The following articles have been compiled and indexed by inWORD Bible software.
Russia in the Bible?
Our attention is centered upon Ezekiel 38. This chapter, which is often linked with Daniel 11, has been a particular focus for Bible students in all ages. And no wonder, for it is one of the most dramatic chapters in the Bible. It portrays God’s people of Israel gathered back to their own land in the latter days, and then being attacked by a large confederate army led by Gog of the land of Magog. The main invading force comes from the north. The AV says they come from “the north parts”, but more recent translations render this as “far north” or “the recesses of the north” or “uttermost parts of the north”.
Gog May Not Be “The King of the North"
There is scriptural evidence that may give us pause to reconsider when the Gogian invasion takes place.
Drawing out, the sixth son of Japheth (Genesis 10:2), the founder of a tribe (1 Chronicles 1:5; Ezekiel 27:13; 38:2,3). They were in all probability the Moschi, a people inhabiting the Moschian Mountains, between the Black and the Caspian Seas. In Psalms 120:5 the name occurs as simply a synonym for foreigners or barbarians. “During the ascendency of the Babylonians and Persians in Western Asia, the Moschi were subdued; but it seems probable that a large number of them crossed the Caucasus range and spread over the northern steppes, mingling with the Scythians. There they became known as Muscovs, and gave that name to the Russian nation and its ancient capital by which they are still generally known throughout the East”
mē ́shek, mē ́sek (משׁך, meshekh, “long,” “tall”; Μόσοχ, Mósoch): Son of Japheth (Genesis 10:2; 1 Chronicles 1:5; 1:17 is a scribal error for “Mash”; compare Genesis 10:22, 10:23). His descendants and their dwelling-place (probably somewhere in the neighborhood of armenia (Herodotus iii. 94)) seem to be regarded in Scripture as synonyms for the barbaric and remote (Psalms 120:5; compare Isaiah 66:19, where Meshech should be read instead of “that draw the bow”). It is thought that the “Tibareni and Moschi” of the classical writers refer to the same people. Doubtless they appear in the annals of Assyria as enemies of that country under the names Tabali and Mushki—the latter the descendants of Meshech and the former those of Tubal to whom the term “Tibareni” may refer in the clause above. This juxtaposition of names is in harmony with practically every appearance of the word in Scripture. It is seldom named without some one of the others—Tubal, Javan, Gog and Magog. It is this which forms a good justification for making the suggested change in Isaiah 66:19, where Meshech would be in the usual company of Tubal and Javan. Ezekiel mentions them several times, first, as engaged in contributing to the trade of Tyre (Tiras of Genesis 10:2?), in “vessels of brass” and—very significantly—slaves; again there is the association of Javan and Tubal with them (Ezekiel 27:13); second, they are included in his weird picture of the under-world: “them that go down into the pit” (Ezekiel 32:18, 32:26). They are mentioned again with Gog and Magog twice as those against whom the prophet is to “set his face” (Ezekiel 38:2, 38:3; 39:1).
Me’shech, (Hebrews Me'shek, מֶשֶׁך, a drawing out, as in Psalms 136:6; or possession, as in Job 28:18; Sept. Μοσόχ,Vulg. Mosoch; a pronunciation which the Samaritan codex also exhibits, מוֹשׁוֹך; but in Ezekiel 38:2-3; 39:1, Sept. v. r. Μοσόκ and Μεσόχ ; in Ezekiel 27:1, τὰ παρατείνοντα; in Psalms 120:5, Sept. ἐμακρύνθη, Vulg. polongatus est, AuthVers. “Mesech”), the sixth son of Japheth, BC. cir. 2500 (Genesis 10:2), and founder of a tribe mentioned among his descendants (1 Chronicles 1:5), and later (Ezekiel 27:13) as engaged in traffic with Tyre, in connection with Gog (Ezekiel 38:2-3; 39:1). In nearly every instance they are coupled with Tubal or the Tibareni as neighbors (Genesis 10:2; Ezekiel 27:13; 32:26; 38:2-3; 39:1: so also Herodotus, 3:94; 7:78; comp. Hengstenberg, Moses, p. 206; Wilkinson, i,, 378 sq.); and from one passage at least (Ezekiel 32:26) they appear to have lived near Assyria and Elymais. They are without doubt the same with the Moschi (Bochart, Phaleg, 3:12), a barbarous people of Asia, inhabiting what were known as the Moschian Mountains (Ptol. v. 6,1; 13, 5), between the Black and Caspian seas (Strabo, 11:344, 378, 498 sq. i Pliny, 6:11), in the later Iberia (comp. Josephus, Ant. 1:6,1), who are named by ancient authors as forming a single department of the Persian empire under a separate jurisdiction with the Tibarenians (Herod. 3:94; 7:78). In confirmation of the trade alluded to in Ezekiel 27:13, Reineggs remarks (Beschreib. des Caucas. 1:6; 2:61) that the Moschian Mountains contain rich copper-mines, and this region has always been noted for the. export of slaves, especially females, whose beauty usually commands a ready market for the Turkish harems (see Rosenmiller, Alterth. I, 1:248 sq.). In Psalms 120:5, the name occurs in connection with Kedar as a synonyme for foreigners or barbarians (Michaelis, Suppl. p. 1569), like the modern phrase “Turks and Hottentots.” — Winer, 2:86. The same name. but in a plural form, appears. according to some, in Isaiah 66:19 (משׁכֵי קֶשֶׁת, Sept. Μοσόχ,Vulg. tendentes sagittam, Auth. Vers. “that draw the bow”), but it there is rather an appellation of the archers (comp. Jeremiah 46:9); also, but with still less probability, in Jeremiah v. 8 (מִשׁכַּים, Sept. θηλυμανῖς,Vulg. emissarii, AuthVers. “fed”). “The Colchian tribes, the Chalybes more especially, were skilled in working metals, and hence arose the trade in the ‘vessels of brass’ with Tyre; nor is it at all improbable that slaves were largely exported thence as now from the neighboring district of Georgia. Although the Moschi were a comparatively unimportant race in classical times, they had previously been one of the most powerful nations of Western Asia. The Assyrian monarchs were engaged in frequent wars with them, and it is not improbable that they had occupied the whole of the district afterwards named Cappadocia. In the Assyrian inscriptions the name ‘appears under the form of Muskai: a somewhat similar name, Mashoash, appears in an Egyptian inscription which commemorates the achievements of the third Rameses (Wilkinson, Anc. Eg. 1:398, Abridg.). The subsequent history of Meshech is unknown; Knobel’s attempt to connect them with the Ligurians (Volkertaf. p. 119, etc.) is devoid of all solid ground.” “The names of the Moschians and Tybarenians are also joined frequently on the Assyrian inscriptions (Rawlinson’s Herodotus, 1:651; comp. Pliny, 6:4). The primitive seat of the Moschi appears to have been among the Caucasus Mountains, on the south-eastern shores of the Black Sea, immediately north of Armenia (Strabo, xi, p. 498 sq.); and, according to Strabo, a part of the great chain or group of mountains took their name (xi, p. 521). The Moschi were, however, a wild and warlike race, and extended their depredations and conquests far beyond the confines of their native hills. Cappadocia appears to have been, at least in part, occupied by them (Josephus, Ant. 1:6, 1), and probably from them its capital city took its name Mazaka (Strabo, xii, p. 538; Rawlinson’s
Japhetite (also Japhethitic, Japhetic) in Abrahamic religions is an historical obsolete term for the peoples supposedly descended from Japheth, one of the three sons of Noah in the Bible. The other two sons of Noah, Shem and Ham, are the eponymous ancestors of the Semites and the Hamites, respectively.
In the Bible, Meshech or Mosoch (Hebrew: משך [meˈʃex] “price” or “precious”) is named as a son of Japheth in Genesis 10:2 and 1 Chronicles 1:5.