V.5. Is The Cuneiform Language Related to the Bible?

Question: What is the Cuneiform language and is it related in any way to the Bible?

Answer: It is the oldest Semitic language known. It means “wedge-form,” from the Latin “cuneus,” meaning “a wedge.” The very ancient race called the Sumerians, a non-Semitic people of unknown origin, is thought to have occupied Babylonia before the Babylonians came. They used a stylus with a triangular-shaped end. They had 560 signs, each representing a syllable, or a word, a group of sounds, but never a letter.

The language was used by the Babylonians, Assyrians, and the great Hittite Empire (from about 2000 to 800, or more, B.C.). It spread throughout the world, reaching even Palestine and Egypt as an important commercial and diplomatic language, having an extensive and powerful influence for about 3,000 years.

One of the great archaeological discoveries was made accidentally by a peasant woman in 1887. As she dug for some fertile soil in the mound Amarna, she uncovered the royal archives of Amenhotep III and his royal son, Amenhotep IV, who were Egyptian pharaohs. Eventually, more than 350 cuneiform tablets were discovered. Most were personal letters and dispatches from kings, generals, and other officers residing in Babylonia, Phoenicia, Syria, and Palestine. These were sent to the two Pharaohs at their Egyptian court.

The tablets were from two to three inches wide and three to nine inches long, being inscribed on both sides. Many described Palestine and surrounding countries as being in a state of turmoil within; and being attacked from without. Many of them were from Abdi-Heba, governor of Jerusalem, pleading for help from Pharaoh Amenhotep IV (later known as Akhenaton) to prevent the country from being lost to Egyptian rule.

The tablets are now in the national museums of England, France, Egypt, Germany; while some others are owned by private collectors. The description of the invaders given on these tablets, fits the Hebrews from the beginning of their conquest of Canaan under Joshua so well, that it has been said: “Here we have a story of Joshua’s conquest of Canaan from the enemy’s side.”

Archaeology is the external evidence which proves the infallibility of the Word of God.

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