Ezekiel’s Gog

My original formulation was that the Gog of Genesis 10 and Ezekiel 38-9 was representative of Gyges, that is, Lydia. After (incorrectly) thinking that Tabal was to the East of the Halys, the border between Media and Lydia, and that Meshech was to the East of the Halys as well, and correctly thinking Cilicia/Tabal/Tubal was independent in the early 6th Century BC, I temporarily discarded my Lydian hypothesis, making Gog out to be some border chieftain or king, most likely of Kerkenes/Pteria. I have now, after consulting a map of the area, reverted to my former position, as Tabal is on the south side of the Halys and the term Meshech was used by the Assyrians to refer to Midas’s Kingdom of Gordion, which was surely controlled by the Lydians in the early 6th century BC. Thus, I view Ezekiel as prophesying a thriving, large, Lydian Empire attacking a restored people of Israel living in the hill country of their inheritance (former Judah and Babylonian-period Samaria). “Gog” is just a placeholder name for a Lydian king. Needless to say, Ezekiel’s prophecy was not fulfilled; both Pteria and Lydia were annexed by Cyrus sometime between Cyrus’s probable conquest of Urartu in 547 BC and the conquest of Babylon in 539 BC.

Map of The Area:

Author: pithom

An atheist with an interest in the history of the ancient Near East. Author of the Against Jebel al-Lawz Wordpress blog.

2 thoughts on “Ezekiel’s Gog”

  1. If the prophecy of Gog has not been written in the 6th century BCE, but later, through 100/200/300/400 years, then it will be necessary to examine the historical conditions of other periods.

    1. A Persian date is rather unlikely due to the lack of prominence of Javan in Ezekiel 38-9 and the fact Persia controlled Cilicia and Phrygia throughout its history between 540 and 333 BC. An Early Hellenistic date does not yet seem to me to be utterly impossible, although a 1st or 2nd century BC date does seem to me to be almost impossible due to the absence of mention of Rome in Ezekiel 38-9. So far, it looks to me like the most plausible Hellenistic candidate for Gog is Antigonus I, though I see no serious reason to reject a 6th century BC date for Ezekiel 39-38. How do you interpret the political entities in Ezekiel 38-9?

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