It was on this day in 1913 that schools opened up in the Holy Land using Hebrew as the official language of instruction. This was after an ongoing struggle to determine what language should be used. This is fascinating considering that, up until that point in time, Hebrew was more or less a language only used for religious purposes in synagogues – i.e. prayers and reading Scripture, etc. Through the efforts of men like Eliezer ben Yehudah, Hebrew became a usable, thriving language that is, once again, heard in the streets of Jerusalem.
Now, a century later, not only are Jewish school children learning and using Hebrew, but Christians are trying to learn about this language in order to better understand the language and the context of the Holy Scripture. At the very beginning of my endeavor to learn of the roots of my faith, one of the first things that captured my intention was the language. In fact, having a better understanding of Hebrew has been one of the most fascinating parts of my faith walk. It unlocks so much understanding of the Scripture and, consequently, has enriched my study of the Bible. The growing interest in Hebrew is no accident; long ago the Creator made this statement in Zechariah 3:9:
“For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, that they all may call on the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one accord.”
There is ample evidence to suggest that this “pure language” could be Hebrew. Might it be that Hebrew was the language spoken before the confusion of the tongues in Genesis 11? If so, then it could be a very important component in the restoration of all things. Let’s be clear: One doesn’t have to learn Hebrew in order to hear from the Creator because He has always spoken to us by His Spirit. He has always and continues to hear us when we speak to Him from our heart. Still, having a basic knowledge of Hebrew helps us to better understand His Word and allows His Spirit to speak to us in ways that, otherwise, might not be properly discernible.
Should believers try to learn the basics of Hebrew? Absolutely. Yet more than anything else, we must to speak to Him from a pure heart so that we might hear from Him, regardless of what language we speak with our tongue. It’s in our heart where we come into one accord with Him and that is the language that He appreciates most.