Language code switching in Daniel

Martin Arhelger arhelger at
Mon Dec 31 22:24:00 EST 2001

> And what is your evidence for saying that this
> was Aramaic, not Hebrew as stated?

In NT-times the Greek term "hebrais" was used in a wider sense than our
"Hebrew" is used today. Every good Greek dictionary will tell you this.

In Acts 21:40 and 22:1 the same term ("hebrais") is used when Paul spoke to
those in Jerusalem "in the Hebrew tongue". Of course he wanted to address
their hearts (see the context!) and used the lingua franca of those Jews:
Aramaic. (Acts 1:19 says that the proper tongue of those in Jerusalem used
the word "Aceldama" [= field of blood"], which is Aramaic.)

The same wide use of Hebrew can be seen for example by Josephus. (Example:
Antiquities, Book 3,chapter 10, verse 6, where he says that the Hebrews use
the word "asartha" for Pentecoste which is due to the Aramaic "asarta" but
not to the Hebrew "aseret".)

Martin Arhelger,

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