Book of Gates: Hour Seven

The seventh hour focuses on expelling any negative elements, so that the renewal of the energy of the sun god is not hampered. The jackal headed stakes of Geb stand in front of the sun god, each with two enemies of the sun bound to them. They will be punished by demons with rather ominous sounding names. In the upper register, the blessed dead carry baskets of grain (confirming they will be provisioned in the afterlife) or feathers of Ma┬┤at (confirming that they have been judged true). In the lower register, people (or possibly minor deities) carry sickles to harvest crops or working harvesting trees, confirming that the revived sun god will ensure a bountiful harvest.

Gate 7 fragment

(of those bearing grain or the feather of Ma’at) “Offerings of incense to their gods, libations of cool water to their doubles, and fillings of the mouth . . . . . . by his sustenance afterwards by their offerings of drink and their offerings of bread. Come forth to them their gods and their doubles. Their hands are to them, and they go to their cakes through the pylon of . . . . . and to its gods. Osiris says unto them “Your bread is to you, [according to] your utterances, and the peace cakes of Kheper, and loaves of bread. You shall have the mastery over your legs, and you shall have satisfaction in your hearts, and your gods shall present unto you your khenfu cakes and unto your doubles their provisions, which consist of bread, and their drink, which shall be of tcheser ale, and their libations shall be of cool water, and offerings shall be made unto them upon earth as the lord[s] of offerings in Amentet. For they have done what was right whilst they were upon earth, and they have fought on behalf of their god, and they shall be called to the enjoyment of the land of the House of Life with maat. That which is theirs by right shall be allotted to them in the presence of the Great God, who does away iniquity.” Then shall Osiris say unto them “Maat be to you, O you Maat gods, and peace be unto you by reason of what you have done in following after me, O dwellers in the House the soul of which is holy. You shall live your life upon that whereupon those who live there feed, and you shall have dominion over the cool waters of your land. I have decreed for you that you shall have your being in all of it with ma’at, and without sin.” Their bread shall be maat cakes, their drink shall be of wine, and their libations shall be of cool water. And there shall be offered unto them upon earth the offerings which must be made from their land.”

Gate 7 fragment, Book of Gates

(of those tending the crops) “They perform the works in connection with the grain, and they embrace the god of wheat (Nepri) which is eaten. Their grain becomes glorious in the land through the light of Ra, when he appears, and sends forth heat, and makes his way by them. The lord of joy of heart says to them “Let your grain be glorious, and let the young shoots of your grain germinate, and let your offerings be for Ra. Let Neper germinate, and let Osiris be the source of food of the gods in the Duat . . . behold, in the fields of the Tuat”. They gather together their grain, and they say to Ra “Let the fields of the Duat be green with young plants. May Ra shine upon the members of Osiris. When you shine the young plants come into being, O great god, creator of the grain”. Their offerings of food are of grain, and their drink offerings are of tcheser, and their libations are made with cool water. Offerings are made unto them on the earth of the grain of the fields of the Duat.”

(of the reapers) “These are they who have their scythes, and who reap the grain in their fields. Ra says to them “Take your scythes, and reap your grain, for it is granted to you. . . your habitations, and to join yourselves [to] me in the circle of the Hidden Forms. Hail to you, O reapers!” Their food is of bread, and their drink is of tcheser, and their libations are made with cool water. Offerings are made unto them upon earth as being those who hold scythes in the fields of the Duat.”

Gate 7 fragment, Book of Gates

(of those towing Ra) “This great god is being towed along by the gods of the Duat, and those who tow Ra along say “Be exalted, O Aten (i.e sun disk), who is at the head of . . . . . the Light, the head . . . . Look at the abodes of the Duat. Your eyes are to you, O gods, observe Ra, the Power in Akert. This great god decrees your destinies. This great god comes forth to the standards of Geb, which reckon up the enemies after the weighing of words in Amentet. Behold, Sia says to this god when he cometh forth to the standards of Geb . . . the head of Ra, the great god . . . . truly, send forth to the standards of Seb. Atum says to the standards “Keep ward over the enemies, and bind fast those who are to be smitten. O gods who are in the following of the standards, and who are in the following of Geb, I give you power to bind fast the enemies, and to keep ward over the wicked. Let them not come forth from under your hands, let them not slip through your fingers. O enemies, you are doomed to slaughter, according to the decree of Ra concerning you. His person is the body of Akert, and he has created the Duat of his frame work. He has issued the decree for you to be put into restraints, he has ordered your doom which shall be wrought upon you in the great hall of Ra . . . the gods weep and lament, he sets the gods to guard you, and the enemies and those who are to be smitten in the Tuat are condemned to these standards.”

Gate 7 fragment, Book of Gates

The boat of the Sun having passed through the Sixth Division of the Tuat arrives at the gateway which leads to the eighth. This gateway is guarded by nine gods at the entrance to the corridor, and at its exit, stands a bearded god, with arms hidden. The gateway is called Pestit, and the text says,

“This great god comes to this gateway, and enters in through it, and the gods who are there acclaim him…. “Open the secret places, open the holy pylons, and unfold the hidden portals….. “He who is over this door opens to Ra. Sia says to Akha-Een-Ma’at “Open your gate to Ra, unfold your doors to Kkuti, that he may send light into the thick darkness and may make his radiance illuminate the hidden chamber.” This door is shut after the great god hath 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