Hebrew is one of the longest continuously recorded languages that has survived to the modern day. It first appeared around the late 11th or early 10th century BC in the form of the Gezer calendar. While the script on this inscription is called Old Hebrew, it is barely discernible from Phoenician from where it originated.

Meanwhile, another Phoenician-derived script, Aramaic, was quickly becoming the international trade language in the ancient Middle East. Consequently, by the 6th century BC, the Hebrews started writing in Aramaic for every day use and confined the Old Hebrew script for religious use (and the occasional inscription on coins). The Aramaic script adopted by the Hebrews quickly became known as the Jewish script, and because of the shape of its letters it also became known as ketab merubba`,or "square script".


  • Hebraica (eBay seller)
  • Alan E. Cole