(1.) A Reubenite (1Ch 5:4), the father of Shimei.
(2.) The name of the leader of the hostile party described in Eze 38; 39, as coming from the "north country" and assailing the people of Israel to their own destruction. This prophecy has been regarded as fulfilled in the conflicts of the Maccabees with Antiochus, the invasion and overthrow of the Chaldeans, and the temporary successes and destined overthrow of the Turks. But "all these interpretations are unsatisfactory and inadequate. The vision respecting Gog and Magog in the Apocalypse (Re 20:8) is in substance a reannouncement of this prophecy of Ezekiel. But while Ezekiel contemplates the great conflict in a more general light as what was certainly to be connected with the times of the Messiah, and should come then to its last decisive issues, John, on the other hand, writing from the commencement of the Messiah's times, describes there the last struggles and victories of the cause of Christ. In both cases alike the vision describes the final workings of the world's evil and its results in connection with the kingdom of God, only the starting-point is placed further in advance in the one case than in the other."
It has been supposed to be the name of a district in the wild north-east steppes of Central Asia, north of the Hindu-Kush, now a part of Turkestan, a region about 2,000 miles north-east of Nineveh.
1. 1Ch 5:4.
2. GOG AND MAGOG. Magog was second son of Japhet, connected with Gomer (the Cimmerians) and Madai (Medes). In Ezekiel 38; 39, these two appear in the N. country, their weapon the bow, their warriors horsemen and notorious for cruel rapacity; probably the Scythians, the dominant Japhetic race between the Caucasus (Ghogh and Moghef are names still applied to its heights) and Mesopotamia from 630 to 600 B.C., who invaded Palestine and besieged Ascalon under Psammeticus.
Gog is the ideal head of Magog the land and people; also prince of Rosh (Roxolani), Mesech (Moschi), and Tubal (Tibareni); Eze 38:2, "the chief prince," rather "prince of Rosh" (the Scythian Tauri). Hengstenberg supports KJV. The names resemble Russia and Moscow, but Slavi and Wends were the ancient name of the Russians. In Re 20:8 Gog and Magog are both peoples. The Scythians were expelled 596 B.C., just before Ezekiel wrote, after making their name a terror to Asia. The prophet naturally uses their name taken from familiar history to represent the anti-Christian confederacy about, to assail the Jews in the Holy Land before the millennium; Re 20:7-9, to represent the confederacy headed by Satan, and about to assail the beloved city after the millennium.
Antiochus Epiphanes, the Old Testament antichrist, the "little horn" of the third world empire, who defiled Jehovah's temple and altar with swine sacrifices and set up Jupiter's altar there, prefigures the "king of fierce countenance" who, "when the transgressors shall come to the full, shall destroy the holy people" (Da 8:10-26); "the king of the N." (compare Eze 39:2), who "shall do according to his will, and exalt and magnify himself above every god, and speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall enter also into the glorious land and plant the tabernacles of his palaces between the seas in the glorious holy mountain, and shall come to his end," through Michael's interposition, after a "time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation" (Da 11:21-45; 12:1; Zec 13:9; 14:2-3). Gog represents antichrist the beast; Magog the ten kingdoms leagued under him (Revelation 16-17). Haughty, blasphemous self confidence is his characteristic (2 Thessalonians 2).
Sheba, Dedan, Tarshish, mercantile peoples, though not openly joining his invasion of Israel, yet from selfish love of gain, sympathize with it secretly (Eze 38:13; 39:6, "the isles"); they shall therefore share antichrist's doom, the robber shall be robbed in righteous retribution, the spoiler spoiled, and the slayer slain. Where antichrist thought to find an inheritance he shall only find a grave, and that near his prototypes, the fire blasted cities of the Dead Sea. No weapon formed against God's people shall prosper (Isa 54:17); not a fragment shall be left to defile the Holy Land.
1. The 'prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal,' from the land of Magog (Eze 38:2, and often in chs. 38, 39), whom Ezk. pictures as leading a great host of nations from the far North against the restored Israel, and as being ignominiously defeated, by Jahweh's intervention, upon the mountains of Canaan. Whence the name 'Gog' was derived we do not certainly know: the name reminds us of that of Gyges (Gr. Guges, Assyrian Gugu), the famous king of Lydia, of whom Hdt. (i. 8