Ancient Egyptian Religion Belief in God
Egyptians believed in One God, who was self-existent, immortal, invisible, eternal, omniscient, almighty, and inscrutable. This Being was called by a name which was something like _Neter_, [Footnote: There is no _e_ in Egyptian, and this vowel is added merely to make the word pronounceable.
The _Neteru_, _i.e._, the beings or existences which in some way partake of the nature or character of God, and are usually called "gods."
When we examine these ”gods" closely, they are found to be nothing more nor less than forms, or manifestations, or phases, or attributes, of one god, that god being Ra, the Sun-god, who, it must be remembered, was the type and symbol of God.
" God is One and alone, and none other existeth with Him; God is the One, the One Who hath made all things.
"God is a spirit, a hidden spirit, the spirit of spirits, the great spirit of the Egyptians, the divine spirit.
"God is from the beginning, and He hath been from the beginning; He hath existed from of old and was when nothing else had being. He existed when nothing else existed, and what existeth He created after He had come into being. He is the father of beginnings.
"God is the eternal One, He is eternal and infinite; and endureth for ever and aye; He hath endured for countless ages, and He shall endure to all eternity. God is the hidden Being, and no man hath known His form. No man hath been able to seek out His likeness; He is hidden, from gods and men, and He is a mystery unto His creatures.”
"God is merciful unto those who reverence Him, and He heareth him that
calleth upon Him. He protecteth the weak against the strong, and He
heareth the cry of him that is bound in fetters; He judgeth between
the mighty and the weak, God knoweth him that knoweth Him, He
rewardeth him that serveth Him, and He protecteth him that followeth
All the great papyri of the Book of the Dead begin with a HYMN TO RĀ, who from the period of the IVth dynasty was the "King of the Gods" of Egypt. His cult was finally "established" under the Vth dynasty when the king of Egypt began to call himself in official documents and monuments "Son of the Sun," Sa Rā. This Hymn is supposed to be sung by the deceased, who says:—
"Homage to thee, O Rā, at thy beauteous rising. Thou risest, thou risest; thou shinest, thou shinest at the dawn. Thou art King of the Gods, and the Maāti goddesses embrace thee.
The Company of the Gods praise thee at sunrise and at sunset. Thou sailest over the heights of heaven and thy heart is glad. Thy Morning Boat meeteth thy Evening Boat with fair winds.
Thy father is the Sky-god and thy mother is the Sky-goddess, and thou art Horus of the Eastern and Western skies. ... O thou Only One, O thou Perfect One, O thou who art eternal, who art never weak.
When thou risest men and women live. Thou renewest thy youth, and dost set thyself in the place where thou wast yesterday.
O Divine Youth, who art self-created, I cannot comprehend thee. Thou art the lord of heaven and earth, and didst create beings celestial and beings terrestrial.
Thou art the God One, who camest into being in the beginning of time. Thou didst create the earth, and man, thou didst make the sky and the celestial river Hep; thou didst make the waters and didst give life unto all that therein is.
Thou hast knit together the mountains, thou hast made mankind and the beasts of the field to come into being, and hast made the heavens and the earth
O thou Divine Youth, thou heir of everlastingness, self-begotten and self-born, One, Might, of myriad forms and aspects, Prince of An (i.e., On), Lord of Eternity, Everlasting Ruler, the Company of the Gods rejoice in thee.
As thou risest thou growest greater: thy rays are upon all faces. Thou art unknowable, and no tongue can describe thy similitude; thou existest alone. Millions of years have passed over the world, I cannot tell the number of those through which thou hast passed. Thou journeyest through spaces [requiring] millions of years [to pass over] in one little moment of time, and then thou settest and dost make an end of the hours."