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Title: Egyptian Ideas of the Future Life
Author: Budge, E. A. Wallis, 1857-1934
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                   BOOKS ON
               EGYPT AND CHALDEA
     E. A. WALLIS BUDGE, M. A., LITT D., D. LIT.
       _Keeper of the Egyptian and Assyrian
        Antiquities in the British Museum_
                L. W. KING, M. A.
        _Assistant in the Department of
       Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities
             in the British Museum_

           Crown 8vo, 3S, 6d, net each

Egyptian Ideas of the Future Life By E. A. WALLIS BUDGE


Easy Lessons in Egyptian Hieroglyphics By E. A. WALLIS BUDGE

Babylonian Religion and Mythology. By L. W. King

Easy Lessons in the Cuneiform Texts By L. W. KING, M. A.

an English Translation of the Chapters, Hymns, &c., of the Theban
Recension With Introduction, Notes, and numerous Illustrations By E. A.

from the end of the Neolithic Period to the Death of Cleopatra VII, B.C.
30 By E. A. WALLIS BUDGE, Litt. D. 8 vols. Illustrated.

   *    *    *    *    *




In the year 1894, Dr. Wallis Budge prepared for Messrs. Kegan Paul,
Trench, Trübner & Co. an elementary work on the Egyptian language,
entitled "First Steps in Egyptian," and two years later the companion
volume, "An Egyptian Reading Book," with transliterations of all the
texts printed in it, and a full vocabulary. The success of these works
proved that they had helped to satisfy a want long felt by students of
the Egyptian language, and as a similar want existed among students of
the languages written in the cuneiform character, Mr. L.W. King, of the
British Museum, prepared, on the same lines as the two books mentioned
above, an elementary work on the Assyrian and Babylonian languages
("First Steps in Assyrian"), which appeared in 1898. These works,
however, dealt mainly with the philological branch of Egyptology and
Assyriology, and it was impossible in the space allowed to explain much
that needed explanation in the other branches of those subjects--that is
to say, matters relating to the archaeology, history, religion, etc., of
the Egyptians, Assyrians, and Babylonians. In answer to the numerous
requests which have been made, a series of short, popular handbooks on
the most important branches of Egyptology and Assyriology have been
prepared, and it is hoped that these will serve as introductions to the
larger works on these subjects. The present is the first volume of the
series, and the succeeding volumes will be published at short intervals,
and at moderate prices.

                  EGYPTIAN IDEAS
                      OF THE
                   FUTURE LIFE
     E.A. WALLIS BUDGE, M. A., LITT. D., D. LIT.


                  _THIRD EDITION_


To SIR JOHN EVANS, K. C. B., D. C. L., F. R. S., ETC., ETC., ETC. IN


   *    *    *    *    *

The following pages are intended to place before the reader in a handy
form an account of the principal ideas and beliefs held by the ancient
Egyptians concerning the resurrection and the future life, which is
derived wholly from native religious works. The literature of Egypt
which deals with these subjects is large and, as was to be expected, the
product of different periods which, taken together, cover several
thousands of years; and it is exceedingly difficult at times to
reconcile the statements and beliefs of a writer of one period with
those of a writer of another. Up to the present no systematic account of
the doctrine of the resurrection and of the future life has been
discovered, and there is no reason for hoping that such a thing will
ever be found, for the Egyptians do not appear to have thought that it
was necessary to write a work of the kind. The inherent difficulty of
the subject, and the natural impossibility that different men living in
different places and at different times should think alike on matters
which must, after all, belong always to the region of faith, render it
more than probable that no college of priests, however powerful, was
able to formulate a system of beliefs which would be received throughout
Egypt by the clergy and the laity alike, and would be copied by the
scribes as a final and authoritative work on Egyptian eschatology.
Besides this, the genius and structure of the Egyptian language are such
as to preclude the possibility of composing in it works of a
philosophical or metaphysical character in the true sense of the words.
In spite of these difficulties, however, it is possible to collect a
great deal of important information on the subject from the funereal and
religious works which have come down to us, especially concerning the
great central idea of immortality, which existed unchanged for thousands
of years, and formed the pivot upon which the religious and social life
of the ancient Egyptians actually turned. From the beginning to the end
of his life the Egyptian's chief thought was of the life beyond the
grave, and the hewing of his tomb in the rock, and the providing of its
furniture, every detail of which was prescribed by the custom of the
country, absorbed the best thoughts of his mind and a large share of his
worldly goods, and kept him ever mindful of the time when his mummified
body would be borne to his "everlasting house" in the limestone plateau
or hill.

The chief source of our information concerning the doctrine of the
resurrection and of the future life as held by the Egyptians is, of
course, the great collection of religious texts generally known by the
name of "Book of the Dead." The various recensions of these wonderful
compositions cover a period of more than five thousand years, and they
reflect faithfully not only the sublime beliefs, and the high ideals,
and the noble aspirations of the educated Egyptians, but also the
various superstitions and childish reverence for amulets, and magical
rites, and charms, which they probably inherited from their pre-dynastic
ancestors, and regarded as essentials for their salvation. It must be
distinctly understood that many passages and allusions in the Book of
the Dead still remain obscure, and that in some places any translator
will be at a difficulty in attempting to render certain, important words
into any modern European language. But it is absurd to talk of almost
the whole text of the Book of the Dead as being utterly corrupt, for
royal personages, and priests, and scribes, to say nothing of the
ordinary educated folk, would not have caused costly copies of a very
lengthy work to be multiplied, and illustrated by artists possessing the
highest skill, unless it had some meaning to them, and was necessary for
the attainment by them of the life which is beyond the grave. The
"finds" of recent years in Egypt have resulted in the recovery of
valuable texts whereby numerous difficulties have been cleared away; and
we must hope that the faults made in translating to-day may be corrected
by the discoveries of to-morrow. In spite of all difficulties, both
textual and grammatical, sufficient is now known of the Egyptian
religion to prove, with certainty, that the Egyptians possessed, some
six thousand years ago, a religion and a system of morality which, when
stripped of all corrupt accretions, stand second to none among those
which have been developed by the greatest nations of the world.

_August 21st_, 1899.



















A study of ancient Egyptian religious texts will convince the reader
that the Egyptians believed in One God, who was self-existent, immortal,
invisible, eternal, omniscient, almighty, and inscrutable; the maker of
the heavens, earth, and underworld; the creator of the sky and the sea,
men and women, animals and birds, fish and creeping things, trees and
plants, and the incorporeal beings who were the messengers that
fulfilled his wish and word. It is necessary to place this definition of
the first part of the belief of the Egyptian at the beginning of the
first chapter of this brief account of the principal religious ideas
which he held, for the whole of his theology and religion was based upon
it; and it is also necessary to add that, however far back we follow his
literature, we never seem to approach a time when he was without this
remarkable belief. It is true that he also developed polytheistic ideas
and beliefs, and that he cultivated them at certain periods of his
history with diligence, and to such a degree that the nations around,
and even the stranger in his country, were misled by his actions, and
described him as a polytheistic idolater. But notwithstanding all such
departures from observances, the keeping of which befitted those who
believed in God and his unity, this sublime idea was never lost sight
of; on the contrary, it is reproduced in the religious literature of all
periods. Whence came this remarkable characteristic of the Egyptian
religion no man can say, and there is no evidence whatsoever to guide us
in formulating the theory that it was brought into Egypt by immigrants
from the East, as some have said, or that it was a natural product of
the indigenous peoples who formed the population of the valley of the
Nile some ten thousand years ago, according to the opinion of others.
All that is known is that it existed there at a period so remote that it
is useless to attempt to measure by years the interval of time which has
elapsed since it grew up and established itself in the minds of men, and
that it is exceedingly doubtful if we shall ever have any very definite
knowledge on this interesting point.

But though we know nothing about the period of the origin in Egypt of
the belief in the existence of an almighty God who was One, the
inscriptions show us that this Being was called by a name which was
something like _Neter_, [Footnote: There is no _e_ in Egyptian, and this
vowel is added merely to make the word pronounceable.] the picture sign
for which was an axe-head, made probably of stone, let into a long
wooden handle. The coloured picture character shews that the axe-head
was fastened into the handle by thongs of leather or string, and judging
by the general look of the object it must have been a formidable weapon
in strong, skilled hands. A theory has recently been put forward to the
effect that the picture character represents a stick with a bit of
coloured rag tied to the, but it will hardly commend itself to any
archaeologist. The lines which cross the side of the axe-head represent
string or strips of leather, and indicate that it was made of stone
which, being brittle, was liable to crack; the picture characters which
delineate the object in the latter dynasties shew that metal took the
place of the stone axe-head, and being tough the new substance needed no
support. The mightiest man in the prehistoric days was he who had the
best weapon, and knew how to wield it with the greatest effect; when the
prehistoric hero of many fights and victories passed to his rest, his
own or a similar weapon was buried with him to enable him to wage war
successfully in the next world. The mightiest man had the largest axe,
and the axe thus became the symbol of the mightiest man. As he, by
reason of the oft-told narrative of his doughty deeds at the prehistoric
camp fire at eventide, in course of time passed from the rank of a hero
to that of a god, the axe likewise passed from being the symbol of a
hero to that of a god. Far away back in the early dawn of civilization
in Egypt, the object which I identify as an axe may have had some other
signification, but if it had, it was lost long before the period of the
rule of the dynasties in that country.

Passing now to the consideration of the meaning of the name for God,
_neter_, we find that great diversity of opinion exists among
Egyptologists on the subject. Some, taking the view that the equivalent
of the word exists in Coptic, under the form of _Nuti_, and because
Coptic is an ancient Egyptian dialect, have sought to deduce its meaning
by seeking in that language for the root from which the word may be
derived. But all such attempts have had no good result, because the word
_Nuti_ stands by itself, and instead of being derived from a Coptic root
is itself the equivalent of the Egyptian _neter_, [Footnote: The letter
_r_ has dropped out in Coptic through phonetic decay.] and was taken
over by the translators of the Holy Scriptures from that language to
express the words "God" and "Lord." The Coptic root _nomti_ cannot in
any way be connected with _nuti_, and the attempt to prove that the two
are related was only made with the view of helping to explain the
fundamentals of the Egyptian religion by means of Sanskrit and other
Aryan analogies. It is quite possible that the word _neter_ means
"strength," "power," and the like, but these are only some of its
derived meanings, and we have to look in the hieroglyphic inscriptions
for help in order to determine its most probable meaning. The eminent
French Egyptologist, E. de Rougé, connected the name of God, _neter_,
with the other word _neter_, "renewal" or "renovation," and it would,
according to his view, seem as if the fundamental idea of God was that
of the Being who had the power to renew himself perpetually--or in other
words, "self-existence." The late Dr. H. Brugsch partly accepted this
view, for he defined _neter_ as being "the active power which produces
and creates things in regular recurrence; which bestows new life upon
them, and gives back to them their youthful vigour." [Footnote:
_Religion und Mythologie_, p. 93.] There seems to be no doubt that,
inasmuch as it is impossible to find any one word which will render
_neter_ adequately and satisfactorily, "self-existence" and "possessing
the power to renew life indefinitely," may together be taken as the
equivalent of _neter_ in our own tongue, M. Maspero combats rightly the
attempt to make "strong" the meaning of _neter_ (masc.), or _neterit_
(fem.) in these words: "In the expressions 'a town _neterit_ 'an arm
_neteri_,' ... is it certain that 'a strong city,' 'a strong arm,' give
us the primitive sense of _neter_? When among ourselves one says 'divine
music,' 'a piece of divine poetry,' 'the divine taste of a peach,' 'the
divine beauty of a woman,' [the word] divine is a hyperbole, but it
would be a mistake to declare that it originally meant 'exquisite'
because in the phrases which I have imagined one could apply it as
'exquisite music,' 'a piece of exquisite poetry,' 'the exquisite taste
of a peach,' 'the exquisite beauty of a woman.' Similarly, in Egyptian,
'a town _neterit_ is 'a divine town;' 'an arm _netsri_' is 'a divine
arm,' and _neteri_ is employed metaphorically in Egyptian as is [the
word] 'divine' in French, without its being any more necessary to
attribute to [the word] _neteri_ the primitive meaning of 'strong,' than
it is to attribute to [the word] 'divine' the primitive meaning of
'exquisite.'" [Footnote: _La Mythologie Egyptienne_, p. 215.] It may be,
of course, that _neter_ had another meaning which is now lost, but it
seems that the great difference between God and his messengers and
created things is that he is the Being who is self-existent and
immortal, whilst they are not self-existent and are mortal.

Here it will be objected by those who declare that the ancient Egyptian
idea of God is on a level with that evolved by peoples and tribes who
stand comparatively little removed from very intelligent animals, that
such high conceptions as self-existence and immortality belong to a
people who are already on a high grade of development and civilization.
This is precisely the case with the Egyptians when we first know them.
As a matter of fact, we know nothing of their ideas of God before they
developed sufficiently to build the monuments which we know they built,
and before they possessed the religion, and civilization, and complex
social system which their writings have revealed to us. In the remotest
prehistoric times it is probable that their views about God and the
future life were little better than those of the savage tribes, now
living, with whom some have compared them. The primitive god was an
essential feature of the family, and the fortunes of the god varied with
the fortunes of the family; the god of the city in which a man lived was
regarded as the ruler of the city, and the people of that city no more
thought of neglecting to provide him with what they considered to be due
to his rank and position than they thought of neglecting to supply their
own wants. In fact the god of the city became the centre of the social
fabric of that city, and every inhabitant thereof inherited
automatically certain duties, the neglect of which brought stated pains
and penalties upon him. The remarkable peculiarity of the Egyptian
religion is that the primitive idea of the god of the city is always
cropping up in it, and that is the reason why we find semi-savage ideas
of God side by side with some of the most sublime conceptions, and it of
course underlies all the legends of the gods wherein they possess all
the attributes of men and women. The Egyptian in his semi-savage state
was neither better nor worse than any other man in the same stage of
civilization, but he stands easily first among the nations in his
capacity for development, and in his ability for evolving conceptions
concerning God and the future life, which are claimed as the peculiar
product of the cultured nations of our time.

We must now, however, see how the word for God, _neter_, is employed in
religious texts and in works which contain moral precepts. In the text
of Unas, [Footnote: Ed Maspero, _Pyramides de Saqqarah_; p. 25.] a king
who reigned about B.C. 3300, we find the passage:--"That which is sent
by thy _ka_ cometh to thee, that which is sent by thy father cometh to
thee, that which is sent by R[=a] cometh to thee, and it arriveth in the
train of thy R[=a]. Thou art pure, thy bones are the gods and the
goddesses of heaven, thou existest at the side of God, thou art
unfastened, thou comest forth towards thy soul, for every evil word (or
thing) which hath been written in the name of Unas hath been done away."
And, again, in the text of Teta, [Footnote: _Ibid_., p. 113.] in the
passage which refers to the place in the eastern part of heaven "where
the gods give birth unto themselves, where that to which they give birth
is born, and where they renew their youth," it is said of this king,
"Teta standeth up in the form of the star...he weigheth words (_or_
trieth deeds), and behold God hearkeneth unto that which he saith."
Elsewhere [Footnote: Ed. Maspero, _Pyramides da Saqqarah_, p. 111.] in
the same text we read, "Behold, Teta hath arrived in the height of
heaven, and the _henmemet_ beings have seen him; the Semketet [Footnote:
The morning boat of the sun.] boat knoweth him, and it is Teta who
saileth it, and the M[=a]ntchet [Footnote: The evening boat of the sun.]
boat calleth unto him, and it is Teta who bringeth it to a standstill.
Teta hath seen his body in the Semketet boat, he knoweth the uraeus
which is in the M[=a]ntchet boat, and God hath called him in his
name...and hath taken him in to R[=a]." And again [Footnote: _Ibid_., p.
150.] we have: "Thou hast received the form (_or_ attribute) of God, and
thou hast become great therewith before the gods"; and of Pepi I., who
reigned about B.C. 3000, it is said, "This Pepi is God, the son of God."
[Footnote: _Ibid_., p. 222.] Now in these passages the allusion is to
the supreme Being in the next world, the Being who has the power to
invoke and to obtain a favourable reception for the deceased king by
R[=a], the Sun-god, the type and symbol of God. It may, of course, be
urged that the word _neter_ here refers to Osiris, but it is not
customary to speak of this god in such a way in the texts; and even if
we admit that it does, it only shows that the powers of God have been
attributed to Osiris, and that he was believed to occupy the position in
respect of R[=a] and the deceased which the supreme Being himself
occupied. In the last two extracts given above we might read "a god"
instead of "God," but there is no object in the king receiving the form
or attribute of a nameless god; and unless Pepi becomes the son of God;
the honour which the writer of that text intends to ascribe to the king
becomes little and even ridiculous.

Passing from religious texts to works containing moral precepts, we find
much light thrown upon the idea of God by the writings of the early
sages of Egypt. First and foremost among these are the "Precepts of
Kaqemna" and the "Precepts of Ptah-hetep," works which were composed as
far back as B.C. 3000. The oldest copy of them which we possess is,
unfortunately, not older than B.C. 2500, but this fact in no way affects
our argument. These "precepts" are intended to form a work of direction
and guidance for a young man in the performance of his duty towards the
society in which he lived and towards his God. It is only fair to say
that the reader will look in vain in them for the advice which is found
in writings of a similar character composed at a later period; but as a
work intended to demonstrate the "whole duty of man" to the youth of the
time when the Great Pyramid was still a new building, these "precepts"
are very remarkable. The idea of God held by Ptah-hetep is illustrated
by the following passages:--

  1. "Thou shalt make neither man nor woman to be afraid, for God is
  opposed thereto; and if any man shall say that he will live thereby,
  He will make him to want bread."

  2. "As for the nobleman who possesseth abundance of goods, he may act
  according to his own dictates; and he may do with himself that which
  he pleaseth; if he will do nothing at all, that also is as he
  pleaseth. The nobleman by merely stretching out his hand doeth that
  which mankind (_or_ a person) cannot attain to; but inasmuch as the
  eating of bread is according to the plan of God, this cannot be

  3. "If thou hast ground to till, labour in the field which God hath
  given thee; rather than fill thy mouth with that which belongeth to
  thy neighbours it is better to terrify him that hath possessions [to
  give them unto thee]."

  4. "If thou abasest thyself in the service of a perfect man, thy
  conduct shall be fair before God."

  5. "If thou wouldst be a wise man, make thou thy son to be pleasing
  unto God."

  6. "Satisfy those who depend upon thee as far as thou art able so to
  do; this should be done by those whom God hath favoured."

  7. "If, having been of no account, thou hast become great; and if,
  having been poor, thou hast become rich; and if thou hast become
  governor of the city, be not hard-hearted on account of thy
  advancement, because thou hast become merely the guardian of the
  things which God hath provided."

  8. "What is loved of God is obedience; God hateth disobedience."

  9. "Verily a good son is of the gifts of God." [Footnote: The text was
  published by Prisse d'Avennes, entitled _Facsimile d'un papyrus
  égyptien en caractères hieratiques_, Paris, 1847. For a translation of
  the whole work, see Virey, _études sur le Papyrus Prisse_, Paris,

The same idea of God, but considerably amplified in some respects, may
be found in the _Maxims of Khensu-Hetep_, a work which was probably
composed during the XVIIIth dynasty. This work has been studied in
detail by a number of eminent Egyptologists, and though considerable
difference of opinion has existed among them in respect of details and
grammatical niceties, the general sense of the maxims has been clearly
established. To illustrate the use of the word _neter_, the following
passages have been chosen from it:[Footnote: They are given with
interlinear transliteration and translation in my _Papyrus of Ani_, p.
lxxxv. ff., where references to the older literature on the subject will
be found.]--

  1. "God magnifieth his name."

  2. "What the house of God hateth is much speaking. Pray thou with a
  loving heart all the petitions which are in secret. He will perform
  thy business, he will hear that which thou sayest and will accept
  thine offerings."

  3. "God decreeth the right."

  4. "When thou makest an offering unto thy God, guard thou against the
  things which are an abomination unto him. Behold thou his plans with
  thine eye, and devote thyself to the adoration of his name. He giveth
  souls unto millions of forms, and him that magnifieth him doth he

  5. "If thy mother raise her hands to God he will hear her prayers [and
  rebuke thee]."

  7. "Give thyself to God, and keep thou thyself daily for God."

Now, although the above passages prove the exalted idea which the
Egyptians held of the supreme Being, they do not supply us with any of
the titles and epithets which they applied to him; for these we must
have recourse to the fine hymns and religious meditations which form so
important a part of the "Book of the Dead." But before we quote from
them, mention must be made of the _neteru_, _i.e._, the beings or
existences which in some way partake of the nature or character of God,
and are usually called "gods." The early nations that came in contact
with the Egyptians usually misunderstood the nature of these beings, and
several modern Western writers have done the same. When we examine these
"gods" closely, they are found to be nothing more nor less than forms,
or manifestations, or phases, or attributes, of one god, that god being
R[=a] the Sun-god, who, it must be remembered, was the type and symbol
of God. Nevertheless, the worship of the _neteru_ by the Egyptians has
been made the base of the charge of "gross idolatry" which has been
brought against them, and they have been represented by some as being on
the low intellectual level of savage tribes. It is certain that from the
earliest times one of the greatest tendencies of the Egyptian religion
was towards monotheism, and this tendency may be observed in all
important texts down to the latest period; it is also certain that a
kind of polytheism existed in Egypt side by side with monotheism from
very early times. Whether monotheism or polytheism be the older, it is
useless in our present state of knowledge to attempt to enquire.
According to Tiele, the religion of Egypt was at the beginning
polytheistic, but developed in two opposite directions: in the one
direction gods were multiplied by the addition of local gods, and in the
other the Egyptians drew nearer and nearer to monotheism. [Footnote:
_Geschiedenis van den Godedienst in de Oudheid_, Amsterdam, 1893, p. 25.
A number of valuable remarks on this subject are given by Lieblein in
_Egyptian Religion_, p. 10.] Dr. Wiedemann takes the view that three
main elements may be recognized in the Egyptian religion: (1) A solar
monotheism, that is to say one god, the creator of the universe, who
manifests his power especially in the sun and its operations; (2) A cult
of the regenerating power of nature, which expresses itself in the
adoration of ithyphallic gods, of fertile goddesses, and of a series of
animals and of various deities of vegetation; (3) A perception of an
anthropomorphic divinity, the life of whom in this world and in the
world beyond this was typical of the ideal life of man [Footnote: _Le
Livre dei Moris_ (Review in _Muséon_, Tom. xiii. 1893).]--this last
divinity being, of course, Osiris. But here again, as Dr. Wiedemann
says, it is an unfortunate fact that all the texts which we possess are,
in respect of the period of the origin of the Egyptian religion,
comparatively late, and therefore in them we find these three elements
mixed together, along with a number of foreign matters, in such a way as
to make it impossible to discover which of them is the oldest. No better
example can be given of the loose way in which different ideas about a
god and God are mingled in the same text than the "Negative Confession"
in the hundred and twenty-fifth chapter of the Book of the Dead. Here,
in the oldest copies of the passages known, the deceased says, "I have
not cursed God" (1. 38), and a few lines after (1. 42) he adds, "I have
not thought scorn of the god living in my city." It seems that here we
have indicated two different layers of belief, and that the older is
represented by the allusion to the "god of the city," in which case it
would go back to the time when the Egyptian lived in a very primitive
fashion. If we assume that God (who is mentioned in line 38) is Osiris,
it does not do away with the fact that he was regarded as a being
entirely different from the "god of the city" and that he was of
sufficient importance to have one line of the "Confession" devoted to
him. The Egyptian saw no incongruity in setting references to the "gods"
side by side with allusions to a god whom we cannot help identifying
with the Supreme Being and the Creator of the world; his ideas and
beliefs have, in consequence, been sadly misrepresented, and by certain
writers he has been made an object of ridicule. What, for example, could
be a more foolish description of Egyptian worship than the following?
"Who knows not, O Volusius of Bithynia, the sort of monsters Egypt, in
her infatuation, worships. One part venerates the crocodile; another
trembles before an ibis gorged with serpents. The image of a sacred
monkey glitters in gold, where the magic chords sound from Memnon broken
in half, and ancient Thebes lies buried in ruins, with her hundred
gates. In one place they venerate sea-fish, in another river-fish;
there, whole towns worship a dog: no one Diana. It is an impious act to
violate or break with the teeth a leek or an onion. O holy nations!
whose gods grow for them in their gardens! Every table abstains from
animals that have wool: it is a crime there to kill a kid. But human
flesh is lawful food."

[Footnote: Juvenal, Satire XV. (Evans' translation in Bohn's Series, p.
180). Led astray by Juvenal, our own good George Herbert (_Church
Militant_) wrote:--

  "At first he (_i.e._, Sin) got to Egypt, and did sow
  Gardens of gods, which every year did grow
  Fresh and fine deities. They were at great cost,
  Who for a god clearly a sallet lost.
  Ah, what a thing is man devoid of grace,
  Adoring garlic with an humble face,
  Begging his food of that which he may eat,
  Starving the while he worshippeth his meat!
  Who makes a root his god, how low is he,
  If God and man be severed infinitely!
  What wretchedness can give him any room,
  Whose house is foul, while he adores his broom?"]

The epithets which the Egyptians applied to their gods also bear
valuable testimony concerning the ideas which they held about God. We
have already said that the "gods" are only forms, manifestations, and
phases of R[=a], the Sun-god, who was himself the type and symbol of
God, and it is evident from the nature of these epithets that they were
only applied to the "gods" because they represented some qualify or
attribute which they would have applied to God had it been their custom
to address Him. Let us take as examples the epithets which are applied
to H[=a]pi the god of the Nile. The beautiful hymn [Footnote: The whole
hymn has been published by Maspero in _Hymns au Nil_, Paris, 1868.] to
this god opens as follows:--

  "Homage to thee, O H[=a]pi! Thou comest forth in this land, and dost
  come in peace to make Egypt to live, O thou hidden one, thou guide of
  the darkness whensoever it is thy pleasure to be its guide. Thou
  waterest the fields which R[=a] hath created, thou makest all animals
  to live, thou makest the land to drink without ceasing; thou
  descendest the path of heaven, thou art the friend of meat and drink,
  thou art the giver of the grain, and thou makest every place of work
  to flourish, O Ptah! ... If thou wert to be overcome in heaven the
  gods would fall down headlong, and mankind would perish. Thou makest
  the whole earth to be opened (_or_ ploughed up) by the cattle, and
  prince and peasant lie down to rest.... His disposition (_or_ form) is
  that of Khnemu; when he shineth upon the earth there is rejoicing, for
  all people are glad, the mighty man (?) receiveth his meat, and every
  tooth hath food to consume."

After praising him for what he does for mankind and beasts, and for
making the herb to grow for the use of all men, the text says:--

  "He cannot be figured in stone; he is not to be seen in the sculptured
  images upon which men place the united crowns of the South and the
  North furnished with uraei; neither works nor offerings can be made to
  him; and he cannot be made to come forth from his secret place. The
  place where he liveth is unknown; he is not to be found in inscribed
  shrines; there existeth no habitation which can contain him; and thou
  canst not conceive his form in thy heart."

First we notice that Hapi is addressed by the names of Ptah and Khnemu,
not because the writer thought these three gods were one, but because
Hapi as the great supplier of water to Egypt became, as it were, a
creative god like Ptah and Khnemu. Next we see that it is stated to be
impossible to depict him in paintings, or even to imagine what his form
may be, for he is unknown and his abode cannot be found, and no place
can contain him. But, as a matter of fact, several pictures and
sculptures of H[=a]pi have been preserved, and we know that he is
generally depicted in the form of two gods; one has upon his head a
papyrus plant, and the other a lotus plant, the former being the
Nile-god of the South, and the latter the Nile-god of the North.
Elsewhere he is portrayed in the form of a large man having the breasts
of a woman. It is quite clear, then, that the epithets which we have
quoted are applied to him merely as a form of God. In another hymn,
which was a favourite in the XVIIIth and XIXth dynasties, H[=a]pi is
called "One," and is said to have created himself; but as he is later on
in the text identified with R[=a] the epithets which belong to the
Sun-god are applied to him. The late Dr. H. Brugsch collected [Footnote:
_Religion and Mythologie_, pp. 96-99.] a number of the epithets which
are applied to the gods, from texts of all periods; and from these we
may see that the ideas and beliefs of the Egyptians concerning God were
almost identical with those of the Hebrews and Muhammadans at later
periods. When classified these epithets read thus:--

  "God is One and alone, and none other existeth with Him; God is the
  One, the One Who hath made all things.

  "God is a spirit, a hidden spirit, the spirit of spirits, the great
  spirit of the Egyptians, the divine spirit.

  "God is from the beginning, and He hath been from the beginning; He
  hath existed from of old and was when nothing else had being. He
  existed when nothing else existed, and what existeth He created after
  He had come into being. He is the father of beginnings.

  "God is the eternal One, He is eternal and infinite; and endureth for
  ever and aye; He hath endured for countless ages, and He shall endure
  to all eternity.

  "God is the hidden Being, and no man hath known His form. No man hath
  been able to seek out His likeness; He is hidden, from gods and men,
  and He is a mystery unto His creatures.

  "No man knoweth how to know Him, His name remaineth hidden; His name
  is a mystery unto His children. His names are innumerable, they are
  manifold and none knoweth their number.

  "God is truth, and He liveth by truth, and he feedeth thereon. He is
  the King of truth, He resteth upon truth, He fashioneth truth, and He
  executeth truth throughout all the world.

  "God is life, and through Him only man liveth, He giveth life to man,
  and He breatheth the breath of life into his nostrils.

  "God is father and mother, the father of fathers, and the mother of
  mothers. He begetteth, but was never begotten; He produceth, but was
  never produced He begat Himself and produced Himself. He createth, but
  was never created; He is the maker of His own form, and the fashioner
  of His own body.

  "God Himself is existence He liveth in all things, and liveth upon all
  things. He endureth without increase or diminution, He multiplieth
  Himself millions of times, and He possesseth multitudes of forms and
  multitudes of members.

  "God hath made the universe, and He hath created all that therein is:
  He is the Creator of what is in this world, of what was, of what is,
  and of what shall be. He is the Creator of the world, and it was He
  Who fashioned it with His hands before there was any beginning; and He
  stablished it with that which went forth from Him. He is the Creator
  of the heavens and the earth; the Creator of the heavens, and the
  earth, and the deep; the Creator of the heavens, and the earth, and
  the deep, and the waters, and the mountains. God hath stretched out
  the heavens and founded the earth. What His heart conceived came to
  pass straightway, and when He had spoken His word came to pass, and it
  shall endure for ever.

  "God is the father of the gods, and the father of the father of all
  deities; He made His voice to sound, and the deities came into being,
  and the gods sprang into existence after He had spoken with His mouth.
  He formed mankind and fashioned the gods. He is the great Master, the
  primeval Potter Who turned men and gods out of His hands, and He
  formed men and gods upon a potter's table.

  "The heavens rest upon His head, and the earth supporteth His feet;
  heaven hideth His spirit, the earth hideth His form, and the
  underworld shutteth up the mystery of Him within it. His body is like
  the air, heaven resteth upon His head, and the new inundation [of the
  Nile] containeth His form.

  "God is merciful unto those who reverence Him, and He heareth him that
  calleth upon Him. He protecteth the weak against the strong, and He
  heareth the cry of him that is bound in fetters; He judgeth between
  the mighty and the weak, God knoweth him that knoweth Him, He
  rewardeth him that serveth Him, and He protecteth him that followeth

We have now to consider the visible emblem, and the type and symbol of
God, namely the Sun-god R[=a], who was worshipped in Egypt in
prehistoric times. According to the writings of the Egyptians, there was
a time when neither heaven nor earth existed, and when nothing had being
except the boundless primeval [Footnote: See Brugsch, _Religion_, p.
101.] water, which was, however, shrouded with thick darkness. In this
condition the primeval water remained for a considerable time,
notwithstanding that it contained within it the germs of the things
which afterwards came into existence in this world, and the world
itself. At length the spirit of the primeval water felt the desire for
creative activity, and having uttered the word, the world sprang
straightway into being in the form which had already been depicted in
the mind of the spirit before he spake the word which resulted in its
creation. The next act of creation, was the formation of a germ, or egg,
from which sprang R[=a], the Sun-god, within whose shining form was
embodied the almighty power of the divine spirit.

Such was the outline of creation as described by the late Dr. H.
Brugsch, and it is curious to see how closely his views coincide with a
chapter in the _Papyrus of Nesi Amsu_ preserved in the British Museum.
[Footnote: No. 10,188. See my transcript and translation of the whole
papyrus in _Archaeologia_ vol. 52, London, 1801.] In the third section
of this papyrus we find a work which was written with the sole object of
overthrowing [=A]pep, the great enemy of R[=a], and in the composition
itself we find two versions of the chapter which describes the creation
of the earth and all things therein. The god Neb-er-tcher is the
speaker, and he says:--

  "I evolved the evolving of evolutions. I evolved myself under the form
  of the evolutions of the god Khepera, which were evolved at the
  beginning of all time. I evolved with the evolutions of the god
  Khepera; I evolved by the evolution of evolutions--that is to say, I
  developed myself from the primeval matter which I made, I developed
  myself out of the primeval matter. My name is Ausares (Osiris), the
  germ of primeval matter. I have wrought my will wholly in this earth,
  I have spread abroad and filled it, I have strengthened it [with] my
  hand. I was alone, for nothing had been brought forth; I had not then
  emitted from myself either Shu or Tefnut. I uttered my own name, as a
  word of power, from my own mouth, and I straightway evolved myself. I
  evolved myself under the form of the evolutions of the god Khepera,
  and I developed myself out of the primeval matter which has evolved
  multitudes of evolutions from the beginning of time. Nothing existed
  on this earth then, and I made all things. There was none other who
  worked with me at that time. I performed all evolutions there by means
  of that divine Soul which I fashioned there, and which had remained
  inoperative in the watery abyss. I found no place there whereon to
  stand. But I was strong in my heart, and I made a foundation for
  myself, and I made everything which was made. I was alone. I made a
  foundation for my heart (_or_ will), and I created multitudes of
  things which evolved themselves like unto the evolutions of the god
  Khepera, and their offspring came into being from the evolutions of
  their births. I emitted from myself the gods Shu and Tefnut, and from
  being One I became Three; they [Illustration: THE CREATION. The god Nu
  rising out of the primeval water and bearing in his hands the boat of
  R[=a], the Sun-god, who is accompanied by a number of deities. In the
  upper portion of the scene is the region of the underworld which is
  enclosed by the body of Osiris, on whose head stands the goddess Nut
  with arms stretched out to receive the disk of the sun.] sprang from
  me, and came into existence in this earth. ...Shu and Tefnut brought
  forth Seb and Nut, and Nut brought forth Osiris, Horus-khent-an-maa,
  Sut, Isis, and Nephthya at one birth."

The fact of the existence of two versions of this remarkable Chapter
proves that the composition is much older than the papyrus [Footnote:
About B.C. 300.] in which it is found, and the variant readings which
occur in each make it certain that the Egyptian scribes had difficulty
in understanding what they were writing. It may be said that this
version of the cosmogony is incomplete because it does not account for
the origin of any of the gods except those who belong to the cycle of
Osiris, and this objection is a valid one; but in this place we are only
concerned to shew that R[=a], the Sun-god, was evolved from the primeval
abyss of water by the agency of the god Khepera, who brought this result
about by pronouncing his own name. The great cosmic gods, such as Ptah
and Khnemu, of whom mention will be made later, are the offspring of
another set of religious views, and the cosmogony in which these play
the leading parts is entirely different. We must notice, in passing,
that the god whose words we have quoted above declares that he evolved
himself under the form, of Khepera, and that his name is Osiris, "the
primeval matter of primeval matter," and that, as a result, Osiris is
identical with Khepera in respect of his evolutions and new births. The
word rendered "evolutions" is _kheperu_, literally "rollings"; and that
rendered "primeval matter" is _paut_, the original "stuff" out of which
everything was made. In both versions we are told that men and women
came into being from the tears which fell from the "Eye" of Khepera,
that is to say from the Sun, which, the god says, "I made take to up its
place in my face, and afterwards it ruled the whole earth."

We have seen how R[=a] has become the visible type and symbol of God,
and the creator of the world and of all that is therein; we may now
consider the position which he held with, respect to the dead. As far
back as the period of the IVth dynasty, about B.C. 3700, he was regarded
as the great god of heaven, and the king of all the gods, and divine
beings, and of the beatified dead who dwelt therein. The position of the
beatified in heaven is decided by R[=a], and of all the gods there
Osiris only appears to have the power to claim protection for his
followers; the offerings which the deceased would make to R[=a] are
actually presented to him by Osiris. At one time the Egyptian's greatest
hope seems to have been that he might not only become "God, the son of
God," by adoption, but that R[=a] would become actually his father. For
in the text of Pepi I, [Footnote: Ed. Maspero, line 570.] it is said:
"Pepi is the son of R[=a] who loveth him; and he goeth forth and raiseth
himself up to heaven. R[=a] hath begotten Pepi, and he goeth forth and
raiseth himself up to heaven. R[=a] hath conceived Pepi, and he goeth
forth and raiseth himself up to heaven. R[=a] hath given birth, to
Pepi, and he goeth forth and raiseth himself up to heaven."
Substantially these ideas remained the same from the earliest to the
latest times, and R[=a] maintained his position as the great head of the
companies, notwithstanding the rise of Amen into prominence, and the
attempt to make Aten the dominant god of Egypt by the so-called "Disk
worshippers." The following good typical examples of Hymns to R[=a] are
taken from the oldest copies of the Theban Recension of the Book of the

I. FROM THE PAPYRUS OF ANI. [Footnote: See _The Chapters of Coming Forth
by Day_, p. 3.]

  "Homage to thee, O thou who hast come as Khepera, Khepera the creator
  of the gods. Thou risest and thou shinest, and thou makest light to be
  in thy mother Nut (_i.e._, the sky); thou art crowned king of the
  gods. Thy mother Nut doeth an act of homage unto thee with both her
  hands. The laud of Manu (_i.e._, the land where the sun sets)
  receiveth thee with satisfaction, and the goddess Ma[=a]t embraceth
  thee both, at morn and at eve. [Footnote: _i.e._, Ma[=a]t, the goddess
  of law, order, regularity, and the like, maketh the sun to rise each
  day in his appointed place and at his appointed time with absolute and
  unfailing regularity.] Hail, all ye gods of the Temple of the Soul,
  [Footnote: _i.e._, the soul referred to above in the account of the
  creation; see p. 24.] who weigh heaven and earth in the balance, and
  who provide divine food in abundance! Hail, Tatunen, thou One, thou
  Creator of mankind and Maker of the substance of the gods of the south
  and of the north, of the west and of the east! O come ye and acclaim
  R[=a], the lord of heaven and the Creator of the gods, and adore ye
  him in his beautiful form as he cometh in the morning in his divine

  "O R[=a], those who dwell in the heights and those who dwell in the
  depths adore thee. The god Thoth and the goddess Ma[=a]t have marked
  out for thee [thy course] for each and every day. Thine enemy the
  Serpent hath been given over to the fire, the serpent-fiend Sebau hath
  fallen down headlong; his arms have been bound in chains, and thou
  hast hacked off his legs; and the sons of impotent revolt shall
  nevermore rise up against thee. The Temple of the Aged One [Footnote:
  _i.e._, R[=a] of Heliopolis.] (_i.e._, R[=a]) keepeth festival, and
  the voice of those who rejoice is in the mighty dwelling. The gods
  exult when they see thy rising, O R[=a], and when thy beams flood the
  world with light. The Majesty of the holy god goeth forth and
  advanceth even unto the land of Manu; he maketh brilliant the earth at
  his birth each day; he journeyeth on to the place where he was

II. FROM THE PAPYRUS OF HUNEFER. [Footnote: From the Papyrus of Hunefer
(Brit. Mus. No. 9901).]

  "Homage to thee, O thou who art R[=a] when thou risest and Temu when
  thou settest. Thou risest, thou risest, thou shinest, thou shinest, O
  thou who art crowned king of the gods. Thou art the lord of heaven,
  thou art the lord of earth; thou art the creator of those who dwell in
  the heights, and of those who dwell in the depths. Thou art the One
  God who came into being in the beginning of time. Thou didst create
  the earth, thou didst fashion man, thou didst make the watery abyss of
  the sky, thou didst form Hapi (_i.e._, the Nile), thou didst create
  the great deep, and thou dost give life unto all that therein is. Thou
  hast knit together the mountains, thou hast made mankind and the
  beasts of the field to come into being, thou hast made the heavens and
  the earth. Worshipped be thou whom the goddess Maat embraceth at morn
  and at eve. Thou dost travel across the sky with thy heart swelling
  with joy; the great deep of heaven is content thereat. The
  serpent-fiend Nak [Footnote: A name of the Serpent of darkness which
  R[=a] slew daily.] hath fallen, and his arms are cut off. The Sektet
  [Footnote: The boat in which R[=a] sailed from noon to sunset.] boat
  receiveth fair winds, and the heart of him that is in the shrine
  thereof rejoiceth.

  "Thou art crowned Prince of heaven, and thou art the One [dowered with
  all sovereignty] who appearest in the sky. R[=a] is he who is true of
  voice. [Footnote: _i.e._, whatsoever R[=a] commandeth taketh place
  straightway; see the Chapter on the Judgment of the Dead, p. 110.]
  Hail, thou divine youth, thou heir of everlastingness, thou
  self-begotten One! Hail, thou who didst give thyself birth! Hail, One,
  thou mighty being, of myriad forms and aspects, thou king of the
  world, prince of Annu (Heliopolis), lord of eternity, and ruler of
  everlastingness! The company of the gods rejoice when thou risest and
  dost sail across the sky, O thou who art exalted in the Sektet boat."

  "Homage to thee, O Amen-R[=a], [Footnote: On the god Amen, see the
  chapter, "The Gods of the Egyptians."] who dost rest upon Maat;
  [Footnote: _i.e._, "thy existence, and thy risings and settings are
  ordered and defined by fixed, unchanging, and unalterable law."] thou
  passest over heaven and every face seeth thee. Thou dost wax great as
  thy Majesty doth advance, and thy rays are upon all faces. Thou art
  unknown, and no tongue can declare thy likeness; thou thyself alone
  [canst do this]. Thou art One... Men praise thee in thy name, and they
  swear by thee, for thou art lord over them. Thou hearest with thine
  ears, and thou seest with thine eyes. Millions of years have gone over
  the world. I cannot tell the number of those through which thou hast
  passed. Thy heart hath decreed a day of happiness in thy name of
  'Traveller.' Thou dost pass over and dost travel through untold spaces
  [requiring] millions and hundreds of thousands of years [to pass
  over]; thou passest through them in peace, and thou steerest thy way
  across the watery abyss to the place which thou lovest; this thou
  doest in one little moment of time, and then thou dost sink down and
  dost make an end of the hours."

III. FROM THE PAPYRUS OF ANI. [Footnote: Plate 20.]

The following beautiful composition, part hymn and part prayer, is of
exceptional interest.

  "Hail, thou Disk, thou lord of rays, who risest on the horizon day by
  day! Shine thou with thy beams of light upon the face of Osiris Ani,
  who is true of voice; for he singeth hymns of praise unto thee at
  dawn, and he maketh thee to set at eventide with words of adoration,
  May the soul of Ani come forth with thee into heaven, may he go forth
  in the M[=a]tet boat, may he come into port in the Sektet boat, and
  may he cleave his path among the never-resting stars in the heavens.

  "Osiris Ani, being in peace and triumph, adoreth his lord, the lord of
  eternity, saying, 'Homage to thee, O Heru-Khuti (Harmachis), who art
  the god Khepera, the self-created one; when thou risest on the horizon
  and sheddest thy beams of light upon the lands of the North and of the
  South, thou art beautiful, yea beautiful, and all the gods rejoice
  when they behold thee, the king of heaven. The goddess Nebt-Unnut is
  stablished upon thy head; and her uraei of the South and of the North
  are upon thy brow; she taketh up her place before thee. The god. Thoth
  is stablished in the bows of thy boat to destroy utterly all thy foes.
  Those who are in the Tuat (underworld) come forth to meet thee, and
  they bow low in homage as they come towards thee, to behold thy
  beautiful form. And I have come before thee that I may be with thee to
  behold thy Disk each day. May I not be shut up [in the tomb], may I
  not be turned back, may the limbs of my body be made new again when I
  view thy beauties, even as [are those of] all thy favoured ones,
  because I am one of those who worshipped thee upon earth. May I come
  unto the land of eternity, may I come even unto the everlasting land,
  for behold, O my lord, this hast thou ordained for me.'

  "'Homage to thee, O thou who risest in thy horizon as R[=a], thou
  restest upon Ma[=a]t, [Footnote: _i.e._, unchanging and unalterable
  law.] Thou passest over the sky, and every face watcheth thee and thy
  course, for thou hast been hidden from their gaze. Thou dost show
  thyself at dawn and at eventide day by day. The Sektet boat, wherein,
  is thy Majesty, goeth forth with might; thy beams are upon [all]
  faces; thy rays of red and yellow cannot be known, and thy bright
  beams cannot be told. The lands of the gods and the eastern lands of
  Punt [Footnote: _i.e._, the east and west coasts of the Red Sea, and
  the north-east coast of Africa.] must be seen ere that which, is
  hidden [in thee] may be measured. [Footnote: I am doubtful about the
  meaning of this passage.] Alone and by thyself thou, dost manifest
  thyself [when] thou comest into being above Nu. May I advance, even as
  thou dost advance; may I never cease [to go forward], even as thy
  Majesty ceaseth not [to go forward], even though it be for a moment;
  for with strides dost thou in one brief moment pass over spaces which
  [man] would need hundreds of thousand; yea, millions of years to pass
  over; [this] thou doest, and then thou dost sink to rest. Thou puttest
  an end to the hours of the night, and thou dost count them, even thou;
  thou endest them in thine own appointed season, and the earth,
  becometh light, Thou settest thyself before thy handiwork in the
  likeness of R[=a]; thou risest in the horizon.'

  "Osiris; the scribe Ani, declareth his praise of thee when thou
  shinest, and when thou risest at dawn he crieth in his joy at thy
  birth, saying:--

  "'Thou art crowned with the majesty of thy beauties; thou mouldest thy
  limbs as thou dost advance, and thou bringest them forth without
  birth-pangs in the form of R[=a], as thou dost rise up in the
  celestial height. Grant thou that I may come unto the heaven which is
  everlasting, and unto the mountain where dwell thy favoured ones. May
  I be joined unto those shining beings, holy and perfect, who are in
  the underworld; and may I come forth with them to behold thy beauties
  when thou shinest at eventide, and goest to thy mother Nut. Thou dost
  place thyself in the west, and my hands adore [thee] when thou settest
  as a living being. [Footnote: _i.e._, "because when thou settest thou
  dost not die."] Behold, thou art the everlasting creator, and thou art
  adored [as such when] thou settest in the heavens. I have given my
  heart to thee without wavering, O thou who art mightier than the

  "A hymn of praise to thee, O thou who risest like unto gold, and who
  dost flood the world with light on the day of thy birth. Thy mother
  giveth thee birth, and straightway thou dost give light upon the path
  of [thy] Disk, O thou great Light who shinest in the heavens. Thou
  makest the generations of men to flourish through the Nile-flood, and
  thou dost cause gladness to exist in all lands, and in, all cities,
  and in all temples. Thou art glorious by reason of thy splendours, and
  thou makest strong thy KA (_i.e._ Double) with, divine foods, O thou
  mighty one of victories, thou Power of Powers, who dost make strong
  thy throne against evil fiends--thou who art glorious in Majesty in
  the Sektet boat, and most mighty in the [=A]tet [Footnote: The Sun's
  evening and morning boats respectively.] boat!" This selection may be
  fittingly closed by a short hymn [Footnote: From the Papyrus of Nekht
  (Brit. Mus. No. 10,471).] which, though, of a later date, reproduces
  in a brief form all the essentials of the longer hymns of the XVIIIth
  dynasty (about B.C. 1700 to 1400).

  "Homage to thee, O thou glorious Being, thou who art dowered [with all
  sovereignty]. O Temu-Harma-chis, [Footnote: The evening and morning
  sun respectively.] when thou risest in the horizon of heaven, a cry of
  joy cometh forth, to thee from the mouth of all peoples, O thou
  beautiful Being, thou dost renew thyself in thy season in the form of
  the Disk within thy mother Hathor; [Footnote: Like Nut, a goddess of
  the sky, but particularly of that portion of it in which the sun
  rises.] therefore in every place every heart swelleth with joy at thy
  rising for ever. The regions of the North and South come to thee with
  homage, and send forth, acclamations at thy rising in the horizon of
  heaven; thou illuminest the two lands with rays of turquoise light.
  Hail, R[=a], thou who art R[=a]-Harmachis, thou divine man-child, heir
  of eternity, self-begotten and self-born, king of the earth, prince of
  the underworld, governor of the regions of Aukert (_i.e._ the
  underworld)! Thou didst come forth, from the water, thou hast sprung
  from the god Nu, who cherisheth thee and ordereth thy members. Hail,
  god of life, thou lord of love, all men live when thou shinest; thou
  art crowned king of the gods. The goddess Nut doeth homage unto thee,
  and the goddess Ma[=a]t embraceth thee at all times. Those who are in
  thy following sing unto thee with joy and bow down their foreheads to
  the earth when they meet thee, thou lord of heaven, thou lord of
  earth, thou king of Right and Truth, thou lord of eternity, thou
  prince of everlastingness, thou sovereign of all the gods, thou god of
  life, thou creator of eternity, thou maker of heaven, wherein thou art
  firmly established. The company of the gods rejoice at thy rising, the
  earth is glad when it beholdeth thy rays; the peoples that have been
  long dead come forth with cries of joy to see thy beauties every day.
  Thou goest forth each day over heaven and earth, and art made strong
  each day by thy mother Nut. Thou passest through the heights of
  heaven, thy heart swelleth with joy; the abyss of the sky is content
  thereat. The Serpent-fiend hath fallen, his arms are hewn off, and the
  knife hath cut asunder his joints, R[=a] liveth in Ma[=a]t the
  beautiful. The Sektet boat draweth on and cometh into port; the South
  and the North, the West and the East, turn, to praise thee, O thou
  primeval substance of the earth who didst come into being of thine own
  accord, Isis and Nephthys salute thee, they sing unto thee songs of
  joy at thy rising in the boat, they protect thee with their hands. The
  souls of the East follow thee, the souls of the West praise thee. Thou
  art the ruler of all the gods, and thou hast joy of heart within thy
  shrine; for the Serpent-fiend Nak hath been condemned to the fire, and
  thy heart shall be joyful for ever."

From the considerations set forth in the preceding pages, and from the
extracts from religious texts of various periods, and from the hymns
quoted, the reader may himself judge the views which the ancient
Egyptian held concerning God Almighty and his visible type and symbol
R[=a], the Sun-god. Egyptologists differ in their interpretations of
certain passages, but agree as to general facts. In dealing with the
facts it cannot be too clearly understood that the religious ideas of
the prehistoric Egyptian were very different from those of the cultured
priest of Memphis in the IInd dynasty, or those of the worshippers of
Temu or Atum, the god of the setting sun, in the IVth dynasty. The
editors of religious texts of all periods have retained many grossly
superstitious and coarse beliefs, which they knew well to be the
products of the imaginations of their savage, or semi-savage ancestors,
not because they themselves believed in them, or thought that the laity
to whom they ministered would accept them, but because of their
reverence for inherited traditions. The followers of every great
religion in the world have never wholly shaken off all the superstitions
which they have in all generations inherited from their ancestors; and
what is true of the peoples of the past is true, in a degree, of the
peoples of to-day. In the East the older the ideas, and beliefs, and
traditions, are, the more sacred they become; but this has not prevented
men there from developing high moral and spiritual conceptions and
continuing to believe in them, and among such must be counted the One,
self-begotten, and self-existent God whom the Egyptians worshipped.



The Egyptians of every period in which they are known to us believed
that Osiris was of divine origin, that he suffered death and mutilation
at the hands of the powers of evil, that after a great struggle with
these powers he rose again, that he became henceforth the king of the
underworld and judge of the dead, and that because he had conquered
death the righteous also might conquer death; and they raised Osiris to
such an exalted position in heaven that he became the equal and, in
certain cases, the superior of R[=a], the Sun-god, and ascribed to him
the attributes which belong unto God. However far back we go, we find
that these views about Osiris are assumed to be known to the reader of
religious texts and accepted by him, and in the earliest funeral book
the position of Osiris in respect of the other gods is identical with
that which he is made to hold in the latest copies of the Book of the
Dead. The first writers of the ancient hieroglyphic funeral texts and
their later editors have assumed so completely that the history of
Osiris was known unto all men, that none of them, as far as we know,
thought it necessary to write down a connected narrative of the life and
sufferings upon earth of this god, or if they did, it has not come down
to us. Even in the Vth dynasty we find Osiris and the gods of his cycle,
or company, occupying a peculiar and special place in the compositions
written for the benefit of the dead, and the stone and other monuments
which belong to still earlier periods mention ceremonies the performance
of which assumed the substantial accuracy of the history of Osiris as
made known to us by later writers. But we have a connected history of
Osiris which, though not written in Egyptian, contains so much that is
of Egyptian origin that we may be sure that its author drew his
information from Egyptian sources: I refer to the work, _De Iside et
Osìride_, of the Greek writer, Plutarch, who flourished about the middle
of the first century of our era. In it, unfortunately, Plutarch
identifies certain of the Egyptian gods with the gods of the Greeks, and
he adds a number of statements which rest either upon his own
imagination, or are the results of misinformation. The translation
[Footnote: _Plutarchi de Iside et Osirids liber: Graece et Anglice_. By
S. Squire, Cambridge, 1744.] by Squire runs as follows:--

  "Rhea, [Footnote: _i.e._, Nut.] say they, having accompanied Saturn
  [Footnote: _i.e._, Seb.] by stealth, was discovered by the Sun,
  [Footnote: _i.e._, R[=a].] who hereupon denounced a curse upon her,
  'that she should not he delivered in any month or year'--Mercury,
  however, being likewise in love with the same goddess, in recompense
  of the favours which he had received from her, plays at tables with
  the Moon, and wins from her the seventieth part of each of her
  illuminations; these several parts, mating in the whole five days, he
  afterwards joined together, and added to the three hundred and sixty,
  of which the year formerly consisted, which days therefore are even
  yet called by the Egyptians the Epact or superadded, and observed by
  them as the birthdays of their gods. For upon the first of them, say
  they, was OSIRIS born, just at whose entrance into the world a voice
  was heard, saying, 'The lord of all the earth is born.' There are some
  indeed who relate this circumstance in a different manner, as that a
  certain person, named Pamyles, as he was fetching water from the
  temple of Jupiter at Thebes, heard a voice commanding him to proclaim
  aloud that 'the good and great king Osiris was then born'; and that
  for this reason Saturn committed the education of the child to him,
  and that in memory of this event the Pamylia were afterwards
  instituted, a festival much resembling the Phalliphoria or Priapeia of
  the Greeks. Upon the second of these days was AROUERIS [Footnote:
  _i.e._, Hera-ur, "Horus the Elder."] born, whom some call Apollo, and
  others distinguish by the name of the elder Orus. Upon the third Typho
  [Footnote: _i.e._, Set.] came into the world, being born neither at
  the proper time, nor by the proper place, but forcing his way through
  a wound which he had made in his mother's side. ISIS was born upon the
  fourth of them in the marshes of Egypt, as NEPTHYS was upon the last,
  whom some call Teleute and Aphrodite, and others Nike--Now as to the
  fathers of these children, the two first of them are said to have been
  begotten by the Sun, Isis by Mercury, Typho and Nepthys by Saturn; and
  accordingly, the third of these superadded days, because it was looked
  upon as the birthday of Typho, was regarded by the kings as
  inauspicious, and consequently they neither transacted any business on
  it, or even suffered themselves to take any refreshment until the
  evening. They further add, that Typho married Nepthys; and that Isis
  and Osiris, having a mutual affection, loved each other in their
  mother's womb before they were born, and that from this commerce
  sprang Aroueris, whom the Egyptians likewise call the elder Orus, and
  the Greeks Apollo.

  "Osiris, being now become king of Egypt, applied himself towards
  civilizing his countrymen, by turning them from their former indigent
  and barbarous course of life; he moreover taught them how to cultivate
  and improve the fruits of the earth; he gave them a body of laws to
  regulate their conduct by, and instructed them in that reverence and
  worship which they were to pay to the gods. With the same good
  disposition he afterwards travelled over the rest of the world
  inducing the people everywhere to submit to his discipline; not indeed
  compelling them by force of arms, but persuading them to yield to the
  strength of his reasons, which were conveyed to them in the most
  agreeable manner, in hymns and songs, accompanied by instruments of
  music: from which last circumstance the Greeks conclude him to have
  been the same with their Dionysius or Bacchus--During Osiris' absence
  from his kingdom, Typho had no opportunity of making any innovations
  in the state, Isis being extremely vigilant in the government, and
  always upon her guard. After his return, however, having first
  persuaded seventy-two other persons to join with him in the
  conspiracy, together with a certain queen of Ethiopia named Aso, who
  chanced to be in Egypt at that time, he contrived a proper stratagem
  to execute his base designs. For having privily taken the measure of
  Osiris' body, he caused a chest to be made exactly of the same size
  with it, as beautiful as may be, and set off with all the ornaments of
  art. This chest he brought into his banqueting-room; where, after it
  had been much admired by all who were present, Typho, as it were in
  jest, promised to give it to any one of them whose body upon trial it
  might be found to fit. Upon this the whole company one after another,
  go into it; but as it did not fit any of them, last of all Osiris lays
  himself down in it, upon which the conspirators immediately ran
  together, clapped the cover upon it, and then fastened it down on the
  outside with nails, pouring likewise melted lead over it. After this
  they carried it away to the river side, and conveyed it to the sea by
  the Tanaïtic mouth of the Nile; which, for this reason, is still held
  in the utmost abomination by the Egyptians, and never named by them
  but with proper marks of detestation. These things, say they, were
  thus executed upon the 17th [Footnote: In the Egyptian calendar this
  day was marked triply unlucky.] day of the month Athyr, when the sun
  was in Scorpio, in the 28th year of Osiris' reign; though there are
  others who tell us that he was no more than 28 years old at this time.

  "The first who knew the accident which had befallen their king were
  the Pans and Satyrs who inhabited the country about Chemmis
  (Panopolis); and they immediately acquainting the people with the news
  gave the first occasion to the name Panic Terrors, which has ever
  since been made use of to signify any sudden affright or amazement of
  a multitude. As to Isis, as soon as the report reached her she
  immediately cut off one of the locks of her hair, [Footnote: The hair
  cut off as a sign of mourning was usually laid in the tomb of the
  dead.] and put on mourning apparel upon the very spot where she then
  happened to be, which accordingly from this accident has ever since
  been called Koptis, or _the city of mourning_, though some are of
  opinion that this word rather signifies _deprivation_. After this she
  wandered everywhere about the country full of disquietude and
  perplexity in search, of the chest, inquiring of every person she met
  with, even, of some children whom she chanced to see, whether they
  knew what was become of it. Now it happened that these children had
  seen what Typho's accomplices had done with the body, and accordingly
  acquainted her by what mouth of the Nile it had been conveyed into the
  sea--For this reason therefore the Egyptians look upon children as
  endued with a kind of faculty of divining, and in consequence of this
  notion are very curious in observing the accidental prattle which they
  have with one another whilst they are at play (especially if it be in
  a sacred place), forming omens and presages from it--Isis, during this
  interval, having been informed that Osiris, deceived by her sister
  Nepthys who was in love with him, had unwittingly united with her
  instead of herself, as she concluded from the melilot-garland,
  [Footnote: _i.e._, a wreath of clover.] which he had left with her,
  made it her business likewise to search out the child, the fruit of
  this unlawful commerce (for her sister, dreading the anger of her
  husband Typho, had exposed it as soon as it was born), and
  accordingly, after much pains and difficulty, by means of some dogs
  that conducted her to the place where it was, she found it and bred it
  up; so that in process of time it became her constant guard and
  attendant, and from hence obtained the name of Anubis, being thought
  to watch and guard the gods, as dogs do mankind.

  "At length she receives more particular news of the chest, that it had
  been carried by the waves of the sea to the coast of Byblos,
  [Footnote: Not the Byblos of Syria (Jebêl) but the papyrus swamps of
  the Delta.] and there gently lodged in the branches of a bush of
  Tamarisk, which, in a short time, had shot up into a large and
  beautiful tree, growing round the chest and enclosing it on every
  side, so that it was not to be seen; and farther, that the king of the
  country, amazed at its unusual size, had cut the tree down, and made
  that part of the trunk wherein the chest was concealed, a pillar to
  support; the roof of his house. These things, say they, being made
  known to Isis in an extraordinary manner by the report of Demons, sue
  immediately went to Byblos; where, setting herself down by the side of
  a fountain, she refused to speak to anybody, excepting only to the
  queen's women who chanced to be there; these indeed she saluted and
  caressed in the kindest manner possible, plaiting their hair for them,
  and transmitting into them part of that wonderfully grateful odour
  which issued from her own body. This raised a great desire in the
  queen their mistress to see the stranger who had this admirable
  faculty of transfusing so fragrant a smell from herself into the hair
  and skin of other people. She therefore sent for her to court, and,
  after a further acquaintance with her, made her nurse to one of her
  sons. Now the name of the king who reigned at this time at Byblos, was
  Meloarthus, as that of his queen was Astarte, or, according to others,
  Saosis, though some call her Nemanoun, which answers to the Greek name

  "Isis fed the child by giving it her finger to suck instead of the
  breast; she likewise put him every night into the fire in order to
  consume his mortal part, whilst transforming herself into a swallow,
  she hovered round the pillar and bemoaned her sad fate. Thus continued
  she to do for some time, till the queen, who stood watching her,
  observing the child to be all in a flame, cryed out, and thereby
  deprived him of that immortality which would otherwise have been
  conferred upon him. The Goddess upon this, discovering herself,
  requested that the pillar, which supported the roof, might be given
  her; which she accordingly took down, and then easily cutting it open,
  after she had taken, out what she wanted, she wrapped up the remainder
  of the trunk in fine linnen, and pouring perfumed oil upon it,
  delivered it again into the hands of the king and queen (which piece
  of wood is to this day preserved in the temple of Isis, and worshipped
  by the people of Byblos). When this was done, she threw herself upon
  the chest, making at the same time such a loud and terrible
  lamentation over it, as frightened the younger of the king's sons, who
  heard her, out of his life. But the elder of them she took with, her
  and set sail with the chest for Egypt; and it being now about morning,
  the river Phaedrus sending forth a rough and sharp air, she in her
  anger dried up its current.

  "No sooner was she arrived at a desart place, where she imagined
  herself to be alone, but she presently opened the chest, and laying
  her face upon her dead husband's, embraced his corpse, and wept
  bitterly; but, perceiving that the little boy had silently stolen
  behind her, and found out the occasion of her grief, she turned
  herself about on the sudden, and in her anger gave him so fierce and
  stern a look that he immediately died of the affright. Others indeed
  say that his death did not happen in this manner, but, as was hinted
  above, that he fell into the sea, and afterwards received the greatest
  honours on account of the Goddess; for that the Maneros, [Footnote: A
  son of the first Egyptian king, who died in his early youth; see
  Herodotus, ii. 79.] whom the Egyptians so frequently call upon in
  their banquets, is none other than this very boy. This relation is
  again contradicted by such as tell us that the true name of the child
  was Palaestinus, or Pelusius, and that the city of this name was built
  by the Goddess in memory of him; adding farther, that the Maneros
  above mentioned is thus honoured by the Egyptians at their feasts,
  because he was the first who invented music. There are others, again,
  who affirm that Maneros is not the name of any particular person, but
  a mere customary form, and complimental manner of greeting made use of
  by the Egyptians one towards another at their more solemn feasts and
  banquets, meaning no more by it, than to wish, that what they were
  then about might prove fortunate and happy to them, for that this is
  the true import of the word. In like manner, say they, the human
  skeleton, which at these times of jollity is carried about in a box,
  and shewn to all the guests, is not designed, as some imagine, to
  represent the particular misfortunes of Osiris, but rather to remind
  them of their mortality, and thereby to excite them freely to make use
  of and to enjoy the good things which are set before them, seeing they
  must quickly become such as they there saw; and that this is the true
  reason of introducing it at their banquets--but to proceed in the

  "Isis intending a visit to her son Orus, who was brought up at Butus,
  deposited the chest in the meanwhile in a remote and unfrequented
  place: Typho however, as he was one night hunting by the light of the
  moon, accidentally met with it; and knowing the body which was
  enclosed in it, tore it into several pieces, fourteen, in all,
  dispersing them up and down, in different parts of the country--Upon
  being made acquainted with this event, Isis once more sets out in
  search of the scattered fragments of her husband's body, making use of
  a boat made of the reed Papyrus in order the more easily to pass thro'
  the lower and fenny parts of the country--For which, reason, say they,
  the crocodile never touches any persons, who sail in this sort of
  vessels, as either fearing the anger of the goddess, or else
  respecting it on account of its having once carried her. To this
  occasion therefore is it to be imputed, that there are so many
  different sepulchres of Osiris shewn, in Egypt; for we are told, that
  wherever Isis met with any of the scattered limbs of her husband, she
  there buried it. There are others however who contradict this
  relation, and tell us, that this variety of Sepulchres was owing
  rather to the policy of the queen, who, instead of the real body, as
  was pretended, presented these several cities with the image only of
  her husband: and that she did this, not only to render the honours,
  which would by this means be paid to his memory, more extensive, but
  likewise that she might hereby elude the malicious search of Typho;
  who, if he got the better of Orus in the war wherein they were going
  to be engaged, distracted by this multiplicity of Sepulchres, might
  despair of being able to find the true one--we are told moreover, that
  notwithstanding all her search, Isis was never able to recover the
  member of Osiris, which having been thrown into the Nile immediately
  upon its separation from the rest of the body, had been devoured by
  the Lepidotus, the Phagrus, and the Oxyrynchus, fish which of all
  others, for this reason, the Egyptians have in more especial
  avoidance. In order however to make some amends for the loss, Isis
  consecrated the Phallus made in imitation of it, and instituted a
  solemn festival to its memory, which is even, to this day observed by
  the Egyptians.

  "After these things, Osiris returning from the other world, appeared
  to his son Orus, encouraged him to the battle, and at the same time
  instructed him in the exercise of arms. He then asked him, 'what he
  thought was the moat glorious action a man could perform?' to which
  Orua replied, 'to revenge the injuries offered to his father and
  mother.' He then asked him, 'what animal he thought most serviceable
  to a soldier?' and being answered 'a horse'; this raised the wonder of
  Osiris, so that he farther questioned him, 'why he preferred a horse
  before a lion?' because, adds Orus, 'tho' the lion be the more
  serviceable creature to one who stands in need of help, yet is the
  horse [Footnote: The horse does not appear to have been known in Egypt
  before the XVIIIth dynasty; this portion of Plutarch's version of the
  history of Osiris must, then, be later than B.C. 1500.] more useful in
  overtaking and cutting off a flying adversary.' These replies much
  rejoiced Osiris, as they showed him that his son was sufficiently
  prepared for his enemy--We are moreover told, that among the great
  numbers who were continually deserting from Typho's party was his
  concubine Thueris, and that a serpent pursuing her as she was coming
  over to Orus, was slain by her soldiers--the memory of which action,
  say they, is still preserved in that cord which is thrown into the
  midst of their assemblies, and then chopt into pieces--Afterwards it
  came to a battle between, them which lasted many days; but victory at
  length inclined to Orus, Typho himself being taken prisoner. Isis
  however, to whose custody he was committed, was so far from putting
  him to death, that she even loosed his bonds and set him at liberty.
  This action of his mother so extremely incensed Orus, that he laid
  hands upon her, and pulled off the ensign of royalty which she wore on
  her head; and instead thereof Hermes clapt on an helmet made in the
  shape of an oxe's head--After this, Typho publicly accused Orus of
  bastardy; but by the assistance of Hermes (Thoth) his legitimacy was
  fully established by the judgment of the Gods themselves--After this;
  there were two other battles fought between them, in both of which
  Typho had the worst. Furthermore, Isis is said to have accompanied
  with Osiris after his death, and in consequence hereof to have brought
  forth Harpocrates, who came into the world before his time, and lame
  in his lower limbs."

When we examine this story by the light of the results of hieroglyphic
decipherment, we find that a large portion of it is substantiated by
Egyptian texts: _e.g._, Osiris was the son of Seb and Nut; the Epact is
known in the Calendars as "the five additional days of the year"; the
five gods, Osiris, Horus, Set, Isis, and Nephthys, were born on the days
mentioned by Plutarch; the 17th day of Athyr (Hathor) is marked as
triply unlucky in the Calendars; the wanderings and troubles of Isis are
described, and "lamentations" which she is supposed to have uttered are
found in the texts; lists of the shrines of Osiris are preserved in
several inscriptions; the avenging of his father by Horus is referred to
frequently in papyri and other documents; the conflict between Set and
Horus is described fully in a papyrus in the British Museum (No.
10,184); a hymn in the papyrus of Hunefer relates all that Thoth
performed for Osiris; and the begetting of Horus by Osiris after death
is mentioned in a hymn to Osiris dating from the XVIIIth dynasty in the
following passage:--

  "Thy sister put forth her protecting power for thee, she scattered
  abroad those who were her enemies, she drove away evil hap, she
  pronounced mighty words of power, she made cunning her tongue, and her
  words failed not. The glorious Isis was perfect in command and in
  speech, and she avenged her brother. She sought him without ceasing,
  she wandered round and round the earth uttering cries of pain, and she
  rested (_or_ alighted) not until she had found him. She overshadowed
  him with her feathers, she made air (_or_ wind) with her wings, and
  she uttered cries at the burial of her brother. She raised up the
  prostrate form of him whose heart was still, she took from him of his
  essence, she conceived and brought forth a child, she suckled it in
  secret, and none knew the place thereof; and the arm of the child hath
  waxed strong in the great house of Seb. The company of the gods
  rejoice, and are glad at the coming of Osiris's son Horus, and firm of
  heart and triumphant is the son of Isis, the heir of Osiris."
  [Footnote: This remarkable hymn was first made known by Chabas, who
  published a translation of it, with notes, in _Revue Archéologique_,
  Paris, 1857, t. xiv. p. 65 ff.]

[Illustration: 1. Isis suckling her child Horus in the papyrus swamps.
2. Thoth giving the emblem of magical protection to Isis. 3. Amen-R[=a]
presenting the symbol of "life" to Isis. 4. The goddess Nekhebet
presenting years, and life, stability, power, and sovereignty to the son
of Osiris. 5. The goddess Sati presenting periods of years, and life,
stability, power, and sovereignty to the son of Osiris.]

What form the details of the history of Osiris took in the early
dynasties it is impossible to say, and we know not whether Osiris was
the god of the resurrection to the predynastic or prehistoric Egyptians,
or whether that _rôle_ was attributed to him after Mena began to rule in
Egypt. There is, however, good reason for assuming that in the earliest
dynastic times he occupied the position of god and judge of those who
had risen from the dead by his help, for already in the IVth dynasty,
about B.C. 3800, king Mea-kau-R[=a] (the Mycerinus of the Greeks) is
identified with him, and on his coffin not only is he called "Osiris,
King of the South and North, Men-kau-R[=a], living for ever," but the
genealogy of Osiris is attributed to him, and he is declared to be "born
of heaven, offspring of Nut, flesh and bone of Seb." It is evident that
the priests of Heliopolis "edited" the religious texts copied and
multiplied in the College to suit their own views, but in the early
times when they began their work, the worship of Osiris was so
widespread, and the belief in him as the god of the resurrection so
deeply ingrained in the hearts of the Egyptians, that even in the
Heliopolitan system of theology Osiris and his cycle, or company of
gods, were made to hold a very prominent position. He represented to men
the idea of a man who was both god and man, and he typified to the
Egyptians in all ages the being who by reason of his sufferings and
death as a man could sympathize with them in their own sickness and
death. The idea of his human personality also satisfied their cravings
and yearnings for intercourse with a being who, though he was partly
divine, yet had much in common with themselves. Originally they looked
upon Osiris as a man who lived on the earth as they lived, who ate and
drank, who suffered a cruel death, who by the help of certain gods
triumphed over death, and attained unto everlasting life. But what
Osiris did they could do, and what the gods did for Osiris they must
also do for them, and as the gods brought about his resurrection so they
must bring about theirs, and as they made him the ruler of the
underworld so they must make them to enter his kingdom and to live there
as long as the god himself lived. Osiris, in some of his aspects, was
identified with the Nile, and with R[=a], and with several other "gods"
known to the Egyptians, but it was in his aspect as god of the
resurrection and of eternal life that he appealed to men in the valley
of the Nile; and for thousands of years men and women died believing
that, inasmuch as all that was done for Osiris would be done for them
symbolically, they like him would rise again, and inherit life
everlasting. However far back we trace religious ideas in Egypt, we
never approach a time when it can be said that there did not exist a
belief in the Resurrection, for everywhere it is assumed that Osiris
rose from the dead; sceptics must have existed, and they probably asked
their priests what the Corinthians asked Saint Paul, "How are the dead
raised up? and with what body do they come?" But beyond doubt the belief
in the Resurrection was accepted by the dominant classes in Egypt. The
ceremonies which the Egyptians performed with the view of assisting the
deceased to pass the ordeal of the judgment, and to overcome his enemies
in the next world, will be described elsewhere, as also will be the form
in which the dead were raised up; we therefore return to the theological
history of Osiris.

The centre and home of the worship of Osiris in Egypt under the early
dynasties was Abydos, where the head of the god was said to be buried.
It spread north and south in the course of time, and several large
cities claimed to possess one or other of the limbs of his body. The
various episodes in the life of the god were made the subject of solemn
representations in the temple, and little by little the performance of
the obligatory and non-obligatory services in connection with them
occupied, in certain temples, the greater part of the time of the
priests. The original ideas concerning the god were forgotten and new
ones grew up; from being the _example_ of a man who had risen from the
dead and had attained unto life everlasting, he became the _cause_ of
the resurrection of the dead; and the power to bestow eternal life upon
mortals was transferred from the gods to him. The alleged dismemberment
of Osiris was forgotten in the fact that he dwelt in a perfect body in
the underworld, and that, whether dismembered or not, he had become
after his death the father of Horus by Isis. As early as the XIIth
dynasty, about B.C. 2500, the worship of this god had become almost
universal, and a thousand years later Osiris had become a sort of
national god. The attributes of the great cosmic gods were ascribed to
him, and he appeared to man not only as the god and judge of the dead,
but also as the creator of the world and of all things in it. He who was
the son of R[=a] became the equal of his father, and he took his place
side by side with him in heaven.

We have an interesting proof of the identification of Osiris with R[=a]
in Chapter XVII. of the Book of the Dead. It will be remembered that
this Chapter consists of a series of what might almost be called
articles of faith, each of which is followed by one or more explanations
which represent one or more quite different opinions; the Chapter also
is accompanied by a series of Vignettes. In line 110 it is said, "I am
the soul which dwelleth in the two _tchafi_, [Footnote: _i.e._, the
souls of Osiris and R[=a].] What is this then? It is Osiris when he
goeth into Tattu (_i.e._, Busiris) and findeth there the soul of R[=a];
there the one god embraceth the other, and souls spring into being
within the two _tchafi_." In the Vignette which illustrates this passage
the souls of R[=a] and Osiris are seen in the forms of hawks standing on
a pylon, and facing each other in Tattu; the former has upon his head a
disk, and the latter, who is human-headed, the white crown. It is a
noticeable fact that even at his meeting with R[=a] the soul of Osiris
preserves the human face, the sign of his kinship with man.

Now Osiris became not only the equal of R[=a], but, in many respects, a
greater god than he. It is said, that from the nostrils of the head of
Osiris, which was buried at Abydos, came forth the scarabaeus [Footnote:
See von Berginaun in _Aeg Zeitschrift_, 1880, p. 88 ff.] which was at
once the emblem and type of the god Khepera, who caused all things to
come into being, and of the resurrection. In this manner Osiris became
the source and origin of gods, men, and things, and [Illustration: The
soul of R[=a] (1) meeting the soul of Osiris (2) in Tattu. The cat
(_i.e._, R[=a]) by the Persea tree (3) cutting off the head of the
serpent which typified night.] the manhood of the god was forgotten. The
next step was to ascribe to him the attributes of God, and in the
XVIIIth and XIXth dynasties he seems to have disputed the sovereignty of
the three companies of gods, that is to say of the trinity of trinities
of trinities, [Footnote: Each company of the gods contained three
trinities or triads.] with Amen-R[=a], who by this time was usually
called the "king of the gods." The ideas held concerning Osiris at this
period will best be judged by the following extracts from contemporary

  "Glory [Footnote: See _Chapters of Coming Forth by Day_ (translation),
  p. 11.] be to thee, O Osiris, Un-nefer, the great god within Abtu
  (Abydos), king of eternity, lord of everlastingness, who passest
  through millions of years in thy existence. The eldest son of the womb
  of Nut, engendered by Seb the Ancestor [of the gods], lord of the
  crowns of the South and of the North, lord of the lofty white crown;
  as prince of gods and men he hath received the crook and the whip, and
  the dignity of his divine fathers. Let thy heart, which dwelleth in
  the mountain of Ament, be content, for thy son Horus is stablished
  upon thy throne. Thou art crowned lord of Tattu (Busiris) and ruler in

  "Praise [Footnote: _Ibid._, p. 34.] be unto thee, O Osiris, lord of
  eternity, Un-nefer, Heru-Khuti (Harmachis) whose forms are manifold,
  and whose attributes are great, who art Ptah-Seker-Tem in Annu
  (Heliopolis), the lord of the hidden place, and the creator of
  Het-ka-Ptah (Memphis) and of the gods [therein], the guide of the
  underworld, whom [the gods] glorify when thou settest in Nut. Isis
  embraceth thee in peace, and she driveth away the fiends from the
  mouth of thy paths. Thou turnest thy face upon Amentet, and thou
  makest the earth to shine as with refined copper. The dead rise up to
  see thee, they breathe the air and they look upon thy face when the
  disk riseth on its horizon; their hearts are at peace, inasmuch as
  they behold thee, O thou who art eternity and everlastingness."

In the latter extract Osiris is identified with the great gods of
Heliopolis and Memphis, where shrines of the Sun-god existed in almost
pre-dynastic times, and finally is himself declared to be "eternity and
everlastingness"; thus the ideas of resurrection and immortality are
united in the same divine being. In the following Litany the process of
identification with the gods is continued:--

  1. "Homage to thee, O thou who art the starry deities in Annu, and the
  heavenly beings in Kher-aba; [Footnote: A district near Memphis.] thou
  god Unti, [Footnote: A god who walks before the boat of the god, Af,
  holding a star in each hand.] who art more glorious than the gods who
  are hidden in Annu. O grant thou unto me a path whereon I may pass in
  peace, for I am just and true; I have not spoken lies wittingly, nor
  have I done aught with deceit."

  2. "Homage to thee, O An in Antes, Harmachis; thou stridest over
  heaven with, long strides, O Harmachis. O grant thou unto me a path,"
  etc. [Footnote: This petition is only written once, but it is intended
  to be repeated after each of the nine sections of the Litany.]

  3. "Homage to thee, O soul of everlastingness, thou Soul who dwellest
  in Tattu, Un-nefer, son of Nut; thou art lord of Akert (_i.e._, the
  underworld). O grant thou unto me a path," etc.

  4. "Homage to thee in thy dominion over Tattu; the Ureret crown is
  stablished upon thy head; thou art the One who maketh the strength
  which protecteth himself, and thou dwellest in peace in Tattu. O grant
  thou unto me a path," etc.

  5. "Homage to thee, O lord of the Acacia [Footnote: This tree was in
  Heliopolis, and the Cat, _i.e._, the Sun, sat near it. (See p. 63).]
  tree, the Seker boat [Footnote: The ceremony of setting the Seker boat
  on its sledge was performed at dawn.] is set upon its sledge; thou
  turnest back the Fiend, the worker of Evil, and thou causest the
  Utchat (_i.e._, the Eye of Horus or R[=a]), to rest upon its seat. O
  grant thou unto me a path," etc.

  6. "Homage to thee, O thou who art mighty in thine hour, thou great
  and mighty Prince, dweller in An-rut-f, [Footnote: The place where
  nothing grows--the underworld.] lord of eternity and creator of
  everlastingness, thou art the lord of Suten-henen _(_i.e._,
  Heracleopolis Magna). O grant," etc.

  7. "Homage to thee, O thou who restest upon Right and Truth, thou art
  lord of Abydos, and thy limbs are joined unto Ta-tchesert (_i.e._, the
  Holy Land, the underworld); thou art he to whom fraud and guile are
  hateful. O grant," etc.

  8. "Homage to thee, O thou who art within thy boat; thou bringest
  H[=a]pi (_i.e._, the Nile) forth from his source; the light shineth
  upon thy body, and thou art the dweller in Nekhen. O grant," etc.

  9. "Homage to thee, O creator of the gods, thou king of the South and
  of the North, O Osiris, victorious one, ruler of the world in thy
  gracious seasons; thou art the lord of the celestial world. O grant,"

And, again: "R[=a] setteth as Osiris with all the diadems of the divine
spirits and of the gods of Amentet. He is the one divine form, the
hidden one of the Tuat, the holy Soul at the head of Amentet, Un-nefer,
whose duration of life is for ever and ever." [Footnote: See _Chapters
of Coming Forth by Day_, p. 334.] We have already referred to the help
which Thoth gave to Isis when he provided her with the words which
caused her dead husband to live again, but the best summary of the good
deeds which this god wrought for Osiris is contained in a hymn in the
_Papyrus of Hunefer_, [Footnote: _Ibid_., p. 343.] where the deceased
is made to say:--

  "I have come unto thee, O son of Nut, Osiris, Prince of
  everlastingness; I am, in the following of the god Thoth, and I have
  rejoiced at everything which he hath done for thee. He brought the
  sweet air into thy nostrils, and life and strength to thy beautiful
  face; and the north wind which cometh forth from Temu for thy
  nostrils, O lord of Ta-tchesert. He made the god Shu to shine upon
  thy body; he illumined thy path with rays of light; he destroyed for
  thee the faults and defects of thy members by the magical power of the
  words of his mouth; he made Set and Horus to be at peace for thy sake;
  he destroyed the storm-wind and the hurricane; he made the two
  combatants (_i.e._, Set and Horus) to be gracious unto thee and the
  two lauds to be at peace before thee; he did away the wrath which was
  in their hearts, and each became reconciled unto his brother (_i.e._,

  "Thy son Horus is triumphant in the presence of the full assembly of
  the gods, the sovereignty over the world hath been given unto him, and
  his dominion extendeth unto the uttermost parts of the earth. The
  throne of the god Seb hath been adjudged unto him, together with the
  rank which was created by the god Temu, and which hath been stablished
  by decrees [made] in the Chamber of Archives, and hath been inscribed
  upon an iron tablet according to the command of thy father Ptah-Tanen
  when he sat upon the great throne. He hath set his brother upon that
  which the god Shu beareth up (_i.e._, the heavens), to stretch out the
  waters over the mountains, and to make to spring up that which groweth
  upon the hills, and the grain (?) which shooteth upon the earth, and
  he giveth increase by water and by land. Gods celestial and gods
  terrestrial transfer themselves to the service of thy son Horus, and
  they follow him into his hall [where] a decree is passed that he shall
  be lord over them, and they do [his will] straightway.

  "Let thy heart rejoice, O lord of the gods, let thy heart rejoice
  greatly; Egypt and the Red Land are at peace, and they serve humbly
  under thy sovereign power. The temples are stablished upon their own
  lands, cities and nomes possess securely the goods which they have in
  their names, and we will make unto thee the divine offerings which we
  are bound to make, and offer sacrifices in thy name for ever.
  Acclamations are made in thy name, libations are poured out to thy KA,
  and sepulchral meals [are brought unto thee] by the spirits who are in
  thy following, and water is sprinkled ... on each side of the souls of
  the dead in this land. Every plan for thee which hath been decreed by
  the commands of R[=a] from the beginning hath been perfected. Now
  therefore, O son of Nut, thou art crowned as Neb-er-tcher is crowned
  at his rising. Thou livest, thou art stablished, thou renewest thy
  youth, and thou art true and perfect; thy father R[=a] maketh strong
  thy members, and the company of the gods make acclamations unto thee.
  The goddess Isis is with thee and she never leaveth thee; [thou art]
  not overthrown by thine enemies. The lords of all lands praise thy
  beauties, even as they praise R[=a] when he riseth at the beginning of
  each day. Thou risest up like an exalted being upon thy standard, thy
  beauties lift up the face [of man] and make long [his] stride. The
  sovereignty of thy father Seb hath, been given unto thee, and the
  goddess Nut, thy mother, who gave birth to the gods, brought thee
  forth as the firstborn, of five gods, and created thy beauties and
  fashioned thy members. Thou art established as king, the white crown
  is upon thy head, and thou hast grasped in thy hands the crook and
  whip; whilst thou wert in the womb, and hadst not as yet come forth
  therefrom upon the earth, thou wert crowned lord of the two lands, and
  the 'Atef' crown of R[=a] was upon thy brow. The gods come unto thee
  bowing low to the ground, and they hold thee in fear; they retreat and
  depart when, they see thee with the terror of R[=a], and the victory
  of thy Majesty is in their hearts. Life is with thee, and offerings of
  meat and drink follow thee, and that which is thy due is offered up
  before thy face."

In one paragraph of another somewhat similar hymn [Footnote: See
_Chapters of Coming Forth by Day_, p. 342.] other aspects of Osiris are
described, and after the words "Homage to thee, O Governor of those who
are in Amentet," he is called the being who "giveth birth unto men and
women a second time," [Footnote: The words are _mes tememu em nem_.]
_i.e._, "who maketh mortals to be born again." As the whole paragraph
refers to Osiris "renewing himself," and to his making himself "young
like unto R[=a] each and every day," there can be no doubt that the
resurrection of the dead, that is to say, their birth into a new life,
is what the writer means by the second birth of men and women. From this
passage also we may see that Osiris has become the equal of R[=a], and
that he has passed from being the god of the dead to being the god of
the living. Moreover, at the time when the above extracts were copied
Osiris was not only assumed to have occupied the position which R[=a]
formerly held, but his son Horus, who was begotten after his death, was,
by virtue of his victory over Set, admitted to be the heir and successor
of Osiris. And he not only succeeded to the "rank and dignity" of his
father Osiris, but in his aspect of "avenger of his father," he
gradually acquired the peculiar position of intermediary and intercessor
on behalf of the children of men. Thus in the Judgment Scene he leads
the deceased into the presence of Osiris and makes an appeal to his
father that the deceased may be allowed to enjoy the benefits enjoyed by
all those who are "true of voice" and justified in the judgment. Such an
appeal, addressed to Osiris in the presence of Isis, from the son born
under such remarkable circumstances was, the Egyptian thought, certain
of acceptance; and the offspring of a father, after the death of whose
body he was begotten, was naturally the best advocate for the deceased.

But although such exalted ideas of Osiris and his position among the
gods obtained generally in Egypt during the XVIIIth dynasty (about B.C.
1600) there is evidence that some believed that in spite of every
precaution the body might decay, and that it was necessary to make a
special appeal unto Osiris if this dire result was to be avoided. The
following remarkable prayer was first found inscribed upon a linen
swathing which had enveloped the mummy of Thothmes III., but since that
time the text, written in hieroglyphics, has been found inscribed upon
the _Papyrus of Nu_, [Footnote: Brit. Mus., No. 10,477, sheet 18. I have
published the text in my _Chapters of Coming Forth by Day_, pp.
398-402.] and it is, of course, to be found also in the late papyrus
preserved at Turin, which the late Dr. Lepsius published so far back as
1842. This text, which is now generally known as Chapter CLIV of the
Book of the Dead, is entitled "The Chapter of not letting the body
perish." The text begins:--

  "Homage to thee, O my divine father Osiris! I have come to thee that
  thou mayest embalm, yea embalm these my members, for I would not
  perish and come to an end, [but would be] even like unto my divine
  father Khepera, the divine type of him that never saw corruption.
  Come, then, and make me to have the mastery over my breath, O thou
  lord of the winds, who dost magnify those divine beings who are like
  unto thyself. Stablish thou me, then, and strengthen me, O lord of the
  funeral chest. Grant thou that I may enter into the land of
  everlastingness, even as it was granted unto thee, and unto thy father
  Temu, O thou whose body did not see corruption, and who thyself never
  sawest corruption. I have never wrought that which thou hatest, nay, I
  have uttered acclamations with those who have loved thy KA. Let not my
  body turn into worms, but deliver me [from them] even as thou didst
  deliver thyself. I beseech thee, let me not fall into rottenness as
  thou dost let every god, and every goddess, and every animal, and
  every reptile to see corruption when the soul hath gone forth from
  them after their death. For when the soul departeth, a man seeth
  corruption, and the bones of his body rot and become wholly
  loathsomeness, the members decay piecemeal, the bones crumble into an
  inert mass, the flesh turneth into foetid liquid, and he becometh a
  brother unto the decay which cometh upon him. And he turneth into a
  host of worms, and he becometh a mass of worms, and an end is made of
  him, and he perisheth in the sight of the god Shu even as doth every
  god, and every goddess, and every feathered fowl, and every fish, and
  every creeping thing, and every reptile, and every animal, and every
  thing whatsoever. When the worms see me and know me, let them fall
  upon their bellies, and let the fear of me terrify them; and thus let
  it be with every creature after [my] death, whether it be animal, or
  bird, or fish, or worm, or reptile. And let life arise out of death.
  Let not decay caused by any reptile make an end [of me], and let not
  them come against me in their various forms. Do not thou give me over
  unto that slaughterer who dwelleth in his torture-chamber (?), who
  killeth the members of the body and maketh them to rot, who worketh
  destruction upon many dead bodies, whilst he himself remaineth hidden
  and liveth by slaughter; let me live and perform his message, and let
  me do that which is commanded by him. Gave me not over unto his
  fingers, and let him not gain, the mastery over me, for I am under thy
  command, O lord of the gods.

  "Homage to thee; O my divine father Osiris, thou hast thy being with
  thy members. Thou didst not decay, thou didst not become worms, thou
  didst not diminish, thou didst not become corruption, thou didst not
  putrefy, and thou didst not turn into worms."

The deceased then identifying himself with Khepera, the god who created
Osiris and his company of gods, says:--

  "I am the god Khepera, and my members shall have an everlasting
  existence. I shall not decay, I shall not rot, I shall not putrefy, I
  shall not turn into worms, and I shall not see corruption under the
  eye of the god Shu. I shall have my being, I shall have my being; I
  shall live, I shall live; I shall germinate, I shall germinate, I
  shall germinate; I shall wake up in peace. I shall not putrefy; my
  bowels shall not perish; I shall not suffer injury; mine eye shall not
  decay; the form of my countenance shall not disappear; mine ear shall
  not become deaf; my head shall not be separated from my neck; my
  tongue shall not be carried away; my hair shall not be cut off; mine
  eyebrows shall not be shaved off, and no baleful injury shall come
  upon me. My body shall be stablished, and it shall neither fall into
  ruin, nor be destroyed on this earth."

Judging from such passages as those given above we might think that
certain of the Egyptians expected a resurrection of the physical body,
and the mention of the various members of the body seems to make this
view certain. But the body of which the incorruption and immortality are
so strongly declared is the S[=A]HU; or spiritual body, that sprang into
existence out of the physical body, which had become transformed by
means of the prayers that had been recited and the ceremonies that had
been performed on the day of the funeral, or on that wherein it was laid
in the tomb. It is interesting to notice that no mention is made of meat
or drink in the CLIVth Chapter, and the only thing which the deceased
refers to as necessary for his existence is air, which he obtains
through, the god Temu, the god who is always depicted in human form; the
god is here mentioned in his aspect of the night Sun as opposed to R[=a]
the day Sun, and a comparison of the Sun's daily death with the death of
the deceased is intended to be made. The deposit of the head of the God-man
Osiris at Abydos has already been mentioned, and the belief that it
was preserved there was common throughout Egypt. But in the text quoted
above the deceased says, "My head shall not be separated from my neck,"
which seems to indicate that he wished to keep his body whole,
notwithstanding that Osiris was almighty, and could restore the limbs
and reconstitute the body, even as he had done for his own limbs and
body which had been hacked to pieces by Set. Chapter XLIII of the Book
of the Dead [Footnote: See _The Chapters of Coming Forth by Day_, p.
98.] also has an important reference to the head of Osiris. It is
entitled "The Chapter of not letting the head of a man be cut off from
him in the underworld," and must be of considerable antiquity. In it the
deceased says: "I am the Great One, the son of the Great One; I am Fire,
and the son of the Fire, to whom was given his head after it had been
cut off. The head of Osiris was not taken away from him, let not the
head of the deceased be taken away from him. I have knit myself together
(_or_ reconstituted myself); I have made myself whole and complete; I
have renewed my youth; I am Osiris, the lord of eternity."

From the above it would seem that, according to one version of the
Osiris story, the head of Osiris was not only cut off, but that it was
passed through the fire also; and if this version be very ancient, as it
well may be and probably is, it takes us back to prehistoric times in
Egypt when the bodies of the dead were mutilated and burned. Prof.
Wiedemann thinks [Footnote: See J. de Morgan, _Ethnographie
Préhistorique_, p. 210.] that the mutilation and breaking of the bodies
of the dead were the results of the belief that in order to make the KA,
or "double," leave this earth, the body to which it belonged must be
broken, and he instances the fact that objects of every kind were broken
at the time when they were placed in the tombs. He traces also a
transient custom in the prehistoric graves of Egypt where the methods of
burying the body whole and broken into pieces seem to be mingled, for
though in some of them the body has been broken into pieces, it is
evident that successful attempts have been made to reconstitute it by
laying the pieces as far as possible in their proper places. And it may
be this custom which is referred to in various places in the Book of the
Dead, when the deceased declares that he has collected his limbs "and
made his body whole again," and already in the Vth dynasty King Teta is
thus addressed--"Rise up, O thou Teta! Thou hast received thy head, thou
hast knitted together thy bones, [Footnote: _Recueil de Travaux_, tom.
v. p. 40 (I. 287).] thou hast collected thy members."

The history of Osiris, the god of the resurrection, has now been traced
from the earliest times to the end of the period of the rule of the
priests of Amen (about B.C. 900), by which time Amen-R[=a] had been
thrust in among the gods of the underworld, and prayers were made, in
some cases, to him instead of to Osiris. From this time onwards Amen
maintained this exalted position, and in the Ptolemaic period, in an
address to the deceased Ker[=a]sher we read. "Thy face shineth before
R[=a], thy soul liveth before Amen, and thy body is renewed before
Osiris." And again it is said, "Amen is nigh unto thee to make thee to
live again.... Amen cometh to thee having the breath of life, and he
causeth thee to draw thy breath within thy funeral house." But in spite
of this, Osiris kept and held the highest place in the minds of the
Egyptians, from first to last, as the God-man, the being who was both
divine and human; and no foreign invasion, and no religious or political
disturbances, and no influence which any outside peoples could bring to
bear upon them, succeeded in making them regard the god as anything less
than the cause and symbol and type of the resurrection, and of the life
everlasting. For about five thousand years men were mummified in
imitation of the mummied form of Osiris; and they went to their graves
believing that their bodies would vanquish the powers of death, and the
grave, and decay, because Osiris had vanquished them; and they had
certain hope of the resurrection in an immortal, eternal, and spiritual
body, because Osiris had risen in a transformed spiritual body, and had
ascended into heaven, where he had become the king and the judge of the
dead, and had attained unto everlasting life therein.

The chief reason for the persistence of the worship of Osiris in Egypt
was, probably, the fact that it promised both resurrection and eternal
life to its followers. Even after the Egyptians had embraced
Christianity they continued to mummify their dead, and for long after
they continued to mingle the attributes of their God and the "gods" with
those of God Almighty and Christ. The Egyptians of their own will never
got away from the belief that the body must be mummified if eternal life
was to be assured to the dead, but the Christians, though preaching the
same doctrine of the resurrection as the Egyptians, went a step further,
and insisted that there was no need to mummify the dead at all. St.
Anthony the Great besought his followers not to embalm his body and keep
it in a house, but to bury it and to tell no man where it had been
buried, lest those who loved him should come and draw it forth, and
mummify it as they were wont to do to the bodies of those whom they
regarded as saints. "For long past," he said, "I have entreated the
bishops and preachers to exhort the people not to continue to observe
this useless custom"; and concerning his own body, he said, "At the
resurrection of the dead I shall receive it from the Saviour
incorruptible." [Footnote: See Rosweyde, _Vitae Patrum_, p. 59; _Life of
St. Anthony_, by Athanusius (Migne), _Patrologiae_, Scr. Graec, tom. 26,
col. 972.] The spread of this idea gave the art of mummifying its
death-blow, and though from innate conservatism, and the love of having
the actual bodies of their beloved dead near them, the Egyptians
continued for a time to preserve their dead as before, yet little by
little the reasons for mummifying were forgotten, the knowledge of the
art died out, the funeral ceremonies were curtailed, the prayers became
a dead letter, and the custom of making mummies became obsolete. With
the death of the art died also the belief in and the worship of Osiris,
who from being the god of the dead became a dead god, and to the
Christians of Egypt, at least, his place was filled by Christ, "the
firstfruits of them that slept," Whose resurrection and power to grant
eternal life were at that time being preached throughout most of the
known world. In Osiris the Christian Egyptians found the prototype of
Christ, and in the pictures and statues of Isis suckling her son Horus,
they perceived the prototypes of the Virgin Mary and her Child. Never
did Christianity find elsewhere in the world a people whose minds were
so thoroughly well prepared to receive its doctrines as the Egyptians.

This chapter may be fittingly ended by a few extracts from, the _Songs
of Isis and Nephthys_, which were sung in the Temple of Amen-R[=a] at
Thebes by two priestesses who personified the two goddesses. [Footnote
1: See my _Hieratic Papyrus of Nesi-Amsu (Archaeologia, vol. III_)]

  "Hail, thou lord of the underworld, thou Bull of those who are
  therein, thou Image of R[=a]-Harmachis, thou Babe of beautiful
  appearance, come thou to us in peace. Thou didst repel thy disasters,
  thou didst drive away evil hap; Lord, come to us in peace. O Un-nefer,
  lord of food, thou chief, thou who art of terrible majesty, thou God,
  president of the gods, when thou dost inundate the land [all] things
  are engendered. Thou art gentler than the gods. The emanations of thy
  body make the dead and the living to live, O thou lord of food, thou
  prince of green herbs, thou mighty lord, thou staff of life, thou
  giver of offerings to the gods, and of sepulchral meals to the blessed
  dead. Thy soul flieth after R[=a], thou shinest at dawn, thou settest
  at twilight, thou risest every day; thou shalt rise on the left hand
  of Atmu for ever and ever. Thou art the glorious one, the vicar of
  R[=a]; the company of the gods cometh to thee invoking thy face, the
  flame whereof reacheth unto thine enemies. We rejoice when thou
  gatherest together thy bones, and when thou hast made whole thy body
  daily. Anubis cometh to thee, and the two sisters (_i.e._, Isis and
  Nephthys) come to thee. They have obtained beautiful things for thee,
  and they gather together thy limbs for thee, and they seek to put
  together the mutilated members of thy body. Wipe thou the impurities
  which are on them upon our hair and come thou to us having no
  recollection, of that which hath caused thee sorrow. Come thou in thy
  attribute of 'Prince of the earth,' lay aside thy trepidation and be
  at peace with us, O Lord. Thou shalt be proclaimed heir of the world,
  and the One god, and, the fulfiller of the designs of the gods. All
  the gods invoke thee, come therefore to thy temple and be not afraid.
  O R[=a] (_i.e._, Osiris), thou art beloved of Isis and Nephthys; rest
  thou in thy habitation forever."



Throughout this book we have had to refer frequently to the "gods" of
Egypt; it is now time to explain who and what they were. We have already
shown how much the monotheistic side of the Egyptian religion resembles
that of modern Christian nations, and it will have come as a surprise to
some that a people, possessing such exalted ideas of God as the
Egyptians, could ever have become the byword they did through their
alleged worship of a multitude of "gods" in various forms. It is quite
true that the Egyptians paid honour to a number of gods, a number so
large that the list of their mere names would fill a volume, but it is
equally true that the educated classes in Egypt at all times never
placed the "gods" on the same high level as God, and they never imagined
that their views on this point could be mistaken. In prehistoric times
every little village or town, every district and province, and every
great city, had its own particular god; we may go a step farther, and
say that every family of any wealth and position had its own god. The
wealthy family selected some one to attend to its god, and to minister
unto his wants, and the poor family contributed, according to its means,
towards a common fund for providing a dwelling-house for the god, and
for vestments, etc. But the god was an integral part of the family,
whether rich or poor, and its destiny was practically locked up with
that of the family. The overthrow of the family included the overthrow
of the god, and seasons of prosperity resulted in abundant offerings,
new vestments; perhaps a new shrine, and the like. The god of the
village, although he was a more important being, might be led into
captivity along with the people of the village, but the victory of his
followers in a raid or fight caused the honours paid to him to be
magnified and enhanced his renown.

The gods of provinces or of great cities were, of course, greater than
those of villages and private families, and in the large houses
dedicated to them, _i.e._, temples, a considerable number of them,
represented by statues, would be found. Sometimes the attributes of one
god would be ascribed to another, sometimes two or more gods would be
"fused" or united and form one, sometimes gods were imported from remote
villages and towns and even from foreign countries, and occasionally a
community or town would repudiate its god or gods, and adopt a brand new
set from some neighbouring district Thus the number of the gods was
always changing, and the relative position of individual gods was always
changing; an obscure and almost unknown, local god to-day might through a
victory in war become the chief god of a city, and on the other hand, a
god worshipped with abundant offerings and great ceremony one month
might sink into insignificance and become to all intents and purposes a
dead god the next. But besides family and village gods there were
national gods, and gods of rivers and mountains, and gods of earth and
sky, all of which taken together made a formidable number of "divine"
beings whose good-will had to be secured, and whose ill-will must be
appeased. Besides these, a number of animals as being sacred to the gods
were also considered to be "divine," and fear as well as love made the
Egyptians add to their numerous classes of gods.

The gods of Egypt whose names are known to us do not represent all those
that have been conceived by the Egyptian imagination, for with them as
with much else, the law of the survival of the fittest holds good. Of
the gods of the prehistoric man we know nothing, but it is more than
probable that some of the gods who were worshipped in dynastic times
represent, in a modified form, the deities of the savage, or
semi-savage, Egyptian that held their influence on his mind the longest.
A typical example of such a god will suffice, namely Thoth, whose
original emblem was the dog-headed ape. In very early times great
respect was paid to this animal on account of his sagacity,
intelligence, and cunning; and the simple-minded Egyptian, when he heard
him chattering just before the sunrise and sunset, assumed that he was
in some way holding converse or was intimately connected with the sun.
This idea clung to his mind, and we find in dynastic times, in the
vignette representing the rising sun, that the apes, who are said to be
the transformed openers of the portals of heaven, form a veritable
company of the gods, and at the same time one of the most striking
features of the scene. Thus an idea which came into being in the most
remote times passed on from generation to generation until it became
crystallized in the best copies of the Book of the Dead, at a period
when Egypt was at its zenith of power and glory. The peculiar species of
the dog-headed ape which is represented in statues and on papyri is
famous for its cunning, and it was the words which it supplied to Thoth,
who in turn transmitted them to Osiris, that enabled Osiris to be "true
of voice," or triumphant, over his enemies. It is probably in this
capacity, _i.e._, as the friend of the dead, that the dog-headed ape
appears seated upon the top of the standard of the Balance in which the
heart of the deceased is being weighed against the feather symbolic of
Ma[=a]t; for the commonest titles of the god are "lord of divine books,"
"lord of divine words," _i.e._, the formulae which make the deceased to
be obeyed by friend and foe alike in the next world. In later times,
when Thoth came to be represented by the ibis bird, his attributes were
multiplied, and he became the god of letters, science, mathematics,
etc.; at the creation he seems to have played a part not unlike that of
"wisdom" which is so beautifully described by the writer of Proverbs
(see Chap. VIII. vv. 23-31).

Whenever and wherever the Egyptians attempted to set up a system of gods
they always found that the old local gods had to be taken into
consideration, and a place had to be found for them in the system. This
might be done by making them members of triads, or of groups of nine
gods, now commonly called "enneads"; but in one form or other they had
to appear. The researches made during the last few years have shown that
there must have been several large schools of theological thought in
Egypt, and of each of these the priests did their utmost to proclaim the
superiority of their gods. In dynastic times there must have been great
colleges at Heliopolis, Memphis, Abydos, and one or more places in the
Delta, not to mention the smaller schools of priests which, probably
existed at places on both sides of the Nile from Memphis to the south.
Of the theories and doctrines of all such schools and colleges, those of
Heliopolis have survived in the completest form, and by careful
examination of the funeral texts which were inscribed on the monuments
of the kings of Egypt of the Vth and VIth dynasties we can say what
views they held about many of the gods. At the outset we see that the
great god of Heliopolis was Temu or Atmu, the setting sun, and to him
the priests of that place ascribed the attributes which rightly belong
to R[=a], the Sun-god of the day-time. For some reason or other they
formulated the idea of a company of the gods, nine in number, which was
called the "great company _(paut)_ of the gods," and at the head of this
company they placed the god Temu. In Chapter XVII of the Book of the
Dead [Footnote: See _Chapters of Coming Forth by Day_, p. 49.] we find
the following passage:--

  "I am the god Temu in his rising; I am the only One. I came into being
  in Nu. I am R[=a] who rose in the beginning."

Next comes the question, "But who is this?" And the answer is: "It is
R[=a] when at the beginning he rose in the city of Suten-henen
(Heracleopolis Magna) crowned like a king in rising. The pillars of the
god Shu were not as yet created when he was upon the staircase of him
that dwelleth in Khemennu (Hermopolis Magna)." From these statements we
learn that Temu and R[=a] were one and the same god, and that he was the
first offspring of the god Nu, the primeval watery mass out of which all
the gods came into being. The text continues: "I am the great god Nu who
gave birth to himself, and who made his names to come into being and to
form the company of the gods. But who is this? It is R[=a], the creator
of the names of his members which came into being in the form of the
gods who are in the train of R[=a]." And again: "I am he who is not
driven back among the gods. But who is this? It is Tem, the dweller in
his disk, or as others say, it is R[=a] in his rising in the eastern
horizon of heaven." Thus we learn further that Nu was self-produced, and
that the gods are simply the names of his limbs; but then R[=a] is Nu,
and the gods who are in his train or following are merely
personifications of the names of his own members. He who cannot be
driven back among the gods is either Temu or R[=a], and so we find that
Nu, Temu, and R[=a] are one and the same god. The priests of Heliopolis
in setting Temu at the head of their company of the gods thus gave
R[=a], and Nu also, a place of high honour; they cleverly succeeded in
making their own local god chief of the company, but at the same time
they provided the older gods with positions of importance. In this way
worshippers of R[=a], who had regarded their god as the oldest of the
gods, would have little cause to complain of the introduction of Temu
into the company of the gods, and the local vanity of Heliopolis would
be gratified.

But besides the nine gods who were supposed to form the "great company"
of gods of the city of Heliopolis, there was a second group of nine gods
called the "little company" of the gods, and yet a third group of nine
gods, which formed the least company. Now although the _paut_ or company
of nine gods might be expected to contain nine always, this was not the
case, and the number nine thus applied is sometimes misleading. There
are several passages extant in texts in which the gods of a _paut_ are
enumerated, but the total number is sometimes ten and sometimes eleven.
This fact is easily explained when we remember that the Egyptians
deified the various forms or aspects of a god, or the various phases in
his life. Thus the setting sun, called Temu or Atmu, and the rising sun,
called Khepera, and the mid-day sun, called R[=a], were three forms of
the same god; and if any one of these three forms was included in a
_paut_ or company of nine gods, the other two forms were also included
by implication, even though the _paut_ then contained eleven, instead of
nine gods. Similarly, the various forms of each god or goddess of the
_paut_ were understood to be included in it, however large the total
number of gods might become. We are not, therefore, to imagine that the
three companies of the gods were limited in number to 9 x 3, or
twenty-seven, even though the symbol for god be given twenty-seven times
in the texts.

We have already alluded to the great number of gods who were known to
the Egyptians, but it will be readily imagined that it was only those
who were thought to deal with man's destiny, here and hereafter, who
obtained the worship and reverence of the people of Egypt. These were,
comparatively, limited in number, and in fact may be said to consist of
the members of the great company of the gods of Heliopolis, that is to
say, of the gods who belonged to the cycle of Osiris. These may be
briefly described as follows:--

  1. TEMU or ATMU, _i.e._, the "closer" of the day, just as Ptah was the
  "opener" of the day. In the story of the creation he declares that he
  evolved himself under the form of the god Khepera, and in hymns he is
  said to be the "maker of the gods", "the creator of men", etc., and he
  usurped the position of R[=a] among the gods of Egypt. His worship
  must have been already very ancient at the time of the kings of the
  Vth dynasty, for his traditional form is that of a man at that time.

  2. SHU was the firstborn son of Temu. According to one legend he
  sprang direct from the god, and according to another the goddess
  Hathor was his mother; yet a third legend makes him the son of Temu by
  the goddess Ius[=a]set. He it was who made his way between the gods
  Seb and Nut and raised up the latter to form the sky, and this belief
  is commemorated by the figures of this god in which he is represented
  as a god raising himself up from the earth with the sun's disk on his
  shoulders. As a power of nature he typified the light, and, standing
  on the top of a staircase at Hermopolis Magua, [Footnote: See above,
  pp. 69 and 89.] he raised up the sky and held it up during each day.
  To assist him in this work he placed a pillar at each of the cardinal
  points, and the "supports of Shu" are thus the props of the sky.

  3. TEFNUT was the twin-sister of Shu; as a power of nature she
  typified moisture or some aspect of the sun's heat, but as a god of
  the dead she seems to have been, in some way, connected with the
  supply of drink to the deceased. Her brother Shu was the right eye of
  Temu, and she was the left, _i.e._, Shu represented an aspect of the
  Sun, and Tefnut of the Moon. The gods Temu, Shu, and Tefnut thus
  formed a trinity, and in the story of the creation the god Temu says,
  after describing how Shu and Tefnut proceeded from himself, "thus from
  being one god I became three."

  4. SEB was the son of the god Shu. He is called the "Erp[=a]," _i.e._,
  the "hereditary chief" of the gods, and the "father of the gods,"
  these being, of course, Osiris, Isis, Set, and Nephthys. He was
  originally the god of the earth, but later he became a god of the dead
  as representing the earth wherein the deceased was laid. One legend
  identifies him with the goose, the bird which, in later times was
  sacred to him, and he is often called the "Great Cackler," in allusion
  to the idea that he made the primeval egg from which the world came
  into being.

  5. NUT was the wife of Seb and the mother of Osiris, Isis, Set, and
  Nephthys. Originally she was the personification of the sky, and
  represented the feminine principle which was active at the creation of
  the universe. According to an old view, Seb and Nut existed in the
  primeval watery abyss side by side with Shu and Tefnut; and later Seb
  became the earth and Nut the sky. These deities were supposed to unite
  every evening, and to remain embraced until the morning, when the god
  Shu separated them, and set the goddess of the sky upon his four
  pillars until the evening. Nut was, naturally, regarded as the mother
  of the gods and of all things living, and she and her husband Seb were
  considered to be the givers of food, not only to the living but also
  to the dead. Though different views were current in Egypt as to the
  exact location of the heaven of the beatified dead, yet all schools of
  thought in all periods assigned it to some region in the sky, and the
  abundant allusions in the texts to the heavenly bodies--that is, the
  sun, moon, and stars--which the deceased dwells with, prove that the
  final abode of the souls of the righteous was not upon earth. The
  goddess Nut is sometimes represented as a female along whose body the
  sun travels, and sometimes as a cow; the tree sacred to her was the

  6. Osiris was the son of Seb and Nut, the husband of Isis and the
  father of Horus. The history of this god is given elsewhere in this
  book so fully that it is only necessary to refer briefly to him. He
  was held to be a man although of divine origin; he lived and reigned
  as a king on this earth; he was treacherously murdered by his brother
  Set, and his body was cut up into fourteen pieces, which were
  scattered about Egypt; after his death, Isis, by the use of magical
  formulae supplied to her by Thoth, succeeded in raising him to life,
  and he begot a son called Horus; when Horus was grown up, he engaged
  in combat with Set, and overcame him, and thus "avenged his father";
  by means of magical formulae, supplied to him by Thoth, Osiris
  reconstituted and revivified his body, and became the type of the
  resurrection and the symbol of immortality; he was also the hope, the
  judge, and the god of the dead, probably even in pre-dynastic times.
  Osiris was in one aspect a solar deity, and originally he seems to
  have represented the sun after it had set; but he is also identified
  with the moon. In the XVIIIth dynasty, however, he is already the
  equal of R[=a], and later the attributes of God and of all the "gods"
  were ascribed to him.

  7. Isis was the wife of Osiris and mother of Horus; as a nature
  goddess she had a place in the boat of the sun at the creation, when
  she probably typified the dawn. By reason of her success in
  revivifying her husband's body by means of the utterance of magical
  formulae, she is called the "lady of enchantments." Her wanderings in
  search of her husband's body, and the sorrow which she endured in
  bringing forth and rearing her child in the papyrus swamps of the
  Delta, and the persecution which she suffered at the hands of her
  husband's enemies, form the subject of many allusions in texts of all
  periods. She has various aspects, but the one which appealed most to
  the imagination of the Egyptians, was that of "divine mother"; in this
  character thousands of statues represent her seated and suckling her
  child Horus whom she holds upon her knees.

  8. Set was the son of Seb and Nut, and the husband of Nephthys. At a
  very early period he was regarded as the brother and friend of "Horus
  the Elder," the Aroueris of the Greeks, and Set represented the night
  whilst Horus represented the day. Each of these gods performed many
  offices of a friendly nature for the dead, and among others they set
  up and held the ladder by which the deceased made his way from this
  earth to heaven, and helped him to ascend it. But, at a later period,
  the views of the Egyptians concerning Set changed, and soon after the
  reign of the kings called "Seti," _i.e._, those whose names were based
  upon that of the god, he became the personification of all evil, and
  of all that is horrible and terrible in nature, such as the desert in
  its most desolate form, the storm and the tempest, etc. Set, as a
  power of nature, was always waging war with Horus the Elder, _i.e._,
  the night did battle with the day for supremacy; both gods, however,
  sprang from the same source, for the heads of both are, in one scene,
  made to belong to one body. When Horus, the son of Isis, had grown up,
  he did battle with Set, who had murdered Horus's father Osiris, and
  vanquished him; in many texts these two originally distinct fights are
  confused, and the two Horus gods also. The conquest of Set by Horus in
  the first conflict typified only the defeat of the night by the day,
  but the defeat of Set in the second seems to have been understood as
  the victory of life over death, and of good over evil. The symbol of
  Set was an animal with a head something like that of a camel, but it
  has not yet been satisfactorily identified; figures of the god are
  uncommon, for most of them were destroyed by the Egyptians when they
  changed their views about him.

  9. NEPHTHYS was the sister of Isis and her companion in all her
  wanderings and troubles; like her she had a place in the boat of the
  Sun at creation, when she probably typified the twilight or very early
  night. She was, according to one legend, the mother of Anubis by
  Osiris, but in the texts his father is declared to be R[=a]. In
  funeral papyri, stelae, etc., she always accompanies Isis in her
  ministrations to the dead, and as she assisted Osiris and Isis to
  defeat the wickedness of her own husband (Set), so she helped the
  deceased to overcome the powers of death and the grave.

Here then we have the nine gods of the divine company of Heliopolis, but
no mention is made of Horus, the son of Isis, who played such an
important part in the history of his father Osiris, and nothing is said
about Thoth; both gods are, however, included in the company in various
passages of the text, and it may be that their omission from it is the
result of an error of the scribe. We have already given the chief
details of the history of the gods Horus and Thoth, and the principal
gods of the other companies may now be briefly named.

  NU was the "father of the gods," and progenitor of the "great company
  of the gods"; he was the primeval watery mass out of which all things

  PTAH was one of the most active of the three great gods who carried
  out the commands of Thoth, who gave expression in words to the will of
  the primeval, creative Power; he was self-created, and was a form of
  the Sun-god R[=a] as the "Opener" of the day. From certain allusions
  in the Book of the Dead he is known to have "opened the mouth"
  [Footnote: "May the god Ptah open my mouth"; "may the god Shu open my
  mouth with his implement of iron wherewith he opened the mouth of the
  gods" (Chap. XXIII.)] of the gods, and it is in this capacity that he
  became a god of the cycle of Osiris. His feminine counterpart was the
  goddess SEKHET, and the third member of the triad of which he was the
  chief was NEFER-TEMU.

  PTAH-SEKER is the dual god formed by fusing Seker, the Egyptian name
  of the incarnation of the Apis Bull of Memphis, with Ptah.

  PTAH-SEKER-AUSAR was a triune god who, in brief, symbolized life,
  death, and the resurrection.

  KHNEMU was one of the old cosmic gods who assisted Ptah in carrying
  out the commands of Thoth, who gave expression in words to the will of
  the primeval, creative Power, he is described as "the maker of things
  which are, the creator of things which shall be, the source of created
  things, the father of fathers, and the mother of mothers." It was he
  who, according to one legend, fashioned man upon a potter's wheel.

  KHEPERA was an old primeval god, and the type of matter which contains
  within itself the germ of life which is about to spring into a new
  existence; thus he represented the dead body from which the spiritual
  body was about to rise. He is depicted in the form of a man having a
  beetle for a head, and this insect became his emblem because it was
  supposed to be self-begotten and self-produced. To the present day
  certain of the inhabitants of the Sûdân, pound the dried scarabaeus or
  beetle and drink it in water, believing that it will insure them a
  numerous progeny. The name "Khepera" means "he who rolls," and when
  the insect's habit of rolling along its ball filled with eggs is taken
  into consideration, the appropriateness of the name is apparent. As
  the ball of eggs rolls along the germs mature and burst into life; and
  as the sun rolls across the sky emitting light and heat and with them
  life, so earthly things are produced and have their being by virtue

  R[=A] was probably the oldest of the gods worshipped in Egypt, and his
  name belongs to such a remote period that its meaning is unknown. He
  was in all periods the visible emblem of God, and was the god of this
  earth to whom offerings and sacrifices were made daily; time began
  when R[=a] appeared above the horizon at creation in the form of the
  Sun, and the life of a man was compared to his daily course at a very
  early date. R[=a] was supposed to sail over heaven in two boats, the
  [=A]TET or M[=A] TET boat in which he journeyed from sunrise until
  noon, and the SEKTET boat in which he journeyed from noon until
  sunset. At his rising he was attacked by [=A]pep, a mighty "dragon" or
  serpent, the type of evil and darkness, and with this monster he did
  battle until the fiery darts which he discharged into the body of
  =Apep scorched and burnt him up; the fiends that were in attendance
  upon this terrible foe were also destroyed by fire, and their bodies
  were hacked in pieces. A repetition of this story is given in the
  legend of the fight between Horus and Set, and in both forms it
  represented originally the fight which was supposed to go on daily
  between light and darkness. Later, however, when Osiris had usurped
  the position of R[=a], and Horus represented a divine power who was
  about to avenge the cruel murder of his father, and the wrong which
  had been done to him, the moral conceptions of right and wrong, good
  and evil, truth and falsehood were applied to light and darkness, that
  is to say, to Horus and Set.

As R[=a] was the "father of the gods," it was natural that every god
should represent some phase of him, and that he should represent every
god. A good illustration of this fact is afforded by a Hymn to R[=a], a
fine copy of which is found inscribed on the walls of the sloping
corridor in the tomb of Seti I., about B.C. 1370, from which we quote
the following:--

  11. "Praise be unto thee, O R[=a], thou exalted Power, who dost enter
  into the habitations of Ament, behold [thy] body is Temu.

  12. "Praise be unto thee, O R[=a], thou exalted Power, who dost enter
  into the hidden place of Anubis, behold, [thy] body is Khepera.

  13. "Praise be unto thee, O R[=a], thou exalted Power, whose duration
  of life is greater than that of the hidden forms, behold [thy] body is

  14. "Praise be unto thee, O R[=a], thou exalted Power, .... behold
  [thy] body is Tefnut.

  15. "Praise be unto thee, O R[=a], thou exalted Power, who bringest
  forth, green things in their season, behold [thy] body is Seb.

  16. "Praise be unto thee, O R[=a], thou exalted Power, thou mighty
  being who dost judge,... behold [thy] body is Nut.

  17. "Praise be unto thee, O R[=a], thou exalted Power, the lord....
  behold [thy] body is Isis.

  18. "Praise be unto thee, O R[=a], thou exalted Power, whose head
  giveth light to that which is in front of thee, behold [thy] body is

  19. "Praise be unto thee, O R[=a], thou exalted Power, thou source of
  the divine members, thou One, who bringest into being that which hath
  been begotten, behold [thy] body is Horus.

  20. "Praise be unto thee, O R[=a], thou exalted Power, who dost dwell
  in and illumine the celestial deep, behold [thy] body is Nu."
  [Footnote: For the text see _Annales du Musée Guimet: Le Tombeau de
  Seti 1_. (ed. Lefébure), Paris, 1886, pl. v.]

In the paragraphs which follow R[=a] is identified with a large number
of gods and divine personages whose names are not of such common
occurrence in the texts as those given above, and in one way or another
the attributes of all the gods are ascribed to him. At the time when the
hymn was written it is clear that polytheism, not pantheism as some
would have it, was in the ascendant, and notwithstanding the fact that
the Theban god Amen was gradually being forced to the headship of the
companies of the gods of Egypt, we find everywhere the attempt being
made to emphasize the view that every god, whether foreign or native,
was an aspect or form of R[=a].

The god Amen just referred to was originally a local god of Thebes,
whose shrine was either founded or rebuilt as far back as the XIIth
dynasty, about B.C. 2500. This "hidden" god, for such is the meaning of
the name Amen, was essentially a god of the south of Egypt, but when the
Theban kings vanquished their foes in the north, and so became masters
of the whole country, Amen became a god of the first importance, and the
kings of the XVIIIth, XIXth, and XXth dynasties endowed his temples on a
lavish scale. The priests of the god called Amen "the king of the gods,"
and they endeavoured to make all Egypt accept him as such, but in spite
of their power they saw that they could not bring this result about
unless they identified him with the oldest gods of the land. They
declared that he represented the hidden and mysterious power which
created and sustains the universe, and that the sun was the symbol of
this power; they therefore added his name to that of R[=a], and in this
form he gradually usurped the attributes and powers of Nu, Khnemu, Ptah,
H[=a]pi, and other great gods. A revolt headed by Amen-hetep, or
Amenophis IV. (about B.C. 1500), took place against the supremacy of
Amen in the middle of the XVIIIth dynasty, but it was unsuccessful. This
king hated the god and his name so strongly that he changed his own name
into that of "Khu-en-Aten," _i.e._, "the glory of the solar Disk," and
ordered the name of Amen to be obliterated, wherever possible, on
temples and other great monuments; and this was actually done in many
places. It is impossible to say exactly what the religious views of the
king were, but it is certain that he wished to substitute the cult of
Aten, a form of the Sun-god worshipped at Annu (_i.e._, On or
Heliopolis) in very ancient times, for that of Amen. "Aten" means
literally the "Disk of the Sun," and though it is difficult to
understand at this distance of time in what the difference between the
worship of R[=a] and the worship of "R[=a] in his Disk" consisted, we
may be certain that there must have been some subtle, theological
distinction between them. But whatever the difference may have been, it
was sufficient to make Amenophis forsake the old capital Thebes and
withdraw to a place [Footnote: The site is marked by the ruins of Tell
el-Amarna.]some distance to the north of that city, where he carried on
the worship of his beloved god Aten. In the pictures of the Aten worship
which have come down to us the god appears in the form of a disk from
which proceed a number of arms and hands that bestow life upon his
worshippers. After the death of Amenophis the cult of Aten declined, and
Amen resumed his sway over the minds of the Egyptians.

Want of space forbids the insertion here of a full list of the titles of
Amen, and a brief extract from the Papyrus of the Princess Nesi-Khensu
[Footnote: For a hieroglyphic transcript of the hieratic text, see
Maspero, _Mémoires_, tom. i., p. 594 ff.] must suffice to describe the
estimation in which the god was held about B.C. 1000. In this Amen is
addressed as "the holy god, the lord of all the gods, Amen-R[=a], the
lord of the thrones of the world, the prince of Apt (_i.e._, Karnak),
the holy soul who came into being in the beginning, the great god who
liveth by right and truth, the first ennead who gave birth unto the
other two enneads, [Footnote: _i.e._, the great, the little, and the
least companies of the gods; each company (_paut_) contained nine gods.]
the being in whom every god existeth, the One of One, the creator of the
things which came into being when the earth took form in the beginning,
whose births are hidden, whose forms are manifold, and whose growth
cannot be known. The holy Form, beloved and terrible and mighty.... the
lord of space, the mighty One of the form of Khepera, who came into
existence through Khepera, the lord of the form of Khepera; when he came
into being nothing existed except himself. He shone upon the earth from
primeval time, he the Disk, the prince of light and radiance.... When
this holy god moulded himself, the heavens and the earth were made by
his heart (_or_ mind).... He is the Disk of the Moon, the beauties
whereof pervade the heavens and the earth, the untiring and beneficent
king whose will germinateth from rising to setting, from whose divine
eyes men and women come forth, and from whose mouth the gods do come,
and [by whom] food and meat and drink are made and provided, and [by
whom] the things which exist are created. He is the lord of time, and he
traverseth eternity; he is the aged one who reneweth his youth.... He is
the Being who cannot be known, and he is more hidden than all the
gods.... He giveth long life and multiplieth the years of those who are
favoured by him, he is the gracious protector of him whom he setteth in
his heart, and he is the fashioner of eternity and everlastingness. He
is the king of the North and of the South, Amen-R[=a], king of the gods,
the lord of heaven, and of earth, and of the waters and of the
mountains, with whose coming into being the earth began its existence,
the mighty one, more princely than, all the gods of the first company."

In the above extract, it will be noticed that Amen is called the "One of
One," or the "One One," a title which has been explained as having no
reference whatever to the unity of God as understood in modern times:
but unless these words are intended to express the idea of unity, what
is their meaning? It is also said that he is "without second," and thus
there is no doubt whatever that when the Egyptians declared their god to
be One, and without a second, they meant precisely what the Hebrews and
Arabs meant when they declared their God to be One. [Footnote: See
Deut., vi. 4; and _Koran_, chapter cxii.] Such a God was an entirely
different Being from the personifications of the powers of nature and
the existences which, for want of a better name, have been called

But, besides R[=a], there existed in very early times a god called
HORUS, whose symbol was the hawk, which, it seems, was the first living
thing worshipped by the Egyptians; Horus was the Sun-god, like R[=a],
and in later times was confounded with Horus the son of Isis. The chief
forms of Horus given in the texts are: (1) HERU-UR (Aroueris), (2)
Connected with one of the forms of Horus, originally, were the four gods
of the cardinal points, or the "four, spirits of Horus," who supported
heaven at its four corners; their names were HAPI, TUAMUTEE, AMSET, and
QEBHSENNUF, and they represented the north, east, south, and west
respectively. The intestines of the dead were embalmed and placed in
four jars, each being under the protection, of one of these four gods.
Other important gods of the dead are: (1) ANUBIS, the son of R[=a] or
Osiris, who presided over the abode of the dead, and with AP-UAT shared
the dominion of the "funeral mountain"; the symbol of each of these gods
is a jackal. (2) HU and SA, the children of Temu, or R[=a], who appear
in the boat of the sun at the creation, and later in the Judgment Scene.
(3) The goddess MA[=A]T, who was associated with Thoth, Ptah, and Khnemu
in the work of creation; the name means "straight," hence what is right,
true, truth, real, genuine, upright, righteous, just, steadfast,
unalterable, and the like. (4) The goddess HET-HERT (Hathor), _i.e._,
the "house of Horus," which was that part of the sky where the sun rose
and set. The sycamore tree was sacred to her, and the deceased prays to
be fed by her with celestial food from out of it (5) The goddess
MEH-URT, who represented that portion of the sky in which the sun takes
his daily course; here it was, according to the view held at one period
at least, that the judgment of the deceased was supposed to take place.
(6) NEITH, the mother of SEBEK, who was also a goddess of the eastern
portion of the sky. (7) SEKHET and BAST, who are represented with the
heads of a lion and a cat, and who were symbols of the destroying,
scorching power of the sun, and of the gentle heat thereof,
respectively. (8) SERQ, who was a form of Isis. (9) TA-URT (Thoueris),
who was the genetrix of the gods. (10) UATCHET, who was a form of
Hather, and who had dominion over the northern sky, just as NEKHEBET was
mistress of the southern sky. (11) NEHEB-KA, who was a goddess who
possessed magical powers, and in some respects resembled Isis in her
attributes. (12) SEBAK, who was a form of the Sun-god, and was in later
times confounded with Sebak, or Sebek, the friend of Set. (13) AMSU (or
MIN or KUEM), who was the personification of the generative and
reproductive powers of nature. (14) BEB or BABA, who was the "firstborn
son of Osiris." (15) H[=a]pi, who was the god of the Nile, and with whom
most of the great gods were identified.

The names of the beings who at one time or another were called "gods" in
Egypt are so numerous that a mere list of them would fill scores of
pages, and in a work of this kind would be out of place. The reader is,
therefore, referred to Lanzone's _Mitologia Egizia_, where a
considerable number are enumerated and described.



The belief that the deeds done in the body would be subjected to an
analysis and scrutiny by the divine powers after the death of a man
belongs to the earliest period of Egyptian civilization, and this belief
remained substantially the same in all generations. Though we have no
information as to the locality where the Last Judgment took place, or
whether the Egyptian soul passed into the judgment-hall immediately
after the death of the body, or after the mummification was ended and
the body was deposited in the tomb, it is quite certain that the belief
in the judgment was as deeply rooted in the Egyptians as the belief in
immortality. There seems to have been no idea of a general judgment when
all those who had lived in the world should receive their reward for the
deeds done in the body; on the contrary, all the evidence available goes
to show that each soul was dealt with individually, and was either
permitted to pass into the kingdom of Osiris and of the blessed, or was
destroyed straightway. Certain passages in the texts seem to suggest the
idea of the existence of a place for departed spirits wherein the souls
condemned in the judgment might dwell, but it must be remembered that it
was the enemies of R[=a], the Sun-god, that inhabited this region; and
it is impossible to imagine that the divine powers who presided over the
judgment would permit the souls of the wicked to live after they had
been condemned and to become enemies of those who were pure and blessed.
On the other hand, if we attach any importance to the ideas of the Copts
upon this subject, and consider that they represent ancient beliefs
which they derived from the Egyptians traditionally, it must be admitted
that the Egyptian underworld contained some region wherein the souls of
the wicked were punished for an indefinite period. The Coptic lives of
saints and martyrs are full of allusions to the sufferings of the
damned, but whether the descriptions of these are due to imaginings of
the mind of the Christian Egyptian or to the bias of the scribe's
opinions cannot always be said. When we consider that the Coptic hell
was little more than a modified form of the ancient Egyptian Amenti, or
Amentet, it is difficult to believe that it was the name of the Egyptian
underworld only which was borrowed, and that the ideas and beliefs
concerning it which were held by the ancient Egyptians were not at the
same time absorbed. Some Christian writers are most minute in their
classification of the wicked in hell, as we may see from the following
extract from the life of Pisentios, [Footnote: Ed. Amélineau, Paris,
1887, p. 144 f.] Bishop of Keft, in the VIIth century of our era. The
holy man had taken refuge in a tomb wherein a number of mummies had been
piled up, and when he had read the list of the names of the people who
had been buried there he gave it to his disciple to replace. Then he
addressed his disciple and admonished him to do the work of God with
diligence, and warned him that every man must become even as were the
mummies which lay before them. "And some," said he, "whose sins have
been many are now in Amenti, others are in the outer darkness, others
are in pits and ditches filled with fire, and others are in the river of
fire: upon these last no one hath bestowed rest. And others, likewise,
are in a place of rest, by reason of their good works." When the
disciple had departed, the holy man began to talk to one of the mummies
who had been a native of the town of Erment, or Armant, and whose father
and mother had been called Agricolaos and Eustathia. He had been a
worshipper of Poseidon, and had never heard that Christ had come into
the world. "And," said he "woe, woe is me because I was born into the
world. Why did not my mother's womb become my tomb? When, it became
necessary for me to die, the Kosmokratôr angels were the first to come
round about me, and they told me of all the sins which I had committed,
and they said unto me, 'Let him that can save thee from the torments
into which thou shalt be cast come hither.' And they had in their hands
iron knives, and pointed goads which were like unto sharp spears, and
they drove them into my sides and gnashed upon me with their teeth. When
a little time afterwards my eyes were opened I saw death hovering about
in the air in its manifold forms, and at that moment angels who were
without pity came and dragged my wretched soul from my body, and having
tied it under the form of a black horse they led me away to Amonti. Woe
be unto every sinner like unto myself who hath been born into the world!
O my master and father, I was then delivered into the hands of a
multitude of tormentors who were without pity and who had each a
different form. Oh, what a number of wild beasts did I see in the way!
Oh, what a number of powers were there that inflicted punishment upon
me! And it came to pass that when I had been cast into the outer
darkness, I saw a great ditch which was more than two hundred cubits
deep, and it was filled with reptiles; each reptile had seven heads, and
the body of each was like unto that of a scorpion. In this place also
lived the Great Worm, the mere sight of which terrified him that looked
thereat. In his mouth he had teeth like unto iron stakes, and one took
me and threw me to this Worm which never ceased to eat; then immediately
all the [other] beasts gathered together near him, and when he had
filled his mouth [with my flesh], all the beasts who were round about me
filled theirs." In answer to the question of the holy man as to whether
he had enjoyed any rest or period without suffering, the mummy replied:
"Yea, O my father, pity is shown unto those who are in torment every
Saturday and every Sunday. As soon as Sunday is over we are cast into
the torments which we deserve, so that we may forget the years which we
have passed in the world; and as soon as we have forgotten the grief of
this torment we are cast into another which is still more grievous."

Now, it is easy to see from the above description of the torments which
the wicked were supposed to suffer, that the writer had in his mind some
of the pictures with which we are now familiar, thanks to the excavation
of tombs which has gone on in Egypt during the last few years; and it is
also easy to see that he, in common with many other Coptic writers,
misunderstood the purport of them. The outer darkness, _i.e._, the
blackest place of all in the underworld, the river of fire, the pits of
fire, the snake and the scorpion, and such like things, all have their
counterparts, or rather originals, in the scenes which accompany the
texts which describe the passage of the sun through the underworld
during the hours of the night. Having once misunderstood the general
meaning of such scenes, it was easy to convert the foes of R[=a], the
Sun-god, into the souls of the damned, and to look upon the burning up
of such foes--who were after all only certain powers of nature
personified--as the well-merited punishment of those who had done evil
upon the earth. How far the Copts reproduced unconsciously the views
which had been held by their ancestors for thousands of years cannot be
said, but even after much allowance has been made for this possibility,
there remains still to be explained a large number of beliefs and views
which seem to have been the peculiar product of the Egyptian Christian

It has been said above that the idea of the judgment of the dead is of
very great antiquity in Egypt; indeed, it is so old that it is useless
to try to ascertain the date of the period when it first grew up. In the
earliest religious texts known to us, there are indications that the
Egyptians expected a judgment, but they are not sufficiently definite to
argue from; it is certainly doubtful if the judgment was thought to be
as thorough and as searching then as in the later period. As far back as
the reign of Men-kau-R[=a], the Mycerinus of the Greeks, about B.C.
3600, a religious text, which afterwards formed chapter 30B of the Book
of the Dead, was found inscribed on an iron slab; in the handwriting of
the god Thoth, by the royal son or prince Herut[=a]t[=a]f. [Footnote:
See _Chapters of Coming Forth by Day_, Translation, p. 80.] The original
purpose of the composition of this text cannot be said, but there is
little doubt that it was intended, to benefit the deceased in the
judgment, and, if we translate its title literally, it was intended to
prevent his heart from "falling away from him in the underworld." In the
first part of it the deceased, after adjuring his heart, says, "May
naught stand up to oppose me in the judgment; may there be no opposition
to me in the presence of the sovereign princes; may there be no parting
of thee from me in the presence of him that keepeth the Balance!... May
the officers of the court of Osiris (in Egyptian _Shenit_), who form the
conditions of the lives of men, not cause my name to stink! Let [the
judgment] be satisfactory unto me, let the hearing be satisfactory unto
me, and let me have joy of heart at the weighing of words. Let not that
which is false be uttered against me before the Great God, the Lord of

Now, although the papyrus upon, which this statement and prayer are
found was written about two thousand years after Men-kau-R[=a] reigned,
there is no doubt that they were copied from texts which were themselves
copied at a much earlier period, and that the story of the finding of
the text inscribed upon an iron slab is contemporary with its actual
discovery by Herut[=a]t[=a]f. It is not necessary to inquire here
whether the word "find" (in Egyptian _qem_) means a genuine discovery or
not, but it is clear that those who had the papyrus copied saw no
absurdity or impropriety in ascribing the text to the period of
Men-kau-R[=a]. Another text, which afterwards also became a chapter of
the Book of the Dead, under the title "Chapter of not letting the heart
of the deceased be driven away from him in the underworld," was
inscribed on a coffin of the XIth dynasty, about B.C. 2500, and in it we
have the following petition: "May naught stand up to oppose me in
judgment in the presence of the lords of the trial (literally, 'lords of
things'); let it not be said of me and of that which I have done, 'He
hath done deeds against that which is very right and true'; may naught
be against me in the presence of the Great God, the Lord of Amentet."
[Footnote: _Chapters of Coming Forth by Day_, p. 78.] From these
passages we are right in assuming that before the end of the IVth
dynasty the idea of being "weighed in the balance" was already evolved;
that the religious schools of Egypt had assigned to a god the duty of
watching the balance when cases were being tried; that this weighing in
the balance took place in the presence of the beings called _Shenit_,
who were believed to control the acts and deeds of men; that it was
thought that evidence unfavourable to the deceased might be produced by
his foes at the judgment; that the weighing took place in the presence
of the Great God, the Lord of Amentet; and that the heart of the
deceased might fail him either physically or morally. The deceased
addresses his heart, calling it is "mother," and next identifies it with
his _ka_ or double, coupling the mention of the _ka_ with the name of
the god Khnemu: these facts are exceedingly important, for they prove
that the deceased considered his heart to be the source of his life and
being, and the mention of the god Khnemu takes the date of the
composition back to a period coaeval with the beginnings of religious
thought in Egypt. It was the god Khnemu who assisted Thoth in performing
the commands of God at the creation, and one very interesting sculpture
at Philae shows Khnemu in the act of fashioning man upon a potter's
wheel. The deceased, in mentioning Khnemu's name, seems to invoke his
aid in the judgment as fashioner of man and as the being who is in some
respects responsible for the manner of his life upon earth.

In Chapter 30A there is no mention made of the "guardian of the
balance," and the deceased says, "May naught stand up to oppose me in
judgment in the presence of the lords of things!" The "lords of things"
may be either the "lords of creation," _i.e._, the great cosmic gods, or
the "lords of the affairs [of the hall of judgment]," _i.e._, of the
trial. In this chapter the deceased addresses not Khnemu, but "the gods
who dwell in the divine clouds, and who are exalted by reason of their
sceptres," that is to say, the four gods of the cardinal points, called
Mestha, H[=a]pi Tuamutef, and Qebhsennuf, who also presided over the
chief internal organs of the human body. Here, again, it seems as if the
deceased was anxious to make these gods in some way responsible for the
deeds done by him in his life, inasmuch as they presided, over the
organs that were the prime movers of his actions. In any case, he
considers them in, the light of intercessors, for he beseeches them to
"speak fair words unto R[=a]" on his behalf, and to make him to prosper
before the goddess Nehebka. In this case, the favour of R[=a], the
Sun-god, the visible emblem of the almighty and eternal God, is sought
for, and also that of the serpent goddess, whose attributes are not yet
accurately defined, but who has much to do with the destinies of the
dead. No mention whatever is made of the Lord of Amentet--Osiris.

Before we pass to the consideration of the manner in which the judgment
is depicted upon the finest examples of the illustrated papyri,
reference must be made to an interesting vignette in the papyri of
Nebseni [Footnote: British Museum, No. 9900.] and Amen-neb. [Footnote 2:
British Museum, No. 0964.] In both of these papyri we see a figure of
the deceased himself being weighed in the balance against his own heart
in the presence of the god Osiris. It seems probable that a belief was
current at one time in ancient Egypt concerning the possibility of the
body being weighed against the heart, with the view of finding out if
the former had obeyed the dictates of the latter; be that as it may,
however, it is quite certain that this remarkable variant of the
vignette of Chapter 30B had some special meaning, and, as it occurs in
two papyri which date from the XVIIIth dynasty, we are justified in
assuming that it represents a belief belonging to a much older period.
The judgment here depicted must, in any case, be different from that
which forms such a striking scene in the later illustrated papyri of the
XVIIIth and following dynasties.

We have now proved that the idea of the judgment of the dead was
accepted in religious writings as early as the IVth dynasty, about B.C.
3600, but we have to wait nearly two thousand years before we find it in
picture form. Certain scenes which are found in the Book of the Dead as
vignettes accompanying certain texts or chapters, _e.g._, the Fields of
Hetep, or the Elysian Fields, are exceedingly old, and are found on
sarcophagi of the XIth and XIIth dynasties; but the earliest picture
known of the Judgment Scene is not older than the XVIIIth dynasty. In
the oldest Theban papyri of the Book of the Dead no Judgment Scene is
forthcoming, and when we find it wanting in such authoritative documents
as the Papyrus of Nebseni and that of Nu, [Footnote: British Museum, No.
10,477.] we must take it for granted that there was some reason for its
omission. In the great illustrated papyri, in which, the Judgment Scene
is given in full, it will be noticed that it comes at the beginning of
the work, and that it is preceded by hymns and by a vignette. Thus, in
the Papyrus of Ani, [Footnote: British Museum, No. 10,470.] we have a
hymn to R[=a] followed by a vignette representing the sunrise, and a
hymn to Osiris; and in the Papyrus of Hunefer, [Footnote 2: British
Museum, No. 9901.] though the hymns are different, the arrangement is
the same. We are justified, then, in assuming that the hymns and the
Judgment Scene together formed an introductory section to the Book of
the Dead, and it is possible that it indicates the existence of the
belief, at least during the period of the greatest power of the priests
of Amen, from B.C. 1700 to B.C. 800, that the judgment of the dead for
the deeds done in the body preceded the admission of the dead into the
kingdom of Osiris. As the hymns which accompany the Judgment Scene are
fine examples of a high class of devotional compositions, a few
translations from some of them are here given.

HYMN TO R[=A]. [Footnote: See _The Chapters of Coming Forth by Day_, p.

  "Homage to thee, O thou who risest in Nu, [Footnote: The sky
  personified.] and who at thy manifestation dost make the world bright
  with light; the whole company of the gods sing hymns of praise unto
  thee after thou hast come forth. The divine Merti [Footnote:
  Literally, the Two Eyes, _i.e._, Isis and Nephthys.] goddesses who
  minister unto thee cherish thee as King of the North and South, thou
  beautiful and beloved Man-child. When, thou risest men and women live.
  The nations rejoice in thee, and the Souls of Annu [Footnote: _i.e._,
  R[=a], Shu and Tefnut.] (Heliopolis) sing unto thee songs of joy. The
  Souls of the city of Pe, [Footnote: Part of the city of Buto
  (Per-Uatchit). The souls of Pe were Horus, Mestha, H[=a]pi.] and the
  Souls of the city of Nekhen [Footnote: _i.e._, Horus, Tuamutef, and
  Qebhsennuf.] exalt thee, the apes of dawn adore thee, and all beasts
  and cattle praise thee with one accord. The goddess Seba overthroweth
  thine enemies, therefore hast thou rejoicing in thy boat; thy mariners
  are content thereat. Thou hast attained unto the [= A]tet boat,
  [Footnote: _i.e._, the boat in which the sun travels until noon.] and
  thy heart swelleth with joy. O lord of the gods, when thou didst
  create them they shouted for joy. The azure goddess Nut doth compass
  thee on every side, and the god Nu floodeth thee with his rays of
  light. O cast thou thy light upon me and let me see thy beauties, and
  when thou goest forth over the earth I will sing praises unto thy fair
  face. Thou risest in heaven's horizon, and thy disk is adored when it
  resteth upon the mountain to give life unto the world."

  "Thou risest, thou risest, and thou comest forth from the god Nu. Thou
  dost renew thy youth, and thou dost set thyself in the place where
  thou wast yesterday. O thou divine Child, who didst create thyself, I
  am not able [to describe] thee. Thou hast come with thy risings, and
  thou hast made heaven and earth resplendent with thy rays of pure
  emerald light. The land of Punt [Footnote: _i.e._, the land on each
  side of the Red Sea and North-east Africa.] is established [to give]
  the perfumes which, thou smellest with thy nostrils. Thou risest, O
  marvellous Being, in heaven, and the two serpent-goddesses, Merti, are
  established upon thy brow. Thou art the giver of laws, O thou lord of
  the world and of all the inhabitants thereof; all the gods adore

HYMN TO OSIRIS [Footnote: See _The Chapters of Coming Forth by Day_, p.

  "Glory be to thee, O Osiris Un-nefer, the great god within Abydos,
  king of eternity and lord of everlastingness, the god who passest
  through millions of years in thy existence. Thou art the eldest son of
  the womb of Nut, thou wast engendered by Seb, the Ancestor of the
  gods, thou art the lord of the Crowns of the North and of the South,
  and of the lofty white crown. As Prince of the gods and of men thou
  hast received the crook, and the whip, and the dignity of thy divine
  fathers. Let thy heart which is in the mountain of Ament [Footnote:
  _i.e._, the underworld.] be content, for thy son Horus is established
  upon thy throne. Thou art crowned the lord of Tattu (Mendes) and ruler
  in Abtu (Abydos). Through thee the world waxeth green in triumph
  before the might of Neb-er-tcher. [Footnote: A name of Osiris.] Thou
  leadest in thy train that which is, and that which is not yet, in thy
  name of 'Ta-her-sta-nef;' thou towest along the earth in thy name of
  'Seker;' thou art exceedingly mighty and most terrible in thy name of
  'Osiris;' thou endurest for ever and for ever in thy name of

  "Homage to thee, O thou King of kings, Lord of lords, Prince of
  Princes! From the womb of Nut thou hast ruled the world and the
  underworld. Thy body is of bright and shining metal, thy head is of
  azure blue, and the brilliance of the turquoise encircleth thee. O
  thou god An, who hast had existence for millions of years, who
  pervadest all things with thy body, who art beautiful in countenance
  in the Land of Holiness (_i.e._, the underworld), grant thou to me
  splendour in heaven, might upon earth, and triumph in the underworld.
  Grant thou that I may sail down to Tattu like a living soul, and up to
  Abtu like the phoenix; and grant that I may enter in and come forth
  from the pylons of the lands of the underworld without let or
  hindrance. May loaves of bread be given unto me in the house of
  coolness, and offerings of food and drink in Annu (Heliopolis), and a
  homestead for ever and for ever in the Field of Reeds [Footnote: A
  division of the "Fields of Peace" or Elysian Fields.] with wheat and
  barley therefor."

In the long and important hymn in the Papyrus of Hunefer [Footnote: See
_The Chapters of Coming Forth By Day_, pp. 343-346.] occurs the
following petition, which is put into the mouth of the deceased:--

  "Grant that I may follow in the train of thy Majesty even as I did
  upon earth. Let my soul be called [into the presence], and let it be
  found by the side of the lords of right and truth. I have come into
  the City of God, the region which existed in primeval time, with [my]
  soul, and with [my] double, and with [my] translucent form, to dwell
  in this land. The God thereof is the lord of right and truth, he is
  the lord of the _tchefau_ food of the gods, and he is most holy. His
  land draweth unto itself every land; the South cometh sailing down the
  river thereto, and the North, steered thither by winds, cometh daily
  to make festival therein according to the command of the God thereof,
  who is the Lord of peace therein. And doth he not say, 'The happiness
  thereof is a care unto me'? The god who dwelleth therein worketh right
  and truth; unto him that doeth these things he giveth old age, and to
  him that followeth after them rank and honour, until at length he
  attaineth unto a happy funeral and burial in the Holy Land" (_i.e._,
  the underworld).

The deceased, having recited these words of prayer and adoration to
R[=a], the symbol of Almighty God, and to his son Osiris, next "cometh
forth into the Hall of Ma[=a]ti, that he may be separated from every sin
which he hath done, and may behold the faces of the gods." [Footnote:
This quotation is from the title of Chapter CXXV. of the Book of the
Dead.] From the earliest times the Ma[=a]ti were the two goddesses Isis
and Nephthys, and they were so called because they represented the ideas
of straightness, integrity, righteousness, what is right, the truth, and
such like; the word Ma[=a]t originally meant a measuring reed or stick.
They were supposed either to sit in the Hall of Ma[=a]t outside the
shrine of Osiris, or to stand by the side of this god in the shrine; an
example of the former position will be seen in the Papyrus of Ani (Plate
31), and of the latter in the Papyrus of Hunefer (Plate 4). The original
idea of the Hall of Ma[=a]t or Ma[=a]ti was that it contained forty-two
gods; a fact which we may see from the following passage in the
Introduction to Chapter CXXV. of the Book of the Dead. The deceased says
to Osiris:--

  "Homage to thee, O thou great God, thou Lord of the two Ma[=a]t
  goddesses! I have come to thee, O my Lord, and I have made myself to
  come hither that I may behold thy beauties. I know thee, and I know
  thy name, and I know the names of the two and forty gods who live with
  thee in this Hall of Ma[=a]ti, who live as watchers of sinners and who
  feed upon their blood on that day when the characters (_or_ lives) of
  men are reckoned up (_or_ taken into account) in the presence of the
  god Un-nefer. Verily, God of the Rekhti-Merti (_i.e._, the twin
  sisters of the two eyes), the Lord of the city of Ma[=a]ti is thy
  name. Verily I have come to thee, and I have brought Ma[=a]t unto
  thee, and I have destroyed wickedness."

The deceased then goes on to enumerate the sins or offences which he has
not committed; and he concludes by saying: "I am pure; I am pure; I am
pure; I am pure. My purity is the purity of the great Bennu which is in
the city of Suten-henen (Heracleopolis), for, behold., I am the nostrils
of the God of breath, who maketh all mankind to live on the day when the
Eye of R[=a] is full in Annu (Heliopolis) at the end of the second month
of the season PERT. [Footnote: _i.e._, the last day of the sixth month
of the Egyptian year, called by the Copta Mekhir.] I have seen the Eye
of R[=a] when it was full in Annu; [Footnote: The allusion here seems to
be to the Summer or Winter Solstice.] therefore let not evil befall me
either in this land or in this Hall of Ma[=a]ti, because I, even I, know
the names of the gods who are therein."

Now as the gods who live in the Hall of Ma[=a]t with Osiris are two and
forty in number, we should expect that two and forty sins or offences
would be mentioned in the addresses which the deceased makes to them;
but this is not the case, for the sins enumerated in the Introduction
never reach this number. In the great illustrated papyri of the XVIIIth
and XIXth dynasties we find, however, that notwithstanding the fact that
a large number of sins, which the deceased declares he has not
committed, are mentioned in the Introduction, the scribes and artists
added a series of negative statements, forty-two in number, which they
set out in a tabular form. This, clearly, is an attempt to make the sins
mentioned equal in number to the gods of the Hall of Ma[=a]t, and it
would seem as if they preferred to compose an entirely new form of this
section of the one hundred and twenty-fifth chapter to making any
attempt to add to or alter the older section. The artists, then,
depicted a Hall of Ma[=a]t, the doors of which are wide open, and the
cornice of which is formed of uraei and feathers, symbolic of Ma[=a]t.
Over the middle of the cornice is a seated deity with hands extended,
the right over the Eye of Horus, and the left over a pool. At the end of
the Hall are seated the goddesses of Ma[=a]t, _i.e._, Isis and Nephthys,
the deceased adoring Osiris who is seated on a throne, a balance with
the heart of the deceased in one scale, and the feather, symbolic of
Ma[=a]t, in the other, and Thoth painting a large feather. In this Hall
sit the forty-two gods, and as the deceased passes by each, the deceased
addresses him by his name and at the same time declares that he has not
committed a certain sin. An examination of the different papyri shows
that the scribes often made mistakes in writing this list of gods and
list of sins, and, as the result, the deceased is made to recite before
one god the confession which strictly belongs to another. Inasmuch, as
the deceased always says after pronouncing the name of each god, "I have
not done" such and such a sin, the whole group of addresses has been
called the "Negative Confession." The fundamental ideas of religion and
morality which underlie this Confession are exceedingly old, and we may
gather from it with tolerable clearness what the ancient Egyptian
believed to constitute his duty towards God and towards his neighbour.

It is impossible to explain, the fact that forty-two gods only are
addressed, and equally so to say why this number was adopted. Some have
believed that the forty-two gods represented each a name of Egypt, and
much support is given to this view by the fact that most of the lists of
names make the number to be forty-two; but then, again, the lists do not
agree. The classical authors differ also, for by some of these writers
the names are said to be thirty-six in number, and by others forty-six
are enumerated. These differences may, however, be easily explained, for
the central administration may at any time have added to or taken from
the number of names for fiscal or other considerations, and we shall
probably be correct in assuming that at the time the Negative Confession
was drawn up in the tabular form in which we meet it in the XVIIIth
dynasty the names were forty-two in number. Support is also lent to this
view by the fact that the earliest form of the Confession, which forms
the Introduction to Chapter CXXV., mentions less than forty sins.
Incidentally we may notice that the forty-two gods are subservient to
Osiris, and that they only occupy a subordinate position in the Hall of
Judgment, for it is the result of the weighing of the heart of the
deceased in the balance that decides his future. Before passing to the
description of the Hall of Judgment where the balance is set, it is
necessary to give a rendering of the Negative Confession which,
presumably, the deceased recites before his heart is weighed in the
balance; it is made from the Papyrus of Nu. [Footnote: British Museum,
No. 10,477.]

  1. "Hail Usekh-nemtet (_i.e._, Long of strides), who comest forth from
  Anuu (Heliopolis), I have not done iniquity.

  2. "Hail Hept-seshet (_i.e._, Embraced by flame), who comest forth
  from Kher-[=a]ba, [Footnote: A city near Memphis.] I have not robbed
  with violence.

  3. "Hail Fenti (_i.e._, Nose), who comest forth from Khemennu
  (Hermopolis), I have not done violence to any man.

  4. "Hail [=A]m-khaibitu (_i.e._, Eater of shades), who comest forth
  from the Qereret (_i.e._, the cavern where the Nile rises), I have not
  committed theft.

  5. "Hail Neha-bra (_i.e._, Stinking face), who comest forth from
  Restau, I have slain neither man nor woman.

  6. "Hail Rereti (_i.e._, Double Lion-god), who comest forth from
  heaven, I have not made light the bushel.

  7. "Hail Maata-f-em-seshet (_i.e._, Fiery eyes), who comest forth from
  Sekhem (Letopolis), I have not acted deceitfully.

  8. "Hail Neba (_i.e._, Flame), who comest forth and retreatest, I have
  not purloined the things which belong unto God.

  9. "Hail Set-qesu (_i.e._, Crusher of bones), who comest forth from
  Suten-henen (Heracleopolis), I have not uttered falsehood.

  10. "Hail Khemi (_i.e._, Overthrower), who comest forth from Shetait
  (_i.e._, the hidden place), I have not carried off goods by force.

  11. "Hail Uatch-nesert (_i.e._, Vigorous of Flame), who comest forth
  from Het-ka-Ptah (Memphis), I have not uttered vile (_or_ evil) words.

  12. "Hail Hra-f-ha-f (_i.e._, He whose face is behind him), who comest
  forth from the cavern and the deep, I have not carried off food by

  13. "Hail Qerti (_i.e._, the double Nile source), who comest forth
  from the Underworld, I have not acted deceitfully.

  14. "Hail Ta-ret (_i.e._, Fiery-foot), who comest forth out of the
  darkness, I have not eaten my heart (_i.e._ lost my temper and become

  15. "Hail Hetch-abehu (_i.e._, Shining teeth), who comest forth from
  Ta-she (_i.e._, the Fayyûm), I have invaded no [man's land].

  16. "Hail [=A]m-senef (_i.e._, Eater of blood), who comest forth from
  the house of the block, I have not slaughtered animals which are the
  possessions of God.

  17. "Hail [=A]m-besek (_i.e._, Eater of entrails), who comest forth
  from M[=a]bet, I have not laid waste the lands which have been

  18. "Hail Neb-Ma[=a]t (_i.e._, Lord of Ma[=a]t), who comest forth from
  the city of the two Ma[=a]ti, I have not pried into matters to make

  19. "Hail Thenemi (_i.e._, Retreater), who comest forth from Bast
  (_i.e._, Bubastis), I have not set my mouth in motion against any man.

  20. "Hail [=A]nti, who comest forth from Annu (Heliopolis), I have not
  given way to wrath without due cause.

  21. "Hail Tututef, who comest forth from the home of Ati, I have not
  committed fornication, and I have not committed sodomy.

  22. "Hail Uamemti, who comest forth from the house of slaughter, I
  have not polluted myself.

  23. "Hail Maa-ant-f (_i.e._, Seer of what is brought to him), who
  comest forth from the house of the god Amsu, I have not lain with the
  wife of a man.

  24. "Hail Her-seru, who comest forth from Nehatu, I have not made any
  man to be afraid.

  25. "Hail Neb-Sekhem, who comest forth from the Lake of Kaui, I have
  not made my speech to burn with anger. [Footnote: Literally, "I have
  not been hot of mouth."]

  26. "Hail Seshet-kheru (_i.e._, Orderer of speech), who comest forth
  from Urit, I have not made myself deaf unto the words of right and

  27. "Hail Nekhen (_i.e._, Babe), who comest forth from the Lake of
  Heq[=a] t, I have not made another person to weep.

  28. "Hail Kenemti, who comest forth from Kenemet, I have not uttered

  29. "Hail An-hetep-f (_i.e._, Bringer of his offering), who comest
  forth from Sau, I have not acted with violence.

  30. "Hail Ser-kheru (_i.e._, Disposer of Speech), who comest forth
  from Unsi, I have not hastened my heart. [Footnote: _i.e._, acted
  without due consideration.]

  31. "Hail Neb-hrau (_i.e._, Lord of Faces), who comest forth from
  Netchefet, I have not pierced (?) my skin (?), and I have not taken
  vengeance on the god.

  32. "Hail Serekhi, who comest forth from Uthent, I have not multiplied
  my speech beyond what should be said.

  33. "Hail Neb-abui (_i.e._, Lord of horns), who comest forth from
  Sauti, I have not committed fraud, [and I have not] looked upon evil.

  34. "Hail Nefer-Tem, who comest forth from Ptah-het-ka (Memphis), I
  have never uttered curses against the king.

  35. "Hail Tem-sep, who comest forth from Tattu, I have not fouled
  running water.

  36. "Hail Ari-em-ab-f, who comest forth from Tebti, I have not exalted
  my speech.

  37. "Hail Ahi, who comest forth from Nu, I have not uttered curses
  against God.

  38. "Hail Uatch-rekhit [who comest forth from his shrine (?)], I have
  not behaved with insolence.

  39. "Hail Neheb-nefert, who comest forth from his temple, I have not
  made distinctions. [Footnote: _i.e._, I have not been guilty of

  40. "Hail Neheb-kau, who comest forth from thy cavern, I have not
  increased my wealth except by means of such things as are mine own

  41. "Hail Tcheser-tep, who comest forth from thy shrine, I have not
  uttered curses against that which belongeth to God and is with me.

  42. "Hail An-[=a]-f (_i.e._, Bringer of his arm), [who comest forth
  from Aukert], I have not thought scorn of the god of the city."

A brief examination of this "Confession" shows that the Egyptian code of
morality was very comprehensive, and it would be very hard to find an
act, the commission of which would be reckoned a sin when the
"Confession" was put together, which is not included under one or other
part of it. The renderings of the words for certain sins are not always
definite or exact, because we do not know the precise idea which the
framer of this remarkable document had. The deceased states that he has
neither cursed God, nor thought scorn of the god of his city, nor cursed
the king, nor committed theft of any kind, nor murder, nor adultery, nor
sodomy, nor crimes against the god of generation; he has not been
imperious or haughty, or violent, or wrathful, or hasty in deed, or a
hypocrite, or an accepter of persons, or a blasphemer, or crafty, or
avaricious, or fraudulent, or deaf to pious words, or a party to evil
actions, or proud, or puffed up; he has terrified no man, he has not
cheated in the market-place, and he has neither fouled the public
watercourse nor laid waste the tilled land of the community. This is, in
brief, the confession which the deceased makes; and the next act in the
Judgment Scene is weighing the heart of the deceased in the scales. As
none of the oldest papyri of the Book of the Dead supplies us with a
representation of this scene, we must have recourse to the best of the
illustrated papyri of the latter half of the XVIIIth and of the XIXth
dynasties. The details of the Judgment Scene vary greatly in various
papyri, but the essential parts of it are always preserved. The
following is the description of the judgment of Ani, as it appears in
his wonderful papyrus preserved in the British Museum.

In the underworld, and in that portion of it which is called the Hall of
Ma[=a]ti, is set a balance wherein the heart of the deceased is to be
weighed. The beam is suspended by a ring upon a projection from the
standard of the balance made in the form of the feather which is the
symbol of Ma[=a]t, or what is right and true. The tongue of the balance
is fixed to the beam, and when this is exactly level, the tongue is as
straight as the standard; if either end of the beam inclines downwards
the tongue cannot remain in a perpendicular position. It must be
distinctly understood that the heart which was weighed in the one scale
was not expected to make the weight which was in the other to kick the
beam, for all that was asked or required of the deceased was that his
heart should balance exactly the symbol of the law. The standard was
sometimes surmounted by a human head wearing the feather of Ma[=a]t;
sometimes by the head of a jackal, the animal sacred to Anubis; and
sometimes by the head of an ibis, the bird sacred to Thoth; in the
Papyrus of Ani a dog-headed ape, the associate of Thoth, sits on the top
of the standard. In some papyri (_e.g._, those of Ani [Footnote: About
B.C. 1500.] and Hunefer [Footnote: About B.C. 1370.]), in addition to
Osiris, the king of the underworld and judge of the dead, the gods of
his cycle or company appear as witnesses of the judgment. In the Papyrus
of the priestess Anhai [Footnote: About B.C. 1000.] in the British
Museum the great and the little companies of the gods appear as
witnesses, but the artist was so careless that instead of nine gods in
each group he painted six in one and five in the other. In the Turin
papyrus [Footnote: Written in the Ptolemaic period.] we see the whole of
the forty-two gods, to whom the deceased recited the [Illustration: The
weighing of the heart of the scribe Ani in the Balance in the presence
of the gods.] "Negative Confession," seated in the judgment-hall. The
gods present at the weighing of Ani's heart are--

  1. R[=A]-HARMACHIS, hawk-headed, the Sun-god of the dawn and of noon.

  2. TEMU, the Sun-god of the evening, the great god of Heliopolis. He
  is depicted always in human form and with the face of a man, a fact
  which proves that he had at a very early period passed through all the
  forms in which gods are represented, and had arrived at that of a man.
  He has upon his head the crowns of the South and North.

  3. SHU, man-headed, the son of R[=a] and Hathor, the personification
  of the sunlight.

  4. TEFNUT, lion-headed, the twin-sister of Shu, the personification of

  5. SEB, man-headed, the son of Shu, the personification of the earth.

  6. NUT, woman-headed, the female counterpart of the gods Nu and Seb;
  she was the personification of the primeval water, and later of the

  7. ISIS, woman-headed, the sister-wife of Osiris, and mother of Horus.

  8. NEPHTHYS, woman-headed, the sister-wife of Osiris, and mother of

  9. HORUS, the "great god," hawk-headed, whose worship was probably the
  oldest in Egypt.

  10. HATHOR, woman-headed, the personification of that portion of the
  sky where the sun rose and set.

  11. HU, man-headed, and

  12. SA, also man-headed; these gods are present in the boat of R[=a]
  in the scenes which depict the creation.

On one side of the balance kneels the god Anubis, jackal-headed, who
holds the weight of the tongue of the balance in his right hand, and
behind him stands Thoth, the scribe of the gods, ibis-headed, holding in
his hands a reed wherewith to write down the result of the weighing.
Near him is seated the tri-formed beast [=A]m-mit, the, "Eater of the
Dead," who waits to devour the heart of Ani should it be found to be
light. In the Papyrus of Neb-qet at Paris this beast is seen lying by
the side of a lake of fire, at each corner of which is seated a
dog-headed ape; this lake is also seen in Chapter CXXVI. of the Book of
the Dead. The gods who are seated before a table of offerings, and
Anubis, and Thoth, and [=A]m-mit, are the beings who conduct the case,
so to speak, against Ani. On the other side of the balance stand Ani and
his wife Thuthu with their heads reverently bent; they are depicted in
human form, and wear garments and ornaments similar to those which they
wore upon earth. His soul, in the form of a man-headed hawk standing
upon a pylon, is present, also a man-headed, rectangular object,
resting upon a pylon, which has frequently been supposed to represent
the deceased in an embryonic state. In the Papyrus of Anhai two of these
objects appear, one on each side of the balance; they are described as
Shai and Renenet, two words which are translated by "Destiny" and
"Fortune" respectively. It is most probable, as the reading of the name
of the object is _Meskhenet_, and as the deity Meskhenet represents
sometimes both Shai and Renenet, that the artist intended the object to
represent both deities, even though we find the god Shai standing below
it close to the standard of the balance. Close by the soul stand two
goddesses called Meskhenet and Renenet respectively; the former is,
probably, one of the four goddesses who assisted at the resurrection of
Osiris, and the latter the personification of Fortune, which has already
been included under the _Meskhenet_ object above, the personification of

It will be remembered that Meskhenet accompanied Isis, Nephthys, Heqet,
and Khnemu to the house of the lady Rut-Tettet, who was about to bring
forth three children. When these deities arrived, having changed their
forms into those of women, they found R[=a]-user standing there. And
when they had made music for him, he said to them, "Mistresses, there is
a woman in travail here;" and they replied, "Let us see her, for we know
how to deliver a woman." R[=a]-user then brought them into the house,
and the goddesses shut themselves in with the lady Rut-Tettet. Isis took
her place before her, and Nephthys behind her, whilst Heqet hastened the
birth of the children; as each child was born Meskhenet stepped up to
him and said, "A king who shall have dominion over the whole land," and
the god Khnemu bestowed health upon his limbs. [Footnote: See Erman,
_Westcar Papyrus_, Berlin, 1890, hieroglyphic transcript, plates 9 and
10.] Of these five gods, Isis, Nephthys, Meskhenet, Heqet, and Khnemu,
the first three are present at the judgment of Ani; Khnemu is mentioned
in Ani's address to his heart (see below), and only Heqet is

As the weighing of his heart is about to take place Ani says, "My heart,
my mother! My heart, my mother! My heart whereby I came into being! May
naught stand up to oppose me in the judgment; may there be no opposition
to me in the presence of the sovereign princes; may there be no parting
of thee from me in the presence of him that keepeth the Balance! Thou
art my _ka_, the dweller in my body; the god Khnemu who knitteth and
strengtheneth my limbs. Mayest thou come forth into the place of
happiness whither we go. May the princes of the court of Osiris, who
order the circumstances of the lives of men, not cause my name to
stink." Some papyri add, "Let it be satisfactory unto us, and let the
listening be satisfactory unto us, and let there be joy of heart unto us
at the weighing of words. Let not that which is false be uttered against
me before the great god, the lord of Amentet! Verily how great shalt
thou be when thou risest in triumph!"

The tongue of the balance having been examined by Anubis, and the ape
having indicated to his associate Thoth that the beam is exactly
straight, and that the heart, therefore, counterbalances the feather
symbolic of Ma[=a]t _(_i.e._, right, truth, law, etc.), neither
outweighing nor underweighing it, Thoth writes down the result, and then
makes the following address to the gods:--

  "Hear ye this judgment. The heart of Osiris hath in very truth been
  weighed, and his soul hath stood as a witness for him; it hath been
  found true by trial in the Great Balance. There hath not been found
  any wickedness in him; he hath not wasted the offerings in the
  temples; he hath not done harm by his deeds; and he spread abroad no
  evil reports while he was upon earth."

In answer to this report the company of the gods, who are styled "the
great company of the gods," reply, "That which cometh forth from thy
mouth, O Thoth, who dwellest in Khemennu (Hermopolis), is confirmed.
Osiris, the scribe Ani, triumphant, is holy and righteous. He hath not
sinned, neither hath he done evil against us. The Devourer [=A]m-mit
shall not be allowed to prevail over him, and meat-offerings and
entrance into the presence of the god Osiris shall be granted unto him,
together with a homestead for ever in the Field of Peace, as unto the
followers of Horus." [Footnote: These are a class of mythological
beings, or demi-gods, who already in the Vth dynasty were supposed to
recite prayers on behalf of the deceased, and to assist Horus and Set in
performing funeral ceremonies. See my _Papyrus of Ani_, p. cxxv.]

Here we notice at once that the deceased is identified with Osiris, the
god and judge of the dead, and that they have bestowed upon him the
god's own name; the reason of this is as follows. The friends of the
deceased performed for him all the ceremonies and rites which were
performed for Osiris by Isis and Nephthys, and it was assumed that, as a
result, the same things which took place in favour of Osiris would also
happen on behalf of the deceased, and that in fact, the deceased would
become the counterpart of Osiris. Everywhere in the texts of the Book of
the Dead the deceased is identified with Osiris, from B.C. 3400 to the
Roman period. Another point to notice is the application of the words
_ma[=a] kheru_ to the deceased, a term which I have, for want of a
better word, rendered "triumphant." These words actually mean "true of
voice" or "right of word," and indicate that the person to whom they are
applied has acquired the power of using his voice in such a way that
when the invisible beings are addressed by him they will render unto him
all the service which he has obtained the right to demand. It is well
known that in ancient times magicians and sorcerers were wont to address
spirits or demons in a peculiar tone of voice, and that all magical
formulae were recited in a similar manner; the use of the wrong sound or
tone of voice would result in the most disastrous consequences to the
speaker, and perhaps in death. The deceased had to make his way through
a number of regions in the underworld, and to pass through many series
of halls, the doors of which were guarded by beings who were prepared,
unless properly addressed, to be hostile to the new-comer; he also had
need to take passage in a boat, and to obtain the help of the gods and
of the powers of the various localities wherein he wanted to travel if
he wished to pass safely into the place where he would be. The Book of
the Dead provided him with all the texts and formulae which he would
have to recite to secure this result, but unless the words contained in
them were pronounced in a proper manner, and said in a proper tone of
voice, they would have no effect upon the powers of the underworld. The
term _ma[=a] kheru_ is applied but very rarely to the living, but
commonly to the dead, and indeed the dead needed most the power which
these words indicated. In the case of Ani, the gods, having accepted the
favourable report of the result obtained by weighing Ani's heart by
Thoth, style him _ma[=a] kheru_, which is equivalent to conferring upon
him power to overcome all opposition, of every kind, which he may meet.
Henceforth every door will open at his command, every god will hasten to
obey immediately Ani has uttered his name, and those whose duty it is to
provide celestial food for the beatified will do so for him when once
the order has been given. Before passing on to other matters it is
interesting to note that the term _ma[=a] kheru_ is not applied to Ani
by himself in the Judgment Scene, nor by Thoth, the scribe of the gods,
nor by Horus when he introduces him to Osiris; it is only the gods who
can make a man _ma[=a] kheru_, and thereby he also escapes from the

The judgment ended, Horus, the son of Isis, who has assumed all the
attributes of his father Osiris, takes Ani's left hand in his right and
leads him up to the shrine wherein the god Osiris is seated. The god
wears the white crown with feathers, and he holds in his hands a
sceptre, a crook, and whip, or flail, which typify sovereignty and
dominion. His throne is a tomb, of which the bolted doors and the
cornice of uraei may be seen painted on the side. At the back of his
neck hangs the _menat_ or symbol of joy and happiness; on his right hand
stands Nephthys, and on his left stands Isis. Before him, standing on a
lotus flower, are the four children of Horus, Mestha, H[=a]pi, Tuamutef,
and Qebhsennuf, who presided over and protected the intestines of the
dead; close by hangs the skin of a bull with which magical ideas seem to
have been associated. The top of the shrine in which the god sits is
surmounted by uraei, wearing disks on their heads, and the cornice also
is similarly decorated. In several papyri the god is seen standing up in
the shrine, sometimes with and sometimes without the goddesses Isis and
Nephthys. In the Papyrus of Hunefer we find a most interesting variant
of this [Illustration: Horus, the son of Isis, leading the scribe Ani
into the presence of Osiris, the god and judge of the dead; before the
shrine of the god Am kneels in adoration and presents offerings.]
portion of the scene, for the throne of Osiris rests upon, or in, water.
This reminds us of the passage in the one hundred and twenty-sixth
chapter of the Book of the Dead in which the god Thoth says to the
deceased, "Who is he whose roof is of fire, whose walls are living
uraei, and the floor of whose house is a stream of running water? Who is
he, I say?" The deceased answers, "It is Osiris," and the god says,
"Come forward, then; for verily thou shalt be mentioned [to him]."

When Horus had led in Ani he addressed Osiris, saying, "I have come unto
thee, O Un-nefer, and I have brought the Osiris Ani unto thee. His heart
hath been found righteous and it hath come forth from the balance; it
hath not sinned against any god or any goddess. Thoth hath weighed it
according to the decree uttered unto him by the company of the gods; and
it is very true and right. Grant unto him cakes and ale; and let him
enter into thy presence; and may he be like unto the followers of Horus
for ever!" After this address Ani, kneeling by the side of tables of
offerings of fruit, flowers, etc., which he has brought unto Osiris,
says, "O Lord of Amentet, I am in thy presence. There is no sin in me, I
have not lied wittingly, nor have I done aught with a false heart. Grant
that I may be like unto those favoured ones who are round about thee,
and that I may be an Osiris greatly favoured of the beautiful god and
beloved of the Lord of the world, [I], the royal scribe of Ma[=a]t, who
loveth him, Ani, triumphant before Osiris." [Footnote: Or "true of voice
in respect of Osiris;" _i.e._, Ani makes his petition, and Osiris is to
hear and answer because he has uttered the right words in the right
manner, and in the right tone of voice.] Thus we come to the end of the
scene of the weighing of the heart.

The man who has passed safely through this ordeal has now to meet the
gods of the underworld, and the Book of the Dead provides the words
which "the heart which is righteous and sinless" shall say unto them.
One of the fullest and most correct texts of "the speech of the deceased
when he cometh forth true of voice from the Hall of the Ma[=a]ti
goddesses" is found in the Papyrus of Nu; in it the deceased says:--

  "Homage to you, O ye gods who dwell in the Hall of the Ma[=a]ti
  goddesses, I, even I, know you, and I know your names. Let me not fall
  under your knives of slaughter, and bring ye not forward my wickedness
  unto the god in whose train ye are; and let not evil hap come upon, me
  by your means. O declare ye me true of voice in the presence of
  Neb-er-teber, because I have done that which is right and true in
  Ta-mera (_i.e._, Egypt). I have not cursed God, therefore let not evil
  hap come upon me through the King who dwelleth in his day.

  "Homage to you, O ye gods, who dwell in the Hall of the Ma[=a]ti
  goddesses, who are without evil in your bodies, and who live upon
  right and truth, and who feed yourselves upon right and truth in the
  presence of the god Horus, who dwelleth in his divine Disk; deliver ye
  me from the god Baba [Footnote: The first born son of Osiris.] who
  feedeth upon the entrails of the mighty ones upon the day of the great
  reckoning, O grant ye that I may come to you, for I have not committed
  faults, I have not sinned, I have not done evil, I have not borne
  false witness; therefore let nothing [evil] be done unto me. I live
  upon right and truth, and I feed upon right and truth. I have
  performed the commandments of men [as well as] the things whereat are
  gratified the gods; I have made God to be at peace [with me by doing]
  that which is his will. I have given bread to the hungry man, and
  water to the thirsty man, and apparel to the naked man, and a boat to
  the [shipwrecked] mariner. I have made holy offerings to the gods, and
  sepulchral meals to the beatified dead. Be ye then my deliverers, be
  ye then my protectors, and make ye not accusation against me in the
  presence of [Osiris]. I am clean of mouth and clean of hands;
  therefore let it be said unto me by those who shall behold me, 'Come
  in peace, come in peace.' I have heard the mighty word which the
  spiritual bodies spake unto the Cat [Footnote: _i.e._, R[=a] as the
  slayer of the serpent of darkness, the head of which be cuts off with
  a knife. (See above, p. 63). The usual reading is "which the Ass spake
  to the Cat;" the Ass being Osiris and the cat R[=a].] in the house of
  Hapt-re. I have testified in the presence of Hra-f-ha-f, and he hath
  given [his] decision. I have seen the things over which the Persea
  tree spreadeth within Re-stau. I am he who hath offered up prayers to
  the gods and who knoweth their persons. I have come, and I have
  advanced to make the declaration of right and truth, and to set the
  Balance upon what supporteth it in the region of Aukert.

  "Hail, thou who art exalted upon thy standard (_i.e._, Osiris), thou
  lord of the 'Atefu' crown whose name is proclaimed as 'Lord of the
  winds,' deliver thou me from thy divine messengers who cause dire
  deeds to happen, and who cause calamities to come into being, and who
  are without coverings for their faces, for I have done that which is
  right and true for the Lord of right and truth. I have purified myself
  and my breast with libations, and my hinder parts with the things
  which make clean, and my inward parts have been [immersed] in the Pool
  of Right and Truth. There is no single member of mine which lacketh
  right and truth. I have been purified in the Pool of the South, and I
  have rested in the City of the North, which is in the Field of the
  Grasshoppers, wherein the divine sailors of R[=a] bathe at the second
  hour of the night and at the third hour of the day; and the hearts of
  the gods are gratified after they have passed through it, whether it
  be by night, or whether it be by day. And I would that they should say
  unto me, 'Come forward,' and 'Who art thou?' and 'What is thy name?'
  These are the words which, I would have the gods say unto me. [Then
  would I reply] 'My name is He who is provided with flowers, and
  Dweller in his olive tree.' Then let them say unto me straightway,
  'Pass on,' and I would pass on to the city to the north of the Olive
  tree, 'What then wilt thou see there?' [say they. And I say]' The Leg
  and the Thigh,' 'What wouldst thou say unto them?' [say they.] 'Let me
  see rejoicings in the land of the Fenkhu' [I reply]. 'What will they
  give thee? [say they]. 'A fiery flame and a crystal tablet' [I reply].
  'What wilt thou do therewith?' [say they]. 'Bury them by the furrow of
  M[=a][=a]at as Things for the night' [I reply]. 'What wilt thou find
  by the furrow of M[=a][=a]at?' [say they]. 'A sceptre of flint
  called Giver of Air' [I reply]. 'What wilt thou do with the fiery
  flame and the crystal tablet after thou hast buried them?' [say they].
  'I will recite words over them, in the furrow. I will extinguish the
  fire, and I will break the tablet, and I will make a pool of water' [I
  reply]. Then let the gods say unto me, 'Come and enter in through the
  door of this Hall of the M[=a][=a]ti goddesses, for thou knowest us.'"

After these remarkable prayers follows a dialogue between each part of
the Hall of M[=a][=a]ti and the deceased, which reads as follows:--

  _Door bolts_. "We will not let thee enter in through us unless thou
                 tellest our names."

  _Deceased_. "'Tongue of the place of Right and Truth' is your

  _Right post_. "I will not let thee enter in by me unless thou tellest
                 my name."

  _Deceased_. "'Scale of the lifter up of right and truth' is thy

  _Left post_. "I will not let thee enter in by me unless thou tellest
                my name."

  _Deceased_. "'Scale of wine' is thy name."

  _Threshold_. "I will not let thee pass over me unless thou tellest my

  _Deceased_. "'Ox of the god Seb' is thy name."

  _Hasp_. "I will not open unto thee unless thou tellest my name."

  _Deceased_. "'Leg-bone of his mother' is thy name."

  _Socket-hole_. "I will not open unto thee unless thou tellest my

  _Deceased_. "'Living Eye of Sebek, the lord of Bakhau,' is thy name."

  _Porter_. "I will not open unto thee unless thou tellest my name."

  _Deceased_. "'Elbow of the god Shu when he placeth himself to protect
               Osiris' is thy name."

  _Side posts_. "We will not let thee pass in by us, unless thou tellest
                 our names."

  _Deceased_. "'Children of the uraei-goddesses' is your name."

  "Thou knowest us; pass on, therefore, by us" [say these].

  _Floor_. "I will not let thee tread upon me, because I am silent and I
            am holy, and because I do not know the names of thy feet
            wherewith thou wouldst walk upon me; therefore tell them to

  _Deceased_. "'Traveller of the god Khas' is the name of my right foot,
               and 'Staff of the goddess Hathor' is the name of my left

  "Thou knowest me; pass on, therefore, over me" [it saith].

  _Doorkeeper_. "I will not take in thy name unless thou tellest my

  _Deceased_. "'Discerner of hearts and searcher of the reins' is thy

  _Doorkeeper_. "Who is the god that dwelleth in his hour? Utter his

  _Deceased_. "'M[=a]au-Taui' is his name."

  _Doorkeeper_. "And who is M[=a]au-Taui?"

  _Deceased_. "He is Thoth."

  _Thoth_. "Come! But why hast thou come?"

  _Deceased_. "I have come and I press forward that my name may be

  _Thoth_, "In what state art thou?"

  _Deceased_. "I am purified from evil things, and I am protected from
              the baleful deeds of those who live in their days; and I
              am not of them."

  _Thoth_. "Now will I make mention of thy name [to the god]. And who is
            he whose roof is of fire, whose walls are living uraei, and
            the floor of whose house is a stream of water? Who is he, I

  _Deceased_. "It is Osiris."

  _Thoth_. "Come forward, then; verily, mention of thy name shall be
            made unto him. Thy cakes [shall come] from the Eye of R[=a];
            and thine ale [shall come] from the Eye of R[=a]; and thy
            sepulchral meals upon earth [shall come] from the Eye of

With these words Chapter CXXV comes to an end. We have seen how the
deceased has passed through the ordeal of the judgment, and how the
scribes provided him with hymns and prayers, and with the words of a
confession with a view of facilitating his passage through the dread
Hall of the Ma[=a]ti goddesses. Unfortunately the answer which the god
Osiris may be supposed to have made to his son Horus in respect of the
deceased is not recorded, but there is no doubt that the Egyptian
assumed that it would be favourable to him, and that permission would be
accorded him to enter into each and every portion of the underworld, and
to partake of all the delights which the beatified enjoyed under the
rule of R[=a] and Osiris.



In perusing the literature of the ancient Egyptians one of the first
things which forces itself upon the mind of the reader is the frequency
of allusions to the future life or to things which appertain thereto.
The writers of the various religious and other works, belonging to all
periods of Egyptian history, which have come down to us, tacitly assume
throughout that those who once have lived in this world have "renewed"
their life in that which is beyond the grave, and that they still live
and will live until time shall be no more. The Egyptian belief in the
existence of Almighty God is old, so old that we must seek for its
beginnings in pre-dynastic times; but the belief in a future life is
very much older, and its beginnings must be as old, at least, as the
oldest human remains which have been found in Egypt. To attempt to
measure by years the remoteness of the period when these were committed
to the earth, is futile, for no date that could be given them is likely
to be even approximately correct, and they may as well date from B.C.
12,000 as from B.C. 8000. Of one fact, however, we may be quite certain;
that is to say, that the oldest human remains that have been found in
Egypt bear upon them traces of the use of bitumen, which proves that the
Egyptians at the very beginning of their stay in the valley of the Nile
made some attempt to preserve their dead by means of mummification.
[Footnote: See J. de Morgan, _Ethnographie Préhistorique_, Paris, 1897,
p. 189.] If they were, as many think, invaders who had made their way
across Arabia and the Red Sea and the eastern desert of the Nile, they
may have brought the idea and habit of preserving their dead with them,
or they may have adopted, in a modified form, some practice in use among
the aboriginal inhabitants whom they found on their arrival in Egypt; in
either case the fact that they attempted to preserve their dead by the
use of substances which would arrest decay is certain, and in a degree
their attempt has succeeded.

The existence of the non-historic inhabitants of Egypt has been revealed
to us in recent years by means of a number of successful excavations
which have been made in Upper Egypt on both sides of the Nile by several
European and native explorers, and one of the most striking results has
been the discovery of three different kinds of burials, which
undoubtedly belong to three different periods, as we may see by
examining the various objects which have been found in the early graves
at Nak[=a]dah and other non-historic sites of the same age and type. In
the oldest tombs we find the skeleton laid upon its left side, with the
limbs bent: the knees are on a level with the breast, and the hands are
placed in front of the face. Generally the head faces towards the south,
but no invariable rule seems to have been observed as to its
"orientation." Before the body was laid in the ground it was either
wrapped in gazelle skin or laid in loose grass; the substance used for
the purposes of wrapping probably depended upon the social condition of
the deceased. In burials of this class there are no traces of
mummification, or of burning, or of stripping the flesh from the bones.
In the next oldest graves the bodies are found to have been wholly or
partly stripped of their flesh; in the former case all the bones are
found cast indiscriminately is the grave, in the latter the bones of the
hands and the feet were laid together, while the rest of the skeleton is
scattered about in wild confusion. Graves of this period are found to be
oriented either north or south, and the bodies in them usually have the
head separated from the body; sometimes it is clear that the bodies have
been "jointed" so that they might occupy less space. Occasionally the
bodies are found lying upon their backs with their legs and arms folded
over them; in this case they are covered over with clay casings. In
certain graves it is clear that the body has been burnt. Now in all
classes of tombs belonging to the prehistoric period in Egypt we find
offerings in vases and vessels of various kinds, a fact which proves
beyond all doubt that the men who made these graves believed that their
dead friends and relatives would live again in some place, of the
whereabouts of which they probably had very vague ideas, in a life which
was, presumably, not unlike that which they had lived upon earth. The
flint tools, knives, scrapers and the like indicate that they thought
they would hunt and slay their quarry when brought down, and fight their
foes; and the schist objects found in the graves, which M. de Morgan
identifies as amulets, shows that even in those early days man believed
that he could protect himself against the powers of supernatural and
invisible enemies by talismans. The man who would hunt and fight in the
next world must live again; and if he would live again it must be either
in his old body or in a new one; if in the old body, it must be
revivified. But once having imagined a new life, probably in a new body,
death a second time was not, the prehistoric Egyptian hoped, within the
bounds of possibility. Here, then, we have the origin of the grand ideas

There is every reason for believing that the prehistoric Egyptian
expected to eat, and to drink, and to lead a life of pleasure in the
region where he imagined his heaven to be, and there is little doubt
that he thought the body in which he would live there would be not
unlike the body which he had while he was upon earth. At this stage his
ideas of the supernatural and of the future life would be like those of
any man of the same race who stood on the same level in the scale of
civilization, but in every way he was a great contrast to the Egyptian
who lived, let us say, in the time of Mena, the first historical king of
Egypt, the date of whom for convenience' sake is placed at B.C. 4400.
The interval between the time when the prehistoric Egyptians made the
graves described above and the reign of Mena must have been very
considerable, and we may justly believe it to represent some thousands
of years; but whatever its length, we find that the time was not
sufficient to wipe out the early views which had been handed on from
generation to generation, or even to modify some of the beliefs which we
now know to have existed in an almost unchanged state at the latest
period of Egyptian history. In the texts which were edited by the
priests of Heliopolis we find references to a state or condition of
things, as far as social matters are concerned, which could only exist
in a society of men who were half savages. And we see from later works,
when extracts are made from the earlier texts which contain such
references, that the passages in which objectionable allusions occur are
either omitted altogether or modified. We know of a certainty that the
educated men of the College of Heliopolis cannot have indulged in the
excesses which the deceased kings for whom they prepared the funeral
texts are assumed to enjoy, and the mention of the nameless abomination
which the savage Egyptian inflicted upon his vanquished foe can only
have been allowed to remain in them because of their own reverence for
the written word.

In passing it must be mentioned that the religious ideas of the men who
were buried without mutilation of limbs, or stripping of flesh from the
body, or burning, must have been different from those of the men who
practised such things on the dead. The former are buried in the
ante-natal position of a child, and we may perhaps be justified in
seeing in this custom the symbol of a hope that as the child is born
from this position into the world, so might the deceased be born into
the life in the world beyond the grave; and the presence of amulets, the
object of which was to protect the body, seems to indicate that they
expected the actual body to rise again. The latter, by the mutilation of
the bodies and the burning of the dead, seem to show that they had no
hope of living again in their natural bodies, and how far they had
approached to the conception of the resurrection of a spiritual body we
shall probably never know. When we arrive at the IVth dynasty we find
that, so far from any practice of mutilation or burning of the body
being common, every text assumes that the body is to be buried whole;
this fact indicates a reversal of the custom of mutilation, or burning,
which must have been in use, however, for a considerable time. It is to
this reversal that we probably owe such passages as, "O flesh of Pepi,
rot not, decay not, stink not;" "Pepi goeth forth with his flesh;" "thy
bones shall not be destroyed, and thy flesh shall not perish,"
[Footnote: See _Recueil de Travaux_, tom. v. pp. 55, 185 (lines 160,
317, 353).] etc.; and they denote a return to the views and ways of the
earliest people known to us in Egypt.

In the interval which elapsed between the period of the prehistoric
burials and the IVth dynasty, the Egyptian formulated certain theories
about the component parts of his own body, and we must consider these
briefly before we can describe the form in which the dead were believed
to rise. The physical body of a man was called KHAT, a word which
indicates something in which decay is inherent; it was this which was
buried in the tomb after mummification, and its preservation from
destruction of every kind was the object of all amulets, magical
ceremonies, prayers, and formulae, from the earliest to the latest
times. The god Osiris even possessed such a body, and its various
members were preserved as relics in several shrines in Egypt. Attached
to the body in some remarkable way was the KA, or "double," of a man; it
may be defined as an abstract individuality or personality which was
endowed with all his characteristic attributes, and it possessed an
absolutely independent existence. It was free to move from place to
place upon earth at will, and it could enter heaven and hold converse
with the gods. The offerings made in, the tombs at all periods were
intended for the nourishment of the KA, and it was supposed to be able
to eat and drink and to enjoy the odour of incense. In the earliest
times a certain portion of the tomb was set apart for the use of the KA,
and the religious organization of the period ordered that a class of
priests should perform ceremonies and recite prayers at stated seasons
for the benefit of the KA in the KA chapel; these men were known as "KA
priests." In the period when the pyramids were built it was firmly
believed that the deceased, in some form, was able to be purified, and
to sit down and to eat bread with it "unceasingly and for ever;" and the
KA who was not supplied with a sufficiency of food in the shape of
offerings of bread, cakes, flowers, fruit, wine, ale, and the like, was
in serious danger of starvation.

The soul was called BA, and the ideas which the Egyptians held
concerning it are somewhat difficult to reconcile; the meaning of the
word seems to be something like "sublime," "noble," "mighty." The BA
dwelt in the KA, and seems to have had the power of becoming corporeal
or incorporeal at will; it had both substance and form, and is
frequently depicted on the papyri and monuments as a human-headed hawk;
in nature and substance it is stated to be ethereal. It had the power to
leave the tomb, and to pass up into heaven where it was believed to
enjoy an eternal existence in a state of glory; it could, however, and
did, revisit the body in the tomb, and from certain texts it seems that
it could re-animate it and hold converse with it. Like the heart AB it
was, in some respects, the seat of life in man. The souls of the blessed
dead dwelt in heaven with the gods, and they partook of all the
celestial enjoyments for ever.

The spiritual intelligence, or spirit, of a man was called KHU, and it
seems to have taken form as a shining, luminous, intangible shape of the
body; the KHUs formed a class of celestial beings who lived with the
gods, but their functions are not clear. The KHU, like the KA, could be
imprisoned in the tomb, and to obviate this catastrophe special formulae
were composed and duly recited. Besides the KHU another very important
part of a man's entity went into heaven, namely, his SEKHEM. The word
literally means "to have the mastery over something," and, as used in
the early texts, that which enables one to have the mastery over
something; _i.e._, "power." The SEKHEM of a man was, apparently, his
vital force or strength personified, and the Egyptians believed that it
could and did, under certain conditions, follow him that possessed it
upon earth into heaven. Another part of a man was the KHAIBIT or
"shadow," which is frequently mentioned in connexion with the soul and,
in late times, was always thought to be near it. Finally we may mention
the REN, or "name" of a man, as one of his most important constituent
parts. The Egyptians, in common with all Eastern nations, attached the
greatest importance to the preservation of the name, and any person, who
effected the blotting out of a man's name was thought to have destroyed
him also. Like the KA it was a portion, of a man's most special
identity, and it is easy to see why so much importance grew to be
attached to it; a nameless being could not be introduced to the gods,
and as no created thing exists without a name the man who had no name
was in a worse position before the divine powers than the feeblest
inanimate object. To perpetuate the name of a father was a good son's
duty, and to keep the tombs of the dead in good repair so that all might
read the names of those who were buried in them was a most meritorious
act. On the other hand, if the deceased knew the names of divine beings,
whether friends or foes, and could pronounce them, he at once obtained
power over them, and was able to make them perform his will.

We have seen that the entity of a man consisted of body, double, soul,
heart, spiritual intelligence or spirit, power, shadow, and name. These
eight parts may be reduced to three by leaving out of consideration the
double, heart, power, shadow and name as representing beliefs which were
produced by the Egyptian as he was slowly ascending the scale of
civilization, and as being the peculiar product of his race; we may then
say that a man consisted of body, soul, and spirit. But did all three
rise, and live in the world beyond the grave? The Egyptian texts answer
this question definitely; the soul and the spirit of the righteous
passed from the body and lived with the beatified and the gods in
heaven; but the physical body did not rise again, and it was believed
never to leave the tomb. There were ignorant people in Egypt who, no
doubt, believed in the resurrection of the corruptible body, and who
imagined that the new life would be, after all, something very much like
a continuation of that which they were living in this world; but the
Egyptian who followed the teaching of his sacred writings knew that such
beliefs were not consistent with the views of their priests and of
educated people in general. Already in the Vth dynasty, about B.C. 3400,
it is stated definitely:--

  "The soul to heaven, the body to earth;" [Footnote: _Recueil de
  Travaux_, tom. iv. p. 71 (l. 582).] and three thousand years later the
  Egyptian writer declared the same thing, but in different words, when
  he wrote:--[Footnote: Horrack, _Lamentations d' Isis_, Paris, 1866,
  p. 6.] "Heaven hath thy soul, and earth thy body."

The Egyptian hoped, among other things, that he would sail over the sky
in the boat of R[=a], but he knew well that he could not do this in his
mortal body; he believed firmly that he would live for millions of
years, but with the experience of the human race before him he knew that
this also was impossible if the body in which he was to live was that in
which he had lived upon earth. At first he thought that his physical
body might, after the manner of the sun, be "renewed daily," and that
his new life would resemble that of that emblem of the Sun-god R[=a]
with which he sought to identify himself. Later, however, his experience
taught him that the best mummified body was sometimes destroyed, either
by damp, or dry rot, or decay in one form or another, and that
mummification alone was not sufficient to ensure resurrection or the
attainment of the future life; and, in brief, he discovered that by no
human means could that which is corruptible by nature be made to become
incorruptible, for the very animals in which the gods themselves were
incarnate became sick and died in their appointed season. It is hard to
say why the Egyptians continued to mummify the dead since there is good
reason for knowing that they did not expect the physical body to rise
again. It may be that they thought its preservation necessary for the
welfare of the KA, or "double," and for the development of a new body
from it; also the continued custom may have been the result of intense
conservatism. But whatever the reason, the Egyptian never ceased to take
every possible precaution to preserve the dead body intact, had he
sought for help in his trouble from another source.

It will be remembered that when Isis found the dead body of her husband
Osiris, she at once set to work to protect it. She drove away the foes,
and made the ill-luck which had come upon it to be of no effect. In
order to bring about this result "she made strong her speech with all
the strength of her mouth, she was perfect of tongue, and she halted not
in her speech," and she pronounced a series of words or formulae with
which Thoth had provided her; thus she succeeded in "stirring up the
inactivity of the Still-heart" and in accomplishing her desire in
respect of him. Her cries, prompted by love and grief, would have had no
effect on the dead body unless they had been accompanied by the words of
Thoth, which she uttered with boldness (_Ichu_), and understanding
(_ager_), and without fault in pronunciation (_an-uh_). The Egyptian of
old kept this fact in his mind, and determined to procure the
resurrection of his friends and relatives by the same means as Isis
employed, _i.e._, the formulae of Thoth; with this object in view each
dead person, was provided with a series of texts, either written upon
his coffin, or upon papyri and amulets, which would have the same effect
as the words of Thoth which were spoken by Isis. But the relatives of
the deceased had also a duty to perform in this matter, and that was to
provide for the recital of certain prayers, and for the performance of a
number of symbolical ceremonies over the dead body before It was laid to
rest finally in the tomb. A sacrifice had to be offered up, and the
deceased and his friends and relatives assisted at it, and each ceremony
was accompanied by its proper prayers; when all had been done and said
according to the ordinances of the priests, the body was taken, to its
place in the mummy chamber. But the words of Thoth and the prayers of
the priests caused the body to become changed into a "S[=A]HU," or
incorruptible, spiritual body, which passed straightway out of the tomb
and made its way to heaven where it dwelt with the gods. When, in the
Book of the Dead the deceased says, "I exist, I exist; I live, I live; I
germinate, I germinate," [Footnote: See Chap. cliv.] and again, "I
germinate like the plants," [Footnote: See Chap. lxxxviii. 3.] the
deceased does not mean that his physical body is putting forth the
beginnings of another body like the old one, but a spiritual body which
"hath neither defect nor, like R[=a], shall suffer diminution for ever."
Into the S[=A]HU passed the soul which had lived in the body of a man
upon earth, and it seems as if the new, incorruptible body formed the
dwelling-place of the soul in heaven just as the physical body had been
its earthly abode. The reasons why the Egyptians continued to mummify
their dead is thus apparent; they did not do so believing that their
physical bodies would rise again, but because they wished the spiritual
body to "sprout" or "germinate" from them, and if possible--at least it
seems so--to be in the form of the physical body. In this way did the
dead rise according to the Egyptians, and in this body did they come.

From what has been said above, it will be seen that there is no reason
for doubting the antiquity of the Egyptian belief in the resurrection of
the dead and in immortality, and the general evidence derived both from
archaeological and religious considerations supports this view. As old,
however, as this belief in general is the specific belief in a spiritual
body (S[=A]H or S[=A]HU); for we find it in texts of the Vth dynasty
incorporated with ideas which belong to the prehistoric Egyptian in his
savage or semi-savage state. One remarkable extract will prove this
point. In the funeral chapters which are inscribed on the walls of the
chambers and passages inside the pyramid of King Unas, who flourished at
the end of the Vth dynasty, about B.C. 3300, is a passage in which the
deceased king terrifies all the powers of heaven and earth because he
"riseth as a soul (BA) in the form of the god who liveth upon his
fathers and who maketh food of his mothers. Unas is the lord of wisdom
and his mother knoweth not his name. He hath become mighty like unto the
god Temu, the father who gave him birth, and after Temu gave him birth
he became stronger than his father." The king is likened unto a Bull,
and he feedeth upon every god, whatever may be the form in which he
appeareth; "he hath weighed words with the god whose name is hidden,"
and he devoureth men and liveth upon gods. The dead king is then said to
set out to limit the gods in their meadows, and when he has caught them
with nooses, he causes them to be slain. They are next cooked in blazing
cauldrons, the greatest for his morning meal, the lesser for his evening
meal, and the least for his midnight meal; the old gods and goddesses
serve as fuel for his cooking pots. In this way, having swallowed the
magical powers and spirits of the gods, he becomes the Great Power of
Powers among the gods, and the greatest of the gods who appear in
visible forms. "Whatever he hath found upon his path he hath consumed,
and his strength is greater than that of any spiritual body (S[=A]HU) in
the horizon; he is the firstborn of all the firstborn, and ... he hath
carried off the hearts of the gods.... He hath eaten the wisdom of every
god, and his period of existence is everlasting, and his life shall be
unto all eternity, ... for the souls and the spirits of the gods are in

We have, it is clear, in this passage an allusion to the custom of
savages of all nations and periods, of eating portions of the bodies of
valiant foes whom they have vanquished in war in order to absorb their
virtues and strength; the same habit has also obtained in some places in
respect of animals. In the case of the gods the deceased is made to
covet their one peculiar attribute, that is to say, everlasting life;
and when he has absorbed their souls and spirits he is declared to have
obtained all that makes him superior to every other spiritual body in
strength and in length of life. The "magical powers" (_heka_) which the
king is also said to have "eaten," are the words and formulae, the
utterance of which by him, in whatever circumstances he may be placed,
will cause every being, friendly or unfriendly, to do his will. But
apart from any question of the slaughter of the gods the Egyptians
declared of this same king, "Behold, thou hast not gone as one dead, but
as one living, to sit upon the throne of Osiris." [Footnote: _Recuell de
Travaux_, tom. v. p. 167 (l. 65).] and in a papyrus written nearly two
thousand years later the deceased himself says, "My soul is God, my soul
is eternity," [Footnote: Papyrus of Ani, Plate 28, l. 15 (Chapter
lxxxiv.).] a clear proof that the ideas of the existence of God and of
eternity were identical. Yet one other example is worth quoting, if only
to show the care that the writers of religious texts took to impress the
immortality of the soul upon their readers. According to Chapter CLXXV.
of the Book of the Dead the deceased finds himself in a place where
there is neither water nor air, and where "it is depth unfathomable, it
is black as the blackest night, and men wander helplessly therein. In it
a man may not live in quietness of heart, nor may the longings of love
be satisfied therein. But," says the deceased to the god Thoth, "let the
state of the spirits be given unto me instead of water, and air, and the
satisfying of the longings of love, and let quietness of heart be given
unto me instead of cakes and ale. The god Temu hath decreed that I shall
see thy face, and that I shall not suffer from the things which pained
thee; may every god transmit unto thee [O Osiris] his throne for
millions of years! Thy throne hath descended unto thy son Horus, and the
god Temu hath decreed that his course shall be among the holy princes.
Verily he shall rule over thy throne, and he shall be heir of the throne
of the Dweller in the Lake of the Two Fires. Verily it hath been decreed
that in me he shall see his likeness, [Footnote: _i.e._, I shall be like
Horus, the son of Osiris.] and that my face shall look upon the face of
the lord Tem." After reciting these words, the deceased asks Thoth, "How
long have I to live?" and the god replies, "It is decreed that thou
shalt live for millions of millions of years, a life of millions of
years." To give emphasis and additional effect to his words the god is
made to speak tautologically so that the most unlettered man may not
miss their meaning. A little later in the Chapter the deceased says, "O
my father Osiris, thou hast done for me that which thy father R[=a] did
for thee. So shall I abide on the earth lastingly, I shall keep
possession of my seat; my heir shall be strong; my tomb and my friends
who are upon earth shall flourish; my enemies shall be given over to
destruction and to the shackles of the goddess Serq. I am thy son, and
R[=a] is my father; for me likewise thou shalt make life, and strength,
and health!" It is interesting to note that the deceased first
identifies Osiris with R[=a], and then he identifies himself with
Osiris; thus he identifies himself with R[=a].

With the subjects of resurrection and immortality must be mentioned the
frequent references in the religious texts of all periods to the meat
and drink on which lived the beings who were believed to exist in the
world beyond the grave. In prehistoric days if was natural enough for
the dead man's friends to place food in his grave, because they thought
that he would require it on his journey to the next world; this custom
also presupposed that the deceased would have a body like unto that
which he had left behind him in this world, and that it would need food
and drink. In the Vth dynasty the Egyptians believed that the blessed
dead lived upon celestial food, and that they suffered neither hunger
nor thirst; they ate what the gods ate, they drank what they drank, they
were what they were, and became in such matters as these the
counterparts of the gods. In another passage we read that they are
apparelled in white linen, that they wear white sandals, and that they
go to the great lake which is in the midst of the Field of Peace whereon
the great gods sit, and that the gods give them to eat of the food (_or_
tree) of life of which they themselves eat that they also may live. It
is certain, however, that other views than these were held concerning
the food of the dead, for already in the Vth dynasty the existence of a
region called Sekhet-Aaru, or Sekhet-Aanru had been formulated, and to
this place the soul, or at least some part, of the pious Egyptian hoped
to make its way. Where Sekhet-Aaru was situated we have no means of
saying, and the texts afford us no clue as to its whereabouts; some
scholars think that it lay away to the east of Egypt, but it is far more
likely to represent some district of the Delta either in its northern or
north-eastern portion. Fortunately we have a picture of it in the
Papyrus of Nebseni, [Footnote: Brit. Mus., No. 9900; this document
belongs to the XVIIIth dynasty.] the oldest probably on papyrus, and
from this we may see that Sekhet-Aaru, _i.e._, the "Field of Reeds,"
typified some very fertile region where farming operations could be
carried on with ease and success. Canals and watercourses abound, and in
one section, we are told, the spirits of the blessed dwelt; the picture
probably represents a traditional "Paradise" or "Elysian Fields," and
the general characteristics of this happy land are those of a large,
well-kept, and well-stocked homestead, situated at no great distance
from the Nile or one of its main branches. In the Papyrus of Nebseni the
divisions of the Sekhet-Auru contain the following:--

[Illustration: The Elysian Fields of the Egyptians according to the
Papyrus of Nebseni (XVIIIth dynasty).]

  1. Nebseni, the scribe and artist of the Temple of Ptah, with his arms
  hanging by his sides, entering the Elysian Fields.

  2. Nebseni making an offering of incense to the "great company of the

  3. Nebseni seated in a boat paddling; above the boat are three symbols
  for "city."

  4. Nebseni addressing a bearded mummied figure.

  5. Three Pools or Lakes called Urti, Hetep, and Qetqet.

  6. Nebseni reaping in Sekhet-hetepet.

  7. Nebseni grasping the Bennu bird, which is perched upon a stand; in
  front are three KAU and three KHU.

  8. Nebseni seated and smelling a flower; the text reads: "Thousands of
  all good and pure things to the KA of Nebseni."

  9. A table of offerings.

  10. Four Pools or Lakes called Nebt-tani, Uakha, Kha(?), and Hetep.

  11. Nebseni ploughing with oxen by the side of a stream which is one
  thousand [measures] in length, and the width of which cannot be said;
  in it there are neither fish nor worms.

  12. Nebseni ploughing with oxen on an island "the length of which is
  the length of heaven."

  13. A division shaped like a bowl, in which is inscribed: "The
  birthplace(?) of the god of the city Qenqentet Nebt."

  14. An island whereon are four gods and a flight of steps; the legend
  reads: "The great company of the gods who are in Sekhet-hetep."

  15. The boat Tchetetfet, with eight oars, four at the bows, and four
  at the stern, floating at the end of a canal; in it is a flight of
  steps. The place where it lies is called the "Domain of Neth."

  16. Two Pools, the names of which are illegible. The scene as given in
  the Papyrus of Ani [Footnote: Brit. Mus., No. 10,470, Plate 35] gives
  some interesting variants and may be described thus:--

    1. Ani making an offering before a hare-headed god, a snake-headed
    god, and a bull-headed god; behind him stand his wife Thuthu and
    Thoth holding his reed and palette. Ani paddling a boat. Ani
    addressing a hawk, before which are a table of offerings, a statue,
    three ovals, and the legend, "Being at peace in the Field, and
    having air for the nostrils."

    2. Ani reaping corn, Ani driving the oxen which tread out the corn;
    Ani addressing (_or_ adoring) a Bennu bird perched on a stand; Ani
    seated holding the _kherp_ sceptre; a heap of red and a heap of
    white corn; three KAU and three KHU, which are perhaps to be read,
    "the food of the spirits;" and three Pools.

    3. Ani ploughing a field near a stream which contains [Illustration:
    The Elysian Fields of the Egyptians according to the Papyrus of Ani
    (XVIIIth dynasty).] neither fish, nor serpents, nor worms of any
    kind whatsoever.

    4. The birthplace of the "god of the city;" an island on which is a
    flight of steps; a region called the "place of the spirits" who are
    seven cubits high, where the wheat is three cubits high, and where
    the S[=A]HU, or spiritual bodies, reap it; the region Ashet, the god
    who dwelleth therein being Un-nefer (_i.e._, a form of Osiris); a
    boat with eight oars lying at the end of a canal; and a boat
    floating on a canal. The name of the first boat is Behutu-tcheser,
    and that of the second Tohefau.

So far we have seen that in heaven and in the world beyond the grave the
deceased has found only divine beings, and the doubles, and the souls,
and the spirits, and the spiritual bodies of the blessed; but no
reference has been made to the possibility of the dead recognizing each
other, or being able to continue the friendships or relationships which
they had when upon earth. In the Sekhet-Aaru the case is, however,
different, for there we have reason to believe relationships were
recognized and rejoiced in. Thus in Chapter LII. of the Book of the
Dead, which was composed with the idea of the deceased, from lack of
proper food in the underworld, being obliged to eat filth, [Footnote:
This idea is a survival of prehistoric times, when it was thought that
if the proper sepulchral meals were not deposited at regular intervals
where the KA, or "double," of the deceased could get at them it would be
obliged to wander about and pick up whatever it might find to eat upon
its road.] and with the object of preventing such an awful thing, the
deceased says: "That which is an abomination unto me, that which is an
abomination unto me, let me not eat. That which is an abomination unto
me, that which is an abomination unto me, is filth; let me not be
obliged to eat thereof in the place of the sepulchral cakes which are
offered unto the KAU (_i.e._, "doubles"). Let it not touch my body, let
me not be obliged to hold it in my hands; and let me not be compelled to
tread thereon in my sandals."

Some being or beings, probably the gods, then ask him, "What, now, wilt
thou live upon in the presence of the gods?" And he replies, "Let food
come to me from the place of food, and let me live upon the seven loaves
of bread which shall be brought as food before Horus, and upon the bread
which is brought before Thoth. And when the gods shall say unto me,
'What manner of food wouldst thou have given unto thee?' I will reply,
'Let me eat my food under the sycamore tree of my lady, the goddess
Hathor, and let my times be among the divine beings who have alighted
thereon. Let me have the power to order my own fields in Tattu
(Busiris), and my own growing crops in Annu. Let me live upon bread made
of white grain, and let my beer be made from red grain, and may the
persons of my father and mother be given unto me as guardians of my
door, and for the ordering of my homestead. Let me be sound and strong,
and let me have much room wherein to move, and let me be able to sit
wheresoever I please."

This Chapter is most important as showing that the deceased wished to
have his homestead and its fields situated in Tattu, that is to say,
near the capital of the Busirite or IXth nome of Lower Egypt, a district
not far from the city of Semennûd (_i.e._, Sebennytus) and lying a
little to the south of the thirty-first parallel of latitude. It was
here that the reconstitution of the dismembered body of Osiris took
place, and it was here that the solemn ceremony of setting up the
backbone of Osiris was performed each year. The original Sekhet-Aaru was
evidently placed here, and we are therefore right in assuming that the
fertile fields of this part of the Delta formed the prototype of the
Elysian Fields of the Egyptian. At the same time he also wished to reap
crops on the fields round about Heliopolis, the seat of the greatest and
most ancient shrine of the Sun-god. The white grain of which he would
have his bread made is the ordinary _dhura_, and the red grain is the
red species of the same plant, which is not so common as the white. As
keepers of the door of his estate the deceased asks for the "forms (_or_
persons) of his father and his mother," and thus we see a desire on the
part of the Egyptian to continue the family life which he began upon
earth; it goes almost without saying that he would not ask this thing if
he thought there would be no prospect of knowing his parents in the next
world. An interesting proof of this is afforded by the picture of the
Sekhet-Aaru, or Elysian Fields, which is given in the Papyrus of Anhai,
[Footnote: Brit. Mus., No. 10,472.] [Illustration: Anhai bowing before
her father and mother. The Elysian Fields. From the Papyrus of Anhai
(XXIInd dynasty).] a priestess of Amen who lived probably about B.C.
1000. Here we see the deceased entering into the topmost section of the
district and addressing two divine persons; above one of these are
written the words "her mother," followed by the name Neferitu. The form
which comes next is probably that of her father, and thus we are sure
that the Egyptians believed they would meet their relatives in the next
world and know and be known by them.

Accompanying the picture of the Elysian Fields is a long text which
forms Chapter CX. of the Book of the Dead. As it supplies a great deal
of information concerning the views held in early times about that
region, and throws so much light upon the semi-material life which the
pious Egyptians, at one period of their history, hoped to lead, a
rendering of it is here given. It is entitled, "The Chapters of
Sekhet-Hetepet, and the Chapters of Coming Forth by Day; of going into
and of coming forth from the underworld; of coming to Sekhet-Aaru; of
being in Sekhet-Hetepet, the mighty land, the lady of winds; of having
power there; of becoming a spirit (KHU) there; of reaping there; of
eating there; of drinking there; of making love there; and of doing
everything even as a man doeth upon the earth." The deceased says:--

  "Set hath seized Horus, who looked with the two eyes [Footnote:
  _i.e._, the Eye of R[=a] and the Eye of Horus.] upon the building (?)
  round Sekhet-hetep, but I have released Horus [and taken him from]
  Set, and Set hath opened the path of the two eyes [which are] in
  heaven. Set hath cast (?) his moisture to the winds upon the soul that
  hath his day, and that dwelleth in the city of Mert, and he hath
  delivered the interior of the body of Horus from the gods of Akert.

  "Behold me now, for I make this mighty boat to travel over the Lake of
  Hetep, and I brought it away with might from the palace of Shu; the
  domain of his stars groweth young and reneweth the strength which it
  had of old. I have brought the boat into the lakes thereof, so that I
  may come forth into the cities thereof, and I have sailed into their
  divine city Hetep. And behold, it is because I, even I, am at peace
  with his seasons, and with his direction, and with his territory, and
  with the company of the gods who are his firstborn. He maketh Horus
  and Set to be at peace with those who watch over the living ones whom
  he hath created in fair form, and he bringeth peace; he maketh Horus
  and Set to be at peace with those who watch over them. He cutteth off
  the hair from Horus and Set, he driveth away storm from the helpless,
  and he keepeth away harm from the spirits (KHU). Let me have dominion
  within that field, for I know it, and I have sailed among its lakes so
  that I might come into its cities. My mouth is firm, [Footnote:
  _i.e._, I know how to utter the words of power which I possess with
  vigour.] and I am equipped to resist the spirits (KHU), therefore they
  shall not have dominion over me. Let me be rewarded with thy fields, O
  thou god Hetep; but that which is thy wish do, O thou lord of the
  winds. May I become a spirit therein, may I eat therein, may I drink
  therein, may I plough therein, may I reap therein, may I fight
  therein, may I make love therein, may my words be mighty therein; may
  I never be in a state of servitude therein; but may I be in authority
  therein. Thou hast made strong the mouth (_or_ door) and the throat
  (_?_) of Hetep; Qetet-bu is his name. He is stablished upon the
  pillars [Footnote: _i.e._, the four pillars, one placed at each
  cardinal point, which support the sky.] of Shu, and is linked unto the
  pleasant things of R[=a]. He is the divider of years, he is hidden of
  mouth, his mouth is silent, that which he uttereth is secret, he
  fulfilleth eternity and hath possession of everlasting existence as
  Hetep, the lord Hetep.

  "The god Horus maketh himself to be strong like unto the Hawk which is
  one thousand cubits in length, and two thousand [cubits in width] in
  life; he hath equipments with him, and he journeyeth on and cometh
  where his heart's throne wisheth to be in the Pools [of Hetep] and in
  the cities thereof. He was begotten in the birth-chamber of the god of
  the city, offerings of the god of the city are made unto him, he
  performeth that which it is meet to do therein, and causeth the union
  thereof, and doeth everything which appertaineth to the birth-chamber
  of the divine city. When he setteth in life, like crystal, he
  performeth everything therein, and the things which he doeth are like
  unto the things which are done in the Lake of Twofold Fire, wherein
  there is none that rejoiceth, and wherein are all manner of evil
  things. The god Hetep goeth in, and cometh out, and goeth backwards
  [in] that Field which gathereth together all manner of things for the
  birth-chamber of the god of the city. When he setteth in life, like
  crystal, he performeth all manner of things therein which are like
  unto the things which are done in the Lake of Twofold Fire, wherein
  there is none that rejoiceth, and wherein are all manner of evil

  "Let me live with the god Hetep, clothed and not plundered by the
  lords of the north, and let the lord of divine things bring food unto
  me. Let him make me to go forward, and let me come out, and let him
  bring my power unto me there; let me receive it, and let my equipment
  be from the god Hetep. Let me gain the mastery over the great and
  mighty word which is in my body in this place wherein I am, for by
  means of it I will remember and I will forget. Let me go forward on my
  way and let me plough. I am at peace with the god of the city, and I
  know the waters, and the cities, and the nomes, and the lakes which
  are in Sekhet-Hetep. I exist therein, I am strong therein, I have
  become a spirit (KHU) therein, I eat therein, I sow seed therein, I
  reap the harvest therein, I plough therein, I make love therein, and I
  am at peace with the god Hetep therein. Behold I scatter seed therein,
  I sail about among its lakes, and I advance to the cities thereof, O
  divine Hetep. Behold, my mouth is provided with my [teeth which are
  like] horns; grant me therefore an overflowing supply of the food
  whereon, the 'Doubles' (KAU) and the Spirits (KHU) do live. I have
  passed the judgment which Shu passeth upon him that knoweth him,
  therefore let me go forth to the cities of [Hetep], and let me sail
  about among its lakes, and let me walk about in Sekhet-Hetep. Behold
  R[=a] is in heaven, and behold the god Hetep is the twofold offering
  thereof. I have come forward to the land [of Hetep], I have girded up
  my loins and come forth so that the gifts which are about to be given
  unto me may be given, and I am glad, and I have laid hold upon my
  strength which the god Hetep hath greatly increased for me." "O
  Unen-em-hetep, [Footnote: The name of the first large section of
  Sekhet-Aaru.] I have entered into thee, and my soul followeth after
  me, and my divine food is upon my hands. O Lady of the two lands,
  [Footnote: A lake in the second section of Sekhet-Aaru.] who
  stablishest my word whereby I remember and forget, let me live
  uninjured, and without any injury [being done] unto me. O grant to me,
  O do thou grant to me, joy of heart; make thou me to be at peace, bind
  thou up my sinews and muscles, and make me to receive the air."

  "O Unen-em-hetep, O Lady of the winds, I have entered into thee, and I
  have shewn [Footnote: Literally, "opened."] my head [therein]. R[=a]
  sleepeth, but I am awake, and there is the goddess Hast at the gate of
  heaven by night. Obstacles have been set before me, but I have
  gathered together what R[=a] hath emitted. I am in my city."

  "O Nut-urt, [Footnote: The name of a lake in the first section of
  Sekhet-Aaru.] I have entered into thee and I have reckoned up my
  harvest, and I go forward to Uakh. [Footnote: The name of a lake in
  the second section of Sekhet-Aaru.] I am the Bull enveloped in
  turquoise, the lord of the Field of the Bull, the lord of the divine
  speech of the goddess Septet (Sothis) at her hours. O Uakh, I have
  entered into thee, I have eaten my bread, I have gotten the mastery
  over choice pieces of the flesh of oxen and of feathered fowl, and the
  birds of Shu have been given unto me; I follow after the gods, and the
  divine 'Doubles' (KAU)."

  "O Tohefet, [Footnote: The name of a district in the third section of
  Sekhet-Aaru.] I have entered into thee, I array myself in apparel, and
  I have guarded myself with the _Sa_ garment of R[=a]; now behold, he
  is in heaven, and those who dwell therein follow him, and I also
  follow R[=a] in heaven, O Unen-em-hetep, lord of the two lands, I have
  entered into thee, and I have plunged into the lakes of Tohesert;
  behold me now, for all uncleanness hath departed from me. The Great
  God groweth therein, and behold, I have found [food therein]; I have
  snared feathered fowl and I feed upon, the finest of them."

  "O Qenqentet, [Footnote: The name of a lake in the first section, of
  Sekhet-Aaru.] I have entered into thee, and I have seen, the Osiris
  [my father], and I have gazed upon my mother, and I have made love. I
  have captured the worms and serpents [which are there] and have
  delivered myself. I know the name of the god who is opposite to the
  goddess Tohesert, who hath straight hair and is provided with horns;
  he reapeth, but I both plough and reap."

  "O Hast, [Footnote: The name of a lake in the third section of
  Sekhet-Aaru.] I have entered into thee, and I have driven back those
  who would come to the turquoise [sky]; and I have followed the winds
  of the company of the gods. The Great God hath given my head unto me,
  and he who hath bound on me my head is the Mighty One with the eyes of
  turquoise, that is to say, Ari-en-ab-f (_i.e._, He who doeth as he

  "O Usert, [Footnote: The name of a lake in the third section of
  Sekhet-Aaru.] I have come unto thee at the house where the divine food
  is brought unto me."

  "O Smam, [Footnote: The name of a lake in the third section of
  Sekhet-Aaru.] I have come unto thee. My heart watcheth, and I am
  provided with the white crown. I am led into celestial regions, and I
  make the things of earth to flourish; and there is joy of heart for
  the Bull, and for celestial beings, and for the company of the gods. I
  am the god who is the Bull, the lord of the gods as he goeth forth
  from the turquoise [sky]."

  "O divine nome of wheat and barley, I have come unto thee, I have come
  forward to thee, and I have taken up that which followeth me, namely,
  the best of the libations of the company of the gods. I have tied my
  boat in the celestial lakes, I have lifted up the post at which to
  anchor, I have recited the prescribed words with my voice, and I have
  ascribed praises unto the gods who dwell in Sekhet-hetep."

Other joys, however, than those described above, await the man who has
passed satisfactorily through the judgment and has made his way into the
realm of the gods. For, in answer to a long petition in the Papyrus of
Ani, which has been given above (see p. 33 f.), the god R[=a] promises
to the deceased the following: "Thou shalt come forth into heaven, thou
shalt pass over the sky, thou shalt be joined unto the starry deities.
Praises shall be offered unto thee in thy boat, thou shalt be hymned in
the [=A]tet boat, thou shalt behold R[=a] within his shrine, thou shalt
set together with his Disk day by day, thou shalt see the ANT [Footnote
1: The name of a mythological fish which swam at the bow of the boat of
R[=a].] fish when it springeth into being in the waters of turquoise,
and thou shalt see the ABTU [Footnote: The name of a mythological fish
which swam at the bow of the boat of R[=a].] fish in his hour. It shall
come to pass that the Evil One shall fall when he layeth a snare to
destroy thee, and the joints of his neck and of his back shall be hacked
asunder. R[=a] [saileth] with a fair wind, and the Sektet boat draweth
on and cometh into port. The mariners of R[=a] rejoice, and the heart
of Nebt-[=a]nkh (_i.e._, Isis) is glad, for the enemy of R[=a] hath
fallen to the ground. Thou shalt behold Horus on the standing-place of
the pilot of the boat, and Thoth and Ma[=a]t shall stand one upon each
side of him. All the gods shall rejoice when they behold R[=a] coming
in peace to make the hearts of the shining ones to live, and Osiris Ani,
triumphant, the scribe of the divine offspring of the lords of Thebes,
shall be along with them."

But, not content with sailing in the boat of R[=a] daily as one of many
beatified beings, the deceased hoped to transform each of his limbs into
a god, and when this was effected to become R[=a] himself. Thus in
Chapter XLII. of the Book of the Dead [Footnote: See _The Chapters of
Coming Forth by Day_, p. 93.] the deceased says--

  "My hair is the hair of Nu.

  "My face is the face of the Disk.

  "My eyes are the eyes of Hathor.

  "My ears are the ears of Ap-uat.

  "My nose is the nose of Khenti-Khas.

  "My lips are the lips of Anpu.

  "My teeth are the teeth of Serqet.

  "My neck is the neck of the divine goddess Isis.

  "My hands are the hands of Ba-neb-Tattu.

  "My fore-arms are the fore-arms of Neith, the Lady of Saïs.

  "My backbone is the backbone of Suti.

  "My phallus is the phallus of Osiris.

  "My reins are the reins of the Lords of Kher-[=a]ba.

  "My chest is the chest of the Mighty one of terror.

  "My belly and back are the belly and back of Sekhet.

  "My buttocks are the buttocks of the Eye of Horus.

  "My hips and legs are the hips and legs of Nut.

  "My feet are the feet of Ptah.

  "My fingers and my leg-bones are the fingers and leg-bones of the
  Living Gods." [Footnote: The idea of the deification of the human
  members was current already in the VIth dynasty. See _Recueil de
  Travaux_, tom. viii, pp. 87, 88.]

And immediately after this the deceased says:

  "There is no member of my body which is not the member of a god. The
  god Thoth shieldeth my body altogether, and I am R[=a] day by day."

Thus we see by what means the Egyptians believed that mortal man could
be raised from the dead, and attain unto life everlasting. The
resurrection was the object with which every prayer was said and every
ceremony performed, and every text, and every amulet, and every formula,
of each and every period, was intended to enable the mortal to put on
immortality and to live eternally in a transformed glorified body. If
this fact be borne in mind many apparent difficulties will disappear
before the readers in this perusal of Egyptian texts, and the religion
of the Egyptians will be seen to possess a consistence of aim and a
steadiness of principle which, to some, it at first appears to lack.


Edinburgh & London

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