When Melchizedek brought Abram into a covenant relationship with Chokhmah there was a name change. Abram means ‘the father is exalted’ which had glorified Terah rather than his son. In the ritual Melchizedek changed his name to Abraham, which means ‘father of many nations’.
The Abrahamic Covenant was marked by a very strange ritual. Melchizedek took a cow, a goat, and a ram and split their carcasses in two. Then a floating barbecue and a floating torch passed between those pieces. After that, Abraham and all his people passed between them. Abraham was telling Chokhmah, ‘If I ever break faith with you, may I be cut in half like these animals.’
The strangest part of the covenant was cooked up by Keter who wanted to sabotage the whole thing. Previously Abraham’s worship of Chokhmah had been a personal devotion. All of the interactions had occurred solely between Abraham and Chokhmah and were mediated through the Ophan Melchizedek. Sarah embraced Chokhmah because she loved Abraham and she was his wife. Abraham’s servants embraced Chokhmah on the principle of what the boss says goes. But with the introduction of circumcision the worship of Chokhmah became corporate worship. And this proto-Judaism became something embedded in the culture rather than a choice. Even babies were circumcised. Anyone not circumcised was cut off from the people, so to speak.
But there was a benefit to circumcision not intended by Keter. Circumcised men were chafed day and night. They lasted longer during intercourse before making the noise that meant it was all over. And that resulted in a happy lady who was less likely to step out on him.
The Jews call the story of the Binding of Yishak the Akedah.
When the boy was about fourteen, Melchizedek said to Abraham, ‘Take now your son Yishak and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will show to you.’
The countenance of Abraham fell. At first he searched the face of Melchizedek, guessing it was a bad joke. Then he suspected the Ophan had gone insane. He was tempted to refuse outright as he did once before in Harran. After that he considered offering a defense of his son. In the end Abraham remembered the covenant, and his affirmation of loyalty to the one he knew as Chokhmah. Melchizidek says this Chokhmah now requires the life of his son? So be it. ‘Let my word be true. I will obey my God, even though I find his demands to be hateful.’
When all was ready Abraham left his flocks grazing on the plains nigh to the coast. There he left his wife and all his servants. With Yishak at his side they were led by Melchizedek east among treeless hills with the Artifact as surety against any who would waylay them.
On the first night, Melchizedek asked Abraham to look at the stars and see if he could count them. “So shall your descendants be,” said hy. There are only six thousand stars visible to the unaided eye but Abraham got the point. Chokhmah would bestow upon him much progeny. Abraham agreed to have only Chokhmah as God and trust that she would always do what she said she would do. That was the basis of the first covenant between the Elohim and human beings, the first contract made between the divine and the mortal on something of an equal basis. Abraham possessed many animals and great riches. He was already living in the golden age as far as he was concerned, and did not pine away for ‘salvation’ or an afterlife. Abraham was living a full life and he accepted that he was mortal like everything else in the world. The only thing remaining that Chokhmah could give Abraham was the assurance that his name and his blood would be carried into the future by a people who would live in the land he had been promised.
Two days and three nights passed but they had seen no game along the way.
When they drew near to ‘Mount’ Moriah and Melchizedek pointed the hill out to them. Yishak asked, ‘Where is the animal for the offering?’ Melchizedek said nothing and glanced at Abraham.
Abraham deflected this question, yet he could not bring himself to lie to his son. He said, rather, ‘God himself will provide the animal.’
Yishak was excited to see what sort of beast God was going to provide for the sacrifice and ran ahead up the hill with youthful energy. Abraham said to Melchizedek, ‘When it is time you will help me restrain my son.’
When they caught up with the boy on the hilltop Yishak called out, ‘Father, there’s nothing here!’
Abraham had a length of rope and was tying loops in it. He said, ‘Join me here son, and help with this.’ Thus distracted, Melchizadek took the opportunity to seize the boy. Yishak didn’t cry out at first because he didn’t even understand what was happening until Abraham and Melchizedek had lashed him securely to a flat boulder that would serve as the altar. Abraham would never forget his son’s utter terror and the betrayal he must have felt.
After that Abraham didn’t need to work up the will to slay his own son, he was actually in a hurry to do it. Each instant the helpless Yishak lay in mortal terror of his own father tore at his heart. Abraham couldn’t stand it. Melchizedek was barely in time to restrain him. ‘Enough!’ he shouted. ‘Do not harm the boy!’ To be certain, Melchizedek used the Artifact to cut the lad free once more.
Yishak stood at a safe distance and watched his father’s face work through a storm of dark emotions. At length Abraham said, ‘So. A day of testing?’
Melchizedek nodded in the affirmative. ‘It is a day that will not be forgotten while cold and heat, seed-time and harvest remain. God knows now that you will not even withhold your only son from him.’
Abraham longed to embrace Yishak but saw how the boy stood well away. He said, ‘Could there not have been another way?’
Melchizedek said, ‘It would be difficult to explain the background of the controversy. Let it be enough to know that the enemy of man has made certain claims, and God has chosen you and your descendants to answer them.’
‘What I dread most of all,’ lamented Abraham, ‘is answering the questions of my wife after Yishak has spoken to her of all this, which he undoubtedly will.’
Even as he spoke the mouth of the bridge in space-time appeared on the hilltop and the crack of a whip was heard. A ram rushed through the opening. With one smooth stroke of the Artifact’s immaterial black shaft Melchizedek separated the head and body of the animal as it emerged from the bubble.
Hy said to Abraham, ‘I will return to Earth when Yishak is of age to have his own wife.’
Then the fold-door winked out of existence and Melchizedek was gone with it. Only one tiny artifact remained, indistinguishable from a fly, dragging an invisible fold-line stretching back to Chokhmah and left there to permit the eloah to see what Abraham and Yishak would do. And Yishak knew his father’s words to him earlier had been true. God really had provided the sacrificial animal as Abraham promised. The boy began to trust his father once more. He returned to the hilltop and helped Abraham make a burnt offering of the ram to Chokhmah.
The fold-door left the Ophan in the very place where hy had been taken, the audience hall of hyz father, but only one lamp was burning to give light. Melchizedek had forgotten that when it was day on one world it was night on the other, and hy marveled how that could be.
Knowing Melchiyahu slept, hy went the wing of the palace where hyz sister Lilith lived, knowing har to be somewhat nocturnal. When hy drew near to har chambers hy saw servants going out with wet linen and going in with dry linen. Hy wondered if hy really wanted to see this.
The worst fears of Melchizedek materialized when hy came into the presence of Lilith and found har to be nude from the waist down, with each leg in the air held by a servant, debauched even by hyz sister’s standards. But Michael was also present amid a flurry of activity.
Lilith spied hym approaching and smiled broadly. ‘Deck, you’ve come! And just in time!’
Michael said to har, ‘The head has breached. Push, Lil! Push!’
Melchizedek saw little after that save it all very liquid. Afterwards hy realized to hyz surprise that hy had fainted.
After Lilith’s servants revived Melchizedek hy guessed hy must have been unconscious for some time. The newborn was already skin-to-skin against its mother.
Sha said, ‘Deck, is sha not beautiful?’
‘I see there have been many changes here these three years I’ve been away.’
‘Who more worthy to wed an Ophan of Salem than a Seraph?’ replied Lilith, affirming what Melchizedek had long guessed about Michael, that hy was the living avatar of an eloah, greater in glory than any king. ‘And Deck, in your absence the city has withstood a mighty attack.’
Hy said, ‘Beloved sister, you are the most valiant and hardy yin I know, but unless I am still unconscious and dreaming, just now you went through one of the most difficult and painful experiences possible for an angel or nephil or human being, and did not once cry out.’
I cannot stand to watch my wife suffer in the smallest way,’ Michael explained, ‘so I gave har a gift. Sha can stand apart from any pain, if sha so chooses.’
‘And I most certainly did choose, tonight,’ Lilith said, as a nipple slipped into the mouth of har tiny Leliel.
‘Is that such a wise thing to do, Lord Michael?’ asked Melchizedek. ‘Pain is not the enemy it is made out to be. There are some born without the ability to feel pain, and they rarely survive childhood.
‘None of the B’nei Elohim are destined for long life,’ Michael replied.
‘There are things Michael has entrusted to me that it is well Keter or Daat never discover,’ Lilith told har brother. ‘Not the most refined torment could wrest them from me now.’
Melchizedek caught the eye of Michael and told hym, ‘Abraham proved true in the testing.’
‘That is so,’ said Michael, ‘but he has little love for a god who demanded the life of his son. Still, he and Yishak are now making a burnt offering of the kill. And it is not their love that I crave.’
‘I suppose a man might remain loyal to a god that he actively hates.’
‘Come, Melchizedek, let your mind be at ease. It will be years before I bid you return to the other world. For now rejoice with myself and your sister: you have a niece! Tomorrow morning we shall see your father and speak of what has befallen Salem in your absence.’
When Yishak was seventeen years of age Melchizedek returned to Earth and journeyed once more to Harran in the land of Abraham’s own people. There hy became acquainted with Bethuel, who was the son of Milcah. Milcah was the wife of Nahor. And Nahor was Abraham’s brother.
In the household of Bethuel there dwelt a beautiful young woman named Rebekah. She was Abraham’s great niece, and therefore Yishak’s first cousin once-removed. Eyeing her, Melchizedek told Bethuel it had fallen to hym to find a wife for Yishak from among Abraham’s kin.
The Ophan had access to Abraham’s entire estate and hy had brought as much as ten mules could carry, as well as precious stones and jewelry from Heaven itself. All these riches he dangled before the eyes of Bethuel, prompting him to say, ‘Rebekah, will you go with this man?’
Thus Rebekah was formally asked to take her place in the epic set in motion when Chokhmah inserted herself into human history and commanded Abraham to go to the land of Canaan. But the display of wealth did not sway Rebekah. She wanted to know more about Yishak himself.
Melchizedek spoke to Rebekah of the time three years prior when as a boy Yishak feared losing his life at the point of a blade. Hy remaining carefully vague about the fact that hy hymself had relayed the kill order from Chokhmah, the eloah worshiped by Abraham as his deity. And Melchizedek told Rebekah how the incident caused Yishak to develop a more profound affection for his mother, while deliberately neglecting to tell her how Yishak in fact almost never left his mother’s tent after he barely escaped being sacrificed to his father’s god.
The prince used all the statecraft hy had learned at the foot of hyz father King Melchiyahu, which was indeed the real reason Michael had sent hym back to Harran. Yet Rebekah did not make her decision on the basis of Melchizedek’s testimony of Yishak’s personal character. Melchizedek had presented hymself to Rebekah and her family as courteous, humble, and devout. The gifts were obligatory. Something still seemed a bit off, but she decided to proceed on a hunch. She judged Melchizedek to be a good man (for a mere human she thought hym to be). Rebekah was very intelligent and it stood to reason that if the servant was a good man (for a simple servant Melchizedek held hymself out to be) then hyz masters, her kin Abraham and Yishak, must be good men as well. So she answered her father Bethuel by saying, ‘I will go.’
When Melchizedek returned to the oasis at Beersheba, Yishak brought Rebekah into his late mother Sarah’s tent and took her as his wife, and he loved her. So was Yishak comforted after his mother’s death. Melchizedek, in a sense, had provided Yishak with a replacement mother.
Rebekah sensed this and felt perhaps a twinge of regret, but she was an honorable woman who had assented to the marriage sight unseen.
Then Melchizedek received word that hyz father Melchiyahu had died in hyz sleep, making hym the king of Salem by right of succession. So Melchizedek bid farewell to Abraham, Yishak, and Rebekah. With hyz two servants Zophiel and Kemuel hy passed out of all knowledge of those who dwell on Earth, and came not again. The task appointed to hym to set aside a holy people for Chokhmah had been fulfilled.