Monday, November 5, 2007

Gog and Magog

I don't know about you, but when I hear words and phrases from the Bible coming out of my radio or TV when it's not set on a Christian radio or TV station, it gets my attention...big time.

That's what happened last Friday. I had Shawn Hannity's radio show on in the background as I worked, and Shawn Hannity was interviewing Oliver North. Suddenly the words "Gog and Magog" came out of my radio and caught my attention. The problem is, whatever Oliver North said about "Gog and Magog" had already gone by and I'd missed it. I know they were talking about Iran, the Iranians pursuing nuclear power, and the threat to the U.S. and the world. I'm not sure if Mr. North said the Iranians were referring to the coming conflict as "Gog and Magog" or if he said the Israelis were making that reference.

I checked Hannity's web site and Googled Oliver North and "Gog and Magog" this morning but didn't find any information about what Mr. North had said. I did, however, find some references to "Gog and Magog" in the news recently. The references I found were on sites that are of the "Bush-knew-about-9/11-and-did-it" type. Not any good, trustworthy information there.

I also went looking in my Bible. I could remember "Gog and Magog" has to do with the End Times prophecies, and I thought the reference was in the book of Revelation, but I couldn't recall specifics. Here's some of what I've found so far:

There is a reference to "Gog and Magog" in Revelation 20:8, but also in Ezekiel 38 - 39.

Here is some of the information included in the NIV Study Bible (Zondervan, 1985) about the reference in Ezekiel 38:2, which says in part, "[Ezekiel], set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal...":
  • Gog. "Apparently a leader or king whose name appears only here and in Rev 20:8. Several identifications have been attempted... Possibly the name is purposely vague, standing for a mysterious, as yet undisclosed, enemy of God's people."
  • Magog. In Genesis 10:2 and 1 Chronicles 1:5 "Magog is one of the sons of Japheth, thus the name of a people... But since the Hebrew prefix ma- can mean 'place of,' Magog may here simply mean 'land of Gog.'"
  • Chief prince. "Military commander-in-chief. ...possible translation 'prince of Rosh,' and if it is correct, Rosh is probably the name of an unknown people or place. Identification with Russia is unlikely, and in any case cannot be proven."
  • Meshech and Tubal. "These sons of Japheth (see Ge 10:2; 1 Ch 1:5) are probably located in eastern Asia Minor... They are peoples and territories to the north of Israel... As in the days of the Assyrians and Babylonians, the major attack [on Israel by Gog and Magog] will come from the north."

No comments: