TC015A

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For generations Chokhmah and Keter carried out a test to see if one clan on Earth could maintain a covenant with the elohim without any intervention. The eloah Daat, in the guise of a yang named Israel, made hyz first journey Canaan to see the place with hyz own eyes.

Israel took little thought for his personal safety. Chokhmah said Yakob was more the son of his mother than the son of his father, by all accounts a man who preferred the womanly arts of whispering and plotting to more masculine action on the field of the hunt or battle.

When Israel caught up with Yakob he was crossing the river Jordan. There Yakob sent messengers meet his brother Esau and mention that he had a lot of spare animals, hopefully to smooth over any hard feelings Esau might still have from being cheated out of his Blessing.

Yakob and Esau were twins but Esau had become a cunning hunter, a extroverted man of the field, while Yakob was an introverted man dwelling in tents. Esau derived his "life, and life more abundantly" from the earthly goods which he was able to obtain by his own efforts.

Yakob, as the more interior man, would never be able to compete on those terms. Yet he was a survivor. He would contrive to obtain more abundant life another way. The first step was to claim the Birthright, which entitled Isaac's son to a double share of Abraham's estate.

One time Esau's individualism failed him. He came in from the field famished, literally near death, and begged Yakob for some food. Yakob provided bread and lentil soup, but the price was Isaac's Birthright that was Esau's by dint of being born just moments before Yakob.

Esau was more than willing to trade his Birthright away, so close to death was he. Centuries later one Saulus, a follower of Yeshua (the human avatar of Chokhmah's daughter Binah) would say anyone who did not provide for those of his own house was worse than an infidel.

As it turned out, Esau just needed a little help that one time. So he left with a full stomach and almost convinced himself the Birthright was nothing much anyway. The real prize was the Blessing, which conveyed authority. But Yakob, with Mom's help, would snag that too.

The messengers returned saying that Esau was coming out to meet Yakob with four hundred men, so he divided his caravan in twain. If Esau smote one, the other might escape. Yakob prayed to El Shaddai for deliverance, then set aside a portion of his herd as a gift to Esau.

Yakob sent two hundred twenty goats, two hundred twenty sheep, thirty camels, fifty cattle, twenty asses, and ten foals, which his servants took on ahead to deliver to Esau. As for Yakob himself, he hung back as a rearguard, not against Esau but someone else he spotted.

Yakob hid himself amid thick vegetation near the place where the Zarqa River merged with the Jordan River. When the stranger approached, unaware of Yakob's presence, Yakob assailed him suddenly and there ensued a bitter fistfight that changed into an epic wrestling match.

The stranger kept grasping Yakob's clothing to hurl him around, so Yakob shed his clothing and fought entirely in the nude. Then Israel saw how Abraham's grandson bore the peculiar genital mutilation that Keter had demanded in hyz bid to sabotage Chokhmah's experiment.

So Israel had the answer hy had come to Earth looking for, but there was still the small matter of the ongoing tussle. As they fought Yakob kept asking, "Who are you?" but Israel refused to say. As the night wore on hy grew dismayed how Yakob proved to be so tenacious.

Israel wrenched Yakob's femur out of its socket at the hip, causing intense torment, but Yakob refused to yield. At dawn Israel, a full cubit taller than Yakob and far more bulky, was at the end of his own resources and near exhaustion. He commanded Yakob to let him go.

Yakob said, "I will not release you until you tell me who you are and bless me."

Mastema-Israel said, "No longer shall men call you Yakob, but Israel, for you have contended with gods and men alike, and you have prevailed, and you have even wrested my name away, and taken it for your own."

Yakob said, "I will never release you until you tell me who you are and bless me!"

Israel said, "No longer shall men call you Yakob. You are Israel. For you have contended even with a god, and you have prevailed. You have wrested my name away and taken it for your own."

Then Yakob unhanded the bruised, living avatar of Daat, nameless now. Hy had sufficient dark energy banked to crack open a fold-door little more than a cubit tall, just enough to wriggle back into heaven like a maggot, and hy never came again closer than the Earth's moon.

Three of Israel's sons found Pop beaten and unable to stand with a dislocated hip. Two of them held him down with a bit between his teeth while the third popped it back in place. With help he was able rejoin his wives, but he walked with a limp for the rest of his life.

Esau drew near with his men. Israel put forth his eleven children with their four mothers, then passed in front of them and bowed before his brother. And to Israel's everlasting surprise, Esau did not strike him, but rather embraced and kissed him, and they both wept.

So the great family feud was ended, if there ever had been a feud. After Yakob had fled many years prior, Esau soon forgot that his Blessing had been stolen by his twin, since he obtained most of Isaac's possessions anyway, and after that he had come to miss his brother.

Israel introduced his children and their mothers to Esau, and he begged his brother to accept the gift of herd animals he had already sent to him, saying, "Take them please, my lord, because El Shaddai has dealt graciously with me, and I have enough. More than enough!"

Throughout the meeting Israel was courteous to his brother and called him "my lord" though the Blessing required Esau to call Israel lord. The love Israel had for his brother outshone all that. And Esau assured Israel that none of his men gave Israel his ass kicking.

Esau agreed to go on ahead because Israel had children and young animals and a limp, and he could not travel very fast. So they parted on good terms and both brothers rejoiced that things had transpired so. When next they met, in a year, it was to bury their father Isaac.

Israel would ponder the strange nighttime fight for the rest of his life, whenever his limp prompted him. Ultimately he drew the conclusion that El Shaddai had sent a thrall to put him to the test, even as his grandfather had been tested with an order to slay his father.

Isaac had little love for the God of his father after his brush with death, and this ambivalence seemed to breed true in Esau, who didn't know what to say when he helped Israel lay their father to rest. Israel was the more devout son, made all the more so by the fight.

As the head of his large and still-growing family Israel was also the high priest who mediated the covenant El Shaddai had initiated with his grandfather, but only his third son, Levi, seemed willing to aid him in making the required yearly sacrifice of the best animals.

Israel knew he could do a thing that would assure his progeny would never dwindle in their devotion to El Shaddai, simply by making it in the best interest of his son Levi, and Levi's sons after him, to maintain that devotion. This he did by forbidding them to own land.

Israel lived to see his family grow to seventy persons, and when he died there was no single patriarch holding authority over all his descendants. But the seed of Levi scattered among their kin and dependent upon them for necessities became the glue that united the clan.

When Levi died, his son Kohath became high priest. He introduced the special garments that the progeny of Levi wore when they made burnt offerings to El Shaddai. And his son Amram was wed to his sister Yochebed, for such close marriages were not yet forbidden by the Law.

During the lifetime of Amram the children of Israel increased in numbers to became a tribe. Some tended wandering herds of livestock as Israel had done, but others settled in the hill country east of the great sea where reliable rains made it possible to grow food crops.

When Amram's son Aaron became high priest, Chokhmah left in his keeping a fired clay tablet, charcoal in color, with ten lines of proto-Sinaitic cuniform characters into which molten gold had been poured. This was the Abrahamic covenant, but Aaron couldn't read a word.

Nevertheless the origin of the tablet was literally out of this world. Aaron's son Eleazar built a chest of wood to contain the relic, and with his brothers Nadab, Abihu and Ithamar he would carry it before Aaron from settlement to settlement among the children of Israel.

By the time Eleazar begat his son Phinehas the twelve clans of Israel had become tribes in their own right, and sufficient gold had been collected by the Levites to completely cover the cabinet containing the tablet of the covenant. The ark became itself a holy relic.

It would not do to let the now holy ark to be exposed to the elements, so the high priest Phinehas caused a tent of fine linen and the skins of animals to be constructed to cover it. By the time his son Abishua became high priest even this tent had become holy in turn.

So the extra special fort of blankets was covered by even more blankets, and accessed on the day of atonement through a run-of-the-mill fort of blankets. The first time Abishua did this, Chokhmah spoke to him from the ark of the covenant and told him to remove the tablet.

Chokhmah walked Abishua through the ten lines of gold embossed symbols on the black tablet that captured the Abrahamic covenant, beginning with the first declaration, "I AM YOUR LORD GOD." In generations to come on "I AM" or "Yahweh" would be taken to be Chokhmah's name.

Chokhmah told Abishua the next line (and first imperative) said "SERVE NO OTHER GODS" and in the future this would seem strange to the children of Israel after they came to believe Yahweh was the only God in existence, and there were no other gods to serve in any event.

The next imperative was "COUNTENANCE NO INJUSTICE" and this had led to the rise of courts and judges to settle disputes within and between the twelve tribes and to punish wrongdoers. There was among the people a deep reluctance to testify falsely or to break solemn oaths.

The fourth row on the tablet said, "CRAVE NOTHING OF ANOTHER" and struck at the impulse that led to theft or even adultery. This was followed by "DO NOT IMITATE THE STRANGERS' WAYS" which prohibited everything from setting up idols to engaging in homosexual relations.

The sixth precept was Daat's contribution to the experiment. It said, "DO NOT CONSUME BLOOD" and there was no objective reason for this to be included. It was a capricious whim introduced merely to test the willingness of the human participants to adhere to the covenant.

The line items proscribing the ingestion of pork and shellfish were from Chokhmah, who thought they might prevent food-borne ailments. When archaeologists dug up sites in Canaan thousands of years later the Israelite towns were the ones entirely missing remains of pigs.

Keter's favorite one was there too, commanding the males among the Israelites to be circumcised. He threw it in there to sabotage the whole operation, but they did it anyway, even unto the third generation as Daat confirmed, and there was ample evidence they still did so.

The final imperative written on the tablet was to observe the annual day of atonement, and this represented the sole opportunity Chokhmah had, according to the original conditions of the long experiment, to have direct contact with the people through the high priest.

As far as Chokhmah was concerned the experiment was effectively over. Keter could no longer call for the destruction of the human race on the grounds of disobedience. In this way Chokhmah's promise to Abraham that "all the Earth shall find blessing in you" was fulfilled.

By conversing with the high priest and shaping facts on the ground Chokhmah was able to gradually increase their influence until, culminating in Eli, they became judges over the whole confederation of tribes. But contact was limited to a yearly basis and hence inflexible.

What Chokhmah wanted was a prophet, but not like Zadkiel, who had gotten his marching orders while groveling at the feet of Keter. What she did instead was use a small fold-door to leave a gadget the size of a grain of rice inside the head of a young man named Samuel.

Then she would tell Samuel to go around saying things like on a certain day at such-and-such a valley the Philistines would be swallowed by the Earth, and sure enough, a sinkhole would open under the feet of a company of Philistines, making them easy pickings for archers.

On occasion, very rarely since Chokhmah was not nearly as cruel as Keter, the Philistines would be the victims of divine fire. More frequently, she would relay to Israelite army commanders, through Samael, intelligence on enemy movements. By degrees Canaan fell in line.

Chokhmah communicated to Samuel that the religious function of the meeting tent, or tabernacle, should be transferred to a permanent structure to fulfill her original promise of making Canaan the permanent home of the children of Israel. She chose the city of Jerusalem.

It took twenty years to build the temple and Samuel did not live to see its completion. But when it was finished the chieftain of the Judahites, Rehoboam, thought it lent a sufficiently beautiful and glorious ambiance to Jerusalem that he declared himself to be a king.

Not to be outdone, Jeroboam of the Ephraimites put on kingly robes himself. He built up his capital first at Shechem in the saddle between Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal, but them moved his court to Penuel east of the Jordan River where Jacob once fought Israel to a draw.

To prevent the people from going down to the new temple in Jerusalem to worship there, Jeroboam set up a golden calf at Bethel and told everyone it was God Most High all along, and the feast days for the golden calf were timed to coincide with the feast days in Jerusalem.

Nadab succeeded Jeroboam upon his father's death and reigned as king for two years before falling prey to a plot among the officers within his own army. He was slain by Captain Baasha of the tribe of Issachar, who made himself king and waged war against Judah continually.

Baasha was succeeded by his son Elah, but Elah drank to excess and was slain by General Zimri, who commanded half of his charioteers. Then Zimri destroyed the whole house of Baasha, leaving no male heir alive. He ascended to the throne himself in yet another palace coup.

But when news spread that Zimri had set himself up as king in Elah's stead, the army proclaimed General Omri as the true king of Samaria and marched from Gibbethon to lay siege to Tirzah for a week. Zimri let the palace burn around himself rather than be captured alive.

But the Israelites of the northern territories outside of the two tribes of Joseph held forth that Tibni was their king rather than this Omri. Civil war raged four years until Tibni was slain, but following this bloodshed was a long peace even with Tyre and the Judahites.

King Omri was strong enough to make Samaria the greatest power between the Nile and Euphrates rivers during the time of turmoil when the Bronze Age made an uneasy transition to the Iron Age. Omri ruled for twelve years and when he died he left the kingdom to his son Ahab.

Early in his reign Ahab forged an alliance with the Phoenicians by gaining the hand of Princess Jezebel in marriage. Her father was both king of Tyre and a priest of the fertility goddess Astarte. Jezebel herself had been trained to attend to Baal, the consort of Astarte.

The rot started small. Queen Jezebel needed a shrine to keep up her Baal priestess certification so Ahab caused one to be made for her in the city of Samaria. But Baal looked so lonely there all by himself, not moving an inch. He needed a shrine for his wife Astarte too.

By slow degrees the Phoenician shrines multiplied in Samaria, and with them their attendant priests and priestesses. There was a new prosperity that came with the alliance and the people grew willing to accept the religious encroachments of their glamorous new queen.

When King Jeroboam first set up an image of a golden calf at Bethel and told his subjects it was El Elyon, or God Most High, there wasn't much Chokhmah could say about it. A ban on making idols wasn't part of the original Abrahamic covenant and even the ark had sphinxes.

But bringing over from Tyre the priests and idols of pre-existing gods was too much for Chokhmah to stomach. And a man named Elijah thought so too. He made it a hobby to get in the king's face about the issue and constantly reminded His Majesty that his God was Yahweh.

At last Queen Jezebel got tired of the insolence of this Elijah and convinced her husband to bring matters to a head with a public demonstration. Two altars were prepared with slain bulls. The first priest who could get his god to magically light a bull on fire wins.

Jezebel, who considered religion as a political tool, thought it was much more likely that neither god would actually strike fire, in which case the arrangement was for Elijah to speak no more to the king of Yahweh and allow the people to choose which would be their god.

When Baal seemed to be taking his own sweet time setting his bull aflame his chief priest called in forty reinforcements to wail and plead and rip their garments and pluck hairs from their heads and beards. Elijah called for jugs of water and completely dowsed his bull.

It was show time. Chokhmah opened a small fold-door inside her bull and allowed a small burst of hot plasma from the upper layers of her stellar body to slip across. It was enough to kindle the fat in the bull and get it burning despite being entirely soaked in water.

There is nothing like a spectacular public miracle to renew a people's loyalty to their God. The spirit of the crowd was such that Elijah was able to incite them to deadly violence against the priests of Baal standing there, although Chokhmah never asked him to do it.

Neither was Chokhmah able to much influence the ebb and flow of Levantine geopolitics. Two major defeats at the hands of Aramean kings brought Samaria under a foreign yoke, only to be reversed when Damascus was defeated in turn by the resurgent Assyrians of Mesopotamia.

During the forty-one year reign of King Jeroboam II Samaria attained the greatest prosperity it had ever known. The population grew to 350,000 people. They worshiped the golden calves at Bethel and Dan but at least they paid lip-service and called them images of Yahweh.

But a massive earthquake that killed many thousands of people seemed to herald a decline in the fortune of Samaria that was concurrent with the rise of the Assyrians into the first true empire the world had ever seen and the model for all empires which would follow.

By order of the Assyrian king the people of the tribes of Dan, Asher, Naphtali, Zebulun, Issachar, Gad, Reuben, and half of Manasseh were relocated to lands far to the east. The planning for the move took longer than the actual transfer and the logistics were flawless.

No one was marched east at the business end of a whip, and many even went willingly. The Israelites were a remarkably literate people, and there were positions to be had in the Assyrian civil service. But they were relocated according to a plan that disturbed Chokhmah.

The exiles were assigned plots in locations chosen such that when it was time for their children to find mates it was easier for them to run across one of the locals rather than their fellow exiles. No one was compelled to intermarry, but the end result was the same.

Twelve years later Sargon II completed the conquest of Samaria. The remaining people of Manesseh and all of Ephraim were exiled to Medea. The northern kingdom had entirely ceased to exist, leaving only the tribes of Simeon, Benjamin, Judah, and some Levites in the south.

Chokhmah understood the logic of the Assyrian policy of relocation from their point of view. It was an effective way of dealing with nationalism. But she had told Abraham a mighty nation would spring from his loins and she would not be held faithless in the covenant.

So Chokhmah exercised her option to bring colonists to heaven. It was an arrangement she had hammered out with Keter when the father of the Israelites was yet living in the household of his own father Isaac. They were constrained to settle Haaretz west of the Wall of God.

The price of the arrangement was that every "agent" (Keter's word) that Chokhmah brought to heaven could be matched by one of his own brought to the worlds circling her, at a time of his choosing. But Chokmah, in turn, insisted they may only settle in the outer system.

Chokhmah sent angels to choose righteous families from among the tribe of Ephraim. They built the city of Hadal far in the northeast of Haaretz, in a cool vale between Shaula Wood and the very face of the Wall of God. Hadal became the leading city in the kingdom of Nath.

The tribe of Levi founded Adjara on the western edge of the Shaula Wood. It became a great crossroads in the land and the center of a weapons craft that rivaled that of the Black Beards. In time the heavenly Temple of Yahweh would be constructed in the heart of the city.

The Reubenites built Mizal near Mount Narutha but the lee of the uplands was dry and impoverished. Ever they struck north against the Red Beards of Linan for the rich fruit of the orchards round about that city, and stole much cattle. At length the newcomers prevailed.

The tribe of Gad founded their city of Kabark on a plain that also lacked for water. So they built a mighty dam of cunning stonework across the river Armak and dug many canals and ditches fanning from the resulting lake to water lush farms that became the envy of Haaretz.

The tribe of Dan built the city of Fatho at the foot of the Wall of God where many natural caves lay. The Danites delved deep with pick and spade to reap precious stones and much gold. And these five tribes comprised the Kingdom of Nath in the north and east of Haaretz.

The colonists Chokhmah transplanted from among the tribe of Issachar were settled in the Nyduly forest. This wood stretched along the southern bank of the river Sabik. The people grew skilled in felling and shaping timber, and they excelled in all manner of woodcraft.

The tribe of Zebulun settled far up the vale of the Nanki on the road between the Saiph League and the kingdom of Nath. There caravans transferred their goods to rafts fashioned from logs felled from the endless forests of pine blanketing the foothills of the Wall of God.

At the midpoint of its long course the river Nanki tumbled over a series of cataracts that would dash any cargo-carrying rafts to splinters. Here the tribe of Asher portaged the goods to new rafts made from the same logs sent individually down sluices to below the falls.

Descendants of Naphtali built Wazol at the very source of the river Sabik, and 19,000 vertical feet of the stone Wall of God fairly loomed over it. Here the Catwalk of legend touched bottom. The mines of Wazol offered much iron ore, and well as the coal used to smelt it.

Refugees taken from the tribe of Manessah built Menkant in the valley of the upper Sabik between Mount Rasal and Mount Menkant. Their settlement grew to become the leading city among the five tribes in the south of Haaretz. In time these became the kingdom of Hamar.

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