True of Voice

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A very common expression in Egyptian texts is 'maa-kheru', translated as 'true of voice' or 'justified'. The term first appears in the court case between Horus (in some texts Osiris) and Seth, which ended in the verdict that Horus was the legitimate heir to the throne. The judges decided that his statement ('voice') was 'true'. Incidentally, it is assumed that in the Pyramid Texts from the Old Kingdom it is the voice of the judge that is meant: he is the one who speaks the 'truth'. As the personification of Horus, the living king was also 'maa-kheru', with the notion of 'legitimate', i.e. 'victorious' being important. The term appears most frequently, however, after the names of people who have died, at least from the Middle Kingdom on. They, too, triumph before the tribunal over their enemies and at the last judgement (Spell 125 in the Book of the Dead) their statement that they have not sinned is acknowledged as true. The term then means that they have survived the judgement and been admitted to the safety of the hereafter; for this reason some scholars choose to translate 'maa-kheru' as 'blessed'. Occasionally, the term also appears after the names of people who are still alive. In these instances it is probably to be interpreted as a wish for the future.