Negative Confessions

The History of Egypt for Kids - Negative Confessions

The Civilization, Culture & History of Ancient Egypt and facts about the 42 Negative Confessions

Ancient Egyptians

Ancient Egyptians - Negative Confessions
A comprehensive guide and fact sheet about the 42 Negative Confessions. Discover fascinating facts and information about ancient Egypt and Negative Confessions.
 

The 'Declaration of Innocence' consisted of a series of denials referred to as 'Negative Confessions' 

The  'Negative Confessions' contained in the Book of the Dead
The Hall of Judgement in the Underworld (Duat)
The names of the 42 'Assessor Gods', or judges
List and Text of the 42 'Negative Confessions'
The names of the 42 gods and text of each negative confession
The Negative Confessions and the Ten Commandments
An overview of the Negative Confessions in the Book of the Dead

Ancient Egyptians - Negative Confessions
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Hall of Judgement - The Negative Confessions
The 'Book of the Dead' is not a single book, like the Bible, it consisted of texts taken from the Coffin Texts and the Pyramid texts. There were many different versions of the 'Book of the Dead'. Wealthy Egyptians commissioned scribes to create a personalized version of the 'Book of the Dead' in which his name was inserted. Other 'Ready-written' versions could also be purchased with spaces for the name of the deceased to be entered. The following text, that describes the 42 judges or Assessor gods and a list of Negative Confessions are taken from the Papyrus of Ani, an ancient Egyptian scribe who commissioned a personalized version of the 'Book of the Dead'.
 

Negative Confessions Fact Sheet

Fact 1 Negative Confessions:

The ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead was a protective 'Guide to the Afterlife' that included text providing the correct ways to address the 42 gods of the Underworld (Duat)
 

Fact 2 Negative Confessions:

The ancient Egyptians believed that the soul consisted of different entities including the Ka, Ba and Akhu. The part of the souls called the Ka was the life-force, the double and spiritual essence of the person, the Ba was the roaming physical essence of the soul and the Akhu was a divine spark that emerged when the Ka and Ba were united.
 

Fact 3 Negative Confessions:

The Ba was the part of the soul represented by a bird with a human head, depicted in pictures called vignettes in different versions of the Book of the Dead.
 

Fact 4 Negative Confessions:

The soul entered the Hall of Judgement, called the Hall of Double Justice or the Hall of the Two Truths where the earthly life was examined by 42 'Assessor Gods' or judges. each of the gods required a 'Declaration of Innocence' from specific crimes and wrong doings.
 

Fact 5 Negative Confessions:

Each of the 42 'Assessor Gods', or judges, required a 'Declaration of Innocence' or 'Negative Confessions' from specific crimes and offences.
 

Fact 6 Negative Confessions:

The 'spells' numbered 125 and 126 contained in the 'Book of the Dead' explained the correct words to use persuade each of the 42 'Assessor Gods' or judges that they had committed no evil nor transgressed any laws.
 

Fact 7 Negative Confessions:

Success allowed for entry into the 'House of Reeds' (the Egyptian paradise).
 

Fact 8 Negative Confessions:

Failure to persuade the 42 'Assessor Gods' that they had lived a life without sin, to answer questions correctly, or use the appropriate responses would result in this part of the soul being given to the goddess Ammit the "soul-eater", preventing all elements of the soul being united.
 

Fact 9 Negative Confessions:

The negative confessions, or 'Declaration of Innocence', consisted of denials such as "I have not killed, I have not robbed, "I have not cheated" and I have not lied".
 

Fact 10 Negative Confessions:

The protestation of innocence, or 'Negative Confessions', combined with the magic of knowing the correct names and the origins of the 42 Assessor Gods, or judges, would persuade them not to press with any accusations that might ruin the chance of perfect, eternal life in the 'House of Reeds'.
 

Negative Confessions Fact Sheet

 

The Ba, part of the soul represented by a bird with a human head

Judgement in the Hall of Truths, taken from the Papyrus of Ani Book of the Dead

The Ba, part of the soul represented by
a bird with a human head
Judgement in the Hall of Truths, from the Papyrus of Ani depicting the Ba

42 Negative Confessions
Discover fast, interesting fun facts about 'Declaration of Innocence' that consisted of a series of denials referred to as 'Negative Confessions'. Ideal for children, homework, schools, teachers and kids of all ages! Find fascinating facts about the 42 Negative Confessions for kids and the history, culture and religious beliefs of the ancient Egyptians and ancient Egypt. Interesting, fun facts about the 42 Negative Confessions for research, schools, students and kids of all ages.

 

The Ancient Egyptians

 

42 Negative Confessions
Learn about the 42 Negative Confessions the fast and easy way via the Negative Confessions Fact sheet.
 

Negative Confessions Fact Sheet

Fact 11 Negative Confessions:

The 'Book of the Dead' is not a single book, like the Bible or the Koran.
 

Fact 12 Negative Confessions:

There is no single definitive version of the 'Book of the Dead' - there are a number of different versions
 

Fact 13 Negative Confessions:

The 'Book of the Dead' was the product of a long process of evolution from the Pyramid texts, the Coffin Texts that became fully evolved in the New Kingdom.
 

Fact 14 Negative Confessions:

Wealthy Egyptians could select different parts of the texts, or chapters, and would commission scribes to create a 'personalized' Book of the Dead. Other versions were 'ready-made' versions with gaps to fill in the name of the deceased.
 

Fact 15 Negative Confessions:

The most famous example of the texts are contained in a papyrus called the Book of Ani. Ani was a high ranking, scribe who served the royal family. The 'Negative Confessions' or 'Declaration of Innocence', taken from the Papyrus of Ani, are detailed below.
 

Fact 16 Negative Confessions:

The 'Negative Confessions' or 'Declaration of Innocence' from the Book of Ani took the form of several elements: A salutation, the name of the god, where the god came from and finally the declaration of innocence from the specific crime that the god judged.
 

Fact 17 Negative Confessions:

Ani would have studied the Book of the Dead before he died and a copy of the text would be buried with him so he could use it as a memory jogger to the essential spells he would need when travelling through the terrifying obstacles he would encounter in the Underworld (Duat).
 

Fact 18 Negative Confessions:

There were therefore different versions of negative confessions.
 

Negative Confessions Fact Sheet

Negative Confessions - Simplified Version of the Declaration of Innocence
The following list contains a simplified version of negative confessions providing examples of what was required in the mortal life of an ancient Egyptian.

Negative Confessions
The Declaration of Innocence

I have not killed anyone
I have not committed evil
I have not wronged my family
I have not consorted with evil people
I have not committed acts of repugnance
I have not done less than duty requires
I have not attempted to gain undeserved honors
I have not exploited anyone
I have not treated any Deity with disrespect
 
I have not defrauded anyone
I have not done what the Deities abominate
I have not caused anyone to suffer
I have not allowed anyone to go hungry
I have not caused anyone to weep
I have not stolen offerings intended for the temple
I have not cheated in the measuring of grain
I have not trespassed upon the fields of others
I have not neglected to make temple offerings

Book of the Dead - Obstacles in the Underworld

Negative Confessions and the Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments are similar in content to the Negative Confessions or the 'Declaration of Innocence' contained in Spell 125 in the Book of the Dead. This had led to speculation that Moses was influenced by these during his upbringing as a prince in ancient Egypt. The Ten Commandments are a set of biblical laws relating to ethics, morality and worship, which play a fundamental role in Christianity and Judaism. The Ten Commandments listed in Exodus 20 and are also found in Deuteronomy 5 of the Bible. The Ten Commandments are taken from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

The Ten Commandments

1. You shall have no other gods before me.
2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image
3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
5. Honor your father and your mother
6. You shall not murder.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10. You shall not covet anything that is your neighbor's
 

Negative Confessions

Facts and Information about the 42 Negative Confessions

Negative Confessions

The people, places, culture and civilization of ancient Egypt

Facts and information about Ancient Egypt & the Egyptians

Negative Confessions for kids and schools

Negative Confessions  for kids, schools, homework and research

 

Hall of Judgement - The Negative Confessions
Little is known of the greater number of the 42 gods, but it is likely that they were local gods, each one representing a nome, whose names were added to the declarations with the view of making the 42 Judges represent all of Egypt.

Papyrus of Ani Book of the Dead - Baboon sat on top of the scales whilst Thoth, the scribe takes notes
 

Names of the 42 Judges & the 42 Negative Confessions

1. Hail, Usekh-nemmt, who comest forth from Anu, I have not committed sin.

2. Hail, Hept-khet, who comest forth from Kher-aha, I have not committed robbery with violence.

3. Hail, Fenti, who comest forth from Khemenu, I have not stolen.

4. Hail, Am-khaibit, who comest forth from Qernet, I have not slain men and women.

5. Hail, Neha-her, who comest forth from Rasta, I have not stolen grain.

6. Hail, Ruruti, who comest forth from heaven, I have not pilfered offerings.

7. Hail, Arfi-em-khet, who comest forth from Suat, I have not stolen the property of God.

8. Hail, Neba, who comest and goest, I have not uttered lies.

9. Hail, Set-qesu, who comest forth from Hensu, I have not carried away food.

10. Hail, Utu-nesert, who comest forth from Het-ka-Ptah, I have not uttered curses.

11. Hail, Qerrti, who comest forth from Amentet, I have not committed adultery, I have not lain with men.

12. Hail, Her-f-ha-f, who comest forth from thy cavern, I have made none to weep.

13. Hail, Basti, who comest forth from Bast, I have not eaten the heart.

14. Hail, Ta-retiu, who comest forth from the night, I have not attacked any man.

15. Hail, Unem-snef, who comest forth from the execution chamber, I am not a man of deceit.

16. Hail, Unem-besek, who comest forth from Mabit, I have not stolen cultivated land.

17. Hail, Neb-Maat, who comest forth from Maati, I have not been an eavesdropper.

18. Hail, Tenemiu, who comest forth from Bast, I have not slandered.

19. Hail, Sertiu, who comest forth from Anu, I have not been angry without just cause.

20. Hail, Tutu, who comest forth from Ati, I have not debauched the wife of any man.

21. Hail, Uamenti, who comest forth from the Khebt chamber, I have not debauched the wife of [any] man.

22. Hail, Maa-antuf, who comest forth from Per-Menu, I have not polluted myself.

23. Hail, Her-uru, who comest forth from Nehatu, I have terrorized none.

24. Hail, Khemiu, who comest forth from Kaui, I have not transgressed [the law].

25. Hail, Shet-kheru, who comest forth from Urit, I have not been wroth [wrongful].

26. Hail, Nekhenu, who comest forth from Heqat, I have not shut my ears to the words of truth.

27. Hail, Kenemti, who comest forth from Kenmet, I have not blasphemed.

28. Hail, An-hetep-f, who comest forth from Sau, I am not a man of violence.

29. Hail, Sera-kheru, who comest forth from Unaset, I have not been a stirrer up of strife.

30. Hail, Neb-heru, who comest forth from Netchfet, I have not acted with undue haste.

31. Hail, Sekhriu, who comest forth from Uten, I have not pried into matters.

32. Hail, Neb-abui, who comest forth from Sauti, I have not multiplied my words in speaking.

33. Hail, Nefer-Tem, who comest forth from Het-ka-Ptah, I have wronged none, I have done no evil.

34. Hail, Tem-Sepu, who comest forth from Tetu, I have not worked witchcraft against the king.

35. Hail, Ari-em-ab-f, who comest forth from Tebu, I have never stopped [the flow of] water.

36. Hail, Ahi, who comest forth from Nu, I have never raised my voice.

37. Hail, Uatch-rekhit, who comest forth from Sau, I have not cursed God.

38. Hail, Neheb-ka, who comest forth from thy cavern, I have not acted with arrogance.

39. Hail, Neheb-nefert, who comest forth from thy cavern, I have not stolen the bread of the gods.

40. Hail, Tcheser-tep, who comest forth from the shrine, I have not carried away the khenfu cakes from the Spirits of the dead.

41. Hail, An-af, who comest forth from Maati, I have not snatched away the bread of the child, nor treated with contempt the god of my city.

42. Hail, Hetch-abhu, who comest forth from Ta-she, I have not slain the cattle belonging to the god.
 

Names of the 42 Judges & the 42 Negative Confessions

Gods of The Underworld

Negative Confessions
Learning about the ancient Egyptians and Negative Confessions inspires everyone to visit historical sites and undertake Egypt Travel and Tours to experience the wonders of this magical land at first hand. Many people choose to experience a tour of Egypt on a Nile Cruise stopping at the famous destinations and sites of Egypt such as Cheops Great Pyramid at Giza. The information and facts about the 'Declaration of Innocence' and Negative Confessions will provide with a great insight into Egypt and the legacy of the ancient Egyptians.

Negative Confessions

 

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