The Pyramid Texts

“The Pyramid Texts were a collection of Egyptian mortuary prayers, hymns, and spells intended to protect a dead king or queen and ensure life and sustenance in the hereafter. The texts, inscribed on the walls of the inner chambers of the pyramids [from c. 2686-c. 2160 BC]., are found at Saqqarah in several 5th- and 6th-dynasty pyramids, of which that of Unas, last king of the 5th dynasty, is the earliest known. The texts constitute the oldest surviving body of Egyptian religious and funerary writings available to modern scholars.”

Encyclopedia Britannica The Pyramid Texts “represent the only large corpus of religious texts set down during the Old Kingdom. With the exception of the hetep-di-nisut prayer, private tombs contained neither religious texts nor representations of gods. Contact with the gods was the prerogative of the king.” – Jaromir Malek, In the Shadow of the Pyramids

“In the so-called Pyramid Texts (c. 2400 BC), the dead pharaoh seeks to fly up to heaven and join the sun-god Re on his unceasing journey across the sky, incorporated, thus, in a mode of existence beyond change and decay. A passage in the later Book of the Dead (1200 BC) represents the deceased, who has been ritually identified with Osiris, declaring that he comprehends the whole range of time in himself, thus asserting his superiority to it.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica

“The Pyramid Texts describe the ascent of the departed king to the sky. He joins Orio (Osiris), and Sirius is his guide. They continue together as participants in the cosmic cycle. A similar wish is expressed in other texts. The spirits of the dead hope to join the never-setting, never-dying, circumpolar stars. These two possible transfigurations, in which the dead pharaoh joins Osiris or the Circumpolar stars, may explain the orientation of the so-called air shafts from the King’s Chamber in the Great Pyramid. They may be ramps by which the dead king makes his way to heaven.” – E. C. Krupp, “Astronomers, Pyramids and Priests” in In Search of Ancient Astronomies

At the end of the Pharaoh’s journey to the Afterlife, he ascends the Stairway of Heaven in the Eye of Horus. “The roaring tempest drives him, it roars like Seth. The guardians of Heaven’s parts open the doors of Heaven for him.
‘Dawning as a falcon’, he reaches the celestial realm of Ra on the ‘Imperishable Star’ and is placed on the throne of Osiris. His lifetime is an eternity, it’s limit everlastingness.” – Text from the pyramid of King Pepi

“…Some scholars have recently [1973] taken the bold step of seeing the Pyramid Texts, given their content and arrangement, as the quintessence of the rituals carried out when the ruler was interred; the actual course of this event, which took place in the chambers of the temple complex in the Pyramid area, was then as it were, reflected in the inscriptions in the corridors and chambers of the actual pyramid, the royal burial-place.” – Siegfried Morenz, Egyptian Religion

“The king-making ritual is known to have been performed in the pyramid of Unas. As in a Masonic Temple, the ceiling of the main chamber represents the sky with stars in place. The commonly accepted view is that the ceremony was celebrated on the last night of the waning moon, beginning at sunset and continuing all night until sunrise, the purpose being a resurrection ritual that identified the dead king with Osiris.

“The coronation took place in two stages. The first stage included anointing and investiture with a ceremonial collar and apron as well as a presentation of an ankh (symbol of life) and four posies. In the second stage, royal insignia were presented and the main ritual began. A crucial part of this was the reaffirmation of the union of the Two Lands and the investiture of the new king by presenting two distinctly different crowns and regalia [Henri Frankfort, in Kingship and the Gods]. At what stage in these proceedings the king became a god [Horus] is never stated.”

“The new Horus is considered to be the Morning star…” – Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus

“The reed-floats of the sky are set in place for me, that I may cross by means of them to Re on the horizon…I will stand among them, for the moon is my brother, the Morning Star is my offspring…” – The new Osiris in the Pyramid Texts

“…The Egyptian hieroglyphic for the morning star has the literal meaning ‘divine knowledge. This seems to support our thesis that the candidate for kingship was raised to the status of the new god/king Horus by sharing the secrets of the gods in the land of the dead, where he learned the great secrets before returning to Earth as the morning star broke the horizon just before sunrise.”

“At the coronation/funeral ritual, the old king was resurrected as the new one and proved himself a suitable candidate by traveling around the perimeter of the entire country. This was really a symbolic act as the new king was conducted around the temple room to show himself a worthy candidate to those present, which included the god Re and his main assistant.”

– Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus

The Book of the Dead

“The Book of the Dead was an.” ancient Egyptian collection of mortuary texts made up of spells or magic formulas, placed in tombs and believed to protect and aid the deceased in the hereafter. Probably compiled and re-edited during the 16th century BC, the collection included Coffin Texts dating from c. 2000 BC, Pyramid Texts dating from c. 2400 BC, and other writings. Later compilations included hymns to Re, the sun god. Numerous authors, compilers, and sources contributed to the work.

Scribes copied the texts on rolls of papyrus, often colorfully illustrated, and sold them to individuals for burial use. Many copies of the book have been found in Egyptian tombs, but none contains all of the approximately 200 known chapters. The collection, literally titled ‘The Chapters of Coming-Forth-by-Day‘, received its present name from Karl Richard Lepsius, German Egyptologist who published the first collection of the texts in 1842..” – Encyclopaedia Britannica

The Heliopolitan Recension of The Chapters of Coming Forth by Day” or first section of it, was in use during the fourth and fifth dynasties and can be dated back to before 3500 B.C.”

According to A.E. Wallis Budge in Books on Egypt and Chaldea, “the book is definitely not of Egyptian origin for, although it would appear that from pre-dynastic times the aborigines of Egypt possessed tolerably well-defined ideas about the future life, they could not be regarded as the authors even of the earliest Recension of the Book of the Dead, because the work presupposes the existence of ideas which the aboriginals did not possess and refers to an elaborate system of sepulture which they never practiced.”

“It is interesting to note that, although the Egyptians must have been overall a dark-skinned people and therefore predominantly brown-eyed, they almost always depicted their Sun gods with blue eyes. A folk memory, no doubt, of a fair and blue-eyed people who, to them, were the original race of ‘gods’.” – Murray Hope, Practical Egyptian Magic

“Collections of formulas, such as the Egyptian Pyramid Texts and the Book of the Dead, were compilations of magical prayers that allowed the dead to forestall all the dangers and meet all the eventualities. In particular, they contain negative confessions in which the dead man justifies himself before the court of Osiris (god of the dead). The funeral liturgies of the ancient Egyptians have preserved lamentations that echo the family in mourning.

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Hymns written on papyrus that are compositions in honor of divinity and that were recited during sacred ceremonies have also been preserved. Such are the hymns of the pharaoh Akhenaton (Amenophis IV, 14th century BC) to the god Aton and the hymns in honor of the god Amon-Re that boasts of divine benefits and sometimes confess misery and sin..”

.”…The Book of the Dead (from about 1800 BC),…reads very much like an oratorio. Although there is no evidence that it was actually performed, the ritual is full of theatrical elements. It describes the journey of the soul, brought after death by the jackal-headed god Anubis into the Hall of Truth, where the dead man’s heart is weighed against a feather. If the heart, made light by goodness, does not outweigh the feather, then the soul is brought before Osiris and granted immortality..” – Encyclopaedia Britannica

The Tuat or (Duat or Dwat)

“The idea that the dead had to make a journey to the otherworld, to which they belonged, finds expression in many religions. The oldest evidence occurs in the Egyptian Pyramid Texts (c. 2375-c. 2200 BC). The journey is conceived under various images. The dead pharaoh flies up to heaven to join the sun-god Re, in his solar boat, on his unceasing voyage across the sky, or he joins the circumpolar stars, known as the “Imperishable Ones,” or he ascends a ladder to join the gods in heaven.”

– Encyclopaedia Britannica “The gods who are in the sky are brought to you, the gods who are on earth assemble for you, they place their hands under you, they make a ladder for you that you may ascend on it into the sky, the doors of the sky are thrown open to you, the doors of the starry firmament are thrown open for you.” – Pyramid Texts, Utterance 572

“Later Egyptian funerary texts depict the way to the next world as beset by awful perils: fearsome monsters, lakes of fire, gates that cannot be passed except by the use of magical formulas, and a sinister ferryman whose evil intent must be thwarted by magic.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica

According to Mesopotamian literature, “below the earth, in the realm of Nergal, dwelt spirits and defeated gods. The ritual texts depicted this region as dark, inhabited by beings clothed with wings. It was a land from which there was no return, except perhaps for assassinated or wronged persons who might come back briefly to haunt their malefactors. It was a dusty place, where the ghosts lived on dusky air and mud. Only a few privileged people could find water or a place to sleep.” – Ninian Smart, The Religious Experience of Mankind

“The Egyptian conception of the Underworld was that it was a nightmarish place – dark, dismal, unsafe, peopled with monsters, genii and all kinds of a carnivorous animal. The Coffin Texts provide spells for escaping from such creatures, and spells for the prevention of suffering from evils such as walking upside down or eating excrement.” – Barbara Watterson, The Gods of Ancient Egypt

“Tuat [or the zone of twilight or heaven by night] is the name that the Egyptians gave in primitive times to the region to which the dead departed after they had left this earth, and the word has been translated by ‘Other World’…It was ‘unseen’, and dark and gloomy, and there were pits of fire in it, and it formed the home of hellish monsters, and of the damned.”

“The early Egyptians thought that Egypt was the world and that it was surrounded by a chain of lofty mountains, like the Gele Kaf of the Arabs, which was pierced in two places, one in the east and the other in the west. In the evening the sun passed through the western hole and traveling, not under the earth, but on the same plane and outside the chain of mountains it came round to the eastern hole in the mountains, through which it entered to begin the new day above the earth. Outside the chain of mountains, but quite close to them, was situated the Tuat, and it ran parallel with them. On the outer side of the Tuat was another chain of mountains that surrounded Egypt, and a river ran between them. We may say, then that the Tuat closely resembled that part of the Valley of the Nile which constitutes Egypt, and that it was to all intents and purposes circular in form. Now as the Tuat lay on the other side of the chain of mountains which surrounded Egypt, and was therefore deprived of the light of the sun and moon which illumined its skies, it was shrouded in the gloom and darkness of night…”

“The part of the Tuat that was close to Egypt was a terrible place, which much resembled the African ‘bush’. Parts of it were desert, and parts of it were a forest, and parts of it were ‘scrub’ land, and there were no ‘roads’ through any part of it. Tracks there were, just as there are in the forests of Sudan, but it was hopeless for the disembodied soul to attempt to find its way by means of them unless guided by some friendly being who knew the ‘ways’ of that awful region. Everywhere there was thick darkness. All the region of the Tuat was inhabited, but the beings who dwelt there were hostile to all new-comers, and they could only be placated by gifts, or made subservient to the souls of the dead on their way to the kingdom of Osiris, by the use of spells, or words of power.

They way were bared too, by frightful monsters which lived on the souls of the dead, and at one place or another, the deceased was obliged to cross streams which were fed by the river in the Tuat, and even the river itself. In one part of this terrible region was situated a district called ‘Sekhet Hetepet, i.e., the ‘Field of Offerings’, or the Elysian Fields, and within this was a sub-district called ‘Sekhet Aaru’, i.e., the ‘Field of Reeds’; in the later lived the god Osiris and his court. In primitive times his kingdom was very small, but gradually it grew, and at length absorbed the whole of the Tuat. He ruled the inhabitants thereof much as an earthly king ruled men, and from first to last there seem to have been in his kingdom nobles, chiefs, and serfs, just as there were in Egypt.”

The deceased might also attempt to reach the Kingdom of Osiris by water. “The Egyptians thought that the Nile which flowed through Egypt was connected with the river in the Tuat, but to reach the latter the deceased would have to pass through the two holes in the First Cataract from which the Nile rose, and then he would have to sail over streams of fire and boiling water before he arrived in post. The banks of these streams were filled with hostile beings which sought to bar his progress, and lucky indeed was that soul which triumphed over all obstacles, and reached the City of God.” – E. A. Wallis Budge, The Book of the Dead

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The Book of What is in the Dwat is portrayed on an immense unrolled painted papyrus in the New Kingdom tomb galleries in the Valley of the Kings, 1600-1300 BC. The book can be understood in several ways. “Physically it is the glorious rebirth of the solar globe and is, therefore, the triumph of light over darkness. Spiritually, taking into consideration the mummy lying on the ground, we can see here the sublimation of incarnate being in the image of metabolism, which, through multiple purifications, transforms the densest matter into the subtle marrow (makh) of the spinal cord, here represented by the large serpent. The human being’s spiritual quest leads him toward the state of blessedness (again makh), and the eastern gate of the sky opens toward eternal life, the conquest of shadowless light.” – Lucy Lamy, Egyptian Mysteries

With the approach of night the strength of the Ra, the sun god of Heliopolis, diminished. The solar barque “entered the realm of night and met the powers of darkness. The chief of these was the serpent Apep who tried to swallow the barque; a nightly struggle ensued, and when the sun reappeared on the eastern horizon the next day prayers of thankfulness were offered that Ra was triumphant and the sun would continue to shine.” – Richard Patrick, Egyptian Mythology

In the Eleventh section of the Tuat, the boat of Afu Ra [the sun god] passes the territory of the town of Sais. “The region to the left of the god is one of fire, and in, but quite close to the boat stands Horus, who is working magic with the snake-headed boomerang which he holds in his hand. Before him is the serpent called ‘Seth-heh’, i.e., the ‘eternal Seth’. Horus is superintending the destruction of the bodies, souls, shadows, and heads of the enemies of Ra, which is being affected in the pits of fire before him. The fire in the pits is supplied from the bodies of the goddesses who are in charge of them. In the first pit, the victims are immersed in the fiery depths head downwards.

When Afu Ra arrives at the last of the pits, his journey through the Tuat proper is ended, and it only remains for him to pass through the ante-chamber to the east of it, in order to arrive at the sky of this world…

He has followed a course which first went from south to north, then to the east, and finally towards the Mountain of the Sunrise. Afu Ra has now reached the “uttermost limit of thick darkness” and arrives at the Twelfth Section of the Other World…This section contains the great mass of Celestial Waters called Nu, and the goddess Nut, who is here the personification of the god of the morning. We see Afu Ra in his boat as before, and in front of it is the Beetle of Khepera, under whose form the new sun is to be born. Before the boat is the great serpent Ankh-neteru, and twelve amkhiu-gods, taking hold of the tow-line, enter this serpent at the tail, and, drawing the god in his boat through the body of the serpent, bring him out at his mouth.

During his passage through the serpent, Afu Ra is transformed into Khepera, and the amkhiu-gods are also transformed, and emerge with him from the serpent, and minister to him all day. Afu Ra, in the form of Khepera [the ancient god associated with the creation of the world], is now towed into the sky by twelve goddesses, who lead him to Shu, the god of the atmosphere and sky of this world…

As the disk appears in the sky; the newly-born god of day is acclaimed by gods and goddesses, who destroy any and every enemy who appears in the presence of the god, and sing hymns to him.” – E. A. Wallis Budge, The Book of the Dead

After the Egyptians abandoned the mine in the Timna Valley (some thirty kilometers north of the Gulf of Aqaba) during their decline in the twelfth century BC, the Midianites converted the temple into a shrine of their own for a while…

In the makeshift Holy of Holies of the shrine, the excavators found only one object, perhaps the most intriguing object of all Timma – tiny, beautifully molded copper serpent with a gilded head, the ancient fertility symbol of the Middle East. It immediately called to mind the ‘serpent of brass’ of Moses (Numbers 21:9), which later became such an object of veneration.” – Magnus Magnusson, BC – The Archaeology of the Bible Lands

“Apart from the local god, one other deity with local connections figured very prominently in the thoughts of the Egyptians of the Old Kingdom. It was the god of the local necropolis, such as Khentiamentiu at Abdju (Abydos) and Sokar in the Ineb-hedj (Memphis) region, and universally Anubis, usually associated with the jackal, and later Osiris. At a man’s death one of the elements of his personality, ‘vital force’ or ‘spirit’ (ka), continued to exist in the tomb, while the deceased himself became an akh-sprit after the accomplishment of the prescribed funeral rites. The body was deemed necessary the ka’s continued existence and attempts to provide a substitute abode for it leads to the introduction of tomb statues.

The same belief prompted the first experiments with artificial preservation (mummification). The ka’s material needs were similar to those of the living, and food and drink offerings were brought to the tomb’s chapel which was the only part publicly accessible. In the absence of real offerings, these could be provided symbolically by representations on the stela (false-door) or tomb walls, or by a recitation of prescribed formulae. The activities represented in Old Kingdom tombs which are connected with such provisioning are thus meant to be taking place very much in this world, not in any version of an Egyptian paradise.” – Jaromir Malek, In the Shadow of the Pyramids

“The great gods of Egypt themselves were not exempt from the common lot. They too grew old and died. For like men, they were composed of body and soul, and like men were subject to all the passions and infirmities of the flesh. Their bodies, it is true, were fashioned of more ethereal mold, and lasted longer than ours, but they could not hold out forever against the siege of time. Age converted their bones into silver, their flesh into gold, and their azure locks into lapis-lazuli. When their time came, they passed away from the cheerful world of the living to reign as dead gods over dead men in the melancholy world beyond the grave.

Even their souls, like those of mankind, could only endure after death so long as their bodies held together, and hence it was as needful to preserve the corpses of the gods as the corpses of common folk. lest with the divine body the divine spirit should also come to an untimely end. The high gods of Babylon also, though they appeared to their worshippers only in dreams and visions, were conceived to be human in their bodily shape, human in their passions, and human in their fate; for like men they were born into the world, and like men they loved and fought and died.” – Sir James George Frazer, The Illustrated Golden Bough

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