THE god AFU-Ra now enters the region URNES which derives its name from that of the river flowing through it; it is 309, or 480 atru or leagues in length, and 120 wide. URNES is a portion of the dominions of OSIRIS-KHENTI-AMENTI, the great god of Abydos, and it, no doubt, formed a section of the SEKHET-HETEPET according to the old theology of Egypt. The Boat Of AFU-Ra is now under the direction of the goddess of the second hour of the night, SHESAT-MAKET-NEB-S, and the uraei of Isis and Nephthys have been added to its crew. Immediately in front of it are four boats, which move by themselves; the first contains the full moon, of which Osiris was a form, the second the emblem of a deity of harvest, the third the symbols of another agricultural deity, and the fourth the Grain-god personified. All four boats contain either forms or symbols of Osiris, in his different aspects, as the god of ploughing, sowing, and reaping, and of the
grain from the time when it germinates to the season of harvest.
When AFU-RA has come into URNES, he addresses the gods of the region, who are called "BAIU-TUATIU," and tells them to open their doors so that they may receive air, and fresh food, and fresh water, in return for the deeds of valour which they have done on behalf of AFU-RA. It seems that at one portion of this Division the followers of Osiris and RA had to do battle against Apep and his friends, and that in return for their services the god gave them places here in which to dwell, with an abundance of wheat and barley, etc. The gods in reply welcome AFU-RA, and beg him to dissipate the darkness in Amenti, and to slay the serpents HAU and NEHA-HRA (vol. i., p. 40); they promise that those who guide his boat shall destroy APEP, that Osiris shall come to meet him and shall avenge him, and that he shall rest in Ament, and shall appear in the East the following morning under the form of KHEPERA. After this speech they lead AFU-RA into a state of peace in SEKHET-EN-PERTIU, the "Field of the Gods of grain," wherein are the boats of the Grain-gods already described. In this fair haven AM-RA rests, and every follower of Osiris hoped to follow his example.
If we consider for a moment the group of divine beings which stands on each bank of the river URNES it becomes evident that each god or goddess belongs to
the company of Osiris. To the right of the boat stand six gods, who either hold or wear an ear of corn and are connected with the growth of the grain (vol. i., p. 31), gods armed with knives, and connected with the harvest, gods of the seasons, each holding a notched palm-stick, the god of the year, the gods of SOTHIS and ORION (vol. i., p. 32) Osiris-Unnefer, Akhabit, Anubis, the "Eater of the Ass," 1 etc. To the left of the Boat are six deities, each with a phallus in the form of a knife, the double god HORUS-SET (Vol. i., p. 29), various animal- and bird-headed gods, goddesses both with and without uraei on their heads, the "Crook" (mest) of Osiris, the serpent-protector of Osiris, and so on. The gods on the right of AFU-RA are they who give him "the seasons, and the years which are in their hands," and so soon as he speaks to them "they have life through his voice"; he, moreover, tells them what to do, and he orders that the herbs of the field of URNES shall be given to them in abundance.
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The duties of these gods are simple: they supply
the followers of AFU-RA, i.e., those spirits who have succeeded in entering his boat, with green herbs, they give them water, and they light the fires which are to destroy the enemies of Ra. It is not, however, easy to understand their position. All these gods are under the rule of AM-NEBAUI, who is "the lord of this Field," but it seems that they remain in a state of inertness until AFU-RA enters and shines upon them; and although they have their duties and know how to perform them, it is suggested by the texts that they perform nothing until he speaks to them. In other words, they are merely dead gods, until the word of power spoken by AFU-RA makes them produce grain on which to feed themselves and the followers of Ra." In this way is the power of Amen-Ra shown: his dead body, i.e., the night sun, is able to re-vivify all the gods of the kingdom of Osiris, and to make them work. The gods on the left have, first of all, to praise AFU-RA after he has entered URNES; they next "guard the day, and bring on the night until the great god cometh out into the East of the sky." Besides this their duty is to bring to the god's notice the words of those who are upon earth, and they make souls to come to their forms (vol. i., p. 34); they are also concerned with the "offerings of the night," and effect the overthrow of enemies.
From this passage it is clear that the Egyptians believed that words uttered on earth were taken to AFU-RA by his ministers, and it is difficult not to think
that such words must have been in the form of petitions, or prayers, if only for sepulchral offerings. So soon as AFU-RA has passed through the Division, and his light has begun to leave them, all the gods of URNES "cry out in lamentation, and utter wailings because he has left them." From the SUMMARY of the BOOK AM-TUAT we gather that the pictures and texts referring to this Division of the Tuat, or Hour of the night, were believed to possess special efficacy, and the faithful thought that if a man knew the names of its gods he would receive a place of abode in URNES, and would travel about with the god, would have the power of entering the earth and the Tuat and of going so far as the pillars which supported the heavens, would travel over the serpent AMU-AA (i.e., the Eater of the Ass), would eat the bread intended for the Boat of the Earth, 1 and would partake of the perfumed unguent of the god TATUBA. Moreover, it is stated that the man who makes offerings to the BAIU-TUATIU (i.e., the divine souls of the Tuat), mentioning them by their names, shall in very truth receive innumerable benefits upon earth. The texts giving these facts are most important, for they prove that in early times the abode of the blessed was believed to be in URNES, and that the making of offerings to the dead was inculcated as a meritorious act, and that it was believed to bring blessings upon him that made the offering even whilst he was upon earth. It may also be noted in passing
that the heaven URNES was somewhat exclusive, for only the followers of Osiris and RA were admitted.
113:1 This is a name given to the serpent which is seen attacking an ass in the XIth Chapter of the Book of the Dead, and which is a form of the god Set; the Ass is probably a form of the sun-god RA. THE EATER OF THE GREAT PHALLUS, i.e., the Ass, was also a power of evil, yet here he is found seated among beneficent gods.
115:1 See within, page 126.