Temple Legend

From AnthroWiki
Model of the Temple of Solomon with the Brazen Sea (left) and the central altar (right) in the forecourt.

The Temple Legend or Hiram Legend, which is connected with the building of Solomon's Temple (1 Kings 6:1) and especially with the casting of the Brazen Sea (1 Kings 7:23), forms the basis of Freemasonry and was given by Christian Rosenkreutz himself in the 15th century, according to Rudolf Steiner. The temple, which was consecrated in 951 BC after seven years (1 Kings 6:38) of construction, was built by order of Solomon on the Temple Mount Moria in Jerusalem with the help of Phoenician builders who, according to tradition, were led by Hiram Abiff, who came from the descendants of Cain.


Model of the first Jerusalem Temple in the Jewish Community Hall in Frankfurt (Oder), Brandenburg, Germany. Made by Illya Strambrandt 2009.

What Christian Rosenkreutz taught he could only pass on directly to a few disciples, no more than ten; for the others he had to clothe his teaching in a myth, which has approximately the following content:

„There was a time when one of the Elohim created a human being; a human being whom he called Eve. The Elohim himself united with Eve and Cain was born from Eve. Then the Elohim Yahweh or Jehovah created Adam. Adam also united with Eve and from this marriage Abel was born.

So with Cain we have to do with an immediate son of the gods and with Abel with an offspring of Adam and Eve, who were created as human beings. Now the myth continues.

The offerings that Abel made to the God Yahweh were pleasing to the God. But the offerings of Cain were not, for Cain was not created at the direct command of Yahweh. The result was that Cain committed fratricide. He slew Abel. Therefore he was excluded from fellowship with Yahweh. He went to distant places and became the progenitor of his own lineage there.

Adam continued to associate with Eve and to replace Abel, Seth was born, who also appears in the Bible. Thus two human families came into being: the first descended from Eve and the Elohim, the family of Cain; and the second descended from mere men, who joined together at the command of Yahweh.

From the lineage of Cain descended all who brought into being arts and sciences on earth, for example Methusael who invented writing, the Tau script, and Tubal-Cain who taught the working of ores and iron. Thus in this line, descending directly from the Elohim, humanity was born, trained in the arts and sciences. From this lineage of the Cains also came forth Hiram. He was the heir of all that had been stored up in knowledge, art and technology within the various generations of the sons of Cain. Hiram was the most important building artist imaginable.

From the other line, from the family of Seth, came Solomon, who excelled in all that came from Yahweh or Jehovah. He was endowed with the wisdom of the world, with all that the calm, clear, serene wisdom of the sons of Jehovah can provide. This was a wisdom which may well be uttered in words, which may go deep into the heart of man, lift him up, but not such a wisdom as can attack the immediate object and produce something real in technique, art and science. It was a wisdom that is an immediate inspired gift of God, not a wisdom worked out from below, springing from human passion, from human will. This was found in the sons of Cain, in those who were directly descended from the other Elohim. These were the strict workers who wanted to work out everything themselves.

Now Solomon decided to build a temple. He appointed as master builder the offspring of the sons of Cain: Hiram. It was at that time that the Queen of Sheba, Balkis, came to Jerusalem because she had heard about the wise Solomon. And she was indeed, when she arrived, enraptured by the sublime, clear wisdom and beauty of Solomon. He wooed her and also obtained her consent. Then this Queen of Sheba also heard about the building of the temple. Now she also wanted to meet Hiram, the master builder. When she saw him, the mere sight of him made a tremendous impression on her and captivated her completely.

Now something like jealousy arose between Hiram and the wise Solomon. As a result, Solomon would have liked to do something against Hiram, but he had to keep him so that the temple could be built.

Now the following happened. The temple was finished to a certain stage. Only one thing was still missing, which was to be Hiram's masterpiece: namely, the Brazen Sea. This masterpiece of Hiram was to represent the ocean, cast in brass, and adorn the temple[1]. All the ore mixtures had been wonderfully prepared by Hiram and everything was ready for casting. But now three journeymen[2] set to work, whom Hiram had found unfit to be appointed masters in the building of the temple. They had therefore sworn revenge against him and wanted to prevent the execution of the Bronze Sea. A friend of Hiram, hearing of this, informed Solomon of this plan of the journeymen so that he would thwart it. But Solomon, out of jealousy against Hiram, let the matter run its course, because he wanted to spoil Hiram. The result was that Hiram had to watch the whole casting dissolve because the three journeymen had added an unseemly substance to the mass. He tried to extinguish the foaming fire by pouring water on it, but it only got worse. While he was close to despairing about the outcome of the work, Tubal-Cain himself, one of his ancestors, appeared to him. He told him to throw himself into the fire, because he was not vulnerable to it. Hiram did so and reached the centre of the earth. Tubal-Cain led him to Cain, who was there in the state of original divinity. Hiram was now initiated into the secret of fire creation, the secret of ore casting and so on. He also received from Tubal-Cain a hammer and a golden triangle to wear around his neck. Then he returned and was now able to really make the Brazen Sea, to put the casting in order again.

Then Hiram won the hand of the Queen of Sheba. But he was attacked and killed by the three companions. But before he died, he managed to throw the Golden Triangle into a well. Now that they do not know where Hiram is, they are looking for him. Solomon himself is anxious and wants to find out where he is. It was feared that the three journeymen might betray the old master's word and so a new one was arranged. The first words that would be spoken when Hiram was found again were to be the new master word. When Hiram was found, he was still able to speak a few words[3]. He said: Tubal-Cain has promised me that I will have a son who will have many sons who will populate the earth and complete my work - the building of the temple. Then he indicated the place where the Golden Triangle was to be found. It was taken to the Brazen Sea and both were kept in a special place in the Temple, in the Holy of Holies. They can only be found by those who have understanding of what this whole temple legend of the temple of Solomon and his master builder Hiram means.“ (Lit.:GA 93, p. 59ff)

Eve as the Great Earth Mother

Eve appears here as the great earth mother, who encompasses the sum of all that has come over through the Old Saturn, Sun and Moon development, where the basis for the physical body, the etheric body and astral body of the human being were created. In this way, Eve represents the three mothers of whom the second part of Goethe's Faust tragedy also speaks.

„When it is said that the Elohim united with Eve, we must not believe that by Eve is understood anything similar to the present woman. Eve was the humanity of the polar race, a humanity quite different from the humanity of today, namely, a much simpler one. If we think of the warmth of blood and deny everything else, if we think of this [warmth of blood] pulsating in every nook and corner of our body from head to foot, if we imagine [it] in every detail of our body, but imagine that all the rest has disappeared and nothing remains but this blood-warm human being, then we can form an idea of what the Eve looked like with whom the Elohim united. The Earth was then dark, but in the second or Hyperborean epoch the Sun Spirits penetrated this dark Eve with light, and these rays of the Sun not only contained light, they also contained food, and what was not consumed as food to nourish humanity or Eve was available for the purpose of procreation, and in this way Cain arose from the union of the Elohim with Eve.

In the Lemurian or Lunar epoch, the Elohim Yahweh, who was also one of the Sun Spirits and had been sent to direct the Lunar evolution, created Adam, that is: he divided humanity into sexes, and when it is said that Adam married Eve, it means that the two sexes united for the purpose of procreation, and from this union arose Abel.

The originally united solar forces and reproductive forces had separated and produced two classes of men. Cain and Abel fight each other day by day in our bodies, even hour by hour, for Abel is represented by the blood of the arteries coming from the lungs and from the heart, filled with the life-giving spirit of the air, the pure and strengthening oxygen. Cain, on the other hand, is represented by the blood of the veins, which is filled with the poisonous, deadly carbonic acid.

If that were all, humanity would have ceased to exist at that time. But Abel lives on in Seth, the rejuvenated Abel, who received the breath of life again, the oxygen in the lungs. Therefore, as often as Abel is killed, Seth takes his place. When the solar power divided, the Abel-Seth race became the bearers of divine wisdom and intuition, its members being priests and kings "by the grace of God". Physically they are negative or female (not necessarily physically female).

Cain's gender possesses the power of procreation (not necessarily sexual) rather than intuitive wisdom. They are positive, masculine (not necessarily physically male) and are the world workers, the scientific researchers and so on. This is perhaps more understandable from the following diagram:

Drawing from GA 265, p. 396
Drawing from GA 265, p. 396

Sons of God . ..[4] Physically female, ethereally male, possess intuition: Abel

Solar power contains nourishment, intuition and procreation.

Daughters of men ... .[4] physically male, ethereally female, possess the reproductive power: Cain.

In the Atlantean period an attempt was made to unite these two classes, but this led to black magic of the worst kind. This is indicated in the Bible passage: "The sons of God intermarried with the daughters of men."

The arrival of the Queen of Sheba signifies the attempt of the present. Science, represented by Hiram, can now unite with the wisdom of the soul, symbolised by the Queen of Sheba. The nurse is the prophet looking into the future, the bird Had-Had is a spirit of intelligence descending to the soul and turning it from revelation, as represented by Solomon, to self-acquired knowledge, which finds its expression in Hiram.

The temple represents the development of the Earth. Solomon is like a mirror that reflects cosmic wisdom without any effort of his own. Hiram, on the other hand, sees the image and works it out. He does not possess the ability to draw directly from the divine source; he is the material knowledge that can make objective what Solomon can only see.

That is why Balkis, the soul, becomes dissatisfied and breaks her bond with Solomon when she recognises Hiram's beauty, and she recovers the ring from Solomon's hand when he is drunk.

That Hiram wields the Tau hammer to summon the workers at Balkis' wish symbolically represents the way in which all great, world-shaking events were brought about when they worked like ants for years to achieve a specific purpose: through the power of mass suggestion. This was used so that they came to work as if on their own impulse. It would be wrong to use such a power now, but in those days men were not so individualised [as now], and if temples were to be built to serve the progress of mankind, the priests then quite rightly needed such means to achieve their end. The Crusades and Joan of Arc's army are other examples of such mass suggestion. Sometimes fanatics, some of whom lack inner balance, are very strong in this direction.

When Hiram throws himself into the fire, he meets Tubal-Cain on the way. He leads Hiram to the centre of the earth (where the I-plant grows; Cain was a cultivator), and there they find Cain in his innocent state. Cain gives Hiram a new hammer and a new word.“ (Lit.:GA 265, p. 393ff)

The Sons of Cain

According to this legend, the Sons of Cain are the sons of those Elohim who were a little retarded on the world evolutionary stage of the Old Moon. At that time the human astral body was formed out of Kama, the general astral substance, and Kama, the fire of passion, was gradually imbued with wisdom. Other Elohim progressed beyond this union of wisdom and passion, and when they created earthly man during earth evolution, they were no longer imbued with passion and endowed man with calm, serene wisdom. These were the sons of Seth. The other Elohim, however, who were still connected with Kama, gave the sons of Cain a passionate element so that they could be enthusiastic about wisdom with fiery enthusiasm. Out of the passionate enthusiasm of the sons of Cain came all the arts and sciences, while the priestly Abel-Seth current was animated by detached and utterly dispassionate piety and wisdom. These two opposing currents were always present until the Greco-Latin period.

Hiram appears in the Temple legend as the representative of the initiated sons of Cain of the fourth and fifth post-Atlantean cultural epochs, and the Queen of Sheba gives a picture of the human soul that has to choose between the detached, dispassionate wisdom and piety of Solomon and the earth-transforming drive of the sons of Cain.

„The brazen sea is that casting which results when water is mixed with ore in the appropriate manner. The three journeymen do it wrong, the casting is destroyed. But by revealing the mysteries of fire to Hiram, Tubal-Cain is able to combine water and fire in the right way. This gives rise to the Brazen Sea. It is what is the secret of the Rosicrucians. It comes into being when the water of calm wisdom unites with the fire of the astral space, the fire of passion. Through this, a connection must come about which is "brazen", which can be carried into the following ages, when the secret of the sacred Golden Triangle, the secret of Atma-Buddhi-Manas, is added. This triangle, with all that it entails, will be the content of the renewed Christianity of the sixth sub-race. This will be prepared by the Rosicrucians and then what is symbolised in the Brazen Sea will be connected with the knowledge of reincarnation and karma. This is the new occult teaching that is being reinserted into Christianity. Atma-Buddhi-Manas, the higher Self, is the secret that will be revealed when the sixth sub-race will be ripe for it. Then Christian Rosenkreutz will no longer need to stand there as a warner, but all that has meant struggle on the outer plan will find peace through the Brazen Sea, through the sacred Golden Triangle.“ (Lit.:GA 93, p. 66)

Christ and the Mystery of Golgotha

When the Christ united with the Earth, a completely new element entered into the evolution of the Earth. The Christ is not merely whiteness, but love incarnate. Love is

„... a high divine kama, which is at the same time buddhi; a pure flowing kama, which wants nothing for itself, but directs all passions outwards in infinite devotion, is an inverted kama. Buddhi is reversed kama.“ (Lit.:GA 93, p. 63)

Thus, within the stream of the Sons of Wisdom, a new, higher piety prepares itself, which may be enthusiastic, but is not nourished by the fire of the Old Moon kama, but from Christian love, the inverted kama. This new, Christian piety is predisposed in the fourth post-Atlantean age, but cannot yet unite with the current of the Sons of Cain. They remain opponents for the time being:

„For if Christianity were necessarily to take hold of all men quickly, it would indeed be able to fill them with love, but the individual human heart, the individual human heart would not be there. It would not be free piety, it would not be the birth of Christ in oneself as brother, but merely as Lord. For this the sons of Cain must still work through the whole fifth sub-race. They work in their initiates and build the temple of humanity, constructed of worldly art and worldly science.“ (Lit.:GA 93, p. 63)

But a new Christianity will arise in the future in which both currents will unite, a Christianity in possession of the secrets of the Brazen Sea and the Golden Triangle:

„This Christianity has a different symbol; no longer the crucified Son of God, but the cross entwined with roses. This will be the symbol of the new Christianity of the sixth subrace. Out of the mystery of the Rosicrucian Brotherhood will develop this Christianity of the sixth subrace, which will know the Brazen Sea and the Golden Triangle.“ (Lit.:GA 93, p. 65f)


References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
Email: verlag@steinerverlag.com URL: www.steinerverlag.com.
Index to the Complete Works of Rudolf Steiner - Aelzina Books
A complete list by Volume Number and a full list of known English translations you may also find at Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works
Rudolf Steiner Archive - The largest online collection of Rudolf Steiner's books, lectures and articles in English.
Rudolf Steiner Audio - Recorded and Read by Dale Brunsvold
steinerbooks.org - Anthroposophic Press Inc. (USA)
Rudolf Steiner Handbook - Christian Karl's proven standard work for orientation in Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works for free download as PDF.


  1. In the Bible, the brazen sea is described thus:

    23 And he made the sea, cast, from one edge to the other, ten cubits round about, and five cubits high; and a cord of thirty cubits was the measure round about. 24 And round about the sea were knots on the edge thereof round about, ten to a cubit; it had two rows of knots cast with it at the casting. 25 And it stood on twelve oxen, three of them facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east; and the sea was on top of it, and their hind parts were all turned inwards. 26 And the thickness of the wall of the sea was a hand's breadth, and its rim was like the rim of a cup, like a lily that had sprung up; and two thousand buckets went into it. 1 Kings 7:23

  2. According to Masonic tradition, the three journeymen are called Jubela, Jubelo and Jubelum and are also said to correspond to the three autumnal signs of the zodiac Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius, i.e. the time of the descending Sun from Michaelmas to Christmas; cf. Dr. Josef Schauberg: Vergleichendes Handbuch der Symbolik der Freimaurerei mit besonderer Rücksicht auf die Mythologieen und Mysterien des Alterthums, Volume II, Zurich 1861, page 212f
  3. In Charles William Heckethorn's: The secret societies of all ages and countries this scene is depicted thus:

    „Solomon hinted to the fellow- crafts that the removal of his rival, who refused to give them the master's word, would be acceptable unto himself; so when the architect came into the temple he was assailed and slain by them. Before his death, however, he had time to throw the golden triangle which he wore round his neck, and on which was engraven the master's word, into a deep well. They wrapped up his body, carried it to a solitary hiU and buried it, planting over the grave a sprig of acacia. Hiram not having made his appearance for seven days, Solomon, against his incUnation, but to satisfy the clamour of the people, was forced to have Tiim searched for. The body was found by three masters, and they, suspecting that he had been slain by the three fellow-crafts for refusing them the master's word, determined nevertheless for greater security to change the word, and that the first word acci- dentally uttered on raising the body should thenceforth, be the word. In the act of raising it, the skin came off the body, so that one of the masters ex-claimed " Macbenach ! " (the flesh is off the bones !) and this word became the sacred word of the master's degree. The three fellow-crafts were traced, but rather than fall into the hands of their pursuers, they committed suicide and their heads were brought to Solomon. The triangle not having been found on the body of Hiram it was sought for and at last dis- covered in the well into whicb the architect had cast it. The king caused it to be placed on a triangular altar erected in a secret vault, built under the most retired part of the temple. The triangle was further concealed by a cubical stone, on which had been inscribed the sacred law. The vault, the existence of which was only known to the twentyseven elect, was then walled up.“ (Lit.: Heckethorn, Vol I, p. 246f)

  4. 4.0 4.1 The dots are so found in the pattern.