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The four Sons of Horus

Duamutef also Tuamutef
Imset also Amset, Imsety, Mesta, Kesta
Hapi also Hapy
Kebhsenuf also Qebehsenuf, Kebehsenuf
 
    The four sons of Horus were originally guides who were to help the deceased King by feeding him:
Hapy, Duamutef, Kebhsenuf, and Imsety will expel this hunger which is in my belly and this thirst which is on my lips.
Pyramid Texts #338
R. O. Faulkner, The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts 1910, Kessinger, p.109
... facilitating his progress:
O Hapy, Duamutef, Kebhsenuf,bring me this boat which Khnum built, which is in this waterway of the Htm-bird.
Pyramid Texts #522
R. O. Faulkner, The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts 1910, Kessinger, p.195
... and assisting him in his rise to heaven:
These four gods, friends of the King, attend on this King, (namely) Imsety, Hapi, Duamutef, Khebhsenuf, the children of Horus of Khem; they tie the rope ladder for this King, they make firm the wooden ladder for this King, they cause the King to mount up to Kheprer when he comes into being in the eastern side of the sky.
Pyr 2078-2079
A.K.Eyma, C. J. Bennett, A Delta-man in Yebu, Universal Pub.2003, p.218
Osiris, the four sons of Horus    They were associated with the four points of the compass, and their images or names were drawn accordingly on the four sides of the coffin - which were, moreover, guarded by the four goddesses Isis, Nephthys, Selqet, and Neith.

Osiris, Isis, Nephthys and the four sons of Horus ready to receive the deceased who has just been judged.
Source of the extract: Jon Bodsworth

The Speech of Kesta (Mesta):
"I am Kesta, thy son, O Osiris Ani, whose word is truth. I come to protect thee. I will make thy house to flourish, permanently, even as Ptah hath commanded me, and as Ra himself hath commanded."
The Speech of Hapi:
"I am Hapi, thy son, O Osiris Ani, whose word is truth. I come to protect thee. I bind together thy head and the members of thy body. I smite down for thee thine enemies under thee. I give unto thee thy head for ever and for ever, O Osiris Ani, whose word is truth, whose word is truth in peace."
The Speech of Tuamutef:
Tuamutef saith: "I am thy son Horus, who loveth thee. I come to avenge thee, O my father Osiris, upon him that did evil unto thee. I have set him under thy feet for ever and for ever, permanently, permanently, O Osiris Ani, whose word is truth, whose word is truth."
The Speech of Qebhsenuf:
Qebhsenuf saith: "I am thy son, O Osiris Ani, whose word is truth. I come to protect thee. I have collected thy bones and I have gathered together thy members. [I have brought thy heart, and I have placed it upon its throne within thy body. I make thy house to flourish after thee, O thou who livest for ever.]"
E.A.W. Budge, The Papyrus of Ani
Canopic jars; Source: Jon Bodsworth

The Canopic jars from the tomb of Tutankhamen
Source Jon Bodsworth

    The inner organs considered vital - the brain thought of as effluvium was not among them and was discarded - were embalmed seperately from the rest of the body. The heart, seat of intelligence and feeling, was returned into the body cavity and protected with amulets, the liver, intestines, stomach and lungs were placed in so-called Canopic jars, each of which was dedicated to one of the sons of Horus.
    Originally simple containers with a lid, from the New Kingdom on these jars were sometimes elaborately carved and given the forms of the sons of Horus. The association of each god with a specific organ also became fixed during this time, though occasionally changes were made. The practice of placing organs in Canopic jars ended with the disappearance of the ancient Egyptian religion and its rituals.
 
Name of the godTutelary goddessHead shapeProtected organCardinal point
ImsetIsisHumanLiverSouth
HapiNephthysBaboonLungsNorth
DuamutefNeithJackalStomachEast
KebhsenufSelketFalconIntestinesWest
The reasons occasionally given why a certain god was associated with specific features are mostly speculative.
 

 
© January 2006

 

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