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Ancient Hebrew, also known as Classical or Biblical Hebrew, differs noticeably, though not drastically, from Modern Hebrew. The differences are mainly in the areas of grammar, phonology, and vocabulary, and speakers of Modern Hebrew can typically read an ancient text without difficulty. This form comprises a number of dialects spoken in ancient Israel between the 10th century BCE and the early 4th century CE. In the modern era, it is mostly a literary and liturgical language only. Modern Hebrew, the national language of modern-day Israel, is a secular spoken language.
Ancient Hebrew is a much older language than English, it emerged around 12th Century BC. However due to exile of Jews and the movement of the Jewish diaspora to different parts of the world, it gradually fell out of use as an everyday language. It was mostly only used in religious practice and sometimes in writing academic documents and books. So when Hebrew revived as an everyday language in the form of Modern Hebrew with the establishment of the Israeli state, it naturally changed and adapted to the modern era.
In the Middle Ages, a variety of pronunciation styles for Ancient Hebrew had developed due to the wide dispersal of the Jewish population. The two major branches of phonological styles were Sephardic Hebrew, spoken in the Iberian Peninsula and countries of the former Ottoman Empire, and Ashkenazi Hebrew, spoken in Central and Eastern Europe. The two pronunciation styles were influenced by regional spoken Jewish languages, Ladino and Yiddish respectively.
Modern Hebrew phonology is based on that of Sephardic Hebrew, while the Yemenite dialect that developed in the Middle Ages is probably closest to the phonology of Ancient Hebrew. The differences in syntax or grammar between ancient and modern forms are based largely on influence from Ashkenazi Hebrew and Yiddish. In addition, the modern Hebrew language incorporated many loanwords and neologisms necessary to discuss things that did not exist in Ancient Hebrew.
The ancient form is still used by speakers in literary and liturgical contexts and is taught in Israel's public schools. Elements of it are also used from time to time in spoken Modern Hebrew and in the Israeli media.