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The modern, block-style Hebrew script evolved (via the Aramaic language) from letters named Paleo-Hebrew, which were either derived from or possibly shared with the early Phoenician & Greek alphabetic scripts around 1500 B.C. (the approximate timeframe when Moses led the Israelites from Egypt through the Sinai wilderness to Canaan & wrote the Law--presumably the first significant body of Paleo-Hebrew text; indeed, the earliest known examples of this script are referred to as Proto-Sinaitic & Proto-Canaanite). The modern Hebrew letters replaced Paleo-Hebrew during the timeframe of the Dead Sea Scrolls (from approximately the 3rd century until Christ's birth). By categorizing stratified archaeological finds, scholars can date unstratified inscriptions based on subtle changes in Paleo-Hebrew letters during those 1,000 years to within a century in many cases. (The letters in this chart are courtesy of "Inscriptions Reveal" by The Israel Museum; it & many other books provide examples of Palestinian scripts from the intermediary centuries--the chart below is only intended to give a broad overview as an introduction to this complex field of study.)
And the LORD said to Moses, "Cut 2 tablets of stone like the first ones, & I will write on these tablets..."--Exodus 34:1
This chart shows all the Paleo-Hebrew letters inscribed on the LMLK seals.
Each letter is shown individually, but on some seals they form ligatures.
These drawings were derived from photos & are scaled accurately relative to each other.
Click on any of the letters to see an impression photo.
And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and also wrote letters...--2Chronicles 30:1
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||This page was created on March 1, 2002, & last updated on September 20, 2004|