Hebrew // (עִבְרִית ʿIvrit [ʔivˈʁit] ( listen) or [ʕivˈɾit] ( listen)) is a West Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Hebrews/Israelites and their ancestors. The earliest examples of written Hebrew date from the 10th century BCE.
Hebrew had ceased to be an everyday spoken language by around 200 CE, and survived into the medieval period only as the language of Jewish liturgy and rabbinic literature. Then, in the 19th century, it was revived as a spoken and literary language, and, according to Ethnologue, is now the language of 9 million people worldwide, of whom 7 million are from Israel. The United States has the second largest Hebrew speaking population, with about 221,593 fluent speakers, mostly from Israel.
The name of God in Judaism used most often in the Hebrew Bible is the four-letter name יהוה (YHWH), also known as the Tetragrammaton. El (god), Elohim (god, plural form), El Shaddai (god almighty), Adonai (master), Elyon (highest) and Avinu (our father) are regarded by many religious Jews not as names, but as epithets highlighting different aspects of YHWH and the various 'roles' of God.
The Fertile Crescent is a crescent-shaped region containing the comparatively moist and fertile land of otherwise arid and semi-arid Western Asia, and the Nile Valley and Nile Delta of northeast Africa. The term was popularized by University of Chicago archaeologist James Henry Breasted. Having originated in the study of ancient history, the concept soon developed and today retains meanings in international geopolitics and diplomatic relations.
In current usage, the Fertile Crescent has a minimum extent and a maximum extent. All definitions include Mesopotamia, the land in and around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The modern-day countries with significant territory within the Fertile Crescent are Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Israel, and Occupied Palestinian territories, besides the southeastern fringe of Turkey and the western fringe of Iran.