42 Laws of Maat, or 42 Negative Confessions, or 42 Admonition to Goddess Maat, or 42 Declarations of Innocence or Admonitions of Maát, 42 Laws of Maat of Ancient Egypt, or the Laws of the Goddess Maat

Hieroglyph of Goddess Maat iconography, i.e.,
feather of truth (Shu) on top of her head

The purpose of ma'at (law/justice/truth) among the Kemet (Kmt Khemet) people of ancient Upper and Lower Egypt was to divert chaos (Isfet). In Spellbook/Chapter 125 of The Papyrus of Ani (also Book of Coming Forth By Day or The Egyptian Book of the Dead, as edited by E.A. Wallis Budge) the viewer of this hieroglyphic picture finds the petitioner led by Anubis into duat (underworld/the gate).

Image of Goddess Maat

Anubis, The Scale Setter

In Spellbook/Chapter 30B of The Papyrus of Ani titled “Chapter for Not Letting Ani’s Heart Create Opposition Against Him, in the Gods’ Domain,” we find a petitioner of ma'at (justice/truth) before the scales of justice (iconography ma'at/goddess maat). Anubis, the setter of the scales, has placed the petitioner's heart-soul (Ka) on one side of the scale, its counter-weight is the feather of truth (Shu). The Spellbook/Chapter for Not Letting Ani's Heart Create Opposition Against Him in the Gods' Domain is where the petitioner must pronounce, and his/her weighted heart/soul (Ka) will reveal the truth or non-truth of each affirmative of the 42 pronouncements.

Petitioner's heart-soul (Ka) being weighed on the scales of justice (Goddess Ma'at) by Anubis (scale setter) against the feather of truth (Shu)

The 42 Divine Principles of Maat in Budge's native English follows:

  1. I have not committed sin. 
  2. I have not committed robbery with violence.
  3. I have not stolen.
  4. I have not slain men or women.
  5. I have not stolen food.
  6. I have not swindled offerings.
  7. I have not stolen from God/Goddess.
  8. I have not told lies.
  9. I have not carried away food.
  10. I have not cursed.
  11. I have not closed my ears to truth.
  12. I have not committed adultery.
  13. I have not made anyone cry.
  14. I have not felt sorrow without reason.
  15. I have not assaulted anyone.
  16. I am not deceitful.
  17. I have not stolen anyone’s land.
  18. I have not been an eavesdropper.
  19. I have not falsely accused anyone.
  20. I have not been angry without reason.
  21. I have not seduced anyone’s wife.
  22. I have not polluted myself.
  23. I have not terrorized anyone.
  24. I have not disobeyed the Law.
  25. I have not been exclusively angry.
  26. I have not cursed God/Goddess.
  27. I have not behaved with violence.
  28. I have not caused disruption of peace.
  29. I have not acted hastily or without thought.
  30. I have not overstepped my boundaries of concern.
  31. I have not exaggerated my words when speaking.
  32. I have not worked evil.
  33. I have not used evil thoughts, words or deeds.
  34. I have not polluted the water.
  35. I have not spoken angrily or arrogantly.
  36. I have not cursed anyone in thought, word or deeds.
  37. I have not placed myself on a pedestal.
  38. I have not stolen what belongs to God/Goddess.
  39. I have not stolen from or disrespected the deceased.
  40. I have not taken food from a child.
  41. I have not acted with insolence.
  42. I have not destroyed property belonging to God/Goddess
Left to Right: Goddess Ma'at,  Thoth/Tehuti, The Petitioner of Maat,
Scales of Goddess Ma'at (Lady Justice), and Anubis

The ibis-headed Thoth is the patron saint of Maat scribes and priests. He is also known as Tehuti. In the Duat (place for judgment/underworld) and the Hall of Two Truths, Thoth/Tehuti holds a tablet and writing tool and records the scale's reading of the 42 affirmation of the petitioner. The successful petitioner will be led from Duat to Arus (the Field of Reeds) where Osiris sits as the last gatekeeper judge.

Image of Thoth (Thovt, Thot) aka Tehuti
(Djehuti, Djewhuti), Patron of Scribes


Written by Vanessa Cross, J.D., LL.M. [CC 2012]

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  1. Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results. See the link below for more info.


  2. Replies
    1. I have been looking for a poster size print out for years and cant find one

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  5. Deeply inspired to maintain a high level of integrity. As a former Christian, I'm shocked at the similarities when comparing and contrasting the Principles listed above with the Ten Commandments!

    1. The biblical commandments originate from Kemet sis

  6. We need more ancient teachings, I would like to learn the language of kemet

  7. First time I've seen these. But no one could passinto the next world because wirh have all done so many of these things on our lives. No wonder Moses narrowed it down to ten! At least that gives us a shot!

  8. The God of our Father's has 613 laws that the Jewish youth carry blue tzit tzit, beads to remind them to do all His commandments.
    Moses narrowed it down to 10 Commandments for the sons of Ishmael/Issac, Jacob/Esau to follow.
    Christ again in the new covenant narrowed the law down to 2 Commandments, to always remember to love The Father, and love thy neighbor as you love and value your own life.
    On those two laws hang all judgement of the judges, lawyers and prophets.
    Best advice I can give, return to the law of love and repentance before all time comes to a halt.

    1. Hey, I love what you said, and im definitely not trying to troll, just asking a little clarity because you seem to be well versed in the bible, and I am new to the ancient Kemetic writtings.

      1) Do you think Jesus Christ is the only way into heaven and why?

      2) In regards to Jesus giving only 2 commandments, maybe a little more details, because now that I think about it, I think your right. But i still need the verses, I feel like he gave more, but he came as a teacher.

      any input would be helpful, your reasoning so simplistic it actually made a lot of sense.

  9. Yes!!! Help me understand as well as a former Christian, because it seems very suspect how I can repent and be automatically accepted into heaven???... Especially if I lived my whole life a sinner???.. And to whom I pray to????. Jesus or God himself????..... In a. Nutshell it seems to me that Jesus himself even went by these 42 laws of maat.......

    1. Kemet is where its laws originate! Study the ancient african religions