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For centuries while El Shaddai stood apart, a great nation had been raised up to Abraham, the children of Israel, and all of them kept the covenant of Abraham even after they migrated from Canaan to Egypt during a “dark ages” which had been triggered by a severe long-term drought. This change in the regional climate also brought about the rapid decline of many advanced Bronze Age civilizations throughout the area of the eastern Mediterranean Sea. But Mastema’s original claim that humans would never remain loyal to Elohim if they were left to themselves utterly failed.

Mastema no longer had valid grounds to call for the destruction of the whole human race. Thus was the oracle of El Shaddai fulfilled when she said to Abraham, “All the earth shall find blessing in you.” El Shaddai would never carry out a demand by Mastema to destroy the human race, and there was nothing Mastema could do to assail mankind from his own remote location. Without a doubt, El Shaddai knew humans were the Students foreseen by the Old One. It was clear Elohim would need to come to terms with human beings and learn to co-exist with them. El Shaddai said it was time to make the announcement to El.

But Mastema thought to move the goal posts and try another delaying tactic. He told El Shaddai that anyone could obey a simple injunction like circumcision, but give the people a comprehensive written law like the Code of Ur-Nammu and they would soon break most of its precepts with abandon.

El Shaddai’s first impulse was to ignore this foot-dragging on Mastema’s part, but she thought at the very least it would present an opportunity to break loose a concession. The children of Israel had grown very numerous but they were not free, and as a nation they had slipped into bondage under Egypt. So El Shaddai would entertain Mastema’s idea for a second test, but to carry it out she required another agent from Barbelo, preferably in the same mold of Melchizedek.

The task that would be laid before this agent was almost inhumanly great. He was to establish himself as the leader and spokesman of the children of Israel in Egypt. He was to negotiate with Pharaoh for their release, or, failing that, lead a revolt to achieve their freedom. He was to lead the house of Israel back to Canaan, the land El Shaddai had promised to Abraham and his progeny, putting down any resistance by the existing inhabitants. And finally he was to give the Immigrants a working legal code that would get their society up and running.

Mastema turned once again to the city of Salem in the far west of the Middle Land and selected Prince Moshe to meet the challenge laid forth by El Shaddai.

After four hundred years of oppression the children of Israel had been beaten down so thoroughly that Moshe found the first challenge, the task of taking up the mantle of leadership for the children of Israel, to be much easier than he had anticipated. After Moshe spoke to the people and got most of them on board with his plan to rescue them, he went before Pharaoh.

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Strangers In Paradise