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Aramaic and the Assyrian Empire

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In previous lessons, we examined the early history of Aramaic, as well as Aramaic in the pages of the Old Testament.

In this lesson, we take a look at Aramaic and its use in the Assyrian Empire. The Assyrian Empire has a close connection with the Old Testament, and the history of the Assyrian kings is intimately tied up with the history of the kings of Israel. Down through time, the Assyrians had dealings with the Israelites, and these dealings are recorded in detail in the Old Testament.

We see that while Jews only spoke Hebrew at this stage (except for a few educated people who spoke both Hebrew and Aramaic), the nations surrounding Israel, including the Assyrians, all spoke Aramaic. And so both Hebrew and Aramaic begin their inter-twined relationship, as the languages in which both Jew and Gentile would learn the truth of the Bible.

In the next few lessons, we will look at Aramaic and its use in the Babylonian Empire, the Medo-Persian Empire, as well as the Greek and Roman Empires.

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