How Osiris was born
Continuing where we left off last week when Thoth outwits Ra, the great God of Egypt who had cursed Nut, the Sky goddess.
With all that moonlight he won in the game of draughts which he played with the moon god Khons, Thoth, the God of Wisdom, got five whole days. This he added to the end of the passing year and just between the coming one.
That way, the five days would not belong to either year, the years that belonged to Ra, the great God.
During those extra days, Nut’s five children were born. On the first day was born a son, Osiris. After him came Haroeris followed by Set, sons all. Daughters followed next, Isis was born on the fourth day and lastly Nephthys on the fifth.
You can imagine how furious Ra would have been when he heard of this. But there was nothing he could do of course. Except to declare that he was going to claim all these extra days to fit into his years! That was how we ended up with three hundred and sixty five days in a year.
When Osisris, Nut’s eldest son was born, a voice spoke from where no one knew. “Behold, the Lord of All is born!” One day, Osiris would become the first King of the Living, destined to rule over Egypt in the place of Ra. Later on, he would also become King of the Dead.
Nut knew that great dangers awaited her son, but most of all, she feared the wrath of Ra.
She requested Thoth to take her son away and bring him up in secret. Osiris grew up to be gentle, kind and just as he was taught by the wise God Thoth.
As time passed the children of Nut grew up and Ra was angry no more. Generously, he welcomed them to his Council Chamber along with the rest of the gods. Although he had grown very, very old and was almost senile, he still continued to rule Egypt as pharaoh.
Isis, the first born daughter of Nut was also taught by Thoth. Thoth, who was Lord of all Knowledge, was the one who taught the people of Egypt the art of writing — the Hieroglyphs and also the numbers. He also charted the courses of the stars in the sky. But he was also a magician and as you know, could foretell the future. It was this magic and spells that fascinated young Isis.
She begged him to teach them to her. Thoth was a little wary about teaching her the Dark Arts, as it were, for they dealt with spirits, reviving the dead and cure for illnesses. But he finally gave in to her pleas and before long Isis became as skilled a magician as her teacher.
When they grew up, Osiris married his sister Isis. (Marrying one’s sibling was a common practice among Egyptian gods and later the pharaohs.) No one had forgotten the prophesy that was made the day Osiris was born — that one day he would be King of Egypt. All the gods agreed that Osiris, when he became a young man, looked every inch the future king. Isis, most of all, was impatient for the day he would be made the Pharaoh. Would the great god Ra give up his throne for him? That’s a story for another day.