Hebrew is a Semitic language spoken by the majority of the 7 million people in Israel. Ancient (or Classical) Hebrew flourished as a spoken language from sometime before the 10th Century BC. It faded as a spoken language around the 3rd or 4th Century BC, replaced by Aramaic, but it remained as a lingua franca with scholars and was used by the Jewish community around the world. It continued as a written form for contracts, laws, commerce, and poetry. Near the end of the 19th Century,
it was revived in its present form as Modern Hebrew and replaced a score of languages spoken by Jews at this time. It was declared an official language in British-ruled Palestine in 1921, along with English and Arabic. In 1948 it became an official language of the newly-declared state of Israel.
Modern Hebrew is written from right to left, using the Hebrew alphabet.
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