Khepri Egyptian God of Rebirth

Khepri Egyptian God of Rebirth

Khepri Egyptian God is one of the most famous figures of the whole Egyptian culture. It’s represented by the form of a dung beetle, or a scarab, if you’d prefer. Egyptians saw how the scarab rolled around the ball of dung and associated it with the movement of the sun across the sky. This solar connection was enhanced by the fact that the ball fits perfectly between the beetle’s antennas. This makes it look like a deity’s solar disk.

One myth suggested that Khepri pushed the sun across the sky. Egyptians believed that Khepri pushed the sun ahead of him constantly, without stopping. Every night, he would go into the Underworld, and every morning he would rise.  The word “kheper” means “to emerge” or “to come into being”.

The female scarab places the eggs into the dung, from which they emerge. Thus, people thought that the scarab came from nothingness. This is how Khepri Egyptian God received the role of rebirth and resurrection. He even has a central role in the “book of the dead”. People even placed scarab amulets over the hearts of the deceased. They thought that the amulets would make the heart heavier during the final judgement.

Khepri Egyptian God of RebirthKhepri Egyptian God of Rebirth

Khepri also had the role of a sun god, sometimes embodying the sun itself. More particularly, the sun at day break. This is when it emerged from the underworld. People associated him with Atum, the creator god. In funerary texts, Atum and Khepri merged together into a ram-headed beetle, the ultimate symbol of life and death.

Archaeologists did not manage to find any temple dedicated to Khepri, however. In spite of this, he was present in the majority of temples anyway. It was either under the form of a statue or as a symbol, maybe an amulet. The scarab amulet was one of the most popular accessories. Pharaohs loved its symbolism and even incorporated his name into their own.

 

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