Prof. Matthew Morgenstern

Department of Hebrew Language
חוג ללשון עברית סגל אקדמי בכיר
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Prof. Matthew Morgenstern
Phone: 03-6406353
Office: Rosenberg - Jewish Studies, 214


Full Professor in the Department of Hebrew Language and Semitic Linguistics. 





1987-1990    Cambridge University, Social and Political Science


1991-1992    University College, London, Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies

                   MA (with distinction)

1993-1996    Hebrew University of Jerusalem,  Hebrew Language

                   MA (summa cum laude)

1997-2002    Hebrew University of Jerusalem, The Aramaic Language in the Responsa of the Babylonian Geonim   

                   PhD (summa cum laude)



List of Scientific Publications

 Authored Book

  1. Matthew Morgenstern, Studies in Jewish Babylonian Aramaic Based upon Early Manuscript Sources (Harvard Semitic Studies, 2011)
  2. James Nathan Ford and Matthew Morgenstern, Aramaic Incantation Bowls in Museum Collections Volume One: The Frau Professor Hilprecht Collection of Babylonian Antiquities, Jena (Brill, 2019). 
  3. Matthew Morgenstern and Ohad Abudraham, The Persistence of Magic – The Transmission of Mandaic Magic Formulae in Early and Late Witnesses (Uppsala, forthcoming).

Refereed articles in Journals

  1. Matthew Morgenstern, Elisha Qimron and Daniel Sivan
    (With an appendix by Gregory Bearman and Sheila Spriro),
     ‘The Hitherto Unpublished Columns of the Genesis Apocryphon’, Abr Nahrain 33 (1995), pp. 30–54.
  2. Matthew Morgenstern, ‘A New Clue to the Original Length of the Genesis Apocryphon’, Journal of Jewish Studies 47 (1996), pp. 345–47.
  3. Matthew Morgenstern, ‘Language and Literature in the Second Temple Period’, Journal of Jewish Studies 48 (1997), pp. 130–45.
  4. Matthew Morgenstern, ‘The History of the Aramaic Dialects in the Light of Discoveries from the Judaean Desert: The Case of Nabataean’, Eretz Israel 24, Frank Moore Cross Volume (1999), pp. 134–142.
  5. Matthew Morgenstern, ‘The Meaning of בית מולדים in the Qumran Wisdom Texts’, Journal of Jewish Studies 51 (2000), pp. 141–144.
  6. M. Morgenstern, ‘Notes on the Language of the Qumran Scrolls’, Meghillot 2 (2004), pp. 157–168.
    'הערות ללשון קומראן'.
  7. Matthew Morgenstern, ‘Notes on a Recently Published Aramaic Magic Bowl’, Aramaic Studies 2 (2004), pp. 207–222.
  8. Matthew Morgenstern, ‘A “Reconstructionist” Approach to the Dead Sea Scrolls’, Journal of Jewish Studies 55 (2004), pp. 347-354.
  9. Matthew Morgenstern, ‘The Direct Object in Babylonian Aramaic’, Hebrew and her Sisters  4-5 (2004-2005), pp. 167-187 (Hebrew).
    'המושא הישיר בארמית הבבלית'.
  10. Matthew Morgenstern, ‘Linguistic Notes on Magic Bowls in the Moussaieff Collection’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 68 (2005), pp. 349-369.
  11.  Matthew Morgenstern, ‘Additional Notes to the Aramaic Magic Bowl BM 135563’, Aramaic Studies 3 (2005), pp. 203-205.
  12.  Matthew Morgenstern, ‘The Apostrophe to Zion: A Philological and Structural Analysis’, Dead Sea Discoveries 14 (2007), pp. 178-198.
  13.  Matthew Morgenstern, ‘The Jewish Babylonian Aramaic Magic Bowl BM 91767 Reconsidered’, Le Muséon 120 (2007), pp. 5-27.
  14. Matthew Morgenstern, ‘On Some Non-Standard Spellings in the Aramaic Magic Bowls and their Linguistic Significance’, Journal of Semitic Studies 52 (2007), pp. 245-77.
  15. Matthew Morgenstern, ‘Notes on the Noun Patterns in the Yemenite Tradition of Jewish Babylonian Aramaic’, Revue des Etudes Juives 168 (2009), pp. 51-83.
  16. Matthew Morgenstern, ‘The Present State of Mandaic Lexicography I: The Mandaic Dictionary’, Aramaic Studies 7 (2009), pp. 113-130.
  17. Matthew Morgenstern, ‘Jewish Babylonian Aramaic and Classical Mandaic – Some Points of Contact’, Leshonenu 72 (2010), pp. 451–473 (Hebrew). = 17b.  Matthew Morgenstern, ‘Jewish Babylonian Aramaic and Mandaic: Some Points of Contact’, Aram Periodical 22 (2010), pp. 1-14 (original shorter version of no. 17).
  18. Matthew Morgenstern, ‘Diachronic Studies in Mandaic’, Orientalia 79 (2010), pp. 505–525.
  19. Matthew Morgenstern, ‘The Mandaic Magic Bowl Dehays 63: An Unpublished Parallel to BM117872 (Segal 079A)’, Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society 32 (2011), pp. 73–89.
  20. Matthew Morgenstern, ‘Yet Again on the Unique Incantation Bowl BM 135563’, Journal of the American Oriental Society 133 (2013), pp. 111–117.
  21. Hezy Mutzafi and Matthew Morgenstern, ‘Sheikh Nejm's Mandaic Glossary (DC 4) – An Unrecognised Source of Neo-Mandaic’, Aram 24 (2012), pp. 157–174.
  22. Matthew Morgenstern and James Nathan Ford, ‘On Some Readings and Interpretations in the Aramaic Incantation Bowls’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 80 (2017), pp. 191-231.
  23. Matthew Morgenstern and Maleen Schlüter, ‘A Mandaic Amulet on Lead – MS 2087/1’,  Eretz Israel 32 (Joseph Naveh Volume), pp. 115-27 (in Hebrew).
  24. Matthew Morgenstern, ‘Forgotten Forms in Babylonian Aramaic (Mandaic and Jewish)’, Mehqarim Be-Lashon, 5900 words (forthcoming; in Hebrew).
  25. Gideon Bohak and Matthew Morgenstern, 'A Babylonian Jewish Aramaic Magical Booklet from the Damascus Genizah', Ginzei Qedem 10 (2014), pp. *9-*44.
  26. Ohad Abudraham and Matthew Morgenstern, 'Mandaic Incantation(s) on lead scrolls from the Schøyen Collection', Journal of the American Oriental Society 137 (2017), pp. 737–765.
  27. Matthew Morgenstern, 'A Mandaic Lamella for the Protection of a Pregnant Woman: MS 2097/9', Aula Orientalis 33/2 (2015), pp. 271–286.
  28. Matthew Morgensern, 'Neo-Mandaic in 19th Century Colophons', Orientalia 86 (2017), pp. 252–272.
  29. Matthew Morgenstern, 'New Readings and Interpretations in the Mandaic Priestly Commentary Alma Rišaia Zuṭa (The Lesser ‘First World’)', Le Museon 131 (2018), pp 1–19.
  30. Matthew Morgenstern, 'Yahia Bihram’s Narrative Colophons Part 1: DC 35', Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 2019, pp. 381–392.
  31. Matthew Morgenstern, 'Neo-Mandaic in Early Mandaean Colophons Part 1: Linguistic Features', Aramaic Studies 16 (2018), pp. 182–205.
  32. Matthew Morgenstern, 'Neo-Mandaic in Early Mandaean Colophons Part 2: Texts ,Translations and Conclusion', Aramaic Studies 17 (2019)pp. 100–121.
  33. Matthew Morgenstern, 'Mandaean Poems from the 18th Century: A Forgotten Genre', Orientalia Suecana 62–68 (2019), pp. 31–56.
  34. Matthew Morgenstern, 'Mandaic in Jewish Babylonian Aramaic Lexicography – Some Observations', Aula Orientalis 38 (2020), pp. 351–372.
  35. Matthew Morgenstern, ‘Five Mandaic Magic Bowls from the Moussaieff Collection’, Eretz Israel 34 (2021; Ada Yardeni Volume), pp. 106–122.
  36. Matthew Morgenstern and Ohad Abudraham, 'Additional Mandaic Magic Bowls from the Moussaieff Collection', Mehqarim Be-Lashon, 5000 words (forthcoming; in Hebrew).
  37. Matthew Morgenstern and Ohad Abudraham, 'The Descent of Iauar to the World of Darkness - A Mandaean Amulet on a Lead Lamella', Journal of Semitic Studies 68 (2023), pp. 97–112. 
  38. Matthew Morgenstern, 'לכל שלטניה – A New Edition of the Wolfe Golden Amulet in Jewish Palestinian Aramaic', Aramaic Studies 20 (2022), pp. 134–153. 
  39. Matthew Morgenstern and Ohad Abudraham, '“As dry trees that have no fruits” – A Mandaean Spell Against Childlessness from the Schøyen Collection (MLSC 18, 19)', Journal of the American Oriental Society, 9420 words (forthcoming).
  40. Ohad Abudraham and Matthew Morgenstern, '“His Children Destroy the Residence and Building”: An Unpublished Mandaic Amulet on Ptahil’s Creations (MLSC 4)', Orientalia Suecana 72 (2023), pp. 5–21.
  41. Matthew Morgenstern and Chanan Ariel, 'The Aramaic Inscription from a Cave Complex at Abraham’s House, Mount of Olives and the Hasmonean Calendar—A New Reading and Interpretation', Journal for the Study of Judaism 54 (2023), pp. 1–11.
  42. Matthew Morgenstern, 'Yahia Bihram’s Narrative Colophons Part 2: DC 47', Kerwan 27 (2023), pp. 119–130.
  43. Matthew Morgenstern, 'A Tale Twice Told—Between Variants and Versions in the Transmission of Mandaic Spells', Maarav, c. 11070 words (forthcoming, 2024).


 Chapters in Books

  1. Philological notes on the Aramaic Levi Document from Qumran in J.C. Greenfield and M. Stone, ‘The Aramaic Levi Document’, Discoveries in the Judaean Desert XXII: Parabiblical Texts, Part 33) Oxford, 1996.
  2. Dead Sea Scroll publications in James R. Charlesworth, Nahum Cohen, Hannah Cotton, Esther Eshel, Hanan Eshel, Peter Flint, Haggai Misgav, Matthew Morgenstern, Katherine Murphy, Michael Segal, Ada Yardeni, and Boaz Zissu, in Consultation with James Vanderkam and Monica Brady, Miscellaneous Texts from the Judaean Desert, Discoveries in the Judaean Desert 38 (Oxford 2000): 8Hev 2: Prayer, pp. 167­–169; XHev/Se 5:  Phylactery with Michael Segal, pp. 183­–191; XHev/Se 6: Eschatological Hymn, pp. 193–200; 34Se Introduction, p. 207 ;  34Se 2: Numbers, p. 209; 34Se 3: papDeed ar, p. 211­–214.
  3. M. Morgenstern, ‘The Indepenent Pronouns in Qumran Hebrew: A Contribution to the History of the Hebrew Language in the Second Temple Period’ in , in A. Maman et. al. (eds), Sha’arei Lashon, Studies in Hebrew, Aramaic and Jewish Languages Presented to Moshe Bar-Asher, Volume I: Biblical Hebrew, Language Traditions and the Mediaeval Period (Jerusalem: The Bialik Institute, 2007), pp. 44–63 (Hebrew).
  4. Matthew Morgenstern, ‘A Rather Risqué Pun in Jewish Babylonian Aramaic’, in C. Cohen, V. A. Hurowitz, A. Hurvitz, Y. Muffs, B. J. Schwartz, and J. H. Tigay (eds.), Birkat Shalom: Studies in the Bible, Ancient Near Eastern Literature, and Postbiblical Judaism Presented to Shalom M. Paul on the Occasion of His Seventieth Birthday (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2008), pp. 877–886.
  5. Moshe Morgenstern, ‘Biblical Language in Rabbinic Literature’, in. E. Etinger et. al. Umittuv Yosef (Haifa, 2011), vol. 1, pp. 94–102 (Hebrew).
  6. Matthew Morgenstern, ‘Christian Palestinian Aramaic’ in M.P. Streck, S. Weniger with J.C. Watson and G. Khan, Semitic Languages – An International Handbook on their Structure, Their History and their Investigation (Berlin-New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2011), pp. 628–637.
  7. Matthew Morgenstern, ‘Mandaic Magic Bowls in the Moussaieff Collection, in M. and E. Lubetski (eds.), New Inscriptions and Seals Relating to the Biblical World (Society of Biblical Literature Publications, 2012), pp. 157–170.
  8. Matthew Morgenstern, ‘Jewish Babylonian Aramaic in the Incantation Bowls’, in S. Shaked, J.N. Ford and S. Bhayro, Aramaic Bowl Spells: Jewish Babylonian Aramaic Bowls. Volume 1. (Magical and Religious Literature of Late Antiquity 1). Leiden. (Leiden: Brill, 2013), pp. 39-49.
  9. Matthew Morgenstern and Tom Alfia, ‘Arabic Magic Texts in Mandaic  Script:  A Forgotten Chapter in Near-Eastern Magic’, in R. Voigt (ed.), Durch Dein Wort ward jegliches Ding! /Through Thy Word All Things Were Made! – II Mandäistische und Samaritanistische Tagung (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2013), pp. 163–180.
  10. Matthew Morgenstern, ‘The Literary Use of Biblical Language in the Works of the Tannaim’,  in S. Fassberg. M. Bar-Asher, R. Clements (eds.), Hebrew in the Second Temple Period: The Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls and of Other Contemporary Sources, Proceedings of the Twelfth International Orion Symposium (Leiden: Brill, 2013), pp. 165–179.
  11. Matthew J. Morgenstern and Michael Segal, ‘The Genesis Apocryphon’, in Outside the Bible: Ancient Jewish Writings Related to Scripture (3 vols.; eds. L.H. Feldman, J.L. Kugel, and L.H. Schiffman; Lincoln: Jewish Publication Society/University of Nebraska Press, 2013), pp. 237–262.
  12. Matthew Morgenstern, ‘Secondary Editing in Jewish Aramaic Texts and the Creation of a Mixed Literary Aramaic’, in A. Rapoport Albert (ed.), Late Aramaic: The Literary and Linguistic Context of the Zohar (Studies in Judaica; Leiden: Brill), 9500 words.
  13. Matthew Morgenstern, ‘Neo-Mandaic in Mandaean Manuscript Sources’, in G. Khan and L. Napiorkowska (eds.), Neo-Aramaic and its Linguistic Context (Gorgias Press, 2015), pp. 379–408.
  14. Matthew Morgenstern, 'Late Biblical Hebrew' in S. Fassberg and R. Garr,  Handbook of Biblical Hebrew (Eisenbrauns, 2016), pp. 43–54.
  15. Matthew Morgenstern, 'The Historical Background of Neo-Aramaic' in S. Fassberg, S. Hopkins and H. Mutzafi, A Handbook of Neo Aramaic (Leiden: Brill, forthcoming.)
  16. Matthew Morgenstern, ‘A New Mandaic Dictionary: Challenges, Accomplishments and Prospects’ in T. Li and K. Dyer (eds.), Perspectives on Linguistics and Ancient Languages (Gorgias Press, 2017), pp. 139–171.
  17. Matthew Morgenstern, 'New Manuscript Sources for the Study of Mandaic' in V. Golinets et. al (eds.), Neue Beiträge zur Semitistik. Sechstes Treffen der Arbeitsgemeinschaft Semitistik in der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft vom 09.–11. Februar 2013 in Heidelberg (AOAT, Ugarit Verlag, forthcoming), 8175 words. 
  18. Matthew Morgenstern, 'Hidden and Evident Aramaic Influences on Qumran Hebrew', in S. Fassberg (ed.), The Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls and of Other Contemporary Sources (Leiden: Brill, 2021), pp. 181–190.
  19. Matthew Morgenstern, 'The Mandaeans in the Face of Modernity – Yahia Bihram, the Pasha’s Wife and the British Empire', in P. Machinist et. al. (eds), Ve-‘Ed Ya’aleh (Gen 2:6): Essays in Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies Presented to Edward L. Greenstein (Atlanta: SBL Press, 2021), vol. 1, pp. 81–98.
  20. Matthew Morgenstern and Ohad Abudraham, ‘A Mandaean Lamella and its Parallels: BM132957 + BM132947 + BM 132954’, in M. Moriggi and S. Bhayro (eds), Studies in the Syriac Magical Traditions (Leiden: Brill, 2021), pp. 202–240.
  21. Matthew Morgenstern, 'Liturgical Text or Magical Text? A Mandaean Apotropaic Prayer', in Mallephana Rabba: Aramaic Studies in Honor of Edward M. Cook  (Gorgias Press, 2023), pp. 373–390.
  22. Matthew Morgenstern and Tom Alfia, 'Arabic Spells against Bleeding in Mandaic Script', [Anonymous] Festschrift (forthcoming), 6300 words.


Encyclopaedia entries

  1. Matthew Morgenstern, 'Second Temple Hebrew',  'Pronouns, Personal Independent', 'Temporal Clause, Rabbinic Hebrew', 'Result Clause, Rabbinic Hebrew' in G. Khan et. al, Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics (Leiden: Brill, 2013).
  2. Matthew Morgenstern, 'Aramaic', 'Genesis Apocryphon', in E. Orlin (ed.), Routledge Dictionary of Ancient Mediterranean Religion. 
  3. Matthew Morgenstern, 'Hebrew, Language and Script', in The Encyclopedia of Ancient History (Wiley Online Publications).

Digital humanities projects

  • Hundreds of my photographs of Aramaic magic bowls are available at the Virtual Magic Bowl Archive (VMBA) photographic archive:
  • Results of the Mandaic Lexicon project, including digital editions of all major Mandaean works, is incorporated into the Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon: 
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