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 hyz 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 images 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.
Then it was show time. Chokhmah opened a tiny 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.