We will look at Eze 38-39 today since these two chapters are the prophecy concerning Gog and Magog. We can take up Eze 40 tomorrow with the rest of the chapters on the third temple.
First let’s identify the players in the prophecy, which are all introduced in the Table of Nations, Gen 10:
Magog: this son of Japheth is identified by Bill Cooper in After the Flood:
“His immediate descendants were known as the Magogites, being later known to the Greeks as the Scythians, according to the testimony of Josephus. However, given the subsequent history of the peoples of Ashchenaz (see 3), who are far more certainly identified as the later Scythians (Gk. Skythai, and Assyr. Askuza), it is more likely that the early Magogites were assimilated into the peoples of Ashchenaz, thus making up merely a part of the Scythian hordes. The early Irish Celts traced their own lineage from Japheth through the line of Magog (see chapter 9 and Map 1). (Refs: 1DB 3:226. NBD ‘Gog and Magog’ 480-1 JA 1.vi.1. P 1:26).”
The Scythians were a warlike horde whose territory eventually went from the mid Volga River to the great wall of China — the wall which was built to keep at bay the invading Magogites. This territory today covers southern Russia and the old Soviet states from the 10-40 window.
Rosh: This Hebrew can also be translated “chief prince,” as in “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech, and Tubal.” I prefer this translation, because every other player is identified from the Table of Nations in Gen 10, except for Rosh. This would make Gog of the land of Magog, the personal name of the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Interestingly enough, a passage in Amos might support this translation:
“Thus the Lord showed me, and behold a swarm of locusts were coming, and behold, one of the young devastating locusts was Gog, the King.” Amo 7:1 (LXX)
Meshech: This son of Japheth is identified by Bill Cooper in After the Flood:
“The descendants of Meshech are often spoken of in close association with those of Tubal, the Assyrians for example mentioning Tabal and Musku, whilst Herodotus writes of the Tiberanoi and Moschoi. A very much earlier reference to the peoples of Meshech, is an inscription of ca 1200 BC which tells us how they overran the Hittite kingdom; and an inscription of Tiglath-pileser I of Assyria from ca 1100 BC, who tells us that, in his own day, the Mus-ka-a-ia were able to put into the field an army of 20,000 men. The activities of this same people are also subsequently reported by Tukulti-ninurta II, Ashurnasipal II, Sargon and Shalmaneserr III, the last of whom refers to them as the Mushki. Josephus knew them as the Mosocheni (LXX Mosoch), whom, he says, were known in his own day as the Cappadocians. Some later writers have pointed out that the name of Meshech is preserved in the old tribal name of the Muscovites of Russia, after whom Moscow is named. Such an identification, it must be said, is not at all unlikely, especially when we consider the subsequent history of their historically close associates the people of Tubal, and the fact that the city is still known today in the Russian tongue as Moskva, an exceedingly close, not to say identical relationship to the Assyrian form, Musku. (Refs: 1DB 3:357. NBD 811. JAl. vi.l. P 1:26).”
Tubal: This son of Japheth is identified by Bill Cooper in After the Flood:
“The descendants of Tubal first come to our notice in the inscriptions of Tiglath-pileser I, king of Assyria in about 1100 BC. He refers to them as the Tabali whose original area of settlement (i.e. Tabal) was adjacent to that of Tegarama (see 5). Subsequently, Josephus recorded the name of Tubal’s descendants as the Thobelites, who were later known as the Iberes. Their land, in Josephus’ day, was called by the Romans Iberia, and covered what is now the (former Soviet) state of Georgia whose capital to this day bears the name Tubal as Tbilisi. From here, having crossed the Caucasus mountains, this people migrated due north-east, giving their tribal name to the river Tobol, and hence to the famous city of Tobolsk. (Refs: 1DB 4:717. NBD ‘Meshech’ 811. JA1. vi.1).”
Persia is modern day Iran.
Cush, a son of Ham, was historically just south of Egypt, and covered the territory of modern day Sudan and Ethiopia.
Put, a son of Ham, was historically just west of Egypt, modern day Libya.
Gomer: This son of Japheth, is identified by Bill Cooper in After the Flood:
“He was the founder of the Cimmerians who settled originally on the shores of the Caspian Sea. They were later driven away by the Elamites (see Shem 2). At the time of the Babylonian Exile, the Jews knew them as the tribes that dwelt in the ‘uppermost parts of the north’ (Eze 38:6). The Assyrians referred to them as the Gimirraya. Esarhaddon (681-668 BC) records his defeat of the Gimirrai; whilst King Ashurbanipal tells us in his records of the Cimmerian invasion of Lydia (see Shem 5) in the days of the Lydian king Gugu around the year 660 BC (see Map 1). (Refs: 1DB 2:440. NBD 481. JA 1.vi.1).”
The Welsh and Celts are also likely descended from Gomer. One of his sons was the ancestor of the Germans, who completely overran Europe at the fall of the Roman Empire. Almost all of modern Europeans were originally either Germans or Celts, including the English, the French, the Spanish, and almost all of Western Europe. To say that Gomer is a player is to say that Europe is a player.
Togarmah: a son of Gomer, is identified by Bill Cooper in After the Flood:
“His earliest descendants settled in Armenia. We know from certain Hittite documents that in the 14th century BC, the then region of Tegarama, which lay between Carchemish and Haran, was sacked by the ‘enemy from Isuwa’, i.e. the enemy from beyond the Euphrates. The records of both Sargon II and Sennacherib mention the city of Til-gari-manu, the capital of Kammanu which lay on the border of Tabal (see 13).Til-gari-manu lay some thirty miles due east of present-day Malatya (it is known today as Gürün, anciently Gauraena), and was not finally destroyed until the year 695 BC. It was after the destruction of Til-gari-manu that the descendants of Togarmah became lost in obscurity. In line with the Assyrian policy of that time, the survivors were uprooted and transported to other lands within the Assyrian empire (see Map 1). The name was given as Thrugramma by Josephus. (Refs: 1DB 4:662. NBD 1285. JA 1.vi.1. P 1:26).”
Other research identifies the Turks as the likely descendants of Togarmah.
So the area identified appears to be, the territory in modern Euro-Asia from the Volga to China, from the Arctic Circle south through Georgia and the other former Soviet states south of Russia. These people are allied with Iran, Sudan, Libya, Europe, and possibly Turkey. Egypt is notably absent. Let us remember that Isaiah prophesied that Egypt would come to Him in droves, and form a triple axis of blessing with Israel and Assyria.
It is interesting that the Septuagint translation identifies, in Amo 7:1, Gog the king as the king of a destructive locust swarm. A destructive locust swarm figures in Rev 5, and has historically been identified among Christian scholars (before the 20th century) as Islam. If so, we might expect Islam to become the ruling government of the former Soviet Union, as it is in Iran, and is poised to become in Libya and Sudan.
The details will be confirmed when the events happen. What we know for sure, is that in the latter days, when a alliance of nations comes against Israel to destroy it, God Himself will fight for His land and His people; He will destroy His enemies and save His people!