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Hiram Abiff

According to Masonic mythology, Hiram Abiff was the master of the construction of King Solomon's Temple. This temple was built about 988 BC. Hiram Abiff is assumed by some to have been the same person as King Hiram I of Tyre, who is given credit in the Bible itself for having sent building materials and men for the construction of the Temple. (See 2 Samuel 5:11)

Others make Hiram Abiff the representative of the king, rather than the king himself. 2 Chronicles 2 relates a formal request from Solomon to King Hiram for workers and for materials; King Hiram replies by sending a "cunning man, endued with understanding, of Huram my father's", whose father formerly lived in Tyre, and is deceased. (2 Chronicles 2:13-14) By this telling, this man was Hiram Abiff. The phrase "Huram my father's" in Hebrew is huram abi; this may be the origin of the name. As a result, Hiram Abiff is often referred to by Masons as the widow's son. (See also, 1 Kings 7:13-14) This is allegedly used in their verbal masonic distress cry "Is there no help for the widow's son?".

According to the legend which figures in the lore of Freemasonry, Abiff was murdered by one of three workers who assaulted him in their attempt to discover the secret Abiff held. The secret was never divulged. Hiram Abiff's death is commemorated in various Masonic rituals.