A craftsman who builds with brick or stone. (2Ki 12:12; 22:6) The stonemason of ancient times hewed and sawed stones and then used them to construct walls and various kinds of buildings. (2Sa 5:11; 1Ki 7:9-12; 1Ch 22:2; 2Ch 24:12) Other constructions included burial places (Isa 22:16) and water tunnels.—2Ki 20:20.
Among the tools used by masons were the hammer, the ax, the stone saw, the leveling instrument, the measuring line, and the plummet. (1Ki 6:7; 7:9; Isa 28:17; Zec 4:10) As shown on monuments, implements used by Egyptian masons included the mallet and chisel, doubtless also employed by Israelite stonemasons. During construction in Egypt, stones were measured and marked with dark lines, which served as guides for the stonecutters, and each stone’s position in the building was designated by a mark or number placed on it.
Ancient masons were able to dress stones so well that it was not necessary to use mortar. To this day it is impossible to insert a knife blade between the massive stones of certain structural remains in Palestine dating from the Herodian period.—See ARCHITECTURE.