Marriage Practices - Part I

The Old Kingdom

Ancient Traditions

From out of the past come social customs that have had a tremendous impact on mankind, down to the present day. One of those is close inbreeding among royalty. We know it in the traditions of Europe, where noble people have tried to keep their blood among themselves. Modern godless theories assign this practice to maintenance of power or estate among the various cultures, an evolutionary explanation. While this element may be true, the ancient practices are more properly understood as coming from Adam and Eve.

The fact that this world was once in communication and exchange with the celestial realms is well recorded in our historic documents. Unfortunately, modern scholarships has looked upon this evidence as mythological developments out of psychological origins.

. . . the myths of ancient China described Shang Ti, the August Lord on High, charging two of his agents, Ch’ung and Li, “to cut the communication between heaven and earth so that there would be no descending and ascending of spirits and men between the two.” See Mythologies of the Ancient World, S. N. Kramer, Doubleday and Co. New York, 1961, pg 390.

A time existed when superhuman beings, called the gods, ruled the earth. This era is described by Plato in his Critias:  

In the days of old the gods had the whole earth distributed among them by allotment. There was no quarreling, for you cannot rightly suppose that the gods did not know what was proper for each of them to have, or, knowing this, that they would seek to procure for themselves by contention that which more properly belonged to others. They all of them by just apportionment obtained what they wanted, and peopled their own districts; and when they had peopled them they tended us, their nurslings and possessions, as shepherds tend their flocks, excepting only that they did not use blows or bodily force, as shepherds do, but governed us like pilots from the stern of a vessel, which is an easy way of guiding animals, holding our souls by the rudder of persuasion according to their own desires; thus did they guide all mortal creatures.

This condition held true for the entire planet, way back into time, before Adam and Eve. Those planetary administrators worked all areas of the globe, teaching a new language, introducing agriculture, and developing means for elevating the labors of mankind. Plato goes on to say, placing words in the mouth of an Egyptian:

As for these genealogies of yours which you just recounted to us, Solon, they are no better than the tales of children. In the first place you remember a single deluge only, but there were many previous ones; in the next place, you do not know that there formerly dwelt in your land the fairest and noblest race of men which ever lived, and that you and your whole city are descended from a small seed or remnant of them which survived. And this was unknown to you, because, for many generations, the survivors of that destruction died, leaving no written record.

The Egyptian was speaking about the Greeks. Their ancestors were, indeed, a fair and noble race. But with time their blood reduced to ordinary levels. The men of those days may have left no written record, but among those descended from this noble blood certain customs were maintained.

. . . And there they implanted brave children of the soil and put into their minds the order of government; their names are preserved, but their actions have disappeared by reason of the destruction of those who received the traditions, and the lapse of ages. 

. . . For mythology and the enquiry into antiquity are first introduced into cities when they begin to have leisure, and when they see that the necessities of life have been provided, but not before . . .

As time went on, these matters were lost to human memory, except as preserved in the myths and in the social customs.  As Plato described the descent from Adam and Eve:

. . . For many generations, as long as the divine nature lasted in them, they were obedient to the laws, and well-affectioned towards the gods, whose seed they were; for they possessed true and in every way great spirits, uniting gentleness with wisdom in the various changes of life, and in their intercourse with one another. By such reflections and by the continuance in them of a divine nature, the qualities which we have described grew and increased among them; but when the divine portion began to fade away, and became diluted too often and too much with the mortal admixture, and the human nature got the upper hand, they then, being unable to bear their fortune, behaved unseemly, and to him who had an eye to see, grew visibly debased, for they were losing the fairest of their precious gifts; but to those who had no eye to see the true happiness, they appeared glorious and blessed at the very time when they were full of avarice and unrighteous power.

Thus we can see how the divine nature became diluted as the blood of Adam and Eve became mixed with the evolutionary mortals of the world. In some regions this knowledge and practice was preserved more than in others. A remnant of this blood came into Egypt. They migrated there from the Mesopotamian regions after the devastating geological upheavals that came with dramatic changes in the world weather ecology, post 10,000 BC. They expressed their customs as an attempt to limit breeding among the nobility, with the notion that the royal elite could maintain the ancient blood lines.

Adam and Eve were pure blood, created blood, not evolutionary blood. They bred children who were also pure blood. The plan was to create a pool of children that would then go out to the evolutionary races, to uplift them biologically, morally, and spiritually. In order to bring about sufficient numbers the process demanded that the children marry brother and sister. This went on for a few generations. Unfortunately, a great default took place when Eve betrayed her trust. This threw the whole plan into disarray.

Some people tried to preserve the traditions. Over time, with the great earth upheavals, they forgot their true ancestry, but they clung to certain customs. One of those was marriage to close kin, brothers and sisters. Brother-Sister marriages came down from the darkness of the past. The records must be understood in that light.

Fourth Dynasty Marriage Practices

Consider the family intermarriages of the Fourth Dynasty. We are fortunate to have this record because of the great building enterprise of King Khufu. The mastabas on the Giza plateau have notations on the chapel walls that list the owner's relationships to other members of the royal family. They were a prolific group of people with prodigious offspring. Atet, the wife of Prince Nefermaat, is believed to have given birth to fifteen children. Since these were all members of the royal family they received royal titles. We witness the prolific offspring by the many mastabas surrounding the Giza pyramids.

The following chart shows the relationships among the Fourth and Fifth Dynasty members as gleaned from various records. Click on the diagram to obtain a larger image.

We can see the wide practice of brother-sister marriages among the nobility. They certainly were an incestuous group of people.

Personalities Relationship Personalities Relationship
Snefru-Hetepheres I  Half Sister Khufu-Meritates Full Sister
Khufu-Henutsen Half Sister Khufu-Nefretkau Half Sister
Khafre-Khameremebty I Half Sister Khafre-Hetepheres II Half Sister
Khafre-Meresankh III Niece Kawab-Hetepheres II Full Sister
Djedefre-Hetepheres II Full Sister Djedefre-Khetetenkta Half Sister
Menkaure-Khameremebty II Full Sister Userkaf-Khentawes First Cousin

My sources for this tabulation are:

I also consulted Chronicle of the Pharaohs, Peter A. Clayton, Thames and Hudson, New York, 1994 and The Riddle of the Pyramids, Kurt Mendlessohn, Praeger Publishers, New York, 1974. The last two sources publish a genealogical diagram similar to what I show, but they "prettied-it-up" for popular appeal. Their diagrams are incomplete, and simplified. Even mine is not complete because of the complexity of showing all relationships.

Other family relationships are reported among the Fourth Dynasty.


Here the remark is made that:

Nefermaat was a son of Snofru, the founder of the 4th Dynasty. His mother is not known with certainty, but she is sometimes assumed to have been Snofru's eldest daughter, Nefretkau.

This hardly seems possible. In his tomb Nefermaat identifies himself as the eldest son of Snefru. If Snefru was 20 when he had his first child, Nefretkau, and Nefretkau was 15 when she had Nefermaat, then Snefru had no other sons by other wives in the intervening 15 years.  All other sons had to come when Snefru was 35 years old, or older. But we know he was prolific in sons.

We have other remarks:


Henutsen was the wife and queen of Khufu. She was the mother of Prince Khufu-Khaf and possibly Khephren. She has a small pyramid beside Khufu's Great Pyramid at Giza. She is listed on the inventory stela and some believe that she was the daughter of Khufu.

In both these cases the Pharaohs had children by their daughters. I have been unable to find corroboration for this assertion. But later dynasty kings did, indeed, have children by their daughters.