A Semitic language closely related to Hebrew, using the same alphabet. It was originally spoken by the Aramaeans but later became the international language of trade and communication in the Assyrian and Babylonian empires. It was also the official administrative language of the Persian Empire. (Ezr 4:7) Parts of the books of Ezra, Jeremiah, and Daniel were written in Aramaic.​—Ezr 4:8–6:18; 7:12-26; Jer 10:11; Da 2:4b–7:28.