IndexThe old Egyptians legends
The old Egyptians legends:
They are considered one of the most important sides of the ancient Egyptian creed, because it reflects the thought and the belief of the ancient Egyptian. The life of the gods and their behavior were a fertile material for the priests to spin from it many stories and legends. Afterwards these legends became extremely complicated. They also became one of the pillars of the Egyptian religion. Hereinafter we will mention the most important legends, which has had its effect on the ancient Egyptian’s thought and creed.
The legend of creation and origination:
As the habit of the ancient human being the most important things that occupied the thinking of the ancient Egyptian was the origin of creation. Therefore, many legends about the beginning of gods and the universe appeared. There were three legends about creation and origination related to three different theories. The first related to the city of Heleopolis, the second to Hermopolis and the third to Manf. But in the end the legend of Heleopolis had the upper hand after being mixed with some minor opinions from the theories of Hermopolis and Manf.
We will summarize the three legends as follows: the first legend is the Heleopolis legend which says in brief that the universe has originated from unformed water called Noon, from which the god Atom emerged. Atom appeared over a hill called the first hill or the creation hill. The god Atom is equal to the god Ra'a. Then the god Atom produced the twin “ Shu ” the god of air and “ Tafnoot ” the god of humidity. They in turn produced the god “ Jeb ” the god of the earth and the goddess “Noot ” the goddess of the sky. The tow produced “Osoris, Isis, Sett and Naftis ".
The nine gods formed what is called the divine nine (i.e. the nine-god complex). This is considered one divine entity. A cosmic theory has been derived from this system, that is, imagining the universe as a trinity. This trinity is formed from Shu, the god of the sky, standing and supporting the stretched body of the sky goddess Noot, with the god Geb at his feet.
The second theory which began in Hermopolis says that the unformed material was there before cosmogony, that is, the emergence of the cosmos. It had four qualities which matched eight gods in couples. They are:
* “ Noon and Nonet ” the god and goddess of the eternal water (the first water).
Before the emergence of the earth, these gods were just qualities to the unformed material (representation). These gods have formed the eight- god complex of Hermopolis.
From the unformed material also the eternal hill (the first) came into being in Hermopolis. On that hill, the god of the sun appeared from an egg. Then the god of the sun began organizing the world.
As for the third theory which appeared in Manf- after becoming the capital of Egypt, they tried in it to glorify the god “Betah” the god of Manf. They made him, in the legend of cosmogony, the greatest creator god. They made him contain eight other gods, some of them from tHeliopolis ninth and the rest from the Hermopolis eighth. In this theory Atom occupied a special status. The bilateral (Noon and Tobet) were entered in the group. Also Tatin, one of Manf’s gods, was also entered. He was an incorporation of the god from whom the first eternal material emerged. Then four other gods who were not precisely de- find, were added.
According to the theory, the god (Atom) has the qualities of activity and vitality of the god Betah. Creation came into being through these qualities. As for the qualities of insight (thought) and the heart incorporated by the god Horus, then the will and tongue, they are incorporated by the god Tehoot. It is said that the god Betah has formed the world in a mental image before he created it by word (Be and there it is).
N. B.In some of the coming legends, we shall find the names of some gods having more than one syllable. This indicates that either the original god has developed into several characters, or some gods have incorporated into the form of a greater god.
The legend of the winged sun disc:
In this legend we see “ Ra’a Hoor Akhti ”, as a worldly king, is not referred to as the sun disk in this legend. As a king of Egypt we see him at the head of his army at Nuba facing a plot made against him. Its members were thought to be some evil spirits or inferior gods. Ra’a Hoor Akkhti sails with his ship on the Nile and anchors before the city of Edfu. He delegates his son Horus (Here Horus is considered to be the son of the sun god and not the son of Osoris) to kill the enemies. Then we see Horus in the sky in the form of the winged sun disk attacking the enemies from above. The enemies had to flee. The god Tohot suggested granting Horus the title of the god Horus Behdeti (Horus the Edfuan). Ra’a Horus gets down with the Asian goddess Eshtart to inspect the land battle. The battle has not come to an end, because the enemies got down into the water in the form of crocodiles and hippos attacking the ship. Horus and his followers could kill most of them by spears. Then Horus takes the shape of the winged sun disk on whose sides were the two goddesses. “ Nakhbet ” and “ Idget ”, They went on following the enemies up and defeated them. In this part of the myth (legend), the effect of Osoris’s doctrine appears Horus appears in the form of Horus, the son of Isis and Osoris. This doesn’t mean that Horus the Bahdati or Edfuan and Horus the son of Isis and Osoris are two different gods, but one god who has many images and representations. In this part of the legend, the god Set, an enemy to Horus and Osoris, appears at the head of the enemies taking the shape of a snake. Thus battle inflames once again in the 52nd province in Lower Egypt where Horus achieves victory Horus and his sons go to Nuba where they crushed another mutiny.
Ra’a Hor Akhti rewards Horus by appearing in the temples in the form the winged sun aisk so as to safeguard the temples from the enemies.
This myth clarifies the presence of two representations of Horus, once as a hawk (Horus the sun of Isis and Osoris) and once as the winged sun disk (Horus the Bahdati or Edfuan).
The legend of the sun trip:
One of the things the Egyptians cared for was the sun trip by day and at night. The most impotent of them was that the sun is born from the goddess “ Nott ”, the goddess of the sky, from which it is born every morning and dies every evening among its arms. The other legend which had the greatest effect and was acceptable to Egyptians was that the sun roved through the skies in a boat that sailed with it in the celestial Nile. This boat was called the boat of millions of years. In the morning it was called Ma’enza Boat (that is, the moon boat). In the evening it was called Maskatet boat (that is, the evening boat). At night the boat enters the night kingdom which was also called the other world know as El-Dawat. This world is divided into 12 provinces, each of which had its own name, but separated from the other by a gate guarded by an honest guard. There provinces corresponded to the 12 hours of night. In the boat there were also many gods that protected the sun god against all the dangers of night. Each section had a goddess that knew the pass word without which the boat would not be allowed to pass even in the presence of the god Ra'a.
There were two events that took place during this trip; the first was the continuous attempt made by the snake Abu Fis (Abeeb) to prevent the passage of the sun. But every time it was defeated by the guarding gods. During this trip in the night kingdom the sun was dead.
The second event was when the dead sun met the god khabri in the form of scarab (It was the god which the Egyptians gave the shape of a beetle.) In hieroglyphics, a beetle means khabri, so khabir means beetle-like. It also meant the being and khabri means the enmity. It was believed that the entity gave the soul to others). Khabri like the beetle, pushed the sun ball to the other world in the evening and waits in the other world to greet the sun when its soul unites with the soul of the god Ra’a, then pushes the sun ball above the earth’s horizon. The soul of Ra’a unites with the god khabri in the form of a scarab. This results in the return of Raa’s soul to life, so it goes on moving alive up to the east. This trip is repeated every day.
The legend of Isis and Osoris:
In this legend it was believed that Osoris was a fair king who loved being good. He ruled Egypt from his residence in upper Egypt. His brother Set envied him and wanted Egypt’s throne. So he prepared a great meal to which he invited his brother. He had prepared a magnificent coffin. He invited six to lie down in the coffin and that he who found the coffin suitable for him, could take it. Sett had prepared the coffin to suit the size of Osoris. When Osoris lay down in it, Sett and his followers closed the coffin and threw it in the Nile. So, Osoris drowned. Isis searched for her husband till she found him in Jubail (Byblos). But Sett managed to steal the corpse and cut it into 14 parts (some say 16). Then he distributed them in various places in Egypt. Yet, Isis and Naftis managed to restore the severed parts except the penis (some say she had restored all the parts). Isis used magic in putting the parts together so as to restore life to Osoris’s body, in order to have offspring from him and Isis be came pregnant. It was difficult for Osoris to live as before. He had to live in the kingdom of the Dead and was a king therein. Isis had a baby from him named Horus (also by magic). Isis brought Horus up secretly in the Delta woodlands, till he grew up. He stood against Sett in revenge for his father, till he, finally defeated him. It is said that the character of Osoris in the legend was a real one. Osoris was long long ago was the king of all the land of Egypt. The capital was in the east of the Delta “ Bosiris ” (Abu seer, currently Benha). His death by being drowned by the god Sett was said to have taken place during his revolution against him in an area whose center was the city “ Atbus ”, which was the worship headquarters of the god Sett (in the place of the city of Tookh in Kena Govern orate). Thus Egypt was divided into two kingdoms, one in the Delta and the other in Upper Egypt. They united as a result of a successful campaign by the Northerners. This conflict together with the re-establishment of the original kingdom had their effect on the old events (the death of Osoris the king because of the revolution). So the legend, which depicted the head of the northerners as the son of Osoris who avenged his father’s death, came into being. Then some personalities like Isis and Osoris began to appear. By the completion of the legend of Isis and Osoris we had shed light on the most important of the ancient Egyptian legends. We hope, dear reader, we have removed some of the ambiguity of the ancient Egyptian religion.