A Semitic language, Hebrew is one of the oldest languages in the world. Hebrew is known as the language of the Bible.
It is spoken in Israel, where it is an official language along with Arabic with 9 million speakers and a further 8 million speak the language in other countries. It was the language of the early Jews, but it was replaced by Aramaic from 586 BC.
By 70 AD, Hebrew was extinct as a daily language, but it was continuingly used for literary and religious purposes and also used as a lingua franca by Jewish people in different countries. Hebrew has two dialects: the Jewish dialect and the Samaritan dialect.