His name was Dog.
He was part of a large group of escaped slaves. His people had been oppressed for hundreds of years in a foreign land. The ruler of a great empire in the south had originally invited them to his land as guests. The ruler’s successors employed them in building massive monuments to the dynasty’s glory. Originally they were paid wages. Then they had to work longer and longer hours with decreasing pay. Eventually they were incarcerated in work camps. They were forced to work day and night with no rest. When their bodies wore out they were thrown into the ditch like human garbage.
The ruler of this empire used to walk around among the slaves to inspect their work. He would wear a heavy yoke on his shoulders, like those that used to be placed on oxen. The tyrant would taunt the slaves, saying that they were weaklings, more tender than himself. After all, he told them, he too was a slave of his position. His economic policy for all people in the empire was one of genocidal austerity. There were a few exceptions. These were his family and relatives and the priests, who numbered about one percent of the population. They were worshipped as gods.
The slaves were finally able to leave this powerful empire. An inspired prince arose who led them to freedom. The people won a decisive victory over the tyrants. The tyrant and his army all drowned in the ocean. The liberated slaves marched across the desert and whenever they encountered opposition they easily defeated their foes. These people were becoming legendary among the oppressed in neighbouring countries. The word in the street was that these slaves had some sort of supernatural power aiding them.
The former slaves were approaching the land that they believed their god with no name had promised to them, where they could once again live as free people. But there was a problem in the land where they were going to live. It was already inhabited. It was controlled by a group of psychopaths who called themselves “the Lords”. They were descendants of a legendary great hunter from the East who centuries before had constructed a tower higher than all the other structures on earth. He had perfected a system of psychological confusion and monetary control to ensure the enslavement of all mankind.
The rulers of this land, “the Lords”, owned almost everything of productive value. The mass of the people that they controlled were either slaves or serfs living in a state of desperate poverty. The mass of the poor were that way because they were burdened with heavy debt loads. The “Lords” had established religious cults of prostitution and human sacrifice to control the souls of the degraded population. One of their rituals was the burning of children alive in the flames to appease their “Lord” god.
Dog was part of a group of twelve princes sent into this land on a secret reconnaissance mission. Their commander reminded them to be valiant and very courageous. For they had already easily won a series of battles in the desert. Their enemies were quaking with fear at their approach. The mass of the oppressed in the land had heard legends of these “outsiders”, these “anarchists” who did not believe in the divine right of kings. They had heard of the brave warriors of the desert who were overthrowing tyrants left and right. And “the Lords” were trembling in fear.
Dog was particularly excited about the coming conquest. His name “Dog” literally means “raging with canine madness”. He was anxious to get possession of the land where his ancestors’ bones were buried.
The job of the spies was to cross enemy lines and then survey the land over a forty day period. They would determine the best invasion route and which cities to capture first. Their commander had asked them these questions: How many live there? Are the people weak or strong? What is the state of their defences? Is the agricultural land fertile or not? The spies were also commanded to bring back some loot when they returned from their spying mission.
Although he was a prince of the people, Dog was the only one of the spies with a derogatory name. All his companions had glorious-sounding names. These names, interpreted in our modern English, are: Renowned, God Judges, God Redeems, Delivered (2 spies had names with this meaning), Redeemer, Fortune of God, Fortunate, Hidden, Concealed, Majesty of God, and Deliverer.
The spies performed their mission for the allotted forty days. They returned with grapes and other fruit, evidence of the abundant riches of the land. The spies returned with only a single cluster of grapes. It was so gigantic that it required two men with a large pole over their shoulders to transport it.
The spies gave the following report to their people: “We went into all the land. The hill country, the valleys and the coast. We saw many cities and peoples and great wealth. We saw many giants living there. It is a land of abundance, where we can live in great prosperity.”
Dog stood up in front of the people, and said, “We should invade the land immediately. We can easily conquer it. Our God will give us the victory”. His friend Deliverer agreed with him. Taking the land would be a cakewalk. Victory was assured.
But the other ten spies gave a negative report: “We cannot take the land. The people who live there are stronger than us. We saw giants in the land. We are like grasshoppers compared to them”.
The majority of these spies with the illustrious names proved to be cowards. They had no vision of victory. They forgot the riches they had seen. They forgot the promises of their god. They only saw giants. And they thought of themselves as grasshoppers. They gave in to their fears. After listening to the cowardly report, most of people believed the worst. The people headed back to their tents and cried like little children. They forgot their goal of living free in a condition of liberty and abundant happiness. They trembled in fear of giants. They gave up and lived in fear the rest of their lives. The window of opportunity for successfully taking the land passed. The people wandered around for in the desert for another forty years. Eventually all the cowardly perished.
Only “Deliverer” and “Dog” lived to enter the land. leading a new generation of young people who were not controlled by fear. Dog got his bones.
Where there is no vision, the people perish.