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her husband; the necklace was restored to her, and she lived again.1 And this is but one story of many.

In the Brahman marriage ceremony the bridegroom receives his bride by binding a covenanting necklace about her neck. "A small ornament of gold, called tahly, which is the sign of their being actually in the state of marriage, is fastened by a short string dyed yellow with saffron."2 And a Sanskrit word for "saffron" is also a word for "blood."3

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The importance of this symbolism of the token of the blood-covenant, in its bearing on the root-idea of an inter-union of natures by an inter-commingling of blood, will be more clearly shown by and by.


Going back, now, to the world's most ancient records, in the monuments of Egypt, we find evidence of the existence of the covenant of blood in those early days. Even then it seems to have been a custom to covenant by tasting the blood from another's arm; and this inter-transference of blood was supposed to carry an inter-commingling, or an inter-merging, of natures. So far was this symbolic thought carried that the ancient Egyptians spoke of the departed spirit as having entered into the nature, and, indeed, 1 Frere's Old Deccan Days, pp. 225-245.

2 Dubois' Des. of Man. and Cust. of India, Part II., chap. 7.

3 See p. 194, infra.

into the very being, of the gods, by the rite of tasting blood from the divine arm.

"The Book of the Dead," as it is commonly called, or "The Book of the Going Forth into Day," (" The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day,"1)-—is a group, or series, of ancient Egyptian writings, representing the state and the needs and the progress of the soul after death. A copy of this Funereal Ritual, as it is sometimes called, "more or less complete, according to the fortune of the deceased, was deposited in the case of every mummy." 3 "As the Book of the Dead is the most ancient, so it is undoubtedly the most important, of the sacred books of the Egyptians; "4 it is, in fact, "according to Egyptian notions, essentially an inspired work; "5 hence its contents have an exceptional dogmatic value. In this Book of the Dead, there are several obvious references to the rite of bloodcovenanting. Some of these are in a chapter of the Ritual which was found transcribed in a coffin of the


1 Prov. 4: 18.

2 See Lepsius's Todtenbuch; Bunsen's Egypt's Place in Universal History, V., 125–133; Renouf's The Religion of Ancient Egypt, pp. 179-208.

3 See Lenormant and Chevallier's Ancient History of the East, I., 308.

*Renouf's The Religion of Ancient Egypt, p. 208.

5 Bunsen's Egypt's Place, V., 133.



Eleventh Dynasty; thus carrying it back to a period prior to the days of Abraham.1

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'Give me your arm; I am made as ye," says the departed soul, speaking to the gods.2 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; "3 the covenant blood which unites the soul and the god is drawn from the flesh of

1 See Egypt's Place, V., 127.

2 Ibid., V., 174 f.

3 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. Egypt., 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 Rā, 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

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