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Clay Ground

In the clay ground between Succoth and Zeredatha, Hiram Abif cast all the sacred vessels of the Temple, as well as the pillars of the porch. This spot was about thirty-five miles in a northeast direction from Jerusalem ; and it is supposed that Hiram selected it for his foundry, because the clay which abounded there was, by its great tenacity, peculiarly fitted for making molds. The Masonic tradition on this subject is sustained by the authority of Scripture (see First. Kings vii, 46, and Second Chronicles iv, 17). Morris, in his Freemasonry in the Holy Land, gives the following interesting facts in reference to this locality. "A singular fact came to light under the investigations of my assistant at Jerusalem. He discovered that the jewelers of that city, at the present day, use a particular species of brown, arenaceous clay in making molds for casting small pieces in brass, etc. Inquiring whence this clay comes, they reply, 'From Seikoot, about two days' journey north-east of Jerusalem.' Here, then, is a satisfactory reply to the question, Where was the 'clay ground' of Hiram's foundries? It is the best matrix- clay existing within reach of Hiram Abif, and it is found only in 'the clay ground between Succoth and Zeredatha'; and considerable as was the distance, and extremely inconvenient as was the locality, so important did that master-workman deem it, to secure a sharp and perfect mold for his castings, that, as the Biblical record informs us, he established his furnaces there."

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