Who are Gog and Magog?

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Gog and Magog are referred to in Ezekiel chapters 38-39 and in Revelation 20:7-8. In Ezekiel Gog is the name chosen to designate the leader of the heathen hosts who would attack the restored Jewish state after the return of the exiles (38:14–16).

The word Gog occurs 13 times in the Scriptures. All these Bible references shed no light on the identity of Gog, and the only indication as to his origin is in chapter 38:15, where the statement is made, “Thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts.” Efforts to identify Gog with any historical character have not been successful. The root from which the name is derived is also unknown.

Gog is described as “of the land of Magog.” “Magog” occurs five times in the Scriptures. It is used twice in Ezekiel (38:2 and in 39:6) as the land of Gog; once in Revelation 20:8, of the nations of the wicked; and in Genesis 10:2 and 1 Chronicles 1:5 as one of the sons of Japheth.

In secular sources, contemporary with Ezekiel or earlier, no character by the name of Gog is found. However, several names resembling it have been found.

Therefore, we can conclude that Gog is most probably a descriptive name by which Ezekiel describes the leader of the heathen hordes who make a final onslaught upon Israel after their restoration, and at a time when they are enjoying the prosperity promised by God upon condition of their obedience.

As for Revelation 20:7-8, these terms represent the hosts of the unsaved of all ages who come forth at the second resurrection.

Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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