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In 1781 A. L. Schlözer (1735–1809) used the term “Semitic” for the first time for the supposed original language of the Syrians, Babylonians, Hebrews, and Arabs, and J. G. Eichhorn (1752–1827) then popularized it for languages related to Hebrew (Hebrew Language). The term “Semites” goes back to Shem, the son of Noah. According to the table in Genesis 10, Shem and his brothers, Ham and Japheth, were the ancestors of all nations after the flood (v. 32). Though interpretation of the table is complex, ethnic considerations obviously played no great part in it. The dominant interest is in Abraham…

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Spieckermann, Hermann, “Semites”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 11 August 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_S.49>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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