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

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

Vol I - EGYPTIAN RELIGION.
Egyptian Ideas of the Future Life By E. A. WALLIS BUDGE

Vol II - EGYPTIAN MAGIC.
By E. A. WALLIS BUDGE

Vol. III - EGYPTIAN LANGUAGE.
Easy Lessons in Egyptian Hieroglyphics By E. A. WALLIS BUDGE

Vol IV - BABYLONIAN RELIGION.
Babylonian Religion and Mythology. By L. W. King

Vol V - ASSYRIAN LANGUAGE.
Easy Lessons in the Cuneiform Texts By L. W. KING, M. A.

Vols VI, VII, VIII - THE BOOK OF THE DEAD.
an English Translation of the Chapters, Hymns, &c., of the Theban
Recension With Introduction, Notes, and numerous Illustrations By E. A.
WALLIS BUDGE, Litt. D.

Vols IX-XVI - A HISTORY OF EGYPT.
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.

* * * * *




VOL. I.

EGYPTIAN IDEAS OF THE FUTURE LIFE


PUBLISHERS' NOTE.

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
BY
E.A. WALLIS BUDGE, M. A., LITT. D., D. LIT.
KEEPER Of THE EGYPTIAN AND ASSYRIAN ANTIQUITIES
OF THE BRITISH MUSEUM

WITH EIGHT ILLUSTRATIONS

_THIRD EDITION_

1908

To SIR JOHN EVANS, K. C. B., D. C. L., F. R. S., ETC., ETC., ETC. IN
GRATEFUL REMEMBRANCE OF MUCH FRIENDLY HELP AND ENCOURAGEMENT




PREFACE.

* * * * *

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.

E. A. WALLIS BUDGE.
LONDON,
_August 21st_, 1899.




CONTENTS.

CHAPTER

I. THE BELIEF IN GOD ALMIGHTY

II. OSIRIS THE GOD OF THE RESURRECTION

III. THE "GODS" OF THE EGYPTIANS

IV. THE JUDGMENT OF THE DEAD

V. THE RESURRECTION AND IMMORTALITY




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

CHAPTER

I. THE CREATION

II. ISIS SUCKLING HORUS IN THE PAPYRUS SWAMP

III. THE SOUL OF OSIRIS AND THE SOUL OF R[=A] MEETING IN TATTU. R[=A],
IN THE FORM OF A CAT, CUTTING OFF THE HEAD OF THE SERPENT OF
DARKNESS

IV. THE JUDGMENT OF THE DEAD IN THE HALL OF MA[=A]TI

V. THE DECEASED BEING LED INTO THE PRESENCE OF OSIRIS

VI. THE SEKHET-AARU OR "ELYSIAN FIELDS" -

(1) FROM THE PAPYRUS OF NEBSENI
(2) FROM THE PAPYRUS OF ANI
(3) FROM THE PAPYRUS OF ANILAI




CHAPTER I.


THE BELIEF IN GOD ALMIGHTY.

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
gainsaid."

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,
1887.]

The same idea of God, but considerably amplified in some respects, may


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