ChristianAnswers.Net WebBible Encyclopedia
The language used by the sacred writers in certain portions of the Old Testament, viz., Dan. 2:4-7, 28; Ezra 4:8-6:18; 7:12-26; Genesis 31:46; Jeremiah 10:11. It is the Aramaic dialect, as it is sometimes called, as distinguished from the Hebrew dialect. It was the language of commerce and of social intercourse in Western Asia, and after the Exile gradually came to be the popular language of Canaan. It is called “Syrian” in 2 Kings 18:26. Some isolated words in this language are preserved in the New Testament (Matthew 5:22; 6:24; 16:17; 27:46; Mark 3:17; 5:41; 7:34; 14:36; Acts 1:19; 1 Corinthians 16:22). These are specimens of the vernacular language of Israel at that period. The term “Hebrew” was also sometimes applied to the Chaldee because it had become the language of the Hebrews (John 5:2; 19:20).