Glimpses of Israel - Magdala, Migdal

The ruins of ancient Migdal are located on the southern rich fertile plain of Galilee, near the base of Mt Arbel. Migdal, also known as Magdala, was made famous by its first-century resident, Miriam, referred to as Mary Magdalene, in the New Testament. Miriam was a woman who became a devoted follower of Yeshua, the Messiah, after being delivered from several demons.

Migdal is also referred to in the Talmud as Migdal Nunaiya, which means Tower of Fish . It was a city known for its fish processing, either smoked or salted.

The Romans conquered Migdal in AD66 following the First Jewish revolt. According to historian, Josephus, many residents fled to Lake Kinneret attempting to escape in boats. However, a great sea battle ensued and 6,500 Jewish people were slaughtered. At the time, it was decreed that no resident of Migdal would be spared. After the destruction of the Temple in AD70, however, some of the Temple priests from the family of Ezekiel settled in the city.

In the early 1900’s, a group of Russian Jews established a successful colony in Migdal. Soon after, more Jews began to return home. Today, Migdal is a thriving farming community growing olives, bananas, all kinds of citrus, dates, mangoes, avocadoes, and many other fruits. Amid this beautiful setting, residents and visitors enjoy a quiet modern city by the lake.

adapted from Magdala Home of Mary Magdalene, by Jim Gerrish, courtesy Bridges For Peace