The Hor Book of Breathings: A Translation and Commentary (Studies in the Book of Abraham)
The second volume in the FARMS series, The Hor Book of Breathings is a complete publication of three of the remaining fragments of the Joseph Smith Papyri. These ancient hieroglyphics were part of a larger collection of scrolls, some of which were first translated as the Book of Abraham by the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith in the mid-1800s. Michael D. Rhodes here reexamines the fragments and offers improved readings and photographs for further study.
About the Author
Michael D. Rhodes is an associate research professor of Ancient Scripture at Brigham Young University.
Hardcover: 112 pages
Series: Studies in the Book of Abraham (Book 2)
Publisher: Brigham Young University; 74 edition (August 15, 2005)
Book of Breathings
by Michael D. Rhodes
Department of Ancient Scripture
Brigham Young University
Hieroglyphic Text Accompanying the Vignette.(1) . . . god's servant of Amon-Re, [king] of the gods, god's servant of Min, . . . beautiful . . . , priest of Khonsu, the controller of . . . (2) . . . Hôr, justified, the son of one of like titles, master of the secrets, god's priest, Wosir-wer, justified, [born of] (3) . . . Taikhebyt.
May your soul live in their midst. May you be buried <in> the West. . . . (4) . . . . . . . (5) [May you give to] him beautiful and useful things on the west [of Thebes] like . . .
Text of the Book of Breathings
I. [They drag Osiris in]to the Pool of Khonsu, (2) and likewise [the Osiris, Hôr, justified] born of Taikhebyt, justified, (3) after he has grasped his heart. They bury (4) the Book of Breathings which <Isis> made, which (5) is written on both its inside and outside, (wrapped) in royal linen, and it is placed <under> the (6) left arm near his heart. The bearer makes (7) his coffin on the outside of it. This document is made for him so that (8) he might breathe like the souls of the gods forever and (9) ever.
II. Beginning [of the Book of Breathings] which [Isis] made [for her brother, Osiris to cause his soul to live, to cause his body to live, to rejuvenate all his limbs] (2) again, [so that he might join] the horizon with his father, Re, [and to cause his soul to appear in heave as the disk of the moon, so that his body might shine like Orion in the womb of Nut, to] (3) cause [the same] thing to happen to the Osiris, Hôr, justified, [born of Taikhebyt, justified. Keep it secret!] (4) Do not let anyone read it. It is useful [ for one in the necropolis. He will live again successfu]lly millions of times.
(5) O [Osiris,] Hôr, justified, born of Ta[ikhebyt, justified. You have been purified. Your heart has been purified. Your front is in] a state of purity, your back (6) is in a state of cleanliness. Your midsection is <cleansed> with soda [and natron. No part of you is involved in wrong-doing.
The Osiris, Hôr,] justified, born of [Taikhebyt, justified, begotten of] Remny-qa, is purified in that pool of [the Field of Offerings to the north of the Field of the Grasshopper.] Wadjet (8) and Nekhbet have purified you in the fourth hour of the night and the [fourth] hour [of the day.]
[Come, Osiris, Hôr, justified, born of Taikhebyt], justified. May you enter the Hall (9) of the Two Goddesses of Truth. You have been purified from every sin [and misdeed. Stone of Truth is your name.]
[O] Osiris, Hôr, justified, may you enter (10) into the afterlife [in] a state of great purity. [The Two Goddesses of Truth] have cleansed you [in the Great Hall. A purification has been performed for you in the Hall of Geb. Your body has been purified in the Hall] (11) of Shu. You see Re when [he] sets [and Atum in the evening. Amon is with you, giving breath to you. Ptah (12) is fashioning] your limbs. May you enter into the horizon together with Re. [ Your soul has been received into the Neshmet ship with Osiris. Your soul is made divine in the House of Geb. You are justified forever and ever.]
III. [Osiris,] Hôr, justified, born of Tai[khebyt, justified. May your name endure. May your body last. Then your mummy will endure.1 You shall not be turned back from heaven or earth. May you be made happy in the presence of Re.] (2) May your soul live in the presence of Amon. May your body be renewed in the presence of Osiris. May you breathe forever [and ever.]
[May your soul make invocation offerings for you of bread, beer, beef and fowl, libations and] (3) incense during the course [of every day. Your flesh is on] <your> bones, made like your form on earth. May you drink with [your throat.2 May you eat with your mouth. May your receive] (4) offerings with [the souls of the gods. May] Anubis [protect] you and may he guard you. You shall not be turned back from the gates [of the afterlife.] May the twice [great] and mighty [Thoth,] Lord of Hermopolis, come to you and write for you the Book of Breathings with his own fingers. May your soul breathe (6) forever. May you assume again your form on earth among the living. You are divine with the souls of the gods. Your heart is the heart of Re. Your limbs (7) [are the limbs of the Great God.]
[O Osiris,] Hôr, justified. Amon is with you every day . . . in the House of Re. May you live again. May Wepwawet open for you the [beautiful] path. (8) [May you see with your eyes and hear with your] ears, speak with your mouth, and walk with your legs. Your souls is divine in the afterlife so that it can assume any form it desires. May you cause the rustlings(?)3 of the noble Ished-tree in Heliopolis. May you awake every day and see the rays (10) [of the sun. May Amon come to you bearing the breath of life. May he cause you to breathe [in] your coffin. May you go forth to the earth every day. May you be given the Book (11) [of Breathings of Thoth for] your protection. May you breathe by means of it like Re. May your eye see the rays of the (sun's) disk. May truth be spoken to you (12) [in the presence of Osiris. May "justified" be written upon your body. Horus, the Avenger of His Father, Horus of Edfu, may he enfold your body in protection,4 and may he cause your soul to be divine like all the gods do. The soul of Re is animating [your soul]. (13) [The soul of Shu unites with your [nos]trils.
O Osiris, Hôr, justified, born of Taikebyt, justified. May your soul breathe [anyplace you want.] IV. [You are in the seat of Osiris. Foremost of the Westerners is your name. May the Great Inundation come to you from Elephantine, and may he fill your offering table with provisions.]
(2) Osiris, Hôr, [justified, born of Taikhebyt, justified. May the gods of Upper and Lower Egypt come to you and guide you to the Alcha'a5 together with your soul. May] you [accompany] (3) Osiris and may you breathe within the necropolis [together with the Great God. May your body live] (4) in Busiris and the Thinite Nome. May your soul live in heaven every day.
[Osiris, Hôr, justified, born of Taikhebyt, justified. May Sekhmet have power over those who conspire against you. Horus,] (5) Great of Heart, is protecting you. Horus of Edfu [does what you want. Horus the Beloved guards your body. May you endure in] (6) life, prosperity, and health. You have been established upon your seat in the Sacred Land.
[Come now Osiris, Hôr, justified, born of Taikhebyt, justified. You] have arisen in your likeness, the likeness of your royal regalia. May you be established in life. [ May you spend your time in health. May you walk and breathe] (8) anywhere. May Re shine upon in cave6 like (he did upon) Osiris. May [you] breathe [ and live on his rays. May Amon animate] (9) your ka, may it live, prosper, and be healthy.7 May he cause you to flourish by the Book of Breathings. May you accompany Osiris [and Horus, Lord of the Henu-boat. You are the Great God,] (10) foremost among the gods. May your face live and your form be beautiful. Your name is established every day. May you enter into the god's [great hall (or council)] (11) in Busiris, and may you see the Foremost of the Westerners at the Wag-festival.8 May your odor be as pleasant as a young man. [May your name be as great as] (12) an august [noble].
O Osiris, Hôr, justified. May your soul live by means of the Book of Breathings. [May you join with] (13) <your> soul. May you enter into the afterlife without your enemy. You are a divine soul [in Busiris.]
(The remainder of the papyrus is missing. Louvre Papyrus 3284, III, 21 to V, 11 can be used for the missing text.)
III. (21) You have your heart. It is not far from you.9 (22) You have your eyes, which are open every day.
IV. Words spoken by the gods who are in attendance on Re. Osiris NN (3) May you accompany (4) Osiris. May your soul live forever and ever.
Words spoken by the gods who are in the afterlife (5) to Osiris, Foremost of the Westerners, and to Osirs NN (6) in order to open for him the doors of the afterlife.
May you be received (7) in the necropolis. Come, let your soul live forever. May it build a portal in the necropolis. (8) May your ka praise its god, for it has received the Book of Breathings. Come, let it cause breathing.
(9) A boon which the king gives to Osiris, Foremost of the Westerners, the Great God, Lord of Abydos. May he give a invocation offering (10) of bread, beer, beef, fowl, wine, milk, offerings, provisions, and every (11) good thing to the ka of Osiris NN (12) May you be healthy. May your corpse live, enduring at the command of Re himself, and like Re neither perishing (13) nor being sick forever and ever.
(16) O Great of Strength, who comes forth from Hery-aha.12 Osiris NN has not committed (17) any robbery.
(20) O Eye Swallower, who comes forth from the Double Caverns.15 Osiris NN has not made (21) any seizure of property by theft.
V. O Terrible of Visage,16 who comes forth from the necropolis, Osiris NN has not engaged in any disputes.
(2) O Ruty, who comes forth from heaven. Osiris NN has not cause a false reading of the balance.17
(3) O He Whose Eye is on Fire,18 who comes forth from Letopolis. Osiris NN has not committed any deception.
(4) O Gods who are in the hereafter, hear the voice of Osiris NN. He has come before you (5) without any evil committed by him, without any wrong-doing held against him, and without any witness who rises up against him. He lives by righteousness. He consumes righteousness. The hearts of the gods are content with all that he has done. (6) He has given bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty, clothing to the naked. He has given offerings to the gods and invocation offerings to the blessed dead. There is no accusation against him before any of the gods. Let him enter into the afterlife without being turned away. Let him accompany Osiris together with the gods (8) of the cavern, for he has life, prosperity, and health among the living, and he is divine among the justified dead. Let him live, and let his soul live. Let (9) his soul be admitted into any place he desires. Accept his Book of Breathings. Let him breathe together with that soul of his in (10) the afterlife with any form his heart desires together with the Westerners. Let his soul go wherever it wants. Let him live upon the earth forever and ever.
Text Accompanying the Vignette at the End of the Book of Breathings Text
Presumably the original of Facsimile 3 came at the end of the Book of Breathings text (not necessarily the end of the papyrus). A tentative translation of the text follows.
Line to the Right of Figure 2:
The Three Lines to the Right of Figure 1:
(1) Words spoken by Osiris, the Foremost of the Westerners: (2) May Osiris, Hôr, abide at (3) the side of the throne of his greatness.
Line in Front of Figure 4:
(1) Ma'at . . .25
The Two Lines in Front of Figure 5:26
The Three Lines in Front of Figure 6: 29
1. Other copies of the Book of Breathings have a simple sjm=f form rather than the sjm.ur=f form found here.
2. In the Late Period, vnb.t can also mean "throat" (WB. IV, 513, 11).
3. vrvr is a hapax legomenon (cf. Wb. IV, 529, 7).
4. xnm, other copies have uwi - to protect.
5. orq-ee - holy place in Abydos (Old Coptic alakhaa, Greek alakhai) Wb. I, 213, 5-6.
6. tpe.t > tp(e).t (Wb. V, 364, 11)
7. The abreviated form of the standard formula, onu, wja, snb has been written after ka=k(your ka). It is not found in parallel texts.
8. A festival of Osiris celebrated on the 18th day of the first month of the Egyptian year.
9. Emending to nn erw,=f. r=k.
10. Epithet of Re.
11. isf.t > isty (Wb. I, 129, 2).
12. A city south of Heliopolis, present-day Old Cairo, Greek Babylon (Wb. III, 394, 7).
13. I.e. Thoth, the Ibis-headed god.
14. cn-ov (literally "distinguishing the call").
15. From which the inundation of the Nile was thought to arise.
16. An epithet of an evil being, especially Apophis. (Wb. II, 15-16)
17. ir isfy mu(a).t.
18. An epithet of Horus of Letopolis (Goyon, J., Rituel Funéraires de L'Ancienne Égypte, 224, n. 8.
19. This line reads from left to right rather than the normal right to left.
20. qrt.y(w), a common epithet for gods of the kingdom of the dead (Wb. V, 62, 10).
21. i in > in (cf. Gardiner, Egyptian Grammar, §§ 436-37).
22. swaj intransitive in Late and Hellenistic periods (Wb. IV, 65, 8).
23. Isis is regularly portrayed wearing cow's horns with a moon disk. See for example wee the illustration in Faulkner, R.O., The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, 182-83.
24. Isis is the mother of Horus.
25. The gure here has the ma'at feather headdress
26. These signs also read from left to right rather than the normal left to right
27. The figure is that of Hôr, the owner of the papyrus, being introduced into the presence of Osiris.
28. The use of the definite article pa before mao-urw is most unusual, but it is clearly there.
29. These signs also read read from left to right rather than the normal left to right.
30. Anubis is ofte found conducting the dead in the Hall of Judgment. (A good example is found in the vignette to Chapter 125 of the Book of the Dead shown in Faulkner, R. O., The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, 34.)
31. The reading is far from certain, but this is a common title for Anubis (Wb. III, 305, 18).
Never in your long ascendancy will you lose the power to recognize your associates of former existences. Always, as you ascend inward in the scale of life, will you retain the ability to recognize and fraternize with the fellow beings of your previous and lower levels of experience. Each new translation or resurrection will add one more group of spirit beings to your vision range without in the least depriving you of the ability to recognize your friends and fellows of former estates.
Princess Bride 1987 Wallace Shawn (Vizzini) and Mandy Patinkin (Inigo Montoya)
Vizzini: HE DIDN'T FALL? INCONCEIVABLE.
Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
And here is mystery: The more closely man approaches God through love, the greater the reality -- actuality -- of that man. The more man withdraws from God, the more nearly he approaches nonreality -- cessation of existence. When man consecrates his will to the doing of the Father's will, when man gives God all that he has, then does God make that man more than he is.
"And do you not remember that I said to you once before that, if you had your spiritual eyes anointed, you would then see the heavens opened and behold the angels of God ascending and descending? It is by the ministry of the angels that one world may be kept in touch with other worlds, for have I not repeatedly told you that I have other sheep not of this fold?"
But we know that there dwells within the human mind a fragment of God, and that there sojourns with the human soul the Spirit of Truth; and we further know that these spirit forces conspire to enable material man to grasp the reality of spiritual values and to comprehend the philosophy of universe meanings. But even more certainly we know that these spirits of the Divine Presence are able to assist man in the spiritual appropriation of all truth contributory to the enhancement of the ever-progressing reality of personal religious experience—God-consciousness.
When you are through down here, when your course has been run in temporary form on earth, when your trial trip in the flesh is finished, when the dust that composes the mortal tabernacle "returns to the earth whence it came"; then, it is revealed, the indwelling "Spirit shall return to God who gave it." There sojourns within each moral being of this planet a fragment of God, a part and parcel of divinity. It is not yet yours by right of possession, but it is designedly intended to be one with you if you survive the mortal existence.
And the greatest of all the unfathomable mysteries of God is the phenomenon of the divine indwelling of mortal minds. The manner in which the Universal Father sojourns with the creatures of time is the most profound of all universe mysteries; the divine presence in the mind of man is the mystery of mysteries.
To every spirit being and to every mortal creature in every sphere and on every world of the universe of universes, the Universal Father reveals all of his gracious and divine self that can be discerned or comprehended by such spirit beings and by such mortal creatures. God is no respecter of persons, either spiritual or material. The divine presence which any child of the universe enjoys at any given moment is limited only by the capacity of such a creature to receive and to discern the spirit actualities of the supermaterial world.
Paradise is the eternal center of the universe of universes and the abiding place of the Universal Father, the Eternal Son, the Infinite Spirit, and their divine co-ordinates and associates. This central Isle is the most gigantic organized body of cosmic reality in all the master universe. Paradise is a material sphere as well as a spiritual abode. All of the intelligent creation of the Universal Father is domiciled on material abodes; hence must the absolute controlling center also be material, literal. And again it should be reiterated that spirit things and spiritual beings are real.
Culture presupposes quality of mind; culture cannot be enhanced unless mind is elevated. Superior intellect will seek a noble culture and find some way to attain such a goal. Inferior minds will spurn the highest culture even when presented to them ready-made.
True liberty is the associate of genuine self-respect; false liberty is the consort of self-admiration. True liberty is the fruit of self-control; false liberty, the assumption of self-assertion. Self-control leads to altruistic service; self-admiration tends towards the exploitation of others for the selfish aggrandizement of such a mistaken individual as is willing to sacrifice righteous attainment for the sake of possessing unjust power over his fellow beings.
How dare the self-willed creature encroach upon the rights of his fellows in the name of personal liberty when the Supreme Rulers of the universe stand back in merciful respect for these prerogatives of will and potentials of personality! No being, in the exercise of his supposed personal liberty, has a right to deprive any other being of those privileges of existence conferred by the Creators and duly respected by all their loyal associates, subordinates, and subjects.
There is no error greater than that species of self-deception which leads intelligent beings to crave the exercise of power over other beings for the purpose of depriving these persons of their natural liberties. The golden rule of human fairness cries out against all such fraud, unfairness, selfishness, and unrighteousness.