Sunday, June 6, 2010

Connecting Magog, Gog and Og


Alice C. Linsley

End times writers Hal Lindsay and Timothy LaHaye have made much of Gog and Magog as the archetypal enemies of God in Reveltaion 20:8. End times publications profit at the expense of good biblical exegesis, so in this essay we look into the identity of Gog and Magog.[1]

The first thing to note is that Gog and Magog are joined by a third - Og - mentioned in Numbers 21. Og, Gog and Magog comprise a tribal unity, as do each of the three-son confederations listed in Genesis. Magog is the best known, being claimed as the ancestor of the Kushitic (Kushan/Kurgan) Scythians. Magog is named in the Table of Nations (Gen. 10) as a descendant or son of Japheth.

Dispersed clans of royal tradesman

Gog, Magog and Og are not places. They are clans confederation pertained to the Horites who dispersed widely across the ancient world. They would have been found in many places and often lived among others peoples.

The Schythians were called Kurgans and this suggests that they were link to the Horite caste. The kr/gr root refers to ancient tradesmen and traders who moved from place to place. The Horites have been identified with references to Khar, a unit of measurement used in trade in the Egyptian inscriptions (See James Orr, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, page 1421.)

The word khar is a variant of the word gur. In Akkadian gurguri means metalworkers or copper smiths. In Oromo gurguru means to sell (gurgurtaa = sale, gurguraa = seller). In Somali gur- means to collect something and gurgure means one who Collects and Keeps Collecting. The Gurgure clan of the Dir refers to traders who collect wares and resale them. Among the Dir guri means stick, rod or firearm.

The Persian and Urdu word Saudagar means trader. This contains the gr root in connection with Arabia. Horite traders dispersed across the ancient world. The association of the roots gr (traders) and hr (Horites) is evident in India in place names such as Gurgaon Haryana.

A linguistic connection to the Horites is retained in the name Horowitz (also spelled Hurwitz or Gurvich), a surname found among Jews of Sephardic ancestry.

The Gir-gam tells the story of Abraham's Proto-Saharan ancestors Cain, Seth and Noah. All were trader-rulers who controlled the water ways of West Central Africa.

Likely gr is also the root of the Japanese (Ainu) word guruma, meaning wheel. The Ainu originated in the Nile. The royal burials of the Schythians also suggest a connection to the Horite rulers. The men were bearded and their appearance reminds me of the Ainu.

Legends surrounding Magog are found in countries as distant as Russia and Denmark, and are associated with Marco Polo, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, and even King Arthur. The most credible claim involves Magog as the ancestor of the Hungarians through the Afro-Asiatic kingdom builder Nimrod.  Genghis Khan married into the Olkut Hun (Hun Tribe) so the connection to that historical figure can be verified.[2]

The following biblical references identify Magog with the people of Japheth, Kush and Shem, whose lines intermarried.

Genesis 10:2-4 tells us that "The sons of Japeth: Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. And the sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah. And the sons of Javan: Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim."

Here we note the blood relationship of Magog with two names that help us to make connections to Kush and Shem.  The name Tubal is a Hamitic or Kushitic name and Meshech is a Semitic name.  The names Meshech and Tubal appear in Assyrian inscriptions as Muschu and Tabal.

Here is how the relationship of the peoples is explained in the Hungarian Legend of the White Stag:

The Legend of the White Stag ascribes the origin of the Hungarians to the merging of three peoples: Huns, Magyars and Alans. Since the Alans, together with the Yazyg and Roxlans are classified as Massagetas in early records and as Sarmatians in later ones, henceforth the terms "Alan", "Yazyg", "Roxlan" and "Massageta" will be mentioned as "Sarmatian" in order to make this essay more intelligible, avoiding synonymous or quasi-synonymous terms (unless specification is required). They are identified with the Moshkhi of the Assyrian chronicles and Meshekh of the Bible. (From here.)

The connection of the three strands descending from Noah are also mentioned in Ezekiel 38:1-4: The word of the LORD came to me: Son of man, set your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; and I will turn you about, and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you forth, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armor, a great company, all of them with buckler and shield, wielding swords . . .

Ezekiel 39:1  "And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal . . ."

By the time of the prophet Ezekiel, Gog appears to have gained prominence over and is regarded as chief of the sons of Japeth. Notice that the name Gog doesn’t actually appear in Genesis 10:2-4. Yet the Prophet recognized that Gog and Magog are associated.

When encountering two names that are related it is necessary to look for a third related name because Genesis presents familial units in groups of three. We find the third name, Og, in Numbers 21:33, so that we are able to speak of the familial confederation of Magog, Gog and Og, with Gog having prominence by the time of Ezekiel (593-571 B.C.).

Because Ezekiel specifically prophesies against this confederation, the names Gog and Magog came to represent forces that oppose God and God’s people. Consider this reference from the book of Revelation.

Rev. 20:6-10 “Blessed and holy is he who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and they shall reign with him a thousand years. And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be loosed from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are at the four corners of the earth, that is, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city; but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”

Before 500 AD, references to Gog and Magog occur in the preserved sermons and letters of St. Jerome and other early Christians. These references indicated that the names had become associated with threats to Christendom. In other words, the names were used allegorically to represent invasion of Christian lands and/or oppression of Christians. Gog and Magog are used, as Rome and Babylon are used in the book of Revelation, as archetypes of worldly rebellion against God and God’s kingdom. This is the time when the Roman Empire was seriously weakened by invaders from the north.  However, to equate the Huns and Magyar (Magog) with anti-Christ goes too far since there were Christians among these northern peoples. The Keraits, allies of Genghis Khan, converted to Christianity in the 11th century. One of their leaders, Toghrul, gained fame as far west as France and Spain for his victories over the Muslims.

The name Og is mentioned in Numbers 21:33. According to the Bedouins, Og is the town of Koraki, about 2 days journey from the Jordan River. According to the Archimandrite Joachim Spetsieris, Og (Koraki or Horaki) had about 400 families of both Muslim and Orthodox Arabs in 1890. In the late 1800s, an ascetical monk, Fr. Kallistratos, lived for 3 years in a cave across the Jordan near Koraki and the people of the village lowered food to him using ropes from above the cave.

An ancient legendary hero, Csaba, (from whom the Hungarian Scholar Hagrita Csaba is descended) is said to trace ancestry back to the Horites. Csaba was a shepherd priest who was a guardian of the people. He married a Khwarezmian woman, and Khwarezm was founded by the Horites. This is evident in the Old Persian word Huwarazmish which is related to the Ancient Horite word for ruler-priests (Harwa) who controlled the major waters systems in the Afro-Asiatic Dominion.  Various versions of khwar/khar/khor/hor are used around the Persian Gulf for tidal flats, marshlands, or tidal bays (e.g., Khor Musa, Khor Abdallah, Hor al-Azim, Hor al-Himar, etc.). There are also Indian Scythians of the Csaba tribe from Khwarezm who migrated eastward and settled in India.

The Magyar-ab, or Tribe of Magyar (Magog), still live along the Nile River in Egypt and Sudan. Their ancestors moved east and north during the time of the Afro-Asiatic expansion under Nimrod the Kushite and the Sudra (Sudanese) and Dravidians.

Magog, Gog and Og are Afro-Asiatic peoples who settled along the Ural and Atlas Mountains.  This explains why Hungarian is not an Indo-European language.  It is in the same language family as Finnish, Samoyed, and languages of western Mongolia.

Magog, Gog and Og are one of many 3-part confederations based on kinship. Consider this list:

Cain Abel Seth (Gen. 4-5)
Ham Japeth Shem (Gen. 5-9)
Og Gog Magog (Gen. 10 and Nu. 21:33)
Haran Nahor Abraham (Gen. 11-12)
Ishmael Jokshan Isaac (Gen. 16, 21, and 25)
Jeush Jalam Korah (Gen. 36: 4-18)
Korah Moses Aaron  (Ex. and Nu.)
Dedan Tema Buz (Jeremiah 25)

Conclusion
The biblical material we have examined has a specific cultural context and is very old. Although allegory and legends have developed around Gog and Magog, there is no reason to doubt the historicity of these peoples or of any of the peoples mentioned in the Table of Nations (Gen. 10). However, the textual evidence does not support the notion that all the peoples of the earth come from Noah since all the peoples listed in Genesis 10 are in only two of the 17 languages families: Afro-Asiatic and a few in the Altaic-Uralic group. Nor should Gog and Magog be regarded as anti-Christ forces destined to play a role at the end of time. Instead these represent a 3-clan confederation of peoples whose worldview is essentially Afro-Asiatic and who have blood connections to Abraham and his Horite people.

NOTES

1. Two trends among American Evangelicals undermine good Biblical interpretation:  Dispensational End Times theology and Young Earth Creationism.

2. There appears to be a linguistic connection between the words olkut, ogor and orkut, words meaning tribe, clan or community. These are not close to the Nubian word for tribe which is ab, so I suspect they are related to the Kandahar dialect, which is related to Tir-hariTir is a form of the name Tiras, mentioned in Genesis 10 and hari is a form of the word for Horite.


Related reading: The Kushite-Kushan Connection; The Nile-Japan Ainu Connection: The Mighty Men of Old; Kushite Kings and the Kingdom of God; The Descendants of Noah

17 comments:

Seraph said...

Fascinating material, Dr. Linsley! When you say Afro-Asiatic linguistic group, what does that imply to an armchair historian like myself? From what part of Africa or Asia do you see these peoples in early Genesis descending?

And what are your reasons for thinking that Noah's offspring are not seeded over the earth...how do you see Noah's flood, a large local flood or more widespread, or worldwide in scope?

Alice C. Linsley said...

Greetings, Seraph! I will post more information about Noah and flood soon.

Linguists have identified 17 distinct language families on earth. The Afro-Asiatic language family is one of them. The languages within these groups have cognate features, that is, they are linguistically related. However, the language families are not related. This means that the languages of the world can not be traced to a common linguistic origin. In other words, the evidence of linguistics doesn't support either an evolutionary view of human origins nor the view that all humans are descended from one original set of parents.

All the peoples and groups mentioned in the Genesis Prehistory pertain to the Afro-Asiatic language group. The information here speaks of an ancient Afro-Asiatic civilization of inter-related rulers which extended from West Central Africa to the Indus River Valley. Noah was one of these rulers.

The 2 creation stories and the 2 flood stories represent the eastern and western "versions" of the same Afro-Asiatic tradition. According to the eastern account, a great flood took place in the Tigris and Euphrates region. Floods happened here quite often. According to the western (more hidden) account, Noah lived near Lake Chad, an area which also flooded often in 12-15 thousand years ago. What we might call the "Babylonian version" speaks of a vast regional flooding, and the African account, consistent with the geneologial data of Genesis, places the biblical Noah among Abraham's ancestors who are in or of Africa.

School ends today, giving me more time to dedicate to this blog, so please visit again. May you enjoy blessings in Christ this day.

Seraph said...

I look forward to more information on this, references to consult, and future articles by you! It is a pleasure to come across a scholar who takes the Biblical accounts of Genesis seriously *and* thoughtfully.

Nik said...

During the 80s, had read some Hal Lindsey books. Carried along on a wave sensationalism, was fascinated by descriptions of earth-shaking end time events. But did come away with a hunger for the word of God that led to hours and hours of nightly Bible study. While, in part, appreciative for the enthusiasm that spurred me on, am also wary of sensationalistic writings that can cause the imagination to spin off in various directions - away from the message of life found at the core of Christian belief.

The ancestral triplets that you revealed were very interesting; enjoyed your article. Was left with plenty to pique interest - without the caffeine of sensationalism. :)

Alice C. Linsley said...

Thanks, Nik. I appreciate your comment. The Gospel is true beyond our ability to imagine! Our sensationalism only cheapens it.

The three sons theme in Genesis is very significant. Three sons represent a tribal unity, just as the three Persons of the Trinity are one. One son is usually veiled, suggested, or even pronounced dead, as in the cases of Abel and Harran. I'm convinced that this theme is Christological. Jesus Christ is the Son "hidden" in the Father's bosom who in these last days has been revealed.

If you wish to pursue this, there are related essays at Just Genesis. One is here: http://jandyongenesis.blogspot.com/2008/05/biblical-theme-of-two-sons.html

Another is here: http://jandyongenesis.blogspot.com/2008/05/theme-of-hidden-sons.html

Thanks for visiting!

Nik said...

Alice, I had planned to read the two, then come back with something encouraging or positive to say - but have only begun to study one of them. You are sharing very intuitive info here(dense whole wheat bread vs. airy white bread).

Thank you for the links, and for being generous with valuable knowledge.

James Dalton said...

Hi, just read 'Just Genesis', which I stumbled onto accidently, and loved it! Can't wait to make my way through you other entries but in the mean time please check out this interesting acticle about a relic text regarding Noah http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/jan/01/noahs-ark-was-circular
Thanks,

James

Alice C. Linsley said...

Thanks for the link, James. I'll check it out and maybe post a link at Just Genesis.

Anonymous said...

Alice,
years ago I clipped this article from the newspaper, and have found it on the 'net. I thought it was interesting, as someone who has studied language (my BA is in German, and I'm a medical transcriptionist, so use lots of Latin & Greek "parts" daily). I'm not sure what to make of the construction of "Proto-World"; it sounds an awful lot like "Q"... But these lines of thought among linguists are intriguing to me.

http://faculty.ed.umuc.edu/~jmatthew/articles/mothertongue.html

Dana Ames

Alice C. Linsley said...

Hi, Dana. I'm familiar with the work of the Soviet comparative linguists. However, I do not agree with the conclusion that ancestral Altaic gave rise to Afro-Asiatic languages. The evidence suggests the opposite as Afro-Asiatic rulers moved east and north along mountain chains and major river systems. The Altaic-Uralic languages are varied, but some of them are clearly related to the older Afro-Asiatic, as is the case with Hungarian.

Thanks for the link, which readers will find interesting.

Dharmashaiva said...

Hi Alice,

You wrote:

"In other words, the evidence of linguistics doesn't support either an evolutionary view of human origins nor the view that all humans are descended from one original set of parents."

If you're saying that linguistics doesn't support the idea that all humans descended from one set of parents, are you also saying that linguistics doesn't support the idea that all humans descended from a community of related humans (say, a population of 5 to 10,000 maybe)?

Alice C. Linsley said...

Linguistical evidence doesn't support the view that all peoples on Earth are descendants of an original set of parents (the Adam and Eve model). Nor do mitochondrial studies. There appear to have been multiple parents perhaps in multiple communities. Those communities may not have had contact with each other for a long time.

Anonymous said...

Hal Lindsey's Pretrib Rapture "Proof"

Is Hal Lindsey's proof for a pretrib rapture "100 proof" - that is, 100 percent Biblical?
In "The Late Great Planet Earth" (p. 143) Lindsey gives his "chief reason" for pretrib: "If the Rapture took place at the same time as the second coming, there would be no mortals left who would be believers" - that is, no believers still alive who could enter the millennium and repopulate the earth.
We don't know if Lindsey's amnesia is voluntary or involuntary, or if he need amnesia rehab, but earlier (p. 54), while focusing on chapters 12 through 14 of Zechariah, Lindsey sees "a remnant of Jews in Jerusalem" who are mortals who will become believing mortals at the second coming and then become repopulating mortals!
During the same discussion of Zech. 12-14 Lindsey overlooks some of the final verses in Zech. 14. They reveal that some of the tribulation survivors "of all the nations which came against Jerusalem" will refuse to go there "to worship the King, the Lord of hosts." Here's what will happen to those "heathen" rebels: "upon them shall be no rain."
So the facts about the repopulating mortals, in unbelieving as well as believing ranks, cancel out Lindsey's "chief reason" for opposing a joint rapture/second coming - the ONLY rapture view to be found in official theology books and organized churches prior to 1830!
(See historian Dave MacPherson's "The Rapture Plot," the most accurate and most highly endorsed book on pretrib rapture history - available at online stores like Armageddon Books etc. Also Google "Scholars Weigh My Research" and "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty.")
Although Hal Lindsey claims that his "Late Great" didn't set a date for Christ's return, many of his followers - including copycats Bill Maupin ("1981") and Edgar Whisenant ("1988") - did view Lindsey as a date-setter, and his later book "The 1980s: Countdown to Armageddon" (the sort of title that date-setters and their ga-ga groupies love) became another fizzle - unless we're still living in the 1980s!
In Old Testament days false prophets were stoned to death. Now they're just stoned!

(Web bit above recently seen. Tom)

Alice C. Linsley said...

Tom, It has been years since I read The Late Great Planet Earth, so I can't confirm these discrepancies. I'll take your word on them. Your comment about repopulating mortals and heathen rebels sounds like a virtual science fiction war game.

It seems to me is that Lindsay and many other Protestants know the commentaries on the Bible better than they know the Bible. Sections of those commentaries draw from the Talmud which is anti-Christ. It says that Messiah is Yeshu, the son of Joseph, but it contradicts itself in Sanhedrin 43a were it says that Jesus (Yeshu) the Nazarene was executed because he practiced sorcery. Sanhedrin 106a says Jesus' mother was a whore: “She who was the descendant of princes and governors played the harlot with carpenters.”

The Talmud encourages readers to elevate it above the authority of the Old Testament. “My son, be more careful in the observance of the words of the Scribes than in the words of the Torah." (Talmud Erubin 21b)

This elevation of the Talmud over the Hebrew Bible began after the destruction of Jerusalem, which is when the Talmud was compiled. The present form of the Talmud dates to about AD 500. By this time the rabbis had hardened their hearts against the followers of Jesus Messiah.

Most Jews are instructed by Rabbis who teach from the Talmud more than they teach from the Old Testament, so they don’t know what their own Bible says. They are clueless as to who Jesus is because they do not search the Bible to learn of Him. Sadly, many Christian clergy reference the Talmud in preparing their sermons and treat rabbinical teaching as authoritative for the Church. Many of the commentaries used by Protestants are infected with Talmudic teaching.

How does this affect people like Lindsay? The rabbis obfuscate the pattern concerning the Son of God found throughout the Hebrew Bible. When you take Jesus Messiah out of the Bible, you are left with confusing images and you no longer have the Pattern by which to properly intrepret the Scriptures. That Pattern is already established in Genesis but largely ignored by Protestants because they tend to think that the New Testament overthrows the Old Testament. That's the thinking to leads to books like The Late Great Planet.

Anonymous said...

Did Abraham's son establish Muslim Religion after he was banished with his mother, (the slave girl)?

Alice C. Linsley said...

No. Islam began with Mohammed who lived thousands of years after Ishmael. Ishmael and his descendants were Egyptians. The people of Arabia (Arabs) are mostly descendants of Abraham by his first-born son Joktan. They are called the Joktanite Tribes and still live in Arabia. They are kin to the peoples of Dedan, Sheba and Ramaah.

BibleGeorge said...

So where is Gog located? I know that Josephus connected Magog to the Schythians but how did he do this? The names don't appear to be similar. Do you have any info on the Schythians?