The Struggle between Re and Seth

When once in the days gone by Re-Harachte undertook a journey to Nubia in his bark, to lay his eye on the pastures, Horus and his mother Hathor accompanied him, and they received a message that the countries were in uproar. Re set forth and went back by ship, and with him was his army. Horus besought his father Re, to open the battle so that the mutineers should be vanquished. So Re unhesitatingly commanded his son Horus, to collect the forces and slay the enemy. Thus Horus arose and climbed the firmament as the great, winged Sun. From above he could watch the lines of the enemy. He dashed upon them as the wing garmented Sun, so they were struck with blindness, tumbled and put each others to death by their swords. The disarrangement went as complete as to behold an enemy in every brother of the sword. Then Horus returned. Wearing the shape of the »multicoloured falcon«, the winged Sun, he embarked the ship of Re. Jahuti had observed the battle dwelling on the bark of Re and announced the victorious coming of Horus to the Sun God. Re would rise and embrace his triumphant warlord and renamed the battlefield after Horus' name. Then Re set forth with his baggage train to look at the battlefield and found the place »filled with soothing life«, as he was delighted to see the rebels beaten by Horus. Some of the adversaries of Re had slipped into the water thus turning into hippopotamuses. And when the bark of Re began to move, the inimic hippopotamuses, being supported by the crocodiles stood up and attempted, to overturn the boats and devour the crew. Horus used his harpoon and ropes to put the bestiae to flight and killed as many as he and his men had laid their hands on. So Horus went on board the ship of Re, accompanied by Nechbet and Uto, whose shining crowns sent forth flaming beams. The bestiae took flight upstream, persecuted by the swift boat of Horus. Thus he beat them at Theben and Dendera, he followed on the heels of them by water and by land and beat them. With harpoon, axe and lance he slaughtered them. He pursued them to the delta and the sea. When nearly all of them were rooted out, Seth their leader, came forth and cursed at Horus that loud, that Re in his bark startled and ordered, that no such cries should be yelled ever since. Horus thus turned to Seth and beset him, till he was bound. Bound he took him before the face of Re, to have the wrongdoer punished. But Re ordered Jahuti, to turn the fiend over to Isis and Horus, to fare with him after their will. So Horus beheaded Seth and tore him behind through the countries. Isis thus asked of Re, to grant Horus the winged Sun as his sign. And Isis transformed her own son Horus according to the image of the victorious Horus with the face of a falcon, the jewel of both crowns. Seth thus vanished in the ground not to be seen again. Eversince Re sent Horus when worshippers of Seth gathered to debauch Re. Thus he became the third of the great ones Re and Jahuti in his merits to the land of the Gods. Some say that once the humans stood up against Re as well, being uncontended with their fate. So Re summoned the gathering of the Gods to speak justice in hiding, so the humans would not be alerted, for he had counselled to debauch them. So the Gods gathered along the two sides of the throne with their heads hung down in respect. Re would ask the counsel of the Gods before setting forth the ruin of mankind. So first spake the majesty of Nun and counselled to punish humanity. For no mortal could stand before the eye of Re. So the eye of Re should go forth and beat man. Thus the eye of Re went forth in the shape of Hathor. She met the humans in the desert, where they had took refuge, and slay as many as she could. Thus nearly all humans had died. When Sun set, the Goddess returned and received a praise of Re. Secretly Re surmised the punishment to be sufficient and he would be done with the rest of the frightened peasants. So he sent forth errands to have beer brewed and coloured with ochre. The beer he had splilled the very place where Hathor intended to kill the rest of the humans the other day. When Hathor came to the place and smelled the beer, she drank as much of it as to be drunk and forgot her mission to kill the humans. So she went back, fullfilling the hope of Re, to let some of the humans survive. After some time he was tired to regiment them and spoke unto Nun, to be tired, to care for the humans, and was sorry not to have terminated all of them. So Nun ordered Schu, to take care of his father and Nut, to take Re on her back. So Nut changed into a cow and Re sat on her back. When mankind saw that Re would not stay with them they reconsidered the matter and swore, to slay of enemies of Re from thence. But Re returned to his palace on the back of Nut not taking any notice. But the next day, when Re saw how humans prepared to battle against humans he warned them, well knowing what war would lead to. He raised Nut and let her be the star gemmed azure, to carry him and be his housing far remoted from mankind. Again others say, that Re was troubled from day to day by Apophis on his way from horizon to horizon. That was so, because Re also ruled the underworld and thus turned to Aminte every sunset. Then Apophis, the giant snake, stood up against him to stop his way. Re and his companions in the bark went to arms. Apophis, who neither had feet nor arms got hacked into pieces. They crushed his spine with their feet, finally burning him in the fire that came forth from the eye of Re. Apophis' head, stung on the lance of Re, was carried on the bow of the bark. The sky went red with his blood. But the Gods who had captured him took care, first of all Seth the strong one, to let the bark of Re go it's way freely. Even others say, Re had transformed himself into a big Cat, to kill Apophis.

The Apophis Book, Papyrus 10188, British Museum