ISRAEL PHOTOS VI -- ISRAEL REVISITED

  
Magdala


Magdala is located below the modern village of Migdal (meaning tower). The ruins of a first century synagogue and Jewish ritual baths point to this as the site of ancient Magdala. Josephus may have described the town as Tarichaea after the Greek name "Magdala Taricheae," meaning Magdala of the fish salters. In his description of the area he located the town a certain distance from Tiberias and near the edge of a mountain. Magdala may be derived from the Aramaic magdala meaning tower. 

Mary of Magdala (Magdalene) was one who Jesus healed of some malfunction (demon possession) Luke 8:2. Mary was a common Hebrew name as it was derived from the name of Moses' sister Miryam in the book of Exodus. 

There were 12 male disciples. There were also women who followed Jesus: 

Luke 8:2-3  "Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out; 3 and Joanna, the wife of Chuzas, Herodís steward; Susanna; and many others; who served them from their possessions."  

It may have been Mary who washed Jesus feet with perfume, wiping them with her long hair. Jesus approved of the love shown to him and remembered she showed mercy to him before his trial (John 12). Mary Magdalene means Mary from Magdala. This was likely what she was called outside of Magdala to distinguish her from other Marys. She may have relocated to Bethany or have been traveling with Jesus' group outside of Magdala. 

Some women including Mary Magdalene were amongst those who followed Jesus and saw him die in Jerusalem. 
Matthew 27:56 (WEB)  "Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee."

Jesus died on a Friday. Sunday morning Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother James and John went to the tomb to anoint Jesus' body with perfumed ointment. They wondered how they could roll the large stone away from the tomb as they were small. When they got there they saw the stone was rolled away from the tomb. An angel greeted them and told them Jesus had risen from the dead and to go tell Peter and the other disciples he had risen from the dead (Mark 16).

Recent archaeological efforts revealed a first century Galilean synagogue about a foot below the soil. 

Remains of Jewish ritual baths were uncovered indicating this was a Jewish town. The town was destroyed during the c. 66-70 CE war between the Jews and Romans. 



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Written by David Q. Hall  dqhall59@yahoo.com

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