JOHANN DAVID MICHAELIS (1717-1791), German biblical scholar and teacher, a member of a family which had the chief part in maintaining that solid discipline in Hebrew and the cognate languages which distinguished the university of Halle in the period of Pietism.
Michaelis had as fellow-worker his sister's son Christian Benedikt Michaelis (1680-1764), the father of Johann David, who was likewise influential as professor at Halle, and a sound scholar, especially in Syriac. J.
At Halle he was influenced, especially in philosophy, by Sigmund J.
At Halle Michaelis felt himself out of place, and in 1745 he gladly accepted an invitation to Gottingen as privatdozent.
His oriental studies were reshaped by diligent perusal of the works of Schultens; for the Halle school, with all its learning, had no conception of the principles on which a fruitful connexion between Biblical and Oriental learning could be established.