Top 10 Ancient Egyptian Gods

Living in Egypt meant surviving through tough floods and weather problems. Most Egyptians lived near or around the Nile River due to the fertile soil which helped their crops grow.

Many of the gods claimed to be the god of the Nile or of water due to its importance to their people. Other significant gods included those who controlled the sun, sky and other factors that allowed for crop production.

Egyptians’ main concern was the weather and soil for their crops to harvest. If the crops failed, then they would not have enough food to survive.

The gods were not always kind to one another. One god was killed by another and his body was chopped up and spread all over Egypt.

The victim’s son took revenge and killed the murdering god.  However, other gods made Egypt prosper. Sometimes, a god would have to cause damage in order for Egypt to thrive in the future.

So, what seemed like a problem at first would actually turn out to be something good.

Here are the top ten ancient Egyptian gods.

1. Ra

Being the god of all gods, Ra was known as the one and only god by some people. Almost everyone would agree that Ra was the god of the sun.

However, historians suggest that if there was only one god, it was certainly Ra. He was also credited with producing everything. Looking at Egypt’s great pyramids, Ra is believed to have inspired these substantial historical landmarks in Egypt.

Seeing the rays of the sun extending from the pyramid is what makes it believable that Ra motivated the construction of these giant powerful structures.

Despite being powerful to mortals, Ra associated with many different types of Egyptians including pharaohs, other gods and chief priests. These associations progressed his power and control.

Ra was known as the father of the gods. Ra’s death was believed to be connected to a myth where he was killed every night by the goddess of the sky.

The sky was believed to swallow the sun. Therefore, Nut who was the goddess of the sky devoured Ra, the god of the sun during each evening.

2. Osiris

Osiris’s roles were complete opposites. He was the god of fertility and at the same time he was the god of the dead.

Oddly enough, he achieved fame in balancing both of these contrary things.

Another abnormality included Osiris’s child. As the god of the Underworld, Osiris fathered Horus who became the god of the sky. Isis was Horus’s mother.

As the god of violence, Seth was believed to have murdered Osiris. The myth continued that another god, Seth, cut up Osiris’s body into several different parts and scattered them around the country.

Isis buried all the parts of Osiris’s body under the earth except for one part which allowed Osiris to become the full leader of the Underworld.

Besides ruling the Underworld, Osiris also created different situations in Egypt that had both positive and negative impacts on the Egyptians.

He could allow crops to harvest and create natural disasters associated with the Nile River. Most people knew Osiris at one point in their lives due to his control of the dead.

3. Sobek

Imagine creating a river from your sweat. At times, after running long distances, it may seem that we have enough sweat to make a river.

However, the myth pertaining to Sobek states just that. Sobek was the god of several things including the Nile River and of crocodiles. It is believed that he emerged from the water and in turn created the Nile from his perspiration.

His association with many gods and important people in Egypt led to his powerful and sovereign ways. As the god of the crocodile, many people revered the crocodile.

Yet, some people would kill crocodiles for sport. Sobek’s connection with the Pharaoh strengthened Sobek’s view of himself in the public’s eyes.

Pharaoh thought the same thing in which Sobek could protect him.

Sobek surrounded himself with crocodiles with either the real animal or with depictions of the animal carved into walls and other structures. Crocodiles will forever be associated with Sobek and his strength.

4. Hapi

Even though many gods were believed to be in power of the Nile, Hapi is the actual god of the Nile.

The Nile River’s significance to the Egyptian people made Hapi an important god. As the Nile River provided fertile soil for harvesting crops, Hapi is depicted as a male god but having female parts to portray fertility.

As the god of the Nile, Hapi was connected and associated with Osiris and Satet who both believed in the importance of water and rivers.

Hapi’s wife was Nakhebet. She was his wife in the south, but he also had a wife in the north who was known as Buto. Both wives were believed to be on the same level.

Many Egyptians believed that Hapi would arrive when the Nile would flood since he was in charge of the Nile River.

It seemed unusual to many Egyptians that the god would create a disaster when the river was such an important part of the daily life of Egyptians.

However, when the river would flood, it would leave very fertile silt behind after the excess water would run off. Many Egyptians would worship Hapi by offering sacrifices to the river.

5. Seth

Destruction and violence was associated with the god, Seth, but this was due to his own accord. Seth was the god of war, desert, and weather.

His ways of deception to the Egyptians caused them to distrust him. Since Egyptians were reliant on the weather for growing their crops for food, weather had a direct effect on their survival.

Creating thunderstorms and devastation were a common occurrence in Egypt due to Seth’s wrath.

The views of Seth were considered to be quite poorly compared to other gods who provided for their subsistence in Egypt.

On the other hand, Seth resented others too.  He did not favor Osiris who was the god of the Underworld. Osiris’s disloyalties to his family angered Seth.

As a result, Seth killed Osiris and chopped up his body. For retaliation, Osiris’s son, Horus took matters into his own hands and killed Seth.

6. Khnum

Khnum’s control can be seen as far back as the Old Kingdom when the pyramids were built under Khufu. His rule was believed to be the first of its kind including before any of the other gods.

Therefore, he was credited with creating many of the important people, beings and natural landmarks that still exist today. All water sources on Earth and in the Underworld as well as the Nile River were also viewed as part of his control.

Under Khnum’s direction, he ensured that the land near the water contained enough fertile soil and black silt for crop production.

Likewise, the silt was converted into a type of modeling clay. Khnum was also known as the god of pottery who created many things on Earth. Through Khnum’s artistry, he actually produced the Egyptian people and the other gods.

Khnum also provided health to the newly born children. The gods, goddesses and Egyptian people worshipped Khnum in order to have healthy lives of their own as well as for their children.

7. Horus

Unification of Egypt can be attributed to Horus. A division in Egypt had been established for years.

Bringing Upper Egypt together with Lower Egypt proved difficult for many who attempted for this unity. However, Horus was credited with bring these two sides together.

Befriending the pharaohs for both sides was what allowed Horus to join these two areas. Known as the royal god due to his relationship and bond with the pharaohs, these rulers respected Horus and put him in high regards.

Since pharaohs were the most respected, it was an honor for a pharaoh to place someone in such high admiration.

Horus was the god of the sky and his symbol was appropriately the falcon. As the pharaohs viewed Horus as supreme, they would frequently carve or create a symbol in their kingdom of a golden falcon to represent Horus.

8. Anubis

If Anubis was alive today, he would most likely be a funeral director based on what he did to control Egypt during the Old Kingdom of ancient Egypt. Anubis was a god of the dead.

Specifically, he would make certain the bodies were properly buried. Egypt was known for encasing their bodies through a process known as mummification.

Anubis delivered the deceased and oversaw the judgment process to make sure the deceased were sent to paradise based on their heart and soul.

One process that Anubis followed to guarantee the correct placement of the deceased was by a simple smell test. Bending down, Anubis smelled the mummified deceased for a pure and fresh smell. He knew this would symbolize purity and the deceased should go to paradise.

After Osiris was killed by another god, Seth, Osiris could have stayed in the Underworld, but there was a problem. Anubis was the god of the Underworld at the time.

As a sign of respect, Anubis allowed Osiris to become the god of the Underworld.

9. Ptah

Ptah’s strength lied in his mind rather than in his body. Unlike many other gods who relied upon their brute strength, Ptah used his creativity to provide for Egypt.

God of Memphis, Ptah was revered by many Egyptians. His architectural skills and direction led the craftsmen and architects of this time to produce and build the most magnificent structures.

His closeness to the craftsmen and artists also allowed Ptah to determine the fates of these people.

Even people today admire Ptah due to the architecture you see today that Ptah helped create during ancient Egypt.

10. Thoth

Communication among the Egyptian people would not have taken place if it had not been for the god, Thoth.

Thoth was the god of many types of arts, not just communication. Writing, music and art were credited to Thoth.

His ability to be creative facilitated the interactions among the citizens. So directions could be given to other people to follow or people could do a task based on the information supplied to them.

Thoth was even able to create the moon after it had been damaged. Horus, the god of the sky, damaged his left eye based on a fight with another god.

This damage to the sky resulted in an injured moon. Then, Thoth was able to repair the moon back to its brightness.

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