Paleo Hebrew was the earliest form of the Hebrew language with known inscriptions dating 1000BC. In 587 BC, under the rule of King Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonians captured several thousand of the educated and wealthy in Jerusalem and carried them off to exile. Over the years of captivity many of the Israelites blended in and were assimilated into the society having a profound effect on their way of life and beliefs. Ezra, the scribe, was born in Babylon and one of the first to return to Jerusalem. The lettering he brought back was highly influenced by the Aramaic letters he had learned and began the transformation of the ancient Hebrew Aleph Bet into the modern Hebrew letters.