Linguistic Origins of Hebrew: 1800 BCE?!

Brian Tucker music at
Fri Sep 8 12:04:00 EDT 2000


Sorry for not responding sooner, though others have. Here is a line of argument for
the 1800 BCE for Hebrew:

1. Abraham comes on the scene with some sort of East Semitic Background.
2. Enters a region where Canaanite NW Semitic is spoken.
3. He had to communicate with those in the region, this could be the beginning of a
dialect of NW Semitic.
4. If one dates 1800 BCE for Abraham...;)
5. This dialect continues to develop.
6. Joseph takes it to Egypt. (Don't scream, yet)
7. When they return from Egypt (400 yrs.) they are speaking some sort of NW Semitic.
8. Side note, no Egyptian influence, why? Because Egyptian is not a Semitic language.
8.1 There may be some influence: The word for ark may be similiar to Egyptian word for

8.2 The amount of names of people coming out of Egypt with non-Semitic names.
8.3 When some things were written in 1447 BCE the language didn't appear out of the
air. now you can scream ;)

Line of argument number 2
1. What was the lingua franca of the Canaanites, Philistines and Hittites?
2. Waltke argues for 1400 BCE as start of Hebrew.

Line of argument number 3 (archaeology)
1. Ketef Hinnom discovery in 1985 that quotes Numbers 6.
2. Tel Dan inscription referring to the House of David.
3. DSS evidence. Did Hebrew develop over night?

Line of argument number 4
1. Isa. 36-39 referencing the language.

A hike through the history of Hebrew: (The development of Hebrew)
PH - Proto Hebrew
BH - Biblical Hebrew
QH - Qumran Heb CH - Classical Heb LBH -Late Biblical Heb SH -Samaritan Heb
RH - Rabbinic Hebrew
MH - Med. Hebrew
IH - Israeli Hebrew
Brian Tucker
15633 Pennsylvania
Riverview, Michigan 48192
jbtucker at
music at

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