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Egypt: The History of Creation


The History of Creation

THE HISTORY OF CREATION-A.

THE BOOK OF KNOWING THE EVOLUTIONS OF RA, AND OF OVERTHROWING APEP.

[These are] the; words which the god Neb-er-tcher spake after he had, come into being:-


"I am he who came into being in the form of the god Khepera, and I am the creator of that which came into being, that is to say, I am the creator of everything which came into being: now the things which I created, and which came forth out of my month after that I had come into being myself were exceedingly many. The sky (or heaven) had not come into being, the earth did not (exist, and the children of the earth, and the creeping, things, had not been made at that time. I myself raised them up from out of Nu, from a state of helpless inertness.

I found no place whereon I could stand. I worked a charm upon my Own heart (or, will), I laid the foundation [of things] by Maat, and I made everything which had form. I was [then] one by myself, for I had not emitted from myself the god Shu, and I had not spit out from myself the goddess Tefnut; and there existed no other who could work with me. I laid the foundations [of things] in my own heart, and there came into being multitudes of created things, which canie into being from the created things which were born from the created things which arose from what they brought forth.

I had union with my closed hand, and I embraced my shadow as a wife, and I poured seed into my own mouth, and I sent forth from myself issue in the form of the gods Shu and Tefnut. Saith my father Nu:-My Eye was covered up behind them (i.e., Shu. and Tefnut), but after two hen periods had passed from the time when they departed from me, from being one god I ,became three gods, and I came into being in the earth. Then Shu and Tefnut rejoiced from out of the inert watery mass wherein they I were, and they brought to me my Eye (i.e., the Sun). Now after these things I gathered together my members, and I wept over them, and men and women sprang into being from the tears which came forth from my Eye.

And when my Eye came to me, and found that I had made another [Eye] in place where it was (i.e., the Moon), it was wroth with (or, raged at) me, whereupon I endowed it (i.e., the (second Eye) with [some of] the splendour which I had made for the first [Eye], and I made it to occupy its place in my Face, and henceforth it ruled throughout all this earth.

When there fell on them their moment through plant-like clouds, I restored what had been taken away from them, and I appeared from out of the plant-like clouds. I created creeping things of every kind, and everything which came into being from them. Shu and Tefnut brought forth [Seb and] Nut; and Seb and Nut brought forth Osiris, and Heru-khent-an-maati, and Set, and Isis, and Nephtbys at one birth, one after the other, and they produced their multitudinous offspring in this earth."

THE HISTORY OF CREATION-B.

THE BOOK OF KNOWING THE EVOLUTIONS OF RA, AND OF OVERTHROWING APEP.

[These are] the words of the god Neb-er-tcher, who said: "I am the creator of what hath come into being, and I myself came into being under the form of the god Khepera, and I came into being in primeval time. I came into being in the form of Khepera, and I am the creator of what did come into being, that is to say, I formed myself out of the primeval matter, and I made and formed myself out of the substance which existed in primeval time. My name is AUSARES (i.e., Osiris), who is the primeval matter of primeval matter.

I have done my will in everything in this earth. I have spread myself abroad therein, and I have made strong my hand. I was ONE by myself, for they (i.e., the gods) had not been brought forth, and I had emitted from myself neither Shu nor Tefnut. I brought my own name into my mouth as a word of power, and I forthwith came into being under the form of things which are and under the form of Khepera. I came into being from out of primeval matter, and from the beginning I appeared under the form of the multitudinous things which exist; nothing whatsoever existed at that time in this earth, and it was I who made whatsoever was made.

I was ONE: by myself, and there was no other being who worked with me in that place. I made all the things under the forms of which I appeared then by means of the Soul-God which I raised into firmness at that time from out of Nu, from a state of inactivity. I found no place whatsoever there whereon I could stand, I worked by the power of a spell by means of my heart, I laid a foundation [for things] before me, and whatsoever was made, I made.

I was ONE by myself, and I laid the foundation of things [by means of] my heart, and I made the other things which came into being, and the things of Khepera which were made were manifold, and their offspring came into existence from the things to which they gave birth. I it was who emitted Shu, and I it was who emitted Tefnut, and from being the ONE, god (or, the only god) I became three gods; the two other gods who came into being on this earth sprang from me, and Shu and Tefnut rejoiced (or, were raised up) from out of Nu in which they were. Now behold, they brought my Eye to me after two hen periods since the time when they went forth from me. I gathered together my members (which had appeared in my own body, and afterwards I had union with my hand, and my heart (or, will) came unto me from out of my hand, and the seed fell into my mouth, and I emitted from myself the gods Shu and Tefnut, and so from being the ONE god (or, the only, god) I became three gods; thus the two other gods who came into being on this earth sprang from ,me, and Shu and Tefnut rejoiced (or, were raised up) from out of Nu in which they were.

My father Nu saith:-They covered up (or, concealed) my Eye with the plant-like clouds which were behind them (i.e., Shu and Tefnut) for very many hen periods. Plants and creeping things [sprang up] from the god REM, through the tears which I let fall. I cried out to my Eye, and men and women came into existence.

Then I bestowed upon my Eye the uraeus of fire, and it was wroth with me when another Eye (i.e., the Moon) came and grew up in its place; its vigorous power fell on the plants, on the plants which I had placed there, and it set order among them, and it took up its place in my face, and it doth rule the whole earth.

Then Shu and Tefnut brought forth Osiris, and Heru-khenti-An-maa, and Set, and Isis, and Nephthys and behold, they have produced offspring, and have created multitudinous children in this earth, by means of the beings which came into existence from the creatures which they produced. They invoke my name, and they overthrow their enemies, and they make words of power for the overthrowing of Apep, over whose hands and arms AKER keepeth ward. His hands and arms shall not exist, his feet and leas shall not exist, and he is chained in one place whilst Ra inflicts upon him the blows which are decreed for him. He is thrown upon his accursed back, his face is slit open by reason of the evil which he hath done, and he shall remain upon his accursed back."

Sources: E. A. Wallis Budge, Legends of the Egyptian Gods

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