In Egyptian mythology, Shu (TR:61) (LH:6) (TL:67) hieroglyph: , was the god of the air, according to the Heliopolis creation myth, who was the first thing made by the god Atum, via creation by breath, who was the male counterpart of the goddess Tefnut (moisture), father to Geb and Nut, who conceptually "held up" the heavens from the earth, i.e. "separated" his incest-desiring children from copulation; who, in Greek mythology, became the mold behind the character of Atlas (NE:532); who, in Hebrew mythology (see: Hebrew recension), became, via god character rescript, the character Joshua, described as the pre-exodus born son of Nun who became the prophet successor to Moses.
In 2500BC, in Heliopolis, Egypt, cosmology was defined, via the Heliopolis creation myth, such that the first god was Atum, being self-engendered, whose first act of creation was to breath out the gods Shu (or air) and Tefnut (or moisture), as shown below:
Structurally, i.e. in terms of the structure of the cosmos as the Egyptians perceived things, the role or job of "Shu", the first (#1) thing created, in this cosmo-mythological scheme, was to physically separate Geb (earth) from Nut (heaven), Geb and Nut conceptualized as lovers who needed separation, as shown above.
Sorrow of Isis | Pillars of Shu
In 1500BC, in the "Sorrows of Isis", line 194, we see the god Shu "god Shu" (Hebrew rescript: Ja-Shua or Joshua), discussed in respect to the stinging of Horus by a poisonous scorpion sent by his evil brother Set:
To revive Horus, i.e. bring him back to life, Isis has to summon the help of the magic of the moon or god Thoth and also to have the sun god Ra stop is boat and come to help re-power Horus.
In Greek mythology, the god Shu, via Homer (c.800BC), Hesiod (c.800BC), and Virgil (30BC), became, in slightly re-written fashion, the Greek god Atlas who with his brother Menoetius sided with the Titans in their war against the Olympians, the Titanomachy. When the Titans were defeated, many of them (including Menoetius) were confined to Tartarus, but Zeus condemned Atlas to stand at the western edge of Gaia (the Earth), according to the Virgil (30BC) version, and hold up the “sky” (or Nut, in original Egyptian version) on his shoulders, to prevent the two from resuming their primordial embrace. (Ѻ)
A common misconception, to note, is that Atlas, in modern times, is oft-depicted as being forced to hold the “earth”, not the heavens, on his shoulders, but classical art shows Atlas holding the celestial spheres, not a globe; the solidity of the marble globe borne by the renowned Farnese Atlas may have aided the conflation, reinforced in the 16th century by the developing usage of atlas to describe a corpus of terrestrial maps.
Hebrew mythology | Joshua 10:13
This Sorrows of Isis, in Hebrew mythology, became the story of Joshua 10:13, wherein Joshua (or god Shu) tells the sun (god Ra) and the moon (god Thoth) to stand still for an entire day.
Hence, the "Sorrows of Isis", as Vladimir Golenischeff (1877) and Wallis Budge (1904) entitle the above tale, became the "Book of Joshua" (Book of Shu), or Joshua chapter of the Bible, according to which, Joshua made (or bade) both the sun and the moon to stand still.
- Budge, Wallis. (1904). The Gods of the Egyptians, Volume Two (image, pgs. 94-96; disc stood still, pgs. 209-10). Dover, 1969.
- Thims, Libb. (2021). Human Chemical Thermodynamics — Chemical Thermodynamics Applied to the Humanities: Meaning, Morality, Purpose; Sociology, Economics, Ecology; History, Philosophy, Government, Anthropology, Politics, Business, Jurisprudence; Religion, Relationships, Warfare, and Love (§2: Alphabet) (pdf). Publisher.
- Shu – Hmolpedia 2020.