SET YOUR MIND on things above with TAKEN--A Metaphysical Fantasy Audio Drama. AND NOW the ADVENTURE CONTINUES with DIVIDED--The Days of Peleg.
Bow to the Image! Has the whole world gone mad? Or is there something wrong with a statue that speaks and the giant man who makes the people worship it? Peleg is virtually alone in his misgivings. Meanwhile, all the rest of Shinar follows the mighty hunter Nimrod in building a Tower to reach the gates of heaven and even the Ancient One Himself. Could the mysterious encounters and cruel whispers heard since the Tower Temple's construction lead to something good? To Peleg the matter is simple, find someone who remembers the truth, someone who still hears The Voice—before it's too late. So, Peleg embarks on a journey to learn the secrets his great ancestors Methuselah and Enoch knew. Little does Peleg realize, Enoch—the very one, taken so long ago to a dimension outside space and time—and his son Methuselah are both working just as fervently toward the same goal. With the aid of a wise, old King, the tales from the stones, and the "knowing" that burns, Peleg may be mankind's only hope to stop the darkness descending from the Tower. Never again will a Flood destroy the earth, the Ancient One promised—next time it will be Fire!
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Peleg’s Time (18 years old): Location—Salem, Canaan, Adamah, First Dimension.
Peleg’s legs ached as he came toward the last ascent leading to Salem’s city gate. Stone dwellings dotted the hills. Colorful banners waving from the door posts could be seen even from his vantage point. Peleg tingled with anticipation and realization. I am walking the same path Great Father Seth walked. Father Adam and Mother Eve used this road. And now, I am going to the Seti of Seth of olden days all on my own.
Peleg slowed down to stare up at the large symbols carved into the top of the city gate. “Salem—City of Peace” it declared. He was so busy gawking at the sign, he hadn’t noticed a loose stone jutting from the path. He tripped, scraping his toe and his sandal, but caught himself just in time. Peleg quickly glanced to his left and right, hoping no one saw his clumsiness. No one had. Other travelers busied themselves with carts loaded with wares for sale, livestock, and food. No one noticed the youth with only the sack on his back.
Peleg stood still, dazed by all the bustle. Joktan would love this place! He on the other hand was more comfortable tending his father’s herds and writing on scrolls than mingling with people in the market square. Father Eber usually did all the talking and made the arrangements when they travelled together. Joktan was right. I should have made more effort to go with father to the city gate. Just then one of Eber’s sayings came to mind: Nothing can be done if nothing is done. Peleg chuckled to himself. I guess memorizing all those proverbs aren’t a complete waste of time.
Peleg decided to just ask the elders at the gate. They would surely know if Melchizedek had returned and where he could find lodging if he had not. Perhaps there will be cacao too. Even though he was no longer a foolish youth, he still preferred the sweet drink to the bitter ale the older men enjoyed.
“Excuse me, my lord.” Peleg approached a wizened man whose beard was long and silver with age. His garment was the deepest blue he had ever seen, and its folds were heavy. Surely this respected elder can show me the way. He bowed first, then spoke, “Do you happen to know if the Great Melchizedek is in Salem this fine day?”
“Young lad you must have made quite a journey indeed to ask such a question?” The man busied himself with baskets of cloth.
Peleg wrinkled his brow. “Pardon me sir?”
The man called out a few instructions to a young boy who carefully loaded the goods onto a cart. “Everyone in these parts knows when the King of Salem is at the gate.” He stopped and pointed toward the crowd gathered inside the gate. “Surely, you passed him by as you entered the city.”
“Oh,” Peleg blushed. He gazed at the multitude. Rows and rows of men, young and old, surrounded a raised platform just inside the massive city gate. On top of the circular platform, was a tall, lean figure adorned in simple attire. He held an ornate staff in one hand. It was Father Shem!
“Indeed, I did kind sir,” Peleg said, anxious to explain his blunder. “Fatigue from my travels has weakened my sight and mind. Do you happen to know the best place for a weary traveler to buy food?”
“Perfectly understandable,” the man said, smiling now. “I offer the best food and wares in Salem.” The man pulled a covering off the cart behind him, showcasing his selection.
Peleg realized the wizened old man was not an elder, just a merchant in finery. He remembered Father Eber’s words again—fine clothes do not necessarily make a fine man.
Peleg purchased bread and wine, a gift for Melchizedek. He remembered it was tradition to bring the elder a gift. “Many thanks, kind lord,” Peleg said.
He walked toward the gathering and found a spot near the rear. Peleg knew the Elder would see everyone he could until the sun set. Anyone left must return the next day and wait for him to take his seat again. If Father Shem does not hear my petition by the eve, I will make the excuse of offering a gift for his journey home to speak with him.
Peleg edged closer and closer to the platform as the King heard cases and settled disputes. Now there were just two more men ahead of him and there was yet light in the sky. Surely there is enough time for me to be seen. Unfortunately, the case before him was not simple. After what seemed like an hour of explanations, and the producing of evidence, and the producing of witnesses, and the retelling of the entire account again—from both men too—Melchizedek made his decision. The young man in front of him stormed away in a huff as his older brother was given preference, despite his many offences.
“It is tradition, after all,” Melchizedek said, “and the traditions of the Lord God are not to be trifled with. The younger will serve the older unless by some undeniable providence the Lord God sends a sign otherwise. I see no such sign here. It is finished.” With that, Melchizedek rose from the stone chair in the center of the platform, leaning on his staff as he did so.
Peleg stared at the Elder, waiting to be called forward.
“This concludes the business of the day,” the King of Salem said without even a glance in Peleg’s direction.
“My King!” Peleg said, bowing quickly as he held out his gift, “I brought something for your journey, my lord—”
But Melchizedek had already left the platform and was immediately whisked away by several able-bodied men onto a cart pulled by two oxen.
Peleg’s shoulders slumped.
He looked down, willing the tears not to flow.
He glanced around the marketplace. It was almost deserted now. He had not even asked where lodgings could be found in his excitement to see the Elder. Now it was too late. Perhaps, I will find a quiet place just outside the city and make camp there for the night.
“Young Peleg!” a voice called.
Peleg looked up, startled. The cart was right in front of him.
“In the good Lord God’s perfect timing as usual,” the Elder said, “Well hop on. I have been waiting for you all day. Do not make an old man wait any longer.”
Peleg grinned and hopped onto the seat.
“How did you know?” Peleg asked. “I did not think you would remember me. I am just one of so many Father Shem.”
“There is still a prophet in Salem,” Melchizedek said with a wink. He yanked the reins and the oxen moved forward, climbing higher and higher into the city’s hills. Most people were closing their doors for the evening, but those few people who lingered gave a nod, a bow, or a curtsy to the wise king.
Father Shem nodded. “A fine evening to you.” “A blessed eve.” “God’s peace be on you.”
Each word he spoke was received as if a great treasure had been given.
Peleg sat up a little straighter and thought, “The King of Salem has chosen me.”
“It is not I, who has chosen you, but the Lord God Himself,” Father Shem said.
Peleg jumped. “How did you know my thoughts?”
“Did I not tell you there is still a prophet in Salem? The Lord God, at times, reveals the thoughts of another when it is profitable to do so,” the Elder said.
“Oh,” Peleg said, being more careful not to think.
Melchizedek laughed. “You know the cacao will be waiting for us. I instructed one of my pupils to prepare it before I left this morning.”
Peleg grinned. “This knowing of someone’s thoughts can be very good I think.”
“And we will speak of those things,” Melchizedek said more seriously, “that can only be passed from father to son.”
“You speak of the oral tradition, my lord?” Peleg said.
“Aye, and not a moment too soon,” Melchizedek said, “I have communed with the Lord God through much fasting and prayer. Judgment is coming to the plains of Avenland, and you must be prepared.”
“Avenland?” Peleg asked.
“Oh, that is right. You young ones call it Shinar these days. But, before the Flood, those fine plains were known as Avenland.”
“I see,” Peleg said, “Just like the Seti of Seth is now called the city of Salem.”
“Aye, my boy,” Melchizedek said, “if you live a very, long time like me, you will see that men often change the names of things. This can be most confusing. Which is why we sons of Seth are committed to maintaining the record for the ones to come.”
The cart climbed higher.
The air was cool in the heights of the Seven Hills. As the cart rounded the last bend to the stone path leading to the King’s abode, several young men and women bustled about the courtyard. Lanterns were lit. Animals were led out to shelter for the eve. A young woman pulled water from the well and passed it to a young boy who hauled it into the house. They all nodded and waved. Peleg smiled back as he hopped off the cart and offered a hand to Melchizedek.
They were ushered into the same sitting room Peleg remembered as a child. It had not changed much except in the abundance of scrolls and treasures adorning its shelves. They were full before. Now, they overflowed.
Peleg waited at the door for Melchizedek to enter the room first. He followed the patriarch in and paused by the door until he was instructed.
“I see my bold, young Peleg has grown into his father’s wisdom,” Father Shem said with an approving nod. “Eber would be proud.”
“Now let us be refreshed from the day’s journey,” Melchizedek sat on the cushion at the head of the low table. He motioned for Peleg to take the seat on his right.
As soon as Peleg sat down, a young woman came into the room carrying a tray with a pitcher and two cups full of steaming, sweet smelling liquid. She placed them by the fire and slipped away quietly.
Melchizedek thanked her and began, “Now Peleg, this eve marks the first portion of your inheritance as Eber’s elder son and his chosen son. You will learn what fathers only speak to their chosen son, who will retain the wisdom of our past—and our follies too.”
Peleg took a long sip from the mug and waited silently, careful not to interrupt the Elder while he was speaking.
“I will not dance around our clan’s shortcomings as I did when you were a boy,” Father Shem said, “I will be forthright and you will be trustworthy, is that understood?”
“Of course, Father Shem,” Peleg agreed quickly.
“Not a word of what I share with you will be on the stones you record, lest we shame our Father Noah’s name. But what has happened will be realized by our sons and daughters by what is not mentioned in the scrolls. When information is missing, they will understand that something has been said and seek their Elders for instruction. In your generation, you will be the Elder the Lord God has chosen, if you continue to obey Him.”
Peleg’s eyes were wide as he nodded.
“It is time you learned the truth about how the garment came to be with the sons of Ham, and of its power, and of its consequences, and of the prophecy of its restoration to the ones the Lord God chooses.”
“And of the curse too, Father?” Peleg’s voice was somber.
Fine lines in his face shown in the firelight, making him appear older than he had moments before. “Aye, and of the curse too.” Shem lifted the cup and took a long drink.
“Peleg, you love your brother, Joktan, yes?”
“Well of course, but—” Peleg hesitated, “he is annoying at times. He always tries to get me in trouble with father. And, he wants everything I have. He could have absolutely no interest in something, but if I do, suddenly it becomes his heart’s desire.”
Peleg’s Time: Location—Babel, Shinar, Adamah, First Dimension.
Joktan paced back and forth as he waited at the bottom of the Tower steps. Elder Sheba should be here by now. Surely the morning sacrifices don’t take this long. He looked at the shadow cast by the obelisk in the center of the plain. “It’s already three marks past dawn,” Joktan muttered. Maybe he has had an encounter! The thought sent Joktan rushing up the stairs. Lately, especially since the strange voices from the idol started, many men had experienced “encounters”. That’s why he had to speak with Elder Sheba.
Joktan took the steps two at a time, avoiding the dozens of men travelling up and down the structure, until he reached the first plateau. He bent slightly, breathing hard as he reached top of the first level, then cupped a hand over his eyes and strained to see as far as he could in each direction.
“Watch it boy!” a voice behind him bellowed.
A huge burly man stopped suddenly to avoid knocking Joktan to the ground. He was followed by a trail of men hauling a long plank with mud bricks up the steps. The bricks jostled in the baskets connected by ropes.
Joktan stepped to the side quickly.
“Some of us have work to do.” The man said brusquely.
Joktan bit back a retort, knowing that many of their far kin resented the sons of Seth for keeping the old ways. “Most sorry sir,” Joktan said, moving further so the men could pass easily. Most of them were already drenched with sweat from carrying the heavy load in the morning sun. “I was just looking for Elder Sheba. I have business with him this fine day.”
“Ah, that explains it,” the line leader said as he paused for a moment, holding up the line. “Priest duty is indeed a load to bear as well.” The man smiled and pointed behind him. “I just saw him leaving the store house coming this way. If you hurry down the steps, you will see him passing the lower tier.”
“Many thanks kind sir,” replied Joktan, already turning to head down the steps. He paused for a moment and called out, “and may the god of Nimrod bless the work of your hands.”
“And to you as well,” said the line leader, yelling the blessing as he continued his trek to the Tower height.
Joktan hurried down the steps, careful not to trip. Joktan winced at what his father, Eber, would have said if he’d heard him speaking that way. Just then one of Eber’s saying came to mind as he neared the bottom. A wise man makes friends far and wide. Joktan relaxed a bit.
There was Elder Sheba, adorned in fine white linen robes followed by a group of women carrying baskets of cakes and fruit. One of the girls had long dark hair which hung almost to the ground. She turned and smiled. It was Anissi.
Joktan raised a hand and waved. He slowed his paced and walked tall as a tree until he was just two steps away.
Elder Sheba turned to see who caught his daughter’s attention. “Young Joktan,” he said, smiling. “Right on time. Favor and blessings upon you in the name of the god of Nimrod.”
Joktan clasped the palms of both hands together and bowed from the waist as he’d seen some of sons of Cush do. “Elder Sheba, greetings and favor to you today in the name of the god of Nimrod.”
Anissi beamed with delight.
Joktan smiled back. No need in antagonizing the Elder with traditions of the past until I know all the facts. After all, what if the ‘voice’ they hear is true and we sons of Seth are in the dark?