An ancient Egyptian apocalyptic oracle.

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Ben C. Smith
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An ancient Egyptian apocalyptic oracle.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:54 pm

The Oracle of the Potter bears some similarities to Jewish and Christian apocalyptic and eschatological literature. The translation here comes from a PDF handout for a class at Macquarie University in Australia, but what appears to be the same translation can also be found elsewhere online:

Oracle of the Potter:

...and lawless. The river will flow without enough water, with insufficient, so that the land... will be inflamed, but against nature. For in the time of the Typhonians they will say: "Wretched Egypt, you are wronged by terrible iniquities wrought against you."

The sun will be darkened, not wishing to look upon the evil things in Egypt. The land will not welcome the sowing of the seed. These... will be blasted by the wind. And the farmer did not sow on account of this, but tribute will be required of him. They are fighting in Egypt because of the lack of nourishment. What they till, another reaps and takes away.

In this generation there will be war and murder which will destroy brothers, and husbands and wives. For these things will come to pass when the great god Hephaistos wishes to return to the city, and the Girdle-wearers, being Typhonians, will destroy themselves... evil will be wrought. He will go on foot to the sea in wrath, and will trample on many of them because of their impiety. And out of Syria will come he who will be hateful to all men, and... being... he will come from Ethiopia... and from the realms of the impious into Egypt and he will be established in the city which will later be laid waste.

And for two years our... well.... The month of Amon and he said well. Their children will be defeated. And the land will be unsettled and not a few of those dwelling in Egypt will abandon their own land and go to a foreign place. Friends will murder friends. There will be weeping and their ills will be worse than those of the others. And men will perish at each others hands. Two of their number will pass on to the same place (?) because of the one help. Much death will fall upon pregnant women.

The Girdle-wearers being Typhonians are destroying... And then Agathos Daimon will abandon the city being established and will enter Memphis, and the foreign city which will be built will be emptied. And these things will take place at the conclusion of the evils when the falling of the leaves occurs in the Egypt of the foreigners. The city of the Girdle-wearers will be laid waste as in my furnace, because of the unlawful deeds which they executed in Egypt.

The statues transferred there will return to Egypt. The city by the sea will become a drying place for fishermen because Agathos Daimon and Knephis will have gone to Memphis, so that some who pass through will say: "This city, in which every race of men dwelt, was all-nourishing." And then Egypt will increase, when for fifty-five years he who is well disposed, the king, the dispenser of good, born of the Sun, established by the great goddess Isis, is at hand, so that those surviving will pray for the resurrection of those who died before, in order that they might share in the good things. At the end of these things trees will bear leaves and the forsaken Nile will be filled with water, and the winter having been stripped of its natural dress, will run its own cycle. And then the summer will take its own course, and the winds shall be well-ordered and gently diminished.

For in the time of the Typhonians the sun was darkened, having shone forth on evil customs and having exhibited the poverty of the Girdle-wearers. And Egypt....

Typical apocalyptic or eschatological imagery includes the darkening of the sun, the motif of drought and other natural disasters or anomalies, the disadvantage of being pregnant at such a time, strife among those who ought to be friends, the eventual rule of a benevolent king, and a hope for the resurrection of the dead at the dawn of a golden age, so to speak.

Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Joseph D. L.
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Re: An ancient Egyptian apocalyptic oracle.

Post by Joseph D. L. » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:08 pm

I know Massey is a maligned figure, and I'm not suggesting he was right in everything he proposed, but I think he should be given a chance. Ancient Egypt, Light of the World, along with Natural Genesis and Lectures are simply top notch. Incredible. I still go back to Lectures every now and again.

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Re: An ancient Egyptian apocalyptic oracle.

Post by neilgodfrey » Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:20 pm

Anyone studying apocalyptic lit will want to read....

International Colloquium on Apocalypticism Uppsala, S. (1989). Apocalypticism in the Mediterranean world and the Near East: proceedings of the International Colloquium on Apocalypticism, Uppsala, August 12-17, 1979. (D. Hellholm, Ed.) (2nd ed., enlarged by supplementary bibliography..). Tubingen, Germany: Mohr. Musings on biblical studies, politics, religion, ethics, human nature, tidbits from science

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