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THE BLOOD OF THE GODS.
Eleventh Dynasty; thus carrying it back to a period prior to the days of Abraham.1
"Give me your arm; I am made as ye," says the departed soul, speaking to the gods. Then, in explanation of this statement, the pre-historic gloss of the Ritual goes on to say: "The blood is that which proceeds from the member of the Sun, after he goes along cutting himself;" the covenant blood which unites the soul and the god is drawn from the flesh of 2 Ibid., V., 174 f.
1See Egypt's Place, V., 127.
This is the rendering of Birch. Ebers has looked for an explanation of this gloss in the rite of circumcision (Ægypten u. d. Bücher Mose's, p. 284 f.); but the primary reference to the " arm " of the god, and to the union secured through the interflowing blood, point to the blood-covenant as the employed figure of speech; although circumcision, as will be seen presently, was likewise a symbol of the blood-covenant -for one's self and for one's seed. Brugsch also sees a similar meaning to that suggested by Ebers in this reference to the blood. His rendering of the original text is: "Reach me your hands. I have become that which ye are (Religion u. Mythol. d. alt. Ægypt., I., 219). Le Page Renouf, looking for the symbolisms of material nature in all these statements, would find here "the crimson of a sunset" in the "blood which flows from the Sun-god Rå, as he hastens to his suicide" (Trans. of Soc. of Bib. Arch., Vol. VIII., Part 2, p. 211). This, however, does not conflict with the spiritual symbolism of oneness of nature through oneness of blood. And no one of these last three suggested meanings accounts for the oneness with the gods through blood which the deceased claims, unless the symbolism of blood-covenanting be recognized in the terminology. That symbolism being recognized, the precise source of the flowing blood becomes a minor matter.
Ră, when he has cut himself in the rite of that covenant. By this covenant-cutting, the deceased becomes. one with the covenanting gods. Again, the departed soul, speaking as Osiris,—or as the Osirian, which every mummy represents,1-says: "I am the soul in his two halves." Once more there follows the explanation: "The soul in his two halves is the soul of the Sun [of Ra], and the soul of Osiris [of the deceased]." Here is substantially the proverb of friendship cited by Aristotle, "One soul in two bodies," at least two thousand years before the days of the Greek philosopher. How much earlier it was recognized, does not yet appear.
Again, when the deceased comes to the gateway of light, he speaks of himself as linked with the great god Seb; as one "who loves his arm," and who is, therefore, sure of admittance to him, within the gates. By the covenant of the blood-giving arm, "the Osiris opens the turning door; he has opened the turning door." Through oneness of blood, he has come into oneness of life with the gods; there is no longer the barrier of a door between them. The separating veil is rent.
An added indication that the covenant of blood
1 See Wilkinson's Anc. Egypt., III., 473; Renouf's Relig. of Anc.
Egypt, pp. 191-193; Lenormant's Chaldean Magic, p. 88.
2 See Todtenbuch, chap. LXVIII.; Egypt's Place, V., 211.
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 character () which is 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.
2 See page 65 f., supra.
3 See Todtenbuch, chap. CLVI.; Egypt's Place, V., 315; Trans. of Soc. of Bib. Arch., VIII., 2, 211.
Another indication of the connection of these terms with this primitive rite, is in the fact that the hieroglyphic group which represents an
amulet (1) seems to have the root-idea of " word;" as if it were
applied 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,
water or liquid of the tree called ankh am (ft). 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 hennch 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.
there are incidental mentions of the tasting of blood by gods and by men;1 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.1
The word pegas (), rendered “spat,” by Piehl, is an obscure term, variously rendered "moistened," "washed," "wiped," "healed."5 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. 5 See Pierret, Brugsch, Birch, s. v.
See page 81 f., supra.