The capital of Judea, and memorable in Masonic history as the place where was erected the Temple of Solomon. It is early mentioned in Scripture, and is supposed to be the Salem of which Melchizedek was King. At the time that the Israelites entered the Promised Land, the city was in possession of the Jebusites, from whom, after the death of Joshua, it was conquered, and afterward inhabited by the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. The Jebusites were not, however, driven out; and we learn that David purchased Mount Moriah from Ornan or Araunah the Jebusite as a site for the Temple. It is only in reference to this Temple that Jerusalem is connected with the legends of Ancient Craft Freemasonry. In the Degrees of Chivalry it is also important, because it was the city where the holy places were situated, and for the possession of which the Crusaders so long and so bravely contested. It was there, too, that the Templars and the Hospitallers were established as Orders of religious and military knighthood. Modern Speculative Freemasonry was introduced into Jerusalem by the establishment of a Lodge in 1872, the Warrant for which, on the application of Brother Rob Morris and others, was granted by the Grand Lodge of Canada. More recently a Lodge has been warranted in England to meet at Chester, but to be in due course removed to Jerusalem, named King Solomon's Temple, No. 3464. A Lodge was consecrated by English authority in Jerusalem in 1924. The Grand Orient of France has also established a Lodge there.
- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry