THE TWELVE ORIGINAL POINTS OF MASONRY

 

THE TWELVE POINTS WERE BASED UPON THE 12 SONS OF JACOB, AND SYMBOLIZED
THE PATH OF THE CANDIDATE THROUGH HIS FIRST DEGREE.
1.  OPENING OF THE LODGE:
               REFERS TO THE TRIBE OF REUBEN, THE FIRST BORN OF JACOB - THE
               BEGINNING OF HIS STRENGTH.  WITHOUT THE OPENING, THERE WOULD 
               BE NO LODGE.
2.  PREPARATION OF THE CANDIDATE:
               WAS TO SYMBOLIZE THE TRIBE OF SIMEON, BECAUSE SIMEON PREPARED
               THE INSTRUMENTS FOR SLAUGHTER OF THE SHEMITES.  IN PART, IT
               SYMBOLIZES THE MASONIC ABHORENCE TO CRUELTY, MANIFEST IN THAT
               EVENT.  (BEING DIVESTED/DEVOID OF ALL METALLIC OBJECTS).
3.  THE REPORT OF THE S.D.:
               REFERS TO THE TRIBE OF LEVI.  LEGEND HAS IT THAT LEVI
               SIGNALED HIS BROTHER SIMEON IN THE EXECUTION OF THE SLAUGHTER
               OF THE SCHEMITES.  MASONRY DENOUNCES CRUELTY TO A HELPLESS 
               PEOPLE.
4.  ENTRY OF THE CANDIDATE INTO THE LODGE:
               SYMBOLIZES THE TRIBE OF JUDAH, FOR THEY WERE THE FIRST TO
               CROSS THE RIVER JORDAN, AND ALLUDES TO THE PASSING OF THE
               CANDIDATE FROM THE WILDERNESS OF DARKNESS INTO THE LAND OF 
               LIGHT AND LIBERTY.
5.  THE PRAYER:
               SYMBOLIZES THE TRIBE OF ZEBULUN, BECAUSE THE PRAYERS AND
               BLESSING OF JACOB WERE GIVEN TO IN DEFERENCE TO HIS BROTHER
               ISSACHAR.
6.  THE CIRCUMABULATION:
               REFERS TO THE THE TRIBE OF ISSACHAR.  BEING SOMEWHAT
               SHIFTLESS IN CHARACTER, THIS TRIBE NEEDED A SPECIAL LEADER TO
               ADVANCE THEM TO AN ELEVATION EQUAL TO THE OTHER TRIBES.
7.  ADVANCING TO THE ALTAR OF FREEMASONRY:
               SYMBOLIZES THE TRIBE OF DAN.  IT SHOWS US THAT WE SHOULD
               ADVANCE TO TRUTH AND HOLINESS WITH SPEED, IN CONTRAST TO THE
               RAPID DECLINE OF DAN INTO IDOLATRY.
8.  THE OBLIGATION:
               REFERS TO THE TRIBE OF GAD, AND ALLUDES TO THE SOLEMN VOW
               MADE BY JEPHTHAH, JUDGE OF ISRAEL, AND A MEMBER OF THIS
               TRIBE.
 
9.  THE ENTRUSTING WITH THE MYSTERIES OF THE ORDER:
               WAS SYMBOLIZED BY THE TRIBE OF ASHER, FOR THIS TRIBE WAS
               PRESENTED WITH THE FULL FRUITS OF MASONIC KNOWLEDGE.

10. THE INVESTITURE OF THE LAMBSKIN:
               REFERS TO THE TRIBE OF NAPHTALI, FOR THIS TRIBE WAS INVESTED
               WITH A PECULIAR FREEDOM BY MOSES IN THE PROPHECY, "O
               NAPHTALI, SATISFIED WITH FAVOR AND FULL WITH BLESSINGS OF THE
               LORD, POSSESS THOU THE WEST AND SOUTH."
11. CEREMONY IN THE NORTH EAST CORNER:
               REFERS TO THE TRIBE OF JOSEPH, AND HIS TWO SONS EPHRAIM AND
               MANASSEH, HEADS OF TWO HALF TRIBES.
12. CLOSING OF THE LODGE:
               REFERS TO THE TRIBE OF BENJAMIN, THE YOUNGEST SON OF JACOB,
               THUS CLOSING HIS STRENGTH.