Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religions

2013 Edition
| Editors: Anne L. C. Runehov, Lluis Oviedo

Language and Literature, Hebrew

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8265-8_1409

Related Terms

Description

Hebrew is a Semitic language which developed in the Near East during the latter half of the second millennium B.C.E. in an area between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean known as Canaan. The language is named after Ever (Eber, Genesis 11:14), a biblical ancestor of Abraham, the patriarch who would become the father of the Hebrew/Israelite/Jewish nation.

Hebrew was defined and accepted as a sacred language by its earliest practitioners and scribes as it was viewed as the language spoken by the Biblical God when creating the world and when communicating with the people of Israel, their leaders, their prophets, and the occasional lay people who were chosen to carry forth a divine plan. As a sacred language, it was used in liturgy and for the expression of...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access

References

  1. Aaron, D. H. (1990). Judaism’s holy language. In J. Neusner (Ed.), Approaches to ancient Judaism (New Series) (Vol. 16, pp. 49–107). Atlanta: Scholars Press.Google Scholar
  2. Aaron, D. H. (2000). The doctrine of Hebrew language usage. In J. Neusner & A. J. Avery-Peck (Eds.), The Blackwell companion to Judaism (pp. 268–287). Oxford/Malden: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  3. Blau, J. (1998). Topics in Hebrew and Semitic linguistics. Jerusalem: Magnes Press.Google Scholar
  4. Fellman, J. (1973). The revival of a classical tongue: Eliezer Ben Yehudah and the Modern Hebrew language. The Hague/Paris: Mouton.Google Scholar
  5. Halevi, P.-I. (2002). The Hebrew language. In M. Goodman (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of Jewish studies (pp. 491–514). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Hoffman, J. M. (2004). In the beginning: A short history of the Hebrew language. New York: University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Kutscher, E. Y. (1982). The history of the Hebrew language. Jerusalem: Magnes Press.Google Scholar
  8. Rabin, C. (1969–1970). The development of Hebrew. Orot, 6, 64–71; Orot, 8 72–79.Google Scholar
  9. Saenz-Badillos, A. (1993). The history of the Hebrew language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Weinberg, W. (1981). A concise history of the Hebrew language. In M. Nahir (Ed.), Hebrew teaching and applied linguistics (pp. 19–69). Washington, DC: University Press of America.Google Scholar
  11. Wheelock, W. T. (1987). Sacred language. In M. Eliade (Ed.), The encyclopedia of religion (Vol. 8, pp. 439–446). New York: MacMillan.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Frances-Henry LibraryHebrew Union College, Jewish Institute of ReligionLos AngelesUSA