Once a color of shame, now a color and emblem of Salvation. No other symbol or emblem ties the whole Masonic structure together like the Scarlet Line. As we trace it through the Judeo Christian world through the scriptures of the Holy Bible, reading the rich history of the line’s beginning, the strange twists it takes through out its many side trips, one can get a true grasp on the whole fabric of Freemasonry and what the underlying lesson is. Scarlet or Red, (the name does not really matter) are the dual meanings found at various times and places.
To Esau (Genesis Chapter 25:25), it was Red, for he was born red. He sought red pottage from his brother Jacob and sold his birthright to get it. A birthright gave the person all the possessions of his father. So Esau was left penniless, and full of hatred. For him, the color red was a color of shame and hatred.
To Judah, it was Scarlet, the color of prostitution. Judah went into his daughter in law Tamar, who later bore him twins (Genesis 38:28). As the oldest was to receive the birthright, the scarlet cord was put on Zarahs hand but, Pharez came out first. Pharez’s line took the cord down to Egypt and were the descendants of Judah.
Note: Ruth 4:18-22 points out the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron, Hezron begat Ram, Ram begat Amminadab, Amminadab begat Nahshon, Nahshon begat Salmon, Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.
The Scarlet line was passed to Salmon and Rahab, the Heroine of Jericho. Rahab arguably was a harlot in the walls of Jericho and her dress was in scarlet. She let the spies escape out her window by a Scarlet cord and hung a scarlet line in her window as a sign of redemption and acceptance (Joshua 2:1). Rahab and Salmon passed the Scarlet line to Ruth and Boaz.
Ruth played the harlot by sleeping at Boaz’s feet on the threshing floor (Ruth 3:7). They passed the line to Obed, their son. He passed it on to his son Jesse. David and Bathsheba passed it on to Solomon until we come to Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem where we find the end of the Scarlet Line, Jesus Christ.
Jesus was clothed in a Scarlet robe (Matthew 27:28) as an emblem of shame; a material of unseamed substance. He died on the cross so that we can live. After three days, Jesus rose again.
The Scarlet Line had come full circle from shame to salvation, and in all its travels, the whole scope of freemasonry is taken into view. The Scarlet Line reunited several houses along the way. The house of Salmon and the house of Ham through Rahab, the house of Abraham through Boaz and the house of Lot through Ruth, the Moab. The house of Shem through David and the house of Ham through Bathsheba all united to bring forth a man to wear the scarlet Robe, Jesus.
From the color of shame to the emblem of salvation, touching upon the Blue lodge, Royal Arch, Eastern Star, Heroine of Jericho, Guild, Golden Circle, Consistory, and Knights Templar, all in have been touched bythe Scarlet Line.