Book of Gates: Hour Eight

The eighth hour again depicts time as an endless rope emanating from the god Aken. In front of the sun barque the “Lords of Provisions in the West” give out provisions to the blessed dead and punish the unworthy. In the bottom register the mummies on their biers are in the process of being resurrected.

(In front of the sun barque) “These are they who are outside Het-Benben, and they see Ra with their eyes, and they enter into his secret images that which is theirs, and the Sennu gods bring it. Ra says to them ‘My offerings are from your offerings, and my nourishment is from your nourishment which is to you, O you who are in my secret places. I protect my secret things which are in Het-Benben. Hail to you! Your souls live, and their offerings are the offerings of Khuti” Tuati says to them “O you gods who dwell in the Duat, who are in the divine places of the governor of Ament, to whom what is their due is given upon their ground, who lie down upon their own lands, your own flesh is to you, you have gathered together your bones, you have knit together your members, and you have collected your flesh. There are sweet winds to your nostrils, you have girded on your apparel, and you have put on your wigs’.”

(Top register) “The Enemy of Ra comes forth from the Duat. Offerings shall be made to the gods of that which exists under the trees. Seize the rope, and tie the mouth of Aken. Your hours come forth, and there is benefit to you there. Rest upon your throne, and let the rope enter into the mouth of the god Aken when he comes to the place where the hours are born; Ra cries out, and it rests in its place, and it makes an end of Aneq. They say to Ra ‘The god Aken is tied up with the rope, the hours of the gods(?) are to you, O Ra, with light. Rest and thy hidden body . . . . ” Their provisions of loaves of bread are to them, their beer is tchesert, and their libations are of cool water, and offerings are made to them upon earth’.”

At the end of the eighth hour, the boat of the sun arrives at the gateway called Aat Shefsheft. The gateway guarded by nine gods in the form of mummies. At the entrance to the gate stands a bearded, mummified form, with his hands folded on his breast, named Anhefta, and at its exit stands another named Ermen-ta. The corridor is swept by flames of fire, which proceed from the mouths of two uraei. The text reads:

“This great god comes to this gate, and enters through it, and the gods who are there acclaim the great god. The company of the gods who guard the gate address Ra, and say, ‘Come thou to us, O you who art the head of the horizon, O you great god who opens the secret places, open for yourself the holy pylons, and unfold for yourself the holy doors’.”

The monster serpent which stands on his tail and guards the door is called Ab-ta. The text reads…

“He who is over this door openeth to Ra. Sia says to Ab-ta “Open your gate to Ra, unfold your portal to Khuti, so that he may illuminate the darkness, and may send light into the hidden abode”. This gate closes after this god has passed through it, and the souls who are on the other side of it wail when they hear this door closing 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