Is the `Papyrus Ipuwer' for real? The Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt by Margaret Bunson says this:
"Admonitions of Ipuwer, a text recording the observations and adages of a sage who described conditions in Egypt at the end of the Old or the Middle Kingdom. The Admonitions offer a remarkably pessimistic view of Egyptian society and the state of affairs at the time, something not seen frequently in Egyptian writings. The text was discovered in the Papyrus Leiden 334, having been copied by 19th Dynasty scribes (c.1200 BCE; 6th century BC in revised view). The Admonitions address an unidentified king with vivid images of invading tribesmen from the desert wastes and other problems confronting Egypt at the time."
What Ipuwer said
Lines 1 - 7:
"- - - - what was ordained for you in the time of Horus, in the age of [the Ennead(?)] - - - The virtuous man goes in mourning becuse of what has happened in the land. - - - " - - - foreigners have become Egyptians everywhere.
the face is pale; 10
"- - - what the ancestors foretold has arrival at [fruition(?)]. - - - 2.1the land [is] full of confederates, and a man goes out to plough with his shield. . . .
INDEED, women are barren and none conceive. Khnum [the Creator god] fashions men no more because of the condition of the land.
INDEED, poor men have become owners of wealth, and he who could not make 5sandals for himself is now a possessor of riches. . . .
the river is blood, yet men drink of it. Men shrink(?) from human beings and thirst after water.
INDEED, gates, columns and walls(?) are burnt up, 4 while the hall(?) of the Palace stands firm and endures.
INDEED, the ship of [the Southerners] has broken up; towns are destroyed and Upper Egypt has become an empty waste. . . .
4 INDEED the Desert is throughout the land, the nomes are laid waste, and barbarians from abroad have come to Egypt.
INDEED, people arrive - - - 2there are no Egyptians anywhere. . . .
3.6INDEED, the builders [of pyramids(?) have become] field labourers, and those who were in the sacred bark now yoked [to it(?)]. None indeed sail northward to 7Byblos today; what shall we do for cedars for our mummies, with the produce of which priests are buried and with the oil of which 8 [kings] are embalmed as far as Keftiu? They come no more; gold is lacking - - - and materials(?) for every kind of craft have come to an end. 9 The - - - of the Palace is despoiled. How often do the people of the oases come with their festival spices, mats(?) and skins(?), with fresh redmet plants, 10 grease(?) of birds - -?
INDEED, Elephantine and Thinis(?) [are in the province(?)] of Upper Egypt, (but) without 11 paying taxes owing to civil strife. . . . 12 . . . To what purpose is a treasury without its revenues? . . .
13INDEED, laughter has perished, 14 and is [no longer] made; it is groaning that is throughout the land, mingled with complaints.
INDEED, every dead person is a well-born man. Those who were 4.1 Egyptians [have become] foreigners and are thrust aside. . . .
INDEED, 4.5 that has perished which yesterday was seen, and land is left over to its weakness like the cutting of flax.
INDEED, 6 the entire Delta will not be hidden: the confidence of Lower Egypt is (now) a beaten path. What 7 can one do? . . . 8 Asiatics are (now) skilled in the crafts of the Delta. . . .
5.11 INDEED, the ways are - - - , the roads are watched; men sit in the bushes until the benighted traveler comes 12 in order to plunder his burden, and what is upon him is taken away. He is belaboured with blows of a stick, and slain wrongfully.
INDEED, that has 13 perished, which yesterday was seen, and the land is left over to its weakness like the cutting of flax, commoners coming and going 14 in dissolution. Would that there were an end of men, without conception. 6.1 without birth! Then would the land be quited from noise, and tumult be no more. . . .
3 INDEED, everywhere barley has perished . . . 4 The storehouse is empty, and its keeper is stretched on the ground; a happy state of affairs! 5 Would that I had raised my voice at that moment, that it might have saved me from the pain in which I am.
INDEED, the private judgment-hall [or: prison],6 its writings are taken away and the mysteries which were [in it(?)] are laid bare.
INDEED, magic spells are divulged; shemu and sekhnu spells(?) 7 are frustrated(?) because they are remembered by men.
INDEED, public offices are opened and their census-lists are taken away; the serf is become an owner 8 of serfs(?).
INDEED, [scribes(?)] are killed and their writings are taken away. Woe is me because of the misery of this time!
INDEED, 9 the writings of the scribes of the mat have been destroyed: the corn of Egypt is (now) common property.
INDEED, the laws 10 of the judgment-hall [or: prison] are thrown out; indeed, men walk on them in the public places and poor men break them up 11 in the streets.
INDEED, the poor man has attained to the state of the Nine Gods, and the erstwhile procedure of the House of the Thirty is divulged.
12 INDEED, the great judgment-hall is a popular resort, and poor men come and go in the Great Houses. . . .
7.1 BEHOLD, the fire has gone up on high, and its burning goes forth against the enemies of the land.
YEA, BEHOLD, things have been done which have not happened for a long time past; the King has been deposed 4 by the rabble.
BEHOLD, he who was buried as a hawk is [devoid of(?)/set simply on(?)] a bier, and what the pyramid concealed has become empty.
BEHOLD, it has befallen that a few lawless men 3 have deprived the land of the kingship.
BEHOLD, men have fallen into rebellion against the Ureaus, the - - - of Re, which makes 4 the Two Lands peaceful.
BEHOLD, the secret of the land, whose limits were unknown, is divulged, and the Residence is [or: will be] thrown down in a moment [or: hour]. . . .
7Behold, the land has knotted itself up with confederacies. . . .
12 BEHOLD, he who could not build a boat for himself is now the possessor of a fleet; their erstwhile owner looks at them, but they are not his.
13 BEHOLD, he who had no shade is now the possessor of shade, while the erstwhile possessors of shade are now in the full blast(?) of the storm.
BEHOLD, he who was ignorant of the lyre now possesses a harp, 14 while he who never sang for himself now vaunts the Songstressgoddess. . . .
8.1 BEHOLD, he who had no property is now a possessor of wealth, 2 and the magnate praises him.
BEHOLD, the poor of the land have become rich, and [the erstwhile owner] of property is one who has nothing. . . .
10.3 LOWER EGYPT WEEPS. The king's storehouse is the common property 4 of everyone, and the entire palace is without its revenues. To it belong emmer and barley, fowl and fish; to it belong white cloth and fine linen, copper and oil; 5 to it belong carpet and mat, - - - flowers and wheatsheaf and all good revenues. . . .
- - - 14.10 in their midst 11 like Asiatics - - - Men - - - their state(?); they have come to an end of themselves(?); 12 - - - Every man fights for his sister and saves 13 his own skin. Is it the Nubians? Then we shall make our own protection. Fighting police(?) will hold off the barbarians. Is it the Libyans? 14 Then we shall act again. The Medjay fortunately are with Egypt. How comes it that every man kills his brother? The troops 15.1 which are recruited for ourselves have turned into barbarians and have taken to destroying that from which they took their being and showing the Asiatics the state of the land; 3 all foreigb peoples are in fear of it. . . .