Thursday, 7 February 2008

When God was no longer the 'highest god' but the 'Only God' - When the Egyptians recognised : 'I am'


My kids are avid 'egyptology' nuts - I think it was watching too much 'Stargate-sg1' in their formative years - on my workstation is a tiny statue of Aten - even while the Jews considered God as 'Elyon', 'Shaddai' , 'El Elohim' [i.e. the highest one , they were henotheists rather than monotheists - their God was merely the greatest and highest among the gods] - In Egypt for a brief flicker in history - There was a time where it was perceived that there was only one True God - Aten - Everlasting - From whom all good things come....This hymn precedes the psalms:


The Hymn :

I) THE ATEN AS RE WITH HIS COURSE

morning beauty

1 Splendid You rise in the lightland of the sky,
2 O living Aten, creator of life !
3 You have dawned in the eastern lightland.
4 You fill every land with your beauty.

noon dominion

5 You are beauteous, mighty & radiant.
6 Risen high over every land,
7 your rays embrace the lands,
to the limit of all that You made.
8 Being Re, You reach their end.
9 You bend them for your beloved son.
10 Though You are far, your rays are on Earth.
11 Though seen by them, your course is unknown.

night chaos


12 When You set in the western lightland,
13 Earth is in darkness, as if death.
14 The sleepers are in their chambers, heads covered,
no eye seeing the other.
15 One could steal their goods from under their heads,
they would not notice it.
16 Every lion comes from its den.
The serpents bite.
17 Darkness hovers, Earth is silent.
18 For its creator rests in the lightland.

dawn rebirth

19 At dawn You have risen in the lightland.
20 To shine as the Aten of daytime !
21 You dispel the dark and cast your rays.
22 The Two Lands celebrate daily.
23 Awake they stand on their feet.
You have made them get up.
24 They wash and dress, their arms raised
in adoration to your appearance.
25 The entire land sets out to work.
26 All cattle are satisfied with their fodder.
The trees and the grass become green.
27 Birds fly from their nests, their wings praising your Ka.
28 All game animals frisk on their hooves, all that fly and flutter,
29 live when You dawn for them.
30 Ships fare downstream and back upstream,
roads lie open when You rise.
31 The fish in the river dart before You.
32 Your rays penetrate the Great Green deep.

II) WORKS & NATURE OF THE ATEN

the child



33 O You, who make semen grow in women,
34 who creates people from sperm,
35 who feeds the son in his mother's womb,
36 who soothes him to still his tears.
37 You nurse in the womb !
38 Giver of breath to nourish all creatures.
39 When the child emerges from the womb
to breathe on the day of his birth,
You open wide his mouth to supply his needs.

the chicken

40 The chick in the egg, chirping in the shell,
41 You give it breath within to sustain its life.
42 When it is complete, it breaks out from the egg.
43 It emerges from the egg, to say it is complete.
44 Walking on its legs when emerging.


The Point Of All Creation by ~unafraidsage on deviantART
the Aten as doer : un-saying, solitary, omnipotent

45 How many are your deeds,
46 though hidden from sight.
47 O sole God without equal !
48 You made the Earth as You desired, You alone.
49 With people, cattle, and all creatures.
50 With everything upon Earth that walks on legs,
51 and all that is on high and flies with its wings.

the Two Niles : the Aten as national, international and
transnational governor



52 The foreign lands of Syria and Nubia, and the land of Egypt,
53 You set everybody in his place and supply their needs.
54 They all have their food and their lifetimes are counted.
55 Tongues differ in speech, their characters as well.
56 Their skins are distinct, for You distinguished the peoples.

57 You made the Nile in the Netherworld.
5
8 You bring it up when You will,
to keep those of Egypt alive,
for You have created them for yourself.

59 Lord of All who toils for them.
60 Lord of All Lands who shines for them.
61 O Aten of daytime, great in glory !

62 All distant lands, You make them live.
63 You made a heavenly Nile descend for them.
64 With waves beating on the mountains like the sea,
to drench their fields and their towns.

65 How excellent are your ways, O Lord of Eternity !
66 The Nile from heaven for foreign peoples
and all land-creatures that walk on legs.
67 For Egypt the Nile from the Netherworld.

III) THEOLOGY OF THE ATEN

life-giving nature of the Aten

68 Your rays nurse all fields.

69 When You shine they live, they grow for You.
70 You made the seasons,
so that all that You made may come to life.
71 Winter cools them, and heat makes them sense You.

the Aten is sole witness, sole creator & sole presence

72 You created the sky far away in order to ascend to it,
to witness everything You created.
73 You are alone, shining in your form of the living Aten.
74 Risen, radiant, distant and near.
75 You made millions of forms from yourself alone :
cities, towns, fields, the river's course.
76 All eyes see You above them
as the Aten of the daytime on high.
77 When You are gone, (...) your eye is gone (...)
which You have made (?) {for their sake}

Pharaoh as the exclusive mediator of the Aten


78 But even then You are in my heart
79 and there is no other who knows You,
only your son, Nefer-kheperu-Re, Sole-one-of-Re,
whom You have taught your ways and your might.

80 The ones on Earth come into being by your hand,
in the way You made them.
81 When You rise, they live.
82 When You set, they die.
83 You yourself are lifetime itself,
one lives through You.
84 All eyes rest on beauty until You set.
85 All labor ceases when You rest in the West.


86 When You rise, You make all arms firm for the King,
87 every leg is on the move since You founded the Earth,
88 You rouse them for your son, who emerged from your body.
89 The King who lives by Maat,
the Lord of the Two Lands :
Nefer-kheperu-Re, Sole-one-of-Re,
the Son of Re who lives by Maat,
the Lord of Crowns, Akhenaten, great in his lifetime.
90 And the great Queen whom he loves,
the Lady of the Two Lands :
Nefer-neferu-Aten Nefertiti,
who lives and is rejuvenated forever and ever."

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