left the sins. And the one in front of the table, the one who held the Balance, was weighing the souls; and the fiery angel who held the fire was testing the souls. And Abraham asked Michael, the general-in-chief, ‘What are these things that we are beholding?’ And the general-in-chief said, ‘What thou seest, holy Abraham, is the judgment and retribution.’

The narrative goes on to state that Abraham saw that every soul whose good and bad deeds were equal was reckoned neither among the saved nor among the lost, but took his stand in a place between the two. This latter matter completely agrees with Muhammadan belief, which is said to rest upon Surah VII., Al A'raf, 44: "And between them both" (heaven and hell) "is a veil and upon the A'raf are men," and is also based upon Tradition.

It seems impossible to doubt that Muhammad was indebted, directly or indirectly, for his teaching about the Balance to this apocryphal work, or to the same idea prevalent orally at the time and ultimately derived from Egypt. The probability is that he learnt it from Mary, his Coptic concubine. The conception of such a Balance for weighing men's deeds, good and bad, is a very ancient one in Egypt. We find it in the "Judgment Scene" of the Book of the Dead, so many copies of which have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs. Regarding this work Dr. Budge


says, "It 1 is quite certain that the Book of the Dead, in a connected form, is as old as Egyptian civilization, and that its sources belong to prehistoric times to which it is impossible to assign a date. We first touch solid ground in the history of the Book of the Dead in the period of the early dynasties, and, if we accept one tradition which was current in Egypt as early as B.C. 2,500, we are right in believing that certain parts of it are, in their present form, as old as the time of the First Dynasty." Regarding its authorship he says, "From 2 time immemorial the god Thoth, who was both the Divine Intelligence which at creation uttered the words that were carried into effect by Ptah and Khnemu, and the Scribe of the Gods, was associated with the production of the Book of the Dead." The object of burying a copy of this Book along with the mummy was that the dead man might receive instruction from it and learn how to avoid the various dangers he would encounter in the next world. We learn from it a great deal of the religious ideas of the Egyptians. The vignette which represents the Judgment of the soul, which probably (as in the "Testament of Abraham") took place soon after death, varies in different copies, though they all preserve the same general outline. A form which is often found 3 shows us two gods, Horus and Anubis, engaged in

1 The Book of the Dead, vol. iii, p. xlvii.
2 Op. cit., p. lxxv.
3 Vide Note, p. 8 above.