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The Legend of Hilaria (1913) pp. 1-6. The story of Bent-Resh


The Story of Bent-Resh.

Lo 1), his majesty 2) was in Naharin according to his yearly custom, while the chiefs of every country came bowing down in peace, because of the fame of his majesty. From the marshes was their tribute; silver, gold, lapis lazuli, malachite and every sweet wood of God's-Land were upon their backs, each one leading his neighbour.

Then the chief of Bekhten caused his tribute to be brought, and he placed his eldest daughter in front thereof, praising his majesty, and craving life from him. Now, she was exceedingly beautiful to the heart of his majesty, beyond everything. Then they affixed her titulary as: "Great King's-Wife, Nefrure". When his majesty arrived in Egypt, she fulfilled all the functions of King's-wife. ---- When the year 23, the tenth month, the twenty-second day, came, while his majesty was in Thebes, the victorious, the mistress of cities, performing the pleasing ceremonies of his father, Amon-Re, Lord of Thebes, at his beautiful feast of Southern Opet (Luxor), his favorite seat, of the beginning (of the world), came one to say to his majesty: "A messenger of the chief of Bekhten has come, bearing many gifts for the King's-Wife". Then he was brought before his majesty together with his gifts. He said, praising his majesty: "Praise to thee, Sun of the nine Bows! Give |4 us life from thee". So spake he, smelling the earth before his majesty. He spake again before his majesty: "I come to thee, o King, my lord, on account of Bentresh, thy great sister of the King's-Wife, Nefrure. Sickness has penetrated into her limbs. May thy majesty send a wise man to see her".

Then said his majesty: "Bring to me the sacred scribes and the officials of the court". They were led to him immediately. Said his majesty: "Let one read to you, till you hear this thing. Then bring to me one experienced in his heart, who can write with his fingers from your midst". The king's-scribe, Thutemhab, came before his majesty, and his majesty commanded that he go to Bekhten together with this messenger.

The wise man arrived in Bekhten; he found Bentresh in the condition of one possessed of a spirit. He found her [unable] to contend with him.

The chief of Bekhten repeated in the presence of his majesty, saying: "O King, my lord, let his majesty command to have this god brought.....3).

[Then the wise man whom his majesty had sent, returned] to his majesty in the year 26, the ninth month, at the feast of Amon, while his majesty was in Thebes.

Then his majesty repeated (it) before Khonsu-in-Thebes-Beautiful-Rest, saying: "O my good lord, I repeat before thee concerning the daughter of the chief of Bekhten".Then they led Khonsu-in-Thebes-Beautiful-Rest to Khonsu-the-Plan-Maker, the great god, smiting the evil spirits. Then said his majesty before Khonsu-in-Thebes-Beautiful-Rest: "O thou good lord, if thou inclinest thy face to |5 Khonsu-the-Plan-Maker, the great god, smiting the evil spirits, he shall be conveyed to Bekhten". There was violent nodding. Then said his majesty: "Send thy protection with him, that I may cause his majesty to go to Bekhten, to save the daughter of the chief of Bekhten". Khonsu-in-Thebes-Beautiful-Rest nodded the head violently. Then he wrought the protection of Khonsu-the-Plan-Maker-in-Thebes, four times.

His majesty commanded to cause Khonsu-the-Plan-Maker-in-Thebes to proceed to a great ship, five transports, numerous chariots and horses of the west and the east.

This god arrived in Bekhten in a full year and five months. Then the chief of Bekhten came, with his soldiers and his nobles, before Khonsu-the-Plan-Maker. He threw himself upon his belly, saying: "Thou comest to us, thou art welcome with us, by command of the King Usermare-Setepnere (Ramses II)".

Then this god went to the place where Bentresh was. Then he wrought the protection of the daughter of the chief of Bekhten. She became well immediately.

Then said this spirit which was in her before Khonsu-the-Plan-Maker-in-Thebes: "Thou comest in peace, thou great god, smiting the barbarians. Thy city is Bekhten, thy servants are its people, I am thy servant, I will go to the place whence I came, to satisfy the heart concerning that, on account of which thou comest. (But) let thy majesty command to celebrate a feast-day with me and with the chief of Bekhten". Then this god nodded to his priest, saying: "Let the chief of Bekhten make a great offering before this spirit". While these things were happening, which Khonsu-the-Plan-Maker-in-Thebes wrought with the spirit, the chief of Bekhten |6 stood with his soldiers, and feared very greatly. Then he made a great offering before Khonsu-the-Plan-Maker-in-Thebes and the spirit; and the chief of Bekhten celebrated a feast-day [with] them. Then the spirit departed in peace to the place he desired, by command of Khonsu-the-Plan-Maker-in-Thebes, and the chief of Bekhten rejoiced very greatly, together with every man who was in Bekhten.

Then he took counsel with his heart, saying: "I will cause this god to remain with me in Bekhten; I will not permit that he return to Egypt". Then this god tarried three years and nine months in Bekhten.

Then the chief of Bekhten slept upon his bed, and he saw this god coming to him, to forsake his shrine; he was a hawk of gold, and he flew upward to Egypt. He (the chief) awoke in fright.

Then he said to the priest of Khonsu-the-Plan-Maker-in-Thebes: "This god, he is still with us; let him depart to Egypt; let his chariot depart to Egypt".

Then the chief of Bekhten caused this god to proceed to Egypt, and gave to him very many gifts of every good thing, very many soldiers and horses.

They arrived in peace at Thebes. Then came the city of Thebes, and the Plan-Maker-in-Thebes to the house of Khonsu-in-Thebes-Beautiful-Rest. He set the gift which the chief of Bekhten had given to him, of good things, before Khonsu-in-Thebes-Beautiful-Rest, (but) he gave not everything thereof into his house. Khonsu-the-Plan-Maker-in-Thebes arrived [at] his [plac]e in peace in the year 33, the second month, the ninth day, of King Usermare-Setepnere; that he might be given life like Re, forever.

[Footnotes renumbered and placed at the end]

1. 1) I have omitted the titles at the beginning of this story.

2. 2) Ramses II.

3. 1) Lacuna.

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This text was transcribed by Roger Pearse, Ipswich, UK, 2004.  All material on this page is in the public domain - copy freely.
Greek text is rendered using the Scholars Press SPIonic font, free from here.

Early Church Fathers - Additional Texts