Background on Hiram Abiff

Devotion News No 34. March-April 2009.

Letter from Hiram Abiff

Dear Bro Damien

I was very disappointed to be referred to as a “cheeky fellow” in your Editorial after the price that I paid for fidelity. It is not bad here in these Heavenly Mansions but believe me there were many things that I enjoyed more in your sub-luminary abode. However it is better than the other alternative. At least I can observe and record all you actions from here.

I am told that the boy’s name Hiram is of Hebrew origin meaning “my brother is exalted” but it can mean “friendly to the King” ie in my case Hiram King of Tyre. I am the one referred to in 2 Chronicles 2:13-14 a craftsman of great skill sent from Tyre by Hiram King of Tyre as a result of a formal request sent by King Solomon for workers and for materials to build a new Temple. King Hiram responded “And now I have sent a skilful man, endowed with understanding, Huram my master craftsman (the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre), etc….” In the original Hebrew version of 2 Chronicles 2:13 the phrase translated above as “Huram my master craftsman” is “HWRM ’BY or Hiram ’abi”, the suffix being very close to your pronunciation Abiff.

You should also be aware that I am referred to in 1 Kings 7:13-14, the son of a widow from the tribe of Naphtali the son of a Tyrian bronze worker who was contracted by King Solomon to cast the bronze furnishings and ornate decorations for his new Temple. It is from this reference that I am sometimes referred to as “The Widow’s Son”.

After my fate at the hands of the ruffians and as time passed, the ’abi suffix became Abiff from Old French meaning “the lost one” as I was lost to King Solomon.

In summary I was “Hiram ’abi” because I was friendly with Hiram King of Tyre, the name being corrupted over time to become “Hiram Abiff” when I became the lost one.

So please would you and your readers show me a little courtesy.

Yours fraternally

Hiram Abiff