The Egyptian Hall of Maat is where the judgment of the dead was performed in the afterlife
- It is also known as the "Hall of the Two Truths"
- Unlike Semitic Religions, Egyptians had no concept of a general judgment day when all those who had lived in the world should receive rewards and punishment for their deeds; on the contrary each soul was dealt with individually, and was either permitted to pass into the kingdom of Osiris, or was destroyed straightway.
- First the soul recites the ritual confession, known as the 42 negative confessions, claiming to be guiltless of the offences which are punishable. Sins included doing evil to mankind, theft, fraud, murder, inflicting pain, committing adultery and insulting the gods
Excerpt from the 42 Negative Confessions - see Complete Book of Dead for detailed information
I have done no evil against any man, plotted to make another grieve, caused death, hunger, or weep to others
I never gave false witnesses in law courts.
I have not done that which is hated by the gods, or obstructed a god image when he came forward in a festival procession.
I have not taken away temple offerings, stinted the food offered to the gods or snared the birds consecrated to the gods
I have never committed adultery.
I have not lessened the corn measure, or tampered with the balance.
I have not deprived children of milk.
I have not stolen cattle from the meadows.
I have not taken fish from holy lakes, or prevented the temple cattle from grazing on my land.
I have not prevented the Nile water from running in channels, or stolen water from a channel.
- The judgment was done by weighing one's heart (conscience) against the feather of Maat (truth and justice).
- If the heart was as light as a feather and nearly weightlessness, that indicated that the deceased soul was not burdened with sin and evil
Anubis leading the Dead to the scales of Maat
- Anubis weights the heart against the feather to see if he is worthy of joining the ancient gods in the Field of Reeds.
- Ammut is also present, a daemon is waiting to devour the deceased's heart should he prove unworthy, that meant the end of the soul with no chance for a further existence.
- Thoth pronounced the deeds and sins for the dead person, standing to the right of the scales, and recording the results.
- The trembling soul cries out to his heart not to witness against him. "O heart that was mine, permit me not to be wronged in presence of Osiris "
- Having passed this test the Dead is now lead by Horus to meet the King of the dead, Osiris.
- The throne of Osiris rests on a pool of water from which a lotus flower is growing, His crown is upon his head, he holds the crook and flail
- Upon the lotus stand The Four Sons of Horus
- Behind the throne stands Isis and her sister Nephthys.
- Osiris, the king of the Underworld, performs the final judgment of the Dead, to determine if the deceased was worthy to enter his realm of in the Field of Reeds.
- Having won the victory," the King of the Dead exclaims. "Now let him dwell with the souls in Aalu."