" The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him and say: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army--your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. Ezekiel 38:1-4
So begins the famous Ezekiel chapter 38...
After the great flood, Noah and his three sons repopulated the entire earth. Of course their wives helped too! But seriously, we all descended from Noah's three sons: Ham, Shem and Japheth. So in a sense, we are all related. In Genesis, chapter 10, the Bible list the 70 original tribal groups, this is often referred to by Biblical scholars, as The Table of Nations. To properly understand Ezekiel 38 and 39, we need to identify Gog, Magog and it's allies. The Bible, is always the best source to understanding and prophecy. So it's from this Table of Nations that we first begin to learn the identity of Gog and Magog.
Magog was one of the sons of Japheth.
"The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech and Tiras."
Most experts identify Magog as being associated with the ancient peoples known as the Scythians. Ancient historian, Joseph Flavius, clearly identifies Magog: "Magog founded the Magogians, thus named after him, but who were by the Greeks called Scythians." Another reliable source comes from Herodotus, known as the "Father of History." Herodotus writes of the bizarre and savage practices of the descendents of Magog known as the Scythians. They drank the blood of the first enemy they killed; they carried the heads of the victims to their chiefs; they scalped their enemies and used the scalps as "napkins"; they used the skins of their victims to cover their quivers; they drank from the skulls of their victims; they practiced blood brotherhood by drinking each other's blood mixed with wine. The Scythians. "bathed" in the vapor from heated hemp seeds. When their king died, they sacrificed one of his concubines and several servants. After a year, they commemorated his death by sacrificing fifty servants and fifty horses. And you thought you lived in a bad neighborhood!
We know that the descendants of Magog by their Greek name, Scythians. In Greek mythology the Scythians descended from Scythes, the youngest of the three sons of Hercules, from sleeping with a half viper and half woman. The name Scythian covers a number of nomadic tribes from the Russian steppes, a fertile area of the Ukraine north of the Black Sea. Other related tribes occupied the area to the east of the Caspian Sea. The area encompassed by the Scythians extended from the mid-Volga to the northern Urals and beyond. They colonized Media, Parthia, Persia, Central Asia and as far as the Chinese border. Arab writers confirm that in the Arabic language their name for the Great Wall of China is called "the wall of Al Magog" because the Great Wall was built to keep out the invading armies from Magog. All together an area of about 2,000 square miles. So clearly this was the former Soviet Union, modern day Russia.
So, who then is Gog.? Gog is obviously the leader of Magog, he is the "Prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal." So Gog will be the leader of this Russian led military horde. The Bible doesn't exactly tell us who Gog is. Chuck Missler, Bible teacher and a international authority on Russia and the Middle East, sheds new light on the identity of Gog. In his book, 'The Magog Invasion' he discovered a provocative reference to Gog in the book of Amos that has been widely overlooked. The traditional rendering of Amos 7:1 reads as follows:
"Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me; and, behold, he informed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, it was the latter growth after the king's mowings." Amos 7:1 (KJV)
Our English Bible takes its translation from the Masoretic text, a 9th century source. However, an earlier translation of the Old Testament into Greek, known as the Septuagint, embodies a different rending of Amos 7:1:
"Thus the Lord showed me, and behold a swarm of locusts were coming, and behold, one of the young devastating locusts was Gog, the King." Amos 7:1 (LXX)
The identification of Gog as the king of the locusts would have profound implications. Proverbs 30:27 reveals that "the locusts have no king," implying that the "locusts" of Amos 7 are not intended to be natural locusts, but an idiom for something else. We encounter a similar passage in Revelation chapter 9 where locusts there are described as having a king, and are clearly demonic in nature.
"And out of the smoke locusts came down upon the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were not given power to kill them, but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes a man. During those days men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them. The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. Their hair was like women's hair, and their teeth were like lions' teeth. They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. They had tails and stings like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months. They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon." Revelation 9:3-11Abaddon a Hebrew word signifying:
- ruin, destruction (Job 31:12);
- place of destruction; the Abyss, realm of the dead (Job 26:6; Proverbs 15:11);
- it occurs personified (Revelation 9:11) as Abaddon and is rendered in Greek by Apollyon, denoting the angel-prince of hell, the minister of death and author of havoc on earth. The Vulgate renders the Greek Apollyon by the Latin Exterminans (that is, "Destroyer"). The identity of Abaddon with Asmodeus, the demon of impurity, has been asserted, but not proved.
So now we have Gog, ruler of the land of Magog (Russia), king of the locusts, leader of the Russian led in invasion of Israel, associated with the angel-prince of hell, Satan! So clearly this Russian led invasion is actually another attempt by Satan to thwart the plan of GodOk, we have identified Gog and Magog, but who are the other members that make up this massive military alliance that will descend upon the tiny nation of Israel?
'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army--your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops--the many nations with you. " Ezekiel 38:3-6
This invasion by Magog includes a number of allies listed by their ancient tribal names:
Meshech: Meshech was the sixth son of Japheth, the son of Noah. He is identified with the ancient Mushki of the Assyrians and the Muschoi of the classical Greek writers. Assyrian inscriptions describe them as inhabiting Phrygia in northern Anatolia (modern Turkey). Herodotus identifies the Mushki with the mountains southeast of the Black Sea, the northeast part of modern Turkey. Josephus also identifies the descendants of Meshech as dwelling in eastern Turkey. Some also link the Muschkoi with Mushkovi, the ancient name for Russia.
Tubal: Tubal was the 5th son of Japheth and a brother of Meshech. 9th century B.C. Assyrian inscriptions refer to Tubal, just west of Meshech in eastern Anatolia. Herodotus also places them both along the southeastern shores of the Black Sea. Some associate Tubal with the naming of Tobolsk of Russia. So we have Russia and most of countries that made up the old Soviet Union.
Persia: Persia includes the descendants of Elam, the first son of Shem and is now modern Iran. Iran was known as Persia until it changed it's name in 1935. The name Iran is derived from the term airyana; Middle Iranian, 'ry'n, "Aryan;" New Persian, Iran. Iran is the leading ally in the Ezekiel list and the present major exporter of "Islamic Fundamentalism". So Persia covers present day Iran and Iraq.
Cush: Cush refers to the land lying to the south of Egypt, usually translated in English Bibles as "Ethiopia". Originally Cush referred to a piece of territory lying between the second and third cataracts of the Nile. Later it came to refer to a broader area known as Nubia. It is presently viewed as the area referred to as "Black Africa".
There are a dozen strategic materials essential to the modern military and industrial world which are available in only two regions of the world, Russia and Africa. Zaire for example has 95% of the world's known reserves of chromium, 52% of its cobalt, 53% of its manganese, 64% of its vanadium and 86% of its platinum group of metals. This is why Zaire is called, "The Persian Gulf of Minerals." The US is almost totally dependent upon import for these critical materials. It is interesting to note that South Africa and Russia control over 90% of the world's supply of platinum, over 94% of the world's supply of manganese, over 90% of the chrome, over 95% of the vanadium. Russia is self sufficient in 26 of the 36 mineral considered essential for an industrial society, importing only three important minerals, bauxite, barium and fluoride. So we have Ethiopia and parts of central and southern Africa.
Put: Put, the next ally of Magog in Ezekiel 38. Put was the third son of Ham, the son of Noah. Josephus identifies him as the founder of Libya, whose inhabitants were called Putites. Put is associated with North Africa, populated by the Berbers and tribes distinct from Cush. Put encompassed the area from present day Libya to Mauritania and the Mahgreb: Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco. So we have Libya, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.
Gomer: The next ally mentioned is Gomer. In the Babylonian Talmud the Biblical Gomer, the father of Ashkenaz, is rendered "Germania." Gomer is also associated with the Cimmerians who eventually established themselves in the Rhine and Danube valleys. So Gomer covers present day Germany and Austria.
Togarmah: Togarmah is one of the sons of Gomer. The Assyrians called them Til-Garimmu, a name derived from the Hittite city Tegarama and carried into classical times as Gauraema, presently known as Gurun, 70 miles west of Mylayta. The city was destroyed by Sennacherib in 695 B.C. The Armenians still refer to themselves as "The House of Togarmah" even to this day. So Togarmah is the present day area that covers Turkey and Turkestan.
All the allies of Magog (Russia) are very well defined and one thing that they all have in common is that they are Muslim. The intense hatred of Muslims towards Israel will unite them in a common cause, to completely annihilate Israel off the face of the earth. The breakup of the Soviet Union released the Central Asian Republics: Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tadzhikistan, and Kyrgzstan to join their Islamic brothers in the Magog invasion. These five independent republics are Islamic, have nuclear weapons, and may be the "hooks in the jaw" that draw Magog into battle.