler, except in the usual form, and when preceded by the usual notice.  He should allow no one to enter or depart without having first obtained the consent of the presiding officer.  An important duty of the Junior Deacon is to see that the Lodge is duly tiled.  Upon his security and secrecy of the institution depends; and therefore the Junior Deacon has been delegated as an especial officer to place the Tiler at his post, and to give him the necessary instructions.  In the inspection of the brethren, which takes place at the opening of the Lodge, the south side of the room is entrusted to the Junior Deacon.  In absence of the Senior Deacon, the Junior Deacon does not succeed to his place; but a temporary appointment of a Senior Deacon is made by the Master.  If the Junior Deacon is absent, it is the usage for the Master, and not the Senior Warden, to make a temporary appointment.  The right of nominating the Junior Deacon is vested in the Senior Warden only on the night of his installation.  After that, on the occurrence of a temporary vacancy, his right is lost, and the Master makes the appointment by the constitutional right of appointment which vests in him.

Junior Warden

As the sun in the south is the beauty and glory of the day, so is the Junior Warden in the south, the better to observe the time; to call the Craft from labor to refreshment, and from  refreshment to labor again by order of the Worshipful Master.  All the duties that devolve upon the Senior Warden, in the absence of the Master, devolve in like manner, and precisely to the same extent, upon the Junior Warden, in the absence of both the Master and the Senior.  But if the Master be present, and the Senior Warden absent, the Junior Warden does not assume the functions of the latter officer, but retains his own station, and a Senior Warden pro tempore must be appointed by the Master.  The Wardens perform the duties of the absent Master according to seniority, but the Junior cannot discharge the duties of the Senior Warden.  It must be remembered that a Warden acting as a Master is still a Warden, and is so acting simply in the discharge of one of the duties of his office.  The Senior Warden is bound to the performance of his duties, which are, in the presence of the Master, to superintend the west, and in his absence to preside.  The Junior Warden in like manner, is bound to the performance of his duties, which are, in the presence of the Master, to superintend the south, and in the absence of both the Master and Senior Warden, to preside.  The absence of the Senior Warden has, therefore, no effect upon the duties of the Junior Warden, unless the Master is also absent, when he takes the east.  He is to supply the place, not of the absent Senior Warden, but of the absent Master.  The Junior Warden is further shouldered with the responsibility for the refreshments at the Lodge and directs the assistance of the Senior and Junior Stewards.


One of the four cardinal virtues, the practice of which is inculcated in the First Degree.  The Freemason who remembers how emphatically he has been charged to preserve an upright position in all his dealings with mankind, should never fail to act justly to himself, to his Brethren, and to the world.  This is the corner-stone on which alone he can expect "to erect a superstructure alike honorable to himself and to the Fraternity."  In iconology, the general science pertaining to images, Justice is usually represented as a matron, her eyes bandaged, holding in one hand a sword and in the other a pair of scales at equipoise.  But in Freemasonry the true symbol of Justice, as illustrated in the First Degree, is the feet firmly planted on the ground, and the body upright.  EXAMPLE  Prov. 21:3 -  Jer. 22:15 -  Rom. 13:7


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