Gog and Magog
GOG AND MAGOG gŏg, mā’ gŏg (גֹּ֔וג, מָגֹ֔וג). Gog is the ruler of Magog and the prince of Meshech and Tubal, the demonic and sinister leader of ungodly peoples far distant from Israel, whom he leads in a final assault against the people of God, but is ignominiously defeated by the intervention of Yahweh upon the mountains of Canaan. The conflict is described in
The origin of the name “Gog” is unknown. He has been identified with Gyges of Lydia, who is said to have expelled the invading Cimmerians with Syrian help; with Gaga, mentioned in the Amarna letters; with another Gaga, a Babylonian deity; and with Gagi, a ruler of the city of Sabi.
Magog was prob. located between Cappadocia and Media; Josephus says it refers to the Scythians (Jos. Antiq. I. vi. 1). In
Gog appears again in
There are three major divergent interpretations of the story of Gog. Some hold it to present a literal description of a future attack on Israel by certain identifiable nations led by Russia. Others regard it as a symbolic description of some future event—either the final conflict of the nation Israel with unidentified foes, or the final catastrophic struggle between the Church and the forces of the world. Still others look upon it as a prophetic parable illustrating, not a specific historical event, but a great truth—that whenever in history evil forces array themselves to destroy God’s people, He comes to the aid of His own.
P. Fairbairn, The Interpretation of Prophecy (1856), 484-493.