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Book of the Dead Chapter 38A (picture)

Source for the composition: before the New Kingdom (about 1550-1069 BC), phrases in chapter 38A occur in a number of funerary compositions on the walls of early Middle Kingdom coffins ('Coffin Texts', numbers 143, 153, 173 (end), 423, 437, 438). The version in the papyrus of Hepres (UC 71000) presents phrases in a different order to that found in other New Kingdom manuscripts, either because the copyist garbled what he saw (from the reversal of orientation?) or because he intended a different sequence. An early version may be cited from the shrouds of Ahmose-Henuttjemehu, Ipu and Mentuhotep, buried in the Valley of the Queens at Thebes (the fragments are in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, and published by Irmtraut Munro).

ink itm pr m nwn r Hms HAyt
iw Ssp.n.i st.i nt imntt wD.i mdw Axw
imn st Axw m Axt rwty iry.i pXr.i n hnhn
anx.i im sxm.i im anx.i m TAw n anx
sSm.i wiA n ra/r n tA sn.n.f sbAw gb
iT.n.i imyw iH wr sSm.n(.i) imyw kAriw.sn
snsn(.i) Hr stx sb.n.i wrw Hr.i …htt.i
hA.i r-gs ra/r wiA n nb mAat tr.n.i … psd.f m Axt
anx.i m-xt mwt mi ra ra nb wsr.i rwty
anx.i m-xt mwt mi ra ra nb/
mdw m mxrw … n ra wD mdw … rwty anx

I am Atum who emerges from Nun to the seat of the flood
I have taken my place of the West, and commanded the Blessed Dead
Hidden of place, blessed in transcendence of Ruty, I achieve the circuit of the flood
I live by it, I have power by it, I live by the breath of life
I guide the boat of Ra, it has passed the gates of Geb
I have taken those who are in the camp of the Great God
I have guided those who are in their shrines
I have mingled with Horus and Seth, I have directed the great ones to me
My throat cannot be blocked
I descend to the boat of Ra, I greet those who are in the Morning Boat,
As a follower of Ra at his back in the horizon
I live after death every day, I am powerful as Ruty
I live, I live, after death like Ra every day


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