Saturday, November 19, 2011


Iah is a very early god of the moon in ancient Egyptian religion, and his name, jˁḥ (sometimes transliterated as Yah, Jah or Aah), simply means "moon." Nevertheless, by the New Kingdom he was less prominent as a moon deity than the other gods with lunar connections, Thoth and Khonsu. As a result of the functional connection between them he could be identified with either of those deities. He was sometimes considered an adult form of Khonsu, and was increasingly absorbed by him. Iah continued to appear in amulets and occasional other representations, similar to Khonsu in appearance, with the same lunar symbols on his head and occasionally the same tight garments. He differed in usually wearing a full wig instead of a child's sidelock, and sometimes an Atef crown topped by another moon symbol.[2] As time went on, Iah also became Iah-Djuhty, meaning "god of the new moon."[3]

Iah was also assimilated with Osiris, god of the dead, perhaps because, in its monthly cycle, the moon appears to renew itself. Iah also seems to have assumed the lunar aspect of Thoth, god of knowledge, writing and calculation; the segments of the moon were used as fractional symbols in writing.[4]

From: Wiki
It is interesting that the earliest references to the name Yah (Yaeh) refer to the moon as a satellite of the earth in its physical form. From this, the term becomes conceptualized as a lunar deity, pictorially anthropomorphic but whose manifestations, from hieroglyphic evidence, can include the crescent of the new moon, the ibis and the falcon, which is comparable to the other moon deities, Thoth and Khonsu.


The high point in Yah's popularity can be found following the the Middle Kingdom when many people immigrated from the Levant and the Hyksos ruled Egypt. Hence, it is likely that contact with the regions of Palestine, Syria and Babylon were important in the development of this god in Egypt. George Hart, in his "A Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses" believes that these foreigners in Egypt may have associated Yah with the Akkadian moon-god, Sin, who had an important temple at Harron in north Syria. Like Thoth, Sin was a god of Wisdom, but his other epithets included "Brother of the Earth", Father of the Sun, Father of Gods, as well as others.

Later during the New Kingdom within the Theban royal family, and not so strangely, even though it was they who expunged these foreign rulers from Egypt, the name of the god Yah was incorporated into their names. The daughter of the 17th Dynasty king, Tao I, was Yah-hotep, meaning "Yah is content". The name of the next and last ruler of the 17th Dynasty, Kamose, may have also been derived from Yah. His name means ""the bull is born", and this might be the Egyptian equivalent of the epithet applied to Sin describing him as a "young bull...with strong horns (i.e. the tips of the crescent moon). Also another interpretation of the name of the founder of the 18th Dynasty, Ahmose, is Yahmose, which would mean "Yah is born". However, this was not the only name associated with Hyksos gods to be adopted by these Egyptians.

In the tomb of Tuthmosis III of the 18th Dynasty, who is often called the Napoleon of Egypt, and who was perhaps responsible for Egypt's greatest expansion into the Levant, there is a scene where the king is accompanied by his mother and three queens, including Sit-Yah, the "daughter of the moon-god". However, after this period, the traces of Yah's moon cult in Egypt appear to be sporadic.

At this point, and because this is a scholarly work, we need to point out several important elements surrounding the name of this ancient Egyptian god, beginning with the fact that most Egyptologists throughout the history of that discipline have had difficulty agreeing on the translation of names from ancient text. Of course, this is not unique to Egyptologists, but is a problem throughout ancient studies.

Secondly, the references on Yah as an Egyptian moon god are slim. The best available documentation is that of George Hart, "A Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses", but few other scholarly references make mention of this specific Egyptian deity.

From: Yah, the Other Egyptian Moon God by Jimmy Dunn
The god Iah, whose name means 'moon', first appears in the Late Period (661-332 BC). The moon god was assimilated with Osiris, god of the dead. Perhaps because, in its monthly cycle, the moon appears to renew itself. Iah also seems to have assumed the lunar aspect of Thoth, god of knowledge, writing and calculation; the segments of the moon were used as fractional symbols in writing.
Thoth was seen as the intermediary between rage and peace among the gods. According to myth, Thoth was responsible for returning the solar eye to Re after a goddess, variously interpreted as Hathor, Sekhmet or Tefnut, had fled with it to Nubia. At this time the sun-god was ruler on earth and had learned that humans were plotting against him. He decided to send the solar eye to destroy them. After the first day of destruction Re was so sickened with the carnage that he decided to spare mankind. To make the goddess forget her task, Re tricked her by making her drunk with 7000 jars of red-stained beer. When she became sober again she retreated to Nubia in embarrassment. Thoth was sent after her by Re, who eventually coaxed her into returning.
S. Quirke and A.J. Spencer, The British Museum book of anc (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)

From: here
also Aah, Yah etc.

Iah, jaH,[7] was an ancient, minor moon god, personification of the heavenly body [3] just as the Aten, the sun disk, was the embodiment of the sun. Like the more important moon deities Thoth and Khonsu, with whom he merged later on,[6] he could manifest himself as a crescent new moon, an ibis or a falcon. [3]
He became part of the Osiris cult in the time of the 5th dynasty and sailed the ma'atet-boat as Osiris,[1] for Osiris as moon child god–according to an Isis temple chant who cometh to us as a babe each month–was in the care of Thoth, of whom it was said that

He lays thy (i.e. Osiris' ) soul in the maadit [8] boat
by the magic of thy name of Ah [6]

In the Pyramid texts of Pepi I he is referred to as the late pharaoh's brother.[2] He was especially popular at the beginning of the New Kingdom, possibly as the result of Middle Eastern influences,[3] when names like Ahmose, meaning 'Iah is born', and Ahhotep, 'Iah is content', were frequent.[4] In the Book of the Dead Osiris is described as shining forth in the splendor of A'ah.[1]
Iah and his cult are but rarely referred to after the early New Kingdom.[3] According to the Late Period Teachings of Amenemope Iah is one of the avenging deities who will establish crimes against evil-doers.[5]

When someone acquires (something) by means of a false oath, he will be fettered by the manifested might of Iah.
The Teachings of Amenemope [5]

From: here
(Iah, Ioh) Yah is the total divinity of the moon, as opposed to other Gods—Thoth, Khonsu—who represent certain aspects of it; Yah is the deity in the Egyptian pantheon whose name means ‘Moon’. The corollary to this, however, is that references to Yah are generally more astronomical than theological. One formula, though, which travels through the afterlife literature in diverse forms, seems to be addressed to Yah and Yah alone: in CT spell 93, “for going out into the day,” this formula appears as “O you Sole One who shines as the moon, I go forth among the masses to the gates of the Bark with those who are in the sunshine,” while CT spell 152, “going forth into the day and living after death,” has it as “O you Sole One who rises in the moon, O you Sole One who shines in the moon, I will go up to the sky among a multitude of others when those who are in the sunshine are released, while I have gone forth into this day that I may carry off that foe of mine.” BD spell 2′s version reads, “O Sole One who rises as the moon, O Sole One who shines as the moon, may N. go out with this thy multitude. Deliverer of them that are in the sunlight, open the netherworld,” adding “Lo, N. is gone forth by day to do whatever he may wish among the living,” while BD 65, “for going forth by day and overcoming one’s enemies,” prays of the moon “mayest thou go out with this thy multitude. Mayest thou deliver him that is with the blessed. Open the netherworld,” and adds, “Lo, I am ascended on this day, esteemed; my blessed ones [i.e., deceased relatives] give me life. Brought to me are my enemies, completely subdued, in the Council.” This formula seems to suggest beliefs about the moon which are known from certain other cultures, namely that the moon waxes each month with the souls of the dead ascending into the sky, souls that when the moon wanes are released back to the earth.

Allen, T. G. 1974. The Book of the Dead or Going Forth by Day. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. [BD]
Bernot, Denise et al., eds. 1962. La Lune: Mythes et Rites. Paris: Éditions du Seuil.
Faulkner, R. O. 1973-8. The Ancient Egyptian Coffin Texts. 3 vols. Warminster: Aris & Phillips Ltd. [CT]

From: Henadology

Also see:

Epithets of Iah.pdf from Wepwawet Wiki

No comments:

Post a Comment