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The Torah was written Hebrew, and most of the old testament was written in Hebrew, although parts of Daniel were written in Aramaic. By the time of the 1st century, Aramaic was the common language for the people living in Palestine.

At what point in time, or what period of time, did the Jewish people living in the region stop speaking Hebrew as common language and start speaking Aramaic and why?

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up vote 13 down vote accepted

Aramaic was the language of the Assyrian Elite, around 700 BC they invaded Judea and displaced Hebrew as the language of the everyday people. Further damage was done by the Babylonian invasions. This topic is thoroughly discussed in Empires of the Word by Nicholas Ostler.

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And now they speak hebrew again? – Jim Thio Apr 23 '12 at 7:07
@JimThio, that's correct. Hebrew was revived as a language (with some changes) during the lead up to the reestablishment of Israel. – Joe May 11 '12 at 17:33

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