Aramaic is a Semitic language closely related to Hebrew. Its dialects have been in use since the ninth century BC. The Assyrians made Aramaic the common language of the Near East. Some parts of the Old Testament are written in Aramaic (Ezra 4:8-6:18; 7:12-26; Dan 2:4-7:28 and perhaps a few other verses).
Hebrew in old (Phoenician), Qumran (Aramaic) and modern scripts
In exile and under the empire Aramaic letters replaced the old (Phoenician) script for writing Hebrew, first in everyday life and then for copying the Bible.
The presence of some Aramaic words in the NT (e.g..: "talitha cumi", "maranatha" and "golgotha") suggests that Jesus spoke a dialect of Aramaic.
This page is part of the Hypertext Bible Commentary - Amos,
© Tim Bulkeley, 1996-2005, Tim Bulkeley. All rights reserved.