Daily Readings


Elpis Israel

Elpis Israel Daily Readings.

is addressed by Jehovah as the type, or representative, of him who is to vanquish Gogue on the mountains of Israel. Hence He says to him, "Son of Man, set thy face against Gogue, of the land Magogue, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him" In this title to the prophecy, the antagonists are indicated, namely, the Son of Man on one side, and Gogue on the other. But, while it is quite clear who the Son of Man is, it is but little understood what power is represented by Gogue. It will, therefore, be my endeavour in the following pages to identify this adversary of Israel and their King; so that the reader may know which of "the powers that be" is chosen of God to personate the serpent's head when it is crushed by the woman's Seed.

The Jews appointed by Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, to translate the Old Testament into Greek, gave a different rendering of the title to that which appears in the Authorized English Version. They rendered the original by

Gwg, a]rcouta Rw;," Mesoc kai qobel ie., Gogue, Prince of Ros, Mesoch, and Thobel; so that the difference of the two translations turns upon the Hebrew word rosh being regarded as a proper, or a common, noun. The Seventy were sensible that in this place it was not an appellative noun, but a proper name; and they rendered it accordingly by Ros. But Jerome not finding any such proper name among the nationfamilies mentioned in Genesis, rather disputed the Septuagint reading, and preferred to consider the word Ros as a common noun; and his interpretation, established in the Latin Vulgate, has universally prevailed throughout the west. Jerome, however, was more scrupulous then the editors of later versions, who have unqualifiedly rejected it as a common name; for although he inclined to the other rendering, he did not feel authorized to reject altogether one so ancient, and he has therefore preserved them both, translating the passage thus -- "Gogue, terram Magogue, principem capitis (sive Ros) Mosoch, et Thubal."

But the question between the phrases "the chief prince," and "the prince of Ros," has been long set at rest by the concurring judgment of the learned, who have adopted the primitive interpretation of the Alexandrine Jews. And although the common English version has not the benefit of their decision, yet the title of the prophecy has been generally received among the erudite portion of the western nations for nearly 200 years, according to the ancient Greek interpretation; that is to say, as uniting the three proper names of nations, Ros, Mosc, and Tobl. By the insertion of vowels, or vowel-points, the Hebrew words have been made to assume the different forms of Meshech, Mesoch, Tubal, and Thobel; but, as the meaning of Hebrew words depends not on the points, but

upon the radical consonants, or letters, it may be as well to express these names by the forms and elements of the original words, for by so doing we keep nearer to the original idea, and are less likely to be mystified by hypothesis. "Ros," says David Levi, "is not an appellative as in the common translation of the Bible, but a proper name." The word "chief" ought, therefore, to be replaced by the proper name Ros, or Rosh. But what nations are signified by these three proper names? This question has been long since determined by the learned. The celebrated Bochart, about the year 1640, observed in his elaborate researches into Sacred Geography, that ´RWS, Ros, is the most ancient form under which history makes mention of the name of Russia; and he contended that Ros

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