Shir Ha-Ma'alot #25

Magdil, Migdol
The same verse appears twice in the Tanach with a minor change. In the Book of Tehillim (18:51), it is written "Magdil" (meaning "He is magnifying [magdil] the salvation of His King [David]"), while in the Book of Shmuel (2 22:51) it says "Migdol" (meaning "He is a tower [migdol] of salvation to His King"). The Book of Shmuel is part of the "Prophets," which were said through prophecy. The Book of Tehillim is part of the "Writings," which were said through the Divine Spirit. Our Sages teach that there is a difference between "To David, a Psalm" and "A Psalm of David": "‘To David, a Psalm’ teaches that first the Divine Presence rested on him and then he recited that song; ‘A Psalm of David’ teaches that he first recited the Psalm and only then the Divine Presence rested on him" (Pesachim 117a). At times he began to sing and the Divine Presence rested on his song. This is the Divine Spirit. At other times, the Divine Presence rested on him, and, on account of this, we began to sing. This is prophecy. Our Rabbi, Rav Tzvi Yehudah Kook, therefore explained that on the days of holiness like Shabbat and holidays, we use the more exalted version, "Migdol," and on weekdays the simpler version, "Magdil." The meaning of "Magdil" is that the Master of the Universe is the One who brings about the process of the magnification of the Salvation. "Migdol," is that He, may He be blessed, is the Infinite Essence of greatness.