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Nehebkau

by Micha F. Lindemans
An Egyptian snake-demon or snake-god who guards the entrance to the underworld. Various functions are attributed to him besides guarding the entrance. He protects the pharaoh in the afterlife, and he accompanies the sun god Re during his voyage through the underworld. Legend has it the Re tamed him and made him his servant.

According to one tradition Nehebkau was the son of the scorpion goddess Serket. Yet another tradition mentions him as the son of the earth god Geb and the harvest goddess Renenutet. As god of infinite time he was invoked by the dead, but he was also invoked against snake bites and scorpion stings. Nehebkau was depicted as a serpent with human arms and legs.


Article details:

  • Also known as:
    Nehebu-Kau
    Nehebkhau
  • Etymology:
    He Who Harnesses the Souls

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