It gradually became a literary rather than a popular tongue, as appears from the style of the later books of the Old Testament (Chron., Dan., Eccles.), and from the Hebrew text of Ecclesiasticus (c. 170 B.C.).
The wisdom of Jesus ben Sira (Sirach) is contained in the book commonly called Ecclesiasticus.
The apology for the necessary defects of a translation put forward by the translator of Ecclesiasticus in his Prologue shows that the work was carried on beyond the limits of the Law.
By about the beginning of our era the Jews had given up Hebrew and wrote in Aramaic; the process of expulsion had been going on, doubtless, for some time; but comparison with the later extant literature (Chronicles, the Hebrew Ecclesiasticus or Ben-Sira, Esther) makes it improbable that such Hebrew as that of Koheleth would have been written earlier than the 2nd century B.C. (for details see Driver's Introduction).
He became involved in a controversy with Joseph Justus Scaliger, formerly his intimate friend, and others, wrote Ecclesiasticus auctoritati Jacobi regis oppositus (1611), an attack upon James I.