TOWER (Heb. mighdāl, mighdōl, bāhan, misgāv, pinnâh, Gr. pyrgos). A lofty structure used for purposes of protection or attack: to defend a city wall, particularly at a gate or a corner in the wall (
The usual word for tower is מִגְדָּל, H4463, the other Heb. words connoting some sort of particular function or rarity. Towers fall into classes according to usage: the tower in the vineyard (
Towers varied in size as they served only for watchtowers or defensive towers. Tell el-Farah (Tirzah?) exhibits a gate with thick-walled towers on either side, having rooms within, provided with a stair to the top to repel attackers (ibid., I, 54). In Gibeah (Tell el-Ful), Saul’s citadel had rectangular towers with inner spaces at each corner and was constructed of rough hewn stones in casemate style. A later fortress in smaller scale replaced it, but was soon abandoned when Jerusalem became the capital. The most spectacular tower is that Neolithic tower of Jericho of c. 7800 b.c., surviving to approximately twenty-seven ft. high, with a small tight stair to the ground.
A tower as a stronghold was a specially built type of structure, prob. of some size or inaccessibility (
The tower of ivory Song of Solomon is the tower of (the) Lebanon that reflected the grandeur and beauty of Mt. Lebanon whereas the figure of tower bespeaks the line of facial beauty of the Shulamite.
Y. Yadin, The Art of Warfare in Bible Lands (1963).
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
See FORTIFICATION, I, 5; CITY, II, 1.