[Editor’s note: The Book of the Dead is not a book. It’s a loose collection of spells and incantations used in the funerary rites of ancient Egypt — priests and temples had their own practices, complied into prayer books, manuals and painted onto funerary objects. They call on the gods to preserve and protect the soul, and to bind servants to them in the afterlife.]
(from the papyrus of Huneferu)
The Beginning of the Chapters of Coming Forth by Day, of the Words which bring about Resurrection and Glory, and of Coming out of and entering into Amenta. Said upon the Day of Burial of N, the Victorious, who entereth after coming forth. Here is N the Victorious. He saith:
Bull of Amenta, It is Thoth, the everlasting King, who is here.
I am the great god in the Bark, who have fought for thee.
I am one of those gods, the Powers who effect the triumph of Osiris over his adversaries on the day of the Weighing of the Words : I am thy kinsman, Osiris.
I am one of those gods to whom Nut hath given birth, who slay the adversaries of Osiris and imprison the Sebau, on his behalf:
I am thy kinsman, Horus.
I have fought for thee, and have prevailed for thy name.
I am Thoth who effect the triumph of Osiris over his adversaries on that day of Weighing of the Words in the House of the Prince, which is in Heliopolis.
I am Tatti, the son of Tatti, conceived in Tattu and born in Tattu ; and Tattu is my name.
I am with the mourners and weepers who wail over Osiris in Rechit, and who effect the triumph of Osiris over his adversaries.
Ra issued the mandate to Thoth, that he should effect the triumph of Osiris against his adversaries, and the mandate is what Thoth hath executed.
I am with Horus on the day of covering Teshtesh and of opening the fountains for the refreshment of the god whose heart is motionless, and closing the entrance to the hidden things in Restau.
I am with Horus, as the avenger of that left arm of Osiris which is in Sechem.
I enter in, and I come forth from the Tank of Flame on the day when the adversaries are annihilated at Sechem.
I am with Horus on the day when the festivals of Osiris are celebrated, and when offerings are made [to Ra], on the Feast of the Sixth day of the Month, and on the Feast of Tenait in Heliopolis.
I am the Priest in Tattu and exalt him who is on the Height.
I am the Prophet in Abydos on the day when the earth is raised.
I am he who seeth what is shut up at Restau.
I am he who reciteth the liturgies of the Soul who is Lord of Tattu.
I am the Sem-priest in all that pertaineth to his office.
I am the Arch-Craftsman, on the day in which the Ship of
Sokaru is laid upon its stocks.
I am he who seizeth the mattock, on the day of the Feast of Hoeing in Suten-henen.
O ye who bring beneficent souls into the house of Osiris, do ye bring the soul of N together with you into the house of Osiris; let him see as you see, let him hear as your hear, let him stand as you stand, and sit as you sit in the house of Osiris.
O ye who give bread and beer to beneficent souls in the house of Osiris, do you give bread and beer at the two periods to the soul of iV who is with you.
O ye who unclose the ways and open the roads to beneficent souls in the house of Osiris, unclose then the ways and open the roads to the soul of N who is with you, let him enter boldly and come forth in peace at the house of Osiris, without hindrance and without repulse. Let him enter at his pleasure and go forth at his
will, triumphantly with you; and let that be executed which he shall order in the house of Osiris.
No lightness of his in the scale has been found and the Balance is relieved of his case.
(from the papyrus of Ani, for Coming forth by day and Living after death.)
Oh thou Only One, who shines from the Moon, let me come forth amid that train of thine, at large,(3) and let me be revealed as one of those in glory.
And when the Tuat is opened to the gods, let N come forth to do his pleasure upon earth amid the Living.
(From the papyrus of Amen-neb, for Coming forth by day and Living after death.)
Oh Tmu, who proceeds from Ur-henhenu, who art resplendent as the Lion-faced, and who strew thy words to those who are before thee; Here cometh the faithful N, from the band of those who do the bidding of thy words.
Ye seamen of Ra at the gloaming of the day, let iV live after death, like Ra daily. Here the (indecipherable) : As Ra is born from Yesterday, so he too is born from Yesterday, and as every god exults in life, so shall N exult even as they exult in life.
I am Thoth as he goes forth from the House of the Prince in Heliopolis.
(For traveling on the road which is above)
It is I who travel on the Stream which divides the divine Pair, I am come, let there be given to me the lands of Osiris.
(From the the papyrus of Nebseni, whereby work may not be imposed upon a person in the Netherworld.)
Here is N. He saith, I am he who raiseth the hand which is motionless, and I come forth at the hour. I am the living Soul and there go before me the longings of those who bring salutation.
(A spell to cause funeral statuettes may be made to do work for a person in the netherworld. This spell is found inscribed on thousands of statuettes, often hundreds buried with each mummy.)
O Statuette there! Should I be called and appointed to do any of the labors that are done in the Netherworld by a person according to his abilities, lo ! all obstacles have been beaten down for thee ; be thou counted for me at every moment, for planting the fields, for watering the soil, for conveying the sands of east and west. Here am I, whithersoever thou callest me.