We have become used to online reviews for all sorts of items. Book reviews on Amazon. Reviews of places to stay on AirBnb. Reviews on Yelp for everything from restaurants to dentists. And more.
Nearly 3,000 years ago, in Babylon, these complaint letters were written on stone tablets in cuneiform and sent to the place of business. The earliest complaint letter uncovered by archaeologists can be found in the British Museum (pictured here). It’s believed to have been written in 1750 B.C.
The translation of this letter reads as follows:
“Tell Ea-Nasir: Nanni sends the following message:
When you came, you said to me: “I will give fine quality copper ingots.”
You left, but you did not do what you promised me.
You put ingots which were not good before my messenger and said:
“If you want to take them, take them; if you do not want to take them, go away!”
What do you take me for that you treat me with such contempt? …
… How have you treated me for that copper?
You have withheld my money bag from me in enemy territory;
it is now up to you to restore to me in full.
Take notice that I will not accept any copper from you that is not of fine quality.
I shall select and take the ingots individually in my yard,
and I shall exercise against you my right of rejection because you have treated me with contempt.”
(translation found at JoyofMuseums.com)
Apparently, the archeological dig where this letter was found included many complaint letters! Forbes magazine published an article about Ea-Nasir titled “Meet the Worst Businessman of the 18th Century BC.”
Next time you post something online, consider the possibility that (if the Lord tarries) it will be read by someone else 3,000 years from now. Words can last a loooooong time.