Bob Dylan And The Eye Of Horus

By Larry Fyffe

As mentioned before – according to ancient Egyptian mythology, Horus is the son of Isis, the Goddess of the Moon and her twin brother Osiris; Set (or Seth), another brother of Isis, causes Osiris to descend to the Underworld; son Horus represents the restoration of order after jealous Set disrupts the country by killing Osiris (in later revisions of the myth, puts him in a coffin, and throws it into the Nile). In any event, Isis manages to put Osiris back together enough to get pregnant.

The bigger eye of Horus, who’s depicted as a falcon, represents the sun king, and the other eye, the moon queen which influences the waters on Earth.

Using the befit of hindsight, some Christian writers, though  with difficulty, reformulate Isis as Mary, Horus as Jesus, and Set as Satan.

With Judaism, however,  there is a direct biblical link to the ancient mythology through the story of Moses, and an Egyptian  princess – in what is then the Land of Isis:

And the child grew

And she brought him to the Pharaoh's daughter
And he became her son
And she called his name 'Moses'
And she said, "Because I drew him out of the water"
(Exodus 2:16)

As rendered in the song lyrics beneath:

And the Pharaoh's little daughter stepped down into the water
To bathe in the cool of the day
And before it was dark, she opened the ark
And found the sweet child was there
(Bob Dylan: Little Moses ~ traditional/

Singer/songwriter/musician Bob Dylan often has the symbolic image known as the ‘Eye Of Horus’ at the back of the stage on which he performs; also, the image appears in the film “Renardo And Clara”.

Since Dylan’s often mixes-up the mythological medicine, the following song lyrics might be interpreted as the narrator thereof being the persona of Set, the Egyptian God Of Chaos, who wants Osiris out of the way so he can have Isis for himself:

I picked up his body, and I dragged him inside
Threw him down in the hole, and put back the cover
I said a quick prayer, and felt satisfied
Then I rode back to find Isis just to tell her I love her
(Bob Dylan: Isis ~ Dylan/Levy)

Members of the Autobiographical School of Dylanology might even claim that motherly Joan Baez, to whom Dylan gives an Egyptian ring, is represented as Isis, the saviour of Moses, in the lines beneath:

She wears an Egyptian ring that sparkles before she speaks
She's a hypnotist collector, you are a walking antique
(Bob Dylan: She Belongs To Me)

Apparently, the Isis princess keeps Moses chained down in the Land of the Folkie Pharaohs too long where he forgets his duty to the God of the Hebrews – in the song lyrics below, the State of Mississippi on the Nile of America could be said to represent the Egypt of old:

All my powers of expression, and thoughts so sublime
Could never do you justice in reason or rhyme
Only one thing I did wrong
Stayed in Mississippi a day too long
(Bob Dylan: Mississippi)

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  1. Well that’s fair enough..,.I don’t believe anything you say either.

    Deny the Old Testament all you want.

  2. Moses lingers in Egypt too long, and he also takes the credit for saving the Jews in the desert when he does leave; God’s not happy, and punishes Moses by not allowing him to cross the River Jordan.

  3. Kees de Graff’s quote from ‘My Own Version of You’ in “Comments” above indicates that God is critical of Himself for creating a Frankenstein monster that’s made in His own image (ie, humans who talk all night and day …) – which certainly is an interesting idea.

  4. David Weir presents about the same idea in his analysis of “My Own Version Of You” .
    Apparently we all talk too much (lol).

  5. False Prophet:

    “I’m first among equals”

    From ‘Animal Farm’

    “Open your mouth
    I’ll stuff it with gold”

    In Greek mythology, to pay the ferryman for providing passage to the Land of the Dead, a gold coin is put in the mouth of the deceased

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