The description of the smiting of the first-born of Egypt is derived from J (xii.
On the oldest monuments the years in a reign were not numbered consecutively but were named after events; thus in the 1st Dynasty we find the year of smiting the Antiu-people, in the beginning of the IIIrd Dynasty the year of fighting and smiting the people of Lower Egypt.
As a natural result of this belief we find the view that the operations of nature are conducted by a multitude of more or less obedient subordinate deities; thus, in Portuguese West Africa the Kimbunda believe in Suku-Vakange, but hold that he has committed the government of the universe to innumerable kilulu good and bad; the latter kind are held to be far more numerous, but Suku-Vakange is said to keep them in order by occasionally smiting them with his thunderbolts; were it not for this, man's lot would be insupportable.
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