Questions & Answers Archive
Is the Cuneiform Language Related to the
By Dr. Max D. Younce
What is the Cuneiform language and is it related in
any way to the Bible?
It is the oldest Semetic language known. It means
“wedge-form” from the Latin “cuneus,” meaning “a wedge”. The very
ancient race called the Sumerians, a non-Semetic 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
BC). 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 archeological 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.”
Archeology is the external evidence which proves
the infallibility of the Word of God.