An article on the similarities between the Ma’at law or Ma’at rule and the Ten Commandments of the Bible. Ma’at is the goddess of justice of ancient Egypt.
See also our article: The Sumerian and Egyptian origin of the Bible, the evidence
The goddess Maat
Maat, also known as Ma’at or Mayet, was a goddess of the ancient Egyptian religion who represented truth, justice, balance and morality.
Daughter of the Egyptian deity of the sun Ra and wife of the moon god Thoth, she was a kind of spirit of justice for the Egyptians.
In the weighing of the soul, Maat, as light as a feather, is the counterweight of the heart, which must be as light as it is for the ka, the soul of the deceased, to be able to access the world of the blessed.
She is represented by a woman wearing the ostrich feather or simply by the feather itself.
In later times, “ma’am” also means truth or right self-knowledge.
The first writings in which it is mentioned date back to the Ancient Kingdom of Egypt, more than 2,300 years ago.
Maat’s law or the 42 commandments
The law of Ma’at can be found in chapter 125 of the Ancient Egyptians’ Book of the Dead, also called the “42 laws of Ma’at”, the “declaration of innocence” or the “negative confessions”.
The one who is righteous, who lives in the constant application of the laws of the Ma’at is called Maakheru.
This is the case, for example, of some temple high priests.
Hail to you, great god, master of the two Maats!
I have come to you, O my master, having been brought to see your perfection.
Here I have come to you and brought you what is fair, I have driven away inequity for you.
I didn’t do anything wrong.
I did not blaspheme God.
I did not oppose a god in his processional outings.
I did not treat the God of my city with contempt.
I didn’t curse the king.
I have not committed any sins in the Truth Square.
I didn’t try to know what’s not to know.
I didn’t mistreat people.
I didn’t act badly.
I didn’t pollute the water.
I didn’t act insolement.
I have not committed iniquity among men.
I didn’t hurt anyone. I didn’t curse
My name has not reached the functions of a slave leader.
I did not serve a slave with his master.
I have not impoverished a poor person in his goods.
I didn’t hurt. I didn’t starve. I didn’t make people cry. I didn’t kill.
I didn’t order to kill.
I didn’t provoke a fight.
I did not commit any acts of violence.
I didn’t raise my voice while speaking.
I didn’t commit theft.
I didn’t start a day that received a commission from the people who were supposed to work for me.
I have not increased my assets except through my own assets.
I have not reduced food offerings in temples.
I did not defile the breads of the gods.
I did not steal the patties of the blessed.
I didn’t forget the days of meat offerings.
I did not divert cattle from the god’s meal.
I did not remove the milk from the mouths of small children.
I have not deprived small livestock of their grassland.
I did not trap birds from the gods’ reed beds.
I didn’t catch fish from their lagoons.
I didn’t cut to the bushel.
I have not reduced the aroure.
I didn’t cheat on the fields.
I didn’t add to the weight of the scale.
I didn’t distort the scale scale.
I didn’t retain water in his house.
I didn’t oppose a dike to running water.
I have not put out a fire in its ardor.
I did not act fraudulently.
I didn’t spy
I didn’t pronounce a lie.
I didn’t use deception.
I didn’t slander.
I didn’t sleep with another woman.
I have not done what is abominable to the gods.
I was not a pederast.
I did not fornicate in the holy places of the god of my city.
I didn’t act impurely or sleep with men.
I was not an angry man.
I have not been deaf to the expression of the truth.
I didn’t act hastily.
I didn’t work for honors.
I am pure, I am pure, I am pure, I am pure, I am pure !
The Ten Commandments
The similar commands are in bold and blue.
Then God spoke all these words:
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
I – You will not have any other gods before my face.
II – You shall not make yourself an engraved image, nor any representation of the things which are in the heavens above, which are in the earth below, and which are in the waters below the earth.
You shall not bow down before them, nor serve them; for I am the Lord your God, a jealous God, who punishes the iniquity of the fathers upon the children until the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, and has mercy on them until a thousand generations, who love me and keep my commandments.
III – You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain; for the Lord shall not hold innocent him who takes his name in vain.
IV – Remember the day of rest, to sanctify it.
You’ll work six days, and you’ll do all your work.
But the seventh day is the day of rest of the Lord your God: you shall do no work, neither you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your servant, nor your handmaid, nor your cattle, nor the stranger who is within your gates.
V – Honor your father and mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land that the Lord your God gives you.
VI – You will not kill.
VII – You will not commit adultery.
VIII – You will not steal point.
IX – You will not bear false witness against your neighbor.
X – You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, his servant, his servant, his ox, his ass, or any thing that belongs to your neighbor.