Devided Land (NSI)

Yitsaq at its height included Moab, Ammon, and Edom. Names of places are Anglicized. Names reflect division after Solomon's time.

Abram's favorite son, Yitskaq, would find himself at odds with his older brother Ishmael time and time again. However the older man proved an able leader in his own right in Abram's waning years. By the time of their mother's death, in fact, the sub-tribes had made trade agreements that allowed an alliance that would hold one day deliver Abram's descendants from a system of slavery that had built the kingdom of the Mitsraim.

The tribe of the Yitskaqim was carried on in the next generation by twin brothers, Eshu and Yaqob. Tribal traditions of the time put the power of secession in the hands of the father - the chief of the tribe. This honor usually went to the oldest son, but with the twins it didn't seem to matter. The births had come so close together that Yaqob had come out holding on to his brother's heal! Yitskaq had favored Eshu and would have bestowed the authority of chief to the man if Yaqob and his mother Ribqah had not conspired to get the chiefdom for the younger brother.

For well over twenty years, in fact, the brothers were estranged. Ribqah had made sure that Yaqob took a wife from among the Arameans of her father's house, but in sending him away she never saw him again. Eshu, though, chose the relatives of his grandmother Hagar - Ishmaeli of the lands near them. Ishmael, in taking Khami brides, had children that were only one-forth Semi. When Eshu, three-quarter Semi, married with his cousins, the bloodline became even more diluted. This was good, genetically, but it proved a heartache to his mother. The children of Yaqob, though, would not return to Haran for their brides either, so the tribes would soon be mostly of Khami linage anyway. However, through the efforts of Yaqob, the tribe would become distinct in carrying on the ways of Abram.

When the brothers were reconciled, they rejoined their father Yitskaq in his final days, burying the man in the land that had become known even then as the "land of Yitskaq." The tribes of Yaqob and Edom (as Eshu had come to be known) would form a confederation that would prove a strong force for over five hundred years. Yaqob had taken two wives from his mothers family, and had acquired two concubines in a competition between his wives to have surrogate children. His favorite wife had proved the least fertile of the four, giving him only two boys. She had died giving birth to the youngest. Her older son, then, had been the youngest among a cluster of boys (and one girl) born in a period of no more than seven years. As favorite son, the boy whom he had named Yosef, proved brilliant. This did play well with the others, and at the tender age of seventeen Yosef had disappeared, feared dead. When famine came to the land, though, Yosef had sent word from Mitsra that there was plenty of food there. And so, the tribes of the Yitsraqi federation had been divided.

The Yaqobi would be strengthened in the land of their grandmother, and chose to stay. Their fortunes among the Mitsraim turned in less than three generations, and they became slaves. Only by stubborn rebellion did a child from among them once again rise to a place of influence in Mitsra. And that child, adopted by the Pharaoh's daughter and called Mousos - for she had found him having been put in a basket rather than being thrown to the crocodiles as commanded by her father. The princess had seen it as an opportunity to stop the lunacy of child sacrifice anyway. At the request of the child's sister, who had been hiding nearby, the baby was given into the care of his mother who was said to be a good nurse. His mother, who had not yet named the child, chose to call him Mosheh, a form of the same name that the princess had called him.

Prince Mousos had proved to me an able warrior, succeeding in a campaign to annex much of neighboring Ethiopia. What seemed to be good fortune, though, had proved bad for his popularity. When he struck one of the task master's who had been mistreating some of the Yacobi slaves, he had miscalculated his own strength and ended up killing the man. When this got back to his adopted father, his political career took a turn for the worse. He fled into exile into the lands of Yitskaq where he would live a simple life for many years. However, he was in contact with higher ranked Yacobi within the courts of Mitsra. His brother Aharon and sister Miriam were working quietly to ferment strife among the slaves and freedmen. Finally, after forty years, an uprising was ready to come to a head. Aharon left on a trip to see his brother and the two of them lead an army of Ishmaeli, Moabi, and Edomi to the border of Mitsra. In a bloody battle, from within and without, Pharaoh was overwhelmed and weakened to the point that he sued for peace, letting all of the slaves go with their people back to the lands of their fathers.

For the next five hundred years the land of Yitsaq battled with the Paresi for dominion of the land on either side of the Jordan, finally being united under a Levite (and thus cousin to Mosheh) by the name of Samuel. After a long period of tribal chiefs failing defeat the stubborn Pelestim, Samuel had chosen a strong young man of the tribe of Ben-Yamin (descendants of Yaqob's youngest son) by the name of Shaul to be his champion. As general, Shaul proved able to unite the tribes into a nation for the first time. The Pelestim had been reduced to struggling city-states on the Great Sea. The lands of Yitskaq reached far north towards the ancestral home of Abram and his father. The borders pushed against the lands of ancient Babel. But their was war on every side. Shaul would himself chose a champion - from the tribe next to his own. Aged Samuel, co-regent with Shaul, personally recruited a young man by the name of Dawid, son of the Yahudi chieftain Yeshi. Samuel and Yeshi had a long history, and the old man gladly offered the services of his son - a shepherd skilled in the use of the sling. This device, capable of deadly and accurate delivery of a projectile, was far superior to sword or even spear at close range.

As events would have it, Dawid proved a great asset to the army of Shaul. After marrying Shaul's daughter, though, Dawid became a threat to the growing power that the older man had been building. Dawid would become a fugitive, living in caves and even among the Pelestim, and only return to favor with most of the people after the death of Shaul and his heir apparent in battle on the same day. After a seven-year civil war, David would become king of all the tribes, and remain at war for the next 33 years with kingdoms around him. By the reign of Solomon, his forth son, though, the nation of Yitsaq would finally be at peace. After him, though, civil strife would divide the nation into two nations, forever known as Yahuda (the tribes of Yahuda and Benyamin) and Yaqob (a confederation of ten tribes in the north). During this time, also, the Semite tribes to the east of the Jordan River would fall away as well. The splendor of Yitsaq would never return.

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