Press "Enter" to skip to content

Linguistics/Theology Question – Hebrew as a Canaanite Language

Stated briefly: Are there any traditional, Orthodox sources that address and explain the fact that Hebrew was highly similar, if not mutually intelligible, with the languages of the Canaanite nations, like Moab and Edom?

Longer version: (1) Tanach, by my understanding, assumes that the Canaanites are “foreigners” par excellence vis-a-vis the Israelites. (2) Furthermore, Avraham was not a native of Canaan, so apparently there is no reason he or his descendants would speak Canaanite (unless we assume assimilation into Canaanite society, which (1) seems to reject.)

An answer indicating my understanding of Tanach is flawed would be totally acceptable. But in any case, I am hoping to be pointed towards some Orthodox sources (ideally historical, but if not, contemporary) that address such questions.

Last point: to the extent that the progenitors of Moab and Edom (for example) were relatives of Avraham, the answer seems clear: Canaanite languages originate with Avraham’s stock. But is this the right answer?

submitted by /u/Donut_Don
[link] [comments]
Source: Reditt