Esoteric Egyptian in Facsimile No. 2

The Prophet Joseph Smith filled in the lacunae (missing portions) of the Shishaq (Sheshonq) Hypocephalus with characters copied from the first lines of the Hor Book of Breathings, small Sensen papyrus. In other words, Joseph inserted characters, copied from a separate Egyptian funerary work, into missing portions of a Book of the Dead talismanic disc; drawn on what Joseph described as “the Large cut” of papyrus (now missing). Many of the same characters had been transcribed years before into the margins of Book of Abraham manuscripts. It’s as if the Egyptian characters were intended to correspond to particular paragraphs of the English Book of Abraham narrative.

On the upper right-hand rim of the Joseph Smith Hypocephalus (made whole under the Prophet’s direction), you will see a sampling of symbols that I believe were intended  to represent characters from line 1 of the Small Sensen papyrus - Hor Book of Breathings:

from Hor Book of Breathings line 1

On the upper right hand rim of Facsimile 2 - see characters from line 1 of the Hor Book of Breathings

Inserted Hieratic

Facsimile 2 - highlighted characters copied from the Sensen papyrus, Hor Book of Breathings

 

The Sensen papyrus is written in hieratic, a kind of Egyptian shorthand. Here is how the sample of characters from line 1 appear in the Sensen text, Hor Book of Breathings (next):

S12

On the rim of the hypocephalus, these first characters are placed next to characters copied from line 2 of the same funerary text. The set of characters copied from line 2 appear as follows on the rim:

from Hor Book of Breathings line 2

Here is how the line 2 sample appears in the Hor Book of Breathings (next):

S19

The copied line 1, and line 2 samples are made to appear very similar to each other on the rim  (Facsimile 2). In fact, Brother Reuben Hedlock, who carved the woodblock for printing the hypocephalus (for the Times and Season newspaper), could have easily confused elements of the two sets of characters. Brother Hedlock made it almost appear as if the same set of characters were repeated twice – redundantly! But look more closely, and you may convince yourself that the two samples are not the same. Brother Hedlock, with his carving tools, did a commendable job imitating Egyptian characters that he did not understand.

The characters grafted into the damaged hypocephalus, are deliberately inverted with respect to the original hieroglyphic text. It’s as if the Prophet Joseph wanted to further distinguish, or set apart the copied hieratic from the original hieroglyphic text.

The characters are not there just for show! If they were for artistic display only, Brother Hedlock could have more conveniently copied neighboring hieroglyphs at random, from the hypocephalus, to fill in the lacunae.

So, does the imitation hieratic, inserted into Facsimile 2, tell a different story from the hieroglyphic part? Indeed it does; but the details are best kept hid from audiences whose sensibilities would be offended at some of the things the Ah meh strah ans (Joseph Smith’s esoteric Egyptians) saw in the symbols.

What follows is a proposed Ah-meh-strah-an reinterpretation of the groups of “hieratic” characters inserted in place of  the lacunae, on the right-hand rim of Facsimile 2.

Bordered in olive in the following presentations, are the copied hieratic characters seen in the margins of at least one 1835  manuscript of the Book of Abraham (W. W. Phelps and Warren Parrish scribes). These characters have been numbered in the order in which they appear in the manuscript. To the right of the copied characters is the actual hieratic (bordered in silver) as it appears in the Book of Breathings, or Sensen papyrus. Just below these images is the hieroglyphic equivalent of the hieratic characters – a service provided by Professor Hugh Nibley. (The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri an Egyptian Endowment, Second Edition, pp. 34-35)

From Hor Book of Breathings line 1:

(12) H12 S12

R12

Below  are more examples, from other Book of Abraham manuscripts, showing how this character sample was perceived by some early brethren of the Church:

from Frederick G. Williams manuscript from Warren Parrish manuscript

Below is the copied sample of characters (conflated with the similar looking set from line 2) as seen in the upper right hand rim of the redacted hypocephalus - the work of R. Hedlock (tasked by J. Smith Jr.):

from Hor Book of Breathings line 1

Proceeding from right to left (the same direction Hebrew is read), a proposed Ah--meh-strah-an reinterpretation of the characters follows:

The Eternal (יה) living (חי) The Eternal Living Lord Lordsu rush, rescued his quail chick (Avram)coilfrom the bird of prey Khonsu - Horus (khonsu, the bloodthirsty moon god, alternately Horus god of Par’oh)

Though the story is certainly different from what was originally on the hypocephalus, the theme of rescue is much the same. Consider Sederholm’s proposed prayer of rescue (restored hieroglyphic text, Figures 12 through 15 - right panels; discussed in Recovering the Missing Hieroglyphs on the Right Panels of LDS Book of Abraham Facsimile 2). What is more, the prayer that was originally on the rim (the hieroglyphic text that the above, and following “hieratic” symbols replace) also resonates with the theme of rescue. The lost hieroglyphic text likely read: “May the Osiris Shishaq [Sheshonq] be granted life.” (Rhodes, “The Joseph Smith Hypocephalus Seventeen Years Later”, pp. 3-4) The restored hieroglyphic text is of course pagan, whereas the interpretation of the “hieratic” symbols inclines curiously to the Hebraic.

It makes sense that the Prophet would begin to fill in the lacunae with a character sample corresponding to a place near the beginning of the Abram narrative; in this case, a sample of characters from line 1 of the Sensen papyrus. Unfortunately Brother Hedlock didn’t distinguish very well between character sample (12) from line 1, and sample (19) from line 2.  They looked a lot alike to him.

Character sample 12 is proximal to Abraham 1:16-19. For further explanation of the proposed Ah-meh-strah-an reinterpretation, see sample 12 in Esoteric Egyptian.

From Hor Book of Breathings line 2:

(19) H19 S19

R19

Below are more examples, from other Book of Abraham manuscripts, showing how this character sample was perceived by some early church brethren:

from Frederick G. Williams manuscript from Warren Parrish manuscript

What follows is the copied sample of characters appearing in the upper right hand edge of the redacted hypocephalus:

from Hor Book of Breathings line 2

Is it just a coincidence that the copied hieratic characters from Sensen line 2, happen to be one of the discrete sets of characters appearing in the margins of 1835 Book of Abraham manuscripts? It seems more likely that the groups of characters are intended to correlate in some way with the Abram narrative.

If so, these characters are certainly not to be read as standard hieratic. We could be dealing with a transtextual reinterpretation of hieratic characters - a type of “translation” known to an esoteric Egyptian order; whose members recognized the Hebrew God. (Yesha’Yahu (Is.) 19:21)

The Hor Book of Breathings is not the source of the much older Book of Abram. Nevertheless, elements from pagan funerary texts, like the Book of Breathings, can be converted so that they correlate with the revealed Sepher Avram (originally written on papyrus by Abram himself). This conversion is what the Ah-meh-strah-ans were all about.

Note the difficult to discern “father” bread bunbread bun, and “son” or “child” egg egg symbols seen at the end of hieratic sample (19) bread bun and egg - on the left. As a hieroglyph, the bread bun resembles a “hillhill. A Hebrew word for “mount” or “hill” is “har”. The egg resembles a gibbous moon. Is it too much to suggest that the Hebrew word for “egg”, “betsah” sounds somewhat like the Hebrew word for “home” or “house” - “baytah” or “bet”? (Bereshit (Gen.) 19:10) These Ah-meh-strah-an symbols can be related to Haran (mountaineer) son of Terah (the name possibly has to do with the moon) dwelling at Ur. But the symbols may just as appropriately be associated with hieratic sample (20):

(20) H20 S20

R20

Sample (20)  may be interpreted: Haranbread bun begategg a daughter (“Milkah”, “queen”, “goddess”). It should also be noted that “father”bread bun in Hebrew is “av”. “Height”, as in “hill”hill, in Hebrew, is “rum”. (Brown- Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew/Aramaic Lexicon, 7312, רוּם, רֻם , pg. 927) Combine these Hebrew words and what do you get?

The Ah-meh-strah-ans likely associated more than one potential meaning with a symbol, or set of symbols.

A proposed Ah--meh-strah-an reinterpretation of sample (19) follows:

The Eternal living God h, chy, ivisited Qanah (Kasdim, land of reeds arah, making bare in judgment) with the dust of his heel  - making bare Arah (Ur) arah, making bare. Haran son of Terah dwelt there.

Characters samples (19, 20) are proximal to Abraham 2:1-2. For further explanation of the proposed Ah-meh-strah-an reinterpretation, see samples (19, 20) in Esoteric Egyptian.

From Hor Book of Breathings line 3:

(24) H24 S24

R24

Below is the copied sample of characters appearing in the middle right hand edge of the redacted hypocephalus:

from Hor Book of Breathing line 3

A proposed Ah--meh-strah-an reinterpretation follows:

The “arms” of his “seed” will bear the “nes” (the sign”, the vertical “pole” vertical stroke sign, or “ensign”) of the horned venomous serpent to the nations (Bemidbar (Num.) 21:6-9, Yesha’Yahu (Is.) 5:26, 14:29) – to all “flesh flesh that will rise up and call him “father horned serpent– they who will but “face (Yesha’Yahu (Is.) 51:2), and pledge bymouthmouth.

Its important to note that hieratic sample (24) does not commence line 3 of the Hor Book of Breathings. There are other hieratic characters appearing on line 3 before it. So, do you think it is just coincidence that the line 3 samples, copied into the rim of the hypocephalus, begin and end with discrete hieratic samples associated with specific paragraphs of 1835 Book of Abraham manuscripts? Line 3 samples (24-26) were transposed entire, into the rim of the hypocephalus. Character sample 24 is proximal to Abraham 2:9-10. For further explanation of the proposed Ah-meh-strah-an reinterpretation, see sample 24 in Esoteric Egyptian.

From Hor Book of Breathings line 3:

(25) H25 S25

R25

Below  is the copied sample of characters appearing in the middle right hand edge of the redacted hypocephalus:

from Hor Book of Breathings line 3

A proposed Ah--meh-strah-an reinterpretation follows:

After he (Avram) sought with all his “hearthearthe who appeared “before har’El (“mount of God”, “altar of God” (YehezqEl (Ezek.) 43:15-16), wordplay with “lion of God”, Yesha’Yahu (Is.) 29:1, Divre Hayamim (1 Chr.) 11:22), he took up “nesvertical stroke sign(stave, pole) and departed Haran (pastoral highland, symbolized by the bread bun bread bun that resembles a  “har”, or hill hill. Note: Hebrew Haran is distinct from the Akkadian Haran spelled with a “het” ח).

Character sample 25 is proximal to Abraham 2:12-14. For further explanation of the proposed Ah-meh-strah-an reinterpretation, see sample 25 in Esoteric Egyptian

From Hor Book of Breathings line 3:

(26) H26 S26

R26

Below is Brother Hedlock’s carved simulation of the sample of characters (26) appearing in the middle to lower right hand edge of the redacted hypocephalus:

from Hor Book of Breathings line 3

A proposed Ah--meh-strah-an reinterpretation follows:

The “fleshflesh(“limb” or “neck”, Bereshit (Gen.) 2:24) of “fatherhorned serpent(Avram), and his sister/spouse (represented by the goddess whose name begins with “as”flesh); were joined in “Qanah” reed (land of “reeds”, a.k.a. land of the Kasdim, with possible wordplay with “qin’ah” (קִנְאָה) = “ardent love”. There is also here a possible play on words between “arah” (עָרָה) meaning “reed, make naked, lay bare” (Yesha’Yahu (Is.) 19:7) and “orah = moonlight”, “Ur” reed. The sound of “arah”, of course, occurs in “Sarah”.)

The “flesh”, “limb”, “neck” symbol has phonetic value “as”, as in “Asset” (throne goddess Isis); analogues here to Sarah. “Asset” (Isis) is married to her brother “Asir” (Osiris). Similarly “Sarah” (Princess) is married to her brother “Avraham” (Father of multitudes). (Bereshit (Gen.) 20:12)

Note the venomous horned serpenthorned serpent, capable of coiling coil. This Egyptian symbol for father, is far from intrinsically evil. Note the reproductive symbolism. (Bemidbar (Num.) 21:6-9)

The last symbols in sample (26) reiterate the theme of rescue, and seem to correlate with remaining parts of the previous section Abraham 2:12-14: coil = Avram. owl, mulak = Egyptian “mulak”, sounds like Hebrew “malakh” = messenger, “angel”; see sample (22). hillside = hillside (i.e. Har-Potiphera, “Potiphar’s Hill” by which the idolatrous altar of Elqanah stood; See Abraham 1:10; 20). mouth = mouth (i.e. voice of the Eternal). Thus:

Avram, was delivered by the messenger at the hillside (by which the altar of Elqanah stood). His prayer was heard, and he heard the the voice of the Eternal.

Character sample 26 is proximal to Abraham 2:15-16.  See sample 26 in Esoteric Egyptian.

From Hor Book of Breathings line 4:

(27) H27 S27

R27

Below is Brother Hedlock’s skillful, but ignorant rendition appearing in the lower right hand edge of the redacted hypocephalus:

from Hor Book of Breathings line 4

A proposed Ah--meh-strah-an reinterpretation follows:

“Qanah” (land of “reeds”), “arah” (“reed”, “naked, bare land”), “Ur”,reed at his “backseat-backing, they gathered all their substance, “packingto pack all their belongings, “tying the recordstie scrolls, and taking “Lot” (לּוׂט = wrap closely, tightly; like a scroll)papyrus scroll - tied - so they departed. And Av-raham (wordplay: אַב־רָחָם = father of compassion, affection, “gier eagle” = bread bun + ) prayed that “compassion (רָחָם, Vayiqra (Lev.) 11:18) be shown his father’s housebread bun, that they might not perish for want of “bread bread bun .

Character sample 27 is proximal to Abraham 2:17-18.  See sample 27 in Esoteric Egyptian.

We have come to the end of the imitation hieratic samples, appearing in the margins of 1835 Book of Abraham manuscripts.  The forgoing selections were all inserted on the right hand rim of Facsimile 2 (1842). The possible Ahmehstrahan reinterpretation of the Egyptian samples each represent a complete, self contained narrative segment, or story-bite. These were inserted in place of the missing hieroglyphs in an effort to “Abramize” the pagan hypocephalus. That the Prophet would deliberately redact the hypocephalus, should come as no surprise. Insertions, or alterations in other parts of Facsimile 2 likewise “Abramize” the pagan hypocephalus. Take for example the little lotus and papyrus bouquet by Facsimile 2. Fig. 2 inserted at the foot of Figure 2. This symbol, taken from the Book of Breathings, suggests to the Ah-meh-strah-an mind “Abraham in Egypt”, as does the adjacent solar bark, “avarat-ham”. The sun-boat image was copied from a Book of the Dead vignette in Joseph Smith’s possession, and inserted in place of the missing Figure 3. And so it is fitting that the Book of Breathings characters copied onto the rim, end with the last sample (27) seen in the margins of 1835 Book of Abraham manuscripts. A coincidence?

In the transition between hieratic and hieroglyphic text on the hypocephalus rim (lower right hand) there appears a character which is not part of sample 27. This character is similar to a character that the Ahmehstrahans reinterpreted to mean “Baeth The name of all mankind, man, or men” (Joseph Smith Egyptian Papers). The presence of this character may be an attempt to fill in an unclear portion of the papyrus. The remaining hieratic characters of line 4 are inserted upside-down with respect to the adjacent hieroglyphs, in the right central panel.

From Hor Book of Breathings line 4 - inserted in hypocephalus right panel:

Small Sensen papyrus - line 4 remaining

from line 4, inserted in right panel (Fig. 13)            from line 4, inserted in right panel (Fig. 14)            from line 4, inserted in right panel (Fig. 15)

remaining line 4 in hieroglyphs

Figures 15, 14 and 13 (right panel of Facsimile 2) continue with the rest of line 4; as seen on the Sensen papyrus, Hor Book of Breathings. In fact, Figure 14 actually contains the inserted term “sensen = breathings”. The full Ahmehstrahan reinterpretation of these symbols “will be given in the own due time of the Lord.” (Abraham Facsimile 2, Figures 12, 13, 14, 15 ...)

But note on the right, the hieroglyph that appears identical to the “raised platform” hieroglyph platform. Could this symbol serve to represent another “altar” built, and servicedarm - "a" by Avram? If so, we may have here a continuation of the correlation with the Book of Abraham narrative. (Abraham 2:19-20) Of course any altar built by Avram would not have been made of hewn stone. (Shemot (Ex.) 20:24-26)

Other symbols appearing in the transition between hieroglyphic and inserted hieratic text may indicate an attempt to fill in unclear portions. The origin of the highlighted characters in Figure 12, is not clear. But notice how Brother Hedlock depicts the hieratic symbols for “arms” in sample (24). Look how he depicts the horned serpent in samples (24) and (26). Could the first inserted characters in Figure 12 (after the known hieroglyphs) be a hieratic symbol for “arm, hand” adjoining the horned serpent symbol for “father”:

horned serpent, father arm. hand = arm, hand of father = hand of father

Now look at how Brother Hedlock depicts the hieratic coil or quail chick character in sample (26). This symbol, could represent the name “Avram, Avraham”, as pointed out by LDS scholar Ed Goble. Finally, after another dot, we have what appears to be the tied papyrus scroll hieroglyphpapyrus scroll - tied (seen elsewhere on the hypocephalus). Do the inserted characters in Figure 12 simply constitute a concluding note - an Ahmehstrahan summary?

The handarm - "a" of fatherhorned serpent Avrahamcoil wrote this upon papyruspapyrus scroll - tied

inserted in right panel (Fig. 12)

Characters inserted upside-down next to recognized hieroglyphs in Figure 12 of Facsimile 2

Facsimile 2 - hiieratic samples 

Facsimile 2 - highlighted characters from the Sensen papyrus, corresponding to characters copied in the margins of 1835 Book of Abraham manuscripts

 

In Summary

The Proposed Meaning of the “Abramized” Rim

Sample 12:The Eternal living Lord rescued his quail chick (Avram) from the bird of prey (Khonsu/Horus).”

Sample 19: The Eternal living God visited the land of reeds. His heel in the dust made bare Arah (Ur). Haran son of Terah dwelt there.”

Sample 24: “His seed will bear the ensign of the horned venomous serpent to the nations - so that all flesh might call him father, they that face and pledge by mouth.”

Sample 25: “He sought with all his heart his God - even he who appeared before har-El. He took up his stave and departed Haran.”

Sample 26: “He and his sister/spouse were joined in Arah (Ur, place of the reed). He was delivered by the messenger at the hillside (by which the altar of Elqanah stood). The prayer of his mouth was heard, and he heard the voice (of the Eternal).”

Sample 27: “The bare land of reeds (Ur) behind him, they gathered all their substance, packing all their belongings, tying the records, and taking Lot - so they departed. And Av-raham prayed that compassion would be shown his fathers house, that they might not perish from want of bread.”

 

Back to Abraham in Egypt and the Papyrus Solar Ferry

 

Back to Esoteric Egyptian in the Margins of the Book of Abraham

 

Back to Joseph Smith’s Book of the Dead Hypocephalus

 

Princess of On

 

See also Ahmehstrahan Counting and Gematria

Ahmehstrahan 1000

  

Hebrew sense is preserved when read on Internet Explorer - e.g. below, my name in Hebrew should read right!

  

Vincent Coon וִינְסֶנטיכּוּן Copyright 2016

 

Back to Home Page