In this chapter are given translations of Hymns that were sung in the temples in honour of the great gods of Egypt between 1600 B.C. and 900 B.C., and of Hymns that were used by kings and private individuals. The following Hymn to Amen-Rā is found in a papyrus preserved in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo; the asterisk marks groups of words which are equivalent to our lines in poetical compositions.
I. A Hymn to Amen-Rā,* the Bull, dweller in Anu, chief of all the gods,* the beneficent god, beloved one,* giving the warmth of life to all* beautiful cattle.*
II. Homage to thee, Amen-Rā, Lord of the throne of Egypt.* Master of the Apts (Karnak).* Kamutef at the head of his fields.* The long-strider, Master of the Land of the South.* Lord of the Matchau (Nubians), Governor of Punt,* King of heaven, first-born son of earth,* Lord of things that are, stablisher of things (i.e. the universe), stablisher of all things.*
III. One in his actions, as with the gods,* Beneficent Bull of the Company of the Gods (or of the Nine Gods),* Chief of all the gods,* Lord of Truth, father of the gods,* maker of men, creator of all animals,* Lord of things that are, creator of the staff of life,* Maker of the herbage that sustaineth the life of cattle.*
IV. Power made by Ptah,* Beautiful child of love.* The gods ascribe praises to him.* Maker of things celestial [and] of things terrestrial, he illumineth Egypt,* Traverser of the celestial heights in peace.* King of the South, King of the North, Rā, whose word is truth, Chief of Egypt.* Mighty in power, lord of awe-inspiring terror,* Chief, creator of everything on earth,* Whose dispensations are greater than those of every other god.*
V. The gods rejoice in his beautiful acts.* They acclaim him in the Great House (i.e. the sky).* They crown him with crowns in the House of Fire.* They love the odour of him,* when he cometh from Punt.* Prince of the dew, he traverseth the lands of the Nubians.* Beautiful of face, [he] cometh from the Land of the God.*
 The Southern and Eastern Sūdān.
 Somaliland and Southern Arabia.
VI. The gods fall down awestruck at his feet,* when they recognise His Majesty their Lord.* Lord of terror, great one of victory,* Great one of Souls, mighty one of crowns.* He maketh offerings abundant, [and] createth food.* Praise be unto thee, creator of the gods.* Suspender of the sky, who hammered out the earth.*
VII. Strong Watcher, Menu-Amen,* Lord of eternity, creator of everlastingness,* Lord of praises, chief of the Apts (Karnak and Luxor), firm of horns, beautiful of faces.*
VIII. Lord of the Urrt Crown, with lofty plumes,* Whose diadem is beautiful, whose White Crown is high.* Mehen and the Uatchti serpents belong to his face.* His apparel (?) is in the Great House,* the double crown, the nemes bandlet, and the helmet.* Beautiful of face, he receiveth the Atef crown.* Beloved of the South and North.* Master of the double crown he receiveth the ames sceptre.* He is the Lord of the Mekes sceptre and the whip.*
IX. Beautiful Governor, crowned with the White Crown,* Lord of light, creator of splendour,* The gods ascribe to him praises.* He giveth his hand to him that loveth him.* The flame destroyeth his enemies.* His eye overthroweth the Seba devil.* It casteth forth its spear, which pierceth the sky, and maketh Nak to vomit (?) what it hath swallowed.*
X. Homage to thee, Rā, Lord of Truth.* Hidden is the shrine of the Lord of the gods.* Khepera in his boat* giveth the order, and the gods come into being.* [He is] Tem, maker of the Rekhit beings,* however many be their forms he maketh them to live,* distinguishing one kind from another.*
XI. He heareth the cry of him that is oppressed.* He is gracious of heart to him that appealeth to him.* He delivereth the timid man from the man of violence.* He regardeth the poor man and considereth [his] misery.*
XII. He is the lord Sa (i.e. Taste); abundance is his utterance.* The Nile cometh at his will.* He is the lord of graciousness, who is greatly beloved.* He cometh and sustaineth mankind.* He setteth in motion everything that is made.* He worketh in the Celestial Water,* making to be the pleasantness of the light.* The gods rejoice in [his] beauties,* and their hearts live when they see him.*
XIII. He is Rā who is worshipped in the Apts.* He is the one of many crowns in the House of the Benben Stone.* He is the god Ani, the lord of the ninth-day festival.* The festival of the sixth day and the Tenat festival are kept for him.* He is King, life, strength, and health be to him! and the Lord of all the gods.* He maketh himself to be seen in the horizon,* Chief of the beings of the Other World.* His name is hidden from the gods who are his children,* in his name of "Amen."*
 The Benben was the abode of the Spirit of Rā at times.
 Amen means "hidden."
XIV. Homage to thee, dweller in peace. Lord of joy of heart, mighty one of crowns,* lord of the Urrt Crown with the lofty plumes,* with a beautiful tiara and a lofty White Crown.* The gods love to behold thee.* The double crown is stablished on thy head.* Thy love passeth throughout Egypt.* Thou sendest out light, thou risest with [thy] two beautiful eyes.* The Pāt beings [faint] when thou appearest in the sky,* animals become helpless under thy rays.* Thy loveliness is in the southern sky,* thy graciousness is in the northern sky.* Thy beauties seize upon hearts,* thy loveliness maketh the arms weak,* thy beautiful operations make the hands idle,* hearts become weak at the sight of thee.*
XV. [He is] the Form One, the creator of everything that is.* The One only, the creator of things that shall be.* Men and women proceeded from his two eyes. His utterance became the gods.* He is the creator of the pasturage wherein herds and flocks live,* [and] the staff of life for mankind.* He maketh to live the fish in the river,* and the geese and the feathered fowl of the sky.* He giveth air to the creature that is in the egg. He nourisheth the geese in their pens.* He maketh to live the water-fowl,* and the reptiles and every insect that flieth.* He provideth food for the mice in their holes,* he nourisheth the flying creatures on every bough.*
XVI. Homage to thee, O creator of every one of these creatures,* the One only whose hands are many.* He watcheth over all those who lie down to sleep,* he seeketh the well-being of his animal creation,* Amen, establisher of every thing,* Temu-Herukhuti.* They all praise thee with their words,* adorations be to thee because thou restest among us,* we smell the earth before thee because thou hast fashioned us.*
XVII. All the animals cry out, "Homage to thee."* Every country adoreth thee,* to the height of heaven, to the breadth of the earth,* to the depths of the Great Green Sea.* The gods bend their backs in homage to thy Majesty,* to exalt the Souls of their Creator,* they rejoice when they meet their begetter.* They say unto thee, "Welcome, O father of the fathers of all the gods,* suspender of the sky, beater out of the earth,* maker of things that are, creator of things that shall be,* King, life, strength, and health be to thee! Chief of the gods, we praise thy Souls,* inasmuch as thou hast created us. Thou workest for us thy children,* we adore thee because thou restest among us."*
XVIII. Homage to thee, O maker of everything that is.* Lord of Truth, father of the gods,* maker of men, creator of animals,* lord of the divine grain, making to live the wild animals of the mountains.* Amen, Bull, Beautiful Face,* Beloved one in the Apts,* great one of diadems in the House of the Benben Stone,* binding on the tiara in Anu (On),* judge of the Two Men (i.e. Horus and Set) in the Great Hall.*
XIX. Chief of the Great Company of the gods,* One only, who hath no second,* President of the Apts,* Ani, President of his Company of the gods,* living by Truth every day,* Khuti, Horus of the East.* He hath created the mountains, the gold* [and] the real lapis-lazuli by his will,* the incense and the natron that are mixed by the Nubians,* and fresh myrrh for thy nostrils.* Beautiful Face, coming from the Nubians,* Amen-Rā, lord of the throne of Egypt,* President of the Apts,* Ani, President of his palace.*
XX. King, One among the gods.* [His] names are so many, how many cannot be known.* He riseth in the eastern horizon, he setteth in the western horizon.*
XXI. He overthroweth his enemies at dawn, when he is born each day.* Thoth exalteth his two eyes.* When he setteth in his splendour the gods rejoice in his beauties,* and the Apes (i.e. dawn spirits) exalt him.* Lord of the Sektet Boat and of the Āntet Boat,* they transport thee [over] Nu in peace.* Thy sailors rejoice* when they see thee overthrowing the Seba fiend,* [and] stabbing his limbs with the knife.* The flame devoureth him, his soul is torn out of his body,* the feet (?) of this serpent Nak are carried off.*
XXII. The gods rejoice, the sailors of Rā are satisfied.* Anu rejoiceth,* the enemies of Temu are overthrown.* The Apts are in peace.* The heart of the goddess Nebt-ānkh is happy,* [for] the enemies of her Lord are overthrown.* The gods of Kher-āha make adorations [to him].* Those who are in their hidden shrines smell the earth before him,* when they see him mighty in his power.*
XXIII. [O] Power of the gods,* [lord of] Truth, lord of the Apts,* in thy name of "Maker of Truth."* Lord of food, bull of offerings,* in thy name of "Amen-Ka-mutef,"* Maker of human beings,* maker to be of ..., creator of everything that is* in thy name of "Temu Khepera."*
XXIV. Great Hawk, making the body festal.* Beautiful Face, making the breast festal,* Image ... with the lofty Mehen crown.* The two serpent-goddesses fly before him.* The hearts of the Pāt beings leap towards him.* The Hememet beings turn to him.* Egypt rejoiceth at his appearances.* Homage to thee, Amen-Rā, Lord of the throne of Egypt.* His town [Thebes] loveth him when he riseth.*
Here endeth * [the Hymn] in peace,* according
to an ancient copy.*
The following extract is taken from a work in which the power and glory of Amen are described in a long series of Chapters; the papyrus in which it is written is in Leyden.
"[He, i.e. Amen], driveth away evils and scattereth
diseases. He is the physician who healeth the eye without
[the use of] medicaments. He openeth the eyes, he driveth
away inflammation (?)... He delivereth whom he pleaseth,
even from the Tuat (the Other World). He saveth a man
from what is ordained for him at the dictates of his heart.
To him belong both eyes and ears, [he is] on every path of
him whom he loveth. He heareth the petitions of him that
appealeth to him. He cometh from afar to him that calleth
[before] a moment hath passed. He maketh high (i.e. long)
the life [of a man], he cutteth it short. To him whom he
loveth he giveth more than hath been fated for him. [When]
Amen casteth a spell on the water, and his name is on the
waters, if this name of his be uttered the crocodile (?) hath no
power. The winds are driven back, the hurricane is repulsed.
At the remembrance of him the wrath of the angry man dieth
down. He speaketh the gentle word at the moment of
strife. He is a pleasant breeze to him that appealeth to him.
He delivereth the helpless one. He is the wise (?) god whose
plans are beneficent.... He is more helpful than millions
to the man who hath set him in his heart. One warrior
[who fighteth] under his name is better than hundreds of
thousands. Indeed he is the beneficent strong one. He is
perfect [and] seizeth his moment; he is irresistible....
All the gods are three, Amen, Rā and Ptah, and there are none
like unto them. He whose name is hidden is Amen. Rā
belongeth to him as his face, and his body is Ptah. Their
cities are established upon the earth for ever, [namely,]
Thebes, Anu (Heliopolis), and Hetkaptah (Memphis). When
a message is sent from heaven it is heard in Anu, and is repeated
in Memphis to the Beautiful Face (i.e. Ptah). It is
done into writing, in the letters of Thoth (i.e. hieroglyphs),
and despatched to the City of Amen (i.e. Thebes), with their
things. The matters are answered in Thebes.... His
heart is Understanding, his lips are Taste, his Ka is all the
things that are in his mouth. He entereth, the two caverns
are beneath his feet. The Nile appeareth from the hollow
beneath his sandals. His soul is Shu, his heart is Tefnut.
He is Heru-Khuti in the upper heaven. His right eye is
day. His left eye is night. He is the leader of faces on
every path. His body is Nu. The dweller in it is the Nile,
producing everything that is, nourishing all that is. He
breatheth breath into all nostrils. The Luck and the Destiny
of every man are with him. His wife is the earth, he uniteth
with her, his seed is the tree of life, his emanations are the
The following extracts from Hymns to the Sun-god and Osiris are written in the hieratic character upon slices of limestone now preserved in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
"Well dost thou watch, O Horus, who sailest over the
sky, thou child who proceedest from the divine father, thou
child of fire, who shinest like crystal, who destroyest the
darkness and the night. Thou child who growest rapidly,
with gracious form, who restest in thine eye. Thou wakest
up men who are asleep on their beds, and the reptiles in their
nests. Thy boat saileth on the fiery Lake Neserser, and thou
traversest the upper sky by means of the winds thereof.
The two daughters of the Nile-god crush for thee the fiend
Neka, Nubti (i.e. Set) pierceth him with his arrows. Keb
seizeth (?) him by the joint of his back, Serqet grippeth him
at his throat. The flame of this serpent that is over the door
of thy house burneth him up. The Great Company of the
Gods are wroth with him, and they rejoice because he is cut
to pieces. The Children of Horus grasp their knives, and
inflict very many gashes in him. Hail! Thine enemy hath
fallen, and Truth standeth firm before thee. When thou
again transformest thyself into Tem, thou givest thy hand to
the Lords of Akert (i.e. the dead), those who lie in death
give thanks for thy beauties when thy light falleth upon them.
They declare unto thee what is their hearts' wish, which is
that they may see thee again. When thou hast passed them
by, the darkness covereth them, each one in his coffin. Thou
art the lord of those who cry out (?) to thee, the god who is
beneficent for ever. Thou art the Judge of words and deeds,
the Chief of chief judges, who stablishest truth, and doest
away sin. May he who attacketh me be judged rightly,
behold, he is stronger than I am; he hath seized upon my
office, and hath carried it off with falsehood. May it be
restored to me."
"[Praise be] unto thee, O thou who extendest thine arms,
who liest asleep on thy side, who liest on the sand, the Lord
of the earth, the divine mummy.... Thou art the Child
of the Earth Serpent, of great age. Thy head ... and goeth
round over thy feet. Rā-Khepera shineth upon thy body,
when thou liest on thy bed in the form of Seker, so that he
may drive away the darkness that shroudeth thee, and may
infuse light in thy two eyes. He passeth a long period of
time shining upon thee, and sheddeth tears over thee. The
earth resteth upon thy shoulders, and its corners rest upon
thee as far as the four pillars of heaven. If thou movest
thyself, the earth quaketh, for thou art greater than....
[The Nile] appeareth out of the sweat of thy two hands.
Thou breathest forth the air that is in thy throat into the
nostrils of men; divine is that thing whereon they live.
Through thy nostrils (?) subsist the flowers, the herbage,
the reeds, the flags (?), the barley, the wheat, and the plants
whereon men live. If canals are dug ... and houses and
temples are built, and great statues are dragged along, and
lands are ploughed up, and tombs and funerary monuments
are made, they [all] rest upon thee. It is thou who makest
them. They are upon thy back. They are more than can
be done into writing (i.e. described). There is no vacant
space on thy back, they all lie on thy back, and yet [thou
sayest] not, "I am [over] weighted therewith. Thou art
the father and mother of men and women, they live by thy
breath, they eat the flesh of thy members. 'Pautti' (i.e.
Primeval God) is thy name." The writer of this hymn says
in the four broken lines that remain that he is unable to
understand the nature (?) of Osiris, which is hidden (?), and
his attributes, which are sublime.
The following Hymn is found in the Magical Papyrus (Harris, No. 501), which is preserved in the British Museum. The text is written in the hieratic character, and reads:
"Homage to thee, O flesh and bone of Rā, thou first-born
son who didst proceed from his members, who wast chosen
to be the chief of those who were brought forth, thou mighty
one, thou divine form, who art endowed with strength as
the lord of transformations. Thou overthrowest the Seba
fiends each day. The divine boat hath the wind [behind it],
thy heart is glad. Those who are in the Āntti Boat utter
loud cries of joy when they see Shu, the son of Rā, triumphant,
[and] driving his spear into the serpent fiend Nekau.
Rā setteth out to sail over the heavens at dawn daily. The
goddess Tefnut is seated on thy head, she hurleth her flames
of fire against thy enemies, and maketh them to be destroyed
utterly. Thou art equipped by Rā, thou art mighty through
his words of power, thou art the heir of thy father upon his
throne, and thy Doubles rest in the Doubles of Rā, even as
the taste of what hath been in the mouth remaineth therein.
A will hath been done into writing by the lord of Khemenu
(Thoth), the scribe of the library of Rā-Harmakhis, in the
hall of the divine house (or temple) of Anu (Heliopolis),
stablished, perfected, and made permanent in hieroglyphs
under the feet of Rā-Harmakhis, and he shall transmit it to
the son of his son for ever and ever. Homage to thee, O son
of Rā, who wast begotten by Temu himself. Thou didst
create thyself, and thou hadst no mother. Thou art Truth,
the lord of Truth, thou art the Power, the ruling power of the
gods. Thou dost conduct the Eye of thy father Rā. They
give gifts unto thee into thine own hands. Thou makest
to be at peace the Great Goddess, when storms are passing
over her. Thou dost stretch out the heavens on high, and
dost establish them with thine own hands. Every god boweth
in homage before thee, the King of the South, the King
of the North, Shu, the son of Rā, life, strength and health
be to thee! Thou, O great god Pautti, art furnished with
the brilliance of the Eye [of Rā] in Heliopolis, to overthrow
the Seba fiends on behalf of thy father. Thou makest the
divine Boat to sail onwards in peace. The mariners who are
therein exult, and all the gods shout for joy when they hear
thy divine name. Greater, yea greater (i.e. twice great) art
thou than the gods in thy name of Shu, son of Rā."
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