Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Who is Tubal-Cain?

Two Pickleballs and a Cane

Red Wing Lodge Education

May 6, 2024


Who is Tubal-Cain?

Why is his name always on our lips at every Lodge meeting?

Why does he appear in our Masonic Ritual?

Why is he one of the most important names in Ancient Craft Masonry?

Who is this man shrouded in myth and legends, with his origins veiled in the mists of antiquity?


I have these questions and I imagine you may have wondered about some of these questions yourself.

So much of what we do in our Lodge Ritual today is based on what our ancient Brothers did over 1570 years ago. My talk tonight is to help us all understand the history and to meaning to our ritual and what we do.

To find the answers to the questions above, I needed to examine Tubal-Cain from four different perspectives: the Biblical, historical, mythical, and Masonic.

But before we can take this journey thru the fog and mists of time, to unravel the legends and the myths, to better understand how Tubal-cain came to be central to Masonry, we need to take off our 21st century eyeglasses and review the history.

If we review our Masonic history, from the perspective of the person who wrote it, and within the time frame when it was written we can better understand it. With an historical perspective, the knowledge of the past becomes fully illuminated, and its strengths enriches our present knowledge.

But first, my Masonic disclaimer, to help guide us to gaining that perspective.

A considerable amount of Freemasonry’s nucleus can be traced to the Judeo-Christian teaching and texts. The Bible was utilized to develop a system of morality using those universal truths to develop our timeless core values.

Also, we need to take into consideration, that during the 18th century when Speculative Freemasonry was taking shape in Europe, Christianity in its many forms played a significate role in people’s daily lives and cultures. This proved to be fertile ground to use religious imagery to incorporate timeless universal moral and ethical teachings into Freemasonry.

But though Freemasonry has many appearances of religious elements, the craft is explicitly non-sectarian. Freemasonry does not promote any doctrine, dogma or sets of beliefs. The Legend of the Craft is a Masonic perspective of the origins of Geometry, along with their perspectives of world history and their involvement in that history.

Disclaimer completed.

The origin of Tubal-Cain is found in the Bible or Volume of Sacred law in Genesis 4:22.

Here are four different translations:

…Tubal-Cain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron (King James Version);

…Tubal-Cain who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron (New International Version);

…Tubal-Cain he opened the first foundry forging instruments of bronze and iron (Living Bible)

…Tubal-Cain he was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron (Revised Standard Version).

Tubal-Cain was the first artificer-a skilled craftsman who creates or invents things.

To put all of this into more context for everyone, Tubal-Cain appears very early in the Bible story. He is a descendent, only six generations removed, from Adam and Eve. So, he is after the Garden of Eden, but before Noah and the flood.

I’m going to take the time outline Tubal-Cain’s genealogy, for this is the basis for the myths and legends and our Masonic stories.

Now, we turn our attention to the central theme of our story. It is about the transfer of knowledge, the death and destruction of the world, and Two Pillars.

The first story I will discuss was written by the famous first Century A.D. historian Flavius Josephus. He was a Jew that was born in Jerusalem Judea, and a Roman Citizen.

Our story appears in volume one of his twenty-one volume set titled “Antiquities of the Jews”. He outlines the history of the Jews, starting with creation through 93 A.D., as passed down thru the Jewish perspective.

His writing states that Adam and Eve had two sons, Cain, and Abel. Cain murdered Able and fled. Adam and Eve had another son named Seth. He was wise, righteous, and had a virtuous character. Seth had many descendants who imitated his ways.

Seths descendants discovered the science of the heavenly bodies and their orderly array. Today we would say they discovered Astronomy.  His descendants were mindful of Adam’s prophesy or prediction of the pending destruction of the world by either a violent fire or a deluge of water. To protect their discoveries from being destroyed and lost to mankind they erected two pillars.

One pillar was made of brick and the other was made of stone. They inscribed the knowledge they discovered on both pillars. If the pillar of brick disappeared in the deluge, the pillar of stone would remain to teach and preserve their knowledge for mankind. Likewise, if the pillar of stone was lost, the pillar of brick would remain.  They engraved a notation into each pillar that a duplicate pillar of brick or stone was erected.

Josephus writes that both pillars still existed at the time that he was writing, and they were in what is now Syria.

Flavius Josephus was one of the most influential classical historians of Europe and the Mediterranean world during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. But from early on this story was believed to be fictious. It was said that his story was the remaking, similar to, or plagiarized from, the Book of Enoch.

The Book of Enoch is believed to have been written about 200 B.C., earlier than Flavius Josephus writings, however the Book of Enoch was not accepted by either the Jews or Christians.

Josephus two pillars story was extremely popular across western Europe and England, especially among academic’s and chroniclers, for the purpose to connect a lineage for the history of Astronomy to Antediluvian Times.  

Thus, the two pillars story spread across Europe and was recorded and copied by the chroniclers. You know that image of that medieval Monk humped over a desk, writing with a feathered pen, those were the chroniclers.

But there were several chroniclers who took great license and made large changes and modifications to the story. Their corruption of the story misconceives, distorts, and causes confusion around the story.

One chronicler made Tubal-Cain the inventor of music, while another gives him magical powers, and another equates Tubal-Cain and his siblings with the classical Greek gods. 

These are just a few of the stories that have added confusion and misunderstanding.

Now let’s jump forward in time to the late medieval to early renaissance period in England.  The time frame is approximately 1390 to the 1720’s.  This was a time when Freemason’s Lodges were spreading throughout England.

At this time, each Lodge was an independent, autonomous, separate identity that governed themselves. There was no formal regional or national affliction. This is hundreds of years before the Grand Lodge was formed.

Many of the Lodges created formal documents. Some of these were handwritten in the back of the Secretaries Minute Books, others were written on paper or parchment. Some were stitched together into a book form, a few were printed, and some placed into book form by a Bookmaker. Today these documents are referred to as: The Ancient Manuscripts, The Old Charges, The Ancient Constitutions, or Legend of the Craft.

Though these documents were written over hundreds of years, and, in different places, there are many similarities in their content.  They usually contained instructions concerning the behavior of the Craftsman, praise for the seven liberal arts, and usually a legendary fairy like tale of the Crafts creation.

The manuscripts that we call the” Old Charges” contain the very essence of Ancient Craft Freemasonry. Today, we know of about 130 such manuscripts.

When Dr. James Anderson was preparing to write the Constitution for the new Grand Lodge of England, he collected the “Old Charges”, and studied them carefully.  He then made liberal use of them by incorporating them into what we know today as “Andersons Constitution’s”.

The oldest of the “Old Charges” is the “Regius Poem” from 1390. But it is in the Cooke Manuscript from 1450, second oldest manuscript, that Tubal-Cain and his siblings make their first Masonic appearance.

The Cooke Manuscript is also, or the first time, that we see the story of the Two Pillars appear in Masonry.

The manuscript begins with a very long history of Freemasonry. The opening scene begins with the biblical character Lamech, a direct descendent of Adam. Lamech had two wives who produced four children.

Jabel was the discoverer of geometry, the discoverer of living in tents and houses, the first to partition land and divide flocks of sheep.  

Jubal was the inventor of music and song.

The youngest son Tubal-Cain is said to have founded the smith trade, and other crafts dealing with metals including iron, brass, gold, and silver.

The daughter Naamah was the inventor of weaving and other skills.

The children of Lamech heard a prophecy that the Lord was going to destroy the earth by either a great fire or a flood because of man’s sinfulness. They determined that they wanted to preserve the knowledge of their sciences for future generations if there were any survivors.

Since they didn’t know which one of the destructive forces that the Lord would send. They made plans for both scenarios. They built two pillars. One made of marble which would not burn. The other out of brick which would withstand the flood waters. On each of the pillars they inscribed all the information of their seven sciences for prosperity.

There was a great flood, but many years later both pillars were found. One was discovered by Hermes the Philosopher, the other by Pythagoras. Both taught the sciences they found inscribed on the pillars.   

The Cooke Manuscript is written by a very well-educated man who was believed to be a Mason. This is during the time that is a bridge between the Medieval Operative Masons becoming more Speculative Freemasons of the Renaissance era.

But this two pillars story is not a Masonic Original…

Just thirty years before the Cooke Manuscript was written, an English Benedictine monk and chronicler who lived about 125 miles from where the Cooke Manuscript was believed to be written, wrote the same story.

Benedictine Monk, Ranulf Higdon, wrote his version of the Flavius Josephus “Two Pillars” with Lamech, Tubal-Cain, founders of geometry, art, architecture etc. in the “Polychronican”, a seven-volume set of what has been described as the most exhaustive history of the world in medieval times. A very popular best seller at the time.

Interestingly, Higdon’s story is found almost verbatim within the Cooke manuscript.

In Anderson’s Constitutions, which was inspired by the “Old Charges” and which serves as our foundational document for Freemasonry today, there is no specific mention of Tubal-Cain and the Two Pillars story.  However Tubal-Cain appears to be the forerunner of Hiram Abiff, and the Two Pillars story certainly seems to be represented in the symbolic and allegorical connections between Tubal-Cain and certain details of the Masonic story, particularly in relationship to craftsmanship and metallurgy.

It appears that Tubal-Cain was the founder of the craft that Hiram Abiff excelled in, and he was a direct link between the two earliest pillars and those of King Solomons Temple, plus Kings Solomons pillars are not mentioned until much later in 1696 in the Edinburgh Register.

Tubal-Cain and Hiram Abiff both serve as symbolic representations of the virtues that we as Freemasons hold dearly, such as integrity, the pursuit of knowledge and industry.  Tubal-Cain was the first Artificer in forging and metal work and the father of teaching. His expertise in metal work symbolizes human ingenuity and the advancement of human development through mastery and craftsmanship.

In summary, Tubal-Cain is a Masonic Role model for us.

For When We Speak His Name.

We should be reminded to:

Constantly be seeking knowledge and wisdom; and

To work hard and to strive for excellence in our lives; and

To learn and develop new skills and self-improvement; and

To share our knowledge, time, and talent, so that others may benefit.


Recommended Reading

“World of Freemasonry” by Harry Carr

“Freemason at Work” by Harry Carr

“The Builder” Magazine September 1923

“Jubal in the Middle Ages” by Judith Cohen-Tel Aviv

“Who Was Tubal-Cain” The Square Magazine








Sunday, May 5, 2024

Red Wing Lodge #8 Adopt a Highway 2024

 On May 5, 2024, Red Wing Lodge took part in its annual event of picking up garbage, and trash for the Minnesota Department of Transporation Adopt a Highway Program. 

We clean up a two mile stretch in both directions on Highway 61 on the Eastward approach into our city. 

This is one of the many ways that our Lodge try's to make our community a better place to live. 

This is just one bag of trash as an example of what we picked up. In 2023 volunteer's from across the state picked up 42,170 bags of trash. Volunteers like us save the Minnesota taxpayers over seven million dollars and helped make our communities a better place. 

Saturday, April 27, 2024

2024 Masonic Cancer Center Annual Dinner


On April 26, 2024, the Masonic Cancer Center held its annual dinner at the Minnesota Masonic Heritage Center in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Scientists, Researchers, Physicians, Medical Professionals and Masons gather once a year to celebrate the incredible partnership between Minnesota Masonic Charities and the Masonic Cancer Center. This partnership in the battle against cancer was established in 1955 and has grown and become stronger over the years. This year there were a total of 215 attendees at this year’s dinner.

As Jakub Tolar, Dean of the University of Minnesota Medical School stated, the Masons of Minnesota have been champions of the University of Minnesota for over 68 years. The buildings that the Masons have built are very visible on campus but more importantly, what is not seen, are the lives of people who are saved by the treatments, surgeries, trials, and discoveries that have impacted people’s lives for over sixty years.

All these efforts have created cancer survivors, providing the gift of time to live life and experience the joys of life.

On such survivor is Boyd Huppert, a reporter for Kare 11, who shared with us his story. He stated that in 2021 he was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a rare form of blood cancer, for which there was no cure, but was treatable.

Boyd described his initial diagnosis, made complicated by the state of his blood, which required 45 bags of donor plasma to stabilize him, to his experience of receiving treatment at the Masonic Cancer Center and his subsequent bone marrow transplant.

Boyd found inspiration for his journey, from the story he told about Kelly Klein, a Kindergarten Teacher at Falcon Heights Elementary, who instructed her class from the hospital while receiving chemotherapy. Kelly attended the annual dinner and was introduced by Boyd.

Boyd said that he will continue to receive treatments for his cancer, but that being a survivor has given him time to continue to work, enjoy his family and hold his new grandchild.  His description of holding his grandchild for the first time following this bone marrow transplant, was a powerful reminder of the emotions and joy that accompany the “time” that is given to cancer survivors.

It was an evening of celebration and learning about the continuum of care that supports all cancer survivors, from childhood to older adulthood, at the Masonic Cancer Center and to renew the shared pledge to between the Masons and the University of Minnesota, to eliminate Cancer from our world.


Wednesday, April 3, 2024

We Lost a Good Friend and Brother Bill Peterson


Bill Peterson is one of the reasons, so many years ago that I joined the Craft.

Willis "Bill" Delano Peterson

November 3, 1933 — March 31, 2024

There will be a Masonic Funeral at 7:30 pm on Sunday April 7, 2024 at the end

of the visitation (5:00-7:30PM). The Masonic Funeral will be at the Olson Funeral Chapel next to Jasper Lodge in Rush City. Jerry Oliver will be the presiding WM. For those wishing to attend and participate, please arrive at Jasper Lodge by 7:00 pm.


Full obituary and church service details below:

Willis "Bill" Peterson of Cambridge, MN passed away on Sunday, March 31, 2024 at Ecumen of North Branch at the age of 90.

Willis Delano Peterson was born on November 3, 1933 to Hilding and Blanche (Osell) Peterson in Harris, Minnesota. He attended grade school in Harris, high school in North Branch, and college at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Bill married Elaine Swanson in 1957 and they had 4 children. He began working for Keebler Co. in 1952 while going to college. In 1954 he was drafted into the Army. He served as the training NCO for the 65th AAA in Okinawa. Upon his discharge, he went back to Keebler Co. and went into Sales. He was promoted to Sales Manager in 1963. After 38 years at Keebler he retired and moved to the lake home on Goose Lake near Harris.

In 1964, he joined the Masons, Scottish Rite and the Shrine. His 2 daughters became active in Jobs daughters and his 2 sons were active in DeMolay. Bill was Associate Guardian for Jobs daughters and was an Advisor for DeMolay. He was also the President of the local Boy Scout troop and was a Webelo Leader.

While in the Shrine, he held many positions. He joined the Legion of Honor and was both Captain and Commander. He held numerous offices in the Shrine over the many years, interfacing with multiple Shrine Clubs, and was also on the Shrine Board of Trustees. In 1998 he was elected as the Zuhrah Shrine Potentate. He was active with the Shrine for 60 years.

After his retirement from Keebler in 1990, he drove school bus for North Branch schools for 8 years, and then started teaching Driver Safety classes in Rush City for the next 12 years.

Bill is survived by his significant other Theresa Pearson; sons Steve Peterson (Jenny), Mike (Stacey) Peterson; son-in-law Larry Schlagel (Bonnie); grandchildren Ryan (Lindsay) Schlagel, Jamie (Zach) Dingmann, Jordan (Anna) Shearer, Sam (Charsi) Shearer, Jenna (Austin) Grazier, Jason (Alexandria) Peterson, Austin (Emma) Peterson, Logan Peterson, Mikala Peterson; step-grandchildren Emily (Nate) Sleck, David Ruthven; great-grandchildren Jackson Schlagel, Julia Schlagel, Weston Shearer, Wade Shearer, Paxton Sleck, Rowan, Sleck, Salem Peterson; brother-in-law Vern Reideger; many nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents Hilding and Blanche Peterson; wife Elaine Peterson; daughters Lori Schlagel, Joni (Dan) Shearer; grandson Alex Peterson; siblings Wendall (Harriet) Peterson, Eleanor (Dale) Erickson, Alden (Joyce) Peterson, Vernie (Ruth) Peterson, Don Peterson, Arvin (Harlean) Peterson, Dorene Reideger. 

Pastor Andy Romstad will officiate at Bill's funeral service: 11 AM; Monday April 8, 2024 at the Cambridge Lutheran Church in Cambridge. A time of visitation and reviewal is planned from 5-7:30 PM Sunday, April 7, 2024 with a Masonic Service at 7:30 PM at the Olson Funeral Chapel in Rush City and additional visitation time one hour prior to the service at the church. The interment with military honors will take place in Oak Grove Cemetery, Harris at 2:15 PM.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Wear the Apron in Everything We Do


Wear the Apron in Everything We Do

By Tom Nash, Grand Marshal

Grand Lodge of Iowa


You now stand as a just and upright Mason, and I give it you strictly in charge, ever to walk and act as such. This is our first instruction as a Mason. Perhaps one of the most overlooked parts of the Ritual.

When we are in lodge, we all should be following the rules of conduct of the lodge. We should be subduing our passions and treating each other with Brotherly Love. Even in disagreement, Masons should be able to remain respectful towards each other. We all wear the Apron, We are all brothers.

When the apron comes off, when we are conducting business outside the lodge, are we still remembering the lessons of the First Degree? Many Masons are proud of the Fraternity. They wear the square and compasses on shirts, hats, jackets, car windows, tattoos, and social media. We like to think we are representing the Fraternity in a good light. But are we? Are we being rude to people, cutting them off in traffic, arguing on social media, or any other numerous things that might give Masonry a bad name? With the political season in full swing, there are many passions guiding the discourse in the country. People disagree, that is unavoidable in human nature.

As Masons we are taught certain tenets and maxims that teach us to be respectful of the opinions of others, even if we disagree. There are plenty of examples of people or organizations that seek to foster such strife in the world. Masonry is not one of them.


The Grand Lodge came up with a set of guidelines for social media postings a few years ago. They are found on the Grand Lodge webpage. Here is an excerpt.

 • A Mason should conduct himself with the same courtesy he would in front of the general public.

 • As a Mason, he must be aware that his postings are a permanent record; therefore, his conduct may influence the world with a positive or negative opinion about him personally and about the organizations to which he belongs.

• A Mason should never use disparaging comments, profanity, etc. when posting; including, but not limited to, graphic, video, and audio recordings.

• A Mason should not post “ritual” or “tyled” information.

• Masonic pages are to be supportive of the organization and its members, promote upcoming events, discuss past events, video sharing, and discussion of times of fellowship and promotion of Masonic bodies.

• A Mason should not use social media to obtain personal advantage in promoting political, religious or business activities by targeting other Masons.

 • A Mason should not use social media to contact other Grand Jurisdictions unless you are a member of that jurisdiction. Remember that all inter-jurisdictional communication is, by Masonic protocol, conducted by and between Grand Lodge offices.

 • No discussion or other information regarding to an application, background, or investigation of an applicant is ever appropriate or condoned.

• There should never be discussion regarding the ballot on a candidate.

• Nothing should ever be written or discussed relative to the business of a Lodge or of any discussions/actions which have occurred behind Tyled doors.

• Information about lodge or district social activities must comply with the Grand Lodge regulations already in place for them (for example no reference to alcohol or games of chance).

• Masons should advise a brother if something he has posted is improper within the framework of our Grand Constitution, Rules and Regulations, etc.


Ultimately, your actions as a Mason online should promote the highest standards of morality and integrity. You should always be mindful of the penalties as described in the Grand Constitution relating to trial, suspension, and/or expulsion for any un-Masonic behavior. Posting a comment related to the Fraternity and then posting a disparaging comment about a social or political stance can easily be misconstrued by readers that your stance is representative of Masonry and all Masons. Remember that the public and members of the Masonic Fraternity are reading your posts online.

When we take off the apron, that is the most important time to remember the lessons of our ritual, for that is what building our spiritual temple is all about. The image we project to the non-mason does indeed have an effect on the whole Fraternity. Peace and harmony is the strength and support of all societies. Respectful discourse is more important than any social issue, for when you become disrespectful, you harm yourself, and possibly Masonry as a whole. 

Remember, Live the Ritual, whether you

Special Note of Thanks

I would personally like to thank the Author Grand Marshal Tom Nash and the Grand Lodge of Iowa for granting me permission to print this nicely thought out piece. 

The Minnesota Masonic Civility Project Presents: Civility School

I guess this is the new concept of the Ancient Plum, Level and Square

On March 30, 2024, at the Minnesota Masonic Heritage Center, the Grand Lodge of Minnesota conducted a focus group of approximately 40 people comprised of Minnesota Masons and members of the community. The purpose of the group was to seek feedback and input on a new educational program under development with a target audience of middle and high school youth across the state.

The purpose of the new “Civility School” is to present young people with resources, based on our timeless Masonic core values, to assist them in the cold fractured digital world they experience today.

The program was co-presented by John Schwietz, the CEO of Minnesota Masonic Charities, and Reed Endersbe, the Director of Membership Engagement of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota.

The course material was presented using the symbolic working tools of a Freemason, to convey a message that these positive traits are needed of any person to contribute to a better society.

Below is a list of the Masonic core values and tools of Freemasonry mentioned in the program:

The 24-inch gage - How do you spend your time?

Gavel - Dignity

Plumb - Courtesy

Compass and Square - Honor and Integrity

Level - Humility

Trowel - Kindness and Respect

The Civility School will be introduced to the Masonic Membership at the Grand Lodge of Minnesota Annual Communication April 12-13, 2024, in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

The Civility School will be offered to all 128 Masonic Lodges in Minnesota that wish to host it in their Lodge, and present the program to the local middle and high school youth in their local communities.


Saturday, March 23, 2024

Masonic Re-Boot 2.0


Gideon Ives Auditorium 

On March 24, 2024, the Grand Lodge of Minnesota hosted a symposium called Masonic Re-Boot 2.0, at the Minnesota Masonic Heritage Center in Bloomington, Minnesota.  

Today was the kickoff start of a new approach on how we look at Membership, Mentorship and Leadership.  

Sixty Lodge leaders from across the state gathered together in the Gideon Ives Auditorium. Personally, I thought the turnout was quite good considering that the Shrine is hosting its annual Circus, and there is an imminent major snowstorm just hours away. 

The program was opened by the Grand Lodge Director of Membership Engagement Reed Endersbe. Following his opening comments, he gave an excellent overview of the Grand Lodge membership statistics, and a working model for the Lodges to help with recruitment and retention. 

Our second Speaker was Leigh Shaebeck who provided new ways to look at the importance of mentoring new and existing members. 

After lunch our Grand Lodge Education Officer Brad Phelps gave an interpersonal approach to Leadership and Learning. 

The session was completed by questions and answers and closed by comments of our Grand Master Dayton Berg. 

I have been to many of these types of seminars before. I found Masonic Re-Boot 2.0 to be refreshing, the material and content was to the point, the delivery was straight forward, and all was presented in a highly polished manner. I highly recommend all Minnesota Masons to attend if they have the opportunity.