Biblical Hebrew

Coin issued during the Bar Kokhba revolt. The Paleo-Hebrew text reads שמעון "Simeon" on the front and לחרות ירושלם "for the freedom of Jerusalem" on the back.

Archaic form of the Hebrew language, a language in the Canaanite branch of Semitic languages spoken by the Israelites in the area known as the Land of Israel, roughly west of the Jordan River and east of the Mediterranean Sea.

- Biblical Hebrew

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Hebrew Bible

Canonical collection of Hebrew scriptures, including the Torah, the Nevi'im, and the Ketuvim.

Complete set of scrolls, constituting the Tanakh
The inter-relationship between various significant ancient manuscripts of the Old Testament (some identified by their siglum). Mt being the Masoretic text. The lowermost text "(lost)" would be the Urtext.

These texts are almost exclusively in Biblical Hebrew, with a few passages in Biblical Aramaic (in the books of Daniel and Ezra, and the verse Jeremiah 10:11).

Canaanite languages

The Canaanite languages, or Canaanite dialects, are one of the three subgroups of the Northwest Semitic languages, the others being Aramaic and Ugaritic, all originating in the Levant and Mesopotamia.

Charles Morton's 1759 updated version of Edward Bernard's "Orbis eruditi", comparing all known alphabets as of 1689, including Northwest Semitic which is described as "Adami, Noachi, Nini, Abrahami, Phoenicum et Samaritarum ante Christe (5509) a nummis Iudaicis Africanisque Pentateucho Mosis"

Dialects have been labelled primarily with reference to Biblical geography: Hebrew (Israelian, Judean/Biblical, Samaritan), Phoenician/Punic, Amorite, Ammonite, Philistine, Moabite, Sutean and Edomite; the dialects were all mutually intelligible, being no more differentiated than geographical varieties of Modern English.

Mishnaic Hebrew

Form of the Hebrew language that is found in the Talmud.

The forms of the Hebrew in the Talmud can be divided into Classical Hebrew for direct quotations from the Hebrew Bible, and Mishnaic Hebrew can be further sub-divided into Mishnaic Hebrew proper (also called Tannaitic Hebrew, Early Rabbinic Hebrew, or Mishnaic Hebrew I), which was a spoken language, and Amoraic Hebrew (also called Late Rabbinic Hebrew or Mishnaic Hebrew II), which was a literary language only.

Modern Hebrew

Standard form of the Hebrew language spoken today.

The term "Modern Hebrew" has been described as "somewhat problematic" as it implies unambiguous periodization from Biblical Hebrew.


The Judean hills
Old Roman road in Judea
Mediterranean oak and terebinth woodland in the Valley of Elah, southwestern Judea
Map of the southern Levant, c. 830s BCE
Hasmonean Kingdom at its greatest extent under Salome Alexandra
5th century CE: Byzantine provinces of Palaestina I (Philistia, Judea and Samaria) and Palaestina II (Galilee and Perea)

Judea or Judaea ( or ; from יהודה, Standard Yəhūda, Tiberian Yehūḏā; Ἰουδαία, ; Iūdaea) is the ancient, historic, Biblical Hebrew, contemporaneous Latin, and the modern-day name of the mountainous southern part of the region of Israel and part of the West Bank.


Ethnoreligious group who originate from the ancient Israelites.

Foreigners eaten by lions in Samaria, illustration by Gustave Doré from the 1866 La Sainte Bible, The Holy Bible
Ancient inscription in Samaritan Hebrew. From a photo c. 1900 by the Palestine Exploration Fund.
Mosaic from Samaritan synagogue (Israel Museum)
Samaritan worship centre on Mount Gerizim. From a photo c. 1900 by the Palestine Exploration Fund.
Yitzhaq ben Amram ben Shalma ben Tabia, the High Priest of the Samaritans, Nablus, c. 1920.
Interior of the Synagogue of the Samaritans in Nablus, c. 1920.
Sofi Tsedaka, an Israeli actress from the Samaritan community
During the entire week following the Feast of the Passover, the Samaritans remain encamped on Mount Gerizim. On the last day of the encampment, they begin at dawn a pilgrimage to the crest of the sacred mount. Before setting forth on this pilgrimage, however, the men spread their cloths and repeat the creed and the story of the Creation in silence, after which, in loud voice they read the Book of Genesis and the first quarter of the Book of Exodus, ending with the story of the Passover and the flight from Egypt
— John D. Whiting
 The National Geographic Magazine, Jan 1920
A Samaritan and the Samaritan Torah
The current Samaritan High Priest: "Aabed El Ben Asher Ben Matzliach", 133rd generation since Elazar the Son of Aaron The Priest, from the line of Ithamar. In priestly office 2013-present.
Samaritans celebrating Passover on Mount Gerizim in the West Bank
Samaritans pray before the Holy Rock on Mount Gerizim
Ruins on Mount Gerizim c. 1880.
The Samaritan mezuzah engraved above the front door
Samaritans, from a photo c. 1900 by the Palestine Exploration Fund.
The Samaritan, engraving, c, by Ephraim Moses Lilien. 1920
Sukkot on Mount Gerizim
Entrance to a modern Samaritan synagogue in the city of Holon, Israel

Biblical Hebrew Šomerim (السامريون) 'Guardians' (singular Šomer) comes from the Hebrew Semitic root שמר, which means 'to watch, guard'.


Not to be confused with the unrelated Ugric languages.

Clay tablet of Ugaritic alphabet
Table of Ugaritic alphabet

It has been used by scholars of the Hebrew Bible to clarify Biblical Hebrew texts and has revealed ways in which the cultures of ancient Israel and Judah found parallels in the neighboring cultures.


For the citizens of the modern State of Israel, see Israelis.

The Merneptah Stele, widely believed to comprise the earliest known appearance of the name Israel
Mid-20th century mosaic of the 12 Tribes of Israel, from the Etz Yosef synagogue wall in Givat Mordechai, 
Map of the Holy Land, Pietro Vesconte, 1321, showing the allotments of the tribes of Israel. Described by Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld as "the first non-Ptolemaic map of a definite country"
Map of the twelve tribes of Israel (before the move of Dan to the north), based on the Book of Joshua
Model of the Tabernacle constructed under the auspices of Moses, in Timna Park, Israel
The Mount Ebal structure, seen by many archeologists as an early Israelite cultic site
Series of depictions of the historical Israelites between the 13th and 7th century BCE
Part of the gift-bearing Israelite delegation of King Jehu, Black Obelisk, 841-840 BCE.
"To Hezekiah, son of Ahaz, king of Judah" - royal seal found at the Ophel excavations in Jerusalem

They spoke an archaic form of the Hebrew Language, known as Ancient Hebrew.

Hebrew language

Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family.

The word HEBREW written in modern Hebrew language (top) and in Paleo-Hebrew alphabet (bottom)
The Shebna Inscription, from the tomb of a royal steward found in Siloam, dates to the 7th century BCE.
Hebrew script used in writing a Torah scroll. Note ornamental "crowns" on tops of certain letters.
Rashi script
A silver matchbox holder with inscription in Hebrew
Aleppo Codex: 10th century Hebrew Bible with Masoretic pointing (Joshua 1:1).
Kochangadi Synagogue in Kochi, India dated to 1344.
Eliezer Ben-Yehuda
Hebrew, Arabic and English multilingual signs on an Israeli highway
Dual language Hebrew and English keyboard
Academy of the Hebrew Language
Hebrew alphabet

Nearly all of the Hebrew Bible is written in Biblical Hebrew, with much of its present form in the dialect that scholars believe flourished around the 6th century BCE, during the time of the Babylonian captivity.

Verb–subject–object word order

One in which the most typical sentences arrange their elements in that order, as in Ate Sam oranges (Sam ate oranges).

Some of the different types of data.

the Afroasiatic languages (including Berber, Assyrian, Egyptian, Arabic, Biblical Hebrew and Ge'ez)