Book of Gates: Hour Two

The second hour distinguishes between the blessed dead who have lived in accordance with the principles of Maat and the damned. The sun god (now ramheaded like Atum) is towed by four men and accompanied by Sia and Hu. A number of supportive gods greet the boat. The names of the first seven are; Nepeh, Nenha, Ba (ram-headed god), Hor (hawk headed god), Beha-ab, Khnemu and Sedjet. The next six gods are named “the gods who are in the entrances”. The god with the stick is not named. The text reads;

Hour 2, Book of Gates

“This great god journeys along the roads of the Duat. This god is drawn by the gods of the Duat (in order to make divisions (or, distinctions) in the earth, and to work out [his] designs therein, to weigh words and deeds in Ament, to magnify the great god above the little god among the gods. who are in the Duat, to place the Khu (the blessed dead) upon, their thrones, and the damned (in the place) to which they have been condemned in the judgment, and to destroy their bodies by an evil death. Ra Says “O grant to me that I may restore the crown, and that I may have possession of (my) shrine which is in the earth. Let Sia and Heka unite themselves to me for the working out of plans for you, and for making to come into being their attributes (or, forms) you (have) (what is yours. Isis hath made to be at peace the wind, and offerings are there. None shuts (the door) against you, and the damned do not enter in after you. That which belongs to you is to you, O gods.” These gods say to Ra, “There is darkness on the road of the Duat, therefore let the doors which are closed be unfolded, let the earth open, so that the gods may draw along him that hath created them.” Their food is of the funeral offerings, and their drink is from their cool waters, and their hands are on meat offerings among the Akert regions of Ament.”

The people in the upper register are the blessed dead, who have followed Maat. Those in the bottom register have been damned. They include the “weary ones” (lying on their backs and watched over by Atum ) and the “blasphemers”. The text for the upper register reads;

“These (are they who) have worshipped (or, praised) Ra upon earth, who uttered words of power against Apep, who made their offerings unto him, and who burnt (made) incense to their gods on their own behalf, after their offerings. They have gained possession of their cool waters, and they receive their meat, and they eat of their offerings in the gateway of him whose name is hidden. Their meat is by the gateway, and their offerings are with him. who is therein. And Ra Says to them: “Your offerings are yours, you have power over your cool waters, your souls shall never be hacked to pieces, your meat shall never fail, (you who have) praised (me), and have vanquished Apep for me.”

The text in the lower register reads;

Atum works on behalf of Ra, glorifying the god, and singing praises to his soul, and distributing evil things to his enemies. (He Says) “The word of my father Ra is right (Maat) against you, and my word is right against you. I am the son who proceeds from his father, and I am the father who proceeds from his son. You are fettered, and you are tied with strong cord, and it is I who have sent forth the decree concerning you that you should be The Apostates and Blasphemers of Ra, who are doomed to destruction, with their arms bound. Bound in fetters; your arms shall never more be opened. Ra pronounces the formula against you, his soul is prepared to attack you; my father has gained the mastery over you, and his soul utters words against you. Your evil deeds (have turned) against you, your plotting (has come) upon you, your abominable acts (have returned) upon you, your destinies are for evil, and your doom has been decreed before Ra; your unjust and perverted judgments are upon yourselves, and the wickedness of your words of cursing are upon you. Evil is the doom which hath been decreed for you before my father. It is you who have committed sins, and who have wrought iniquity in the Great Hall; your corruptible The Apostates and Blasphemers of Ra, who are doomed to destruction, with their arms bound bodies shall be cut in pieces, and your souls shall have no existence, and ye shall never again see Ra with his attributes (as) he journeys in the hidden land. Hail, Ra! Adored be Ra! Your enemies are in the place of destruction.”

At the end of the scene the gate to the third hour sits behind a corridor running between two walls with protruding spikes. The mummiform god Am-awa guards the entrance and the mumiform Sekhabesnefubeb guard the exit. The inscription confirms that they “extend their arms and hands to Ra”. Nine gods named “second company of the gods” protect the corridor. At the two corners of the corridor there are serpents who spit flames from their mouths which extend the length of the corridor to meet at the foot of the corridor. The flames are thought to replenish, not hurt, the god. The gate is guarded by the serpent Aqebi who Says:

“(When) this god comes to this gateway, to enter in through this gateway, the gods who are therein acclaim this great god, (Saying), Let this gateway be unfolded to Khuti, and let the doors be opened to him that is in heaven. Come then, O thou traveller, who journeys in Amentet. He who is over this door opens (it) to Ra. Sia Says unto Aqebi; Open your gate to Ra, unfold your door to Khuti. He shall illumine the darkness, and he shall force a way for the light in the habitation which is hidden. This door is closed after the great god has entered through it, and there is lamentation to those who are in their gateway when they hear this door close (upon them).”

  • Hornung, Erik (1999) The Ancient Egyptian Books of the Afterlife
  • Wallis Budge, E.A. (1905) The Book of Gates

Copyright J Hill 2018