Genesis 10:1 (KJV) Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.
2 The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. 3 And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah. 4 And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. 5 By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.
6 And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.
22 The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram.
Magog is the second of the seven sons of Japheth mentioned in the Table of Nations.
It may represent Hebrew for “from Gog”, though this is far from certain.
Magog is often associated with apocalyptic traditions, mainly in connection with Ezekiel 38 and 39 which mentions “Gog of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal” (Ezek 38:2 NIV); on the basis of this mention, “Gog and Magog” over time became associated with each other as a pair. In the New Testament, this pairing is found in the Book of Revelation 20:8, in which instance they may merely be metaphors for archetypal enemies of God.
Why the Gog/Magog war of Ezekiel chapter 38 and 39 and Armageddon (Har Megiddo) definitely were not describing the same war.
Revelation 20:7-8 (KJV) 7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
The Other War
Ezekiel 38 (KJV) 38 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, 3 And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: 4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: 5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: 6 Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. 7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
Ezekiel 39 (KJV) 39 Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: 2 And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel: 3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. 4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. 5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God. 6 And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the Lord. 7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel. 8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord God; this is the day whereof I have spoken. 9 And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years: 10 So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord God. 11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog.
Josephus identified the offspring of Magog as the Scythians, a name used in antiquity for peoples north of the Black Sea. According to him, the Greeks called Scythia Magogia (Ant., bk. I, 6). An alternate identification derived from an examination of the order in which tribal names are listed in Ezekiel 38, “would place Magog between Cappadocia and Media.” According to Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried (19th century) Magog refers to the Mongols. He cites an Arab writer who refers to the Great Wall of China with the name ‘Magog’.
Jordanes’ Getica (551) mentions Magog as ancestor of the Goths, as does the Historia Brittonum, but Isidore of Seville (c. 635) asserts that this identification was popular “because of the similarity of the last syllable” (Etymologiae, IX, 89). Johannes Magnus (1488–1544) stated that Magog migrated to Scandinavia (via Finland) 88 years after the flood, and that his five sons were Suenno (ancestor of the Swedes), Gethar (or Gog, ancestor of the Goths), Ubbo (who later ruled the Swedes and built Old Uppsala), Thor, and German. Magnus’ accounts became accepted at the Swedish court for a long time, and even caused the dynastic numerals of the Swedish monarchs to be renumbered accordingly. Queen Christina of Sweden reckoned herself as number 249 in a list of kings going back to Magog. Magnus also influenced several later historians such as Daniel Juslenius (1676–1752), who derived the roots of the Finns from Magog.
According to several medieval Irish chronicles, most notably the Auraicept na n-Éces and Lebor Gabála Érenn, the Irish race are a composite including descendants of Japheth’s son Magog from “Scythia”. Baath mac Magog (Boath), Jobhath, and Fathochta are the three sons of Magog. Fenius Farsaid, Partholón, Nemed, the Fir Bolg, the Tuatha de Danann, and the Milesians are among Magog’s descendants. Magog was also supposed to have had a grandson called Heber, whose offspring spread throughout the Mediterranean.
There is also a medieval Hungarian legend that says the Huns, as well as the Magyars, are descended from twin brothers named Hunor and Magor respectively, who lived by the sea of Azov in the years after the flood, and took wives from the Alans. The version of this legend in the 14th century Chronicon Pictum equates this Magor with Magog, son of Japheth.
Magog’s appearance in the Quran and other Islamic sources is chiefly due to his apocalyptic renown as part of the pairing of Gog and Magog (Arabic: Ya’juj wa Ma’juj). In sura Al-Kahf (“The Cave”, 18:83–98) of the Quran (early 7th century AD), an individual called Dhul-Qarnayn (“The Two-horned One”) journeys to a distant land in a pass between two mountains where he finds people who are suffering from the mischief of Gog and Magog. Dhul-Qarnayn then makes a wall of copper and iron to keep Gog and Magog out, but warns that it will be removed in the Last Age. In sura 21, Al-Anbiyā (The Prophets), the wall is mentioned again: there Allah tells his Prophet (Mohammed) that there is a “prohibition upon [the people of] a city which We have destroyed that they will [ever] return, until [the dam of] Gog and Magog has been opened and thou shall see them, from every higher ground, descending.” According to Islamic tradition (in Saḥīḥ al-Bukhāri), Gog and Magog are human beings, and the city mentioned in sura 21 is Jerusalem.
The 1st-century Jewish-Roman historian Flavius Josephus, in Antiquities of the Jews Book 1, chapter 6, was among the first of many who attempted to assign known ethnicities to some of the names listed in Genesis chapter 10. His assignments became the basis for most later authors, and were as follows:
- Gomer: “those whom the Greeks now call Galatians, [Galls,] but were then called Gomerites”.
- Aschanax (Ashkenaz): “Aschanaxians, who are now called by the Greeks Rheginians”.
- Riphath: “Ripheans, now called Paphlagonians”.
- Thrugramma (Togarmah): “Thrugrammeans, who, as the Greeks resolved, were named Phrygians”.
- Magog: “Magogites, but who are by the Greeks called Scythians”.
Hippolytus of Rome, in his Diamerismos (c. 234, existing in numerous Latin and Greek copies), made another attempt to assign ethnicities to the names in Genesis 10. It is thought to have been based on the Book of Jubilees.
Its differences versus that of Josephus are shown below:
- Gomer – Cappadocians
- Ashkenaz – Sarmatians
- Riphath – Sauromatians
- Togarmah – Armenians
- Magog – Galatians, Celts
The scholar Isidore of Seville, in his Etymologiae (c. 600), repeats all of Jerome’s identifications, but with these minor changes:
- Joktan, son of Eber: Indians
- Saleph, son of Joktan: Bactrians
- Magog, son of Japheth: “Scythians and Goths”
- Ashkenaz, son of Gomer: “Sarmatians, whom the Greeks call Rheginians”.
The Greek Septuagint (LXX) text of Genesis includes an additional son of Japheth, “Elisa”, between Javan and Tubal; however, as this name is found in no other ancient source, nor in I Chronicles, he is almost universally agreed to be a duplicate of Elisha, son of Javan. The presence of Elisa and of Cainan son of Arpachshad (below) in the Greek Bible accounts for the traditional enumeration among early Christian sources of 72 names, as opposed to the 70 names found in Jewish sources and Western Christian sources.
- Gomer: the Cimmerians, a people from the northern Black Sea, made incursions into Asia Minor in the 8th and early 7th centuries BCE before being confined to Cappadocia.
- Ashkenaz: A people of the Black and Caspian sea areas, much later associated with German and East European Jews. The Ashkuza, who lived on the upper Euphrates in Armenia expelled the Cimmerians from their territory, and in Jeremiah 51:27 were said to march against Babylon along with two other northern kingdoms.
- Riphath (Diphath in Chronicles): Josephus identification Riphath with the Paphlagonians of later antiquity, but this appears to have been no more than a guess; the Book of Jubilees identifies the name with the “Riphean Mountains”, equated with the Causcasus in Classical sources, and the general understanding seems to have been invaders from the Causcuses who were settled in Armenia or Cappadocia.
- Togarmah: Associated with Asia Minor in Ezekiel. Later Armenian historians claimed Togarmah as an ancestor.
- Magog: Associated in Ezekiel with Gog, a king of Lydia, and thereby with Asia Minor. The 1st century CE Jewish historian Josephus stated that Magog was identical with the Scythians, but modern scholars are sceptical of this and place Magog simply somewhere in Asia Minor.
The Scythians are the common ancestors of the Indo-European people – including the people of Ireland, where according to the traditions of the Lebor Gabala Erren (Book of the Taking of Ireland), the Irish originated in Scythia and were descendants of a King Feinius Farsaid, a King of Scythia.
The legend, as told by Herodotus, have it that all “Scythians” were direct descendants of Hercules who had three sons from a mythical beast whose lower part was snakelike, and whose upper part was one of a hermaphrodite. Of this, let’s call it ‘marriage’, the Hermaphrodite bore three sons: Agatirz, Gelon and Skit. (Readers will probably be aware that Hercules himself has nothing to do with the so-called Greek mythology and the Greek pantheon simply because he was a Thracian God much, much more ancient than the whole gang at Olympus Mountain.)
The Hercules’ first son, called by Herodotus “Aga-tirz”, was called by the people that descended from him “KOZAR”. The Greek word “Agatirz” means “Goat-hunter” and is again a direct translation of the ethnonym “KOZAR” (goat-keeper or goat-hunter). Later, in the middle ages, in parallel with the changes in the Greek language, the pronunciation of the name of these peoples also changed and become “akatziri”, “agatziri” or “agaziri”. Something similar happened to the native, proto-Slav, name and it changed from “KOZAR” to “KOZAK” (“cossack”). (In antiquity, as partly in present days, they lived in the Carpathian Mountains, just to the north of the Lower Danube.)In the 6th century AD, the Anonymous Chronograph of Ravenna, in its brief description of the KHAZARS, as one of the major peoples inhabiting Skitia (Scythia), specifies that, in the ancient times, they were called “akatzirs”:
“In portione autem Iaphet filii Noae, quam philosophi Europam appellaverunt, sistuntur patriae, id est patria que dicitur Scythia, quae in omnibus cremosa existit. Ponitur ipsa patria litus Oceanum septentrionalem juxta prefatos montes Rimphaeos, quae patria longe lateque spatiosissima esse dinoscitur, item ponitur in locis planiciis longe lateque nimis spatiosissima quae dicitur Chazariae, et usque maior Scythia appellatur, quam Iordanis Cosmographus in modum Fungi scarifum esse dixit, quos Chazaros supra scriptus Iordanis Agaziros vocat per quam Chazarorum patriam plurima transeunt Flumina, inter cetera Fluvius maximus qui dicitur Cuphis. – Ravennati Anonymi Cosmographia ed. M. Pinder et G. Parthey. Berolini, 1860, p. 158 (IV-1).”
(In that part which the philosophers called Europe the fatherland of Iafet, Noah’s son was located, i.e. a fatherland named Scythia, which is a wasteland (or abandoned land). This fatherland was located along the coast of the Northern Ocean by the mentioned before Rimphean Mountains and was very big by width and by length. Also, in a place flat, too spacious in length and width is the so called Chazaria, which was constantly called the Big Scythia, about which the geographer Jordanes tells that was in the shape of a mushroom. Those Chazars the above-mentioned Jordanes calls Agazirs. Through this fatherland of the Chazars flow many rivers, of which the largest one is called Cuphis).
Thus, for the first time, it was documented that the “KHAZARS” were the same “AGATZIRS”, the same ancient Scythian, or Kelto-Scythian tribe “AGA-TIRZ”, or as they called themselves in Herodotus time, “KOZARS”. (Therefore, all this about the Khazars being Turkic, or Turkic-Caucasian (!) tribe was pure nonsense. The very term “Turkic-Aryan” is impossible and is in itself a transcendent folly. The Khazars, or KOZARs, or KOZAKS (COSSACKS) as they called themselves in more recent times, were one of the most ancient European peoples, the remnants of which, after Stalin’s very successful attempt at their extermination, still inhabit today’s Ukraina and Russia.)
What West-European historians (and most of East-European ones as well) call The Great Migration of Peoples in the early Middle Ages – between 4th and 7th AD – implying that huge masses of people from the depth of Asia, predominantly of Turkic origin, rushed into Europe and turned everything on their way into ruins, is to a very large extent dramatic fiction, myth, fabrication. What actually took place in the above period (and even as early as by the end of the 3rd century AD) was the dislocation and transposition of the different Scythian (Skitian if we would prefer the correct form) peoples within their vast European range. This tremendous movement of human masses was due to a large extent to overpopulation of their traditional home territories where the life supporting resources have become more or less exhausted. Thus the northern, Baltic Skitians (for instance the notorious Goths!) moved south, displacing those living in the more southern latitudes, who in turn pushed their neighbours further south. Similarly, there were movements along the parallel, like the one performed by the tribes of Huns. They left their homeland around Azov sea (Meothida) and moved westwards displacing, but mostly conquering their cousins, the Kozars and a few more of the Danube Valley Skitian peoples.
The Danube was generally the northern state border of the Roman Empire. Skitians inhabiting the lands on its right-hand riverside were subjects to the Roman Emperor. Skitians living on the river left-hand riverside were more or less “free” and were frequently called “barbarians” by their cousins and by other peoples living within the borders of the Empire. However, the Empire tried to exact tribute from them, too and in more than one way had made itself hated and non-welcomed by the free Skits. This obviously was one of the most important reasons to have many Skitian tribes united in the first half of the 5th century AD under the scepter of one of their kings in order to govern themselves in the way that would suit them best. It so happen that that king was called Attila (a Romanized form of a traditional and popular in the past Bolgarian name – Tilko). There are many ancient authors who wrote that the Huns were part of the Skitians (Claudius Ptolemeus, Philostorgius, Zosimus, etc.) and had nothing to do with the Turkic tribes. One of the most important of them was the Roman military leader Priscus. He was sent to Attila on a state mission by the Emperor and upon his return to Rome presented an extensive report on his visit to the “King of Skitians”, although once or twice in his report he calls his hosts Huns, too. Prokopius identified the Huns with the mythical Cimmerians and Masageths, the same Skitian people that defeated ultimately the Persian Czar Cyrus. (Where from, then, did such a crazy notion came to some learned heads of historians, that the Huns were Asiatic, Turkic, undersized, bowlegged, stinking half-humans, drinkers of raw mare-milk and little short of being man-eaters, who threw the cultured, noble Roman citizens – who indulged in gladiatorial skirmishes in the circuses – in horror? The best advice to this scholars would be to have them read again and again the Priscus’ report and make up for themselves a true picture of what the Huns were!).
(Now, Huns and Kozars (Khazars) were very close relatives, if not one and the same people. Both Huns and Khazars, or the part of the Danube Skitians they were, formed together with other Skitian tribes the Bolgarian people, state and nation south of the Danube. It is very possible that when Kozars/Khazars started leaving their homeland because of the overpopulation, they moved in more than one direction: i.e. while part of them went south, crossed the Danube and entered Mysia and Thracia, where they mixed with their kinsmen there, another part may had moved eastwards towards the plains between the Black and Caspian seas and mixed with the Skitians inhabiting those lands, may be as far south as the Caucasus Mountains. Probably it was in this way that the tale of the Volga-Kama Bulgaria was born. It is possible that some of them may have been converted to Judaism by the mountain Jews from Caucasus, but the notion that almost the whole of the contemporary Jewry, particularly the Jews from Russia, Poland, the Baltic States – the East Europe in general – originated from the Kozars/Khazars is right away improbable. Jews of definitely Semitic origin have lived in Bulgaria for at least 1000 years. They arrive here in greater numbers after they were driven away from Spain by the end of 15th century AD. Most of the Ashkenazim Jews settled in Bulgaria by the end of 19th century AD, when the country was already liberated from the Otoman rule, but no doubt there were many who had come to live here while the country was still within the Otoman Empire. As a whole Ashkenazim Jews were richer and of higher may be social status than the Sepharadim ones but one can hardly doubt in their Semitic origin.)
There is considerable evidence that the “famous” writing – the travel notes – of the Arab traveler Ibn Fazlan (or Fadlan? – 9th or 10th century AD?), on which all of the later Arabic “historical works” on Volga Bolgars, Khazars, etc. were based, has never been found in its original form – only copies of copies of copies! The careful analysis of these ‘travel notes’ reveals that he had simply cribbed almost everything from Priscus report on his visit to Attila in the first half of 5th century AD.
Khazaria, this mysterious kingdom, which has sculpted our modern world to an astounding degree, once occupied an immense land area of over a million square miles extending from western Hungary/Austria eastward to the Aural Sea, north to the Upper Volga, and its southern region extending to the Caucasus Mountains between the Black and Caspian seas. It was at that time literally the largest country on earth.