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In the Language of My Father


 "Yea, I make a record in the language of my father, which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of hthe Egyptians."  (1 Nephi 1:2)

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Nephi here tells us that his father was well versed in the Hebrew literature, and understood the Egyptian mode of writing, probably both the hieroglyphic and the hieratic.

Note:   Why didn't Nephi say that he had made a record in the Hebrew language?

Because that term was not, in his day, or applied to the language spoken by the Hebrews at that time.    (Thlmudic Languages)

The Assyrians called it "The Tongue of the West Country."

In 2 Kings 18:26 it is called "The Jews' Language."

Isaiah calls it "The Language of Canaan." (Isaiah 19:18)

The name "HEBREW" was not applied to the language until the days of the Son of Sirach, about 130, B.C., and then it did not mean the Hebrew but the Syro-Aramean. (Hebrew, Wikipedia)

Josephus, it is thought, was the first to apply the name Hebrew to the old language of the Jews.

In the targums it is called "The Holy Tongue."

Christian writers soon adopted the name.

The prophet Moroni, in the 4th century of our era, applied the term to the Hebrew alphabet, as Josephus had applied it to the old Hebrew writings, both language and characters.
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It is certain that, if this verse had been penned by a modern impostor, he [Joseph Smith], would have written, not "the language of my father," but [in the language of], "Hebrew," because that is the term now always used to denote the language spoken and recorded by the Jews at the time of Lehi.

But Nephi did not know it under that name. The expression used is, therefore, unmistakable evidence of the genuiness of the Book of Mormon.  (Introduction to the Study of the Book of Mromon, by Janne M. Sjodahl) 

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