This is an excerpt from the Book of Jubilees, which was written in Hebrew by an unknown Jewish writer sometime around the 1st century BCE. The book summarises and paraphrases many biblical stories from Genesis, interweaving them with legends and traditional commentaries which go far beyond the biblical text. This text presents Hebrew as the language of the creation which was lost at the tower of Babel. But God taught it to Abraham.

19 And he (Abram) prayed that night and said, ‘My God, God Most High, Thou alone art my God, And Thee and Thy dominion have I chosen. And Thou hast created all things, And all things that are are the work of thy hands 20 Deliver me from the hands of evil spirits who have dominion over the thoughts of men’s hearts, And let them not lead me astray from Thee, my God And establish Thou me and my seed forever That we go not astray from henceforth and forevermore.’…

22 And he made an end of speaking and praying, and behold the word of the Lord was sent to him through me, saying: ‘Get thee up from thy country, and from thy kindred and from the house of thy father unto a land which I will show thee, and I shall make thee a great and numerous nation. 23 And I will bless thee And I will make thy name great, And thou shalt be blessed in the earth, And in Thee shall all families of the earth be blessed, And I will bless them that bless thee, And curse them that curse thee. 24 And I will be a God to thee and thy son, and to thy son’s son, and to all thy seed: fear not, from henceforth and unto all generations of the earth I am thy God.’

25 And the Lord God said: ‘Open his mouth and his ears, that he may hear and speak with his mouth, with the language which has been revealed’; for it had ceased from the mouths of all the children of men from the day of the overthrow (of Babel). 26 And I opened his mouth, and his ears and his lips, and I began to speak with him in Hebrew in the tongue of the creation. 27 And he took the books of his fathers, and these were written in Hebrew, and he transcribed them, and he began from henceforth to study them, and I made known to him that which he could not (understand), and he studied them during the six rainy months. (Jubilees 12:19-27)

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32 COMMENTS

  1. That’s most likely to have been the case. God didn’t choose any other language but Hebrew to reveal His Word to Moshe the first author of the Bible. The Hebrew Bible laid the foundation for the Christian Scriptures which was written in Greek.

  2. It is an interesting piece of writing. It sounds more fanciful than factual. I cannot recall anything in the Bible that would either stimulate the concept of Hebrew being the first language, and Abraham studying and learning it. But I could be wrong.

    • It’s a legend that has been around for a while. There are many fascinating stories and legends about Abraham that are not in the Bibel. I decided to quote the text because I wanted people to be aware of what ancient people believed about Hebrew. Many people in Yeshua’s day took these stories as facts and they formed a foundation of their understanding of the world.

  3. I thought G-d confused the languages of mankind and then gave each Elohim or small “g” god a nation with its own language. For a total 70 (72?) base language / nation groups? That left the Hebrews. So G-d chose them as his own and they retained the original language.

  4. Nice liegend, from obscure source.
    But in his time there were no books, even not in Hebrew.
    And who is the suddenly appearing “I” ?
    Changing persons?
    The “truth” in the Bible?

    Best Regards

    Günther Wolkenstein

  5. I’m praying that Yahovah will open a way for me to be able to afford these and other studies under your leadership and guidance of the Most High. I am disabled and poor but , so rich with the blessings and love of our Father. pray for me

  6. Prof. Shir, this is definitely something I have never read or known about. I have recently purchased the book, “Learning God’s Love Language” by, Chaim Bentorah. I’m really enjoying reading it and getting familiar with the Hebrew letters. I am going to just work in this book for now.

  7. Interesting view but alphabets had not been invented yet. I believe Moses invented the first alphabet in existence during his 40 years with the sheep. Written language in Abraham’s day consisted of hieroglyphics and Babylonian cuneiform which were based on syllables not letters.

    • Yes, the history of written language is fascinating. But remember Jubilees is a book that contains a lot of lore. We should not take it all as evidence of Abraham’s or Moses’ days, merely the thinking of the century from which it comes.

  8. This is a great topic as many will argue that Hebrew came from other Languages such as Aramic and that it comes from the Babilonians because of the creation of the Hebrew Nation came much later. I agree with your teaching as well as my Rabbi’s teaching.

    Shabbat Shalom

  9. Interesting article! Every faith tradition I have studied assumes that the Creator speaks in the language of their particular culture. The idea that God would constrain himself by communicating in any human language makes no sense to me. Human languages are for us spiritually limited humans.

  10. It’s neat to realize how different the world would be if Father simply started talking to someone, an Apostle for example, and explained the Bible to them. They could end all debate. Curious, the Rabbis are the only ones wise enough to be expecting HaShem to do exactly this. Shalom.

  11. Thank you for this information Prof Pinchas I do find it interesting but without evidence of its authenticity. One thing that is certain is that in whatever language we address our Lord in prayer etc He is so very wise that even before we say a word He knows.

  12. Cont. Even before we say a word our God is so wise He knows before we pray. What a wonderful God we have and a most gracious Saviour in Jesus Christ. Thank you again Prof Pinchas.

  13. Eli, Hebrew was only lost to those at theTower of Babel. I doubt the Shemites attended because Shem means NAME and/or FAME. Remember these words “the God of Shem”. Descendents of Ham and Japheth said they will ‘make’ a NAME(for FAME) at Babel, but never did. God bless.

  14. I awoke this morning with an intuitive sensation that I needed to find a piece of information I was missing; I knew it had something to do with speaking so I checked out other articles listed here but none seemed to satisfy this need to know until I read your article. Now not only do I know what I was seeking but why I needed to know. Thank you for writing this.

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