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Egyptian Book of the Dead | Papyrus of Nekht | A Hymn of Praise to Ra


The Company of the Gods rejoice at thy rising, the earth is glad when it beholdeth thy rays.


Photo by Mo Gabrail


Nekht, the captain of soldiers, the royal scribe, singeth a hymn of praise to Ra and saith:- Homage to thee, O thou glorious Being, thou who art dowered [with all sovereignty]. O Tem-Heru-Khuti (Tem- Harmakhis), when thou risest in the horizon of heaven a cry of joy goeth forth to thee from all people. O thou beautiful Being, thou dost renew thyself in thy season in the form of the Disk, within thy mother Hathor. Therefore in every place every heart swelleth with joy at thy rising for ever. The regions of the South and the North come to thee with homage, and send forth acclamations at thy rising on the horizon of heaven, and thou illuminest the Two Lands with rays of turquoise-[coloured] light. O Ra, who art Heru-Khuti, the divine man-child, the heir of eternity, self-begotten and self-born, king of the earth, prince of the Tuat (the Other World), governor of Aukert, thou didst come from the Water-god, thou didst spring from the Sky-god Nu, who doth cherish thee and order thy members. O thou god of life, thou lord of love, all men live when thou shinest; thou art crowned king of the gods. The goddess Nut embraceth thee, and the goddess Mut enfoldeth thee at all seasons. Those who are in thy following sing unto thee with joy, and they bow down their foreheads to the earth when they meet thee, the lord of heaven, the lord of the earth, the King of Truth, the lord of eternity, the prince of everlastingness, thou sovereign of all the gods, thou god of life, thou creator of eternity, thou maker of heaven wherin thou art firmly established.


The Company of the Gods rejoice at thy rising, the earth is glad when it beholdeth thy rays; the people who have been long dead come forth with cries of joy to behold thy beauties every day. Thou goest forth each day over heaven and earth, and thou art made strong each day be thy mother Nut. Thou passest over the heights of heaven, thy heart swelleth with joy; and the Lake of Testes (the Great Oasis) is content thereat. The Serpent-fiend hath fallen, his arms are hewn off, the Knife hath severed his joints. Ra liveth by Maat (Law), the beautiful! The Sektet Boat advanceth and cometh into port. The South and the North, and the West and East, turn to praise thee. O thou First, Great God (PAUTA), who didst come into being of thine own accord, Isis and Nephthys salute thee, they sing unto thee songs of joy at thy rising in the boat, they stretch out their hands unto thee. The Souls of the East follow thee, and the Souls of the West praise thee. Thou art the Ruler of all the gods. Thou in thy shrine hast joy, for the Serpent-fiend Nak hath been judged by the fire, and thy heart shall rejoice for ever. Thy mother Nut is esteemed by thy father Nu.








Originally written in 1240 BC

From the Papyrus of Nekht, Brit. Mus. No. 10471, Sheet 21

Translated by E.A. Wallis Budge




 

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