Foes From the Northern Frontier: Invading Hordes from the Russian Steppes
Are there any biblical references to territories in what is today the country of Russia? The author's answer is yes, but Ezekiel's reference to Rosh and Meshech is not one of them.
In a thoroughly documented discussion, the author describes the Uratrians, Manneans, Cimmerians, and Scythians. Three of these northern foes of Israel are referred to by Jeremiah (in 51:27), the Cimmerians by Ezekiel (38:6). "...with the exception of Egypt," writes the author, "almost all of Israel's enemies came from the north, though from the viewpoint of a modern map, many of these came ultimately from the east."
The Urartians occupied what is now Soviet Armenia, southeastern Turkey, and northwestern Iran. The Manneans lived south of Lake Urmia, between Urartu and Assyria. The Cimmerians first appeared in the steppes north of the Caucasus, then crossed the Caucasus, and eventually invaded Asia Minor. The Scythians were nomadic tribes from the Russian steppes, some of whom settled in the Ukraine north of the Black Sea, others east of the Caspian.
But what of Rosh, Messhech, and other names in Ezekiel 38:2? Is Rosh, Russia and Meshech Moscow? Rosh cannot possibly be related to Russia, insists the author. Nor can the terms Gog and Magog, no proposed identification for which has yet to win universal consent. Meshech and Tubal, on the other hand, have been located for certain - in central and eastern Anatolia.
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According American Anatolia Ancient appear Ararat Archaeology arrowheads arrows Ashurbanipal Asia Assyrian attack Babylon Bible Biblical Black Sea British bronze burial called Cambridge Central century century B.C. Chicago Cimmerians Courtesy Darius discoveries earliest early East eastern eighth Esarhaddon evidence Excavations Figure Ghirshman gold Greek Gyges Hasanlu Herodotus History horses idem included indicate inscriptions interpretation invasion Iran Iraq Iron Jeremiah king kingdom Kurgane Lake land late later London Luristan Magog Mannean Medes mounted Museum Nomads notes objects original Oxford Pazyryk period Persian Phillips pointed probably Prophecy recent reference region remains reports Russian Sargon scholars Scyth Scythian Antiquities Scythian Archers Scythian Art seventh century sixth century sources Soviet steppes Studies suggests Sulimirski term Testament texts tombs treasure tribes Turkey University Urartian Urartu Western York Young Ziwiye