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Fragments of a three-dimensional stone inscription of Sargon Sam. The emphasis upon unhewn stones in the cult reflects the presedentary stage of Israelite history (Josh. While this was generally the case, it was during this period of Israelite history that stone was first used as a writing surface for documents of religious importance. At Shechem, the covenant was rewritten on large natural stones, smoothed over with plaster (Deut. (son of N.) king of who came to the king's aid in the time of his distress.

, the art of writing was practiced in the ancient Near East (see *Alphabet ).

Here, the pictographic, cuneiform, and hieroglyphic scripts were invented and developed.

The new medium was adopted early in Israel's history and deeply affected its civilization.

Monotheism was grasped now in terms of a written covenant between God and Israel.

(2) Votive inscriptions recording donations, the name of the donor, and the name of the recipient deity, and noting the donor's piety.

The text concludes with a request for a blessing, usually long life (cf. (3) Funerary inscriptions noting the name of the deceased and his title or profession, and containing a word to potential grave robbers that there are no valuables in the sepulcher, and a curse on anyone who disturbs the dead.

The central cult object was the Decalogue cut in stone, and later became the Torah scroll. Furthermore, a paleographic study of Hebrew epigrapha indicates an increased diffusion of this skill toward the end of the monarchy.

Israelite religion elevated writing from a means of recording the mundane to a medium of revelation. 2:2), which could only have meaning for a populace with a reasonable number of readers (cf. Similarly, the wide use of inscribed personal seals bearing fewer designs and iconographic motifs again argues for a growing literate social body during the First Temple period.

This system retained the general form and order of the earlier alphabetic scripts and probably the mnemonic device for its study – all thanks to a strong local scribal tradition.

It was the Phoenician alphabet that was to be adopted by the Israelites, Arameans, and later by the Greeks.

Most often, there was a space or register left empty for the name of the buyer.

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