"Prophecy of Neferti", in
The Prophecy of Neferti is an Ancient Egyptian discourse text set in the reign of the 4th dynasty Old Kingdom king Snofru (c.2550 BC), but was actually written during the early 12th dynasty (c.1991 – 1786 BC). The text is a pseudo-prophecy, i.e. one written after the event. It was published by Vladimir Golenishchev and stored in the Hermitage Museum. …
In Neferti, King Snefru holds court and a sage is introduced to entertain him with ‘choice words’. The sage, called Neferti, asks him whether he wishes to hear about the past or the future, and the king chooses the future. Neferti then goes on to describe at some length a vision of a future Egypt riven with chaos, where all social and natural norms are inverted. Towards the end of the text, Neferti predicts the advent of a future king, called Ameny, who will restore order to the country.
The text has often been interpreted as a classic piece of Egyptian royal propaganda, since the saviour king ‘Ameny’ is generally interpreted as an oblique reference to the name of the first king of the 12th dynasty, Amenemhat I. Amenemhat I was not closely related to his predecessor, and his reign began in unsettled conditions. The Prophecy of Neferti can therefore be read as a political justification for his new dynasty.