Further Comments on Exodus 6:2
Ronald L. Dart
(excerpt from a sermon tape)
The Hebrew language is nowhere referred to in the Old Testament as "Hebrew." The one place it is mentioned, it is called "the lip of Canaan," or the language of Canaan (Isaiah 19:18).
Now, Abraham was a friend of God. Who else is there who has actually had God show up on his doorstep? And he fixed Him a meal, and sat down and ate with Him, then tried to argue Him out of destroying Sodom! Who else was that close to God? And he didn't know God by His name Yehovah! Don't you think that's odd?
Abraham came out of Ur of the Chaldees, didn't he? What language do you suppose he spoke in Ur of the Chaldees? Chaldean, perhaps? Or one of the old languages of that area? There is no historical or archeological record that Hebrew as a language ever existed in Abraham's day. When Abraham was a boy, Hebrew did not even exist as a separate language.
Moses grew up in the house of Pharaoh. What language do you suppose he spoke at home? Egyptian. It's also likely that Moses also learned the language of Canaan, because there was a lot of commerce in that part of the world. In fact, most of the commerce with Mesopotamia, out of Egypt, went right through Canaan, and there was naturally the need for speaking the language of Canaan for diplomacy and commerce. I think it's highly likely that Moses learned the language of Canaan, which by that time might very well have been what you and I now know as Hebrew.
When Moses was in exile in the land of Median, it's highly likely that the language of Canaan, what we might call early Hebrew, was the language of that country.
And it would also be the language of the Israelites who left Canaan to come to Egypt in the time of Joseph, during the famine. It was also the language of Canaan, so when Moses came back to Egypt, he was able to communicate with the Israelites in their language.
When Moses met God at the burning bush, in what language did God, or the angel of Yahweh, speak to Moses? Probably the language of Canaan, what you and I call Hebrew.