Many attempts have been made to explain the significance of this title ; thus according to Doctor Mackey, it is derived from three Hebrew words, zhiln, meaning brothers;.. Doctor Dalcho Ahiman Rezon of South Carolina, page , second edition derives it from ahi, a brother, manah, to prepare, and rezon, secret, so that, as he says, " Abiman Rezon literally means the secrets of a prepared brother. Although rezon may come from ratzon, a will or law, it can hardly be elected by any rules of etymology out of the Chaldee word raz, meaning a secret, the termination in on being wanting; and furthermore the book called the Ahiman Rezon does not contain the secrets, but only the public laws of Freemasonry. The derivation of Dalcho seems therefore inadmissible. Not less so is that of Brother W.
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They constituted the title of the Book of Constitutions, used by the division of Freemasons, which separated from the Grand Lodge of England in , and have since become the usual designation of such works in this country. The inference is obvious that there was a spurious work under this title then extant.
An inquiry into their meaning is, therefore, not irrelevant. I have met with no exposition of the signification of this phrase, except in the edition first published in South Carolina by Dr. The following is Dr. The literal translation of ahiman is a prepared brother, from manah, to prepare; and that of rezon, secret. So that Ahiman Rezon literally means the secrets of a prepared brother. It is likewise supposed to be a corruption of achi man ratzon, the thoughts or opinions of a true and faithful brother.
The derivations do not appear to be in accordance with the structure of the Hebrew language if the words be Hebrew ; and the phrase, with this view of its derivation, has no grammatical construction. Now, if the phrase under consideration was intended to import "the secrets of a prepared brother," the construction would have been, according to the example just p. But there are further objections to this rendering of the phrase into English.
Its stem-letter is doubled, and the vowel sound softened; it is pronounced minnah, and its derivative should be ahiminnah. MACKEY thus renders it:—"This title is derived from three Hebrew words—ahim, brothers; manah, to select or appoint; and ratzon, the will or law—and it, consequently, signifies "the law of appointed or selected brothers.
General Ahiman Rezon