Names, respectively, of a king and of his supposed kingdom, mentioned several times in chapters 38 and 39 of the Book of Ezechiel, and once in the Apocalypse (20:7). In the first passage of Ezechiel we read the command of Yahweh to the prophet : " Son of man , set thy face against Gog the land of Magog...and prophesy of him...Behold, I come against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Mosoch and Thubal" (38:2-3). A similar command is found also at the beginning of chapter 39. These two chapters contain repeated reference to Gog and Magog, but they furnish only vague and uncertain indications as to the identity of the ruler or the location of the country. In chapter 39 Gog is represented (verses 5 and 6) as being accompanied in his invasion of the land of Israel by the Persians, Ethiopians, and Libyans, Gomer, and...the house of Thogorma; and in verse 15 we read: "And thou shalt come out of thy place from the northern parts." From the number and variety of the peoples mentioned in this connection some writers have inferred that the name Gog may be only a generic appellation, or figure, used in Ezechiel to designate the host of the enemies of Israel, and in the Apocalypse to denote the multitude of the foes of the Church. Others conjecture that it may be a local title expressing the royal dignity, such as the name Pharaoh in Egypt. But it seems more probable that both names are historical; and by some scholars Gog is identified with the Lydian king called by the Greeks Gyges, who appears as Gu-gu on the Assyrian inscriptions. If this be true, Magog should be identified with Lydia. On the other hand, as Mosoch and Thubal were nations belonging to Asia Minor, it would seem from the text of Ezechiel that Magog must be in that part of the world. Finally, Josephus and others identify Magog with Scythia, but in antiquity this name was used to designate vaguely any northern population.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online