The Remnant On Line History Page


Elizer ben-Yehuda 

      JERUSALEM, ISRAEL -- In a sermon at Evange
l World Prayer Center on December 22, 2002, Pastor Bob Rodgers told his congregation about a great man, of whom many of them had probably never heard. Eliezer Ben-Yehuda was a language scholar at the turn of the last century and he would design a new Jewish language for the return of his people to their homeland after the Second World War. Zephaniah 3:9 For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent.
          ben-Yehuda was born in the humble surroundings of Lithuania on January 7, 1858. His birth symbolized the return of the Jews to Palestine.
       The Prophet Zephaniah said that the time the Jews will return to their own homeland, everyone would begin to speak in their mother tongue again. Around 1900, ben-Yehuda received a vision from God instructing him to establish a dictionary of Hebrew words that would allow modern-day Jewish people to study the ancient Hebrew and also establish thousands of new words. To do this, he went back to the Hebrew root words and the ancient
       Hebrew language rules and established modern words such as airplane, fountain pen, automobile, and locomotive. He formed a dictionary that was
sixteen volumes thick.
        The Orthodox Jews, however, ridiculed and scandalized him so much that the new sixteen-volume dictionary was not published until 1922. Then when the nation was established, the people coming in were taught the Hebrew language. The government established schools and then when the Jews began to come from Russia and Poland - even though they had thick accents - they all spoke Hebrew. Today the Israeli people speak their ancient language of Hebrew this has never happened in the history of world, but yet God prophesied it would happen and it has taken place. It was a sign from God.
       Eliezer ben-Yehuda started by working on a newspaper as he moved to Israel. He then created his own newspaper and published it completely in Hebrew. Ben-Yehuda foresaw a Hebrew paper that would cover all topics of interest to a people living on its own land, including international and local topics, weather bulletins, fashion etc. He would use this paper (Hatzvi - 1884) as a means of establishing new words that hitherto were missing from the Hebrew language, such as: newspaper, editor, telegram, subscriber, soldier, and many other words.