Hebrew Hebrew pronunciation is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, it is considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language was also used by non-Jewish groups, such as the Samaritans. Modern Hebrew is spoken by most of the eight million people in Israel while Classical Hebrew has been used for prayer or study in Jewish communities around the world. The language is attested from the 10th century BCE to the late Second Temple period, after which the language developed into Mishnaic Hebrew. Modern Hebrew is one of the official languages of Israel, along with the Arabic.