Shetaut Menefer

A. Text of Part I:
The Primate of the Gods Ptah, conceived in his heart, everything that exists and by His utterance created them all. He
is first to emerge from the primeval waters of Nun in the form of a Primeval Hill. Closely following the Hill, the God Atom also emerges from the waters and sits upon Ptah (the Hill). There remain in the waters four pairs of male and female gods (the Ogdoad, or unity of Eight-Gods), bearing the following names:—
(1) Nun and Naunet, i.e., the Primeval waters and the counter heaven.
(2) Huh and Hauhet, i.e., the boundless and its opposite:
(3) Kuk and Kauket, i.e., darkness and its opposite; and
(4) Amun, i.e., (Amon) and Amaunet, i.e., the hidden and its opposite.

B. The Philosophy of Part I:
(1) Ptah has the following attributes: (a) The Primate of the Gods, i.e., The God of Gods (b) The Logos. Thought and creative utterance and power (Egyptian Religion by Frankfort, p. 23). (c) The God of Order and form (d) The Divine Artificer and Potter (Fire Philosophy by Swinburne Clymer; Jamblichus; Ancient Egypt by John Kendrick, Bk. I, p. 318; 339).
It must be noted that while the Sun God Atom sits upon Ptah the Primeval Hill He accomplishes the work of creation. But the Memphite Theology dates back to 4000 B.C., when it is believed the Greeks were unknown (Frankfort's Intellectual Adventure of Man, p. 5; 53; 55. The Book of the Dead, p. 17).
This arrangement in the Memphite Theology could only mean that the ingredients of the Primeval Chaos contained ten principles: four pairs of opposite principles, together with two other gods: Ptah representing Mind, Thought, and creative Utterance; while Atom joins himself to Ptah and acts as Demiurge and executes the work of creation. From such an
arrangement in the cosmos we are in position to infer the following philosophies:—

(a) Water is the source of all things.
(b) Creation was accomplished by the unity of two creative principles: Ptah and Atom, i.e., the unity of Mind (nous) with Logos (creative Utterance).
(c) Atom was the Demiurge or Intermediate God in creation. He was also Sun God or Fire God.
(d) Opposite Principles control the life of the universe.
(e) The elements in creation were Fire (Atom), Water (Nun), Earth (Ptah or Ta-tjenen) and Air.

A. Text of Part II
The Gods of Order and arrangement in the cosmos are represented by nine gods, in one God-head, called the Ennead. Here Atum (Atom), the source of the Ogdoad, is also retained as the source of the Gods of Order and arrangement. Atum (Atom) names four pairs of parts of his own body, and thus creates eight Gods, who together with himself become nine. These Eight Gods are the created Gods, the first creatures of this world; and Atum (Atom), the Creator God, the Demiurge, of whom Plato spoke. The Gods whom Atum (Atom) projected from his body were
  (i) Shu (Air)  (ii) Tefnut (Moisture)
(iii) Geb (Earth) and
 (iv) Nut (Sky);
who are said to have given birth to four other Gods:
   (v) Osiris (the God of omnipotence and omniscience)
  (vi) Isis (wife of Osiris, Female Principle)
 (vii) Seth (the opposite of good)
(viii) Nephthys (Female Principle in the Unseen World).

B. The Philosophy of Part II.
As we read the text of Part II, we find that the Sun God Atum (Atom) who was present in the Chaos was also present at the development of orderly arrangement in the cosmos. At this stage Atum (Atom) assumes the role of creator of all Gods except Ptah, the God of Gods. He next proceeds to accomplish this special type of creation in the following manner: He commands Eight Gods to proceed from His own body according to the names of those eight parts.
The result of this creation presents us with what has been called (a) the "Ennead" or the unity of "nine Gods in one Godhead" (b) the doctrine of the Demiurge as in Part I, (c) the doctrine of the created Gods and (d) the doctrine of the Unmoved Mover; also (e) the doctrine of opposites and (f) Omnipotence and Omniscience. Of these doctrines, that of the "Ennead" will be dealt with elsewhere, and since the doctrine of the Demiurge has already been treated, together with (c) the created Gods, I shall now discuss the doctrine of the Unmoved Mover, as based upon the same act of creation. According to the Memphite Theology of the Egyptians, Atum created Eight Gods who proceeded from eight parts of His own body. He was seated upon Ptah the Hill and was unmoved. In this act of creation Atum (Atom) became the Unmoved Mover. In spite of the Memphite Theology being the direct source of these doctrines, yet Plato has been given credit for the doctrine of the created Gods; while Aristotle has received credit for that of the "Unmoved Mover". Certainly the world has never been more misled.
Here it must be made quite clear, that the doctrine of a Demiurge in creation includes two other doctrines: that of the created Gods and that of the Unmoved Mover.
It was the function of the Demiurge to create the universe; and in doing so, his first act was the creation of the Gods, who accordingly became the first creatures.
But the manner in which the Demiurge created the Gods was the process of projecting them from His own body.
This method of creation clearly makes the Demiurge the Unmoved Mover.

A. Text of Part III
In this third part of the Memphite Theology, the Primate of the Gods is represented as Ptah: Thought, Logos and Creative Power, which are exercised over all creatures. He transmits power and spirit to all Gods, and controls the lives of all things, animals and men through His thought and commands. In other words it is in Him that all things live move and have their eternal being.
B. The Philosophy of Part III
From Part III we infer the following doctrines:—(a) all things were created by the thought and command of Ptah, the God of Gods. (b) Through the thought and command of Ptah, we all live, move and have our eternal Being. (c) Ptah is Creator and Preserver as has already been pointed out elsewhere; Ptah's powers were transmitted by magical means to Atum who performed the work of creation. (Intellectual Adventures of Man by Frankfort, p. 52–60).

The text of the Memphis Theology


(1 - 2, horizontal) The living Horus : excellent Two Lands ; the Two Ladies : excellent Two Lands ; the Golden Horus : excellent Two Lands ; King of Upper and Lower Egypt : Neferkare, the son of Re, [Shabaka], beloved of Ptah-South-of-his-Wall, who lives like Re forever.

This writing was copied out anew by his majesty in the House of his father Ptah-South-of-his-Wall, for his majesty found it to be a work of the ancestors which was worm-eaten, so that it could not be understood from beginning to end. His majesty copied it anew so that it became better than it had been before, in order that his name might endure and his monument last in the House of his father Ptah-South-of-his-Wall throughout eternity, as a work done by the son of Re [Shabaka] for his father Ptah-Tenen, so that he might live forever.


(3) He is this Ptah who proclaims by the great name : Tenen.
(4) He who united this land of the South as King of Upper Egypt and this land of the Delta as King of Lower Egypt.
(5) --- (void, no inscription)
(6) He indeed begat Atum who gave birth to the Ennead.



(7) Geb commanded that the Ennead gather to him. He judged between Horus and Seth ;
(8) he ended their quarrel. He installed Seth as King of Upper Egypt in the land of Upper Egypt, at the place where he was born, in Su (near Herakleopolis). And Geb made Horus King of Lower Egypt in the land of Lower Egypt, at the place where his father was drowned
(9) which is the "Division-of-the-Two-Lands" (probably near Memphis). Thus Horus stood over one region, and Seth stood over one region. They made peace over the Two Lands at Ayan (opposite Cairo). That was the division of the Two Lands.


SUBSECTION B (damaged)

(10a) Geb's words to Seth : "Go to the place in which you were born."
(10b) Seth : Upper Egypt.
(11a) Geb's words to Horus : "Go to the place in which your father was drowned."
(11b) Horus : Lower Egypt.
(12a) Geb's words to Horus and Seth : "I have separated you."
(12b) Lower and Upper Egypt.
(10c, 11c, 12c) Then it seemed wrong to Geb that the portion of Horus was like the portion of Seth. So Geb gave Horus his inheritance, for he is the son of his firstborn son.
(13a) Geb's words to the Ennead : "I have appointed
(13b) Horus, the firstborn."
(14a) Geb's words to the Ennead : "Him alone,
(14b) Horus, the inheritance."
(15a) Geb's words to the Ennead : "To his heir,
(15b) Horus, my inheritance."
(16a) Geb's words to the Ennead : "To the son of my son,
(16b) Horus, the Jackal of Upper Egypt ---
(17a) Geb's words to the Ennead : "The firstborn,
(17b) Horus, the Opener-of-the-ways."
(18a) Geb's words to the Ennead : "The son who was born ---
(18b) Horus, on the birthday of the Opener-of-the-ways."

SUBSECTION C (damaged)

(13c) Then Horus stood over the land. He is the uniter of this land, proclaimed in the great name : Tenen, South-of-his-Wall, Lord of Eternity. Then sprouted
(14c) the two Great in Magic upon his head. He is Horus who arose as King of Upper and Lower Egypt, who united the Two Lands in the Nome of the (White) Wall, the place in which the Two Lands were united.
(15c) Reed (heraldic plant for Upper Egypt) and papyrus (heraldic plant for Lower Egypt) were placed on the double door of the House of Ptah. That means : Horus and Seth, pacified and united. They fraternized so as to cease quarreling
(16c) wherever they may be, being united in the House of Ptah, the "Balance of the Two Lands" in which Upper and Lower Egypt had been weighed. This is the land

SUBSECTION D (very much damaged)

(17c) --- the burial of Osiris in the House of Sokar.
(18c) --- Isis and Nephthys without delay,
(19) for Osiris had drowned in his water. Isis [and Nephthys] looked out --- his drowning.
(20a) Horus speaks to Isis and Nephthys : "Hurry, grasp him ---."
(21a) Isis and Nephthys speak to Osiris : "We come, we take you ---."
(20b) --- and brought him to
(21b) --- the earth
(22) at the royal fortress, to the North of ---.
(23) There was built the royal fortress ---.
(24a) Geb speaks to Tehuti : ---
(25ab - 30a) ---
(31a - 35a) ---
(27b) [Geb] speaks to Isis : ---
(28b) Isis causes [Horus and Seth]  to come.
(29b) Isis speaks to Horus and Seth : "---."
(30b) Isis speaks to Horus and Seth : "Make peace ---."
(31b) Isis speaks to Horus and Seth : "Life will be pleasant for you when ---."
(32b) Isis speaks to Horus and Seth : "It is he who dries your tears ---."
(33b - 35b) Isis speaks to ---.
(36 - 47)

(48) The gods who manifest in Ptah :
(49a) Ptah-on-the-Great-Throne, ---
(49b) [Ptah] --- who bore the gods.
(50a) Ptah-Nun, the father who gave birth to Atum.
(50b) [Ptah] --- who bore the gods.
(51a) Ptah-Naunet, the mother who bore Atum ;
(51b) [Ptah] --- (who bore the gods) ;
(52a) Ptah-the-Great, heart and tongue of the Ennead ;
(52b) [Ptah] --- Nefer-Tem at the nose of Re every day.

53 There comes into being in the heart ; there comes into being by the tongue, (something) as the image of Atum !

Ptah is the very great, who gives life to all the gods and their Kas. Lo, through this heart and this tongue.

54 Horus came into being in him ; Thoth came into being in him as Ptah.

Power came into being in the heart and by the tongue and in all limbs, in accordance with the teaching that it (the heart) is in all bodies and it (the tongue) is in every mouth of all gods, all men, all flocks, all creeping things and whatever lives ; thinking whatever the heart wishes and commanding whatever the tongue wishes !

55 His (Ptah's) Ennead is before him as heart, authoritative utterance, teeth, semen, lips and hands of Atum.

This Ennead of Atum came into being through his semen and through his fingers.

Surely, this Ennead (of Ptah) is the teeth and the lips in the mouth, proclaiming the names of all things, from which Shu and Tefnut came forth as him, and

56 which gave birth to the Ennead (of Ptah).

The sight of the eyes, the hearing of the ears, and the breathing of air through the nose, they transmit to the heart, which brings forth every decision.

Indeed, the tongue thence repeats what is in front of the heart. Thus was given birth to all the gods. His (Ptah's) Ennead was completed.

Lo, every word of the god came into being through the thoughts in 

the heart & the command by the tongue.
Thus all witnessing faculties were made and all qualities determined, they that make all foods and all provisions, through this word. {Justice} is done to him who does what is loved, {and punishment} to him who does what is hated. Thus life is given to the peaceful and death is given to the criminal. Thus were made all labor, all crafts, the action of the arms, the motion of the legs, (58) the movements of all the limbs, according to this word which is devised by the heart and comes forth by the tongue and creates the performance of everything.

There came the saying that Atum, who created the gods, said concerning Ptah-Tenen : "He gave birth to the gods !" From him every thing came forth : foods, provisions, (59) divine offerings, all good things. Thus Thoth understood and recorded that he is the mightiest of the gods. Thus Ptah was satisfied after he had made all things and all divine words.

Lo, he gave birth to the gods.
He made the towns.
He established the nomes.
He placed the gods in their shrines.
(60) He settled their offerings.
He established their shrines.
He made their bodies according to their wishes.
Thus the gods entered into their bodies,
of every kind of wood, of every kind of stone, of every kind of clay,
in every kind of thing that grows upon him,
(61) in which they came to be.
Thus all the gods and their Kas were gathered to him,
content and united with the Lord of the Two Lands.


The Great Throne (Memphis) that gives joy to the heart of the gods in the House of Ptah is the granary of Tenen, the mistress of all life, through which the sustenance of the Two Lands is provided, (62) owing to the fact that Osiris was drowned in his water. Isis and Nephthys looked out, beheld him, and attended to him. Horus quickly commanded Isis and Nephthys to grasp Osiris and prevent his drowning. (63) They heeded in time and brought him to land. He entered the secret portals in the glory of the Lords of Eternity, in the steps of him who rises in the horizon, on the ways of Re at the Great Throne. (64) He entered the palace and joined the gods of Tenen Ptah, Lord of Years. Thus Osiris came into the earth at the Royal Fortress, to the North of this land to which he had come. His son Horus arose as King of Upper Egypt, arose as King of Lower Egypt, in the embrace of his father Osiris and of the gods in front of him and behind him.

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