Let’s begin with the fact that the 42 laws of Ma’at are technically known as the 42 negative confessions. This is important because the “negative” means it’s a list of things that you “shall not” do. While the 10 commandments consist of both “negative” and “positive” statements (“shall”, and “shall not” do).
It’s important to understand also that these confessions were to be confessed AFTER DEATH. While the 10 commandments and all the laws of YHWH were to be kept BEFORE DEATH (and could lead to your death).
Some people use the numerical fallacy that since Egypt had 42 confessions and Moses had 10 similar laws then that means those 10 came out of the 42. But ask anyone that studies the Torah and you will see that there are actually 613 laws (mitzvot) in the Hebrew bible. So now numerically 613 trumps 42. So I guess that means that they came out of the 613? (No not really lol). Just humorously correcting this fallacy. But the 10 commandments are the essence of the 613 commandments from whence they came. And the 42 laws of Ma’at contain laws that was already a part of the 613 commandments.
Ok enough with numbers. For those unfamiliar with the 42 laws of Ma’at, just google them and quickly read over them. (Preferably the ones rendered by Wallace E. Budge).
Before we give a run down on the 10 commandments and how they couldn’t of came from the 42 confessions, let’s take a look at some historical proof.
The papyrus of Ani from where the 42 laws of Ma’at was cited, came about 1250 BCE, in the 19th dynasty of the New Kingdom of ancient Egypt.
However there is also a papyrus that backs up the Exodus account in the Bible that predates the Ani papyrus. The Ipuwer papyrus. It describes events very similar to the 10 plagues of Egypt which dates as far back as 1991 – 1803 BCE. (Middle Kingdom, late 12th dynasty).
Therefore it was right after the Exodus that Moses received the 10 commandments from YHWH. Way before the papyrus of Ani was written.
First let’s look at The Law and how it was being kept even before Moses received the 10 commandments written on stone.
Scriptural proof The Law existing before the 10 commandments
Adam and Eve – Punished for breaking the 8th and 10th commandments (Genesis 3:6-17).
Cain – Punished for violating the 6th and 9th commandments (Genesis 4:9-12).
Noah – Already knew of clean and unclean animals (Genesis 7:2-3).
Abraham – Kept the laws of YHWH before Moses (Genesis 26:5).
Sodom and Gomorrah – Where “sinful” even before the laws of Moses (Genesis 13:13).
Moses and the Israelites – Refused to keep laws and commandments even before Mt Sinai (Exodus 16:28).
The 10 Commandments given to Moses vs Egyptian mythology
(Note that the first 4 commandments and the last 1 are not even found in the 42 laws of Ma’at.)
1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
The Egyptians worshipped multiple gods. There is a whole pantheon of deities in the Egyptian mystery schools. So how could this commandment be taken from the 42 laws of Ma’at when its about the worship of the one YHWH?
2. You shall make no idols.
There is almost an idol for every God/goddess and demigod in the Egyptian mystery schools. Each with physical representations and mythological storylines. But the Bible commands the children of Israel destroying false idols.
3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
The Egyptians didn’t have a specific name on which they called on. Their gods/goddesses had multiple names and titles with no specific reference to sanctifying only one name.
4. Keep the Sabbath day holy.
The Egyptians had no specific day of rest. There was no weekly cessation of rest from work. Nor where there any religious high holy day sabbaths.
5. Honor your father and your mother.
6. You shall not murder.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10. You shall not covet.
The Egyptian religious texts consist of multiple stories about their gods/goddesses violating the above mentioned commandments. Their pantheon of deities lived by no specific code of conduct. And at many times these gods/goddesses where at conflict with each other.
Some things to ponder about 3 of the 42 laws of Ma’at
1. I have not committed sin.
What sin are they talking about here? Violation of YHWH’s laws that have been established since the beginning of time?
24. I have not disobeyed the Law.
What law have they disobeyed? Could this be the same laws that Adam, Abraham, Noah, and Others followed even before the laws of Moses?
32. I have not worked evil.
How do they define evil unless there is a standard of laws to base it against?
YHWH had laws set in order since the beginning of time. But different cultures decided on what they would follow. Adding to God’s laws and changing as seen fit what was suitable for them. With many even becoming their own god.
So after clear examination one can see thatthe 42 laws of Ma'at and the 10 commandments are not directly related in any way.Click To Tweet This is just misinformation being propagated by so-called Kemetic/Egyptologist with no historical basis.
The burden of proof is still on these Kemetic scientists to provide facts for these false accusations.