Monuments

Concise Bible Dictionary:

This word is often used in reference to ancient kingdoms, when the term simply signifies any memorial or inscription, embracing those found on bricks or tiles, equally with those found on tombs, or stately columns, or papyrus rolls.

“49. Monumental Stones” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

1. This stone was set up as a monument of God’s wonderful revelation to him, and of his vow (vs. 20). Thirty years later he repeated this solemn act in the same place (Gen. 35:1414And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon. (Genesis 35:14)). Moses likewise built twelve pillars at Sinai as a sign of God’s covenant (Ex. 24:44And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. (Exodus 24:4)). So Joshua set up a monument of stones in commemoration of the passage of the Jordan (Josh. 4:3-93And command ye them, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night. 4Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man: 5And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel: 6That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? 7Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever. 8And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the Lord spake unto Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged, and laid them down there. 9And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day. (Joshua 4:3‑9)). At Shechem also he set up a atone under an oak as a memorial of the covenant between God and his people(Josh. 24:2626And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the Lord. (Joshua 24:26)). In like manner Samuel erected a stone between Mizpeh and Shen to commemorate his victory over the Philistines(1 Sam. 7:1212Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Eben-ezer, saying, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us. (1 Samuel 7:12)). As these stone pillars were all erected as testimonies of some great events, it has been suggested that Paul in 1 Tim. 3:1515But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:15) designs to represent the Church as a pillar of testimony for the truth, God having founded and reared the Church as a monument for that purpose.
There existed in heathen countries a practice similar to the one referred to in the text. Morier gives a good illustration of our text in a little incident he saw while traveling in Persia. He says: “I remarked that our old guide, every here and there, placed a stone on a conspicuous bit of rock, or two stones one upon the other, at the same time uttering some words, which I learned were a prayer for our safe return” (Second Journey through Persia, p. 85). He had frequently seen similar stones without knowing their design.
2. The anointing of the stone by Jacob was doubtless designed as a solemn act of consecration of this stone to its monumental purposes; just as subsequently Moses, by command of God, anointed the tabernacle and its furniture (Num. 7:11And it came to pass on the day that Moses had fully set up the tabernacle, and had anointed it, and sanctified it, and all the instruments thereof, both the altar and all the vessels thereof, and had anointed them, and sanctified them; (Numbers 7:1)). This act of the patriarch is not to be confounded with the idolatrous practice, common among heathens, of pouring oil upon stones and worshiping them. See note on Isaiah 52:66Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I. (Isaiah 52:6) (#527).

“211. Plastered Monuments” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

Deuteronomy 27: 2, 3. Thou shalt set thee up great stones, and plaster them with plaster: and thou shalt write upon them all the words of this law.
Michælis supposed that the letters were first cut in the stone and then covered entirely with plaster, so that in the coming ages, when the cement should crumble off, the law might be found in all its integrity. In this he has been followed by some commentators. The probability, however, is, that the lime was first spread over the stories, and the words of the law then cut into the plaster or painted on it. Such stones thus prepared, two thousand years ago or longer, are still in existence in Palestine. The Egyptians are said to have spread a kind of stucco over sandstone, and even over granite, before the paintings were made. Prokesch found in the tombs in the pyramids of Dashoor a stone on which red mortar had first been laid, arid then the hieroglyphics and a figure of Apis impressed on the coating.

“414. Books Tablets Monuments” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

Job 19: 23-24. O that my words were now written Oh that they were printed in a book! that they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock forever!I See also Jeremiah 17: 1.
Three different substances for the preservation of record’s are usually supposed to be referred to here: 1. Books. These were anciently made of linen or cotton cloth, skins, or the leaves of the papyrus. From the last word comes our English word, paper. The inner bark of trees was also sometimes used. The Latin word for bark being liber, this word at length came to signify a book; it is still found in the English word library. When made of cloth or skins the book was made up in the form of a roll. See note on Isaiah 34:44And 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) (#511).
2. Leaden tablets. These are of high antiquity. In 1699 Montfaucon bought at Rome a very old book entirely made of lead. It was about four inches long and three wide, and had a cover and six leaves or sheets. The hinges and nails were also made of lead. The volume contained Egyptian gnostic figures and inscriptions in Greek and Etruscan characters.
In a temple in the Carian city of Cnidus, erected in honor of Hades and Persephone, about the fourth century before Christ, the women were in the habit of depositing thin sheets of lead on which were written the names of persons they hated, together With their misdeeds. They also inscribed on the lead tablets imprecations against those who had thus injured them. Many of these tablets were discovered in 1858 when excavations were made in the ruins of the temple. They are now in the British Museum.
It is not, however, certain that Job in the text refers to leaden tablets or leaves on which inscriptions were made. He may have alluded to the custom of first cutting letters in stone and then filling them up with molten lead. There are indications that some of the incised letters in Assyrian monuments were filled with metal. M. Botta states that the letters on the pavement slabs of Khorsabad give evidence of having been filled with copper. See Layard's Nineveh and Its Remains, vol. 2, p. 188.
The some records of ancient Oriental nations, which modern discoveries have brought to light, are all illustrations of the custom which Job evidently had in mind. Many of these bear on Scripture facts and history, confirming and supplementing the sacred record. The most remarkable, in some respects, of any of these ancient monuments is the famous Moabite stone, the discovery of which in the year 1868 created such intense excitement among biblical scholars and antiquarians. This is the very oldest Semitic inscription of importance as yet discovered, and is the only one thus far found which reaches back to the age of the Jewish monarchy. It gives the Moabitish account of the conflict described in the 2 Kings 3.