MALAMAT, ABRAHAM (1922– ). Israeli Bible scholar. Born in Vienna, Malamat settled in Palestine in 1935 and received his doctorate from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1951 for a thesis on the history of the Arameans written under B. *Mazar. He then spent two years at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago studying under the Sumerologist T. Jacobsen and the Assyriologist B. *Landsberger.
Many of his writings are concerned with the relationship between the history of ancient Mesopotamia to Ancient Egypt and the Bible. He has made a major contribution through his discoveries of the relation of the ancient *Mari documents to the study of the Bible. His record and study of Mari in the third and second pre-Christian millennia contributed to our understanding of the historical background of ancient Israel. Malamat argued that much of biblical historical narrative had "telescoped" events of long periods of time.
In 1954 he was appointed lecturer in Biblical and Ancient Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and professor in 1964. He taught there until his retirement in 1991. Malamat taught widely around the world and trained many students. He has served as editor of the Hebrew bulletin of the Israel Exploration Society and is a member of the board and scientific council of the Israel Society for Military History, the international editorial board of the Zeitschrift fuer die alttestamentlische Wissenschaft, and the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament.
Malamat has published over 250 papers in Hebrew, English, and German. His Hebrew works include: Israel in Bible Times – Historical Essays (1983–1984); Jeremiah, Chap. One –The Prophetic Call (1954), and The Arameans in Aram Naharayim (1952). A full bibliography through 1993 is available in his jubilee volume published as ErIsr, 24 (1993). After his retirement Malamat was a fellow at the Dinur Center for Research in Jewish History at the Hebrew University. His later publications can be found on the website of the center.
G. Galil, in: dbi, 2:113–14.
[Elaine Hoter /
S. David Sperling (2nd ed.)]