I was browsing through one of my books, The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, and ran across something very interesting...there are deities for each and every hour of the day and night!
Isn't that book terrific, mary500? I consider it indispensable and refer to it often. I mean, who among us can seriously keep the pantheon of Egyptian deities straight in our heads, beyond the better-known gods and goddesses? I genuinely recommend it to anyone and everyone interested in ancient Egypt; here's the Amazon link for it,
for anyone who's interested.
Anyway, I'm pretty certain the deities related to the hours of the day and night come from the royal Books of the Netherworld, including the Amduat, the Book of Gates, the Book of Caverns, and the Enigmatic Book of the Netherworld. Most of these originate in the New Kingdom, some specifically after the Amarna Period.
These are the books painted in the tombs of the pharaohs that describe the passage of Re through the netherworld, his battles against evil (particularly Apophis), his union with Osiris, and his successful rebirth at dawn as a winged scarab. Note particularly the sinister nature of the names of some of the nighttime deities. These weren't just deities but guardians of the twelve gates or barriers through which Re had to pass before being reborn in the morning. He could control them merely by knowing their names.
We see that the seventh hour of the night is named Apophis, the primary nemesis of Re in most of these netherworld books. Hour 7 in the Book of Gates, for instance, features the elimination of all evil forces in the netherworld so that the sun's (Re's) regeneration will not be hampered. A similar scene is shown in the same hour of the Amduat, where all enemies are punished--particularly Apophis, the serpent. Here, Isis and Set control Apophis magically while Selket binds him, after which Apophis is dismembered by other divine assistants.
Fun stuff, these Books of the Netherworld. One has to wonder how the priests of this period came up with all of this, and how ancient to them many of its elements already were.