Pal(a)eo-Hebrew and Square Hebrew

From: Patrick Andries (
Date: Mon May 03 2004 - 07:55:10 CDT

I got this answer from a forum dedicated to Ancient Hebrew :

« Very few people can read let alone recognize the paleo Hebrew font.
Most modern Hebrew readers are not even aware that Hebrew was once
written in the paleo Hebrew script. There are also many who believe that
the square script is the original script and the paleo was a kind of
"handwritten" script used by the commoners and was formed out of the
original square script. This of course goes against the archeological
record as the square script does not appear until around 500 BCE in
Babylonia where it was used to write the Aramaic language and adopted by
the Hebrews while in captivity in Babylon.

I am not aware of a program that will switch from square to paleo
although there is a site that has the Torah in paleo Hebrew script -

When the Biblical text is written in paleo Hebrew there are no vowel
pointings. When the text was written in the paleo Hebrew four of the
Hebrew letters were used as vowels - aleph, hey, vav and yud, but were
removed from the text when the masorites added the vowel pointings. This
is evident in the Dead Sea Scrolls where the four letters are found in
the words but removed in the Masoretic text.

I do not know of a paleo Hebrew font used in the unicode though I heard
of one who was working on that awhile ago but, I do not know what came
about out of that.

P. A.

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