Pharaohs Search of God

     Religion guided every aspect of Egyptian life. Egyptian religion was based on polytheism, or the worship of many deities, except for during the reign of Akenaton. The Egyptians had as many as 2000 gods and goddesses. Some, such as Amun, were worshipped throughout the whole country, while others had only a local following. Often gods and goddesses were represented as part human and part animal.

    For example, Horus, the sky god, had the head of a hawk, and body of a human. They considered animals such as the bull, the cat, and the crocodile to be holy. Their two chief gods were Amon-Ra and Osiris. Amon-Ra was believed to be the sun god and the lord of the universe. Osiris was the god of the underworld. Stories about him revolved around the idea of immortality. Osiris was the god that made a peaceful afterlife possible. The Egyptian "Book of the Dead" contains the major ideas and beliefs in the ancient Egyptian religion. Because their religion stressed an afterlife, Egyptians devoted much time and wealth to preparing for survival in the next world.

Religion was a main part in Egyptian life.  It helped people to understand their world and how to deal with their problems.  There were house gods to watch over the family, local gods for the village, and state gods worshiped on special occasions.  Many people had an altar or a chapel at their house.  On special days people went to the state temples.  Only the priest could go in the inner temple.  They sang hymns like this” Hail to you Amun, Maker of Mankind God who created all beings, Great and Goodly king.” A statue showing  Amun watching over Pharaoh is at the temple of Karnak. 
      The “Hidden One” Was a creator god that watched over all the people as well as the country of Egypt.   Their were special god families made up of a husband, A wife, and a child.  The families were associated with animals.  Hathor, goddess of love, has cows ears and horns.  Cows were beautiful animals. The Pharaohs gave offerings to the gods because they watched over him as he watched over his people.  The sun god was the most important of all.  In the earlier times the people thought that the pharaoh became a god once he became ruler.  When he died he would be with Osiris, the god of death and rebirth. Sobeck has the head of a crocodile.  Many people believed in magic also.  Children wore charms around their neck to protect them from evil.  There were spells for everything like

not going into the after life on your head.

  • The Egyptians had many tales about how the world began. According to one legend, it started with an ocean in darkness. Then a mound of dry land rose up and the sun god Re appeared. He created light and all things. Another version has the sun God emerging from a sacred blue lotus that grew out of the mud, while a third version has him appearing as a scarab beetle on the eastern horizon.

    Temples were considered dwelling places for the gods. They were everywhere. Each city had a temple built for the god of that city. The purpose of the temple was to be a cosmic center by which men had communication with the gods. As the priests became more powerful, tombs became a part of great temples. Shown below is a typical temple flood plan with the purposes of each section given.

    The priests duty was to care for the gods and attend to their needs. The priests had many duties such as funeral rites, teaching school, supervising the artists and works, and advising people on problems.