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Remember To Always Do Your Own Research…
And Y’all Be Love…
“The “magic” of the Egyptians was of two kinds: (1) that which was employed for legitimate purposes and with the idea of benefiting either the living or the dead, and (2) that which was made use of in the furtherance of nefarious plots and schemes and was intended to bring calamities upon those against whom it was directed.
In the religious texts and works we see how magic is made to be the handmaiden of religion, and how it appears in certain passages side by side with the most exalted spiritual conceptions; and there can be no doubt that the chief object of magical books and ceremonies was to benefit those who had by some means attained sufficient knowledge to make use of them.
But the Egyptians were unfortunate enough not to be understood by many of the strangers who found their way into their country, and as a result wrong and exaggerated ideas of their religion were circulated among the surrounding nations, and the magical ceremonies which were performed at their funerals were represented by the ignorant either as silly acts of superstition or as tricks of the “black” art.
But whereas the magic of every other nation of the ancient East was directed entirely against the powers of darkness, and was invented in order to frustrate their fell designs by invoking a class of benevolent beings to their aid, the Egyptians aimed being able to command their gods to work for them, and to compel them to appear at their desire. These great results were to be obtained by the use of certain words which, to be efficacious, must be uttered in a proper tone of voice by a duly qualified man; such words might be written upon some substance, papyrus, precious stones, and the like, and worn on the person, when their effect could be transmitted to any distance.
As almost every man, woman, and child in Egypt who could afford it wore some such charm or talisman, it is not to be wondered at that the Egyptians were at a very early period regarded as a nation of magicians and sorcerers. Hebrew, and Greek, and Roman writers referred to them as experts in the occult sciences, and as the possessors of powers which could, according to circumstances, be employed to do either good or harm to man.
From the Hebrews we receive, incidentally, it is true, considerable information about the powers of the Egyptian magician. Saint Stephen boasts that the great legislator Moses “was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians,” and declares that he “was mighty in words and in deeds,” and there are numerous features in the life of this remarkable man which shew that he was acquainted with many of the practices of Egyptian magic.
The phrase “mighty in words” probably means that, like the goddess Isis, he was “strong of tongue” and uttered the words of power which he knew with correct pronunciation, and halted not in his speech, and was perfect both in giving the command and in saying the word. The turning of a serpent into what is apparently an inanimate, wooden stick, and the turning of the stick back into a writhing snake, are feats which have been performed in the East from the most ancient period; and the power to control and direct the movements of such venomous reptiles was one of the things of which the Egyptian was most proud, and in which he was most skillful, already in the time when the pyramids were being built.
But this was by no means the only proof which Moses gives that he was versed in the magic of the Egyptians, for, like the sage Âba-aner and king Nectanebus, and all the other magicians of Egypt from time immemorial, he and Aaron possessed a wonderful rod by means of which they worked their wonders. At the word of Moses Aaron lifted up his rod and smote the waters and they became blood; he stretched it out over the waters, and frogs innumerable appeared; when the dust was smitten by the rod it became lice; and so on.
Moses sprinkled ashes “toward heaven,” and it became boils and blains upon man and beast; he stretched out his rod, and there was “hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous,” and the “flax and the barley was smitten;” he stretched out his rod and the locusts came, and after them the darkness.
Now Moses did all these things, and brought about the death of the firstborn among the Egyptians by the command of his God, and by means of the words which He told him to speak. But although we are told by the Hebrew writer that the Egyptian magicians could not imitate all the miracles of Moses, it is quite certain that every Egyptian magician believed that he could perform things equally marvelous by merely uttering the name of one of his gods, or through the words of power which he had learned to recite; and there are many instances on record of Egyptian magicians utterly destroying their enemies by the recital of a few words possessed of magical power, and, by the performance of some, apparently, simple ceremony.
But one great distinction must be made between the magic of Moses and that of the Egyptians among whom he lived; the former was wrought by the command of the God of the Hebrews, but the latter by the gods of Egypt at the command of man.
Later on in the history of Moses’ dealings with the Egyptians we find the account of how “he stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.” When the Egyptians had come between the two walls of water, by God’s command Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, “and the sea returned to his strength,” and the “waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them.”
But the command of the waters of the sea or river was claimed by the Egyptian magician long before the time of Moses, as we may see from an interesting story preserved in the Westcar Papyrus. This document was written in the early part of the XVIIIth dynasty, about B.C. 1550 but it is clear that the stories in it date from the Early Empire, and are in fact as old as the Great Pyramid.” (Egyptian Magic: Antiquity Of Magical Practices In Egypt)