« НазадПродовжити »
The prophet begins; And the word of the Lord came unto me saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech
and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, Behold I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. The Power here addressed is veiled with a mystic appellation; as is usual in prophecy. Different things have been conjectured concerning this name. Some have supposed it derived from Gyges, an ancient king of Lydia, a country in Asia Minor, which fell under the dominion of Antiochus; and that the address was to Antiochus. Possibly this may account for the name, as Antiochus was a designed type of Antichrist. But whether it account for it, or not, there appears full evi. dence, as I shall attempt to shew, that the address was designed for Antichrist. The name Gog appears a natural abbreviation of Magog; and is doubtless designed to signify a noted dynasty or government of the descendants of Magog. It signifies a roof or covering; and would be naturally applied to the most noted sove. reignty of the descendants of Magog, at the time of the restoration of Israel.
The dominions of Gog are called, the land of Magog. Magog was a son of Japhet, and grandson of Noah. His descendants peopled ancient Scythia, which lay east and north of the Euxine and Caspian seas, north of Syria. Thence they spread, and peopled the vast regions of the present Tartary. They are said to have peopled a large tract in the north of Asia and Europe, 5,000 miles in length, from east to west; and 2,700 in breadth, from north to south. “There can be no doubt, (says Mr. Guthrie, Geo. p. 89,) that the Scandinavians” (the inhabitants of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden,) “were Scythians by their origin." The descendants of ancient Magog, under the various names of Scythians, Tartars, Moguls, Turks, Goths, Vandals, Huns, Franks, and others, have made the most terrible ravages in the earth. Various clans of them, in early ages, overran, and peopled a considerable part of Asia and what connexion Gog has with him. To ascertain which, no data can be found.
and Europe. “A little before the Christian era, (says a geographer, *) Sigge, afterward called Odin, from the north east of Asia,” (where Magog settled) “con
quered and then inhabited part of Sweden.” There we accordingly find a Gothland, whose ancient inhab. itants were thus of the descendants of Magog. Hordes of these northern barbarians were ravaging various kingdoms in the south of Europe, in the early days of Christianity. In the reign of Gallus, “an almost innumerable company (says Dr. Lowmant) of Scythians fell upon Italy, and ravaged Macedonia, Thessaly, and Greece; a part of them, from the Palus Mæotis, broke through the Bosphorus, into the Euxine sea, and laid waste many provinces.” And abundantly are we informed of the terrible ravages made in the Roman empire, or in the kingdoms in the southwest of Europe, in the former ages of the Christian era, by floods of these invading northern barbarians. “These fierce tribes were scattered (says Mr. Guthriet) over the vast countries of the north of Europe, and northwest of Asia, which are now inhabited by the Danes, the Swedes, the Poles, the subjects of the Russian empire, and the Tartars.-Great bodies of armed men, with their wives and children,-issued forth, like regular colonies, in quest of new settlements. New adventurers followed them. The lands, which they deserted, were occupied by more remote tribes of barbarians. These, in their turn, pushed forward into more fertile countries; and, like a torrent continually increasing, rolled on, and swept away every thing before them. The scourge of God, and the destroyer of nations, are the dreadful epi. thets, by which the most noted of the barbarian leaders were known.” These barbarians, it is well known, overran, and settled in the south of Europe, particularly in the western branch of the old Roman empire. The Suevi and Alans settled in Spain, in the year 409. They were afterward overrun by the Goths. In 410 the Goths took Rome; and then settled in Italy. The
*Morse, Geo. p. 64.
Franks, about the year 420, overran the ancient Gauls, and settled in France. The Huns took up their abode in Hungary, in 560; some say at an earlier date. The Gapidæ and Lombards established a kingdom in Italy, in 568. The Vandals, who had before settled in Gallicia in Spain, crossed the straits of Gibraltar, under the command of Genseric, and invaded the seven northern, rich and fertile provinces of Africa, where they established a kingdom. Thence they, in 455, invaded and plundered Rome, which they possessed for nearly a century, till they were subdued by Justinian. Thus these floods of barbarians, the descendants of Magog, left their own countries in the regions of the north, and for several centuries rendered the fairest parts of Europe a field of blood; and they took up their residence there; they divided the Roman empire into various kingdoms. Well may these territories then be called, the land of Magog.' They perfectly answer that prophetic and mystical appellation.
Gog is called also the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Meshech and Tubal were brethren of Magog: And no doubt their descendants were mingled. The posterity of Meshech peopled Cappadocia, and Arme
Thence they sent colonies to the north, who were called the Moschi, or Moscovites. The posterity of Tubal, Josephus informs, peopled Iberia, on the Black Sea. According to Bochart, Tubal was the father of the Tibarenes, on the north of Armenia the Less. And Martin (in his Philological Library) informs, that Tubal was the father of the Russians. All these may have been different branches of the descendants of Tubal. We must naturally suppose, that in the rage of invasion, which excited the numerous clans of the northern barbarians in the fifth and sixth centuries, the descendants of Meshech and Tubal united with their neighbors and brethren in these incursions upon the Roman empire. No doubt so many of the ancient posterity of Meshech and Tubal intermingled with their neighboring brethren, the posterity of Magog, and became one with them, that it was proper, in a prophetic hint, to add the names of Meshech and Tubal to that of Magog,
to designate a distant and most interesting Empire of their descendants.
Other reasons may, in the course of Providence, occur, to evince the propriety of the addition of these two names. Should the influence of the French dynasty be found to be extended over the Russians, and regions in the north east, evidently peopled in ancient times by the descendants of Meshech and Tubal, it might afford an additional reason why their names were added in the prophetic description of their sovereignty. This, we are led to believe, will be the case, after the judg. ment of the sixth vial; or the subversion of the Turk. ish empire by the arms of the infidel Power. And this appears to be clearly hinted in the course of these de. scriptions of Gog, where he forms various of those na. tions into his vast confederacy, and directs their operations against the house of Israel.
A terrible Power rising on the ground of the old Roman empire answers with as real precision to the de. scription of Ezekiel's Gog, as would a Power rising in the north of Europe, or Asia, should such an event take place, where the posterity of Magog, Meshech, and Tubal had their primary residence. Indeed, the description given, as it respects these three names, affords an almost boundless range, in which to look for the dynasty represented by Gog. We have the vast field, of the old Roman empire, the present Russian empire, and the north and western parts at least of the Ottoman empire. . Pool informs, that Syria, and Asia Minor have been supposed to belong to the land of Magog And he was of opinion that the Scythians or Tartars, the Turks, and the Roman Antichrist, (meaning the Papal power) would be found, at some time, to unite in the confederacy predicted in this chapter concerning Gog. He was of opinion, that in the last times some active, daring prince would be found to unite these numerous nations, and lead them against the church of Israel re-settled in Palestine.
In looking over this vast range of nations, to find the Power designated by Gog, are we not constrained to fix our attention on the terrible Power, which has risen
on the ground of the old Roman empire, and which exhibits every characteristic of the last head of the Roman beast, the Imperial head recovered from its deadly wound, the Antichrist of the last times? Here we find a Power, which bids fair to be of equal magnitude with Gog; which with sufficient precision is in the land of Magog; is the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; and which goeth into perdition on the same ground, at the same period, and on the same expedition, with the Gog and his bands, under consideration. Do we need further evidence then, that Antichrist and Gog are the same? The numerous points of coincidence between them leave no room to doubt of the affirmative.
The reasons why Antichrist may properly receive the appellation of Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, may be summed up as follows.
1. Gog is a natural abbreviation of Magog, and may naturally be taken as a mystic appellation of a terrible dynasty or government of some important empire of the descendants of Magog.
2. The French, and the nations which constitute the French empire, may properly be said to have been the natural descendants of Magog, Meshech, and Tubal, since the northern barbarians overran, and settled in those nations, in the fifth and sixth centuries.
3. These appellations are striking, on account of the similarity between Antichrist, and those northern barbarians, in point of real heathenism, conquests, and cruelty: both alike overwhelming the Roman empire, and nations marked out for a prey, like a sweeping flood; pulling down and setting up kingdoms at pleasure, in defiance of all justice, and the laws of nations. Antichrist has thus exhibited a character similar to the chief princes of those barbarous invaders, who were called The scourge of God; and the destroyers of man. And
4. The future conquests and influence of Antichrist in the east, and north, may add a still further emphasis to the propriety of these appellations. Thus much for his description.