"LOST SYMBOL" PICTURES: Masonic Symbols Decoded

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Though Freemasons are said to be accepting of all major religions that worship a single god, Masonic symbols are often biblical--as is the case with Jacob's ladder, pictured in a detail of an 1861 Freemason membership certificate.

In the Bible patriarch Jacob dreams that his ladder allows angels to ascend and descend from heaven. To Freemasons, the ladder's seven rungs represent faith, hope, charity, justice, prudence, temperance, and fortitude.

Holding up the sky above Jacob are the three symbolic Great Pillars of every Masonic lodge--columns representing wisdom, strength, and beauty.

More on the History and Symbols Behind Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol
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"LOST SYMBOL" PHOTOS: Real Places From Dan Brown's New Book
"LOST SYMBOL" PICTURES: Masonic Symbols Decoded
—Image courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
 
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