Thursday, January 20, 2011

Been Doing Some Digging Again

I was reading a while back, about the original languages in which the Tanakh and the B'rit Chadashah were written.  Of course my "curioso" nature kicked in and off I went.

The Tanakh (Old Testament) was written in 2 different languages, the Hebrew for the most part but, certain 'stand alone' verses were written in the Aramaic.  The odd placement of those Aramaic verses is what got me started thinking.  Why not an entire book or at least an entire chapter?  The verses written in Aramaic (also referred to as Chaldee, unrelated to the Chaldea) were:

Daniel 2:4 to 7:28, Ezra 4:8 to 6:18 and 7:12-26 (The Speech of Aram, an area of Syria) and one verse in Jeremiah 10:11

The research I did explained that as a spoken language, the Hebrew was subject to provincialism (heading for Bible dictionary and Wikipedia as I key), got it: being narrow in scope, or considering only small sections of an issue.  As it turns out that's a good thing in language.  It allowed the "holding or keeping" of the original meaning with the passing of documents without there suffering change due to usage.  I will refer to how through the years we have as some say, mutilated the English language.

God wanted the original text which would provide for the original meaning of His text held in tact. That is what the Hebrew people all the way from Shem, the oldest son of Noah had done until the the time of the Captivity.

The Hebrew language is one of a large group of languages all closely related, termed as Simitic.  Ah-ha! and also in that group of Simitic languages is the Aramaic.  FYI, I heard from my son recently that he read about a tribe in Ehiopia, untouched by the world which still speaks the Hebrew and  lives by the original laws.  I was thinking how interesting that was and in my research, I find now that Ethiopian was also in that group of Simitic languages.  Wow, that's totally cool!  I guess we know what I'm going to have to do with that tid-bit of info but, another time.

Back to the Aramaic, during the Captivity the language was affected by the mingling with foreign people,   simple! The speech of Aram was a "trade language".  Aram was a high trade area due to it's location between the Euphratis and Tigris rivers.  So, short and sweet there was much trade and a need to communicate which resulted in a mingling of marriages with the people and of the language.

The Jews brought back the Aramaic language with them from Captivity.  Those verses were documented exactly as they were spoken by the person speaking at that time, who very simply just happened to speak the Aramaic.

No great mystery, I feel better now!


  1. God is in charge of every minute deatail.

    How comforting to me.


  2. You've been busy studying. Good for you, always good to learn something new


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