Sobek is one of the first deities to have a dedicated cult. Archeologists have discovered him on the sealing of King Narmer, who is considered the first king of the first Egyptian dynasty. On the object, you can see a crocodile (image of Sobek) close to a shrine. The same shrine, later on, became the sign of Shadet, one of the most important ancient cities in the region.
At first, Sobek was considered a local deity, often disregarded in other regions. He represented the Nile and its nearby fertile lands, so he was depicted as a crocodile. In time, he grew in popularity and became one of the most important gods in Egypt.
The first time Sobek gained importance was during the Middle Kingdom. From this point onward, he is presented as an entity that became one with Ra. That in itself puts him in a small group of gods close to Ra, who usually bear greater significance in the Egyptian Pantheon.
For the first time, we see Sobek’s name on the tomb of Daga. According to the inscription, he is “the one who rises in the east and sets in the west,” thus signifying his connection to Ra and the sun. As soon as he merged with Ra, he could no longer be seen as a small local deity but one of the creator gods.
According to the story, Sobek came from primeval waters. He was instrumental in creating the world but also other gods. This is continuously repeated in the Middle Kingdom cycle of hymns. It is hard to say whether his popularity caused the merger with Ra or was it a ploy by the Sobek’s priests in an attempt to gain more political power.
In time, Horus and Sobek merged into one entity. Some experts speculate that this was done to reaffirm the king’s power and divinity. In epitaphs, he is often described as the Lord of the Crown or Lord of the Palace. This is another confirmation that the reigning kind should be seen as one with the Sobek.
By the late Middle Kingdom, the cult of Sobek was present in 52 Egyptian cities.