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THE COVENANT-AMULET.

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friendship furnished the ancient Egyptians with their highest conception of a union with the divine nature through an interflowing of the divine blood-as the divine life—is found in the amulet of this covenant; corresponding with the token of the covenant of bloodfriendship, which, as fastened to the arm, or about the neck, is deemed so sacred and so precious in the primitive East to-day. The hieroglyphic word, tat, tet, or tot, () translated "arm," is also translated "bracelet," or "armlet," (o)1 as if in suggestion of the truth, already referred to,2 that the blood-furnishing arm was represented by the token of the armencircling, or of the neck-encircling, bond, in the covenant of blood. Moreover, a "red talisman," or red amulet, stained with "the blood of Isis," and containing a record of the covenant, was placed at the neck of the mummy as an assurance of safety to his soul. "When this book [this amulet-record] has

1 See Pierret's Vocabulaire Hieroglyphique, p. 721 f.; also, Birch's "Dict. of Hierog." in Egypt's Place, V., 519.

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3 See Todtenbuch, chap. CLVI.; Egypt's Place, V., 315; Trans. of Soc. of Bib. Arch., VIII., 2, 211.

This amulet is also called tet; a word of the same phonetic force as tet, the "arm," or the "bracelet," but of different letters. This word seems to have the root-idea of "word;" as if it were ap

plied to the text of the blood-covenant.

The amulet as constructed for the mummy, was stained with the

been made," says the Ritual, " it causes Isis to protect him [the Osirian], and Horus he rejoices to see him." "If this book [this covenant-token] is known," says Horus, "he [the deceased] is in the service of Osiris. His name is like that of the gods."

There are various other references to this rite, or other indications of its existence, than those already cited, in the Book of the Dead. "I have welcomed Thoth (or the king) with blood; taking the gore from the blessed of Seb," is one of these gleams. Again,

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water or liquid of the tree called ankh am (t). The amulet itself, according to Brugsch, was also called ankh merer(†). But ankh () means either to live (the ordinary meaning), or to swear, to make oath (more rarely), and merer() is a reduplicated form of mer ( + ) to love, love, friendship. The meaning of ankh merer as applied to the blood-amulet may be oath, or covenant, or pledge of love or friendship. The word merer, in the compound ankh merer, is followed with the determinative of the flying scarabæus which was commonly placed (Anc. Egypt., III., 346) upon the breast, in lieu of the heart of the dead (Ibid., III., 486). See page 100, infra. And here the inquiry is suggested, Was the ankh am the same as the modern henneh? Note the connection of henneh with the marriage festivities in the East to-day.

"Paint one hand with henna, mother;

Paint one hand and leave the other.

Bracelets on the right with henna;

On the left give drink to henna."

(Jessup's Syrian Home Life, p. 34.)

1See Egypt's Place, V., 232.

UNITED WITH THOTH

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there are incidental mentions of the tasting of blood. by gods and by men; and of the proffering, or the uplifting, of the blood-filled arm, in covenant with the gods.2

On a recently deciphered stéle of the days of Rameses IV., of the Twentieth Dynasty, about twelve centuries before Christ, there is an apparent reference to this blood-covenanting, and to its amulet record. The inscription is a specimen of a funereal ritual, not unlike some portions of the Book of the Dead. The deceased is represented as saying, according to the translation of Piehl3: "I am become familiar with Thoth, by his writings, on the day when he spat upon his arm." The Egyptian word, khenmes, here translated "familiar," means "united with," or "joined with." The word here rendered "writings," is hetepoo; which, in the singular, hetep, in the Book of Dead, stands for the record of the covenant on the blood-stained amulet.*

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The word pegas(), rendered "spat," by Piehl, is an obscure term, variously rendered "moistened," "washed," "wiped," "healed." It is clear therefore that this passage may fairly be read: "I am become united with Thoth, by the covenant-record, on the day when he moistened, or healed his arm"; and 2 Ibid., V., 323.

1 See Egypt's Place, V., 174, 254, 282.

3 See Zeitschrift für Egyptische Sprache, erstes Heft, 1885, p. 16. * See page 81 f., supra. 5 See Pierret, Brugsch, Birch, s. v.

if the arm were healed, it had been cut, and so moistened. Indeed, it is quite probable that this word peqas has a root connection with peq, peqa, peqau, "a gap," "an opening," "to divide"; and even with penqu, () ) "to bleed." Apparently, the unfamiliarity of Egyptologists with this rite of blood-covenanting by the cutting of the arm, has hindered the recognition of the full force of many of the terms involved.

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Ebers, in his "Uarda," has incidentally given an illustration of the custom of blood-covenanting in ancient Egypt. It is when the surgeon Nebsecht has saved the life of Uarda, and her soldier-father, Kaschta, would show his gratitude, and would pledge his lifelong fidelity in return.

“If at any time thou dost want help, call me, and I will protect thee against twenty enemies. Thou hast saved my child-good! Life for life. I sign myself thy blood-ally-there!'

'With these words he drew his poniard out of his girdle. He scratched his arm, and let a few drops of his blood run down on a stone at the feet of Nebsecht.

"Look!' he said. 'There is my blood! Kaschta has signed himself thine; and thou canst dispose of my life as of thine own. What I have said, I have said."

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LOVE-SHOWING BY BLOOD-LETTING. 85

9. OTHER GLEAMS OF THE RITE.

In this last cited illustration, from Uarda, there would, at first glance, seem to be the covenant proffered, rather than the covenant entered into; the covenant all on one side, instead of the mutual covenant. But this is, if it were possible, only a more unselfish and a more trustful mode than the other, of covenanting by blood; of pledging the life, by pledging the blood, to one who is already trusted absolutely. And this mode of proffering the covenant of blood, or of pledging one's self in devotedness by the giving of one's blood, is still a custom in the East; as it has been, in both the East and the West, from time immemorial.

For example, in a series of illustrations of Oriental manners, prepared under the direction of the French ambassador to Turkey, at the beginning of the eighteenth century, there appears a Turkish lover gashing his arm in the presence of his lady-love, as a proof of his loving attachment to her; and the accompanying statement is made, that the relative flow of blood thus devoted indicates the measure of affection—or of affectionate devotedness.1

A custom akin to this was found in Otaheite, when the South Sea Islands were first visited by English

1 Ferriol's Recueil de cent Estampes representant differentes Nations du Levant, Carte 43, and Explication, p. 16.

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