Per Bastemhet

Purification 15

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For an explanation of this series, read the introduction here.

Hail Swallower of Blood, coming forth from the chopping-block, I do not commit usury with grain.

Rev. Siuda said it’s tempting to translate “Swallower of Blood” as an epithet to Sekhmet, but it’s not certain.  Besides Sekhmet, it might be possible that this be one of the epithets for some netjeru in the Duat.

Mentioning grain here is relevant because it was one of the items used as payment in the barter system, along with bread, beer, meat, and cloth rations. *  The modern day equivalent would then be paper/coin money.

Usury is lending money at an exorbitant interest rate.  This would entail that those who lend are greedy and only do it for self gain.  The people who are willing to get a loan are people who do not have the means to make sufficient money for something that is important for them, and are willing to bet on their future in order to take care of necessities right now.  Usury is taking advantage of these people.  Ptahhotep also warns us against the evil of greed:

If you wish your conduct to be good
and to save yourself from all evil,
resist the opportunity of greed.
It is a sore disease of the worm,
no advance can come of it.
It embroils fathers and mothers,
with mother’s brothers.
It entangles the wife and the man,
it is a levy of all evils,
a bundle of all hatefulness.
The man endures whose guideline is Right,
who proceeds according to his paces.
He can draw up a will by it.
There is no tomb for the greedy hearted.

Take note of the last line.  To not have a tomb is to be denied an afterlife which is very serious indeed.  Not only will we not continue to live on, but we will be denied being in the presence of the netjeru, and in the presence of our ancestors.  We would also be denied the opportunity to help our own that come after us.

With this purification I will guard against greed, and be mindful of my own generosity.

Written by Bastemhet

September 11, 2010 at 1:49 pm

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