Oldest Hebrew and Samaritan Script and Language were nothing but Phoenician

Phoenician Encyclopedia
Click for Mobile Version
    Ban Wikipedia   en.wikipedia is is a non-peer-reviewed website
with agenda and is anti-Lebanese & anti-Semitic 
Old Hebrew language and script were nothing but Phoenician
Highlight any text; our page(s) will read it. Text to speech


The article proves that there was nothing called Old Hebrew language or script (same for Samaritan). They were nothing more than Phoenician language and script.

Phoenician is the mother tongue of the Mediterranean, our first alphabet

      Twitter Logo Join PhoeniciaOrg Twitter
for alerts on new articles
Facebook Logo Visit our Facebook Page
for additional, new studies

Why do Phoenician and Hebrew sound similar?

Background of the Hebrew language since the fall of Jerusalem 70 A.D.

After more than three millennia, half of which it lay dormant, Hebrew went through an extraordinary story, unparalleled in history. Now it flourishes in the 21st century as an everyday language. A hundred and fifty years ago, Hebrew was not a spoken language. Today, more than 9 million people speak Hebrew and call it their native tongue.

Phoenician Script
Above is Biblical Phoenician which became
called Palaeo-Hebrew alphabet in 1954, a blatant LIE..

See for yourself "Palaeo-Hebrew or Old Hebrew" below:
Old Hebrew i.e. Phoenician

The Jews were partially dispersed, after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 A.D. by the Romans. The Sanhedrin  relocated outside Jerusalem, and synagogues mushroomed, as much as possible, outside Jerusalem. Jews of the diaspora used Hebrew in religious services. Written Hebrew was used minimally in some few books. This is so because in the first century A.D. the Jews spoke Aramaic, the lingua franca of the Levant, and Hebrew was strictly used for religion.

Eliezer Ben Yehuda was the driving force behind the revival of the ancient language and its transformation into its modern form. He was born in Lithuania in 1858 and went to Palestine in 1881. He had a dream to transform Hebrew into a modern language. Ben Yehuda campaigned to make Hebrew the language of instruction in Israeli schools. He worked on expanding the Hebrew vocabulary so it could meet the demands of modern Israeli society and created the first modern Hebrew dictionary.

Is a text written in Hebrew script necessarily in the Hebrew language?

Epigraphy scholar, Semitic language specialist, and biblical scholar, Christopher of George Washington University asks a seemingly straightforward question: What is the oldest Hebrew inscription? His examination requires him to address the fundamental questions of epigraphy. Is a text written in Hebrew script necessarily in the Hebrew language? And was the Hebrew language originally written in an alphabet that predates Hebrew script? Chris examined four contenders for the oldest Hebrew inscription – the Qeiyafa Ostracon, Gezer Calendar, Tel Zayit Abecedary and Izbet Zayit Abecedary – to explore the interplay between early Hebrew script and language.

Old Hebrew script is derived directly from Phoenician, and Chris contends that what is called Palaeo-Hebrew or Old Hebrew script did not split off from its Phoenician predecessor until the ninth century B.C. The "Hebrew language" (better called Canaanite since it was) existed well before then; the oldest surviving Hebrew language texts were written down in the Phoenician script. Further, the reason behind changing its name to "Palaeo-Hebrew" is neither scientific nor convincing. Identifying the oldest Hebrew text and language is hindered by a diverse set of complications.

Biblical Tradition of the Old Testament -- The Torah

For those who believe that the Torah is historically true, they are convinced that Moses lived in the latter part of the second millenium B.C. (1450-1200 B.C.). However, archaeology and historical records have yet to prove that any of the icons of the Old Testament existed at all. Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Noah, Lot, David (Bet Dawood inscription being House of the god Dod making the discovery that said the former shaky), Solomon...etc. are fictional characters at best whose names and stories exist in the Bible for didactic purposes not history. In short, a huge collection Biblical fairytales remain just that. However, assuming that Biblical history is semi-true the time when Moses lived needs to be established as precisely as possible. Further, the Ten Plagues of Egypt and the apocaliptic stories of the Exodus are explained by scientific ramifications and side effects of the volcanic explosion at Santorini and its impact on Egyptian and Near Eastern climate, humans, animals, weather...etc.

If one believes the stories of the fictional and mythical characters mentioned in the Pentateuch, for argument's sake, and that Moses existed, what script did he use to write his five books? How were the Pentateuch and the Ten Commandments written? The most important one, the Ten Commandments is supposed to have been written with God's finger. This story sounds like Islam, which says that God wrote the Quran himself in Arabic, while Muhammad received it on Earth. Did God have a specific language, and specific script? Many believers call this suggestion infallibly true and others call this blasphemy.


If one believes the stories of the Torah to be true, then Moses was raised and educated in the Egyptian court. This leads to the conclusion that Moses must have been fluent in the Egyptian language and must have mastered hieratic and demotic, if not the hieroglyphics. The latter writing systems were not efficient to write extensive work, like the Five books of Moses. His other option, as far as we know from history, was to use the cuneiform script to do the same task, yet it was not an easy option either. The most efficient system in the ancient world to write volumes of books at Moses' disposal was the Canaanite Phoenician script. This simple fact leads us to conclude that if Moses really wrote his books in the time he was supposed to have done it, he used the Canaanite Phoenician script and language. Consequently, what we see today in the Samaritan Scripture is very close to what the Old Testament looked like. Another point that comes from the Bible is preserved in the words of Isaiah 19:18 "In that day five cities in Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the LORD Almighty. One of them will be called the City of Destruction -- City of the Sun (that is, Heliopolis)."

The alternative scientific story of when and how the Torah was written by scholars gives varied dates that end in 586 B.C. In other words, the Bible was not really written down by Moses around the 14th or 13th century B.C. but much later from memories of the elders who kept in their minds. This was an attempt to establish a glorious history of the Hebrews, much like the Romans did with the Virgil's Aeneid by basing it in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, to give it stature, preeminence and historical significance.

In short, the Hebrew language and script known as Ketav Ivri or Paleo-Hebrew today was Canaanite Phoenician language and script written from right to left. Scholars confirm this when they say "If you were to go back enough, you will find out that there is no difference at all between the two" -- the two become one. Paleo-Hebrew was a fancy name for Phoenician used in the Torah.

Important Note:
Solomon Birnbaum in 1954 wrote: "To apply the term Phoenician to the script of the Hebrews is hardly suitable". Therefore, he invented the expression Palaeo-Hebrew alphabet as a variant of the Phoenician alphabet with 22 consonants and is described as an abjad. Birnbaum's term was coined and applied to what was identical to the Phoenician script. This makes the name Palaeo-Hebrew a blatant lie with no foundation in history and real scholars should not use it.

In later years, Hebrew language fell under the influence of Aramaic during the Babylonian Exile and adopted the square script alphabet of Imperial Aramaic, as it abandoned the Phoenician script. This was known as Ketav Ashuri. Tradition holds that Ezra adopted the Aramaic square script alphabet in place of the Canaanite Phoenician nicknamed Paleo-Hebrew alphabet during the post-exilic restoration of Israel in the fifth century B.C. As the Aramaic alphabet became the Hebrew alphabet, Hebrew papyri and parchments were then primarily written in Aramaic script. The Canaanite Phoenician alphabet persists today solely with the Samaritans who have saved a tangible example of the original Hebrew scripture.

Evolution of Languages and Passage of Time

The facts, history and reasoning of the previous paragraphs produce a conclusion: "Palaeo-Hebrew" was/is nothing but Canaanite Phoenician in both language and script. Hence, the language and script of the original Bible should be called Biblical Phoenician.

Page of the Samaritan Torah
Even for the untrained eye, the
script above looks Phoenician
Qeiyafa Ostracon and Gezer Calendar
C. Rallston examines the Qeiyafa Ostracon, Gezer Calendar and other inscriptions in a search for the oldest Hebrew script and language.
  1. It is common knowledge that languages evolve with time and become polished. Phoenician dropped out of use and stopped evolving because it gave way to Aramaic, Syriac, Greek, Latin, and many other languages in the Near East. Phoenician words, terms and expressions continue to survive in the Mediterranean: Lebanese, Syrian, Hebrew and Palestinian languages and dialects without their users' knowledge. Spoken languages and dialects of the eastern Mediterranean continue to contain Phoenician words, alongside Aramaic, Syriac, Ottoman, Greek...etc.

  2. Modern Hebrew went through a turbulent history but came through victorious as a spoken language. It evolved but did not get polished enough, because it lay dormant for dozens of centuries.

  3. Biblical Phoenician that evolved into modern Hebrew did not have enough time and usage to become polished like other languages of the world. Hence, Phoenician and Biblical Phoenician which became modern Hebrew are still close in both the meanings, the written form and the oral form. Consequently, there is no surprise that the Phoenician we read today sounds and spells very much like modern Hebrew.

  4. Today modern Hebrew speakers, Arabic speaker, Aramaic and Syriac speakers have considerable degree of understanding Phoenician and their respective languages.

Layers of Hebrew: Historical Metamorphoses from Biblical Phoenician to the Hebrew Language

  1. The tale of the Hebrew slaves in Egypt clearly implies that they spoke an unknown language, before they adopted Canaanite as their tongue, as quoted earlier: Isaiah, 19:18 "In that day five cities in Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the LORD Almighty. One of them will be called the City of Destruction -- City of the Sun (that is, Heliopolis)."

  2. Biblical Phoenician (a.k.a. "Biblical Hebrew") – Over 3,000 years ago, when the Israelites defeated and replaced the Canaanites in the Holy Land, Hebrew was established as the national language. Thereafter, Phoenician-Hebrew became exclusively used in the Temple and in synagogues while the lingua franca of the Israelites became Aramaic spoken by all the people of the region. Consequently, the Scripture was translated to Aramaic for use especially during the Babylonian exile (686-534 B.C.). For over 1,500 years, till around 400 A.D., it fell out of common usage. Biblical Phoenician- Hebrew survived as the language of Jewish liturgy and of religious texts.

  3. Mishnaic Hebrew – The Mishnah or Jewish law and dictionary were written in Hebrew 2nd century A.D. with a brief growth in Spain.

  4. In the 15th and 16th centuries, printing presses gave Hebrew a small boost.

  5. Modern Hebrew – In the 19th century, Hebrew, fueled by the Zionist movement underwent a revival. Eliezer Ben Yehuda and other authors and poets joined forces to make Hebrew an official language of Israel in 1948. Consequently, Hebrew today became language is a rich, compelling expression of Israel. This has to be admitted without any reservation.


DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed in this site do not necessarily represent Phoenicia.org nor do they necessarily reflect those of the various authors, editors, and owner of this site. Consequently, parties mentioned or implied cannot be held liable or responsible for such opinions.

This is to certify that this website, phoenicia.org is NOT in any way related to, associated with or supports the Phoenician International Research Center, phoeniciancenter.org, the World Lebanese Cultural Union (WLCU) or any other website or organization foreign or domestic. Consequently, any claims of association with this website are null.


Additional references, sources and bibliography (Please don't write and ask me for references. You can find them at the end of article or in Bibliography)

Phoenicia, A Bequest Unearthed -- Phoenician Encyclopedia

© Copyright, All rights reserved by holders of original referenced materials and compiler on all pages linked to this site of: https://phoenicia.org © Phoenician Canaanite Encyclopedia -- © Phoenician Encyclopedia -- © Punic Encyclopedia -- © Canaanite Encyclopedia -- © Encyclopedia Phoeniciana, Encyclopedia Punica, Encyclopedia Canaanitica.  

The material in this website was researched, compiled, & designed by Salim George Khalaf as owner, author & editor.
Declared and implied copyright laws must be observed at all time for all text or graphics in compliance with international and domestic legislation.

Contact: Salim George Khalaf, Byzantine Phoenician Descendent
Salim is from Shalim, Phoenician god of dusk, whose place was Urushalim/Jerusalem
"A Bequest Unearthed, Phoenicia" — Encyclopedia Phoeniciana

This site has been online for more than 21 years.
We have more than 420,000 words.
The equivalent of this website is about 2,000 printed pages.

Trade Mark
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20