Origins of the Messiah: Incarnation of Osiris (Messiah Myth)

(Background description) Horus was the falcon-headed god of Egyptian legend. Pharoah was the earthly incarnation of the Horus.

His story begins with his parents Osiris and Isis.

Osiris, Isis, and their brother Seth were all gods. And Osiris was god of vegetation, Isis the goddess of fertility and Seth the god of the desert. Osiris was a “living god”, like Horus he was embodied as the pharaoh. When he became pharaoh, he took Isis to be his queen. Seth became jealous and murdered Osiris. I believe he cut Osiris’ body into pieces and scattered them throughout Egypt. When Isis heard, she took the form of a bird and searched until she found all the parts of his body. After um reassembling Osiris’ body, she beat her wings and breathed life back into him. Thereafter, Osiris was god of the afterlife.

To avenge his father, Horus fought Seth. After battling for 80 years, Horus was judged victorious by the gods, but he had lost his eye in the battle. The eye was found and returned to him. As a gesture of respect, he presented the eye to his father, Osiris. The Eye of Horus or “udjat” represents the combination of a human eye, with the cheek markings of a falcon. It was considered a powerful symbol for imparting protection and life.

It was performed during a dinner outing at an authentic Mexican restaurant after I had taken the MCAT (Medical School Admissions Test). The informant and I were talking about our college experiences, and he mentioned that one of his roommates was deeply pious and knew everything about being Jewish including their folklore. He recited  it in English, but indicated that it could have been spoken in another language that he could not remember. He seemed to like this interpretation of the Messiah myth, because of the many variations, he believed that it was one of the few that seem very unconventional.

For the informant, this version of the Osiris myth represents one of the older explanations for a messiah while being more explicitly rooted in astronomical data. He performs it simply for comparing explanations for a savior between religions. It serves some importance to him, because of the implications it has on the weight individuals with faith put in their saviors while ignoring the similar practices of ancient cultures.

Limitations include that the informant could not remember all the details about this variation of the Messiah myth, and could not provide it in the language that it was originally spoken. He also did not remember the original language.

There seems to be multiple variations of this myth which could differ depending on the culture and/or religion. No one really knows where the Osiris myth originated. Although, it may fall back to the very remote past (~1st C. BC) based on astronomical findings. The story of Osiris appears to have been spread according to a mythological description of the life of Osiris, describing his death and rebirth. Personally, it is somewhat unusual to have a godly event, such as the death and rebirth of Osiris, to take place in world that seems more like a fantasy and fictional. This could partly be due to the belief that Osiris is intended to be a fictional figure given that this story was derived from astronomical interpretation (e.g. star constellations). After reading other variations, I was able to find geologic data from Egypt that provides an entirely different interpretation. I came across a variation which referenced an Egyptian variation of the Messiah myth. In this variation, Osiris had undergone a second death after his wife Isis gathered the remnants of his body, which was contingent on geographic data. The latter can be found in “Osiris”, Man, Myth & Magic, S.G.F Brandon, Vol.5 pp. 2088, BPC Publishing. This could be indicative of a non-fictional human being with divine powers. Despite the variations in explaining what occurred in the Osiris myth, I noticed that together these variations sought to instill a high moral code upon society, a sense of good and evil, and an inclination towards love and admiration. The geologic interpretation did follow a similar philosophy as the astronomical one, in which there existed a spiritual element that is resurrected from the body, which allows one to exist in a higher spiritual realm.