How Was Humankind Almost Destroyed By the Goddess Sakhmat In Ancient Egyptian Mythology?

Ruled by Ra, all Egyptian people prospered.

But when Ra grew old and feeble, evil men plotted his downfall.

Ra learned of their plans, and he called the other gods together for advice. The gods told him that humankind deserved to be destroyed.

Heeding their words, Ra ordered the goddess Sakhmat to carry out his vengeance.

Sakhmat was a fierce goddess with the head of a lioness and the body of a woman. Using her claws and razor-sharp teeth, she began slaughtering people by the tens of thousands.

After one day, most of humankind was wiped out. But that night, as Sakhmat slept, Ra’s anger cooled and he decided to spare the survivors.

Ra knew, however, that when Sakhmat awoke, she would be in such a frenzy that she would not obey his order to stop.

To prevent more massacres, Ra ordered his servants to make seven thousand jars of beer and dye the beer red. Ra then dumped the beer into a giant pool.

When Sakhmat woke, she believed the red beer was blood. Eagerly, she drank it until she became so full that she forgot about killing any more people. Humankind was saved.

But Ra was weary of the world and decided to end his rule.

He continued to sail across the sky as the sun, and he created the moon to comfort people during the darkness of night.

Ra chose the god Osiris to rule the world in his place.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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