Hebrew is the World’s Oldest Alphabet, A New Study Suggests
A new controversial study by archaeologist and epigrapher Douglas Petrovich of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada, suggests that the world's oldest form of alphabet inscribed on stone slabs at several Egyptian sites was an early form of Hebrew.
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This research, which was proposed on Nov. 17, 2016 at the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research, may reportedly confirm some biblical truths in the book of Exodus.
Solving the Ancient Puzzle
The current universally recognized world's oldest alphabet that is the Semitic language of the elusive proto-consonantal script have many unsuccessful attempts to isolate it for 150 years by scientists.
For instance, in 1920, a German scholar made an attempt to identify as many letters in the alphabet, but he failed that lead to rejections by scientist community.
However, is it possible that this ancient puzzle for world's oldest alphabet has finally been solved?
The big break and biblical confirmation?
Petrovich's big break came in January 2012 as he was conducting some research at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. He came across the word "Hebrews" in a text from 1874 B.C. that includes the earliest known alphabetic letter. Looking at the Old Testament, Israelites spent 434 years in Egypt, from 1876 B.C. to 1442 B.C.
The archeologist then combined previous identifications of some letters in the ancient alphabet with his own identifications and he translated 18 Hebrew inscriptions from three Egyptian sites.
Surprisingly, according to Petrovich, several biblical figures came up in the translated inscriptions that include Joseph, who was sold into slavery and then became a powerful political figure in Egypt; Joseph's wife Asenath; Joseph's son Manasseh; and Moses, who led the Israelites out of Egypt.
Another inscription, dated to 1834 B.C., was translated as "Wine is more abundant than the daylight, than the baker, than a nobleman." For him it means that at that time, drink was plentiful, but food was scarce.
Petrovich's claims are controversial among Biblical scholars because despite what's in the Old Testament, many opposed the idea that Israelites occupied the land of Egypt at the time.
Petrovich is currently writing a book in which he aims to detail his analyses of these ancient inscriptions. His study is expected to be published within the next few months.
Petrovich says the book will definitively show that only an early version of Hebrew can make sense of the Egyptian inscriptions.