Before AFU-RA can pass into the THIRD DIVISION it is necessary for him to pass through a Gate which is protected by two strong walls, with a passage running between them. This passage is swept by flames of fire which proceed from two uraei; each end of it is guarded by a warder in mummied form, and on the inner side of the inner wall is a company of gods. The Gate is called SEPTET-UAUAU, and the name of its monster serpent is AQEBI. So soon as the Boat enters the DIVISION or HOUR four of the gods of the region appear, and take it in tow; the god is in the same form as before, and has in no way suffered by his passage through the Gate, because at the word of SA the Gate opened, the flames which swept between the walls ceased, and the warders of the passage and the guardian gods withdrew their opposition. In this DIVISION a serious obstacle had to be overcome. Immediately in the fair way of the course of AFU-RA is a group of eight gods, called FAIU-NETERU, who bear on their shoulders a long pole-like object, each end of which terminates in a bull's head. This object is,
intended to represent the long tunnel in the earth, each end of which was guarded by a bull, through which, according to one tradition, the night-Sun passed on his journey from the place of sunset to the place of sunrise. At intervals on the tunnel are seated seven gods called NETERU-AMIU, i.e., the "gods who are within," and they are intended to represent the guardians of the seven portions into which the tunnel was divided; the name given to the tunnel is "UAA-TA," i.e., "Boat of the Earth," but there is no doubt that it originally represented
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a kind of Tuat which was complete in itself, as the bulls' heads, one at each end of it, prove.
The difficulty of passing through the "Boat of the Earth" is soon overcome, for the gods of the Tuat tow AFU-RA through it, and we see them at the other end of the Division still holding the tow-line in their hands. In front of them are the four gods, whose arms and hands are covered (vol. ii., p. 107), whom we have already seen in the BOOK AM-TUAT (Vol. i., p. 48), where they were in charge of the four boats which filled the
picture. It is not difficult to explain why the "Boat of the Earth" was omitted by the Theban priests from their composition; had they kept it in it they would have been obliged to make their god AFU-RA, the night form of AMEN-RA, to submit to being towed through an inferior Tuat, and to being absorbed by the earth-god. The text which refers to this remarkable scene tells us that AFU-RA addresses the eight gods who support the "Boat of the Earth," and declares that he who is in it is "holy," and in reply the being or beings ENNURKHA-TA (?) say, "Praised be the BA," i.e., the ram-headed form of Osiris, which the god has taken, "which the double bull has swallowed (or, absorbed); let the god be at peace with that which he hath created." The gods also say, "Praised be RA, whose BA hath set himself in order with the EARTH-GOD," Thus it is quite clear that the "Boat of the Earth" is the abode of the "Earth-god."
To the right of AFU-RA, as he passes through this Division or Hour, are the twelve "holy gods who are in the Tuat," each in his shrine, with its doors thrown wide open; they are guarded by a huge serpent called SETI. These gods are in mummied form, and represent a large class of the beatified dead which exists in the realm of Osiris. According to the text which refers to them AFU-RA finds the shrines closed when he appears, and the gods within weeping and lamenting; at his word the doors fly open, and the occupants of the
shrines obtain air and food and adore him, but when he has passed on the doors of the shrines close again, and the gods betake themselves to lamentations until he reappears on the following night. Thus another class of the dead owes its revivification, light, and food to the beneficence of AFU-RA rather than to Osiris.
A little beyond the Twelve Shrines is a group of Twelve Gods, who are partially immersed in the "Lake of Boiling Water"; in front of each is a large plant. The waters of this lake have the peculiar property of appearing cool to the taste and touch of the gods who live on it, and who feed upon the plants which grow in it. It is important to notice that the Lake is said to be boiling hot, and that "the birds betake themselves to flight when they see the waters thereof, and when they smell the stench which is in it." Now this description tells us at once that the Lake of Boiling Water is no other than a collection of water which resembles that of the famous "ASPHALTITIS LACUS," or ἀσφαλτῖτις λίμην, which is described by Diodorus Siculus (ii. 48; xix. 98). The water of this Lake is said to be very salt, and of an extremely noxious smell, and the fire which burns beneath the ground, and the stench of the bitumen render the inhabitants of the neighbouring country sickly and short-lived. The country round about is nevertheless well fitted for the cultivation of palms, wherever it is traversed by fresh water. It is quite clear that the author of the Egyptian text cannot have borrowed his
description of the Lake from later writers, and it is equally clear that his account of it represents the tradition of the existence of some hot sulphur spring or bituminous lake which existed in Egypt, probably in or near one of the Oases. At Kharga, for example, there are several springs the waters of which reach a temperature of 97° Fahrenheit. As we see in the picture (vol. ii., p. 112) a large plant, or small tree, growing before each of its inhabitants, it is evident that some kind of vegetation flourished in the neighbourhood of the Lake, and the quaint costume of the gods, who, of course, typified the inhabitants of the region, suggests that they were not Egyptian. The dwellers in the LAKE OF BOILING WATER entreat AFU-RA to come to them, saying, "Send forth thy light upon us, O thou great god who hast fire in thine eye" (vol. ii., p. 113). In answer, the god decrees that their food shall consist of loaves of bread and green, herbs, and that their beer shall be made from the kemtet plant. This plant has not as yet been accurately identified, but it is tolerably certain that it belonged to a species which was characteristic of the neighbourhood of the Lake.
The beings who stand on the left hand of AFU-RA are divided into two groups: the first consists of nine men, and the second of nine gods, and each group is under the command of TEMU. Between TEMU and the first company, who are called TCHATCHA we see (vol. ii., p. 114) coiled the monster serpent APEP which has
collapsed as a result of the utterance of the word of power by TEMU. This serpent tried to envelop the boat of AFU-RA with its folds, and then to force a way into his boat; but the TCHATCHA, i.e., "Great Chiefs," cut open its head, and slit its body in many places, and its destruction was finished by TEMU. These TCHATCHA live upon the same food as Ra, but they also partake of the offerings made upon earth to KHENTI-AMENTI, the ancient god of the dead of Abydos. The nine gods who follow these are called NEBU-KHERT, and their duty is to repulse the serpents SEBA and AF (vol. ii., p. 115), and to enchant and to render helpless and motionless APEP when he attempts to force the gates of KHENTI-AMENTI. Their food is the same as that of the TCHATCHA, but they possess a power of a remarkable character (which is represented by the words "maat kheru"), for they know how to utter words in such a way, and with such a tone of voice, that the effect which they wish them to have must of necessity take place. Everything which Osiris possessed as god and judge of the dead he owed to the "maat kheru," or "word of maat." As the god AFU-RA passes out of the THIRD DIVISION both the TCHATCHA and the NEBU-KHERT give themselves up to lamentation, and they return to the entrance, and wait for the re-appearance of his boat on the following night, when they will again attack SEBA, and AF, and APEP, and overcome them. The exact place which was set apart for the souls of human beings is nowhere described in the texts.