York Rite Education - The Order of the Red Cross - Ezra 4:21-22

The Order of the Red Cross - Ezra 4:21-22

Nolan Keck

Zerubbabel, the royal Prince of the House of Judah, was filled with hope as he sat on the Grand Council of Jerusalem. As recorded by Ezra in Scripture, King Artaxerxes wrote his decree: “Give ye now commandment to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not builded, until another commandment shall be given from me. Take heed now that ye fail not to do this: why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings?” The royal order to halt the rebuild of the Temple was given as the king would not then receive profit from the Jews. But, behold! A new king, Darius, had ascended the throne. Zerubbabel rose and explained to the Excellent High Priest that Darius made a solemn vow in his heart before ascending the Throne that he would rebuild Jerusalem and its Temple, restoring all of the holy vessels that remained in his land, should he ever become King. The Grand Council then bade Zerubbabel farewell on his quest to remind the King of his vow before God, girding him with a sword and Green Sash, and investing him with the Jewish Pass. But at the Bridge to the land of Persia, Zerubbabel was seized, disarmed of his sword and Sash, and taken before the king as a prisoner. Remembering his friend Zerubbabel from his youth, King Darius said that he would grant his request on condition that the secrets of a Mason be revealed.. But Zerubbabel remained true to his Craft, accepting death before betraying the secrets of Masonry. The King, amazed at his integrity, still granted his request, and implored him, “Which is the greatest: the strength of wine, the power of the king, or the influence of Woman?” To which Zerubbabel replied “The supereminency of Woman is yet above all this” and explained that Woman has the power to make us abandon our country and relations. But even they are not comparable to the almighty force of TRUTH, which is unchangeable and everlasting. Now a Companion of the Illustrious Order of the Red Cross, Zerubbabel was restored his sword and Sash, and sent back to Jerusalem with orders for the Temple to be rebuilt without any hindrance. Blessed be the God of TRUTH!


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