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  HYMN to the Great God ATON  
 

(Excerpt engraved on the tomb of king AY at Tell el-Armana.)
 
You appear on the horizon of the sky,
You are the living ATON, the beginning of life.
You are great, gracious, beloved of all lands,
As you are Re, you are alpha and omega,
and no man knows your ways.

When you disappear the west of the horizon,
lands enter into darkness and seem dead.
The obscurity becomes a shroud and silence covers the Earth.

At the dawn when you rise on the horizon
by your rays you dispel obscurity.
Trees and plants bloom
birds fly off their nests
fishes in the river jump into your arms
chicks come out of their shell to speak to you.

Oh Unique God, unlike no other,
Only You created the world according to your desire,
and you give to every man what is necessary,
You calculate the length of every life,
and you created the men differently
By their nature and the color of their skin.

You created a Nile in heavens for everyone.
It waters fields, germinates seeds,
and renews the silt of mountains.

Oh Lord of eternity!
Your rays nurture every field
You made millions in the image of yourself.

You are Aton, light of day on the Earth
You filled my heart while giving it
the knowledge of your knowledge and your strength.

 

 

Even though this text is not probably written by Akhenaton in person, it sounds like an existing text prayer giving glory to OSIRIS or AMON. Another point of interest is that these texts with their wisdom have been kept in mind by the Hebrews in David's Psalms, the book of Proverbs of Solomon and in Ecclesiastes.

 

THE BOOK of WISDOM of AMENEMOPE (around 1360 BC.)

 

Let's reread some excerpts of a papyrus which arrived in the British Museum in 1888 under the N°1074.

Is this text the work of an Egyptian grain superintendent? Don't forget he wrote his maxims of wisdom 300 years before David, and uses the terms "ATON" and "solar disk". Was this in the time of the reform of Akhenaton?

 
His advice to humanity :

That you understand my words and your heart puts them into practice,
because the one that follows them knows interior peace.

Do not allow the poor and the old to be treated harshly by gesture or word.
Don't wish to be ever in the company of a perverse man.
Know that a man of good is always loved of God
when he thinks before expressing himself.

The bad trample underfoot the good, and by bad actions try to waste time!
Those that want to be owners should not become wealthy
while digging furrows in the earth of others.
It is better to be poor and in God's hands.
Bread is better when the heart is happy,
For every man has his hour fixed by destiny.

Recite your prayers to ATON when he appears on the horizon
so that he will grant you prosperity and health, and will
save you from need and misery for all of your life.

You must endeavor to be sincere with YOUR NEIGHBOR
even though it may cause him grief.
Don't covet the possessions of others, and don't let your neighbor starve,
because it is evil to take the life of one that is good.
If you discover that a bad man took a measure of bread
from a hard-working farmer, stop it from occurring in the future.
Such an act will be beneficial to your soul.

The one that is pure as gold in high content
will have honors above of the crowd,
and will see the downfall of his enemies.

Be humble and discreet, because discretion is better
for the man who looks for perfection.
In truth God's intentions are impenetrable,
Bow yourself before them and know that he can when he wants,
destroy the tranquillity of men.

In truth, man is made of clay, mingled with straw.
God is his creator and came from his divine hand.
How happy the one that reaches the beyond!
It proves that he lives in God's hand.
If a young man curses an old man, he cannot pray to the solar disk,
because Re, that knows all, will punish the guilty heart.

Don't forget that the stranger is your brother,
Don't pass by with your jug of oil without stopping for him.

 

* Maxims of the scribe ANTY to his son (around 1300 BC.)

Papyrus found by Mariette Bey and kept in the museum of Boulacq

Do not enter into the house of another, but know that if he invites you, it is an honor for you. When you enter a divine sanctuary avoid noise, and respect the house of God.

Pray humbly with a sincere heart so that all your words are said in
secret. Then God will listen to your message and will accept your offerings.
Always remember that it is your God that gives and decides on your existence, and think of him continually, tomorrow as today.

The God of this world lives in light, above the firmament, but his emblems
are on earth. Do not dispute his mysteries and you will see the divine one give the sun to make all vegetation grow, to make food for man to feed himself.

Do not be rough with your woman when you know that she looks after your house.
Recognize her merits and put your hand in hers. Doing otherwise will sow
misfortune, and show a bad example for your children. They will lose a source of peace and happiness.

- - - - - - - - - -

To summarize, these excerpts show us Egyptian thought as taught by the scribes and doctors of the religion: before, during and even long after the Armanian time.

We know that Akhenaton was not a man of war, in spite of the presence of Mitanian princesses at his court, and his second marriage to the daughter of Toushratta, when she become widowed on the death of Amenophis III. He didn't answer the call for help by Toushratta, as he preferred to give himself to death rather than help the Hittite king of bad reputation. Was this by weakness or by religious conviction? It was due to him that Egypt lost its vassal the Mitanni for a time; the Amourrou, a part of Northern Syria, and Lebanon were lost for some years, and the mismanaged fortifications north of Canaan!

Was this the time that the Hebrew slaves were liberated, though they were exhausted by the period of construction of Amenophis III? The Egyptian texts speak of a certain Ra-Mose, a stepbrother of the vizier Ra-Moze of Thebes, and close relative of Amon-Hopte, vizier and governor of the Kingdom of the northern Delta at Memphis...

Even though a certain similarity exists in the names, there are no texts that confirm the exit of a slave tribe going to colonize the country of Canaan, the ancient Egyptian colony, whose inhabitants were threatened by the cruelty of the Hittite raiders.

Canaan, or the future Palestine, became again, thanks to general Horemheb, a territory within the Egyptian borders. All in all, the possibility of a massive liberation of an Egyptian slave people was not likely under the anarchical reign of Akhenaton; besides these slaves had as Akhenaton the belief in worshipping : THE ONE omnipresent God ?

God, said Egyptians, is the Lord of all paths, and it is strange that the period in Egyptian history where they turn toward a Unique God also saw the mutilation of the faces of the statues of all other gods! However the Bible takes care to note nothing about this time, and to reveal no names of high character!

The earth of Egypt has not delivered up all its secrets yet, and maybe soon light will be shed on the disturbing period of the reign of this heretical Pharaoh, who was intoxicated with the ONE and ONLY God!...

 

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