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TitleTHE BODY OF GOD
TagsAncient Egypt Egyptology Egyptian Pyramids Horus
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Table of Contents
                            Chapter One
THE ANCIENT
	Chapter Four
		FIRST INTERMEDIATE
			MIDDLE KINGDOM
				INDEX
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 1

THE BODY OF GOD

To the memory of my teacher
Igor Vladimirovich Vinogradov

Page 2

THE BODY OF GOD

Sergei Ignatov

LECTURES DELIVERED AT
NEW BULGARIAN UNIVERSITY

Translated by Katerina Popova

Sofia, 1999

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Judgment in the after-life is documented in detail in the Book of the Dead, but the "classical
concept" about it, according to R. Anthes, appeared in Instruction for Merikare:
Do justice, that you may live long upon earth. Calm the weeper, do not oppress the widow, do
not oust a man from his father's property, do not degrade magnates from their seats. Beware
of punishing wrongfully; do not kill for it will not profit you, but punish with beatings and
with imprisonment, for thus this land will be set in order, excepting only the rebel who has
conspired, for God knows those who are disaffected, and God will smite down his evil doing
with blood. It is the lenient man who [...] lifetime; so do not kill a man of whose ability you
are aware, and with whom you once recited writings...
(R. O. Foulkner, The Literature of Ancient Egypt, edited by William Kelly Simpson, New
Haven and London, 1972, p. 183.)
Thus to refute accusations in the next life, one must do good and refrain from sinning in this
life.
Still, the concept of punishment in the after-life for sins on earth is adequately documented
only on the eve of the Christian age.
Judgment in the after-life is described in Chapter 125 of the Book of the Dead and even
though it is absent in the Coffin Texts, contemporary Egyptology is inclined to assume that
Chapter 125 dates from the early Middle Kingdom. Chapter 125 is made up of the Negative
Confession and the Judgment. If the deceased was exonerated, the Judgment was: "The
monster Amemet the Destroyer may not devour him [the deceased]. Let them give him bread
from that offered to Osiris and an arable plot of land in the Fields of Satisfaction, equal to one
tenth." Upon exoneration, the deceased was declared "true of voice," i.e. "exonerated,"
acquiring access to the world of the gods.
Regardless of the Judgment, "the true of voice" desired to visit this life, to "come forth by
day" and - according to the Coffin Texts and, later, the Book of the Dead - he would "come
forth by day" in the form of a flower, bird, etc.
After the Old Kingdom, the dead not only became Osiris, but also headed for the necropolis
in Abydos. Those who could not be buried near the tomb of Osiris there, would leave a
mortuary stela or even a cenotaph. The tomb of the scribe Amenemhe, Thebes, Dynasty
XVIII, is an excellent guide to the Classical concepts. Even though they date from the New
Kingdom, the inscriptions are in Middle Egyptian and use Middle Egyptian categories:
0 overseer of the house, scribe Amenemhet, true of voice. Mayst thou enter (and) go forth
from the West, mayst thou stride through the door of the netherworld, mayst thou adore Re
(when) he rises in the mountain, mayst thou worship him (when) he sets in the horizon, mayst
thou receive oblations (and) be satisfied because of food (from) upon the altar of the lord (of)
eternity (=Osiris).
(Gardiner A.H. Egyptian Grammar., 3rd ed. Oxford, 1982, p. 70.)
According to the texts, eternal life is possible when the "body" is in the underworld with
Osiris, the Double is divine among the gods, the Ba is with the creator, and the Name is in the
mouths of the living. The shadow and other elements constituting the personality are also
mentioned. All those essences, which are associated with one another, are at various levels
and, at the same time, all constitute an entity, i.e. a single personality.
The passage to the afterworld is explained by the doctrine of hemu. The deceased was met by
the hmt (feminine of hemu) of the West, i.e. "manifestation," "form," "incarnation" of the
hereafter. Modern man is met by grandmothers, grandfathers, relatives, friends, who died a
long time ago. The soul of devout Christians is led to heaven by angels. People from different
religions and cultures cross to the afterworld with the assistance of those whom the mind is
ready to accept. The Egyptians conceptualized this experience even in ancient times, and
realized that either way, regardless of the creature that meets you, it is not what you see but it
is a hmt, i.e. female, in other words - passive, a manifestation of IMENTJ ("the West").The
same mechanism is also at the basis of the encounter between Man and Deity. We know of
two such encounters, both from Middle Kingdom literature: The Story of the Shipwrecked

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Sailor and The Story of the Shepherd. Indica-tively, in the latter the shepherd meets a goddess
and, as the text explains, "she was not in the form of a human hemu." In other words, the
goddess, albeit in female form, met the shepherd in her divine rather than human form, as we
realized only after O. D. Berlev explained the doctrine of hemu.
The Classical Age saw a psychological journey to the boundaries of the human world and, by
divine will, the Egyptian ended up on the border island and met face to face with the Serpent
God who guards the boundaries of the World. The gods lived beyond. All this is described in
The Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor which, in all likelihood, dates from the age of
Amenemhe I. The copy which we have is later, probably from Dynasty XIII. At least that is
what the study of the orthography of certain key words in the text shows.
The serpent-guardian of frontiers was quite typical of the Egyptians. On the spiritual plane,
the Nile rose from the region of the First Cataract or, more precisely, there were two Niles:
one flowing north through Egypt and the other, south. The sources of the Nile were in a cave
guarded by a serpent. That was the southern frontier of the land.
A serpent of the same size as that in The Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor (30 cubits long)
guarded the mound Bahaw, the mountain of Sunrise, the place where the sun kissed the earth
at sunrise. He obviously guarded the boundary between the world of the living and the land of
god.
The Egyptian literature created by the end of the Classical Age became an exemplary model
for the next centuries. The only copy of the first encyclopedia in world history dates from that
period too.
In Egyptian literature, the world of the living and the other levels are equal, and the problems
of one state or another are described without any particular introductory notes and ex-
planations. For the Egyptians, everything was real and natural.
Along with everything said about the king so far, we should mention his human form too. The
texts say: "And then His Majesty said, did, etc." In the original, "His Majesty" is hemu-ef. We
now know that hemu-ef is not any "majesty" but "his instrument!, his form, his
manifestation." Above all, this is an instrument by means of which the divine force can
manifest itself, its will. When the texts cite the years of the reign of "his hemu," the kemu is
designated by the proper name of the king. This is the name locked in the cartouche which
immediately follows the title "Son of Re" (the Sun). It is not difficult to prove that the divine
force that has this hemu is no other deity but the king of Egypt, who is the younger sun. The
name of this divine force is written in the cartouche after the title "nj-sw - bjt" (jnsjbja), "King
and Lord" (King of Upper and King of Lower Egypt). Since the deity that bears this name is
identical with the Sun, the name contains the component "Re." Thus Amenemhe I is the hemu
of King Shatepaibre, Thutmose III of Menheperre, Amenhotpe III of Nebmare, Ramesses II
of Usi-mare-Setepenre, etc. We can now answer the question of why the Egyptian king was a
god rather than a man-god, and why he definitely did not have a dual nature, divine and
human, but in all cases just a single one - divine. The answer is simple:
the divine force and his instrument, i.e. hemu, are not identical. As noted earlier in this
chapter, the hemu is associated with the words "king," "netjer" (god), "Ka" (Double), and that
the phrase hemu netjer can translate as "priest," and hemu ka as "priest of the Double."
Obviously the priest, i.e. the hemu of the god is not identical with the deity whom he serves,
and this also applies to the hemu (priest) of the Ka, i.e. the "Double."

This is also the relation between the king and his hemu. A good example is the quoted
passage from The Story of Sinuhe describing the death of Amenemhe I, upon which the god
Shatepaibre ascended the sky and his divine flesh merged with the flesh of the sun god that
had created it.

All this sheds light on a very interesting practice in the New Kingdom, documented during
the reign of Amenhotpe III and Ramesses II who, deifying themselves, worshiped their own
idols. It is clear which essence served whom.

Thus the Egyptians believed that the Sun and King ruling the world were identical! And
that the human form of the King was only a hemu, i.e. a manifestation, form, instrument by

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Tutimaius, 80 Two Sceptres, 26,27

U
Udimu, 24
Ugarit, 62
Uhem-Mesut, 49
underworld, 39, 72,97
Upper Egypt, 12,13,14,15,16, 23, 27,36,37,42,44,46,51, 84,88,110
Upper Egyptian, 42,46
Uronarti, 63
Usephais, 24
Userkaf, 35,36
Usimare-Setepenre, 74

V
Valley of the Kings, 86,100
Valley, 27,28,38, 39,44,45, 47, 56, 59,60, 65, 69, 86,100, 108,110,112
valley, 6, 8,10,11,12,34,49, 60
Vandier, J, 24
verb, 8,48
Vinogradov, I.V., 9,28,41, 86
vizier, 34,42,46,47,49,53,58, 86,88,109
vocalization, 6

W
Wadi Gasus, 47
Wadi Haifa, 23
Wadi Hanmiamat, 34, 53,61
Wadi Korosko, 46
Wadi Maghara, 32, 33
WadiNasb,32
WadiTumilat,51
Wadjit, 24
Waenre, 93
water, 39,47, 58, 83
Weneg, 26
Wenis, 35,36, 37,43
West, 68,72
Westcar Papyrus, 30, 33,35,50, 52
White Crown, 14,15, 51
wisdom, 31
working team, 33,40
world, 7,12,22,37,39,49,51, 53, 55,60, 65, 66, 67,68,70,
71,73,74,75, 83, 89,90,97, 102

X

Xois, 78

Y

Yaty, 92
Yot,59,92,93,94,96,97,99, 100,107
yot, 92

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Z
Z

Zayed, A., 61
Zero Dynasty, 16

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