While in Israel, I heard of a Black Rabbi who may be the first to have translated a Paleo-Hebrew text like the Dead Sea scrolls or the Samaritan’s text. I travelled in the Negev to visit him in a Jewish kibbutz on the border of the West Bank. Howshua Amariel, a Rabbi/Researcher from Chicago, came to Israel several years ago. Amariel, a former member of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, has also travelled extensively around the world from North, Central, to South America and London to South Africa. Yet, he has primarily focused on investigating artifacts and sites of the Israelite people in the Middle Eastern countries of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, and Egypt for 20 years.
About 12 years ago he began translating a Paleo-Hebrew text partially derived from the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Samaritan text. He beliefs that what he calls ‘old Cherokee’ or the inscriptions found in the Americas is actually Paleo-Hebrew and that his people are descendants from the Hebrew people also known as Phoenicians that travelled all over the world and setup colonies.
In 1998, a Memphis based newspaper called ‘Jerusalem Chronicles’, printed an article concerning Amariel’s work with Egyptian hieroglyphs. He was displayed in a picture reading ancient Hebrew off the walls of a temple structure ‘BYT- YHWH’ (Beth Ha-Shem) built by Jews at Elephantine, Egypt.
“For over 20 years I have used my knowledge of the ancient Hebrew language to identify the history of my people written in stone across the globe;” said Amariel, a Hispanic (Cherokee) Indian that is among a tribe whom have been mentioned for centuries in the Americas by European historians (Jews and non-Jews) as a potential lost tribe of Israel.
“The language which is called Hebrew today is actually Babylonian or Aramaic as the Nash Papyrus, mercantile document and the Elephantine Aramaic Papyri proved;” said Amariel. “This language was adopted by the Hebrew people when they were taken to Babylon as captives. Hebrew/Phoenician ceased being a spoken language by all and became a language of prayer, study, and/or reading, the Torah, until later when the Torah itself was transcribed into Babylonian in 440 B.C.E. by Ezra the scribe. It was translated in order that people could read it and keep the Law. It became what is known as the modern square Hebrew writing. This Babylonian script became the writing of the people. The words were Hebrew/Phoenician but the letters were square Babylonian/Aramaic writing. When in 70 C.E. the Romans attacked the homeland of the Phoenician/Hebrew people and scattered them throughout the world.”
Dr. Gérard Nissim Amzallag, is a professor, biologist and researcher at the Judea Center for Research and Development, has published numerous books and articles (in French) and is the author of the book ‘The Copper Revolution’(in Hebrew). He doesn’t live too far from Amariel in either location or belief. Professor Amzallag has spoken with Amariel about the Hebrew Phoenician connections in language and archaeology. Amzallag agrees with Amariel that the Hebrew and Phoenician people and language were the same. He pointed out to us in his book (pg 111) a diagram of the alphabets (Aramaic, Proto-Canaanite, Phoenician and Biblical Hebrew) found in Israel from archaeology. The Phoenician and Biblical Hebrew alphabets were clearly the exact characters similar to one another and also to that of Amariel’s book.
The body of each page of the text is structured with two congruent lines (interlinear): The upper line is written in the original Ancient Hebrew and uses a specially designed font by the Amariel Family entitled ‘OBR’ (the word for ‘Hebrew’) that is read from right-to-left. The lower line is the translation of every one, two, or three letter Ancient Hebrew word on the upper line and is also read from right-to-left (in Ariel font) that is translated into English words (yet are in Ancient Hebrew grammar).
“The primary language of the text is the Ancient Hebrew writing of ‘THIS REPORT’. However, it includes the English formal equivalence translation of the Ancient Hebrew words directly above them. Each Ancient Hebrew ‘phrase word’ is separated by a vertically centered black dot and are interpreted as commas, periods, or question marks based upon the expression in the sentences;” said Rabbi Amariel as he pointed out various examples in his text.
Besides Professor Amzallag, Amariel has given manuscripts of his translation to at least three additional expert Israeli scholars that support the concept of his book. Yehuda Goverin, an archaeologist experienced in the Old Hebrew characters that Amariel first met in 2002 at the Tel Arad National Park, and voluntarily worked with him on an archaeological dig of the House of Yahweh (a site from which many Paleo-Hebrew artifacts have been uncovered).
Robert Deutsch, an archaeologist, head of the Archaeological Center and author of the book ‘Messages from the Past’ (artifacts and seals written in Ancient Hebrew) that he also met while volunteering in 2002 at the Tel Arad National Park.
Yitzchak Kerem, a researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Founder and Director of the Institute of Hellenic-Jewish Studies at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado (USA), Editor “Sefarad, the Sephardic Newsletter, and Historian and Filmmaker of Greek and Sephardic Jewry, Aristotle University Thessaloniki, Greece. That he first met in 2004 at the ‘Kulanu’ Jewish Book meeting in Jerusalem.
Each scholar has openly agreed with the Hebrew-Phoenician people and Paleo-Hebrew alphabet of the Biblical text, because that isn’t new to the scholarly world and there have been other Torah’s published in Paleo-Hebrew, but without any translations. However, each of them is impressed by Amariel’s work because it is an extensive literal translation of the Hebrew/Phoenician language, but also because the method of the translation of the Paleo-Hebrew (ancient Hebrew) words is unique. ‘THIS REPORT’ is an interlinear formal equivalence (word-for-word) translation considered the first of its kind.
Yeshiyah, Howshua Amariel’s son studying to be a rabbi commented about the reaction of religious Jews, yeshivas and rabbis to ‘THIS REPORT’; “Most Rabbis are against translations of the text because understanding is lost, especially with the dynamic and partial literal translations that have been done up until now in English. Yet, we also have shown my father’s translation to rabbis and yeshiva students that have found the accuracy of translation of the Hebrew words into the English equivalent amazing. Those I showed the translation to questioned me on who translated such a precise meaning of the Hebrew thought? I told them with pride that my Aba [father] did it.”
On the upper line of Hebrew, within a phrase word, there are included grammar conjunctions such as the ? (that stands for ‘s) in the middle of a word, the ? (that stands for ‘ing) in the middle of a word, the ? (that stands for ‘ed) at the end of a word, and etc. However on the lower Translation line their equivalences are also translated with the word or name that they appear in and are separated from the word by an (‘) apostrophe (like- strength’s, light’ing, walk’ed and etc.) for the reader to learn the ancient language as they read along. Every Old Hebrew root word (either alone or within a phrase word) uses between 1 to 3 characters. When the one letter grammar conjunctions (like- ‘s, ‘ing, ‘ed, and etc.) are added to a 2 or 3 letter word, the 2 letter word becomes a 3 letter word and the 3 letter word becomes a 4 letter one. However, names or places may use more and are considered phrase words within themselves with their own hidden meanings.
The Old Hebrew has after each word, name, or ‘phrase word’ a division between each word signified by a vertically-centered dot. Also every paragraph (or extended sentence) ends with an “and”, then has a period (like this ” . “) or question mark (like this ” ? “) on the English translation line. The next paragraph begins with a “Then” or capital “And” that is within a phrase word. In addition, the end of every book or story change is marked, on the Hebrew line, by a vertical line (like this ” | “). Because of these ancient Hebrew grammarian lessons and the addition details that aid in understanding the old Hebrew language in English that are found within this text, for now several Israeli scholars that have seen Amariel’s work are impressed by text, yet they also believe that it will take much more study to learn this original translation and with it the Ancient Hebrew language.