Marikare, a local king offering advice to his  son, the crown prince around 1500 BCE, questions the value of traditional sacrifice, saying, “More acceptable to (the Father/Highest) God is the virtue of a just man than the ox of one who works iniquity.”  In India, Greece and China, we will see similar thoughts questioning the value of traditional practice over being virtuous.  If the wealthy make sacrifices, but rule with cruelty, those who dare to question will ask if performing sacrifices truly gains one merit.  Jesus chasing the money changers and sellers of sacrificial animals out of the temple is a similar move.  Christianity and Buddhism, likely the largest human cultures that have existed so far, both got in trouble for storing up wealth charging people for services, inspiring revolutions and reformations.

Honor those who achieve and the people will prosper, but keep your eyes open.  Too much trust brings trouble…Exalt no one because of birth.  Judge people by their actions.  People should do that which profits their soul/self/mind.  Let them perform the services of their temple.  Let them share in the mysteries of their religion.

Merikare shows great skepticism of authority, not only of political position and noble birth but of a central singular religious tradition.  Notice both ritual and mystery being included as religion.

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