Book of Gates: Hour Four

In the top register the “twelve gods who carry their double” face towards the Lake of Life (guarded by twelve jackal gods) and the Lake of Uraei (guarded by twelve Uraei). The text says;

Gate 4

“(These are) they who bear along their doubles, who immerse themselves in that which flows in abundance from the slaughtered ones during the time of their existence, and who carry the offerings which are rightly due (to the god) to his abode. To them says Ra ‘That which is yours (to do), O you gods who are among your offerings, is to offer as an obligatory offering your doubles. You have your own offerings, your enemies are destroyed, and they are not. Your spirits are on their thrones, (and your) souls are on their places.’ They say to Ra, ‘Adorations be unto thee, O Ra-Khuti! Hail to thee, O Soul who art protected in the earth! Hail to you, as being eternity, the lord of the years and of the everlastingness which has no diminution.’ Their food consists of offerings, their drink is of cool water, and there is lamentation to them when they hear their doors close upon them. Their food is given to them from the goddess Mu-sta (unknown) by Tesert-Baiu.”

“(These are) they who come forth from this lake whereunto the souls of the dead cannot approach by reason of the sanctity which is there. Ra says to them ‘That which is yours (to do), O gods who are in this lake, is to keep guard upon your lives in your lake; your offerings are under the guard of the jackals which have set themselves on the edge of your lake.’ They say to Ra “Immerse thyself, O Ra, in your holy lake, where the lord of the gods immersed himself, where the souls of the dead approach not; this is what you yourself has commanded, O Khuti.” Their food consists of bread, their drink is of the red (barley), and their vessels of drink are filled with wine. There is lamentation among them when they hear their doors close upon them. Their food is given unto them as lord(s) of their sceptres round about this lake.”

“(These are) they who have their speech after Ra comes to them, and souls are turned backwards, and shadows are destroyed at the hearing of the words (or voices) of the Uraei. Ra says to them “That which is yours (to do), O Uraei who are in this lake, is to guard your flames and your fires (so that you may hurl them) against my (literally, his) enemies, and your burning heat against those whose mouths are evil. Hail to you, O Uraei.” They say to Ra ‘Come to us, stride over Tanen’.”

In the middle register the sun barque is towed by towards nine shrines containing mummified gods named “Gods who follow Osiris, who are in their abodes.” They wait for Ra to resurrect and feed them. Ahead of them the coiled serpent Hereret represents time and twelve goddesses named “the hour goddesses who are in the Duat” represent the twelve hours of the underworld. Hereret is said to “spawn twelve serpents to be devoured by the hours.” The text reads;

Gate 4

“This great god is drawn along by the gods of the Duat, and he, journeys in the hidden place, and works in respect of the things which are there. (he says) “Draw me along, O beings of the Duat, look upon me, (for) I have created you. Pull with your arms and draw me there, and turn aside to the eastern part of heaven, to the habitations which surround Ares (or, Sar) (and to) that hidden mountain, the light of which goes round about among the gods who receive me as I come forth among you into the hidden place. Draw me along, (for) I work on your behalf in the gateway which covers over the gods of the Duat”. And Ra says to them ‘Look upon me, O gods, for I strike those who are in their sepulchres, (saying), Arise, O gods! I have ordered for you the plan and manner of your existence, O you who are in your sepulchres, whose souls are broken, who live upon your own filth and feed upon your own offal, rise up before my Disk, and put yourselves in a right state by means of my beams. The duties which you shall have in the Duat are in accordance with the things which I have decreed for you’. Their food consists of flesh, and their ale is of the red (barley), and their libations are of cool water. There is lamentation to them after they have heard their doors close upon them.”

On the bottom register, Osiris as Khentiamentiu wearing the crown of Upper Egypt stands on a snake within a Naos shrine. In front of him there is a flame goddess in the form of a serpent with twelve gods behind her and Horus at the far end. Behind Osiris there are twelve gods named “the gods who are behind the shrine” then four small gods named “masters of their pits” (and their four pits) and one bearded god named “master of earths” who holds an Ankh in his right hand and a sceptre in the left. The text reads;

Horus works on behalf of his father Osiris, he performs magical ceremonies for him, and restores to him the crown (saying) ‘My heart goes out to you, O my father, you who are avenged on those who would work against you, and in all the matters which concern you, you are guided by magical ceremonies. You have the mastery, O Osiris, you have the sovereignty, O Khentiamentiu, you have whatsoever is yours as Governor of the Duat, O you whose forms (or attributes) are exalted in the hidden place the beatified spirits hold you in fear, and the dead are terrified of you. Your crown has been restored to you, and I, your son Horus, have reckoned your weakness there’.”

(the gods in front of the shrine say) “Let Him of the Duat be exalted! Let Khentiamentiu be adored! Your son Horus has restored to you your crown, he has protected you by means of magical ceremonies, he has crushed for you your enemies, he has brought to you vigour for your arms, O Osiris, Khentiamentiu.”

(Osiris says to Horus) “Come to me, O my son Horus, and avenge me on those who work against me, and cast them to him that is over the things which destroy, it is he who guards the pits (of destruction).”

(Horus says to the gods) “Make inquisition for me, O gods who are in the following of Khentiamentiu, stand up, and do not withdraw yourselves, and be masters over yourselves; come, and live delicately on the bread of Hu, and drink of the ale of Maat, and live upon that whereon my father lives there. That which belongs to you in the hidden place is to be behind the shrine, according to the commandment of Ra. I call unto you, and behold, it is for you to do what it is your duty (to do).” Their meat consists of cakes of bread, and their ale is of the tchesert (otherworld) drink, and their libations are cool water. Their food is given unto them by the guardian of the things which are in the shrine. And Horus says unto these gods “Smite the enemies of my father, and hurl them down into your pits because of that deadly evil which they have done against the Great One, (who) found him that begot me. That which belongs to you to do in the Duat is to guard the pits of fire according as Ra hath commanded, and I set (this) before you so that, behold, you may do according to what is yours (to do).” This god stands over the pits.”

At the end of the scene, there is another gate called Arit) guarded by the the jackalheaded Aau and the exit by jackal headed Tekmi. Nine gods named “fourth company of the gods” protect the corridor. The serpent in front of the door is Teka-hra. The text says;

“This great god cometh to this gateway, and enters in through it, and the gods who are therein acclaim him,” The nine gods say to Ra, “Ra-Heru-Khuti unfold our doors, and open our gateways. Hail, Ra, come to us, O great god, lord of hidden nature.” He who is over this door opens to Ra. Sia says to Teka Hra “Open your gate to Ra, unfold your doors to Khuti, that he may send light into the thick darkness, and may make his radiance illuminate the hidden habitation.” This door is shut after the great god has passed through it, and there is lamentation to those who are in this 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