[b-hebrew] Ark of the Covenant (Iron Age Exemplar Found ?)

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Thu Jul 15 21:51:43 EDT 2004

Dear Tony,

>Walter, you make the assertion in your article of "Pharaoh being reckoned as
>a god". Was the Pharaoh seen as a god? Most current Egyptologists dispute
>this concept. What is your source for this? Thank you.

HH: This following information is taken from a non-profit history website:

World History From Ancient Mesopotamia To The Present
A Collection Of History Related Essays, Documents, Maps and Music 
 From World History

The Egyptians believed their pharaoh to be a god, identifying him 
with the sky god Horus and with the sun gods Re, Amon, and Aton. Even 
after death the pharaoh remained divine, becoming transformed into 
Osiris, the father of Horus and god of the dead, and passing on his 
sacred powers and position to the new pharaoh, his son. The pharaoh's 
divine status was believed to endow him with magical powers: his 
uraeus (the snake on his crown) spat flames at his enemies, he was 
able to trample thousands of the enemy on the battlefield, and he was 
all-powerful, knowing everything and controlling nature and fertility.

As a divine ruler, the pharaoh was the preserver of the god-given 
order, called ma'at. He owned a large portion of Egypt's land and 
directed its use, was responsible for his people's economic and 
spiritual welfare, and dispensed justice to his subjects. His will 
was supreme, and he governed by royal decree. To govern fairly, 
though, the pharaoh had to delegate responsibility; his chief 
assistant was the vizier, who, among other duties, was chief justice, 
head of the treasury, and overseer of all records. Below this central 
authority, the royal will of the pharaoh was administered through the 
nomes, or provinces, into which Upper and Lower Egypt were divided.

Since he was considered a god, the pharaoh lived apart from other 
men, and his subjects subscribed to rituals that exalted him as a 
divine king. All those approaching him, for example, had to prostrate 
themselves on the ground. When the pharaoh died, Egyptian funerary 
rituals were performed that were thought to guarantee that he survive 
in the afterlife as a god, apart from other men.

Evidence suggests, however, that the Egyptians knew that their divine 
ruler was only a human being, if a supreme one; they judged him 
according to his deeds, criticizing pharaohs, plotting against them, 
and deposing or murdering ineffectual ones. Each succeeding pharaoh, 
however, ascended the throne under the aegis of the rituals and 
traditions that recognized him as divine ruler.

					Harold Holmyard

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