This version of the great Hymn to Aten was found in the South Tomb 25 – which is a sepulchre in Amarna, Egypt. This is the longest version of hymn-poems composed to the “sun-disk deity: Aten” in the middle of the 14th century BC. It is varingly attributed to the 18th Dynasty Pharaoh Akhenaten or his courtiers. The hymn bears notable resemblance to the biblical Psalm 104.
The Great Hynm of Aten
May you appear beautiful in the horizon of heaven,
O living Aten, who creates lifes,
You having arisen in the eastern horizon.
You have filled every land with your perfection.
You are beautiful great, dazzling, high over every country.
Your rays fall on the lands, to the limit of all that you have created.
You are Re, you have reached the last limits, when you subdue them for the son whom who love.
Your are far away, but your rays fall on earth.
You are visible, but your movements are never seen.
When you go to rest in the western horizon, the land is in darkness in a state of death.
The sleepers are in their bedchambers, their heads covered by darkness, not one eye can see the other.
If all they posses gets stolen, which is hidden under their sleeping heads, they will not feel it.
Every lion has come out from his cave, all worms and snakes, sting and bite.
Dark ist the fireplace, the land is silent.
As long the one who made all has gone to rest behind the horizon.
But with you rising again on the horizon and shining as the sun disk during the day.
You have driven away the darkness and you have sent out our sunrays.
The two lands are in festival, the sun-folk having awakened and stand on their feet.
You have lifted them up.
Their bodies are cleaned, putting on their festive clothes, their arms are arisen in adoration.
While you appear in glory, the entire land carries out their work.
All cattle are content with their fodder, the trees are plants flourish.
Birds are flying from their nests, their wings in praise of your KA-Spirit!
All small flocks lead up on their feet, all that flies and flutters is alive, after you have risen for them.
Ships go north and south likewise, every road is open, because you appear in glory.
The fish in the river leap up in front of your face, your rays are reaching deep the sea.
You are the One who makes the fetus develop in a woman; who transforms water into humans;
Who enlivens the son in the womb of his mother; who with love which will stop his tears. Nurse in the womb, you give the breath, the one who gives life to all that he has created!
When the son starts breathing on the day of his birth, it is you who opens his mouth and cares for his needs.
The chick in the egg peeps from his shell, because you give him the air to breath.
After you fixed the time to break from his shell, he comes out the egg and peeps.
Then he comes out of the egg and starts to walk on two legs.
How many are your deeds, although they are hidden from our sight. The only god with no other beside him.
You created the earth according to your wish, you are alone.
While all people, cattle and small flocks, everything on earth that stands on their feet, all that flies in heaven, around on their wings.
Also the foreign lands of Syria, Kush, which belong to Egypt, you set every man in his proper place to held his needs.
Each one has his requirements and you calculated his lifetime. Their tonges are in different languages, their natures likewise. Their skin is different, for you to identify the foreigners.
You create the Nile in the Underworld and you bring out it, as much as you wanted, to keep the people alive, just as you have created them.
You are their lord entirely, wearied by means of them.
The Lord of every land, who shines for them, the sun disk during the day, the great One in Wonder.
Also for all in distant foreign lands, you make them alive.
Because you have set a Nile in the sky, so that he can descend on them, that he makes waves on the mountains, like the sea, to water their fields with so much as needed.
That he makes waves on the mountains, like the sea to water their fields with so much as needed.
How successful are your plans, O lord of eternity!
Because the Nile in heaven is made for all people in foreign countries, for all the mountain wildlife running on legs;
But the Nile which comes from deep underground is there for Egypt.
Your rays nurture all plants. As you rise so they live and grow for you.
You make the seasons, to create all that is created. The wintertime is there for cooling. The summer heat so they might experience you.
You have made the far heaven, in order to rise on it and to see all that you have made.
You being alone and risen in your transformations as living Aten.
You having appeared in glory. You are shining, you being far yet near.
Out from yourself you make millions of manifestations only one.
You create millions of shapes out of yourself: Cities, villages and fields, roads and rivers.
All eyes can see you very clear during the day, when the sun disk stands high in the sky.
You are moving in the presence of each eye; you are creating their field of vision so that you make it perfect:
The view of your body, that is yourself.
O sole god. My action is for you, because you are in my heart!
Nobody knows you; except your son, whom you inform about all your intentions and about all your might you present.
The earth is created by your hands, exactly as you conceive all your creatures.
All you rising they will live. When you go down, they will die.
You are yourself the lifetime, because of you we are living.
The eyes exist, because of your beauty, until you go down:
All work stops, when you go down upon the western side.
But your rising strengthens the King.
Everyone who hurries by foot, since you founded the land –
You raise them up for your son, who comes forth from your flesh:
The King of Upper und Lower Egypt, who lives on maat (living in truth) Lord of the Two lands.
Nefer-kheperu-Re, Unique One of Re;
Son of Re, who lives on maat (living in truth), Lord of glorious appearances, Akhenaten (Akh-n-Aten), great in his lifetime.
The King’s great wife, his beloved lady of the Two lands, Nefer-Neferu-Aten, Nefert-iti, may she live and be youthful for ever and ever.
– Pharao Akhenaten and his family adoring the Aten –
I was in October 2023 in Amarna, Egypt – also in the Southern Tomb 25. Beyond all the destruction in that area, the energies can still be felt.
Hymn to Aten sung in Ancient Egyptian : Enjoy