Practice English Speaking&Listening with: SOBEK: Crocodile God | Egyptian Mythology Documentary Animation

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Sobek is the Ancient Egyptian crocodile God. He has an intimidating appearance - the head

of a callous crocodile and the strong body of a man. His head brandishes the custom double

crown of Amun; an embellished Symbol of divine authority, featuring the horns of a ram, wrapped

by two Uraeus cobra. This headdress features the red solar disk flanked by tall illustrious

plumes. A crown like this is reserved for only the most significant characters in Egypt.

In his fully zoomorphic form, he is simply a giant powerful crocodile, sometimes adorned

with golden accessories.

Sobek is the son of Neith, the prime creator, a goddess of war; Architect of the universe

and all gods. She was the mother of crocodiles and a personification of primeval waters.

In Egyptian mythology, these first waters of creation were seen as the origin of life.

Sobek emerged from the chaotic rapids to assume his position as the reptile god. He was the

one who rose out of the primordial waters.

In most myths, he remains childless. Its uncommon for such a prominent god to have

no children. This is really unusual, especially considering who Sobek was. How could an Egyptian

goddesses look at this handsome devils face and not be keen some Sobek kids. No kids,

but he wasnt necessarily single.

One of his consorts was Renenutet, Goddess of the harvest. Sobek really wanted children,

but she never seemed to be interested. Renenutet was always reminding him about how she is

such a busy lady these days and theres no way she had any time for children. Oh no..

Well, not Sobeks apparently. Several myths have his other consort as Hathor. She was

the one last hope for Sobeks genetic legacy.

No luck with her either. No kids. Hathor by

the way, is a significant goddess of fertility. Yes, Married to a Goddess of fertility (The

Goddess of Fertility) and still no children. Poor Sobek.

If all of this isnt bad enough, his name is derived from an Egyptian word which means

to impregnate. He was even called Lord of semen in a few spells. Im not finished

though. They even named sobekThe one who takes women from their husbands whenever he

wishes according to his desire”.

Apparently, Sobek was shooting blanks. That or he was taking these women from their husbands

to get stuck on first base. Why there were never any little Sobeks running around

the banks of the nile, it truly is a mystery.

People often wonder what exactly is Sobek the god of? Like many Egyptian gods,

he didnt really have a specific role per say. On a super basic level, he was often

closely associated with the colour green. When he wasnt being called the Raging one,

The Great Male Being or Lord of Semen, he went bygreen of plume”.

Some also saw him as god and protector of the nile. In a lot of myths, he alone created

the nile by unleashing godly sized buckets of his sweat onto the dry desert. The river

began to run and lush green foliage sprouted along the nile. Sobek single handedly saturated

the prosperous nile with his perspiring pores, bringing new life to Egypt.

This particular myth and the aquatic qualities of crocodiles could be why he was accepted

as the god of water.

At some points in Egypt, he even became a solar deity of sorts. Water god and Sun god.

Hold on, dont these two elements conflict as opposites in a way? And

wasnt Ra the falcon already the god of the Sun. Yea, this all true. Fortunately,

Egyptians came up with a truly genius fix for this dichotomy. If Ra the Falcon is already

the sun god and Sobek the crocodile is already the water godJust put the sun gods head

on the water gods body. Boom, Sobek-Ra. The sun god and the water god combined. Too easy.

Greeks and Egyptians often created these funny hybrid gods. For instance, Sobek also did

a stint as Sobek-Horus, another falcon headed god. Sometimes he was even depicted with the

body of a crocodile and the head of a man.

Whilst we're on the topic of strange duality, we have to talk about something. Egyptians

and Crocodiles. There are some weird things about this duo that

very few people ever discuss.

In some parts of Egypt, many crocodiles were worshipped like gods because of Sobek. We all kinda knew

that, but heres where things get confusing. Whilst in some parts of Egypt crocodiles were

gods, In other parts of egypt, crocodiles were categorically hated and hunted for sport.

You kill a crocodile in one area and youre celebrated. You kill a crocodile in another

and you become the hunted. How can you have some parts of Egypt that absolutely detest

crocodiles with every fiber of their being and other parts who worship them as divine

beings. To solve this mystery, well need to visit a famous Anceint city. Undeniably,

the most appropriately named city in history. Crocodilopolis.

You probably know from its title what Crocodilopolis is all about. Its no mistake a city named

Crocodilopolis worshipped a crocodile god. In greek and later latin, Crocodilopolis translates

to Crocodile City and here, Sobek was worshipped religiously. Everyone wore crocodile amulets

and jewelry. Crocodile styled rings were prized possessions. A gold signet ring with a crocodile

theme commanded the highest level of respect. Little crocodile statues and trinkets were

common household items collected for good luck. Crocodopolis temples contained gigantic

statues to honor their cold blooded god. In this city, even Greeks and Romans paid their

respects to Sobek through worship and offerings at his temples.

Crocodilopolis is one of the major cities of the Egyptian Faiyum, an area of the ancient

Shedet. No people worshiped Sobek like the people of Shedet.

The Faiyum people even hand raised special crocodiles on religious grounds.

These rare crocodiles would grow into what Egyptians perceived as living incarnations of Sobek

himself. They swam in man made pools and freely roamed the neighbouring waters.

This city was infested by crocodiles for obvious reasons. Whist there were many, one particular

crocodile stood out. The most sacred, biggest prehistoric beast in the city. This one of

a kind crocodile was namedSon of Soukhos”.

He was one of one, and was often covered ingolden jewelry and semi-precious gemstones. Whilst intimidatingly imposing, this crocodile

was raised from birth to be completely tame. He was still wild, but he had a friendly side

apparently. Really, he may have been the most relaxed, chilled out crocodile in history.

You could probably even climb into his gigantic toothy mouth and walk away with all of your

limbs still attached.

The biggest factor in the placidity and friendly demeanour of this guy, was the fact that his

voracious hunger was always completely satiated. He never experienced hunger, but not in the

way you might be thinking. Our Son of Soukhos enjoyed a frequent diet of bread, meat and

honey with milk.

Every time a new guest arrived to his temple with a food offering, the tiny priests would

have to chase the gigantic crocodile around the lake. Priests were obligated to feed him

the offerings they were given by the temples visitors. To not feed him a new offering would

be disrespectful to Sobek himself. The Son of Souhkos was a slippery reptile and it wasnt

easy to catch him. He was always running away from the little priests because he knew what

would happen when they caught him. The only reason these priests were ever successful

in catching our Son of Souhkos, was because of how huge, slow and drunk he was. Drunk?

When they eventually caught him, they opened his mouth and feed him offerings of sweet

cakes and wine. You can see why he was such a massive beast. Heres where things get

a little dodgy for our Son of Soukhos. Remember, were in Crocodilopolis. There are frequent

visitors who for the most part, all brought offerings for our giant croc. Assuredly, not

an offering went to waste and our holy crocodile was very, very well fed, albeit with a diet

full of sweet treats and alcohol. He

was exceptionally well looked after, but it sounds like the Egyptian priests didnt

acknowledge feeding a crocodile confectionery carbohydrates and liquor all day wasnt

great for its longevity, or clearly its waistline.

The son of Soukhos would eventually be replaced by a new crocodile. This only happened once

he died though. As he was seen as the son of Sobek himself, he received a royal burial

when his time came. So, it was time for the special ceremony once the Son of Soukhos inevitably

died of a heart attack. This included a regal mummification and Baby crocodiles were placed

in his mouth. Crocodiles transport their young by carrying them in their mouths in this way.

They are one of the few reptiles that actively care for their young. Egyptians saw this nurturing

side of crocodiles. The savagery of these dinosaur like creatures was certain, but so

was how they cared for their young. Perhaps if crocodiles cared so much for their offspring,

Sobek would also care for the wellbeing of Egypt so to speak. Should

there be an animal on your side for protection, it best be powerful in some way. This is the

kind of perception duality sobek influenced. A supremely strong and fearsome deity with

the ability to do massive damage or to lovingly look after those close to him. A respectable

juxtaposition.

He was mainly worshipped in areas of Egypt where crocodiles were abundant and posed a

serious threat. Anywhere with open waters that a predatory crocodile may inhabit was

a cause for concern. Fear and respect came hand in hand with Sobek and the people of

the Faiyum had a particularly strong connection to him. If you see crocodiles all day, its

only fitting your local hero aligns with this.

To further this point of crocodile admiration, would you believe me if I told you that Sobek

was seen a god that created order? I know a vicious unpredictable crocodile isnt

the most likely candidate for such a claim. Why would an aggressive crocodile god be seen

to create order? Chaos and unpredictability is the impression a croc leaves for most,

but a fantastic myth in the coffin texts reveals the story of Sobek restoring order to Egypt.

Her aggressive expression is uncharacteristic, making it exceptionally frightening. Very

seldom had anyone ever seen her in such a state. No one knew the source of this explosive

anger, just that her Son Horus was the perpetrator and she wanted to teach him a lesson. Isis

casts a viscous magic spell to Pin Horus down and remove both of his hands. In her rage,

she sends them to the depths of the nile river. They slowly sank to the bottom, making them

almost impossible to retrieve. Horus is now handless. He looks defeated, but theres

a part of him that is relieved. Whilst in this moment he felt like a hostage to the

magic of ISIS, he was glad only his hands were removed and not his head. These actions

by Isis would not go unanswered though. Someone was watching.

Ra was observing all of this from the skies above as falcon. He took some time to think

about the situation before he came to a decision. Ra was fair and believed in order over chaos.

Naturally, he considered Isisactions unjust. He thought it was only reasonable that his

friend and fellow falcon god Horus got his hands back.

Ra had an issue though. Whilst he was proficient around water, the hands were now far too deep

in the river for him to retrieve them. He knew there was only one other being who could

access the depths of the nile. Sobek.

Most gods wanted as little as possible to do with Sobek. Unless he was crafting something

or you caught him on a good day, he had grisly demeanour and a short fuse. Sobek did have

a few things going for him though. He was surprisingly creative, an amazing swimmer

and clearly very Handsome. Reluctantly, on this occasion, Ra had no choice. He needed

Sobek. He was however, very aware of the crocodile gods difficult disposition. Sobek wasnt

the charitable type and it was unlikely hed do a favour for nothing. Knowing this, Ra

creates something to incentivise him. This would be a bribe he was positive Sobek could

not refuse.

Grudgingly it was time for Ra to visit the nile.

After a few close calls with the crocodiles of the Nile, Ra enters Sobeks palace.

The entire temple was flooded. Of course it was flooded.

He is standing in tepid knee high water and waits for Sobek to surface.

Its dark inside, softly illuminated by Ras

red hot solar disk. Every little sound reverberates off the dark granite walls. Ra begins to feel

the water beneath him moving. Sobek swiftly surfaces.

Ra is caught completely off guard and goes into greeting autopilot. He asks Sobek hows

your day been, hows the wife, hows the kids

Sobek still had water in his ears and didnt catch any of that, fortunately. Without hesitation, he bluntly asks Ra

What do you want.

Ra breathes a massive sigh of relief and begins explaining the predicament to Sobek, knowing

that hed probably have to bargain for his help. He thought hed try simply asking

for the favour, hoping Sobek would understand. Ra was noble and prefered not resort to bribes.

Who knows, Sobek could have been in a good mood, so he asks. Nope, bad mood as usual.

Sobek abruptly refuses with a ferocious snap. Hes as grumpy as ever and its clear

he isnt enjoying Ras honorable company.

It was time for plan B: Ras trump card. Ra cautiously stretches out his closed

hand towards Sobek, watching the crocodile God intently. He reluctantly opens his clenched

fist, presenting Sobek with the irresistible bribe. Its a stunning gold signet ring,

no crocodilian god could refuse.

The jaws of Sobek slowly separate, revealing his terrifying teeth. His pining eyes reflect

the glistening object before him. Sobek looks possessed and Ra fears what the cold blooded

god is about to do. Fortunately, Sobek was simply overcome with uncontrollable desire

for the golden trinket and he enthusiastically agrees to the quest. Ra begins telling Sobek

that the hands are now located at the bottom of the river but before he could finish, Sobek

was gone.

As soon as Sobek hits the water, an uneasy feeling washes over him.

He had barely listened to Ras words the moment he was presented with the special

ring. His reptilian brain completely took over. He was overwhelmed by its marvel and

forgot about what was living at the bottom of the nile. Since the inception of the niles

creation, he had not visited its depths for this wretched reason.

As he swam deeper, he began to remember why he had only been down there once. One time

in all these years. He had a strong feeling the reality of this dreaded memory would soon

be confirmed. He pauses momentarily and considers turning back. After a moment to gather his

thoughts, he continues swimming with the motivation of Ras beautiful bribe still fresh in his

mind.

He approaches the bottom of the nile and lays eyes on the hands. They rest in complete darkness

under an intentionally piled prison of rocks. The inside of this cavernous dwelling would

have been invisible to most, but Sobeks eyes were well equipped

The hands are right there. He could almost reach out and touch them. They are

at the very bottom of the river as expected, but Sobek cant retrieve them. Even though

they are right there in front of him, there is a formidable enemy preventing him from

getting Ras ring. A preventative force Sobek hates with all of his godly will.

The green is sucked out of Sobeks scaly skin the moment he clearly sees what is guarding

the hands. “Theywere waiting at the bottom of the nile for him. The reason Sobek

couldn't get the hands of Horus was because they had taken the hands for themselves. They,

were sobek's nemesis, the fish of Chaos. These arent just any fish though. They are the

fastest in the nile. As quick as lightning and intrepid daredevils. The one and only

time he dared swim to the depths of the nile, the fish trolled Sobek relentlessly. This

miserable memory flashes through his mind. He remembers how uncontrollably furious they

had made him and the aftermath of frustrated destruction he caused to Egypt afterwards.

The two fish simply loved creating chaos. They were the reason why he hadnt been

this deep in a very long time.

The flashback to his first encounter with the fish is overwritten by the glow of the

glorious gold ring. He was unwaveringly determined to get that ring, but first, he needed those

damn hands. The fish could now see Sobek, so they enthusiastically exit the cave holding

the hands in their fins. He begins chase. When it came to swimming, Sobek was always

the most skilled in the Nile River Valley, but not in the company of these two fish.

No matter how hard he tries, he cant catch them. Surprisingly, theyre overjoyed to

see Sobek again. They loved nothing more than to torment the crocodile god. The fish were

very aware that he never had a chance of outpacing them. The chaos of Sobeks frustrations delighted

the daring duo.

The chase continues until Sobek is moments away from conceding defeat and almost snaps.

He is at the end of his fuse now and is about to implode when he experiences a brilliant

moment of inspiration. Instead of an implosion, a light bulb goes off in his head. His visions

of chaos were replaced with the clarity of creativity. The golden finish line made him

see clearly. For now, he would give up chase and return to the surface.

As night falls the fish to go to sleep. He swims back down deep into the river and diligently

executes his plan. He makes sure not to get close enough to wake the sleeping fish. He

didnt want to alert them yet.

Sobek would now wait for the first warm light of the aten to shine over the nile.

Sobek patiently waits and as soon as Khepri thrusts the first

sun into the new sky,

His eyes close to a squint and

his sight narrows with tunnel vision. He puts his entire godly focus and will on the fish,

and thrusts himself into their rocky home. They hadnt seen him yet, but they soon would.

Sobek was waiting for them this time.

They instantly wake up, quickly grab the hands

and the chase begins the chase once more. He swims as fast as he can. The fish can not

believe their luck. First they both get hands of a god. Now, they get two days of terrific

back-to-back Sobek trolling. The pair is elated and continues to tease him. Whilst he gets

closer than before, Sobek still cant catch them. They mercilessly mock him but Sobek

is unusually calm. Normally he would have smoke coming out of his ears at this point

and would be absolutely furious. Everything was going to plan though. The fish didnt

know it, but this time things were different. Sobek remains cool and continues his seemingly

futile chase, until everything suddenly comes to a halt. The fish stop dead in their tracks.

It was as if the nile itself had abruptly stopped flowing. Sobeks plan had worked.

The night before, Sobeks creativity lead to a new invention.

He couldnt beat them with speed,

so hed beat them with creativity.

His solution, was a special fish trap. He invented the world's

first fishing net and had sprawled it across the bottom of the river. This genius contraption

had done its job perfectly. The audacious Fish of Chaos had no idea what was coming.

Sobeks creativity had triumphed over the

chaotic nature of the niles fish.

Our story ends with Sobek retrieving the hands from the net and returning them to Ra. He

exchanges the hands for his gleaming gift. Ra looks down at the detached hands and then

looks up at Sobek who is now wearing the ring. Ras expression morphs from relief, to confusion

to total shock. He was staring straight at Sobek and couldnt believe what he was seeing.

For the first time in history in an unprecedented event, Sobek smiles. He was so happy,

little crocodile tears had filed his eyes. Ra couldnt help himself and mirrored the

joyous expression. He knew he should never do this, but reciprocating, he smiled at the

crocodile.

After this, Ra went to visit his buddy Horus and returned the hands. Horus was happy. He

had his hands back. Ra was satisfied knowing that order had been restored and chaos defeated.

Isis felt Horus had learned his lesson. The invaluable fishing

net had even been invented for Egypt.

Wait, were forgetting something arent we. You might be wondering what happened

to those fish.

I'll let Sobek Explain

Egyptians regarded many fish as creatures of chaos; animals that emerged from the disorder

of the first primordial waters. As a god who frequently caught and ate fish, Sobek in a

way was doing his part to establish order. This was one of the reasons fishermen and

the people of the nile worshipped Sobek. In a way, he was the patron god of the fisherman.

All of the marshes from the Nile River Valley, to the edge of the desert were lord Sobeks

domain. He watched over these lands, as from his skin, they were his creation.

The Nile is arguably the very reason the Egyptian civilization even existed. They had great

respect for this invaluable body of water. All Egyptians relied upon it in some way,

so many also carried a certain level of respect for its creator Sobek. If a being could create

such a valuable resource for Egypt, surely he was an ally.

This is where the other side of the Sobek coin comes into play. A lot of Egyptians had

an incredibly hard time worshipping a god in the form of a crocodile; a scaled, savage,

blood thirsty predator.

Lets keep it real youd probably have a hard time worshipping such a ghastly creature

too. To me, these prehistoric monsters look like they were plucked out of the bloody dinosaur

age. The scales, their teeth, their dark beady eyes and their feet. Their feet! Not alone

here, large groups of Egyptians shared this sentiment. When the canals and rivers dried

up, crocodiles would go on a slaughterous rampage. Theyd freely roam the fields and

eat whatever, or whoever would be unlucky enough to get in the way of their destructive

path. Many pets, friends and family members became the Snacks of Sobek. Worshipping what

such a deity represents is a tough sell. The reality was, a lot of people hated crocodiles

and weren't on board with any Sobek worship whatsoever. Countless crocodiles were diligently

destroyed.

Heres something that made it even worse for Sobek. He was associated with arguably

the most evil Ancient Egyptian god Seth. Being associated with Seth was virtually a guarantee

that most Egyptians wouldnt be very big fans. Any god that would kill and dismember

Osiris was an enemy.

Sobeks popularity did continue to grow however. Crocidilopolis steadily expanded, reaching

nearly 30,000 inhabitants at its peak. Sobeks reputation hit a whole new level when several

notable Pharaohs began to push a strong pro Sobek campaign. They were named in honor of

the contentious god and sent ample funding to his temples. The later and destructive

Greek Ptolemies built prominent Sobek temples. Apparently, the Ptolemy temples had a creepy

vibe. Something in them just felt off. Well talk about these nasty Ptolemies another time

though. Anyway, In case youre curious, heres some Egyptian Royalty linked to Sobek.

Theres of course Sobekneferu. Her name meant something likethe beauty of Sobek

and there was SobekhotepSobek is pleasedorSobek is happy”.

When a Pharaoh is named after a god, they commanded the associated divine being to be

venerated. When a pharaoh commands, you obey. As pharaohs propelled Sobek into popularity

he became more palatable. He rubbed shoulders with other beloved deities that were much

more widely worshipped. Being linked with gods such as Horus and Ra was a great look

for improving public perception.

With this being said, its easy to see why an erratic, terrifying creature like a crocodile

would be this divisive.

From almost the inception of Ancient Egypts myths, Sobek was put on a pedestal with the

mighty gods. Whilst there were many crocodile gods worshiped in Egypt, almost all of them

were derivative. When it came to powerful polarizing crocodile gods, there was truly

only one. Sobek, the creator of the nile. The crocodile god.

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The Description of SOBEK: Crocodile God | Egyptian Mythology Documentary Animation