Egyptian Book of the Dead - 42 Negative Confessions
- Category: Sacred writings Sacred writings
- Published: 14 September 2015 14 September 2015
As the Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead can be consider the forefather of the Bible and Quran, correspondingly the 42 negative confessions can be considered the forefather of the Law of Moses and especially of the Ten Commandments. At this point, we may recall the teachings of Jesus where he told us that the Law given by Moses was actually not the entire Law. Indeed, the Ten Commandments are included in the 42 negative confessions, which may be considered as 42 Commandments – the Whole Law. These 42 commandments have been created with the most pure mind and thus only negative forms are used. Whoever utters them, cannot take any credit for his/her deeds, but rather only tell about what he/she has not done. The negative construction of commandments is thus a praise to the highest God.
The 42 Negative Confessions can be found in two different parts in the Book of the Dead. They are named the Papyrus of ANI and the Papyrus of NU. ‘Ani’ can be consider as ‘I’ and ‘Nu’ can be considered the name of the Father-God Nu. Their names are also clues to understanding that they actually represent the two different phases of the Way of Truth. The Papyrus of ANI describes a person’s own experience and thus the word ‘I’ is used. This is the first phase – the Baptism of Water. The first phase is also referred to with the word ‘Maat’, because these confessions are pronounced in the Hall of Maat (in the process of Weighting of Heart). In the second phase, the room is called the Hall of Maat(i), where suffix (i) expresses the dual construction of a word. The duality means that there are two things which are referred to. That is why, when the word Maat(i) is used, we speak of the Hall of two Maats?
The Double Maat, or twin Maat means the presence of extremes. In this context, the term sometimes used is the ‘Hall of two Truths’. Two Truths refer to the dual construction of all things. For instance, there cannot be a poor man unless there is also a rich man. If there would not be any rich men, then the baseline would not exists and thus neither rich nor poor could exist either. The existence of these extremes originates already in the Ancient Egypt, where it was called Ka(u). In the language of symbolism we usually speak of the Seven Ka(u) – one such instance is found in the Bible in the passage of the seven cows (Genesis 41:1-57). The Seven Ka(u) are the battlefields of the Baptism of Fire, where the seven parts of the soul are fully presented. A similar symbolism is also used in the Bible, when Jesus cures Mary Magdalene of the seven evil spirits (Mark 16:9; Luke 8:2).
The Negative Confessions from the Papyrus of Ani
From the Book of the Dead Translated by E.A. Wallis Budge (240 BCE)
Hail, Usekh-nemmt, who comest forth from Anu, I have not committed sin.
Hail, Hept-khet, who comest forth from Kher-aha, I have not committed robbery with violence.
Hail, Fenti, who comest forth from Khemenu, I have not stolen.
Hail, Am-khaibit, who comest forth from Qernet, I have not slain men and women.
Hail, Neha-her, who comest forth from Rasta, I have not stolen grain.
Hail, Ruruti, who comest forth from heaven, I have not purloined offerings.
Hail, Arfi-em-khet, who comest forth from Suat, I have not stolen the property of God.
Hail, Neba, who comest and goest, I have not uttered lies.
Hail, Set-qesu, who comest forth from Hensu, I have not carried away food.
Hail, Utu-nesert, who comest forth from Het-ka-Ptah, I have not uttered curses.
Hail, Qerrti, who comest forth from Amentet, I have not committed adultery, I have not lain with men.
Hail, Her-f-ha-f, who comest forth from thy cavern, I have made none to weep.
Hail, Basti, who comest forth from Bast, I have not eaten the heart.
Hail, Ta-retiu, who comest forth from the night, I have not attacked any man.
Hail, Unem-snef, who comest forth from the execution chamber, I am not a man of deceit.
Hail, Unem-besek, who comest forth from Mabit, I have not stolen cultivated land.
Hail, Neb-Maat, who comest forth from Maati, I have not been an eavesdropper.
Hail, Tenemiu, who comest forth from Bast, I have not slandered [no man].
Hail, Sertiu, who comest forth from Anu, I have not been angry without just cause.
Hail, Tutu, who comest forth from Ati, I have not debauched the wife of any man.
Hail, Uamenti, who comest forth from the Khebt chamber, I have not debauched the wife of [any] man.
Hail, Maa-antuf, who comest forth from Per-Menu, I have not polluted myself.
Hail, Her-uru, who comest forth from Nehatu, I have terrorized none.
Hail, Khemiu, who comest forth from Kaui, I have not transgressed [the law].
Hail, Shet-kheru, who comest forth from Urit, I have not been wroth.
Hail, Nekhenu, who comest forth from Heqat, I have not shut my ears to the words of truth.
Hail, Kenemti, who comest forth from Kenmet, I have not blasphemed.
Hail, An-hetep-f, who comest forth from Sau, I am not a man of violence.
Hail, Sera-kheru, who comest forth from Unaset, I have not been a stirrer up of strife.
Hail, Neb-heru, who comest forth from Netchfet, I have not acted with undue haste.
Hail, Sekhriu, who comest forth from Uten, I have not pried into matters.
Hail, Neb-abui, who comest forth from Sauti, I have not multiplied my words in speaking.
Hail, Nefer-Tem, who comest forth from Het-ka-Ptah, I have wronged none, I have done no evil.
Hail, Tem-Sepu, who comest forth from Tetu, I have not worked witchcraft against the king.
Hail, Ari-em-ab-f, who comest forth from Tebu, I have never stopped [the flow of] water.
Hail, Ahi, who comest forth from Nu, I have never raised my voice.
Hail, Uatch-rekhit, who comest forth from Sau, I have not cursed God.
Hail, Neheb-ka, who comest forth from thy cavern, I have not acted with arrogance.
Hail, Neheb-nefert, who comest forth from thy cavern, I have not stolen the bread of the gods.
Hail, Tcheser-tep, who comest forth from the shrine, I have not carried away the khenfu cakes from the Spirits of the dead.
Hail, An-af, who comest forth from Maati, I have not snatched away the bread of the child, nor treated with contempt the god of my city.
Hail, Hetch-abhu, who comest forth from Ta-she, I have not slain the cattle belonging to the god.
From the Papyrus of Nu
From the Book of the Dead Translated by E.A. Wallis Budge Brit. Mus. No. 10477, Sheet 22
[THE FOLLOWING] WORDS SHALL BE SAID BY THE STEWARD OF THE KEEPER OF THE SEAL, NU, WHOSE WORD IS TRUTH, WHEN HE COMETH FORTH TO THE HALL OF MAATI, SO THAT HE MAY BE SEPARATED FROM EVERY SIN WHICH HE HATH COMMITTED, AND MAY BEHOLD THE FACES OF THE GODS.
The Osiris Nu, whose word is truth, saith: Homage to thee, O great God, Lord of Maati! I have come unto thee, O my Lord, and I have brought myself hither that I may behold thy beauties. I know thee, I know thy name, I know the names of the Forty-two Gods who live with thee in this Hall of Maati, who live by keeping ward over sinners, and who feed upon their blood on the day when the consciences of men are reckoned up in the presence of the god Un-Nefer. In truth thy name is Rehti-Merti-Nebti-Maati. In truth I have come unto thee, I have brought Maati (Truth) to thee. I have done away sin for thee.
I have not committed sins against men.
I have not opposed my family and kinsfolk.
I have not acted fraudulently in the Seat of Truth.
I have not known men who were of no account.
I have not wrought evil.
I have not made it to be the first [consideration daily that unnecessary] work should be done for me.
I have not brought forward my name for dignities.
I have not [attempted] to direct servants. [I have not domineered over slaves.]
[I have not belittled God].
I have not defrauded the humble man of his property.
I have not done what the gods abominate.
I have not vilified a slave to his master.
I have not inflicted pain.
I have not caused anyone to go hungry.
I have not made any man to weep.
I have not committed murder.
I have not given the order for murder to be committed.
I have not caused calamities to befall men and women.
I have not plundered the offerings in the temples.
I have not defrauded the gods of their cake-offerings.
I have not carried off the fenkhu cakes [offered to] the Spirits.
I have not committed fornication.
I have not masturbated [in the sanctuaries of the god of my city].
I have not diminished from the bushel.
I have not filched [land from my neighbour's estate and] added it to my own acre.
I have not encroached upon the fields [of others].
I have not added to the weights of the scales.
I have not depressed the pointer of the balance.
I have not carried away the milk from the mouths of children.
I have not driven the cattle away from their pastures.
I have not snared the geese in the goose-pens of the gods.
I have not caught fish with bait made of the bodies of the same kind of fish.
I have not stopped water when it should flow.
I have not made a cutting in a canal of running water.
I have not extinguished a fire when it should burn.
I have not violated the times [of offering] the chosen meat offerings.
I have not driven away the cattle on the estates of the gods.
I have not turned back the god at his appearances.
I am pure. I am pure. I am pure. My pure offerings are the pure offerings of that great Benu which dwelleth in Hensu. For behold, I am the nose of Neb-nefu (the lord of the air), who giveth sustenance unto all mankind, on the day of the filling of the Utchat in Anu, in the second month of the season Pert, on the last of the month, [in the presence of the Lord of this earth]. I have seen the filling of the Utchat in Anu, therefore let not calamity befall me in this land, or in this Hall of Maati, because I know the names of the gods who are therein, [and who are the followers of the Great God].
About Papyrus of Nu (2015)
In the Papyrus of Nu, a name is mentioned ’Rehti-Merti-Nebti-Maati’. These terms can be found e.g. from the books by Budge (1904; 1968) and they can be interpreted as follows:
♦ ’Rehti’ = Two women (Referring to e.g. Isis and Nephthys, together with Mary and Elisabeth)
♦ ’Merti’ = Two fighting sisters (Referring to e.g. Nebty-name and two Queens; also word ‘mer’ means ‘beloved’ and if ‘t’ and ‘i’ are considered to mark only gender and dualism, ‘merti’ would be ‘two beloved women’, and thus ‘two times beloved soul’)
♦ ’Nebti’ = Two Queens of Upper and Lower Egypt (Referring to Vulture and Cobra, Nekhebit and Uatchit; Nebti name means the ruler of the Upper and Lower Egypt, the lord of the two lands)
♦ ’Maati’ = Two goddesses who are the manifestations of Knowledge, Law and Divine Order of the Upper and Lower Egypt.
Please notice that the Upper and Lower Egypt can be considered as ‘consciousness’ including ‘memory’ and ‘creativity’, and ‘the subconscious’ including ‘reason’ and ‘emotion’.
In the end of the Papyrus of Nu we find the phrase ‘I AM Pure’ three times. This refers to the whole Way of Truth and its three baptisms. A person has turned into Great Bennu, the Phoenix born out of Fire, the Son of Father-God Nu. Also the symbolic words ‘I AM the nose of Neb-nefu’ refer to Father-God Shu and that a person has received the Breath of Life (and knows Face of God) – the mark that he/she has endured until the end in the Baptism of Fire. Now, a person has learned to know the different names of the One Great God. A person is also purified of his sin, limiting beliefs together with values and identity which were based on ignorance. Not until now, is Knowledge pure inside a person, and therefore it can be said that he/she wears the incorruptible cloth of Adam, or Horus, or Christ. The Soul is virgin and the body is baptized with Water. This is the beginning of the third phase of baptisms.