The Egyptians perceived God as an active force - commanding, guiding, inspiring and ordaining man’s destiny. Active, or passive, man felt its power, and naturally he reacted in accord with it. What forms did this reaction take? This is the question we may now proceed to examine. The cult and piety referred to in the heading of this chapter should not be thought of as two separate entities. Our task is rather to seek out piety in cult. Old Testament studies, if not the Old Testament itself, have almost accustomed us to call in question the religious value of cult. We may therefore begin by pointing out that for some years past historians of religion have come round to a more positive and, as we believe, fairer appreciation of ritual forms in the Old Testament. There is an apt quotation that runs: ‘ From the days of Amos and Wellhausen onward it has been the custom of theologians to inveigh against ritual in religion’, 1 but attempts have even been made to show that Amos, that mighty master of word and spirit, did not reject cult on principle.2 We should make it clear that in the history of reli­ gion, wherever the Hebrew-Christian (especially Protestant) scrip­ tural tradition is lacking (see chap. 10), there has hardly been any other way whereby pious persons could come into contact with the active deity except through ritual. The fact that attempts have been made to lead a devout life based on moral values does not impair the worth of ritual piety. Ethics are certainly part of man’s attitude towards God, but they are not identical with religion; here they will be treated as a separate issue (chap. 6).