Introduction

[The dead will say:]
Homage to you, Great God, the Lord of the double Ma'at (Truth)!
I have come to you, my Lord,
I have brought myself here to behold your beauties.
I know you, and I know your name,
And I know the names of the two and forty gods,
Who live with you in the Hall of the Two Truths, 1
Who imprison the sinners, and feed upon their blood,
On the day when the lives of men are judged in the presence of Osiris. 2
In truth, you are "The Twin Sisters with Two Eyes," 3 and "The Daughters of the Two Truths."
In truth, I now come to you, and I have brought Maat to you,
And I have destroyed wickedness for you.
I have committed no evil upon men.
I have not oppressed the members of my family.
I have not wrought evil in the place of right and truth.
I have had no knowledge of useless men.
I have brought about no evil.
I did not rise in the morning and expect more than was due to me.
I have not brought my name forward to be praised.
I have not oppressed servants.
I have not scorned any god.
I have not defrauded the poor of their property.
I have not done what the gods abominate.
I have not cause harm to be done to a servant by his master.
I have not caused pain.
I have caused no man to hunger.
I have made no one weep.
I have not killed.
I have not given the order to kill.
I have not inflicted pain on anyone.
I have not stolen the drink left for the gods in the temples.
I have not stolen the cakes left for the gods in the temples.
I have not stolen the cakes left for the dead in the temples.
I have not fornicated.
I have not polluted myself.
I have not diminished the bushel when I've sold it.
I have not added to or stolen land.
I have not encroached on the land of others.
I have not added weights to the scales to cheat buyers.
I have not misread the scales to cheat buyers.
I have not stolen milk from the mouths of children.
I have not driven cattle from their pastures.
I have not captured the birds of the preserves of the gods.
I have not caught fish with bait made of like fish.
I have not held back the water when it should flow.
I have not diverted the running water in a canal.
I have not put out a fire when it should burn.
I have not violated the times when meat should be offered to the gods.
I have not driven off the cattle from the property of the gods.
I have not stopped a god in his procession through the temple, 4
I am pure.
I am pure.
I am pure.
I am pure.
My purity is the purity the great Bennu (heron) in Heracleopolis. 5
Behold, I am the nose of the God of Breath, 6 who gives life to the people,
On the day of completing the Eye of Ra 7 in Heliopolis, 8
On the last day of the second month of winter,
In the presence of the pharaoh of this land.
I have seen the the Eye of Horus when it was full in Heliopolis!
Therefore, let no evil befall me in this land
In this Hall of the Two Truths,
Because I know the names of all the gods within it,
And all the followers of the great God.

The negative confession and the naming of the forty-two gods

Hail, Long-Strider who comes from Heliopolis, I have not done iniquity.
Hail, Embraced-by Fire who comes from Kher-aha, I have not robbed with violence.
Hail, Divine-Nose who comes from Khemmenu, I have not done violence to another man.
Hail, Shade-Eater who comes from the caverns which produce the Nile, I have not committed theft.
Hail, Neha-hau who comes from Re-stau, I have not killed man or woman.
Hail, double Lion God who comes from heaven, I have not lightened the bushel.
Hail, Flint-Eyes who comes from Sekhem, I have not acted deceitfully.
Hail, Flame who comes backwards, I have not stolen what belongs to the gods.
Hail, Bone-Crusher who comes from Heracleopolis, I have not lied.
Hail, Flame-Grower who comes from Memphis, I have not carried away food.
Hail, Qerti 9 who comes from the west, I have not uttered evil words.
Hail, Shining-Tooth who comes from Ta-She, I have attacked no man.
Hail, Blood-Consumer who comes from the house of slaughter, I have not slaughtered sacred cattle.
Hail, Entrail-Consumer who comes from the mabet chamber, I have not cheated.
Hail, God of Maat who comes from the city of twin Maati, 10 I have not laid waste lands which have been ploughed.
Hail, Backward-Walker who comes from Bubastis, I have not pried mischievously into others' affairs.
Hail, Aati who comes from Heliopolis, I have not foolishly set my mouth in motion against another man.
Hail, doubly evil who comes from Ati, I have not given way to wrath without cause.
Hail, serpent Amenti who comes from the house of slaughter, I have not defiled the wife of a man.
Hail, you who look at what is brought to you who comes from the Temple of Amsu, I have not pollluted myself.
Hail, Chief of the Princes who comes from Nehatu, I have not terrified any man.
Hail, Destroyer who comes from the Lake of Kaui, I have not trespassed sacred grounds.
Hail, Speech-Orderer who comes from the Urit, I have not been angry.
Hail, Child who comes from the Lake of Heqat, I have not made myself deaf to Maat. 11
Hail, Disposer-of-Speech who comes from Unes, I have not stirred up strife.
Hail, Basti who comes from the Secret City, I have made no one to weep.
Hail, Backwards-Face who comes from the Dwelling, I have committed no acts of impurity nor have I had sexual intercourse with a man.
Hail, Leg-of-Fire who comes from the Akheku, I have not eaten my heart. 12
Hail, Kenemti who comes from Kenemet, I have not abused anyone.
Hail, Offering-Bringer who comes from Sais, I have not acted with violence.
Hail, Lord-of-Faces who comes from Tchefet, I have not judged hastily.
Hail, Giver-of-Knowledge who comes from Unth, I have not taken vengeance on a god.
Hail, Lord-of-Two-Horns who comes from Satiu, I have not spoken too much.
Hail, Nefer-Tem who comes from Memphis, I have not acted with deceit nor have I performed wickedness.
Hail, Tem-Sep who comes from Tattu, I have not cursed the king.
Hail, Heart-Laborer who comes from Tebti, I have not polluted the water.
Hail, Ahi-of-the-water who comes from Nu, I have not been haughty.
Hail, Man-Commander, who comes from Sau, I have not cursed the god.
Hail, Neheb-nefert who comes from the Lake of Nefer, I have not been insolent.
Hail, Neheb-kau who comes from your city, I have not been sought distinctions.
Hail, Holy-Head who comes from your dwelling, I have not increased my wealth, except with such things as were mine.
Hail, Arm-Bringer who comes from the the Underworld, I have not scorned the god of my city.

Address to the gods of the underworld

Hail, gods, who dwell in the house of the Two Truths.
I know you and I know your names.
Let me not fall under your slaughter-knives,
And do not bring my wickedness to Osiris, 13 the god you serve.
Let no evil come to me from you.
Declare me right and true in the presence of Osiris,
Because I have done what is right and true in Egypt.
I have not cursed a god.
I have not suffered evil through the king who ruled my day.

Hail , gods who dwell in the Hall of the Two Truths,
Who have no evil in your bodies, who live upon maat ,
Who feed upon maat in the presence of Horus
Who lives within his divine disk. 14
Deliver me from the god Baba,
Who lives on the entrails of the mighty ones on the day of the great judgement.
Grant that I may come to you,
For I have committed no faults,
I have not sinned,
I have not done evil,
I have not lied,
Therefore let nothing evil happen to me.
I live on maat , and I feed on maat,
I have performed the commandments of me and the things pleasing to the gods,
I have made the god to be at peace with me,
I have acted according to his will.
I have given bread to the hungry man, and water to the thirsty man,
And clothes to the naked man, and a boat to the boatless.
I have made holy offerings to the gods,
and meals for the dead.
Deliver me, protect me, accuse me not in the presence of Osiris.
I am pure of mouth and pure of hands,
Therefore, let all who see me welcome me,
For I have heard the mighty word which the spiritual bodies spoke to the Cat,
In the House of Hapt-Re, the Open-Mouthed;
I gave testimony before the god Hra-f-ha-f, the Backwards-Face,
I have the branching out of the ished-tree in Re-stau. 15

I have offered prayers to the gods and I know their persons.
I have come and I have advanced to declare maat,
And to set the balance upon what supports it in the Underworld.
Hail, you who are exalted upon your standard, Lord of the Atefu crown,
Who name is "God of Breath", deliver me from your divine messengers,
Who cause fearful deeds, and calamities,
Who are without coverings for their faces,
For I have done maat for the Lord of maat.
I have purified myself and my breast, my lower parts, with the things which make clean.
My inner parts have been in the Pool of maat.
I have been purified in the Pool of the south,
And I have rested in the northern city which is in the Field of the Grasshoppers, 16

Where the sacred sailors of Ra bathe at the second hour of the night and third hour of the day.
And the hearts of the gods are pleased after they have passed through it,
Whether by day or by night.

The first examination

They 17 say, "Come forward.
They say, "Who are you,"
They say, "What is your name?"
"I am the he who is equipped under the flowers, the-dweller-in-the-moringa 18 is my name."
They say, "Where have you passed?"
"I have passed by the town north of the moringa."
They say, "What did you see there?"
"The Leg and the Thigh."
They say, "What then did you say to them?"
"Let me see rejoicings in the lands of the Fenkhu." 19
"What did they give you?"
"A flame of fire and a tablet of crystal."
"What did you do with them?"
"I buried them by the furrow of Maaty as things for the night."
"What did you find there by the furrow of Maaty?"
"A scepter of flint, the name of which is "Giver of Breath.'"
"What did you do to the flame of fire and the tablet of crystal after you buried them?"
"I uttered words over them in the furrow, and I dug them up; I extinguished the fire, and I broke the tablet, and I threw it in the pool of Maaty."
"Come, then, and enter in the door of this Hall of the Two Truths, for you know us."

The second examination

"We will not let you enter in through us," says the bolts of the door, "unless you
tell us our names."
"'Tongue-of-the-Balance-of-the-Place-of-Truth' is your name."
"I will not let you enter in by me," says the right side of this door, "unless you tell me my name."
"'Valance-of-the-Support-of-Maat' is your name."
"I will not let you enter in by me," says the left side of the door, "unless you tell me my name."
"'Balance-of-Wine' is your name."
"I will not let you pass over me," says the threshold of this door, "unless you tell me my name."
"'Ox-of-God-Seb' is your name."
"I will not open for you," says the fastening of this door, "unless you tell me my name."
"'Flesh-of-his-Mother' is your name."
"I will not open for you," says the socket of the fastening of this door, "unless you tell me my name."
"'Living-Eye-of-the-Crocodile-God-Lord-of-Bakhau' is your name."
"I will not open for you, and I will not let you enter in by me," says the guardian of this door, "unless you tell me my name."
"'Elbow-of-the-God-Shu-that-protecs-Osiris' is your name."
"We will not let you enter in by us," say the posts of this door, "unless you tell us our name."
"'Children-of-the-Cobra-Goddess' is your name."
"You know us, therefore, pass by us."

The third examination

"I will not let you tread upon me," says the floor of this hall of the Two Truths,
"Because I am silent and I am holy and do not know the names of your two feet,
Therefore, tell me their names."
"'Traveller-of-the-God-Khas' is the name of my right foot,
"'Staff-of-the-Goddess-Hathor' is the name of my left foot."
"You know me, therefore pass over me."
"I will not announce you," says the guardian of this door of this Hall of the Two Truths, "unless you tell me my name."
"'Discerner-of-Hearts and Searcher-of-the-Reins' is your name."
"Now I will announce you, but who is the god that dwells in this hour?"
"The-Keeper-of-the-Record-of-the-Two-Lands." 20
"Who then is The-Keeper-of-the-Record-of-the-Two-Lands?"
"It is Thoth."

The fourth examination

"Come," says Thoth, "why have you come?"
"I have come and I press forward so that I may be announced."
"What now is your condition?"
"I am purified from evil things,
I am protected from the evil deeds of those who live in their days:
I am not among them."
"Now I will announce you.
But who is he whose heaven is fire, whose walls are cobras, and whose floor is a stream of water?
Who is he, I say?"
"He is Osiris."
"Come forward, then, you will be announced to him.
Your cakes will come from the Eye 21 of Ra, your beer from the Eye, your meals of the dead from the Eye.
This has been decreed for the Osiris the overseer of the house of the overseer of the seal, Nu, triumphant."

This shall be said by the deceased after he has been cleaned and purified, and when he is arrayed in apparel, and is shod with white leather sandals, and his eyes have been painted with antimony, and his bodya has been anointed with oil, and when he offers oxen, and birds, and incense, and cakes, and beer, and garden herbs. Behold, you will draw a representation of this in color upon a new tile molded from earth upon which neither a pig nor other animals have stepped. And if you do this book on it, the deceased shall flourish, and his children shall flourish, and his name shall never fall into oblivion, and he shall be as one who fills the heart of the king and his princes. And bread, and cakes, and sweetmeats, and wine, and pieces of flesh shall be given to him upon the altar of the great god; and he shall not be turned back at any door in the Underworld, and he shall be brought in along with the kings of Upper and Lower Egypt, and he shall be in the train of Osiris, continually and forever.

Effective a million times.


Endnotes

1 This word, Truth, is the Egyptian word maat (here it is doubled: maat maat). It means more than just truth; among other meanings are "justice," "purity," "balance," and "order." All these senses apply here and in every other use of the word. The translation, following Lichtheim, does not translate this word when it occurs. Probably the best translation for "The Two Truths" is "Truth and Righteousness."

2 Osiris is the chief of the Egyptian gods. The judgement day isn't a single day, as it is in Christian tradition, but rather an ongoing thing.

3 The Two Truths.

4 Images of the gods would "process" through the temples, around the outside of a temple, and even the streets. The gods were thought to be present in these statues. During these processions, worshippers would ask questions of the god as it passed. It would then answer those questions by leaning in one direction or the other.

5 In Egyptian this city is named, "Hnes" or "Suten-hennen."

6 The "Lord of Ba," that is, "breath" or "soul"; the Lord of Ba is Osiris, who created the breath of life and the souls of living things.

7 A monument to the god, Ra. This monument was called the Utchat; there were two—one for Horus and one for Ra, both associated with the son and the symbol of the eye.

8 In Egyptian this city is named, "On" or "Annu." In Greek, Heliopolis means "City of the Sun," which is appropriate since its patron god is Ra, the god of the sun.

9 Qerti zare the caverns that are the source of the Nile in Egyptian thought.

10 The region of maat.

11See footnote one.

12 "lost my temper"

13 Osiris is the god of the dead.

14 The sun.

15 These are all religious mysteries which reveal the knowledge of the gods to living humans.

16 This is the itinerary of the soul after death. The soul has passed by areas where the gods rest during the journey of Re through Underworld.

17 The gods of the Underworld.

18 Another name for Osiris. The dead man is here identifying himself with the chief god and the chief god of judgement. The purpose of the examinations here is to pass by first the forty-two gods and demons by telling them the itinerary of the dead man's journey after death. Identifying himself with Osiris indicates that he is not to be judged by the forty-two gods at this juncture. The later examinations are conducted by the parts of the doorway and the hall itself, and finally, by Thoth, whose records all the deeds of humans and gods.

19 The Fenkhu were a people living on the north-east frontier of Egypt.

20 The God of Writing, inventor of hieroglyphics, Thoth, who records the deeds of humans and their judgement. The Two Lands are the land of the living and the land of the dead.

21 The Eye of Horus or Ra, which represents knowledge of things human and divine, as well as knowledge of maat.




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İ1997, Richard Hooker
Updated 4-8-97