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Hebrew Language
(616 words)

1. Apart from some Aramaic sections, the OT is written in Hebrew. The word “Hebrew,” absent from the OT, occurs first in the prologue to Sirach, and then among the rabbis, who stressed the dignity of the language of the canonical Scriptures by calling it a holy language.

2. Hebrew represents a dialect group whose local idioms (see Judg. 12:6; 2 Kgs. 18:26) the Israelites adopted. Like the South Canaanite of the Amarna Letters, Phoenician Punic, Moabite, Ammonite, Ugaritic, and Amorite, Hebrew is a Canaanite language (see Isa. 19:18). Canaanite and Aramaic (Arameans) form the Northwest …

Cite this page
Stähli, Hans-Peter, “Hebrew Language”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 24 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_H48>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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