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Magog, Hebrew מגוג, Greek Μαγωγ, [ ma'gog ], is the second of the seven sons of Japheth mentioned in the Table of Nations in Genesis 10. It may represent Hebrew for "from Gog", though this is far from certain.

Magog is often associated with apocalyptic traditions, mainly in connection with Ezekiel 38 and 39 which mentions "Gog of the land of Magog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal"; on the basis of this mention, "Gog and Magog" over time became associated with each other as a pair.

Josephus identified the offspring of Magog as the Scythians, a name used in antiquity for peoples north of the Black Sea.[1] According to him, the Greeks called Scythia Magogia (Ant., bk. I, 6).

Isidore of Seville, writing some centuries later, adds that he is also considered ancestor of the Goths, but notes that this is "because of the similarity of the last syllable" (Etymologiae, IX, 89). Johannes Magnus (1488–1544) stated that Magog's sons were Sven and Gethar, who became the ancestors of the Swedes and the Goths.[2] Queen Christina of Sweden reckoned herself as number 249 in a list of kings going back to Magog.

Daniel Juslenius (1676–1752) derived the roots of the Finns from Magog, whose descendants he said migrated to Finland.

It has also been variously conjectured that Magog's offspring were the progenitors of the Slavic peoples known to history.

According to several mediaeval Irish chronicles, most notably the Auraicept na n-Éces and Lebor Gabála Érenn, the Irish race are a composite including descendants of Japheth's son Magog from "Scythia". Baath (Boath), Jobhath, and Fathochta are the three sons of Magog. Partholón, Nemed, Iobath, and Fenius Farsa are among Magog's descendants. Magog was also supposed to have had a grandson called Heber, whose offspring spread throughout the Mediterranean.

There is also a medieval Hungarian legend that says the Huns, as well as the Magyars, are descended from twin brothers named Hunor and Magor respectively, who lived by the sea of Azov in the years after the flood, and took wives from the Alans. The version of this legend in the 14th century Chronicon Pictum equates this Magor with Magog, son of Japheth.

Footnotes

  1. Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book I, Chapter 6., Interhack Library, http://www.interhack.net/projects/library/antiquities-jews/b1c6.html#pref 
  2. Johannes Magnus, Historia de omnibus Gothorum Sveonumque regibus, 1554, I, Chapters 4–5, GMC., Cambridge Mass, oclc 27775895

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