A lone kohein of the authority stood upon a hillside and watched a funeral procession proceed into the field where the burial would take place. It was in fact Abraham’s funeral he witnessed from his hidden vantage point. Abraham died at a ripe, old age, but during his life. The authority reflected pensively on how Abraham had garnered much wealth, both for himself and the kohanim.
The authority had known they would be hard pressed to replace their prized producer. This would not be an easy task for Abraham had a certain directed proclivity; a natural knack for successfully carrying out the priesthood’s outrageous schemes.
The funeral procession proceeded to the field outside a village called Heth, where Abraham had laid his wife Sarah to rest. It would be fitting that his sepulcher would also be located in Nashon’s field where he had made his last real finesse in forcing the sale of that property.
As the funeral procession made its way home from the cave, Abraham’s son Isaac wandered off from the mourners to make his way into the hills toward a pre-established destination where the angent awaited his arrival.
As Isaac approached, the angent hailed, “Ho! Isaac! Know that your half brother Ishmael has many sons and though they be mamsers, they are a welcome addition in service to our people of the pure blood for they will be our destabilizing force in the land of Canaan. Remember this well Isaac, while not fully imbued with the purity of our blood, these people are still half-bloods born of your father Abraham.”
Isaac prostrated obsequiously before the angent. “Of this I am aware, but why do you say this to me as you well know Rebekah is barren. I have long pondered the fact that most of the parents of those born of the pure blood are brother and sister and are frequently barren, or worse, have misshapen children who are at best, naught but a burden to their parents.”
The angent replied, “This has been noted and we have made provisions to address this problem. We have allotted two boys to be brought unto you and your wife from our private stock of children sired by our pure blood. These two boys shall in time be known as your sons. These two sons shall be the basis for the two tribes we have planned for this region. Know this, we shall create dissension among these two tribes and will use the resulting schism to divide them. This artificially induced strife will ensure our continuing rule over them and their children.”
And so Rebekah began arranging her robes in the same manner as Sarah had and in the proper span of time, two sons were brought forth. Now one of these boys was of a red, ruddy complexion and stout constitution. The other was born blue in complexion and was of a weak and sickly constitution. The red boy was called Esau while his blue brother was called Ya’qub. In the Semitic language, Ya’qub denotes a swindler, trickster or liar; one who always puts himself first.
In the fullness of time Esau became noted for his great strength and speed. He enjoyed the outdoors and all things wild and untamed. Esau was a man’s man, one renowned for his honest and forthright manner. Yet Esau was also considered to be somewhat slow of wit, gullible and a poor judge of character while his brother was of an antithetical nature, being weak and effeminate, but clever and quick of wit.
Ya’qub preferred the protected confines of his mother’s tent or the companionship of a crowd. Much in the manner of character often noted among the weaker sex, Ya’qub was devious, cunning, a sharp judge of character and totally without scruples.
Rebekah’s attentions were primarily directed towards Ya’qub to whom she taught domestic skills, like cooking, weaving and water drawing much as she would have taught a daughter. She dressed Ya’qub in soft, silken, robes and worried his complexion with regular bathing.
Esau on the other hand was much favored by his father Isaac, who taught him manly skills like hunting, archery and military tactics. Esau was rough in nature and dressed in animal skins and much to his mother’s chagrin, frequently went for days without bathing.
Eventually there came a day when Ya’qub was in the field tending his sheep. Much like any other day, he watched over his flock while stirring a pot of simmering meat and lentils. It was on that fateful day, Esau came stumbling out of the scrub in a state of utter exhaustion. He had been unsuccessful in his hunting and was now almost totally depleted of strength. His mind clouded by hunger, he now came upon Ya’qub with his cooking pot.
Esau staggered forth into Ya’qub’s camp and falling to the ground, hungrily eyed the stew simmering over the fire. Ya’qub instantly realized, his brother’s exhaustion quite literally presented a golden opportunity. Long had he chafed over the idea of his father favoring Esau.
Ya’qub well knew that women of the pure blood had no rights, no legal standing, and could not own property, therefore his sole hope for an inheritance would be through his father. But Esau, being the firstborn son and a much favored one at that, would undoubtedly receive all of Isaac’s blessings of power and authority, along with his wealth. For his part, Ya’qub would be lucky to receive even a single shekel for an inheritance. With this in mind, he picked up his spoon and began stirring the pot to better waft the odor towards his brother’s nostrils.
In a small voice tinged with desperation, Esau commented, “Ya’qub that smells like mighty fine stew cooking in your pot. Mother always said you were the best cook in our tent. Until now I have had my doubts. Perhaps you could give me a taste of your stew to put this argument to rest.”
Drawing a spoonful of the succulent broth, Ya’qub thought, Fool, even an idiot like you should know that hunger makes the best cook.
Inhaling the stew’s steaming vapors long and hard, Ya’qub craftily presented his ploy, “So big boy, you want for a taste of my delicious, mouth watering, red pottage? This broth alone is fit for a king’s feast. A single bowl might even be worth a king’s ransom or even an inheritance.”
Esau replied, “Yes my brother, it might well be worth an inheritance, for if I do not eat I will not survive our father.”
Ya’qub then presented an exchange, “Such a deal I have for you my brother! Promise me your share of the inheritance and you shall eat well this day.”
Esau replied, “As an honest man, I give my word, share your stew with me and you shall have my full share of our father Isaac’s inheritance, cross my heart and hope to become a sacrifice to YHVH.”
Beaming, Ya’qub held forth a steaming bowl of stew to his brother, in trade for what now became his rightful inheritance.
Now it so happened, at this time there was great hunger and suffering throughout the land. As the suffering began impacting the people of the region, an angent of the authority arrived at Isaac’s camp.
“Ho! Isaac, the authority extends its greetings to you and your tribe.”
Isaac returned the greeting and with sweeping movement, bade the angent entry into his tent. Situating themselves upon lush carpets and pillows unusual to the people of that region, Isaac asked, “To what honor do I owe this visit to my camp by the sacred authority of the pure blood?”
A slave entered the tent with refreshments. Taking the cup of blood and milk offered by the slave, the agent continued, “As you know, there is great suffering throughout the land and from this suffering great profit will be created. However, we are not ready to reap this windfall, for Ishmael’s bloodline has yet to reach a critical point of influence among the Egyptians.
“In the interim, we now command you to return to the land of Gerar and once again make a deal with the king of the Philistines, the one called Abimelech. In the past this king has repeatedly groveled in obsequious fealty to our authority. We now plan to lean upon him once again to increase our wealth and power.
“Our plan is to accomplish this increase through the auspices of your representation. Therefore make your residence in Gerar, do as we command and it will go well with you and your kin. Know that your father Abraham did as we commanded, loyally keeping his covenant with our authority, for this reason we have chosen you as his replacement.”
By the end of the following week Isaac had folded his tent and moved to Gerar. Upon his arrival at the village, the men of Gerar asked, “Who is this ugly woman, squat of body and single brow, accompanying you?”
Isaac replied exactly as the authority had commanded him, “This is my sister.”
One of the men mused loudly, “A most reasonable explanation for allowing her company.”
For a time Isaac and Rebekah dwelt anonymously in Gerar. It was not long however before Abimelech noted their presence among his people and heard Isaac’s claims concerning Rebekah.
One day, the king witnessed Isaac in a less than brotherly embrace with Rebekah. The king called them both into his chambers saying, “What is the manner of this deception? Why have you claimed this woman as your sister when clearly she is your wife? Is this not Abraham’s sister act played out once again?”
Isaac replied, “My lord, I greatly feared that had I said she was my wife, it would not go well with me for the men of Gerar would attack me in outrage with murder in their hearts.”
The king paused and leveling a long hard look, first towards Isaac then to Rebekah, he scoffed, “Yeah right, I know you people of the pure blood and how greatly you shed the sweat of a crocodile in fear of persecution. What’s more I well remember this same deception made by your father! Am I to once again face extortion by the authority’s people? Though from her appearance I would be hard pressed to believe it possible, had any man of Gerar touched your “sister” they no doubt would have brought the authority’s golden guilt upon this kingdom, guilt that I know from experience can be very costly indeed!
Your father came to Gerar previously with this very same deception, why have you now returned to my domain?! I made a pact with Abraham as a representative of the authority; he swore that neither he nor his descendents would ever bother me or my people again, but here you stand before me claiming your wife as your sister! Why has the authority broken their covenant with me? They prove themselves to be liars, cheats and thieves!”
In even tone, Isaac replied, “Calm yourself my lord, you are correct in what you say, I have replaced my father Abraham and I am in fact the authority’s chosen representative. In truth, we have returned to your kingdom to extort yet more wealth. But know there is nothing you can do, for your small kingdom does not have the strength to rebuke the power of the authority, therefore you will abide us in this land until such time we feel it is appropriate to depart from this place.
Once again a king, groveled in fearful submission to the authority’s power and allowed the two lawful admission to his kingdom. Even so, Abimelech decreed throughout the land that whomever approached these two people of the pure blood; whomever approached Rebekah or bargained with Isaac, would suffer death.
Upon hearing Abimelech’s decree, the authority immediately dispatched an angent to Gerar to seek an audience with the king. The moment the angent passed through the gate, word reached Abimelech of his presence. Knowing his intent, he quickly dispatched a guard to escort the angent to his chambers.
Bowing slightly, the angent said, “My lord, your recent decree effectively ostracizes our representative Issac, shutting him out of all local commerce. Obviously his inability to do business among your people will soon starve these two away from this region. Most assuredly, such an act will be looked upon as one of retribution; therefore it may not go well for your kingdom. For this reason we humbly petition you to carefully reconsider your position on this matter.”
Abimelech mumbled, “Humbly? Such a term I have never heard from the authority. What need precipitates this false humility?”
The angent responded, “Need? There is no need, we merely use the term to demonstrate our respect for your authority over these people.”
Abimelech sighed dejectedly, “Yeah, right.”
And so, by the time the angent left Gerar, the king had reconsidered the matter and rescinded his decree. Yet, he remained steadfast in his decree for meeting out death to any man who approached Rebekah.
Isaac soon began working the people of Gerar, trading gold and silver trinkets and baubles with them. As his wealth grew, Isaac found it advantageous to loan money to those in need, but he did this only on the demand of great price.
All too frequently a debtor would find Isaac had assumed his herds and slaves and other property in return for payment on his loan. This might not have been considered unreasonable were it not for the fact that Isaac would insist on payment in far greater proportion than what he had originally loaned.
Worse, the longer the borrower held his loan, the greater the increase in his debt. Despite the great suffering caused by these practices, the king allowed Isaac to continue this legal form of extortion.
The authority’s agreement now paid off by allowing Isaac to extract an even greater amount of wealth at the expense of the native inhabitants of Gerar. In time Isaac came to own their great herds of sheep, cattle, slaves, gold and silver. Soon his corrupt dealings reduced the people of Gerar to a state of penury and starvation.
This happened because, the people of Gerar were a trusting people. In their own dealings they held to principals of truth and honesty. Anyone who dealt dishonestly in their business was usually shunned by the Gerarans. However, as the offer of quick, borrowed wealth was too much to resist, more people continued to borrow from Isaac.
One of the main business principals embraced by Isaac was that a buyer should know the seller. Therefore a buyer should not rely on trust and honesty, but on the fact that a seller would be disposed to do whatever was in the seller’s best interest to make his gain and promote his business.
It was due to this basic difference in attitudes that the people of Gerar frequently found themselves at odds with Isaac, for they believed in truth and honesty over material gain and found themselves hard pressed to deal otherwise. For this reason they typically felt disadvantaged by Isaac’s manner of sharp dealing.
In turn, Isaac began viewing the people of Gerar as gullible fools who should have known better than to agree to such corrupt deals. When an argument would erupt over some matter of business, Isaac would cry out, “You know who I am and you knew my terms, why then do you protest my price or cry foul when I demand payment?”
Although deep within their souls, borrowers felt something was not right with Isaac’s claim, they could find no direct argument with the logic. They watched in dismay as greater and greater amounts of their wealth were transferred to Isaac even as their king refused to take the slightest action in their favor. Understandably the Gerarans soon began to feel rising animosity towards Isaac’s authority and his people of the pure blood.
Because the Philistines had previously encountered Abraham and the power of his authority, they now found the very same problems inherent in his son Isaac. Understandably these people now greatly desired to be rid of the pernicious presence of the people of the pure blood. In their hopes of achieving this, the Philistines would go about surreptitiously filling in all the water wells belonging to Isaac, thus depriving the authority of water for their cattle throughout the Philistine’s land.
Isaac would send out slaves to dig new wells and open the old ones, filled by the Philistines in their vain attempt to rid him from their midst. As soon as Isaac established a well, the Philistine herdsmen would move in to claim the water rights saying, “This is our land and our water, you have no rights to this land or water.”
Because the people of the pure blood refused to honor Philistine property rights, small violent feuds soon began to engulf the region. It was then the authority came once again to aid their chosen people with their small, but disciplined army of enforcers known as the Wrath of YHVH. Before long the Philistines found themselves driven from their rightful land and water resources.
To celebrate his victory, Isaac threw a lavish feast. As the people began reveling madly in celebration of their new found dominance over the region, Isaac spoke in a loud commanding voice. “My brothers, once again our authority has smiled upon us for they have given us this land and its water rights! For this abundant providence, we now provide a sacrifice of our finest cattle.”
Suddenly an angent came into the camp dragging with him a young girl of fair hair and skin. Gagged and bound, she was held captive by stout cord. The angent said, “This prisoner is a daughter of the Philistines. She was taken as a rightful slave, and is therefore to be counted among the sacrifices offered unto us; her life is now forfeit as payment for the Philistines resistance to our authority.”
Issac’s men quickly constructed a sacrificial alter of stones. The whimpering girl was brought forth and placed upon the alter where she was slaughtered in traditional sacrificial manner. Her throat slit ear to ear, the pumping blood was caught in a golden bowl for sprinkling upon the altar.
The young girl’s sacrificial death marked the beginning of the festivities. Throughout the night, the blood of the young girl, mingled with that of other sacrifices, flowed freely as the Issac and his men danced around the alter in frenzied bloodlust. The night’s festivities represented little more than a barely controlled form of complete insanity.
As the night wore on into the blackest hours before dawn, the people of the pure blood howled ever more madly. Their frenzy increased to fever pitch, for they were now at a level of bloodlust that only the people of the pure blood could attain.
In wild, abandoned ecstasy produced by the oozing blood of the young girl, they began butchering her remains, breaking her joints and eating her flesh while burning her viscera upon the alter as sweet savor to the power of the authority.
Throughout the celebration Melchizedek looked down from a vantage point atop his mountain stronghold to admire his handiwork. He smiled as he saw the greasy smoke from the flesh of the butchered girl rise into the sky for this was proof that his breeding selection had taken hold among his chosen people.
Here the sage elaborated upon the story. “This is the lesson of compound interest. A lesson of how to harvest the wealth of a people by charging usurious interest rates on loans. Once again we find nit-picking legality coming into play in support of criminal actions. Isaac maintains that since he warned the Philistines about his business practices that they had taken responsibility for his dealings. This is like catching a thief in the night robbing your house and having the thief say, ‘you knew it was dark and you knew thieves like me are out after dark, therefore you should be more vigilant during the hours of darkness.’”
Looking at the eager young faces surrounding the fire the sage asked the group, “How do you feel about this concept? Do you think civil ethics should be based upon legal technicalities?”
Not waiting for an answer, the sage continued, “Once again we find these people of the pure blood consumed by their peculiar bloodlust; the very same bloodlust that consumes our people with its demands for Mikdash sacrifice.
Know the true God is one of love; an ineffable presence that does not abide the murderous sacrifice of people or animals. Ponder these matters carefully, for this is what separates the enlightened man from his sleeping counterpart; those consumed by their emotional states, those in pursuit only of lust and desire.”