One of the most important civilizations that evolved in the early Middle East was that of the Aramaeans. Known for their brutality and military conquests, the Aramaeans were eventually able to take control over the territories between Egypt and Mesopotamia by around 1200 B.C.
Controlling the trade routes between these two wealthy nations allowed the Aramaeans to profit greatly. It also meant that the other peoples of the region had to learn to speak the Aramaean language, which was similar to Hebrew and Arabic. For centuries, many people in the region would continue to speak Aramaean as their main language.
Many portions of the Bible, which were written in these territories, were written in Aramaic.