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  • It was a feast like Egypt had never seen before.

  • The warrior god Set and his wife, the goddess Nephtys,

  • decorated an extravagant hall for the occasion,

  • with a beautiful wooden chest as the centerpiece.

  • They invited all the most important gods, dozens of lesser deities,

  • and foreign monarchs.

  • But no one caused as big a stir as Set and Nephtys's older brother Osiris,

  • the god who ruled all of Egypt and had brought prosperity to everyone.

  • Set announced a game

  • whoever could fit perfectly in the chest could have it as a gift.

  • One by one, the guests clambered in, but no one fit.

  • Finally, it was Osiris's turn.

  • As he lay down, everyone could see it was a perfect fit

  • another win for the god who could do no wrong.

  • Then Set slammed the lid down with Osiris still inside, sealed it shut,

  • and tossed it into the Nile.

  • The chest was a coffin.

  • Set had constructed it specifically to trap his brother

  • and planned the party to lure him into it.

  • Set had long been jealous of his brother's successful reign,

  • and hoped to replace him as the ruler of all Egypt.

  • The Nile bore the coffin out to sea and it drifted for many days

  • before washing ashore near Byblos, where a great cedar grew around it.

  • The essence of the god within gave the tree a divine aura,

  • and when the king of Byblos noticed it,

  • he ordered the tree cut down and brought to his palace.

  • Unbeknownst to him,

  • the coffin containing Egypt's most powerful god was still inside.

  • Set's victory seemed complete, but he hadn't counted on his sisters.

  • Set's wife Nephtys was also his sister,

  • while their other sister, the goddess Isis,

  • was married to their brother Osiris.

  • Isis was determined to find Osiris,

  • and enlisted Nephtys's help behind Set's back.

  • The two sisters took the shape of falcons and travelled far and wide.

  • Some children who had seen the coffin float by

  • pointed them to the palace of Byblos.

  • Isis adopted a new disguise and approached the palace.

  • The queen was so charmed by the disguised goddess

  • that she entrusted her with nursing the baby prince.

  • Isis decided to make the child immortal by bathing him in flame.

  • When the horrified queen came upon this scene,

  • Isis revealed herself and demanded the tree.

  • When she cut the coffin from the trunk and opened it,

  • Osiris was dead inside.

  • Weeping, she carried his body back to Egypt and hid it in a swamp,

  • while she set off in search of a means of resurrecting him.

  • But while she was gone,

  • Set found the body and cut it into many pieces,

  • scattering them throughout Egypt.

  • Isis had lost Osiris for the second time, but she did not give up.

  • She searched all over the land, traveling in a boat of papyrus.

  • One by one, she tracked down the parts

  • of her husband's dismembered body in every province of Egypt,

  • holding a funeral for each piece.

  • At long last, she had recovered every piece but one

  • his penis, which a fish in the Nile had eaten.

  • Working with what she had, Isis reconstructed and revived her husband.

  • But without his penis, Osiris was incomplete.

  • He could not remain among the living,

  • could not return to his old position as ruler of Egypt.

  • Instead, he would have to rule over Duat, the realm of the dead.

  • Before he went, though, he and Isis conceived a son to bear Osiris's legacy

  • and one day, avenge him.

It was a feast like Egypt had never seen before.

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The Egyptian myth of the death of Osiris - Alex Gendler

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/12/01
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