Ancient Cuneiform Writing

Cuneiform is the Earliest Form of Writing

The predominate writing material used in the ancient Near East was clay, formed into small tablets and impressed with wedge-shaped symbols called cuneiform writing, and then baked in an oven or dried in the sun.

Thousands of clay writing-boards have been uncovered by archaeologists. Cuneiform is the earliest -known system of writing. It was invented in Sumer around 3000 B.C. The name cuneiform comes from the Latin word "cuneus", meaning wedge. 

The ancient Sumerians introduced their word system throughout the Near East. Cuneiform was so diverse and adaptable to various languages that it spread quickly and survived up until the first century B.C.

According to Babylonian beliefs Nabu, the god of scribal arts gave cuneiform to them.

Writing was mentioned often in the Bible:

"And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed" 
- Isaiah 29:11     

And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.
- Isaiah 34:4     

"Thou also, son of man, take thee a tile, and lay it before thee, and portray upon it the city, even Jerusalem" 
- Ezekiel 4:1     

"Moreover the LORD said unto me, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man's pen concerning Mahershalalhashbaz. And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah." 
- Isaiah 8:1     

"Therefore all the princes sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi, unto Baruch, saying, Take in thine hand the roll wherein thou hast read in the ears of the people, and come. So Baruch the son of Neriah took the roll in his hand, and came unto them. And they said unto him, Sit down now, and read it in our ears. So Baruch read it in their ears." 
- Jeremiah 36:14-15     

Heart Message 

Ancient Cuneiform Writing

Communicating Thoughts

From ancient history to the present man continues to pursue more efficient ways to communicate his inner world to other beings. The spoken word is a system of sound symbols that carry thoughts from one person to others who before the modern age, must be present to hear them and remember them, recording that meaning in the mind. The written word allowed a persons thoughts and meaning to be recorded through symbols onto a medium, and given to countless others who did not need to be geographically present, or even alive at the time the words were created. What an incredible breakthrough! Ancient Cuneiform is the earliest known form of the written word. It used a system of wedge marks that acted as symbols of the thoughts which were able to be understood by others. Think of it. Thoughts that originated in the brain of a scribe working for the Assyrian Emperor Tigalth-Pileser in the 12 Century BC were recorded with these marks on a baked clay tablet and accurately understood by British Explorer and Scholar Henry Rawlinson and three others in the final London test that proved to a panel of scholars that Cuneiform had finally been deciphered in 1857. The meaning was recorded and understood 3,000 years later, by those from another continent, culture and time.

How does God communicate the thoughts and meaning within His being and place it within us who are made in His image?

His meaning is embedded in the things He creates. When you look at a puppy being cute, or a kitten playing with a ball of yarn, every movement was created inside the mind of God and you get to unpack that reality and interpret its meaning. The stars at night are also carrying a message from God. What is that message?

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Psalm 19:1-3

His messages are placed within our natures.

He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecc. 3:10

Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them. Romans 2:14,15

He can speak a verbal word.

...the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.

And His heart can be recorded in the written word, symbols on a medium such as ink on papyrus that carry the thoughts and meaning from inside God, which can be read and understood by people over generations of time throughout the earth.

Finally, the writer of Hebrews says that Jesus Christ is God's perfect expression.

"In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. Hebrews 1:1-3

The Apostle John put it this way, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men.

Jesus said, "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father..." John 14:9

What a powerful mystery! We have the honor of seeking God's communication to us and asking Him for the correct meaning He desires for us to gain. We have the privilege of asking God about His purpose for our lives and the meaning He wants us to understand and the actions He wants us to take. We can even be carriers of that meaning and give it others.

"You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. 2Cor. 3:3

As God's meaning and purpose builds up within us, we are getting to know God. And He is getting a relationship with us, through the finished work of Jesus Christ, the Word of God, who paid the penalty for our sin... so that we and God could be in loving relationship forever.

 

Relevant Bible Verses The Bible mentions much about writing:

Ezekiel 43:11 - And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write [it] in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them.

Deuteronomy 27:3 - And thou shalt write upon them all the words of this law, when thou art passed over, that thou mayest go in unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, a land that floweth with milk and honey; as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee.

Deuteronomy 31:19 - Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel.

John 19:21 - Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.

Esther 8:8 - Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king's name, and seal [it] with the king's ring: for the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse.

Revelation 1:19 - Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

Deuteronomy 10:2 - And I will write on the tables the words that were in the first tables which thou brakest, and thou shalt put them in the ark.

Numbers 17:2 - Speak unto the children of Israel, and take of every one of them a rod according to the house of [their] fathers, of all their princes according to the house of their fathers twelve rods: write thou every man's name upon his rod.

Jeremiah 36:2 - Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day.

Exodus 34:1 - And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon [these] tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.

Deuteronomy 24:1 - When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give [it] in her hand, and send her out of his house.

Jeremiah 22:30 - Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man [that] shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.

Ezra 5:10 - We asked their names also, to certify thee, that we might write the names of the men that [were] the chief of them.

Exodus 34:27 - And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.

Deuteronomy 24:3 - And [if] the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth [it] in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her [to be] his wife;

Jeremiah 36:28 - Take thee again another roll, and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah hath burned.

Revelation 19:9 - And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed [are] they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Jeremiah 30:2 - Thus speaketh the LORD God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book.

Exodus 17:14 - And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this [for] a memorial in a book, and rehearse [it] in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.

 

 

Ancient Sketches Logo

Reconstructions & Sketches of the Ancient World 

New Illustrated Bible History A growing database of images and sketches of the ancient world.

Paintings and Sketches by Bjanikka Ben, Galina Nelson, Maliyah Weston and more

Ancient Customs

Ancient Patriarch's Clothing in the Time of Abraham 

The Name Jesus in Ancient Hebrew Script

The Watchtower in the Vineyard

Ancient Seals or Signets

Bronze Mirrors

Dining in Ancient Rome

Ancient Sun Dial

Ancient Lattice Windows

Ancient Cuneiform Writing

Ancient Harp from Ur

Jewish Captives Playing the Lyre

Ancient Beards and Styles

Ancient Wine Press

Ancient Altars

Tax Collector

Ancient Israelite House

First Century Israelite Houses

Wealthy Israelite House

Ancient Sheep Fold

Ancient Ox Carts

Ancient Women Traveling

Ancient Waterpot

Egyptian Procession Carrying an Ark

Jesus Reading Isaiah Scroll

Ancient Torah Scroll

Man Carrying Lamb

Man Threshing Wheat

Woman with Two Oxen and a Plough

Making Olive Oil

Ancient Banquet

Ancient Potter

Ancient Sandals

Farmer with Oxen and Cart

Farmer Ploughing

Ancient Merchant

Ancient Wells

Ancient Chairs

Ancient Clothing

Ancient Symbols

The Egyptian Staff of Inheritance

Crown of Thorns

The Ancient Obelisk

The god Asshur of Ancient Assyria

Ancient Diadems

Ancient Crowns

Ancient Phylacteries

Ancient Fringes or Tassels

Ancient Rulers

Shishak of Egypt Mentions Judah

Sennacherib King of Assyria

Tiberius Caesar

Assurnasirpal II of Assyria

Jewish Religious Leader

Roman Procurator

Tomb of Darius I Carved into Cliff

Head of Alexander the Great 

Antiochus IV Epiphanes 

Nebuchadnezzar Cameo

Nebuchadnezzar Inscription

Ramesses I

Vespasian Coin

Augustus Wearing Civic Crown

Assurnasirpal II Offering Libation

Vespasian Statue

Ancient Hittite King

Cyrus the Great Relief

Sargon II and Commander

Ashurnasirpal Statue

Sargon and Sacred Tree

Colossal Statue of Rameses II at Abu-Simbel

Ancient Persian King

The Sanhedrin

Ancient Buildings, Walls, Towers and Gates 

Phasael Tower

Herod's Theater

Hippicus Tower

Monument of King Alexander Jannaeus 

The Pool of Bethesda

Tomb of David

Tomb of Absalom

Hanging Gardens of Babylon

The Pool of Siloam

Damascus Gate

Capernaum Synagogue

Ancient Tracks Between Walls

Pharos Lighthouse of Alexandria

Colosseum Coin

Color Drawing of the Colosseum Coin

Ancient Persian Column Capital

Ancient Wall Stone Styles

First Century Jerusalem Synagogue Stone

Ancient Walled City

The Ancient Buildings at Persepolis

Ancient Synagogue

Acropolis at Athens

The Parthenon

The Wailing Wall

Ancient Palaces, Halls, Stairways, and Gateways

Palace of Darius the Great

Hasmonean Palace

Herod the Great's Fortified Palace

Palace of Minos at Knossos

Palace of Caiaphas

Gateway to Sargon's Palace

Nebuchadnezzar's Palace Gateway

Babylon Hall of Lions

Gateway of Xerxes

Hall of a Hundred Columns Relief Persepolis

Great Hall of Seti I

The Great Stairway at Persepolis

Balawat Gates

Palace of Tiglath Pileser at Nineveh

Bronze Gates of Balawat

The Propylaea of Athens

Gateway to Khorsabad

Columns From the Hall of Xerxes

Bull's Head Capital from Susa

Palace of Darius and Susa Ruins

Colonnades From the Hall of Xerxes

Ancient Music

Ancient Cymbals

Ancient Harp

Ancient Horns

Ancient Drums

Ancient Dulcimer or Bagpipe

Ancient Flutes or Pipes

Ancient Handbell

Ancient Harps

Ancient Lutes

Ancient Trumpets

Ancient Sistrum or Rattle

Ancient Tambourines

Ancient Triangle Instrument

Ancient Dancing

Ancient Music Playing

Ancient Cities and Nations

Plan of the Site of Nineveh

Sketch of Ancient Lachish

Sketch of Nebuchadnezzar's City of Babylon

Plan of Abdon Reconstruction. Khirbet Adben

Ancient Thessalonica

Ancient Italy

Ancient Mound

Ancient Walled City

Ancient Greece

Persepolis Ruins

Nineveh

Israel's Topography

Ancient Bethlehem

Jerusalem at the Time of Jesus

Coin of Ephesus

Ancient Joppa

Ancient Tyre

Ancient Athens

Ancient Caesarea

Ancient Cana

Ancient Gebal

Ancient Malta

Ancient Moab

Ancient Sidon

Ancient Antioch

Ancient Capernaum

Ancient Miletus

Ancient Siloam

Ancient Smyrna

Ancient Tarsus

Ancient Thyatira

Ancient Troas

Tyre and Sidon

Bethlehem Ephratah

Ancient Colossae

Ancient Damascus

Ancient Ephesus

Ancient Gaza

Ancient Gods and Goddesses

Dagon the Fish-God of the Philistines

The god Asshur of Ancient Assyria

Apis the Sacred Bull of Egypt

Assyrian God Nisroch

Jupiter the Chief God of Rome

Juno the Roman Savior of Women

Mars the Roman God of War

Egyptian Goddess

Nebo, God of Babylon

Ancient Statue of Diana

Thank Offering to the Bird God

Persian King Killing a Monster

Marduk King of Babylon

Artemis in Her Temple

Altar to an Unknown God

Ancient Mummies, Sarcophagus, Tombs, and Ossuaries

Sarcophagus of Pharaoh Ai

First Century Jerusalem Ossuary

Ancient Phoenician Tomb

Rock Cut Tombs of Myra

Ancient Warfare

Assyrian Siege of Lachish Sketch 

Assyrian King Trods the Neck of His Enemy

Prisoners Under an Egyptian Kings Footstool

Egyptians Counting Enemy Hands

Ancient Spearman

Assyrian Slinger

Placing the Foot on the Captive

Roman Centurion

The Greek Phalanx

The Greek Soldier

The Greek Spearman

Ancient Sling

Ancient Helmets

Ancient Standards

Ancient Roman Army Standards

Persian Archers at Palace of Darius I

Assyrian War Chariot

Ancient Hittite Chariot

Judaea Defeat and Roman Eagle Coin

Ancient Hittite Soldiers from Carchemish

Cyrus Taking Babylon

Ancient Encampment

Ancient War Chariot

Judea Capta Coins

Roman Gladiators and Colosseum

Flavian Amphitheatre

Roman Colosseum Chariot

Gladiator Helmet

Bronze Gladiator Statue

Commodus Bust as Hercules

Gladiators Battle Wild Beasts

Gladiators Fighting Bears and Lions

Ancient Punishment

Assyrian Death Penalty 

Assyrians Blinding Their Prisoners 

Israelites Forced to Labor

Assyrian Fetters

The Roman Scourge

Hooks in their Lips

Ancient Asians and Philistines Chained

Assyrian King Blinding his Captives 

Binding Prisoners

Ancient Beheading

Crushing the Enemy

Cutting Idols in Pieces

Flaying Their Victims Alive

Chained Around the Neck

Captives Made Slaves of Egypt

Captive Being Skinned Alive

Ancient Torture

Seti I Crushing His Foes

Ancient Slavery of Women

Assyrian Brutality

Ancient Ships

Philistine Ships

Phoenician Ships

Pompeii Illustration Rolling Up a Sail

Paul's Ship to Malta

Greek Ship

Ancient Assyria

Royal Assyrian Chariot

Assyrian Stone Altar

Winged Bull Size

King Hunting Lions

Sennacherib Leading His Army

Sennacherib On His Throne

Assyrian Winged Genius

Army of Sennacherib Attacking a City

Ancient Assyria Discovery

Discovery of the Gigantic Head

Royal Lion Hunt

Bavian Cliff Relief

Winged Bull Guardians

The Black Obelisk

Ancient People and Animals

Ancient Greeks

Bust of an Ancient Woman

A Donkey

Canaanite Sphinx from Megiddo

Traveler with Packed Camel

Ancient Peoples

Ancient Phoenician

The Antichrist

Ancient Ziggurat's, Pyramids, and Temples

Reconstruction Sketch of the Ziggurat at Ur

Reconstruction Sketch of the Temple of Marduk, Babylon

Reconstruction of the Sumerian Oval Temple at Khafaje

Mayan Acropolis at Copan

Karnak - Temple of Amun

Luxor - Amun Cult Center near Karnak

Jerusalem Temple

Solomon's Temple Court

Solomon's Bronze Laver

Ancient Temple of Diana Coin

Pinnacle of the Temple

Greek Temple Ruins - Aphrodisias in Turkey

Second Temple Column Capital

The Pyramids of Giza

Herod's Temple

Solomon's Temple

Ancient Seas, Rivers, Mountains, Hills, and Valleys

The Ancient Nile River

Jerusalem's Hills

Jerusalem's Valleys

Mount Moriah

Ancient Sea of Galilee

The Island of Patmos

The Valley of Jezreel

Gethsemane

Illustrated Ancient Daily Life

Ancient Aqueducts

Ancient Fig Trees

Ancient Fishermen

Ancient Flat Roofs

Ancient Men's Hair

Ancient Lamps

Ancient Men's Head Covering

Ancient Mezuzah in Doorway

Ancient Oil Vases

Ancient Olive Press

Ancient Olive Trees

Ancient Roads

Ancient Windows

Ancient Women's Head Covering

(More to come)

New Bible Maps A growing database of maps for study and teaching.

Ancient Sketches

Bible History Online

The Story of the Bible


© Bible History Online (http://www.bible-history.com)

Related Content