Is the ancient Hebrew related to the ancient Phoenician

The Hebrew language

The Hebrew language belongs to the Semitic languages, which are geographically at home in the Middle East, and is inter alia. related to Arabic and Aramaic. Hebrew plays an important role in Judaism because it is an integral part of religious life and a prerequisite for studying the scriptures.

The original, unvocalized text of the Bible is notated in what is known as Biblical Hebrew. If you consider that the material of the Bible has a historical framework of about 1200 years and, initially passed on orally, was written down over a very large period of hundreds of years, it is not surprising that this Bible Hebrew in fact summarizes a whole series of language levels whose development extends from the 10th to the 3rd century BC. The Hebrew of the Bible, for example, reflects the different dialects of the country.

The essential turning point in the development of the Bible language is connected with the Babylonian exile in the 6th century BC. Since that time, Aramaic, which is very close to Hebrew, has become more and more popular as a colloquial language and has pushed Hebrew into the realm of the dead language of scholars.

Like Hebrew, Aramaic belongs to the Semitic languages ​​and rose to become the international lingua franca in the Assyrian Empire; in the Old Persian Empire it then became the official language, Imperial Aramaic. So it happened that in the 4th century BC only a Jewish elite was able to speak Hebrew. The gradual dissolution of spoken Hebrew is also reflected in the Hebrew Bible, whose later books such as Esra, Nehemias and the Chronicle are already heavily influenced by Aramaic. Books such as the Song of Songs, which also uses the spoken language in poetic form, Kohelet, and the Book of Esther document the early stages of the transition to Aramaic.

The ancient Hebrew writing system, which was originally derived from the Phoenician alphabet, was superseded by the Aramaic alphabet around the fifth century BC. That is, the Hebrew texts have been notated with Aramaic letters since that time. The name "Assyrian square script", in which Hebrew Bibles and Torah scrolls are written to this day, still reminds of their origins in the Babylonian exile. This font is called "square font" because each letter fills a whole or half a square and the lines of the characters with mainly horizontal and vertical lines are mostly based on the square.