We were asked what early documents establish that Rosh of Ezekiel 38 is Russia. The answer is in 2 parts, as we explain the trajectory from fulfilled prophecy in history to prophecy yet to be fulfilled.
Firstly it must be understood the Rus of Kiev didn't emerge as a nation of people until the Viking era, which is long after the Bible was written and early sources. To explain from Shem, Ham and Japheth as people increase in number they break into groups. The first example going back is how Babel, which became Babylon was formed from Nimrod. We are shown how Israel forms as a nation from Jacob (thus a nation from one man). Rome was from twins, by legend. The Goths in the same way emerged from a core of wild people as they grew in number. The process is exemplified in the formation of Scottish clans: the McGregor clan formed from Gregor the brother of Kenneth MacAlpin so the clan began after that person formed the people. And so on. You get the point. There were the sons of Noah, then there is splitting off of clans who become nations as they multiply and gather others to the core.
The Ros- Rus came from a settlement on the Dnieper that became powerful due to Viking trade, being on their route to the Middle East (they have found staggering amounts of Arab silver in Scandinavia). In Danish the Russian are Rus and Russia is Rusland. There is no evidence they were called anything else from Viking times. Rus and Ros are similar also as we have in Danish 'op' and 'up' and they were interchangeable. So if you can find early sources before their emergence we'd be surprised. The sources would only refer to how to understand the word Rosh as a proper place. Russia emerges as a modern nation as late as 1600. This is about the same time as the British emerge as a global power both having gone through a parallel process (see below). What was Britain before Alfred the Great? Russia was founded by the Kievian Rus, from a single Slavic family by legend. It was taken over by Swedish Vikings by 842 (but they were only leaders and soon became Slavs in culture in the same way the Normans and Anglo-Saxons cease to be separate cultures in Britain). There is some debate as to how independent the Kievian Rus were from the other Slavs from 842 -1169, but it is agreed they were a people of note on the trade route. Vladimir 1 of Kiev had a similar role uniting the Kievan Rus, as king Alfred did in England.
We explore in detail why Hebrew Rosh and Greek Rus refer to Russia. here Two key points are that
Magnusson quotes a Russian account from 880 listing the forces with Oleg who went from Novogorod to Kiev and conquered Kiev as “the Varangian (Scandinavians), Slavs and others who accompanied him called Rus.” Oleg the prince of Kiev is said to have proclaimed, “We the Rus.”
Strabo, in speaking of the limits of the inhabitable world, mentions "the Roxolanians, the most remote of the known Scythians.
The Septuagint is our most ancient source for understanding. It shows that the people at that time understand that the word there in Ezekiel 38 was the name of a nation - even though the Rus as a nation didn't exist then. Just as Cyrus didn't yet exist when he was named in the Bible. The Bible in using the name Rosh also clarified it with ancient names that people who read it at the time it was written could understand, if not in detail – in generality. Josephus for example wrote of Gomer as Galatia identifying them with Celta and Gauls. 'Jerome (c. 390) and Isidore of Seville (c. 600) followed Josephus' identification of Gomer with the Galatians, Gauls and Celts. According to tractate Yoma, in the Talmud, Gomer is identified as Germamya' Three sons of Gomer are mentioned in Genesis 10, Ashkenaz, Riphath (spelled Diphath in I Chronicles), Togarmah Children of Ashkenaz was originally identified with the Scythians (Assyrian Ishkuza), then after the 11th century, with Germany. Ancient Armenian and Georgian chronicles lists Togarmah as the ancestor of both people who originally inhabited the land between two Black and Caspian Seas and between two inaccessible mountains, Mount Elbrus and Mount Ararat respectively. According to Khazar records, Togarmah is regarded as the ancestor of the Turkic-speaking peoples.(Wikipedia). We don't need to be precise at all from that. Rosh must be associated closely with Europe North of Turkey in an arc to Ireland, with a focus on Germany and Gaul the Gallic French. This is the point. At all times the general action and scope of what is predicted may be understood by those who are given eyes to see, but as the time approaches the precise players more clearly emerge from the general.
The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah. And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations. (Gen 10:2-5)
Ezekiel 38 uses very ancient names to identify people from families that then went on to form nations. The Hebrew prefix of 'mem' (M-gog) in front of a word means 'of', so Ma-gog are those of Gog. See how the 2nd generation in Genesis 10 features a division into two: one led by Gomer (Gaul) and the other Javan (Ionains)? One thing is clear the families of Magog and Gomer are related to those of Tarshish, but they will be on the opposite side in the conflict of Ezekiel 38. The descendants of these are all typically thought Caucasian, with the Jews using 'Ashkenazi' as a label for 'European'. None can be Arabs.. The Bible explains the origin of all the Arabs, and most Muslims are not Arab.
Now the sons of Keturah, Abraham's concubine: she bare Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. And the sons of Jokshan; Sheba, and Dedan. (1Chrom.1:32)
Thus Sheba and Dedan are leading Arabs.
The king of the North and the king of the South cannot be directly equated to other players mentioned in the Bible, as at all points the Bible is showing the key aspects of events at a specific era, and further simplification is not possible.
King of North
Gog: Rosh Meshech Tubal
King of South
Tarshish Merchants: Sheba Dedan
Traders in Tyre
for resources Solomon Jonah
Babylon defeats Egypt at Carchemish – Egypt retires from Middle East
Persians conquer Egypt and annex to their empire. One world empire.
Alexander's Greek Empire divides into 4 Seleucus Nicator (Hellespont to the Indus), Lysimachus (Thrace, Asia Minor, Cappadocia), Cassander (Macedonia, Thessaly, part of Greece) and Ptolemy (Egypt, Cyprus, Cyrene, Syria, Phoenicia, Judaea and part of Asia Minor).
They go to war truce 252BC
Antiochus the Great
Antiochus defeats Egypt
Romans for Cleopatra defeat Antiochus
Rome emerges as regional power
Antiochus IV Epiphanes
Ptolomy VIII Euergetes
Macabees victorious over Antiocus
Rome takes Jerusalem and emerges as world Empire both North and South
Constantine and the establishment of Constantinople vs Rome
Goths etc. in Roman Empire
642 Egypt falls to Arab Islam
Islam ME power coming out of Arabia
Locusts Rev. 9
Rise of Vagnerian Rus
Rise of Anglo Saxons
Role of Vikings
no role in ME
Alfred the Great
Vladimir the Great of Kiev
no role in ME
United the Rus
took religion of Constantiople
Constantinople to Ottomans
no role in ME
1517 Egypt to Ottomans
no role in ME
Euphrates power Rev. 16
no role in ME
Rise of Britain
Peter the Great
Rise of Russia
Russians fight Ottomans
Britain allied to Ottomans
No king of North
Britain becomes King of the South taking Egypt
No king of North
Britain pushes at Ottomans ending their rule of the M.E.
Allowing formation of Israel and - Saudi Arabia (1932) etc..
Russia rises to superpower
Egypt weak 'base' nation
US Anglo Superpower
Modern Iran emerges 1979
1980 Saudis take over oil
Russians back Iran in war -
US -Britain back Iraq
Iran / Iraq war
Europe incl. Italy & Greece unites
Russia seeks role in Europe
Rise of Iran
1994 -Britain begins to leave Europe- 2016 -
Rise of Saudis
Rise of India
No king of South - king of North Comes against Israel
While the roles of Russia and the US dominated the understanding of Ezekiel 38 since World War two, yet since the Syrian conflict we can see the role of Saudi Arabia and Arab allies versus Persian Iran much more clearly. We see also a role of Turkey. Arabs are from Ishmael. Turks aren't Arabs. Egyptians are not Arab (some may be Arab from the invaders, but the nation is not Arab). Syrians are not Arab, though speaking Arabic. Syrians existed as a people long before the Arabs emerged to invade. Many Syrians in diaspora are Christian. Even so-called 'Palestinians' aren't all Arab, as they are flotsam and jetsam of the Ottoman empire: they may even have Philistine ancestry.
Just this week it was written “The struggle between Saudi Arabia and the UAE on the one hand, and Turkey, Qatar and Iran on the other, is the next stage of the Arab Spring.” FrontPageMag
We are not to interpret prophecy based on news, but this a 40 year trend and not news. Before 1980 few could see the role of Persia (Iran) as set out in Ezekiel 38 so clearly as we can now. However it is likely that at any point we may have understood that Persia would be with Gog, and know who was meant by Persia. Thus when Persian Iran fell to Russian influence we could see that the time is coming close. That Iran might be a catalyst for uniting Russia's cause to that of Europe, due to the US and Saudi agreement with Israel over Iran's nuclear weapons, is only something the prophecy could hint at, to be understood in the events unfolding now.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (1Cor 13:12)
For more Crimea, Kiev and Russia
The Bible shows that in Yahweh’s plan men are often raised from obscurity to power to achieve his will. Can this be applied to Donald Trump? Many Americans hate him and the Democrats are trying everything in their power to topple him from the Presidency, to smear him and defame him.
The Bible suggests in prophecy that the most outrageous things would occur in world poltics: alliances would end abruptly and the world would plunge into an unstable time. We are today in the day of political upheaval, not seen in a generation.
25 May 2018 Britain awakes and moves back into the gulf
Over all of history the servants of God have known the signs of the times: their times. They have seen the direction of events toward the Kingdom of God on earth replacing the kingdoms, republics and democracies of humans.
The Revelation 12 Sign
There is much written about the sun, moon and planets aligning on in September 2017. We have many reasons for suspecting that 2017 will be a prophetically significant year, and the time of the Jewish feast of Sukkot could be more significant than any other time, but we need to understand the scripture before we consider the stars.