“Hebrew: West Semitic, spoken in the interior of Palestine; the language of the Jewish Bible (Old Testament), progressively influenced and replaced by Aramaic from the 8th century BC. Last attested in the 2nd century AD; thereafter a written and liturgical language, until revived in its modern form, especially from the 1920s, as a progressive official language of Jewish settlers in what is now Israel. Written in a Semitic alphabet whose modern form (‘square Hebrew’) can be traced back to the 3rd century AD.”
Excerpted from: Matthews, P.H., ed. The Oxford Concise Dictionary of Linguistics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.