(Eze 38:2-3; 39:1) is rendered "chief" in the Authorized Version. It is left untranslated as a proper name in the Revised Version. Some have supposed that the Russians are here meant, as one of the three Scythian tribes of whom Magog was the prince. They invaded the land of Judah in the days of Josiah. Herodotus, the Greek historian, says: "For twenty-eight years the Scythians ruled over Asia, and things were turned upside down by their violence and contempt." (See Beth-shean.)
Chief (Eze 38:2-3; 39:1). Rather, as not rosh but nasi is the head of a nomadic tribe (Ge 23:6), "Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal," three great Scythian tribes of which gosh is the first. Rosh is the tribe N. of the Taurus range and near Rha or Volga which gives them their name; the earliest trace of the Russ nation. A Latin chronicle A.D. 839 (Bayer, Origines Russ., 1726, p. 409) is the first modern mention of this now mighty people. Tiras stands for Rosh with Meshech and Tubal (Ge 10:2). Others state that the modern Russians have assumed their name from Rhos, the Araxes, though their proper ancient name was Slavi or Wends. Hengstenberg supports KJV: "Magog was Gog's original kingdom, though he acquired also Meshech and Tubal, so as to be called their 'chief prince.'"
1. A descendant of Benjamin (Ge 46:21 [text doubtful]). 2. In Eze 38:2 f., Eze 39:1 the word Rosh is thought by many interpreters to refer to a people, otherwise unknown, but coupled with Meshech and Tubal (wh. see). It is possible, however, that the word meaning 'bead' is used as a preposition 'over,' so that the phrase here applied to Gog (wh. see) simply means, 'prince over Meshech and Tubal'; cf. Authorized Version margin.
J. F. McCurdy.
1. Son of Benjamin. Ge 46:21.
2. The same Hebrew word occurs in Eze 38:2 and Eze 39:1, which, though frequently translated 'chief,' is now treated in these passages as a proper name reading 'prince of Rosh,' as in the R.V. and other translations. It refers to Russia.
(head). In the genealogy of
Rosh is reckoned among the sons of Benjamin.
ROSH. The Hebrew speaks of a people called Rosh, Eze 38:2-3. "The orientals hold," says D'Herbelot, "that Japheth had a son called Rous, not mentioned by Moses, who peopled Russia, that is, Muscovy." We question not but Rosh, or Ros, signifies Russia, or the people that dwell on the Araxes, called Rosch by the inhabitants; which was the habitation of the Scythians. It deserves notice, that the LXX render the passage in Ezekiel, ???, ??????? '???, ?????, ??? ?????, Gog the chief of Ros, Mesoch, and Thobel; and Jerom, not absolutely to reject this name, inserts both renderings: Gog, terram Magog, principem capitis (sive Ros) Mosoch, et Thubal. Symmachus and Theodotion also perceived Ros to be in this place the name of a people; and this is now the prevailing judgment of interpreters. Bochart, about A.D. 1640, contended that Russia was the nation meant by the term Ros; and this opinion is supported by the testimony of various Greek writers, who describe "the Ros as a Scythian nation, bordering on the northern Taurus. Mosok, or Mesech, appears to be the same as the Moskwa. or Moscow, of the moderns; and we know, that not only is this the name of the city, but also of the river on which it stands. See GOG.