Legends Of The Gods The Egyptian Texts, edited with Translations

Page: 73

[FN#255] Thoth stood by during the fight between Horus and Set, and healed the wounds which they inflicted on each other.

And the goddess Isis said:

"Set thou his face towards those who dwell in the North Land (Ateh), the nurses who dwell in the city Pe-Tept (Buto), for they have offered very large offerings in order to cause the child to be made strong for his mother, and to make strong him that is under the knife likewise. Do not allow them to recognize the divine Ka in the Swamp Land, in the city (?) of Nemhettu (?) [and] in her city."

Then spake Thoth unto the great gods who dwell in the Swamp-Land [saying]: "O ye nurses who dwell in the city of Pe, who smite [fiends] with your hands, and overthrow [them] with your arms on behalf of that Great One who appeareth in front of you [in] the Sektet Boat,[FN#256] let the Matet[FN#257] (Mantchet) Boat travel on. Horus is to you, he is counted up for life, and he is declared for the life of his father [Osiris]. I have given gladness unto those who are in the Sektet Boat, and the mariners [of Ra] make it to journey on. Horus liveth for his mother Isis and he who is under the knife liveth for his mother likewise. As for the poison, the strength thereof has been made powerless. Verily I am a favoured one, and I will join myself to his hour[FN#258] to hurl back the report of evil to him that sent it forth. The heart of Ra-Heru-Khuti rejoiceth. Thy son Horus is counted up for life [which is] on this child to make him to smite, and to retreat (?) from those who are above, and to turn back the paths of the Sebiu fiends from him, so that he may take possession of the throne of the Two Lands. Ra is in heaven to make answer on 251 behalf of him and his father. The words of power of his mother have lifted up his face, and they protect him and enable him to go round about wheresoever he pleaseth, and to set the terror of him in celestial beings. I have made haste . . . . . ."

[FN#256] The boat in which Ra travelled from noon to sunset, or perhaps until midnight.

[FN#257] The boat in which Ra travelled from dawn, or perhaps from midnight, to noon.

[FN#258] i.e., I will be with him at the moment of his need.



I. Though it be the wise man's duty, O Clea,[FN#259] to apply to the gods for every good thing which he hopes to enjoy, yet ought he more especially to pray to them for their assistance in his search after that knowledge which more immediately regards themselves, as far as such knowledge may be attained, inasmuch as there is nothing which they can bestow more truly beneficial to mankind, or more worthy themselves, than truth. For whatever other good things are indulged to the wants of men, they have all, properly speaking, no relation to, and are of a nature quite different from, that of their divine donors. For 'tis not the abundance of their gold and silver, nor the command of the thunder, but wisdom and knowledge which constitute the power and happiness of those heavenly beings. It is therefore well observed by Homer (Iliad, xiii. 354), and indeed with more propriety than be usually talks of the gods, when, speaking of Zeus and Poseidon, he tells us that both were descended from the same parents, and born in the same region, but that Zeus was the elder and knew most; plainly intimating thereby that the empire of the former was more august and honourable than that of his brother, as by means of his age he was his superior, and more advanced in wisdom and science. Nay, 'tis my opinion, I own, that even the blessedness of that eternity which is the portion of the Deity himself consists in that universal knowledge of all nature which accompanies it; for setting this aside, eternity might be more properly styled an endless duration than an enjoyment of existence.