1. Education

Gog and Magog

The Prophet Ezekiel Mentioned Gog and Magog But What Are They?

By

The prophet Ezekiel, who mentions Gog and Magog.

An engraving captioned 'Carnis Resurrectionem' or 'The resurrection of dry bones' as envisioned by the prophet Ezekiel, from the 'Theatrum Biblicum' by Johann Fischer published in 1650.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Updated June 21, 2010
Many questions have swirled around the location of Gog and the Land of Magog for centuries. Biblical mentions of Gog and Magog in the books of Genesis, Ezekiel, and Revelation seem to do little to explain and verify the origin or the whereabouts of these names and places.

Introduction to Gog and Magog

In the Biblical book of Ezekiel chapter 38, verse two, there is mention of what seems to be a person named God and a place called Magog: "Son of man, set thy face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him." When the Old Testament of the Bible was translated into Greek, Biblical terms were given Greek "equivalents" and Biblical geography was equated with Greek geographic terms. In this, many terms and items were literally "lost in translation," including "Gog" and "Magog."

Alternate Names for Gog and Magog

Gog and Magog are believed to be the same as many other names of pairs that have popped up throughout history. Some of these names include: Zamua and Mazamua, Meshech and Tubal, Muschu and Tabal, Goth and Magoth, Ghef and Moghef, and Gogh and Mugogh.

Possible Locations of Gog and Magog

There are several theories as to where the actual location of Gog and the Land of Magog. History and even the Internet is ripe with the debate arising from a spectrum of people including both self-proclaimed theorists and recognized Biblical scholars. Most agree, however, that the location of the Land of Magog is located in "the north." The debate arises in where exactly in the north it is located.

According to the majority belief, Gog came "out of the uttermost parts of the north" (Ezekiel) or from the "regions of the north." Magog is generally placed north of the Caucasus (Josephus) and is thus logically placed adjoining the northern ocean like in the Hereford and Ebstorf maps.

Many explanations place Russia as the northern region that is supposed to be the Land of Magog.

Gog and Magog in Marco Polo

In The Travels of Marco Polo by Marco Polo, the traveler placed Gog and Magog in the Province of Tenduc, which he says lies "toward the east." Polo says that this area is also called "Gog and Magog" by him, but by those native to the area, it is called Ung and Mungul after two races of people who live in the area.

Further Reading

More information on Gog and Magog can be found in The Travels of Marco Polo by Marco Polo and in Alexander's Gate, Gog and Magogm and Inclosed Nations by Andrew Runni Anderson (1939).

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.