March 11, 2012

Ra God as Royal Father

Ra Egyptian God as Royal Father
In Cult of the Sun, her fine book on the sun god, Rosalie David has recorded a story of Ra’s fathering of heirs to the earthly throne. The lengths to which kings of the Fifth Dynasty went to associate themselves with Ra God, which included taking his name as Part of their own, are suggestive of his power. These kings replaced the family of Cheops on the throne and used the Ra God myth to justify their right to rule.

Ra or Re

According to the myth, a magician by the name of Dedi was said to know the secret of the locks used by Thoth to keep his sanctuary inviolate, and Cheops, the builder of the greatest of the pyramids, sought this knowledge in order to secure his own structure. He sent for Dedi and asked for the secret, but the magician confessed that he did not in fact have it. He knew that the numbers that would open the locks of Thoth were kept in a flint casket in Heliopolis, but said that he was unable to open the chest and bring the numbers to the king. Instead, he promised, the secret would be brought to Cheops by the eldest son of Red-dedet.

Since the king had never heard of such a woman and was puzzled by this prophecy, Dedi revealed that she was the wife of a priest of Ra God and had conceived three children by the god himself. Ra had told her that her sons would be granted high power and would rule much of the land. Cheops grew sad at this news since he feared that his own children would be replaced by these sons of Ra, but Dedi, sensing his mood, assured him that Cheops’ own son and grandson would rule before the children of Ra and Red-dedet. The king rewarded the old magician for this prophecy by making him a retainer in the royal household for the rest of his life.

When the time came for Red-dedet to deliver, Ra sent several of his deities to be present at the birth. Isis and Nephthys led the group and were assisted by Meshkhent (goddess of birth), Heket, and Khnum. The goddesses served as midwives and commanded the first-born to come from the womb without delay. Isis took the child from his mother’s body and he came into this world with a head-cloth of lapis lazuli and limbs adorned with gold. While the goddesses cut his umbilical cord and gave him his first bath, Meshkhent foretold that some day he would rule the land; Khnum, who formed babies’ bodies on his potter’s wheel, gave him health. Then each of his brothers was born, and the divinities performed the same services for them. Before leaving the children to the care of their mortal mother, the goddesses gave to the boys their royal crowns, which were hidden in a locked room until they had need of them.

Imentet and Ra from the tomb of Nefertari
This myth served a genuine political purpose. Cheops was succeeded by his son and grandson, and two more heirs beyond them; but then the line of the Fourth Dynasty was broken and a new dynasty began. The eldest child mentioned in the myth became King Userkaf, a name supposedly given him at birth by Isis, and he and his brothers who also ruled in the Fifth Dynasty referred to themselves as “the sons of Ra.” This tale served to prove that the rulers of the Fifth Dynasty had divine authority for taking the throne. The two minor heirs of the builders of the Great Pyramids of Giza were not mentioned in the myth, possibly because later generations were not likely to recognize their names or to consider them especially important. The myth did establish the significance of the cult of the sun god and demonstrated Ra’s prestige.

Related Web Search :
  • Ra God
  • Ra Egyptian God
  • Ancient Egyptian Gods
  • Ancient Egyptian Gods And Goddesses
  • Ancient Egyptian Gods for Kids
  • List Of Ancient Egyptian Gods

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