Sacred Texts  Egypt  EHH Index  Index  Previous  Next 



The Boat of AFU-RA next passes through the Gate of Bekhkhi, which is guarded by the monster serpent

p. 169

[paragraph continues] SET-HRA, and is towed over this DIVISION, or HOUR, by the gods of the Tuat. The region is a remarkable one, and it certainly forms part of the Kingdom of the Sun-god of ANNU, or Heliopolis. At one end of the long Lake, or Pool, which represents the celestial waters of Nu (vol. ii., pp. 225, 226) stands the god "who dwelleth in Nu," and in the Lake itself we see four groups of beings in human forms who are called "Bathers" (Herpiu), "Floaters" (Akiu), "Swimmers" (Nubiu), and "Divers" (Khepau). The gods who tow the Boat call on the dwellers in this DIVISION to praise the soul of RA, which is in heaven, and his body, which is on earth; for heaven is made young again by his soul, and earth by his body. Then, addressing the god in the Boat, they declare that they will make his paths straight in AKERT, and that they will make his Boat to pass over the beings who are immersed in the waters of the Lake. The god "who dwelleth in Nu" then calls upon the beings in the water to pay homage to Ra, and he promises that they shall enjoy breath for their nostrils, and peace in their cisterns of water. Their souls, which are upon earth, shall enjoy offerings in abundance and shall never die, and shall be as fully provided with food as is Ra, whose body is on earth, but whose soul is in heaven.

On the left of the path of AFU-RA are twelve TCHATCHA, or "Great Chiefs," and nine SOULS, who are adoring a god (vol. ii., pp. 227, 231); before each Soul are a loaf of bread and some sekemu herbs. The TCHATCHA

p. 170

perform a very important duty in this DIVISION, for they distribute to the SOULS who have been ordered by RA, to live by the fiery Lake SERSER the food which has been allotted to them; in other words, they give the SOULS the portion of food which it has been decreed they should receive daily, and no more and no less, and the SOULS receive their destined allowance, and have to be content therewith. Judging from the texts here and elsewhere in the BOOK OF GATES it seems that there was some power in the Tuat, probably KHENTI-AMENTI, or OSIRIS KHENTI-AMENTI, who decreed that the beings therein should receive a regular, fixed, and unalterable allowance of food-each day, and who appointed ministers, who are here called TCHATCHA, to see that each being received his "ration," without addition, and without diminution. The Sun-god in passing through the Tuat confirms the "ration," and orders its continuance to each being therein.

On the right of the path of AFU-RA is HORUS THE AGED, leaning on a staff, and addressing a company of twelve of the enemies of Osiris (vol. ii., pp. 232-234), who stand with their arms tied together behind their backs in very painful attitudes. Before these is a huge serpent called KHETI, belching fire into the faces of the enemies of Osiris; in each of the seven undulations of the serpent stands a god, who is adjured by Horus to aid in the work of destruction. From the text we learn that the chief offences with which these enemies are charged is the "putting of secret things behind

p. 171

them, the dragging forth of the sacred object sekem from the secret place, or sanctuary, and the profanation of certain of the hidden things of the Tuat"; because of these things they are doomed to have their bodies first hacked in pieces, and then burned, and their souls utterly annihilated.

Next: Chapter XII. Tenth Division of the Tuat. I. Kingdom of Temu-Khepera-Ra According to the Book Am-Tuat