🔼The name Migdal-gad: Summary
- Tower Of Fortune, Place Of Fierce Exposure
- From (1) the noun מגדל (migdal), tower, from the verb גדל (gadel), to be strong, and (2) the verb גדד (gadad), to cut, invade and expose.
🔼The name Migdal-gad in the Bible
The name Migdal-gad occurs only once in the Bible. It's mentioned among the cities in the lowland of the territory allotted to the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:37).
🔼Etymology of the name Migdal-gad
The name Migdal-gad obviously consists of two elements. The first part is identical to the noun מגדל (migdal), meaning tower, from the verb גדל (gadel), meaning to become strong or great:
The verb גדל (gadel) means to become strong or great, particularly by combining many ordinary elements into a big strong strand or collection of some sort.
The noun מגדל (migdal) or מגדול (migdol) literally describes a place or agent for greatness. It's the word for tower, and a tower is not only a big strong thing consisting of many bricks, it also formed the center of a community around which all houses and all activity unfolded. From their tower people kept lookout over the community's territories, and launched offensives when the community was attacked. A tower could carry a fire and from it folks trumpeted signals. Towers drew its people from wherever they might roam. Over time they developed into central storage houses, banks and seats of government. Towers are buildings around which the greatness of a people forms and in which it becomes manifested.
Participle or adjective גדל (gadel) means a becoming great or growing up. Noun גדל (godel) means greatness or pride. Plural noun גדלים (gedilim) refers to tassels or festoons made from twisted strands. The very common adjectives גדול (gadol) and גדולה (gadola) mean great. Noun גדולה (gedulla) means greatness or great one.
The second part of our name is identical to the name Gad (which possibly refers to the pagan deity Gad), and the noun גד (gad), usually translated with fortune, from the verb גדד (gadad), meaning to cut or invade:
The verb גדד (gadad) describes making an invasive cut, mostly in order to expose something valuable. Noun גדוד (gedud) may describe an invasive band of raiders, or more general: a cutting, a furrow. Noun גדודה (geduda) means a furrow or cutting. Noun גד (gad) appears to describe the exposed treasure and may be used to describe a physical fortune, plain luck or a state of felicity.
Verb גדה (gada) also means to cut. Noun גדה (gadda) refers to a river bank. Noun גדי (gedi) describes a young animal, but mostly one that was either just slaughtered or soon will be.
For a meaning of the name Migdal-gad, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads A Tower Of Gad (Fortune). Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Tower Of Fortune. And BDB Theological Dictionary has Tower Of Gad.