A craftsman who builds with brick or stone. (2 Ki. 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. (2 Sam. 5:11; 1 Ki. 7:9-12; 1 Chron. 22:2; 2 Chron. 24:12) Other constructions included burial places (Isa. 22:16) and water tunnels.—2 Ki. 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. (1 Ki. 6:7; 7:9; Isa. 28:17; Zech. 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, 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 as to make it unnecessary 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.