Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Long ago the prophet Ezekiel predicted that in the latter days the people of Israel would be invaded by a great confederacy of nations coming down from the north. This important prophecy is found in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. How can we identify these mighty invaders?  Those who will attack the people of Israel are identified in Ezekiel 38:2:  "Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince (literally "the prince of Rosh") of Meshech and Tubal." At some time during the end of this present age, there will be a massive invasion involving Islamic nations aligned with the country which today is called Russia. The attack will be against the nation Israel and the goal will be to annihilate God's chosen nation. Before this goal can be accomplished the invading army will be supernaturally destroyed in a remarkable way that will bring glory to Jehovah. The details of this invasion are clearly revealed by the prophet Ezekiel in chapters 38-39. Let us consider these names one by one so that we might identify this vast multitude of people who have come to attack and annihilate Israel:

1) MAGOG--this term was used to describe the region where the descendants of Magog lived. According to Genesis 10:2, Magog was one of the sons of Japheth. Japheth was one of the sons of Noah (see Gen. 9:18,27). Josephus, the Jewish historian, says that the descendants of Magog were “by the Greeks called Scythians” (Ant. i.6.1). According to the Encyclopedia Britannica (1957) and The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, the Scythian people lived to the north of the Black Sea and north of the Caucasus Mountains. This area today is part of Russia. Gesenius, the Hebrew scholar, says that the descendants of Magog were “a great and powerful people, inhabiting the extreme recesses of the north.”

2) ROSH--some Bible scholars, such as Gesenius, believe that the modern name of “Russia” is derived from this ancient place name “Rosh,” because of the similarity of sounds, and also because certain Greek writers of the 10th century (A.D.) described people living in the area later called Russia by the word “Rōs.” Other Bible students take the position of Old Testament scholar Merrill F. Unger who says that the word Russia was not derived from Rosh, “although the general area was that now occupied by Russia and Turkey.”

3) MESHECH was another son of Japheth (Gen. 10:2). The descendants of this man lived for centuries in Asia Minor (probably in Cappadocia), and later were pushed northward by their enemies into the mountainous area southeast of the Black Sea. Today this area borders on Russia.

4) TUBAL was another son of Japheth (Gen. 10:2). The descendants of this man also lived in Asia Minor, not far from the Black Sea. The descendants of Tubal and Meshech probably lived close to each other, because in the Scriptures the two names are almost always found together.

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