Written Languages

Written languages are nothing more than symbols on a page to confer some thoughts or ideas.  Oral language, written numbers, and written symbols existed before written languages.  Most of the world’s ancient languages began to take shape about 3,000-1,500 BCE, about 5,000 years ago.  The Semitic languages developed in Egypt from about 1,800 to 1,300 BCE.  Thus, the Hebrew of the Bible would have been practically the only written sources.  The Greek language also stems from about the same time around 1,500 BCE.


The Babylonian king requests young Israelite students (Dan 1:3-1:4)

“Then the king commanded

His palace master,


To bring

Some of the Israelites

Of the royal family

Or Of the nobility.

These should be

Young men

Without physical defect,

As well as handsome.

These should be

Versed in every branch

Of wisdom,


With knowledge,

As well as insight.

These young men

Should be competent

To serve

In the king’s palace.

They were to be taught

The literature,

As well as the language,

Of the Chaldeans.”

King Nebuchadnezzar wanted to have some well-bred Israelites students. He had his palace chief, Ashpenaz, find these young men if they met certain conditions. These young men would have to be in good physical shape, as well as good looking. They had to be from the Israelite royal family or the Israelite nobility. Thus, these young men would not be run of the mill students. On top of that, they had to show some wisdom, knowledge, and insight. They were not going to waste their time on people who did not want to learn. Thus, they would be competent to serve in the king’s palace like a page. They also had to learn the Chaldean or Babylonian culture with its literature and language. This seemed like a good use of smart young men.