The Book of Dead and the Ten Commandments
The Hebrew Ten Commandments and Egyptian Book of the Dead are considered very different religious texts. Therefore, in the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy, the Ten Commandments hold a vital position in the ethical system of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It served as a symbol of God’s guidance and presence with his people (“Ten Commandments”). Ten Commandments is much important than the book of dead because there’s no life after deaf. Firstly, The Ten Commandments and the Book of the Dead are words written for people to obey.
The Ten Commandments are ten statements Christians live their lives by, while the Book of the Dead contains spells that aid the soul in navigating the underworld. In Christian religion, the Ten Commandments serve as a summary of the divine law given to Moses by God. After leading his people out of slavery, Moses and his followers came upon Mt. Sinai. Scaling this mountain, he received the Law which would form the basis of God’s Covenant with Israel.
The purpose was to practice a life of obedience and dedication to God in order for spiritual salvation to be achieved. Secondly, The Ten Commandments serve as a template for people to use as a model for their life. For the Egyptians, the Book of the Dead isn’t so much a religious set of laws, but more as a traveler’s guide through the underworld. The Egyptians believed that, though death was inevitable, it was also survivable. To navigate the underworld, spells written in the Book of the Dead were used by the soul of the decease.
The Book contains a list of statements that bear a resemblance to the Ten Commandments, both in nature and phrasing. The souls of the dead were required to pass two different tests. The first was the weighing of their heart against the feather of Truth. If they passed this test, then they moved on to the second. It required the deceased to recite a negative confession at the Hall of Two Truths (“Book of the Dead”). A negative confession includes the use of the phrase “I have not . . . This is strikingly similar to the “Thou shall not . . . ” phrasing of the Ten Commandments. For example, “I have not reviled the God” is synonymous to “Thou shall not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. ”I have not killed; I have not turned anyone over to a killer may be linked to Thou shall not kill” (Exodus).
However, though Christians remain faithful to only one God, “the Egyptians believed in a myriad of gods and goddesses” (Roth Ruth). The negative confessions are coupled with the naming of 42 gods. Hail Flame”, “Hail Shining-Tooth”, “and Hail Neheb-kau” (Wikipedia). The second major difference is that the concept of a Sabbath Day is not mentioned in the Book of the Dead. In conclusion, we can say that the book of dead borrowed the concept of the Ten Commandments. Comparing a translation of the Book with the King James Version of Exodus, both texts prove to be very similar. But substantial differences such as god-worship and religious holidays serve as stumbling blocks in this theory because “before deaf there was life”( Wikipedia).