Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Last 7 Confessions 36-42

Confession 36. O Ihy who came forth from the Primordial Waters, my voice was not loud.
The primordial waters refer to both Nun and the beginning of creation. Ihy is the god of jubilation and the happiness that emanates from the sound of a sacred rattle. I have not made my voice loud refers to raising one's voice when it is not required to be heard, such as yelling during an argument that shows a loss of control.

Confession 37. O Sistrum Bearer coming forth from Nun, I have not made haughty my voice.
The Sistrum Bearer is either Bast, Sekhmet or Hathor. All three goddesses are associated with the sistrum though the instrument is most often named sacred to Bast. Coming forth from Nun means that the goddess came forth from creation without a creator. All three of these goddess have myths with references to this as well but here Hathor is most often the one without a creator. I have not made my voice haughty, I have not boasted or made myself important only through my words. Arrogance is another way some have taken this confession.

Confession 38. O He-Who-Prospers-the-Common-People who came forth from Asyut, I have not cursed a god.
Asyut is Lycopolis in Upper Egypt. This city is sacred to Anubis and Wepwawet. He-Who-Prospers-the-Common-People might refer to Anubis because he brings prosperity, eternal life, to the common people. It is also possible that this could be another funerary god. Cursing a god not only means direct words but also defaming or going against that which the god holds sacred. 

39. O Uniter of Good who came forth from the Cavern, I have not harmed the rations or place of the gods.
The cavern refers to coming from the Duat. Uniter of Good in this refers to Khepera and his place as Ra who united creation, gods and man in the service of Ma'at. This confession is talking about not destroying the offerings or sacred places of the gods.

Min, god of fertility and travel
40.O Upraised of Head who came forth from the Shrine, I have not stolen the Khenef-cakes from the Blessed.
Upraised of Head is likely the god Min given the image used to show the "person" this title is directed toward. Also, the word for shrine in this text is related to the image of the water which is a common location for the shrines of Min.
Khenef cakes are a traditional offering cake that are sweet. These were left for gods, the dead and other beings as a form of thanks or celebration.

41. O He-Who-Brings-His-Portion who came forth from the Hall of Two Truths, I have not stolen the Hefn-cakes of a youth, nor have I sinned against the god of my town.
The Hall of Two Truths is the hall of Ma'at where judgement takes place. He Who Brings His Portion is Thoth who brings many things to the hall including records and the knowledge of what Hathor, Khnum or Anubis has whispered to the soul at the beginning of life. Hefn-cakes are a treat made for children so this means, more or less, to not neglect children or deny them the same you would have for yourself. Sinning against the town god in modern terms would be the equivalent of sinning against your patron deity. Sin is a convenient word here that is used for understanding of the Western reader. The true interpretation would be closer to not acting against the ideals, realms or sacred powers of that deity.

42. O He-Who-Brightened-the-Land who came forth from the Faiyum, I have not slain sacred cattle
He who comes forth from the Faiyum is usually Sobek. With the crocodile seen as the slayer often enough, it would make sense that you would declare to the crocodile god you have not slain. This goes beyond the direct meaning of killing a sacred cow. It also means neglecting a sacred animal or any other action which would harm it unnecessarily.

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