Nilus the great river of Egypt, which even in the most ancient times received divine honors from the inhabitants of that country. This deity was more especially worshipped at Niopolis, where he had a temple. Herodotus mentions the priests of the Nile. Lucian says that its water was a common divinity to all of the Egyptians. From the monuments it appears that even the kings paid divine honors to the Nile. Champollion refers to a painting of the time of the reign of Rameses II. which exhibits this king offering wine to the gods of the Nile, who in the hieroglyphic inscription is called Hapi-Mun, the life-giving father of all existences. The passage which contains the praise of the god of the Nile represents him at the same time as the heavenly Nile, the primitive water, the great Nilus whom Cicero, in his De Natura Deorum, declares to be the father of the highest deities, even of Ammon. The sacredness which attached to the Nile among the ancient Egyptians is still preserved among the Arabs who have settled in Egypt, and who are accustomed to speak of the river as most holy. Mr.
Bruce, in his travels in Abyssinia, mentions that it is called by the Agows Gzeir, Geesa, or Seir, the first of which terms signifies a god. It is also called Ab, "father," and has many other names, all implying the most profound veneration. The idolatrous worship may have led to the question which the prophet Jeremiah asks: "What hast thou to do in Egypt to drink of the waters of Sihor?" or the waters profaned by idolatrous rites. See Hardwick, Christ and other Masters, 2:274, 298; Baur, Symbolik u. . Mythol. 1:171; 2:2, 419; Edinb. Rev. 1863, 2:104 sq.; Nichols, Brit. Museun, p. 97; Trevor, Anc. Egypt, p. 147. SEE NILOA.