42 Laws of Maat Under Kemet Law

Maat was the rule of law and moral justice among the ancient Kemet people, and the divine cosmological order within their mythology, astronomy, and astrophysical studies.

Kemet is the name the native African people of the country now known as Egypt called themselves in their surviving writings. Many scholars refer to the people as "kmt" or Kemet. The surviving artifacts of the Kemet viziers and scribes evidence that Kemet rule of law was “Maat,” contained at least in part in observing the 42 Laws of Maat.

The Goddess Maat as the Cosmological Origin of Kemet Rule of Law

Heliopolis-era creation stories from the Kemet people report that in the beginning Atum emerged from the Isfet (chaos) of Nu (primordial waters). Atum created the god Shu (personification of air/cool dryness) and goddess Tefnut (personification of moisture) from Nu. Shu is depicted in the Kemet iconography as an ostrich feather.

Under Kemet cosmology, Maat is designed to avert chaos (Isfet) and maintain truth (Maat). The symbol for truth, justice, balance, and order is the Goddess Maat. The iconography for Maat in the hieroglyphs depict the single ostrich feather (Shu), worn atop Goddess Maat’s head.

During the reign of Pharaoh Menes, around 2925 B.C.E., after the unification of upper and lower Kemet, archaeological finds evidence administration of the 42 Laws of Maat among the Kemet people as deduced from Kemet coffin texts or funerary papyri dating from this period.

The Duat, the Hall of Two Truths, and the Weighing the Ka (Heart)

Photo: Plate 3 of the Papyrus of Ani. 42 Laws of Maat, or 42 Negative Confessions, or 42 Admonition to Goddess Maat

The duat (underworld as the place for judgment) is where the popular Kemet funerary scene of the Hall of Two Truths is depicted in the various versions of the “Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Papyrus of Ani,” edited by E.A. Wallis Budge. A closer interpretation of the title from the Kemet language is said to be “Book of Coming Forth by Day.” The Budge translation was a funerary text written for the "coming forth" of Kemet scribe Ani.

In Chapter 30B of The Papyrus of Ani entitled “Chapter for Not Letting Ani’s Heart Create Opposition Against Him, in the Gods’ Domain,” we see the deceased scribe standing before his own heart/soul (ka) on the scale of Maat. On the opposite scale is the Goddess Maat’s feather of truth (Shu). The head of the Goddess Maat is depicted atop the scales of justice. Thoth, also known by other names such as Tehuti, stands holding a tablet and a writing tool to record the results from the scales. The ibis-headed Thoth is the patron saint of Maat scribes and priests.

Petitioner Announces the 42 Divine Principles of the Maat

In Chapter 125 of The Papyrus of Ani, we find the petitioner led by Anubis into duat and pronouncing his/her 42 affirmative declarations, listed below from Budge’s public domain translation of the 42 Divine Principles of Maat:
  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.
After the petitioner’s testimony containing the 42 affirmative declarations, the weighing of the ka for truth, and the reading of the scales, it is said that the doer of Maat is administered Maat. If the petitioner is deemed by the Goddess Maat to be in substantial compliance with the 42 Laws of Maat the petitioner passes from duat to the Field of Reeds (Arus) where Osiris sits as the final gatekeeper.

- by Vanessa Cross, J.D., LL.M.

  • "Maat the Moral Ideal in Ancient Egypt," by Maulana Karenga (Sankore Publisher, 2006).
  • "The Book of the Dead," edited by E.A. Wallis Budge (Gramercy Publisher, 1995).
  • “Maxims of Good Discourse” writings of the notable Kemet vizier and scribe Ptah-Hotep (accounting of some procedural laws under Maat).


  1. THE Light!
    MAAT LAW has nothing to do God, Gods, AKA MALE Dog-Dogs. Goddess, Goddesses aka or Female Dog-Dogs.
    There is no God,Gods or Goddess, Goddesses. None.

    1. Please tell us why you feel there is no God?

    2. There us no one single entity known as God.. God is you. God is me. God is my brother. God is my sister. God is every person and everything. Each and every living entity on this earth, in the universe, in the cosmos, in existence is a part of a Universal force that creates the One-The all-The everythingness.
      You, as part of this everythingness, solely have the power and will to make things happen-to manifest within your life. It is your will and yours alone that realize successes and failures. If you say and believe that it will, then it will. If you say and believe that it won't then it won't. Only you have the ultimate power to create the existence that is your life. There is no person sitting up in the clouds pulling strings to make things happen for you.

    3. It feels really good to see that others share the same understanding as me. I try to keep my knollage of self to my self because truth of this magnitude is not well received.

    4. we are all gods and goddesses, we are the saviours and the devils lol. that is what was wonderful about the egyptians in ancient times. They beileived in equality in everyone and everythimg

    5. Knowledge is fluid, Understanding is Grace, Spirituality is Divine. "Knowing ones own Ma'at is Peace".....Just Saying.

    6. I'm glad that I'm an American. I'm glad that I don't have to define myself by the color of my skin or eyes, the shape of my face or my " Ancient Heritage" I had no choice over in these things.
      I DO HOWEVER, have a choice of what I become, How I choose to react and try be a happy person that gives out a positive energy.
      This is my Ma'at.

    7. There's some open eyes out there I see. Good 2 know some ppl get it. Still learnin' of kourse...

    8. Atheism is a delusion. God exists as he has been proven. Go to YouTube, type in 'A Universe From Nothing, Therefore God Exists' and let the truth set you free.

  2. An African heritage maybe. A black heritage absolutely not. All Africans are not blacks and Egyptians have never said that they were blacks, whites or yellow. It is also to be noted that Egypt has been ruled by Native Egyptians, Nubians, Greeks, Romans, Assyrians... Their ancient beliefs can't be a legacy for black skin nor white skin. It's a legacy of all people that lived in Egypt or ruled the territory.
    Some africans have said why do blacks want to claim a nation that never claimed us? Are we that desperate or don't have anything better to do? Our future and place in the world don't depend on egyptian pyramids. We have lived all over the continent in our own right and don't need approval from the proselytizers of egyptian, greek or roman temples and gods to be a deserving human race. It's what we do in today's world that matters. Our ancestors from the sahara to the kalahari did what mattered to them and don't need our approval or european and asian approval for their human worth. Koreans and Japanese are sending rockets into space without having built a great wall, a sphinx, a taj mahal or a coliseum. Whatever egyptians were and did is good for history but is irrelevant for our livelihood. Why do we need to beg them to have a black skin? So that we can boast like europeans that their ancestors built temples and are the only one to have civilisation? If they did so what? It's important for Africans to deal with families, socio-economic issues, build our own roads, cars, computers... rather than wasting time in things like our ancestors built pyramids, egyptians were blacks... If we have been building all those things why is the entire black race in Africa begging for donations, chinese to build roads, indians to manage business, white to own mines, oil production... The egypt stuff is irrelevant compared to the socio-economic problems we are facing worldwide. No amount of ancient gods, pyramids and temples will solve our issues.

    1. "History is to a people what a mother is to her child" - Dr. John Henrik Clarke

    2. You are obviously not African, or you have no knowledge of who you are (which is sad). Your ancestors made you who you are. Though KMT was a creation of my BLACK African ancestors and were all BLACK dynasties for over 3,000 years (until the Greek and Roman invasions aka Ptolemaic Period), tit was only a child of other African civilizations.

    3. Actually the entire black race in Africa is not poor impoverished &/begging. That's only in certain areas, the vast majority of the continent is doing well & if you do a little research you'll find that at least 4 of the richest women in the world are Africans still living in Africa

    4. Not African not black needs to study and read instead of being a tampon that only soaks up what they have being taught

    5. Please God deny this person the blessing of being a parent, for humanity's sake, if nothing else.

    6. Meruexa, thank you. Well thought and well said!

    7. Blacks were the original Egyptians, we built those pyramids, Asians and Europeans came in and pushed us south taking ov er north Egypt and taking and claiming everything we owned...

    8. thats right but we did more than build pyramids, we gave the world a reason to exist.

    9. It is division that is destroying the black race, find a way to unite and if this means bringing back history and morality through one religion, so be it.

    10. This is the issue that most people can't seem to see. Blacks don't claim kmt and say that's where we are from. But it is work that our ancestors built. I claim the land because I know who I am and where I am from. Your mind is still Europeanized

    11. Not true none so whatever! In an Egyptian conference help in Egypt in 1997 Dr.Diop, Dr.Van Sertima,Dr.Ben and many others had petitioned the Egyptian courts that they have undeniable proof that the Egyptians are of an darker hue, you can say Black if you would like! I'm gathering from your writing they you may be black? another thing is that you may not be of 0+ stock meaning that we are not relatives, so in this matter you are right! Not all blacks are related! Your name for example ancient symbolism that Ra(Amen) has something to do with whom you may share knowledge of, but I see you also have Xe in your name also meaning you be an offspring of Grecian breading meaning the Grecian were of mixed blood 0+ and A- meaning your thought process maybe tainted by in superior blood, Meaning this may be why your lack thereof of comprehensive information is short lived! P'S If you are black, Please remember The use of Knowledge is Kingly/Queenly!

    12. The ancient so called Egyptians who understood all what was to be understood rightly were black people but today the very black people are looked upon as nothing. The black people today don't even know that they have been brainwashed to forget their history and their credit is given to another who knew nothing now that's going against this very maat laws and u say nonsense u make me sick. Give credit to the one who deserves it otherwise ur not just, ur a theif not right, very wrong, bad for a good and Balance society . May black people get their credit and stop this nonsense for black people deserve all respect for this. Well peace and respect mother creator

    13. why do you care then. If African American want to relate to ancient Egypt, it is their right. Egyptian were native Africans, yes a black race. It that makes you uncomfortable, grow a pair and move on with your life.

  3. Replies
    1. Wisdom is having the ability to turn the fool into a wise person instead of driving them away. Try to touch as many as you can with your knowledge, even if it means talking till your bones are dust.

    2. Knowledge of Truth is a seed that we have the capacity to plant into another person's mind, but only the Creator of the universe Herself can fertilize that seed into something fruitful. Our job is to turn on the alarm clock. It's the individual's responsibility to Wake Up!
      Audwin Chambers CEO of B.L.A.C
      Black Liberation Ancestral Curriculum

  4. Hotep, we are the original people and we need stop acting like bunch of fools; because" we are not". Our ancient were great builders and still is great creatures. Show me another race that can build and I will bow down to them. Oops, you can't.. We are a bunch of Empress and Empresses. Hotep!

  5. At the end of the day All African Americans should first take a DNA test to actually find out what you truly are..and than let your immediately family 👪 know...because of slavery black people don't really know who they are....it is nothing wrong with know your family history...ijs when you know where you come from another race will not be able to tell you who and what you are 😊

    1. PLease research and KNOW slavery as they tell you never existed the numbers are inflated and slavery began its way into school during integration

  6. The reason a lot of our bris and sis can't come to understand who they are is because they have been soo dumb down that right now they are too sick to get any understanding of self.

  7. Where can I learn more about ancient kemet

    1. books by Cheikh Anta Diop..well known Kmtologist

    2. Dr. Yosef Ben Jochannan is the leading black scholar on this study..YouTube him right now and that will be the first step in turning on the light in the room of our deep sleep!

  8. we are the beginning that never began and the ending that will never end we are the true elders of earth our melanin vibrates with the universe we are older the the sun moon an stars better yet we are the sun moon and stars.

  9. For the semites themselves, Egyptians were black.THANKS ron hood,the same way we cannot change the relationship between a child nd his mother we cannot chande the relationship between a person and history.
    the Egyptian in the bible were black. it is said the bible that both Egyptian and Ethopian are descendant of Ham.
    maruexa nobody want to claim nothing. this is the reality the african history

  10. In reply to meruexa...Until you understand the devious mind of the white race and the hatred they have against the black race or any other race, you are lost. I agree that the main focus should be here and now in shaping our communities and guiding our children for a better future, but without knowing your roots and being proud of your heritage all is for nothing. To be able to annalyze the time and the direction of those who are trying mold and enslave our children we have to know our history and theirs. History is history but it is what it is, to have your history stolen from you through conspirators that can plan thousands of years ahead of your time is a crime against you. If you don't know how can you educate your kids and your descendants about moral issues and their true heritage. Sure, the future is what we need to focus on but if you don't know who your enemy is, you will never be able to block them from stealing your children's mind.

  11. Every nationality should know who their ancestors are and where the are from, and what they stood for ..know yourself ,once you find out knowledge of self life becomes easier to understand we are all not the same, for instance..what would it be like if African people did what Europeans did enslaved Europeans and had world domination (owned the land control the world economy, and made the laws that govern the United States. I don't think it would never have happened African people were Prosperous in there own land living the way they knew best !
    Europeans did what the did and that's what make African people different they respected Life and preserved it so the next time someone sparks about how different we are think about that !

    1. Im glad if there exists such conscious thinkers, very unbiased and liberal...

  12. May Meruexa please read 'the full letter of Willie Lynch',and while at it the entity should read about the role of the Ku Klax Klan, and the AWB, the origins of the AIDs virus, and what it was meant to achieve, as per Dr Gallo of the John D Rockefeller laboratories. Then he/she may come and tell us to forget about who we are in the universe. As for the rest of the warriors, I say I am humbled by your efforts, and I say keep digging until something gives, and it will.

  13. It's the age of the pisces moving into the age of the Aquarius and our people are awakening. Seek and ye shall find, open your minds and your hearts to wisdom and knowledge. We have a lot of work to do, our ancestors have set the foundation.Jhuty, Heru,Asr,Ast,Set,Amen,Neith,Bast,Set,Ma'at. Ntchru of Kemet we need your guidance, wisdom, knowledge and energy as we seek the truth.💯

  14. What's up with the 21st law? Did Kemet have group marriages? Should one NOT seduce a wife or did the original state that one should not seduce a spouse?


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