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in hieroglyphs

Migdol, or migdal, is a Hebrew word ( , ) which means either a tower (from its size or height), an elevated stage (a rostrum or pulpit), or a raised bed (within a river). Physically, it can mean fortified land, i.e. a walled city or castle; or elevated land, as in a raised bed, like a platform, possibly a lookout. The term for a border fort is similar, mekter[1], or mgatir[2] in Egyptian. Figuratively, "tower" has connotations of proud authority.

In archaeology, migdol is a specific type of temple, examples of which have been discovered for instance at Hazor, Megiddo, Tel Haror, Pella and Shechem.

Places named Migdol or Migdal in the Hebrew Bible

The Book of Exodus records that the children of Israel encamped at Pi-Hahiroth between Migdol and the Red Sea, before their crossing.

Joshua referred to Migdal-Gad, 'tower of Gad', one of the fortified cities of Judah, and also to Migdal-El, 'tower of God', one of the fortified towns of Naphtali (Joshua 19.38) and the city of origin of Mary Magdelene (Magdala) (Matthew 27:56; Mark 16:9; Luke 8:2 and John 20:18).

Jeremiah referred to a "Migdol" in Egypt, (Jeremiah 44:1) an island in the Nile, and Ezekiel referred to the Migdol of Syene, in Upper Egypt, in the context of the seat of government. The letters of ?uta refer to a "Magdalu in Egypt" which Albright identified with Jeremiah's Migdol. [3]

Places in modern Israel named Migdal

Migdal Ha'emek is a large hill surrounded by the Kishon river, west of Nazareth.


  1. ^ a b M. Vygus. Middle Egyptian dictionary, p. 627
  2. ^ a b E. A. Wallis Budge (1920). An Egyptian hieroglyphic dictionary: with an index of English words, king list and geological list with indexes, list of hieroglyphic characters, coptic and semitic alphabets, etc. Vol I. John Murray. p. 290.
  3. ^ The future of biblical archaeology: reassessing methodologies and ... - Page 105 James Karl Hoffmeier, Alan Ralph Millard - 2004 "What is important for us is the identification of the Migdol referred to here and the meaning of the phrase "Akka is like Magdalu in Egypt." Albright, who was certain that the Migdol here is the Migdol of the Bible, translates that ..."

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