• The first century Romano-Jewish historian Flavius Josephus puts Magog on a par with the Scythians, nomads from the Central Asian steppes.

President of Turkey (Former PM of Turkey), Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Gog of Ezekiel 38 and 39?

Rev. Willem J.J. Glashouwer - 26 June 2013
Rev. Willem Glashouwer.. A Belgian brother recently sent me a number of surprisingly new ideas. I would like you to put these ideas to the test. He told me that he has always found it difficult to identity Gog and Magog with Russia. First some verses from Ezekiel 38:2-3 “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshek and Tubal; prophesy against him and say: This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshek and Tubal.” And from Ezekiel 39:1 “Son of man, prophesy against Gog and say: This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshek and Tubal.” Gog and Magog are identified as a person and a country in the Hebrew Bible in the Book of Ezekiel 38. Gog is the ruler of the land of Magog who will fight the final battle against the people of God. In the Second Testament in the Book of Revelation 20:8 Gog and Magog are identified as two countries under the rule of Satan. And eventually Gog and Magog are two statues of giants in the London Guildhall dating back to the mythical stories about the origin of Britain, says Wikipedia. I think that the previous remark is beside the point in the context of this article.

The first century Romano-Jewish historian Flavius Josephus puts Magog on a par with the Scythians, nomads from the Central Asian steppes. They established a kingdom north of the Black Sea that lasted from the eighth century BCE until the second century BCE. But Josephus too does not connect the Scythians with apocalyptic themes, they are just the enemies that emerged in that period of time. In his work “The Bello Judaico” (“The Jewish War”) he tells the story of Alexander the Great who was alleged to have built an iron gate between two mountains to keep Gog and Magog away from the civilized world. But here too Josephus links no eschatological meaning to this story, to him it is just a military structure in order to keep a check on the enemy. He is the first author in whom one finds the tale of the iron gate of Alexander, according to Wikipedia.

Our Belgian brother says that Gog is derived from the Hebrew word that means roof, roof top or top of a building. If it refers to a location, a country, then it must be North of Israel. A mountainous area with peaks. And the Caucasus qualifies very well to be that exact location. From maps that represent the ancient world known to the Hebrews we learn that Gog and Magog (from the land of Gog) belong to the location regarded as the top of the known world, so the Caucasus, which also includes Georgia. Meshet is located in the southern part of the Caucasus, in the area adjacent to North East Turkey to which the Black Sea coastal line of Georgia belongs as well. Thubal lies in the Rize Province in today’s North East Turkey, near the Black Sea coast.

So, you can read both verses from Ezekiel as: “… You, Gog (leader or chief) coming from the land of Magog (coming from Georgia, Caucasus-region)… who is a prince, a paramount chief of Mesach (Southern Georgia) and Tubal (from the North Eastern provinces of Turkey)…”

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey, comes from Georgia. When he visited Georgia on August 11, 2004, he said: “I am a Georgian too, my family is a Georgian family that migrated from Batumi to Rize!”  When you render Erdogan’s statement into the language of Ezekiel, then this is what you get: “I (Gog, paramount chief of Turkey) am a Georgian too (from the land of Magog); I have a special relationship with the area my family originates from and migrated from Batumi in Georgia (probably Meshech) to Rizen in Turkey (probably Tubal).

Biblical prophecies need to be read with great caution. Such identification of Ezekiel 38 and 39 makes you careful not to take for granted that in these chapters it is Russia and its allies that suddenly could attack Israel. Especially with Turkey that has never given up its dream of a restored Ottoman Empire, in which the call for a restored Caliphate for the entire Islamic world with Constantinople / Istanbul as its center is gaining force more and more.

A Third World War can happen overnight. Many countries nowadays possess nuclear weapons. Including Israel, which will most certainly not look idly by when missiles with ABC-weapons come their way. What will be the reaction of the entire Islamic world? This huge Islamic empire stretches from Indonesia through Asia, amongst others Pakistan, the former Soviet republics, the Middle East, Turkey, some areas of former Yugoslavia, large areas of Africa and also into Europe. For example more than two million Muslims in the United Kingdom, four million in Germany and six million Muslims in France. Even the United States of America houses more than seven million Muslims.

And when we look at that prophetic word, then there are many more unfulfilled prophecies in the Bible. Like for example Isaiah 17:1-2 that speak of a complete destruction of Damascus, the capital of Syria that you can see on a clear day from the Golan Heights in Israel. Or Isaiah 19:16-17 in which Egypt will shudder with fear at the uplifted hand that the Lord Almighty raises against it and the terror that the land of Judah will bring to it. Or Psalm 83 which mentions  a first ring of countries around Israel – With Assyria, that is Syria and Iraq on the background – that jointly unanimously say: “Come, let us destroy them as a nation, so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.” Or Ezekiel 38 and 39 which contains a second, wider ring of nations (Syria and Egypt are no longer mentioned!) that want to wipe Israel off the map. With Turkey and the former Soviet republics on the background? An Islamic holy war, a jihad against Israel? And Zechariah 12 and 14 in which finally all nations, in our days you might say: the United Nations, try to lift that annoying stone called Jerusalem.

In short, let us keep our eyes wide open and keep reading the paper next to the Bible. Knowing that the Almighty will not abandon the works of His hands (Psalm 138:8). Knowing that Israel is a big sign of hope that shows that the Lord has begun to push forward the course of the history of mankind and the world right across towards His goal. And that goal is the coming of His Kingdom. And the coming of the King of that Kingdom, who will come to make all things for ever new.

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