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Council of Princes of Jerusalem

Updated: Sep 14, 2022

The second portion of the Scottish Rite system of degrees is called The Council of Princes of Jerusalem.

The Council of Princes of Jerusalem confers the 15th and 16th degrees, known as the historical degrees. These two degrees explore the conflicts and politics in the rebuilding of the Temple of Solomon.

The name of this body refers to a character in the 16th degree who is conferred the title of Prince of Jerusalem.

In the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction the Degrees of the Council of Princes are:

15th Degree - Knight of the East

This degree teaches us to emulate Zerubbabel who, even when tempted, would not violate his obligations.

Philosophy: Loyalty to conviction, fidelity to duty, and devotion to truth are the essences of integrity. Core Values: Integrity

16th Degree - Prince of Jerusalem

The court of King Darius contemplates what motivates man.

Philosophy: We learn that devotion to truth surpasses secular motivations.

Core Values: Reverence for God

These degrees teach the Core Values of the Rite:

  • Secrecy and silence in all confidential relationships

  • Reverence and obedience to God

  • Faithfulness to family and country

  • Justice tempered by mercy

  • Universal Brotherhood

  • Honesty in business relations

  • Forgiveness of past injustices

  • Perseverance in overcoming the difficulties encountered in our progress toward perfection


In the Southern Masonic Jurisdiction, the 15° and 16° degrees are part of the Rose Croix Chapter which is the second of the 4 Southern Jurisdiction bodies.

15th Degree – Knight of the East

This degree teaches that it is not possible to keep people in slavery once they know the value of liberty and can decide for themselves how to defend it. Likewise, it is not possible to defeat Masonry by attacking it; for we are building the Temple of liberty, equality, and fraternity in the souls of men and nations.

16th Degree – Prince of Jerusalem

This degree emphasizes the fact that one must use every means to be beneficial for the society in which one lives. We not only set our own example for our society, but we enlist the aid of our Brothers. Together, Masons are custodians of freedom. Our charge is to leave a noble heritage to those who follow us in this world. We build temples of the Living God in our hearts by following the truths of justice, equity, morality, wisdom, labor, fidelity, and Brotherhood-so that the collective liberties for mankind can be protected.

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