Though it appears that the People of Israel have always been
at odds with their northern neighbor, history notes periods when relations
between the two were not only amiable, but very lucrative as well.
Both biblical and other accounts relate to periods in both countries' historical
pasts when Lebanon, known then as the
Kingdom of Phoenicia (or Tyre), and Israel engaged in trading and
other forms of mutual cooperation. This was especially so during the long reign
of perhaps Israel's must successful monarch, King Solomon, son of David.
In fact, this period of mutual cooperation was so strong that King Solomon, upon
directive from God to build the Temple in Jerusalem, enlisted the assistance of
King Hiram of Tyre to provide both materials and skilled craftsmen to
construct this stately edifice. Solomon, who desired to build a permanent
'House' for the Ark of the Covenant, and its most noted contents,
The Ten Commandments that Moses received from God on Mt. Sinai, asked
Hiram to bring his chief craftsmen, who together with Israel's Master Builder,
Hiram Abif (from the Tribe of Naphtali) would construct the Temple as The
Lord commanded of King Solomon: "He will build me a House, and I will
establish his (Solomon's) throne forever".
craftsmen, who carried out this feat, are reputed to be origins of the fraternal
order known today as the Ancient Order of Free and Accepted Masons, known most
commonly as the 'Freemasons'.
The most intricate and Holy process of constructing the Temple, in which no
metal tools were allowed for the actual assembling of the Temple walls and
fixtures (metal, being a symbol of warfare, was thus expressly taboo), certain
symbols and objects were incorporated into the craftsmen's labors, which have
been carried down in Masonry to this day.
Much material used in the Temple's ornate internal construction came from large
trunks of cedar trees, one of Lebanon's most famous products; which were floated
whole from The Port of Tyre to Jaffa, and then carried overland to Jerusalem; no
small feat in those days. The cedar logs were then cut into planks, outside of
Jerusalem (where use of metal tools were permitted) and then assembled with
wooden dowels to form the 'inner chambers' of the Temple.
Even King Solomon's father, King David, lived in a "House of Cedar"; also
reputed to have been brought to Jerusalem from Tyre.
The well known "Seal
of Solomon", a pentagram formed by the combining of two pyramids into a
six pointed star, now the recognized symbol of the Jewish People and the State
of Israel, comes from an original Masonic symbol which is known as "The Square"
by freemasons, in which either the Hebrew letter Youd, or the English letter G
is placed to refer to The Creator or Great Architect, from whence all things