Cone Shaped Shewbread
by Barry Carter
In his first Dallas lecture, David Hudson talked about shewbread and the conical shape of its depiction in Egyptian art:
“Okay this is out of "Ages in Chaos" by Immanuel Velikovsky. Ages in Chaos. Now this one you can't get new, you've got to find it in used bookstores. I think it was 1957 it was published. Anyway, Immanuel Velikovsky was trying to do a correlation between the writings in Egypt and the Hebrew Bible, or the Hebrew Torah, because he was Jewish. And he was researching all of the recordings that were in Egypt trying to find where they agreed with the Biblical because the Bible doesn't date things very well. The Egyptians were very methodical record keepers, and they did date everything very specifically. And the shewbread was obviously not of flour but of silver or gold. In the Book of Exodus it is said that the shewbread was made by Bezaleel, who was a goldsmith. Bezaleel is the man who made the Ark of the Covenant, made the golden decorations for the tabernacle, and made, you know, he was a goldsmith, and yet he made the Bread of the Presence of God. But the shewbread wasn't called shewbread then. The shewbread was called the Bread of the Presence of God. Remember before he was talking about being in the Presence as the Bread of the Presence? Okay, anyway, we need the next slide.”
This statement is not strictly true. The Bible speaks of Bezaleel as a fabricator in “all manner of workmanship”, not just the working of gold and silver:
Exodus 31:1 - 31:11
"And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship. And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee; The tabernacle of the congregation, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is thereupon, and all the furniture of the tabernacle, And the table and his furniture, and the pure candlestick with all his furniture, and the altar of incense, And the altar of burnt offering with all his furniture, and the laver and his foot, And the cloths of service, and the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest's office, And the anointing oil, and sweet incense for the holy place: according to all that I have commanded thee shall they do."
Hudson goes on to say:
"He calls it the white bread, and it is called gold in this, he actually has the Temple of Karnak records here of the plunder that was taken to Egypt from the Temple of Solomon, and here it all is, and here is the depictions of it, okay, that's good."
Drawing based on one by W. Wreszinski from Ages in Chaos
All I need to draw attention to is, see these little things that look like spiders right here? This is the hieroglyphic for gold. There, there, there, um, there, there, there, there, there (pointing to picture).
"Neb" the hieroglyph for gold
All these first items are all gold. Okay? Then down here they got silver, and at the bottom they got copper, but the more important items are the golden items. Here's the tables, the golden tables, the golden vessels, anyway, the menorah, even the lion's heads are here someplace, yeah, here's a lion head. Anyway, if you read the Bible and you go through this list that is recorded at the Temple of Karnak, it's absolutely identical to what's recorded as being in the Temple of Solomon. Right here is the shewbread. Coincidentally it's the elongated pyramidal shape. It doesn't look like a loaf of bread does it? It's the symbol, the same symbol I just showed you, it's called the white nourishment, but here it's called white gold. And what Velikovsky said was they obviously meant silver, because they call it white gold. No, they meant white gold. They meant just what they said, it was white gold. It was the Bread of the Presence of God that once a week the High Priests of Melchizedek were allowed to go behind the Veil of the Holy of Holies, and partake of the Bread of the Presence of God, and then more Bread was set out for the next week as the offering to the God's feet, or with the Ark of the Covenant. And they consumed this material on a weekly basis, and they literally, this was the era of the great Prophets when literally God dwelt with his people. And these High Priests could communicate with the animals, they could telepathically know all things; it was the era of the great Prophets in the Bible. Anyway, that's the stuff and there it is, black and white.Item 48 is referred to as gold shewbread by Velikovsky
In "Ages in Chaos" Velikovsky writes:
"Next to the altar was the table "whereupon the shewbread was" (I Kings 7:48; II Chronicles 4:19). The showbread was obviously not of flour, but of silver or gold; in the Book of Exodus12 it is said that showbread was made by Bezaleel, who was a goldsmith. Showbread is pictured on the bas-relief of Karnak in the form of a cone. The cone in the seventh row (138) bears the explanation: 'White bread." This bread was of silver. The thirty cones of gold (48) and the twenty-four cones of colored stone (malachite) (169), identical in form with the silver cone, also represent showbread."
Items 138 and 169 at Karnak
Velikovsky clearly implied that some of the shewbread was gold and some was silver.
Hudson also discussed the meaning of a similar object being presented to Anubis:
"I think this next slide is one that, just the picture says it all. It doesn't need any explanation. Once you understand this. The "Guardian of the Secret". Now pull it on over so they can see the picture. The King offers him the Anubis, the digestive system the White Bread, that is the white nourishment. The picture tells the whole story. See, the black Anubis represents the digestive system, and here he is, the King with the white powder offering it to the digestive system, and it's called the Opener of the Ways, the Keeper of the Secret."
Triangular offering to Anubis based on an illustration in
"Sacred Science" by R.A. Schwaller De Lubicz
The triangular offering is a fairly common motif in Egyptian art. Here is another image from "The Alchemy Key" by Stuart Nettleton:
Sesôstris I offering Shewbread to Amun
in the White Chapel at Karnak
"This same shape is shown even earlier in the White Chapel at Karnak, where the twelfth dynasty Pharaoh Sesôstris I presents the conical shewbread to Amun."
Robert Cox in his book "The Pillar of Celestial Fire" devotes a good part of a chapter to these conical shapes. He connects it to the "Pillar" or "Chamber of Light" which is topped by a similar glyph. He also says that:
"One such illustration is given in the drawing that immediately follows the opening vignette in the Papyrus of Ani."
There is another related theory that these materials were prepared in a temple of Hathor at Serabit El Khadim on the Sinai Peninsula. This theory was proposed by Laurence Gardner in "Genesis of the Grail Kings" and basically is that the m-state materials were prepared and stored at the Hathor temple and that this temple was the site that Moses visited when he received the tablets of stone. Gardner suggests that a white powder examined by Flinders Petrie in 1903 is the white m-state powder made in this laboratory/temple. Here is a passage from Petrie's record of this find:
"Of this period [Amenemhat IV] a very interesting result was found beneath the later temple. Over a large area a bed of white wood-ashes is spread, of a considerable thickness. In the chamber O [of the later temple] there is a mass, 18 in. in thickness, underlying the walls and pillars, and therefore before the time of Tahutmes III [of the 18th Dynasty]. In chamber N it varies from 4 to 15 in. thick; west of the pylon it is from 3 to 12 in.; and it is found extending as far as chamber E or F with a thickness of 18 in. Thus it extends for over a hundred feet in length. In breadth it was found wherever the surface was protected by building over it. All along the edge of the hill, bordering on the road of the XIIth dynasty past the steles, the ashes were found, all across the temple breadth, and out as far as the building of stone walls of chambers extends on the south. In all fully fifty feet in breadth. That none are found outside the built-over area is to be explained by the great denudation due to strong winds and occasional rain. That large quantities of glazed pottery have been entirely destroyed by these causes is certain; and a bed of light wood-ashe would be swept away much more easily. We must, therefore, suppose a bed of ashes at least 100 X 50 ft., very probably much wider, and varying from 3 to 18 in. thick, in spite of all the denudation which took place before the XVIIIth dynasty. There must be now on the ground about fifty tons of ashes, and these are probably the residue of some hundreds of tons...."
Room map of Serabit temple showing rooms where powder was found in gold color
The rooms in which the white powder was found match well with the rooms which the map on the sign at Serabit depicts as dating from the New Kingdom. Here is a picture of that map:
Map on sign at Serabit El Khadim
Petrie then went on to describe his efforts to identify this white powder:
"One suggestion was that it was the remains of smelting works. But smelting elsewhere does not leave any such loose white ashes; on the contrary, it produces a dense black slag. Also, there is no supply of copper ore at that level, nor within some miles distance, and the site is very inaccessible for bringing up materials. Moreover, there is no supply of fuel up on the plateau; whereas the ore has been elsewhere transported to valleys and plains where fuel could be obtained, as at the Wady Nasb, Wady Gharandel, and El Markha. The statement of Lepsius and others that there are beds of slag near the temple is an entire mistake, due to ignorance of mineralogy; the black masses are natural strata of iron ore, and not artificial copper slag. Another suggestion was that they were like the beds of ashes near Jerusalem, which were supposed to have originated from the burning of plants to extract alkali. But, again, this is the most unlikely place for obtaining a supply of plants. Neither of these suggestions can be an explanation."
Petrie suggested that this powder was the ash from animal sacrifice:
"The locality itself shows the meaning....On this hill we see great evidence of burnt sacrifices; and in the cave itself were many altars for burning incense....The popular worship of Palestine is here before us."
But Laurence Gardner points out that this is unlikely to be true for a couple of reasons:
"For want of any other explanation, it was determined that the white powder and the shem-stones were probably associated with some form of sacrificial rite, but this was an Egyptian temple and animal sacrifice was not an Egyptian practice. Moreover, there were no remnants of bones or any other foreign matter within the many tons of white powder that lay in the newly exposed storerooms -- it was perfectly clean and quite unadulterated. Petrie stated: 'Though I carefully searched these ashes in dozens of instances, winnowing them in a breeze, I never found a fragment of bone or anything else'."
Petrie delves further into the issue of animal sacrifice in Chapter 13 of Researches in Sinai. His conclusion was that the temple was a Semitic temple rather than an Egyptian one and that this accounts for the ashes from burnt offerings.
Laurence uses an illustration taken from a stele in the Brussels Museum as an illustration of the conical bread:
Here is the description of this stele from a book by Alan H. Gardiner and T. Eric Peet, edited and completed by Jaroslav Cerny, "The Inscriptions of Sinai", 45th Memoir of the Egypt Exploration Society, 1955.
At the top is a horizontal line giving the titulary of Ammenemes III. '[The good God,] lord of the two lands, lord of might, king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Nemare, living for ever, beloved of Hathor.'Below, the king, is seen seated on the left, wearing the two feathers at the back of his cap and carrying the flail. Hathor holds out to his nose in her right hand the emblems of life and dominion. In front of her are the words, 'Said by Hathor: I am giving thee life, perpetuity and health to thy nose for eternity'.The goddess holds in her left hand a round object whose nature is not obvious, probably a menat-necklace. Behind her is the God's treasurer Sebekhotep, holding out in his right hand a conical loaf of bread. In front of him we read, 'Said by the god's treasurer Sebekhotep: I bring to thee ...' Behind this figure again is another holding a papyrus roll in his left hand, in front of whom is, 'Said by the scribe...... this foreign country'.Below the scene are remains of six horizontal lines of inscription '- - - - - - the Majesty of this god [sent] the careful god's treasurer Sebekhotep to bring the precious stone for [his] majesty - - -'"
It is fairly evident from the translation of this image that Sebekhotep is presenting an object which is both a "conical loaf of bread" and a "precious stone" to Ammenemes III.
An Australian colleague named Bill Alford traveled to Serabit in 2000. He sent me the following comment on his search for this white powder:
I did get to Serabit El Khadim and there was no sign of the white powder there. I spoke to the local Bedouin chief about this and he said that he could remember the white powder being there as a child but it has all blown away since.
Bill did get to take a number of pictures of the Serabit temple site and a couple of them relate to the subject of this essay. Below is a picture which also depicts a cone shaped offering.
According to "The Inscriptions of Sinai" the description of this stele, from the 18th Dynasty, is as follows:
Above is the usual winged disk, below it on the right Hatshepsut as king offers white bread to Anhur-Show, and, on the left, Tuthmosis III presents wine to Hathor, lady of the turquoise. Date: 'Year 20'.Below the scene are eleven horizontal lines of inscription, of which the last three are shortened on the left to admit a standing figure of Nakht.'The scribe Nakhi, he says: I followed the good god, for the lord of the two lands knew that I was excellent, I walking on the road and being honoured on account of it (?), the officials of the palace bending the arm before me. The Horus himself sent me to do what his spirit desired. He promoted (?) me and I was foremost among millions of men, having been sought among hundreds of thousands of men. He appointed me royal envoy, I being exalted [before] the (other) courtiers, for Hathor, lady of the turquoise, showed me her favour for all that I had done [in propitiating the lady] of the turquoise every day. Amount of the offerings of every day: bit-bread ---- ----- 350, white bread 320, beer 360, wine 30, ro-geese 60 ------- water 100, for I went down to the coast successfully. None other peer of mine equalled me of any who had come to this [foreign country], I being the favourite of Hathor,
Bill also took a picture of another stele with the cone shaped bread on it while he was at Serabit:
This stele had the following entry in "The Inscriptions of Sinai":
In the lunette are the winged disk and uraei with the cartouche and titles of the king, 'The good god, lord of the two lands Nebmare, endowed with life eternally'. The lunette is closed at the bottom by the symbol of heaven, below which is a double scene, showing, on the left, the king, 'Son of Re Amenhotep, ruler of Weset', offering a conical loaf on a cup to 'Sopdu, the great god of the east', and, on the right, the king, 'The good god Nebmare', offering two small vases of water to Hathor. The inscription, 'Beloved of Hathor, lady of the turquoise', at the same time refers to the king and also gives the name of the goddess, a double reference common in these scenes. Both deities are standing on a common pedestal and are therefore meant to be statues. In the central column we read, 'Said by Hathor, lady of the turquoise: "(I) am giving thee millions ----"'.Below is an inscription of twenty-three lines which, as far as is legible, reads as follows: 'Year 36, second month of winter, day 9, under the majesty of the king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Nebmare, son of Re, Amenhotep, ruler of Weset, endowed with life like Re eternally and for ever. Behold his majesty was in the southern city (= Thebes) - - - - - - - - - of Weset. Behold it was entrusted to the king's scribe, overseer of the Treasury [Sebek]hotep called Pinhasy to make ------ turquoise, while his majesty was celebrating the third sed-festival - - - - - - - - - - - - on the last day of the month ------ from Hathor, lady of the turquoise (?) in joy, while her heart was glad, [she] rejoicing [in what] Nebmare [had done for her] - - - - - - - - - jubilating and laughing (?) ------- Pinhasy (?) - - - - - - - - - - who had come forth with him were joyful. The leaders were glad of heart and his work waxed mightily, each one treading this hill country adoring (?) this goddess, their scribe who was, in their midst giving praise daily, Amenmose whose name is Memay (?) ------- being present (?). This scribe says: I followed my lord in the hill country; I took hold on the task which he had entrusted to me; I went forth on the ocean to foretell the wonders of Punt, to obtain the odorous gums; I brought away the foreign princes in their --- (?) --- with the tribute of numberless hill countries. Behold I have come also and trod the country of this goddess; I directed work for turquoise, I received - - - - - - L.P.H. He gave the gold of reward, the mouths rejoiced - - - all - - - -, all commands, work-people ---- I found --- sea --- in his reaching the [southern] city - - - '
It is not clear what the "gold of reward" is or who is giving it but it is interesting to note that the thing being given in the picture is the "conical loaf in a cup". Whether this "white bread" is the same as the white ORMUS materials is open to question. The inclusion of the white bread shape in the gold inventory at Karnak is very suggestive but it is not definitive.
The "white bread" cones are often adjacent to a hieroglyph that is called the "Sacred Sothic Triangle" on page 150 of "The Lion Path: You Can Take It With You" by Musaios. The illustration from this book is at:
The text under the illustration indicates that it represents a "door entry" and that:
"The Sothic Triangle, forming the ancient hieroglyph for Sirius (Sothis) was constructed by using a cord 22 units long, with markers at 9 and 13 units from the start. Then, with the cord pulled taut at these markers, and the end meeting the beginning, the triangle denoting sothis was formed as the drawing shows; the base being 4 units wide and each sloping side 9 units from a corner of the base to the vertex, in 4-to-9 proportion (see for example the inscriptions at Abydos)."
The Sothic triangle is generally adjacent to an ankh as seen below:
A sonic device shaped like the ankh, according to an unpublished Seth session, was used by ancient people to soften stone so that it could be carved easily. I would imagine that softened stone would be easier to extract the m-state from.
The 4/9 ratio is the reverse of the 5/9 ratio of the weight that Hudson claims remains when metal is converted to m-state. 4/9 would be the portion which is no longer physically measurable.