Study the Bible     3/14/22

Picture of a Bible students notes on the Latter Days.

As you may or may not have read our last blog, we summarized Russia′s actions toward Ukraine as being in‐line with Bible Prophecy. But, perhaps you have heard, or read, opinions that contradict this summarization. There are many, with impressive credentials after their name, who do not agree that Gog is the leader of Russia and Magog is Russia. As biblicists (or students of the Bible), not schooled theologians, may we humbly give a rebuttal to this argument?

Most modern dictionaries, if not all, and even Bible maps give the location of Magog to be in modern day Turkey, or they express uncertainty to its whereabouts. But Bible dictionaries prior to, circa 1980, do not agree. Case in point, “Smith's Bible Dictionary”, states, “Magog-Second son of Japheth (Gen10:2), and founder of a race (Rev 20:8), the great Scythian tribe, now called Russian.” The updated, on-line version of the Smith Dictionary reads the same, with the exception that it omits the reference of Russia. “The Bible Almanac”, published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, copyright 1980, states, “Magog ("region of Gog"), a country of undetermined location, generally described as being in a northerly direction from Palestine (Ezek. 38:2; 39:6). The first-century Jewish historian Josephus identified the land with the Scythians.” Who are these Scythians? If one would go to and look up Scythians, you would find out that they were the, “member of a nomadic people, originally of Iranian stock, known from as early as the 9th century bce who migrated westward from Central Asia to southern Russia and Ukraine in the 8th and 7th centuries bce.” The encyclopedia also tell us they were, “feared and admired for their...horsemanship. They were among the earliest people to master the art of riding...”. Also, “In a war that lasted 30 years, the Scythians destroyed the Cimmerians (according to, an ancient people living north of the Caucasus and the Sea of Azov, driven by the Scythians out of southern Russia), and set themselves up as rulers of an empire stretching from west Persia through Syria and Judaea to the borders of Egypt.” The book entitled, “A Dictionary of The Bible, Comprising Its Antiquities, Biography, Geography and Natural History”; publisher, The S. S. Scranton Company, published in 1917 writes of Magog, “In this case, Gog contains the original element of the name, which may possibly have its origin in some Persian root. The notices of Magog would lead us to fix a northern locality: not only did all the tribes mentioned in connection with it belong to that quarter, but it is expressly stated by Ezekiel that he was to come up from the {sides of the north}Ezk 39:2, from a country adjacent to that of Togarmah or Armenia Ezk 38:6, and not far from {the isles} or maritime regions of Europe Ezk 39:6. The people of Magog further appear as having a force of cavalry Ezk 38:15, and as armed with bow Ezk 39:3. From the above data, combined with the consideration of the time at which Ezekiel lived, the conclusion has been drawn that Magog represent the important race of the Scthians...the tribes living north of the Caucasus.” The writer adds,“ is sufficient to state that the Scthians of Ezekiel's age—the Scuthians of Herodotus—were in all probability a Japhetic race.

Another source, “Easton's Illustrated Dictionary”, written in 1897, coincides with other early resources; that Magog was of the Scythians and adds, “The Latin father Jerome says that this word denotes 'Scythian nations, fierce and innumerable, who live beyond the Caucasus and the Lake Maeotis, and near the Caspian Sea, and spread out even onward to India.'” If you look up Lake Maeotis , according to the,, they first present the current name of the region, the Sea of Azov, “Gr. Maiotis, Lat. Palus Maeotis, ancient Rus. Surozhskoye, northern arm of the Black Sea...shared by S European Russia and E Ukraine.” And there other sources, too many to mention.

So, what is the big deal—what does it matter if Magog is in Russia or Turkey? For the Biblicist it is very important. The Bible tells us, “...let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch (be alert) and be sober (self-controlled)”-1 Thes 5:6. 1 Pet 4:7 states, “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer (or be self controlled so you can pray).” We are commanded to watch—for what? The events that are about to unfold as predicted by the Bible. But, if you are looking for an invasion into Israel from Turkey, then you would not be alerted to the Russian invasion into Ukraine. If you are not looking for Russia's economy to get really bad (according to the Bible, one reason Russia invades Israel is to take a spoil and to plunder—they need food), then you may not be preparing yourself and warning others about the Rapture. In 2 Tim 4:3-5 Paul warns Timothy, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” The following is an excerpt from, “The Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy”, “The watchman is to warn the people. Teachers of the Bible are watchmen. Ministers are watchmen. The saints are watchmen. A person watches for things they believe will happen. They believe these things will happen, because there is evidence of some kind. We watch, because the Bible tells us of certain events that will come to pass. It gives us certain things to watch for. We watch, because God commands us to do so. When certain events come to pass, we are to warn others of what is yet to come. We warn them to prepare themselves. We warn the people, so they may not perish. If they choose not to believe and heed the warning, their blood is upon themselves. But if we are unfaithful and do not warn the people, their blood is upon us as watchmen.

The only way you will be a good watchmen is by studying the Bible. You need to be grounded in the fundamentals of Scripture, so you have a good foundations and can, with gentleness and respect, make an explanation to everyone who asks you to give an account for your hope. It is written, “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” Will you respond as the people responded the Lord? But they said, “We will not walk therein”-Jeremiah 6:16.

The Bible is truth, but not all Bibles are good translations. A bad translation can lead you astray. What Bible should you use? The Church age that Jesus refereed to as the best, the Philadelphia Church age (because they had a little strength, kept His Word, and did not denied His Name), used the Geneva Bible. The favorite of many, from that era, was also the King James Bible. There have been several commentaries on the Bible; however most, from this era, used the text of the King James. The New American Standard is the best modern text if you prefer modern English. Be careful what you read, or listen to on-line. Remember, when the disciples asked Jesus about the sign of His coming, and of the end of the world, His first response was, “Take heed that no man deceive (or misleads) you”-ref Mt 24:4. Study the Scriptures for yourself and humbly pray that God would open your understanding to His Word. May the Lord grant you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the true knowledge of Him; and that the eyes of your understanding be enlightened—that ye may know what is the hope of His calling-ref Eph 1:17,18.

Sources: Bible Dictionary; places;; Bible Dictionary;;
Kresge, Ted. “Commands to Watch.” In The Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy (The Latter Days) Vol 1, p 301 section 759-4F. St Petersburg, Florida: The Gospel Truth of St Petersburg, Inc, 1998.

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