Sobek The Egyptian God: Curious Facts On The Crocodile God Of Ancient Egypt!

Supriya Jain
Jan 24, 2024 By Supriya Jain
Originally Published on Nov 19, 2021
Edited by Sarah Nyamekye
Sobek god, Temple of Kom Ombo
Age: 3-18
Read time: 4.2 Min

The Egyptian god Sobek was the crocodile deity that was originally worshiped by the people who lived along the Nile river.

Sobek's name means 'he who is like a crocodile' and he is mentioned in several different Egyptian texts including the Book of the Dead. His main cult center was at Kom Ombo located in Upper Egypt, however, there were also shrines to him located throughout other regions.

Although Horus (falcon god) was often given credit as the king of gods, Sobek played an equal role among many other Egyptian deities such as Isis, Osiris, Thoth, Nekhbet, Hathor, Anubis, State, and others. Sobek and Horus were both the children of Tauret (the hippopotamus goddess). After reading about the crocodile god of Egypt, also check out facts about the goddess of knowledge and the hall of bulls.

Who was the Egyptian god Sobek and what was he the god of?

The Sobek was the god of water, fertility, and military prowess. He would offer protection to the deceased pharaohs who were about to venture into their next life. Sobek is sometimes referred to as the 'Lord of Faiyum', where he is believed to have originated and specifically worshiped at his cult center called Sheet by the ancient Egyptians.

Mummified crocodiles were often found in ancient Egyptian temples dedicated by King Amenemhat III to Sobek. Old kingdom Egyptians used to bury crocodiles in his honor.

The Egyptian Pantheon included Sobek under the name Sebek, which is the Greek version of his name. The pyramid texts show Sobek to be one of Egypt's three uniting gods, along with Ra and Osiris. The God of the Nile river and fertility, Sobek also protected the children of the pharaoh. Kom Ombo Temple is where Sobek was worshiped as the crocodile god and combined with Horus as Sobek Horus.

The tale of the Eye of Horus show Set tricked Osiris into climbing inside a box, then sealed it and threw it in the Nile river when Sobek found the box, he ate the pharaoh thinking he would gain Osiris' abilities; instead, Isis cut open his belly and gave birth to Horus.

What are Sobek's powers?

Sobek was believed to have the powers of a 'bull of his mother' meaning that he could impregnate any human female or animal with just one glance. His power was also seen when he came to the aid of other lesser Egyptian deities such as Hathor and Isis.

Sobek has been known throughout history for his ferocity and mercilessness, but these traits were only attributed to the fact that crocodiles in general are considered to be so deadly and dangerous. Crocodile mummies were often used as offerings in ancient Egypt. Sobek possesses the ability to kill or destroy anything with a single blow, he also carries a 'shen' wand with which he can control the waters of Nun (the Egyptian primeval water entity). Sobek's brute strength was always said to be just below that of the god Seth. Sobek also holds the position of gatekeeper of the underworld and is a symbol of fertility and power.

Sobek god, Temple of Kom Ombo

Is Sobek related to Anubis?

Sobek gained a lot of popularity during the rule of Amenemhat I. Although Sobek is known as an ancient Egyptian god, there are many different theories found throughout the time that link the power of lord Sobek and the most feared Egyptian God Anubis together.

This idea is mainly present due to their close physical resemblance however, it should be noted that this representation of these two gods does not mean they were good friends or worked together throughout the timeline of ancient Egyptian culture.

Anubis and Sobek also seem to have a rivalry where Anubis is known as being the defender of those drowned in the Nile river by Sobek.

The Egyptian God Sobek was pictured with a human body and a head of which animal?

Sobek was pictured as a man with the head of a crocodile and is known by many names such as Sebek, Sau, Suchos, Sobk, and Synopsis. He was also seen with the body of a man and the tail of a crocodile which could indicate that he sometimes had control over these deadly creatures. Sobek was pictured with a head of a crocodile.

This iconography led him to be considered one of the patron deities of the Egyptian army. The worship of Sobek came up during the Old Kingdom and started to slowly fade during the Middle Kingdom. He was usually worshiped in areas where crocodiles were likely to be seen, so it is no surprise he had a cult center at Kom Ombo, located on the southern border of Egypt. During the New Kingdom, Sobek was merged with another deity, Amun, and then he became Sobek Amun. To this day crocodiles are still worshipped by some Egyptian communities and they prevent them from being hunted.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Sobek Egyptian god: curious facts on crocodile god of Ancient Egypt! then why not take a look at who invented socks? interesting facts on sock history for kids pages?

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Written by Supriya Jain

Bachelor of Commerce, Master of Business Administration specializing in Marketing

Supriya Jain picture

Supriya JainBachelor of Commerce, Master of Business Administration specializing in Marketing

As a skilled member of the Kidadl team, Shruti brings extensive experience and expertise in professional content writing. With a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Punjab University and an MBA in Business Administration from IMT Nagpur, Shruti has worked in diverse roles such as sales intern, content writer, executive trainee, and business development consultant. Her exceptional writing skills cover a wide range of areas, including SOP, SEO, B2B/B2C, and academic content.

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