Controlling human suffering

terminology of divine mercy in ancient Egypt and ancient Israel

Eve Guerry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


During the early nineteenth century a group of ancient Egyptian votive stelae was discovered in the small chapels of Deir el-Medina. This paper examines the terminology for divine mercy in the stelae and compares it to that of a corpus of Biblical Psalms. Both corpora of prayers interpret suffering as a divine punishment for wrongdoing and so rely on the intrinsically forgiving nature of the deity for absolution. They therefore emphasise this attribute of the deity, revealing underlying concepts of how divine mercy will be experienced and how best to attain it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-123
Number of pages15
JournalBulletin of the Australian Centre for Egyptology
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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