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ARTB Bible Blog, 6.19.2011, Pyramids and Mary Magdalen

In the dawn on one in the week, he rose. He first had appeared to Mary MAGDALA. She had the seven devils dispersed from her. (Mark 16:9, ARTB draft)

A note from A. Frances Werner:

When I was a child, I always dreamed of being an archeologist, digging and uncovering new discoveries.  But two things tempered that dream.  One was being a child in a German heritage:  Archeology probably wasn't an easy way to make a living.  The second was the chance to participate in a dig in Illinois in my college years, which let me know I probably didn't have the patience to dig for pottery shards in 100 degree temperatures with tools that reminded me of a tablespoon.  But I still love the hunt for understanding our ancient roots of our cultures, which is really an underlying dream of the ARTB project.  (Which gets me out of the 100 degree temperatures, but definitely is a project of patience!)

So, a fun archeology story about Mary MAGDALA.  Her correct name is Mary, but for many years, there was no real identification of the second part of her name.  Was is a town? Or did it have another meaning?  In the last few years, there has been an EXPLOSION of information about the discovery of the town of MAGDALA (on the sea of Galilee near Caparnaum) and the incredible archeological treasure of a carving of the menorah from the synagogue, on of the earliest ever found.  Thanks to PegT for the info and the link.  Be sure to take a look at the carving in the upper right corner of the stone and the square items toward the bottom:

The town of MAGDALA is from the root MGDL (Strong's H4024 and H4026) which is found 57 times in the Old Testament.  It is usually translated as TOWER in most English bibles, including the ARTB Old Testament.  However, in studying the Aramaic, I was bolted out of my seat realizing that the word has a different meaning in Aramaic, PYRAMID.  Thus the following verse, Exodus 14:2, plus several others, needs a revision, replacing TOWER with PYRAMID:

Speak to the sons of Israel to return and camp facing Pi-Hahiroth, between the tower PYRAMID and the sea, facing Baal-Zephon. Camp by the sea in view of it.

The biblical dates of the exodus from Egypt absolutely match the timetable of the appearance of pyramids in Egypt.  The Israelites were clearly looking at the strength of the PYRAMIDS as they faced the impossbility of the sea in front of them.

But the Hebrew word MGDL (migdol) is slightly different.  It is related to livestock, feed storage, and several other things that I haven't quite uncovered yet.  I am looking to the MAGDALA dig site to see if there is a structure there that may help us figure out what this Hebrew word TOWER really is.  Is it a pyramidal structure or something different?  Is it related to the square items at the bottom of the MAGDALA stone face?  Does that structure tell us anything about Mary Magdala herself? Now at least, we know where she was from!

Blessings from your armchair archeologist.