The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech and Tiras.”
And the word of the LORD came to me saying, “Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog,the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him
and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal.”
“And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal; and I will turn you around, drive you on, take you up from the remotest parts of the north and bring you against the mountains of Israel.”
The study of Gog and Magog has long been a challenge to Bible scholars and historians alike. Magog is described in Genesis 10:2 and 1 Chronicles 1:5 as a grandson of Noah. The prophet Ezekiel claims Magog’s descendants are from the far north, and will some day attack Israel. Throughout history we find Gog and Magog identified with many place names, as well as numerous tribes and people groups; some firmly leaving their mark on history, including many present-day cultures. The people who descended from Magog, son of Japheth, son of Noah, are not obscure as some have suggested.
Perhaps the most known of Magog’s descendants (sometimes referred to as Magogians) are the Scythians. Well, sort of. The Scythians (or Skythians) are associated with Magog, but not by genealogy. Scythians are descended from Ashkenaz (or Ashkuz), son of Gomer, son of Japheth as listed in Genesis chapter 10. Ashkenaz is sometimes mistakenly thought of as a son of Magog, though he was Magog’s nephew. The term Scyth or Skyth is derived from Ashkenaz, appearing in Assyrian records as “Ishkuzai,” reported as a people pouring in from the north some time around the beginning of the 7th century BC.
One of the earliest references to Magog is thought to come from Assyrian inscriptions in the 9th century BC referencing the “Mat Gugi,” meaning “country of the Gugu.” There can be no doubt that at their earliest stages, tribes of Magogians and Scythians assimilated into one people. Together they made up a part of the early Scythian hordes. In fact, wherever or whenever we find references to Gog and Magog in name or place, we usually find the Scythians. A commonality with the descendants of both Magog and Ashkenaz was their domestication and widespread use of horses, and their reputation as master archers. The Scythians were known specifically as horse-riding nomads. Ancient peoples known as Alans and Sarmatians (not to be confused with the Samaritans) lived in the area around the Caspian Sea from about 900 BC, and their tribes were called Scythian. A people known as the Hippe-Molgoi or Hippo-Molgoi (hippo is Greek for horse, and Molgoi presumably a transliteration of Magog), are mentioned in Homer’s Iliad around the beginning of the 9th century BC as “Scythian drinkers of mare milk.” Not only known for drinking the milk of horses, they are mentioned as equestrian nomads of the northern Russian steppes. Strabo, 1st century Greek historian, also makes mention of Homer’s Hippemolgi.
There are numerous examples from geography, archeology and historical records. Scythian culture extended more than 2,000 miles east from the Ukraine to Mongolia. This was demonstrated by the discovery of tombs in the Chilikta Valley of East Kazakhstan, evidence that Scythian culture had spread to the Mongolian border as early as the 6th century BC. Historians suggest the Great Wall of China began construction around the 5th century BC to keep out hordes of invading Magog-Skythian warriors. Thousands of Scythian burials, ranging from the 6th to 2nd centuries BC, have been uncovered in areas to the north and east of the Black Sea.
Albius Tibullus, Latin poet in the 1st century BC, mentions that a people living on the River Tanais (present-day River Don) were called “Magini,” “Magogitis” or “Magotis,” which in Greek became “Maiotis,” whom scholars say were from the colonies of Magog, sometimes referred to as Magogites. The Greeks called the area where the Magini lived along the Tanais “the Maeotian marshes” where the river emptied into the Maeotian Lake (present day Sea of Azov). The marshes served as a checkpoint to the westward migration of nomad peoples from the steppe of Central Asia. The region was named after the Maeotae people (as the Greeks and Latins would call them) who lived around the Maeotian Lake or Sea. Jerome (translator of the Latin Vulgate), an Illyrian Christian apologist of the late 4th and early 5th centuries, affirms “the Jews of this age understood by Magog the vast and innumerable nations of Scythia, about Mount Caucasus, and the Palus Maeotis (Latin for Maeotis Sea), stretching along the Caspian Sea to India.”
Going back in history, prior to the writing of the book of Ezekiel, we find Hesiod, father of Greek didactic poetry and literature, identifying Magog with the Scythians and with southern Russia in the 7th century BC. Hesiod likely derived this identity from Colchians or Colchi people (a Thracian tribe) where, in their ancient Chaldaic language, described the region of southern Russia as “Gog-chasan” or “Gog-hasan” (Arabic “Gog-i-hisn”) meaning “fortress of Gog” or “Gog’s fort.” There are scholars who suggest that Gog and Magog, as a region, is where the name “Caucasus” originated. Scholars speculate the name “Caucasus” was derived from “Gog-chasan” which the Greeks translated as Gogasus or Caucasus. The Caucasus is generally considered the mountainous land between the Black and Caspian seas.
Greek historian Herodotus, whom historians call “the father of history,” mentions in the 5th century BC a people living around the Caucasus mountains called “Gargarians.” He later refers to agricultural Scythians in the region at “Georgi.” Greek myth depicted the Gargarians as “Gorgons,” which eventually became Gorgene or Gorgaene, likely the origin of the name Georgia. He also wrote about an enormous city, Gelonus, in the northern part of Scythia, surrounded by a lofty wall, where inhabitants had deep blue eyes and bright red hair. Herodotus wrote extensively about the descendants of Magog by their Greek name, the Scythians, about 150 years after Ezekiel. He wrote of three tribes of Scythians, one being “Royal Scythians” who ruled over all other Scythians of Scythia, and two other tribes having different lifestyles: one a tribe of farmers and settled agriculturalists, and another a tribe of migrant stockbreeders who immigrated with their horses, cows and sheep. Herodotus describes them as living in the territory north of the Black Sea, and that they terrorized the southern steppes of Russia beginning in the 10th century BC. He supposed the word Scythian meant “father.” Perhaps he was correct, as the name Scythian is a derivative of Ashkenaz, who was the father of the Scythians. Numerous archaeological discoveries have confirmed Herodotus’ reports in general, and his Scythian accounts in particular.
He also wrote that “the wandering Scythians once dwelt in Asia, and there warred with the Massagetae (Magogites), but with ill success; they therefore quitted their homes, crossed the Araxes (Volga) river, and entered the land of Cimmeria.” Historical records indicate that in the 7th century BC tribes of Scythians swept across the Caucasus mountains displacing the Cimmerians (Gomerites). Flavius Josephus, Jewish and Roman historian, continued with that reference in the 1st century AD, when he records that Magogites (Magogians) were called “Scythians” by the Greeks. He also recorded that “Magogia” was the Greek name for the ancient city of Scythia. Philo Judaeus (Philo of Alexandria), famous Greek and Jewish philosopher in the 1st century AD, also identified Magog with southern Russia.
The Gargarians show up again in Greek history. Strabo, early 1st century Greek historian, geographer and philosopher, is distinguished for his 17-volume work Geographica which presented a descriptive history of people and places from different regions of the world known to his era. He mentions “Gogarene” as a region in Iberia (present-day Armenia and Georgia). Interestingly, his ethic background was Georgian. Scholars agree Gogarene is one of the best preserved names from Magog, which belonged to the Caucasian Iberian kingdom up to the 2nd century BC. Aelius Herodianus, Greek and Roman scholar of antiquity, called the region “Goerene” in the 2nd century AD. In the 5th century AD, a viceroy in the region of old Armenia called himself Achoucha Gougarqtzi (Arshusha of Gogarene). In the 6th century AD, geographer Stephanus of Byzantium called the region Gogarene, and in the 7th century the region was known as Gougarq. Today it still exists as Gugark, a historical district in Armenia. As noted earlier, commentators suggest Georgia also derived its name from Gogarene, and today the Turks call Georgia, Gurgistan. In recent history, certain Georgians referred to themselves as “Gogi.”
Russian traveler Jacob Reineggs, who visited the Caucasus five times in the 18th century, left many records of people groups and geographical locations he encountered. He discovered in the central Caucasus a people called Thiulet who lived amidst mountains called Ghef or Gogh. The very highest of these mountains, lying to the north of their country, they knew by the name of “Ghogh,” “Moghef” or “Mugogh” still in use today. The high plains were called the “Maghal-Mindori,” and a village on the plains was called “Zaghra-Mugha or Zahra-Mughal.” These names are Gog and Magog derivatives, which remained in tact after hundreds of years of tribal migrations and territory wars.
Today’s Armenian and Georgian peoples are not only descended from Magog, but also Magog’s nephew, Togarmah. Magog’s brother, Gomer, had three sons, Ashkenaz (mentioned previously as father of the Scythians), Riphath and Togarmah. Togarmah’s descendants show up in history as Armenians, Georgians and some Turkic peoples. We first find them mentioned by the Hittites in the 14th century BC as the Anatolian kingdom of Tegarama, then later by the Assyrians as a people called Til-Garimmu. After spreading south to Anatolia (Asia Minor/present-day Turkey), their better-known tribe, the Phrygians (from Armenia), dominated the region, and would become the ancestors of peoples in modern-day Turkey. Though many Turks claim to be descendants of Togarmah, they are also descended from Magog, as explained below.
Flavius Josephus considered Togarmah as the father of the Phrygians, and other Jewish sources reference Togarmah as the father of the Turkish peoples. Jerome, 4th century AD Roman Catholic priest, theologian and historian, along with 5th Century AD Archbishop Isidore of Seville (Spanish scholar and historian) each regarded Togarmah as the father of the Phrygians. Armenian and Georgian historians claim Togarmah was the founder of their nations along with other Caucasian peoples. Strabo mentions the Armenians as horse breeders, indicating a close relationship with Magog’s descendants. Interestingly, these same peoples are listed in Ezekiel 38 as unified with Magog. Again, Magog’s descendants appear to have mixed culturally with the descendants of Togarmah, just as they did with Ashkenaz’s descendants (Scythians).
The name Scythian has been used to refer to various peoples seen as similar to the Scythians, or who lived anywhere in a vast area covering present-day Ukraine, Russia and Central Asia, known until medieval times as Scythia. The name was also used among early scholars studying the Proto Indo-Europeans. The tribes of Magogians and Scythians would become many of the great confederations of steppe warriors, often mingling with others not of the same race, developing ethnic mixtures of Eurasian clans. These peoples would later form tribes and ethnic groups we would come to know as familiar names in history: Huns, Turks, Tartars, Mongols and others. Evidence shows that clans of Scythians were forced to move to more favorable conditions, mostly east and south due to a changing climate in the steppe. Wherever they went, they often attacked, intermingled with, or simply forced out indigenous peoples.
Huns. Ancient tribes of of Scythians and Magogians, mixed with other indigenous peoples of the Asian steppe, would become the Huns. Hunnic tribes are obscure in origin, though compelling evidence indicates they were descendants of Magog, a “Scytho-Siberian” people known by their Altaic lineage and language. These tribes are thought to have arrived in the region around 600 BC. First described in the 3rd century BC by Chinese sources as a controlling empire of the Hsiung-nu, Hiong-nu or Xiongnu (Hunnu-“Asian Hun Empire”) to the north (Mongolia), they were considered barbarians to be feared, as their horseback lifestyle proved very efficient for rapid invasion and raiding villages and townships. As noted earlier, scholars postulate the Great Wall of China, begun in the 5th century BC, may have been built to keep these Hunnic hordes at bay. The Arabic name for the wall was “The Wall of Al Magog,” meant to keep out the invading armies of Magog. After intermingling with native Asian people groups, they would eventually form a nomadic coalition of warrior tribes who spoke a Hunnish language. The Huns went on the move, eventually attacking western Scythians about 170 BC, slowly dominating Scythian lands. They also warred with the Han Dynasty beginning in the middle of the 2nd century BC, taking territory deep into China, reported as formidable enemies, a “wild people of the mountains” by the Chinese. Eventually the Xiongnu would split into the north and south, and the south formed a weak alliance with the Chinese Han (who later would be known simply as the Chinese). The north Xiongnu (Hunnu) would become the Huns we know in history, giving us Attila. They traveled west, attempting to maintain themselves on the Caspian steppes (the areas north of the Caspian Sea). By 200 AD, the Romans first became aware of the Huns as written by Pliny, a Roman author, philosopher and geographer, who described them arriving in the region as mounted horse archers.
Dionysius Periegetes (the guide), a Greek geographer who lived in the 4th century AD, wrote a geographical description of the known world. He notes among the northern tribes of Europe there were Huns (Unni), Caspii, Massagets (living opposite from the Huns), Sacii, Alani and Scyths. At this time only a remnant of the north Xiongnu (Huns) remained in the Altaic mountain steppes. Attila, King of the Huns, reigned in the 5th century (from 434-453 AD), and embarked upon a series of wars extending Hunnish rule from the Rhine (Germany) across the north of the Black Sea as far as the Caspian Sea (Russia). Though Attila’s origins are in question, there is empirical evidence that he belonged to a group of Hunnic and Asian nomadic tribes in what is now Mongolia and northeastern China. The Huns that attacked Europe were known as an Asiatic tribe.
The Greek writer Priscus gives us vital information about King Attila, having visited the Huns and spoken with Attila. Priscus was sent by the Roman government with messages to Attila in 448 AD. Priscus first tells of his long journey from Constantinople to Scythia, the territory then occupied by the Huns north of the lower Danube. He described Attila as “short of stature, with a broad chest and a large head; his eyes were small, his beard thin and sprinkled with gray; and he had a flat nose and a swarthy complexion, showing the evidences of his origin.” Indeed, he probably exhibited the characteristic eastern Asian facial features, which Europeans were not used to seeing, and so he was described in harsh terms. No doubt Attila was descended from a mixture of western Scythian, Altaic (Siberian) and Asian tribes from the region near China.
After the Huns displaced the Scythians throughout Eurasia, these various Scythian clans went east, joining forces with Hunnic and Tungusian tribes, establishing a powerful alliance in Mongolia. This alliance was lead by a Tungusian people called the Ruruans. Tungusian or Tungu (Tugilan) derives its name from the Chinese “Toung-ho” or “Tung Hu” which referred to a people from the west or far borders. The Tungu were descendants of the Donghu, a bow wielding, horse archer civilization, mentioned in Chinese histories as existing as early as the 4th century BC. Later we find some Tungu tribes intermingling with local Asian tribes, forming historical groups like the Jurchens, who would become the Manchus. Scholars would later call this a mixing of the Tungus-Altaic and Sinid ethnicities. The Tungusic people were an ancient northern Siberian people, which we can be confident were descendants of Magog. The Huns considered them a filthy, unclean nomadic people.
Future tribes of the Tungu included the Wuhuan, Xianbei, Toba, Ruruan and Gaoche who were known by the 2nd century AD to be attacking Chinese farms south of the Great Wall. The Toba were a chief tribe over the Ruruan, while the Goache were reported to have expanded west by the 3rd century AD. The Ruruans eventually fled to the Altai mountains, where they established a power base by absorbing Hun and Gaoche clans. The Goache became the Geougen, and today scholars regularly interchange Geougen and Ruruan as the same peoples. We find them mentioned as Gaogyuys, Juan-Juan, Ju-Juan, Jou-jan, Jouan-jouan Jeu-jen, Jwen-jwen, Ruanruan, Rouruan or Ro-ran by Chinese writers and other historians. They were a Tungusian (Siberian) peoples, and interestingly, suddenly appear at the end of the 4th century AD as a powerful alliance with their assimilated clans.
The titles of their rulers were called Khan, and scholars believe they were proto-Mongols. The Geougen/Ruruan tribes were the first to use the term Khan, from Kehan used by Xianbei clans in the 3rd century AD. The title of Khan (meaning King or Chief) became widespread among the many ethnic tribes in the region. The empire of the Geougen/Ruruan lasted from the end of the 4th century AD to the middle of the 6th century, embracing a wide section north of China from present-day Manchuria to Turkistan. As well, this is generally considered the time of the fall of the Hun Empire, and the rise of the Avars. The Avars were a loose confederation of Hunnic tribes under the Ruruans in the 3rd century. Establishing their own Khans, they became a powerful nation that swept from Asia to Europe by the 6th century. As feared nomadic horsemen, they maintained power in much of Europe and Russia until the end of the 8th century. Essentially, the Avars took over where the Huns left off, leaving the Asian steppes for other tribes to fight over.
The Avars had left the Altai region by the end of the 4th century to escape the rule of the Ruruan. The Ruruan would soon fill that void. Old alliances between the south Xiongnu (now eastern Huns) and the earlier Han Dynasty had long since broken apart. Chinese chroniclers record that during the Wei Dynasty (386-534 AD), the Xiongnu were driven out of China, back to the Altai mountains where they took refuge under the Ruruan/Geougen. The Xiongnu lived at the base of the Altai mountains, and they wore a cloth covering on their heads, said to be of the same shape as the Altai mountains, like a helmut, which the Chinese called Tu-kui or Thu-kui (also Tuchueh, T’u-kuie, Turuk or Tujue). Eventually the Xiongnu (Huns), under the Geougen/Ruruan Khanate, became known by the name Tu-kui, from which the term Turk is derived. Even today, according to Turkish official history, the Hun Empire was the first state that Turks founded. The Tungus, Ruruans and Turks are considered a Siberian Hunnic peoples who spoke similar Altaic languages.
Turks. According to a legend recorded by the Chinese, the Tu-kui were specifically recognized from Chinese transcription, and were a subject tribe ruled by Geougen/Ruruan Khans. During the middle of the 6th century AD, the Tu-kui (Turks) overthrew their Geougen masters with help from the forces of the Northern Wei Dynasty, and soon were in control of all Mongolia, centering their power in the northern part of the country. As the struggle for regional power between the Khans continued, the Wei reconstructed the Great Wall during this period (5th and 6th centuries). The Tu-kui (Turks) became known as the Gokturks (Gok Turks, Kok Turks or K’ou-kiue), meaning “Blue Turks.” The color blue was a symbol representing the eastern direction, thus “Blue Turks” in the primary sense of “East Turks” had connotations of “first,” “rising,” “dawning;” meaning they were the “First Turks.” That makes sense in light of the fact that Gokturks are considered the first Turkic tribe known to use “Turk” as a political name, and they were the first Turkic nomads to leave written records in a runic-like script deciphered by scholars in 1896. Known as Old Turkic script, they are called “Turkic runes.” The Huns also wrote in runic form, called “Hunnic runes.” There are a number of early runic inscriptions found in Europe from the Scythians, indicating a common origin. Herodotus records the earliest form of runecasting was with sticks by Scythian tribesmen. The Gok Turks gained control of a vast territory by the end of the 6th century AD, with their empire stretching into eastern Europe. The empire became so large it split into east and west, and subsequently went into full decline by the middle part of the 7th century. The east Gok Turks settled in the steppe territory of southern Siberia and the Orkhon river basin (Mongolia), and became known as Orkhon Turks. The name Gok Turk disappeared from history by the early 10th century AD.
The tribes of Orkhon (Orhon) Turks flourished as the Tang Dynasty in China (618-907 AD) rose to power, gaining control of Mongolia and much of the surrounding region. This is when significant intermingling of Sino-Chinese and Turkic-Huns occurred, becoming the base stock of the Mongols. These early Turkic tribes were quite diverse, and some historians claim that reddish hair was predominant among them. However, numerous tribal groups in the region became sinicized to the point that the vast region of deserts, mountains and grazing land was soon inhabited by people resembling each other in racial, cultural, and linguistic characteristics. The similarities among those who inhabited the region has caused considerable ethnic and historical confusion. Thus, the Turks would take on radically different blends of ethnicities, depending on the location of their various tribes. These early Turkic tribes were quite diverse, and scholars claim they quickly spread out and developed different languages and cultures. Many of these tribes would come to be known as Turko-Mongols, including the historic Orkhon Turkic clans of Khazars, Uyghurs, Khitans and Kirghiz. The Khazars migrated from the Asian steppe between the 7th and 11th centuries, settling in the northern region of the Caucuses Mountains between the Black and Caspian Seas (modern-day Russia). This left the Turkic Uyghurs (Uighurs) and Khitans to prosper throughout eastern Asia, dominating the region by early 10th century.
In the 6th century AD, living to the north were another notable Turkic people, the Tartars, first called Ta-ta the by the Chinese. They are mentioned by Orkhon Turks on inscriptions from the 8th century. The Tartars, Khitans, Krighiz and Uyghurs were known for attacking each other, and during the 9th century the Tartars went into subjugation by the Khitans (Kitans), and the Uyghurs were overthrown by the Kirghiz. By the 10th century, the Chinese were reporting that Khans from these various Turkic tribes were regularly battling for regional supremacy. Migrating Khazars appeared again in the late 10th century as a large Turkish tribe called the Kinik. Kinik was the son of Oghuz (both were tribal Khans and Khazar Turks). The Kinik Turks would give rise to the Ghuzz Turks. Ghuzz fathered Tukak who was the father of Seljuk. Under the leadeship of Seljuk, the Kinik/Ghuzz Turks became the powerful Seljuk Turk empire.
At the end of the 11th century, Seljuk Turks dominated Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). They produced the most famous Turk in history, Sultan Osman Ghazi (Osman I) who formed the Osmanli (Ottoman) Empire. Their descendants make up a majority of today’s Turkish population, having integrated with the descendants of Togarmah and others previously established in the region. About the same time (12th century), the Tartars became a major force in the Asian steppe, where their Khans expanded throughout a vast geographical region, including Europe and Asia, particularly after the 13th century. They also exercised power over the Mongol tribes, descendants of the Geougen/Ruruan, from the 6th through 13th centuries.
Though the Geougen/Ruruan Khans were overthrown in the middle of the 6th century, their tribal groups remained in tact. They were a large nation of many tribes, with two prominent “royal” tribes, the Mu-gu-li and the Mengwu-Shiwei (Mengwushiwei), names that were possibly derivatives of their ancestor Magog. Living in the surrounding region under the Tartars, the Mengwu-Shiwei (also Meng-wu, Meng-ku and Shi-wei) were first mentioned in the writings of the Tang Dynasty in China between 618 and 907 AD. In the 10th century the Mengwu-Shiwei appear as Mongol-Shiwei in the Chinese book “Jiu Tang Shu” (The Ancient History of the Tang Dynasty). This has led scholars to speculate the term Mongol (or Mongul) originated between the 7th and 10th centuries AD. In the late 13th century, Venetian trader and explorer Marco Polo, when traveling to Mongolia, understood the word “Mungul” to be a broken-down form of the word “Magog”, since he came across an association of names “Ung” and “Mungul”, which he considered the counterparts of Gog and Magog. According to him, the Gog lived in Ung, and the Tartars lived in Mungul. While some scholars contest any link, it is conceivable that the word “Mongol” was originally attached to these early Siberian Indo-European peoples descended from Magog.
Mongols. The tribal names Mengwu and Shiwei are used interchangeably by historians, with Shiwei being the primary. The Megnwu are mentioned only as Mongols by the 12th century. The term “Mongol” became the common name for the many tribes of Shiwei, as recorded during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). The Chinese called Shiwei tribes by different names, including the “Huangdou Shiwei” meaning “yellow (blonde) head Shiwei,” and “Maodou” or “Maoshou” meaning “hairy head (bearded)” people. The physical attributes of the Shiwei tribes were that of their Geougen/Ruruan ancestors, from Siberian stock. This is futher evidenced from the name of a prominent Shiwei tribe, the Borjigin (also Borjigid or Bourchikoun). The Borjigin were known to have gray eyes and reddish hair. This clan also had a Khan named Yesugei, the father of Temujin or Genghis Khan (1162-1227 AD). Chinese descriptions of Genghis Khan indicated he was tall and heavy bearded. After his death, few portraits show him as described in history, while many artistic interpretations show him with distinctive Asiatic features, contrary to evidence by major authorities.
Persian historian Abu al-Ghazi Bahadur (1606-1663 AD), considered the most prominent historian of Turkic oral traditions, observed that the family of Yesugei, the father of Genghis Khan (also Chingis Khan, Chinggis Khaan, Jenghis Khan, Jenghiz Khan), were known for their children of fair complexions and blue or gray eyes. Genghis Khan’s wife, Bourtai or Borte Ujin, bore a name meaning “gray-eyed.” His son and successor Ogedei (1186-1241 AD) had gray eyes and red hair; his grandson Mangu (1208-1259 AD) had reddish eyebrows and a red-brown beard; his grandson Batu (1205-1255 AD), the first Khan of the Golden Horde, was freckled. Genghis Khan’s famous grandson, Kublai Khan (1215-1294 AD) had dark hair, which likely came from his mother Sorghaghtani Beki, a princess from the allied Turkic tribe of Keraits. Rashid al-Din Tabib (1247-1318 AD), Persian physician and historian of Jewish heritage, recorded in his chronicles that Genghis was shocked to find his grandson Kublai had not inherited his red hair. Another of Genghis Khan’s descendants, conqueror Tamerlane (1336-1405 AD), also inherited the family’s characteristics. An Arab who was taken captive by Tamerlane, Ahmed ibn Arabshah (1392-1450 AD), wrote that Tamerlane was “tall and strong, with broad shoulders, a large head and high forehead, he had a heavy beard, was white-skinned and had a ruddy complexion.” This description was confirmed in 1941 when the tomb of Tamerlane was opened, clearly showing he was a man of strong build and imposing stature, with hair of a reddish-brown moustache still adhering to his skull. Tamerlane was known as a Turkmen-Mongol conqueror who established an empire extending from India to the Mediterranean Sea. Tamerlane’s name came from a European corruption of Timur-i Lang (“Timur the Lame”) which was given to him because his left side was partially paralyzed.
The story of Temujin (Genghis Khan) is remarkable. From the oldest surviving Mongolian literary work, “The Secret History of the Mongols,” we have a written record of the royal Mongol family and the origin of their nation, and of Genghis Khan. Written about 20 years after his death in the Uyghur script, the surviving manuscripts all derive from a Chinese transliteration of the 14th century, currently regarded as the single significant Mongolian account of Genghis Khan. We are told that when he was a child, his father Yesugei (Yesukai) Khan, was murdered (poisoned) by rival Tartars. Temujin (or Timuchin) lived his teen years with extended family, and by the age of 20 he would become leader of a sub clan. Before he was 40, Temujin established strong alliances with surrounding clans, then succeeded in defeating all rival Mongol and Tatar tribes, from the Altai Mountains to Manchuria. In 1206 his leadership of all Mongols was formally recognized in a Kuriltai (council) which chose him as their Khan. He then took the title of Genghis Khan, meaning “supreme king” or “universal king,” to signify the scope of his power.
Genghis also popularized the Khanate. Historians note that becoming a Khan required a number if prerequisites. First, the Khan had to be the senior member of the clan. Second, sovereignty rested not in an individual or an individual’s line, but in a clan, a whole clan. The clan therefore had a right to control the territory over which it reigned, and male members of the clan who had reached their maturity were entitled to a share of the territory. Political maneuvering often took priority, as Temujin was still a junior member of his clan when he was given the title of Khan. He used similar tactics to build his empire. Prior to Genghis Khan’s rule, the Mongols were many disunited clans, and they continued to be after the fall of their ancestors, the Geougen/Ruruan, in the 6th century. Only the Turkic tribes had risen to power, such as the Tartars, which they fought with regularly. To accomplish stability, Genghis created a system that would stress the unity of the empire, and would wipe out tendencies towards local tribal authorities. This enabled him to incorporate many tribes from a vast region, and eventually create the largest contiguous land empire ever.
After Genghis Khan’s death, he was give the title “Khagan” or “Great Khan” (translated as Khan of Khans, equivalent to King of Kings), which is given to a Khan who rules an empire, also known as a Khaganate. His empire would be split into four sectors by 1260. One was composed of present-day China, Mongolia, Korea and Tibet (considered the Mongols in China and Mongolia); the second was Central Asia; and the third was West Asia (including present-day Iraq). These first three sectors would lose their influence by 1368, but the fourth sector, known as the “Golden Horde” in Russia, would be a major influence until 1502. After the fall of the Mongol Empire, the subsequent people groups established in Asia and Eurasia continue to this day. In fact, some scholars consider the Mongol Empire to be the beginning of current world history.
For example, many people groups living in Mongolia, Tibet and northern China today are the result of the empire’s split. The migration west of Khan’s descendants are evidence of that. The Asian peoples living in present-day Mongolia arrived later, and are not the Hunnic Mongolians of Genghis Khan’s lineage. Evidence for this can be found in the Ural-Altaic languages spoken in the region, and spoken by Ghengis Khan himself. These ancient Siberian languages would later become the root for Turkic, Mongolian and Tungusic languages. As early as the 5th century AD, Turks and Asians had formed new ethnicities, depending on the location of their various tribes. By the 14th century, Genghis Khan’s empire helped spread these new ethnic peoples west, and many of today’s southern Russian republics (including Central Asia) are where these peoples settled, sometimes referred to as Eastern Turks. There are a number of Turkic languages, including Kazakh, Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Tatar, Uyghur, Turkish, Azeri, Turkmen, and many others spoken in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Siberia, and parts of China. The Kazakhs (Turkic people of the northern parts of Central Asia) have an internal group called the Tore who consider themselves to be direct descendants of Ghengis Khan and his family.
Historians have suggested that Ghengis fathered dozens of children, thus his Y-chromosome lineage today features prominently in the population genetics of numerous people groups in Asia and Eurasia. This is well attested in the historical record as late as the early 20th century, where the aristocracy of Mongolia, which was 6 percent of the population, consisted of his patrilineal descendants.
There are many evidences that link Turks, Huns and Mongols from their earliest formations as tribes of Magogians and Scythians: (1) their Ural-Altaic languages; (2) their use of Runic inscriptions; (3) their coming from the north; and (4) their extensive use of horses and archery. Ezekiel describes them in similar terms: Ezekiel 38:4, “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 39:2-3, “I will turn you around and drag you along. I will bring you from the far north and send you against the mountains of Israel. Then I will strike your bow from your left hand and make your arrows drop from your right hand.”
Similarities remain in the languages of Mongolian, Tungusic and Turkic to this day, having many words in common. These Ural-Altaic languages have been historically considered “Scythian” or “Tatar” languages which make up some 40 languages spoken by about 100 million people. Examples inlcude Turkish, Kazakh, Kirghiz, Bashkir, Azerbaijani, Uzbek, Samoyed, Oirat, Kalmyk, and Mogol, plus similar languages spoken by peoples living between the Black and Caspian seas. Other language families, including Finno-Ugric (Finnish, Hungarian) and Balto-Slavic (Russian, Ukrainian, Czech) have affinities to the Ural-Altaic language family.
We know the early Huns and Mongols were a nomadic Siberian horse-riding peoples who would eventually travel west to conquer, subsequently leaving Asian tribes to populate the region known today as Mongolia. We also know that the Huns became today’s Turks (Turkic peoples), and the Scythians are today’s Russians. As noted earlier, these people groups would eventually populate present-day Eurasia, including Russia, Siberia, the numerous republics north of Israel as precisely described in Ezekiel 38 and 39. Gog’s and Magog’s descendants are today the peoples of those regions. Recent genetic research shows that many of the great confederations of early Asian steppe war tribes were not entirely of the same race, but rather tended to be ethnic mixtures of the Turkic, Tungus, Mongolian, and in many cases Scythian and Iranian (note that today more than 90% of these people groups are Muslim). The following genealogical chart shows these ethnic relationships:
| |------------------------Noah------------------------| -----------------------------| -----------|
| | | |
Japheth Ham Genesis 10 | |
|-----------| | | |
Gomer Magog----------|--------------| Canaan --------------------------| |
| | | | | |
Ashkenaz Gog-hasan Donghu Hiongnu Seni (Sinites) ------------------| |
| | | | | | |
Scythians<----------------------------->Huns<-------->Sianu (Sino-Asians) | |
| | | | | | Ezekiel |
Saka<------>Gogarene Tungus Tu-kui | Historical | 38 & 39 |
| | | | | Tribes, | |
| | Ruruan Turks<-------->| Peoples, | |
| | | | | Nations | |
| | Mengwu-Shiwei | | | |
| | | | | | |
| | Mongols<--------------------->| -----------------------------| |
| | | | |
| | | | |
|---- Peoples of present-day Russia, Siberia, Eurasia, Asia Minor --------------------------------|
Google Downloadable Digitized Books:
Colchians: “The History of Herodotus: A New English Version,” George Rawlinson, Henry Rawlinson, et al, published 1860
Gog-hasan / Gogarene / Maiotis: “The Millennium of the Apocalypse” George Bush, published 1842
Scythians: “The Geography of Herodotus, Developed, Explained and Illustrated from Modern Researches and Discoveries,” published 1854
Scythians: “Larcher’s Notes on Herodotus: Historical and Critical Comments on the History of Herodotus, with a Chronological Table, Volume II,” published 1844
Hiongnu / Huns: “Universal History,” Johann Mueller, published 1837
Ta-Ta / Tartars: “The Journey of William of Rubruck to the Eastern Parts of the World, 1253-55,” published 1900
“Genghis Khan: His Life and Legacy,” Paul Ratchnevsky, Thomas Nivison Haining, published 1991
“The Secret History of the Mongols: A Mongolian Epic Chronicle of the Thirteenth Century,” translated by Igor De Rachewiltz, published 2006
“Who is Gog and Where is Magog?,” Haskell Rycroft, published 2010
“The Magog Invasion,” Chuck Missler, published 1996
“Foes from the Northern Frontier: Invading Hordes from the Russian Steppes,” Edwin Yamaguchi, published 1982
“A General, Historical, and Topographical Description of Mount Caucasus, Volumes I & II,” Jacob Reineggs, et al, translated & published 2001
Gog and Magog in History
by Tim Osterholm