strong grip of the lion’s paw


in this CNN interview Philando Castile’s mother and uncle spoke with Alisyn Camerota about the death of her son. a tweet that caught my eye mentioned that the interview ended with a prayer.

it was sort of a prayer, but it was something more, as well. after saying thanks for the interview, Clarence Castile added a postscript (22:20). he said, “I’d like to say one thing: Oh, Lord, my God, is there no help for the widow’s son? We’ve got to hang on by the strong grip of the lion’s paw.”

i could tell it was a quote, and it sounded like a biblical reference, but i couldn’t place it. when i googled it, the first thing i found was a bunch of articles about the freemasons. it turns out that the widow’s son was an architect named hiram abiff. Several hirams are mentioned in the old testament, but none of them has a story to match the freemason allegory:

in the story, hiram abiff was the architect for king solomon. he was murdered by 3 of his coworkers as they tried to make him tell them secrets (of the kingdom, or their trade). he was buried, outside the city, in a shallow grave surrounded by a sprig of acacia. it is a parable, and “the themes of the allegory are the importance of fidelity, and the certainty of death.”