The Commandments of Ancient Egypt (Versione in Italiano)


The Egyptian Book of The Dead or "The Chapters of Coming forth by Day" (also known as The Papyrus of Ani and translated by Wallis Budge1), was the sacred funeral text for the ancient Egyptians and it seem to me, according to Budge, the book is not of Egyptian origin since the work contains not only elaborate teachings but also subtle knowledge which cannot be imputable to the native Egyptians of that archaic epoch. In this Book I have found very interesting the Negative Confession, composed of about forty negative declarations of behaviours, that the dead person had to recitated in front of the Supreme Judge Osiride and to other Goods invoked as Lords of Truth and Justice. These declarations remember the Ten Commandments, but, in my opinion, some are very deep and they presuppose a very high civilisation and supreme wisdom that we have not reached yet.

I list some of them and you will judge:

I have made none to weep

I have terrorised none.

I have not shut my ears to the words of truth.

I have not acted with undue haste

I have not multiplied my words in speaking.

I have not attacked any man

I am not a man of deceit

I am not a man of violence

I have not acted with arrogance

I have not been angry without just cause

I have not been wroth

I have not slandered [no man].

I have not been an eavesdropper.

Then there are others such as I have not killed, I have not curse, I have not stolen etc that we know well because they are also taken back from the Christian religion with the Ten Commandments. Remember us that MosŤ has been educated to the court of the Pharaoh and perhaps he has taken back the most common and simple Negative Confessions.

As you can note, for the ancient Egyptians the search of Truth is fundamental and high the sense of Justice and for this they invoked theirs Goods as Lords of Truth and Justice I think, the most sublime Egyptian "Commandment" is " I have made none to weep! " This means that every men, second the own possibility and in the limit of the human possibilities, had to engage because nobody had to suffer. How much this Commandment was taken seriously it is explained by this fact. . A Pharaoh was in a boat with his retinue and he had noticed that a maid cried. He asked because she cried. She responded because she had fallen her ring in the lake. The Pharaoh said her do not cry because he would have given other rings to his choice. However, the maid, crying, responded that the ring was a present of his boyfriend . Then the Pharaoh recovered the lost ring by drying up the lake and his maid was happy.

In our society if an individual has not made none to weep or to terrorise is considered nobody!!!

1) E.A. Wallis Budge(1857 - 1934) (The Egyptian Book of The Dead
2) Christian Jacq, Testi delle Piramidi. ed.Bompiani



G. Baccolini,   University of Bologna
  January 2000

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