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
Ancient Cuneiform Writing
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.
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.