Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Horus and the Twelve Disciples

Indeed it is true, that the ubiquitous number twelve concurrent in numerous ideologies persists to this day, and indeed, the true meaning of such an actuality has been suppressed and hidden within the mists of time. The number twelve in reality, is a reference to the twelve hours of the day, the twelve months of the year, or the twelve zodiacal signs. Such a number has been associated with such a conceptual image since antiquity; Exodus 39:9-14 reads:

‘…they made the breastplate… And they set in it four rows of stones… And the stones were according to the names of the Children of Israel, twelve… according to the twelve tribes’

Josephus comments upon this in his antiquities:

‘And for the twelve stones, whether we understand by them the months, or whether we understand the like number of the signs of that circle which the Greeks call the Zodiac, we shall not be mistaken in their meaning.’(1)

Philo also made the same observation regarding Moses, earlier than Josephus:

‘Then the twelve stones on the breast which are not like one another in colour, and which are divided into four rows of three stones each, what else can they be emblems of, except the circle of the Zodiac?’(2)

Such an association is by no means new, as some would have you believe. In fact, church father Irenaeus had to publicly object the Gnostic notion that the apostles were merely symbolical for the aeons(3), which have been asserted to be the signs of the zodiac(4). Church father Clement of Alexandria earlier asserted that according to the Valentinian Gnostics:

‘The apostles replaced the signs of the zodiac, for as birth is governed by them, so rebirth is directed by the apostles’(5)

Such an early association is two pertinent to be ignored, and one must remember this as the discussion continues.

Like so many other Godmen, Horus too had twelve disciples, followers, accomplices or helpers. In the Pyramid and Coffin Texts we find frequent references to Horus and his Ennead or Enneads, which isn’t always connotative of nine Gods, on the contrary, such a term can be representative of twelve, as Horsley remarks:

‘The Ennead does not necessarily include nine Gods, as strange as that may seem. We have lists of the Gods that include up to twelve’(6)

However, such assertions may be regarded as vague and less direct, so instead of focusing on what a text may be asserting, lets take a look at a more explicit incident in which Horus is unquestionably portrayed as with twelve followers.

The Book of Amduat was compiled around the time of the New Kingdom, thus around a thousand years before Christianities inception. The book portrayed the Suns twelve hour journey through the night(7), only to return on the eastern horizon in the morning. Much like Hercules’ twelve labours, the book is comprised of the twelve hours of the night, with Amduat meaning the ‘netherworld’, or underworld.

In the seventh hour of the Book of Amduat, Horus is depicted as on his throne with 12 ‘star Gods’ in front of him(8), regarding this hour, Budge remarks:

‘On the right of the Boat of AFU-RA and facing it, are HORUS, and the twelve Gods of the hours, who protect the tombs of Osiris, and assist RA in his journey…’(9)

Thus the twelve followers of Horus are also protectors of Osiris, and ‘helpers’ of Ra, who aid him in his journey across the sky. Baedeker also made the same inference in regards to the seventh hour, in elucidating:

‘Horus, before whom are the twelve star-gods who conduct the Sun at night…’(10)

Indeed, Hornung even names this chapter ‘Horus enthroned before the twelve’. Furthering this theme of the Sun God being helped or aided by the twelve is in the Book of Caverns, which dates from around the 13th century BCE. Here we find the exact theme of the Sun God being towed in his boat by twelve other Gods, or twelve assistants, who each represent the twelve hours of the night, or the zodiac as previously outlined. In the Egyptian mythos is was said that at night, when the Sun vanished in the western horizon, the Sun God sailed in his boat to the east, to return in the morning; whence we find Ra, or Horus, in a boat.

Let us return to the book of Amduat, in which we find a further association of Horus with twelve others. In the tenth hour, Horus is depicted as leaning on his staff (which incidentally, will be brushed upon later when covering Horus’ epithet as ‘the Good Shepherd’) and leading the twelve deceased to their salvation.(11) Interestingly enough, Horus is said to lead these ‘lost souls’ to a ‘posthumous existence’(12) as Hornung puts it, which is not to dissimilar from those who believe in Jesus reaping eternal life(13). Thus Horus is the Saviour and Leader of twelve followers – unquestionably.

The Book of Gates is another pre-Christian source, much like the Book of Amduat, in that it portrays the Suns journey at night through twelve gates representing the night time hours, incidentally; the Sun God is frequently portrayed as with twelve others, such as in the third hour, of which Budge declares:

‘On the right hand of the boat of the God are twelve holy Gods of the Tuat, each in his shrine, with the doors open, and twelve Gods of the lakes of fire…’(14)

The fourth hour increases the Christian likeness, as Horus is depicted as leading twelve other figures. Osiris is also pictured doing the same, however he is presented with four other Gods too(15), much like Jesus, with his twelve disciples and four brothers.(16)

However, such motifs do not stop there, as in the fifth hour, Horus is depicted as the ‘steersman at the rudder’(17), signalling his leadership over his disciples, or followers, who are twelve in number. He addresses twelve men, whom ‘bear ladders’(18), thus it could be said that they help Horus. The seventh hour is also of the same theme, of which Budge states:

‘…In the centre is the boat of the Sun God being towed along, presumably by four Gods of the Tuat as before. Marching in front of those who tow the boat are twelve Gods with sceptres’(19)

It has been demonstrated abundantly that such an association of Horus with twelve others, of whom he leads was widely known and accepted in Egypt. It should be noted, that the twelve disciples of Jesus also appear to be older Gods of previous cultures that have been denoted to mere disciples as opposed to God men. This is just food for thought; however, I shall be posting videos on such a thing in the future.

In closing, if Horus is the Sun, and thus associated with the twelve hours of day, and/or night, of which are representations of the Zodiac, and had twelve followers or disciples, would it be so far fetched as to assert the same is legitimate for Jesus? We brush aside the idea of Horus’ historicity as lunacy; yet why don’t we do the same for Jesus, when both appear to share the same characteristics? It’s important to ask yourself such questions, with an honest, and open heart.

(1) Josephus/Winston, p75
(2) Philo/Duke, p99
(3) Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 2.21
(4) Legge, FRC, p152
(5) Excerpta ex Theodota, 1.25.2; Grant, AC, p62
(6) Horsley, HEGPH, p66
(7) Hornung, AEBA, p33
(8) Hornung, AEBA, p39, p48
(9) Budge, EHH, III, p85, p153
(10) Baedeker, EHT, p275
(11) Hornung, VK, p138, p144; Hornung, AEBA, p40, p51
(12) Hornung, AEBA, p40
(13) Jn 3:15; Tim 1:16
(14) Budge, GE, I, p182; Hornung, AEBA, p59, p61, p68 (Hornung uses the Tomb of Ramses IV to illustrate this hour, whereas Budge uses the Tomb of Seti. Budge’s interpretation isn’t incorrect, he’s interpreting different versions; whence the differentiations)
(15) Budge, GE, I, p184; Hornung, AEBA, p60, p69
(16) Mt 13:55
(17) Armour, GMAE, p60
(18) Budge, GE, I, p118; Hornung, AEBA, p62, p60
(19) Budge, GE, I, p191-192

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