This was an instrument in setting up the stone in the building of King Solomon's Temple; it is an emblem in the Third Degree. In the Mark Master Degree, it is one of the working tools, having the same emblematic meaning as the common gavel in the Entered Apprentice Degree. The correction of the irregularities of temper, the curbing of the aspirations of unbridled ambition, the suppression of the malignity of envy, and the moderation of the ebullition of anger are exacted in this degree.

The "Setting Maul", in operative Masonry is used for setting stones, that is, tapping them to a firm seat in the mortar by urging them sideways into place. It is in Speculative Freemasonry a symbol, in the Third Degree, reminding us of the death of the builder of the Temple, which is said to be effected by this instrument. It is considered by some to be a symbol of untimely death. In some Lodges it is improperly used by the Master as his gavel, from which it totally differs in form and symbolic signification. The gavel is a symbol of order and decorum; the setting-maul, of death by violence.

This page is adapted from the Glossary at Phoenixmasonry — Used with permission.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License