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Ancient Egypt: Stela of the Banishment
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Stela of the Banishment

Year 25, third month of the third season, day 29, corresponding to the feast of Amon-Re, kings of gods, at his [beautiful] feast ///////// .
/////////. Nesuhor in their increase thereof. The majesty of this august god was //////////// Thebes. Then he took (his) way to the scribes, inspectors, people /////////////// .
Year 25, first month of the ////// [season, day] ////// . Then spake his majesty to the people: "Amon-[Re], lord of Thebes ///////// their heart is firm /////////. their multitude ///////// the High Priest of Amon-Re, king of gods, commander in chief of the army, Menkheperre, triumphant, son of King Paynozem-Meriamon ////// his ///////// companion of his footsteps, while their hearts rejoiced because he had desired to come to the South in might and victory, in order to make satisfied his heart of the land, and to expel his enemies, that he might give ///////// [as] they were in the time of Re.
-   feast of Amon-Re: Not the feast of Opet which took place in the second month (cf. Trial by Oracle)
  Menkheperre: High Priest between 1045992 BCE
  Painedjem I: High Priest between 10701032 BCE
He arrived at the city (Thebes) with a glad heart; the youth of Thebes received him, making jubilee, with an embassy before him. The majesty of this august god, lord of gods, Amon-Re, [lord of] Thebes, appeared (in procession) //////////// that he might [///] him very greatly, very greatly, and establish him upon the throne of his father, as High Priest of Amon-Re, king of gods, commander in chief of the armies of the South and North. He (the god) decreed to him many gracious wonders, (such as) had never been seen since the time of Re.
[Now, after] the fourth month of the third season, on the fifth day of the (feast), "Birth of Isis", corresponding to the feast of Amon at the New Year, the majesty of this august god, lord of gods, Amon-Re, king of gods, appeared (in procession), came to the great halls of the house of Amon, and rested before the [inclosure wall] of Amon. The High Priest of Amon-Re, king of gods, commander in chief of the army, Menkheperre, triumphant, went to him and praised him exceedingly, exceedingly, many times, and he founded [for him] his offering, even [every] good thing.
  fourth month of the third season: the last month of the year leading up to the epagomenes, the birthdays of Osiris, Isis, Nephthys, Seth and Horus
  fifth day of the (feast): fifth (and last) of the intercalary days
Then the High Priest of Amon, Menkheperre, triumphant, recounted to him, saying:"O my good lord, (when) there is a matter, shall one recount it /// ?"
Then the great god nodded exceedingly, exceedingly. Then he went again to the great god, saying: "O my good lord, (it is) the matter of these servants, against whom thou art wroth, who are in the oasis, whither they are banished."
Then the great god nodded exceedingly, while this commander of the army, with his hands uplifted was praising his lord, as a father talks with his own son: "Hail to thee, [maker] of all [that is], creator of all that exists, father of the gods, fashioner of goddesses; who equips them in the cities and districts; begetter of men, and fashioner of women, maker of the life of all men. He is Khnum, building excellently, [giving] thee breath of life; the north wind ///. Men live from his provision, who supplies the necessities of gods and men; the sun by day, the moon by night, sailing the heavens without ceasing. Great in fame, he is mightier than Sekhmet, like fire //////////// for him that prays to him; he is healthy to heal the sick, when the people look [to him] ////////////. Thou shalt hearken to my voice on this day, and thou shalt [relent] toward the servants, whom thou hast banished to the oasis, and they shall be brought (back) to Egypt."
The great god nodded exceedingly.
  Sekhmet: goddess of war and healing.
  thou shalt [relent] toward the servants: not many cases of royal (or in this case divine) pardon are known. Amen was generally considered by the populace to be both a just and a merciful god.
Then he (the High Priest) spake again, saying: "[O my good lord], as for any writing which any ////// makes, in order to bring it, let it be said /////////."
Then the great god nodded exceedingly. Then he went again to the great god, saying: "O my good lord, thou shalt make a great decree in thy name, that no people of the land shall be [banished] to the distant region of the oasis, nor ////////////////// from this day on."
Then the great god nodded exceedingly. He spake again, saying: "Thou shalt say that it shall be made into a decree upon a stela //////////// in thy [///], abiding and fixed forever."
Then the High Priest of Amon, Menkheperre, triumphant, spake again, saying: "O my good lord, then my [///] is for myriads of times, and the command is for father and mother in every family. My every word shall please the heart in [thy] presence, I am thy faithful servant, profitable to thy ka. I was a youth in thy city, I produced thy provision and thy [///], while I was in the womb, when thou didst form me in the egg, when thou didst bring me forth [to the great joy] of thy people. Grant that I may spend a happy life as a follower of thy ka. There is purity and health wherever thou tarriest. Set my feet in thy way, and direct me on thy path. Incline my heart [//////] to do //////. Grant that I may pass a happy [old age] in peace, while I am established, living in thy august house, like every favorite [/////////] //////."
  distant region of the oasis: During the New Kingdom the most common place of banishment had been Tharu on the edge of the eastern Delta. Banishment was often accompanied by disfigurement. (cf. the Edict of Horemheb)
Then the High Priest of Amon, Menkheperre, triumphant, went to the great god, saying: "As for any person, of whom they shall report before thee, saying, `A slayer of living people [//////] (is he); thou shalt destroy him, thou shalt slay him."
Then the great god nodded exceedingly, exceedingly.

Inscription on one of the southern pylons at Karnak
J.H. Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, Part Four, § 652ff.

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May 2004

 

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