The “will of god” and how it intervenes in the lives of the people is a very problematic issue. There is a never-ending debate over predestination and fate versus free will. When does the one end and the other start, if they do co-exist. This debate about fate and free will, is also taking place among Egyptologists concerning ancient Egyptian beliefs. The “will of god” is featured in various ancient Egyptian didactic and literary texts. These texts contain words and phrases, which directly or indirectly express the “will of god”. This thesis will study a selection of words that express the intervention of god in the human’s life, which will be excerpted from these texts. This thesis is limited to those texts contained in profane literature from the Old Kingdom to the end of the New Kingdom. A lexicographical study is conducted, in order to determine the precise meaning of the word and its development during the period under study. The selected words are: rdi, wD, sxr, sSm, SA, rnnt, sSm, msxnt, m-Drt/m-xa/m-a and ir. This thesis then covers two more points. First, it examines whether demons, magic and prayers were thought by Egyptians to alter the will of god. Then, it will assess the impact of the will of god in the formation of Egyptian culture and a comparison is drawn with today’s Egypt and with the monotheistic Holy Books. The study of the texts reveal that the Ancient Egyptians strongly believed in the divine intervention in their daily lives. This belief has been retained in the cultural memory of the Egyptians throughout the ages and across Religions.
MA in Egyptology & Coptology
Date of Award
Online Submission Date
Committee Member 1
El Sabbahy, Lisa
Committee Member 2
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El Ghazzawy, A.
(2016).The Will of God and its intervention in human life as expressed in the profane literature from the Old Kingdom to the end of the New Kingdom [Master’s thesis, the American University in Cairo]. AUC Knowledge Fountain.
El Ghazzawy, Aisha. The Will of God and its intervention in human life as expressed in the profane literature from the Old Kingdom to the end of the New Kingdom. 2016. American University in Cairo, Master's thesis. AUC Knowledge Fountain.