Ancient Egyptians worshipped many different gods.
Each god had its own unique power and abilities. The ancient Egyptians believed that the gods abilities were used to help build and protect their civilizations. Some helped with aspects of one’s day to day life while others helped entire civilizations or were responsible for aspects of the earth and the universe that the Egyptians could not explain. Some aspects of Egyptian civilization that can still be found in our lives today were influenced by the gods. This paper describes some of the major gods that influenced ancient Egyptian society and our present one. Ra was the god of the sun. The Egyptians believed that the sun was a golden boat on which Ra would sail. Every evening Ra would sail onto the river of darkness, causing nightfall.
Ra would sail here to find the serpent Apep and his armies of chaos. Every morning when Ra would return and the sun would rise again, the people would celebrate because he had saved them from Apep and his armies again. When Ra received a prophecy saying that one of Geb and Nut’s offspring would overthrow him, he sent Shu to separate them. Years later, when Ra became old and weak, he retired his throne to Osiris.Shu was the god of air and wind. He was the father of Nut.
Shu was assigned to keep his daughter away from Geb so that Ra’s prophecy would not come true. Though he tried his hardest, Shu could not keep Nut and Geb separated. When he wasn’t paying attention Nut gave birth to 4-5 children. The separation of Geb and Nut explains why the sky is so far from the earth. Shu was not shown in many images because he is transparent like the air. Shu would prevent the sky from crashing onto the earth as well as protecting the earth. Geb was the god of the earth.
When Geb first came onto earth he emerged out of the Sea of Chaos. When he arrived he was one of the first gods in Egypt. When he met Nut he almost instantly fell in love with her.
Since Ra received a prophecy saying that their offspring would overthrow him, Shu was sent to separate the the two. Geb appeared to have rivers, trees and forests across his body. The Egyptians believed that earthquakes were Geb’s laughter. Geb provided the Egyptians crops and health. Nut was the goddess of the sky.
Her skin was starry and dark as the night sky. She was the wife of Geb, and the daughter of Shu. She and Geb loved each other very much but they were separated by Shu. Though she and Geb were separated they still managed to have children: Osiris, Isis, Seth and Nephthys.
Some Egyptians believed that Horus was also one of their children, while others believed that Horus was the child of Osiris and Isis. In ancient hieroglyphs Nut is depicted stretching over Geb (the sky stretches of the earth). Egyptians believed that Nut would protect them from the chaos and darkness that was above her. Osiris was the god of the the dead and the god of farming. He was the oldest son of Geb and Nut and was married to his sister Isis. When Ra retired he handed the throne over to Osiris. Osiris was fair and was considered to be a good pharaoh.
When Osiris became the Pharaoh Set became jealous of him, so Set tricked Osiris and killed him. When Set killed Osiris he cut his body into many pieces and scattered them across Egypt. Once Isis heard about his death she set out to find his body. Once all the pieces were gathered she bound them together with cloth and Osiris came back to life partially.
When he came back to life he ruled over the underworld judging over the souls of the dead. Osiris is depicted as having blue skin and white cloth. The Egyptians believed that Osiris taught them how to farm and how to make cities. Set (also known as Seth) was the god of deserts, storms, and all evil.
He was the son of Geb and Nut and he was the strongest of the gods. When Osiris became the Pharaoh, Set got very jealous. He decided to trick Osiris into going inside of a coffin. Once he was inside Set sealed Osiris inside, then he cut him and the coffin into pieces and scattered them across Egypt. A few years later, Horus challenged Set and beat him, ending Set’s evil reign.Set fled to the desert and controlled all the harsh land outside the Nile. Egyptians would pray to Set because he sailed with Ra and defended him from Apep and his armies. Isis was the goddess of clever and determined women.
She was the daughter of Geb and Nut, and was the sister and wife of Osiris. In order for Osiris to become the pharaoh she poisoned Ra and she would only give him the antidote when he revealed his secret name. With this knowledge she had power over Ra and forced him to retire the throne. When Set was ruling she convinced Horus to challenge him and Horus won. Isis was worshipped because of her magical abilities.
Horus was the god of the sky and the defender of kings. He was called the avenger after he took down Set for Osiris. Horus was either the son or brother of Isis and Osiris. Horus challenged Set to a battle and defeated him. This meant that Horus ended Set’s reign and started his own. All mortal Pharaohs considered themselves to be ancient descendants of Horus. Horus was shown having a falcon’s head. Nephthys was the goddess of rivers.
She was Isis’ sister and Set’s wife, she was also one of Geb and Nut’s children. Nephthys did not like her husband Set because of what he did to Osiris. Nephthys helped Isis find Osiris’ body. She was the mother of Anubis. Anubis was the god of funerals. He was the son of Set and Nephthys. Anubis was very important because he prepared the soul for the afterlife.
After preparing the soul, he would escort the dead to the hall of judgment. Priests believed that the jackal was his sacred animal because they were found near graveyards. Because of that, the priests would wear jackal masks when preparing a pharaoh’s body for mummification. Anubis was believed to have helped Isis to turn Osiris into a mummy in order to bring him back to life.
Bes was the god of dwarves. He would protect households from spirits, as well as scare the spirits away from people. Bes was one of the ugliest gods but he was also one of the most popular gods. Bes was considered good luck to common men, children and labouring women.
Bes taught the Egyptians that those who were born different were magical.All in all these 11 gods helped shape the life of ancient Egyptians. The gods helped the Egyptians by preparing their souls for the after life and by protecting them from demons and spirits. Some of the gods have helped form our modern world. The gods taught the Egyptians methods to farm that we still use today and they also have taught us how to build cities which are a big part of our world.