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Mysteries of the Egyptian Book of the Dead | Secrets of Ancient Egypt

May 30, 2022
NARRATOR: In

ancient

Egypt, life did not end with death. In fact, the

ancient

Egyptians believed that death was only the beginning of a long and arduous journey, a journey that could end in salvation or annihilation. Ani hopes that his Book of the Dead will lead him to a life in paradise, but he still has many trials ahead of him and anything can happen. If the wandering soul follows the scroll's instructions, he will eventually find his way to a final challenge, the Hall of Judgment. Here, he must face 42 separate gods in front of 42 separate gates. In front of each god, he must deny having committed a particular sin.
mysteries of the egyptian book of the dead secrets of ancient egypt
It is one of the greatest challenges of the afterlife. If he doesn't know the correct answers, what he should say right now, he presumably won't be able to go through that door and successfully pass into the next life. NARRATOR: These 42 commandments that Ani must deny breaking have come to be called the Negative Confessions. It's a litany of things the deceased didn't do. So he says, I didn't go out and murder anybody. I didn't steal anything. I didn't flirt with someone's wife. I didn't do this, that, and the other. It is very informative and revealing about what many Egyptians probably did.
mysteries of the egyptian book of the dead secrets of ancient egypt

More Interesting Facts About,

mysteries of the egyptian book of the dead secrets of ancient egypt...

NARRATOR: But chances are it's only through the spells in the Book of the Dead that you can overcome the Negative Confessions. This is not to be confused with the notion of confession and repentance. This is really a magical incantation to clear the board of anything you've done on Earth. NARRATOR: An interesting fact is that most of the Ten Commandments can be found in the Negative Confessions. Could the Ten Commandments, written several hundred years after the Book of the Dead, be subtracted from the Negative Confessions? There is nothing in the Book of the Dead that says there is only one God.
mysteries of the egyptian book of the dead secrets of ancient egypt
There is nothing that says that only one God can be worshiped. However, almost all of the Ten Commandments, the things that are prohibited by the Ten Commandments, do appear in the Book of the Dead. Egypt was the home of Moses. It is easy to see a variety of ways in which the Book of the Dead and Egyptian culture have influenced the Bible. NARRATOR: Whether or not the Negative Confessions are the source of the Ten Commandments, the Egyptians believed that the person must have lived a good life. There are many gods who would say, what have you done?
mysteries of the egyptian book of the dead secrets of ancient egypt
And they posed, it's almost like going through a test. So they posed test questions to the deceased to see if they had done well or badly. You have to open all the doors, and these doors were not easy to enter. I was guarded with these huge scorpions. And you have to answer the questions or they will eat you. NARRATOR: The decisive moment in the Egyptian Book of the Dead is called the Weighing of the Heart. The ancient Egyptians envisioned many challenges waiting for them in the afterlife. One of the most important was successfully passing this trial before the court of Osiris and being declared worthy of becoming one of the blessed

dead

.
The heart of the deceased is the symbol of his intelligence, of his emotions and even of his mind. The heart is, of course, where your essence lay and where your good and bad deeds were. NARRATOR: The deceased must give his heart scarab amulet to Anubis, to be weighed against a single feather of the goddess Ma'at. Ma'at was a goddess, who is basically the personification of truth, justice, order and balance. The heart could not be heavier than the truth, but it could not be lighter either. She had to balance. It is interesting that those phrases also continue to exist in our language now.
You speak of someone who has a light or heavy heart. No deceased wanted to be stuck just trusting his own purity of heart. Therefore, the Book of the Dead with the appropriate magic spells makes up the difference, helps him get through the skin of his teeth. But there is the option that you will not pass the test. And if you're not putting your Book of the Dead magic spells to good use, you'd be thrown into the monster Amit. She is the eater of souls, the eater of the

dead

. The job of this monstrous creature, which combined a crocodile, a lion, a hippopotamus, ferocious creatures like that, was to instantly devour any deceased person found guilty there in the Hall of Judgment.
If Amit eats your heart, you cease to exist. For the ancient Egyptians, that was the most terrifying thing. It was not a punishment. It was not being able to exist at all. NARRATOR: The stone heart beetle, which represents the heart of the dead, is now subjected to the final test, a test for eternity or oblivion. This was a spell that literally told the heart not to give you away. So the spell was designed to prevent the heart from saying, oh, by the way, you messed with someone else's wife, or you stole something, or something like that.
You're supposed to say, no, no, you're fine and fancy. There are no problems. Some people have suggested that the heart beetle could have been a way to trick one during the weigh-in. But I think it represents more of the concept that a person needs to be emotionally calm and ready for that to happen. You know, he needs to be one with his emotions, because the heart, for the Egyptians, was the seat of his emotions. I think as long as we have human questions about the meaning of life and death, the Book of the Dead will still be quite relevant.
The ancient Egyptians wrote that

book

, not because they longed for death, but because they adored life and wanted it to continue. The Book of the Dead imagines that the most blessed place you could be is right here on Earth.

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