Khnum Egyptian God – Protector of All Waters

Khnum Egyptian God – Protector of All Waters

Khnum Egyptian god was one of the most ancient gods of Egypt. His worship was popular as early as the Predynastic Period. References from the Pyramid Texts of Unas confirm that his worship existed even at that stage. However, it seems that the cult of Ra rose to dominance at that time and Khnum was pushed to the sidelines.

Khnum was originally a water god who ruled over all water. This included the rivers and lakes in the Underworld too. People associated him with the source of the Nile. He was the one that ensured the Nile deposited enough silt onto the river banks to make them fertile.  The silt also offered clay, the raw material that people used to make pottery. As a result, people associated Khnum with the art of pottery.

According to one creation myth, Khnum molded everything on his potter wheel, including both the people and the other gods. In certain myths, he was the one that created the “First Egg” from which the sun was born. Khnum Egyptian god also created the spirit of each new child, and he could offer them blessings.

Khnum Egyptian God – Protector of All WatersKhnum Egyptian God – Protector of All Waters

After each child was born, Khnum gave them the gift of “health”. His symbol was the ram, which was a very potent animal. Therefore, Khnum was associated with fertility. Khnum was one of the gods who help Ra on his perilous nocturnal journey through the underworld. He also created the boat which carried Ra and helped him defend the sun god against the evil serpent Apep.

His name derives from the root khnem, “to join, to unite,” and with khnem, “to build”. Astronomically, the name also refers to the “conjunction” of the sun and moon at stared seasons of the year. As a water god he was sometimes named “KebH”, meaning “purify”. He appears as either a ram, a man with a ram’s head or a man with ram horns.

He often wears the plumed white crown of Upper Egypt and holds a jar with water flowing out of it. This is an indication of his link with the sources of the Nile.



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