Q. What does the word Free signify, when connected to Freemasonry?

A. Not bound, not in captivity, The word "Free" in connection with "Mason" originally signified that the persons so called were free of the company of Guild or incorporated Masons. During the middle ages the craftsman that were trained in the Roman Colleges of Artificers were serfs, bondsmen, and were declared free to travel throughout Europe, building cathedrals, monasteries, and other religious buildings. The Masons who were selected to build the Temple of Solomon were declared free, and were exempted, together with their descendants, from imports, duties and taxes. They had also the privilege to bear arms. At the destruction of the temple by Nebuchadnezzer, the posterity of these Masons were carried into captivity with the ancient Jews. But the good-will of Cyrus gave them permission to erect a second temple, having set them at liberty for that purpose. It is from this epoch that we bear the name Free and Accepted Masons. — ( Ezra 2:1 )

Biblical Reference

Ezra 2:1

Now these are the children of the province that went up out of the captivity, of those which had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away unto Babylon, and came again unto Jerusalem and Judah, every one unto his city;

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