In religio-mythology, neter (TR:7) (LH:13) (TL:20), symbol " ", meaning axe or hatchet, symbolic of the divine military power of a tribe, city, or state, is the ancient Egyptian hieroglyph for "god", where three neter symbols " " means "gods", and four or more neter symbols refers to a "paut" or god family, e.g. Ogdoad ( an eight god family) or Ennead ( a nine god family). Individual "nome gods" are referred to as "neteru" (Gadalla, 2001).
In 2360BC, in the Pyramid Texts of king Unas (c.2400-2360), we find the following sentence carved into the pyramid of his burial tomb, which reads may Unas "rise as a soul like a living god":
The neter symbol, shown twice above, translating as "god", generally refers to the "power" of person or war power of a state our country. In plain speak, the axe, of another person (of another country), may very well strike out the solar "life force" (ankh) given to you by the gods.
This is similar to how semi-modern countries evoke the name a "god" prior to going to war, or as national justification to go to war, e.g. how George Bush in Jun 2003 said "god told me to invade Iraq", in private meetings, following 9/11. In this scenario, it was the god of Jesus (aka god the father) vs the god of Muhammad (aka Allah). The "supreme god", at the time of Unas, comparatively, was Atum-Ra.
The is some conjecture that the term "nature" derives from neter, presumably in the sense of what is natural is what is determined by the "power" or powers of the universe.
The following are quotes:
- “The common name for ‘god’ is ‘neter’ or , with the plural ‘neteru’ , or , or , or , but we find that male gods are sometimes called ‘hawks’ , even when the female gods are called ‘netert’ .”
- Gadalla, Moustafa. (2001). Egyptian Cosmology: the Animated Universe (pg. 143). Tehuti.
- Cornwell, Rupert. (2005). “Bush: God Told me to Invade Iraq: President revealed reasons for war in private meeting”, Common Dreams, Oct 7.
- Supreme god timeline – Hmolpedia 2020.
- Budge, Wallis. (1904). The Gods of the Egyptians, Volume One (pg. 41). Dover.
- Neter – Hmolpedia 2020.