Gog (Heb. גּוֹג, Ant; Sept. and N.T. Γώγ, but Γούγ in 1Ch 5:4; Vulg. Gog), the name of two men, but whether they have any connection is doubtful. It also occurs in the Samaritan and Sept. for AGAG, in Nu 24:7, apparently for the sake of specialty, tradition (Mishna, Shabb. 118) making the Messianic time to be distinguished by an antecedent struggle with Gag, as the Apocalypse does the millennium. SEE HAMON-GOG.
As to the signification of Gog, it appears to mnean mountain, i.e. Caucasus (Persic koh, Ossetic ghogh, i.e., mountain; and even the classical name "Caucasus" originated in Koh-Kaf), since Caucasus was the chief seat of the Scythian people. The hardening of the last sound (h) into g (gog from koh) seems to have taken place early, and when the name had already become that of a people, the other names, Magog, Agag (Samaritan Agog, gentile Agagi, Phoenic. Agog) also arose. Another explanation from the Pehlvi koka, "moon" (see Grabschrift des Darius, page 64), because they prayed to the moon, is improbable. A Sheneitic etymology is also possible. From the reduplicated form גַּאגֵא (from the root גָּא, whence גָּג, a roof), in the sense of "to be high or overtopping," גּוֹג might signify a mountain or summit (compare Arabic juju, breast of a ship, i.e., something heightened). Figuratively this stem would mean gigantic, great of stature, powerful, warlike (cognate with קִואּקִן of Isa 18:2); camp. Sanskrit kû, to be mighty, kavi (in the Vedas, Persic kav), king, modern Persian kay, warlike or valiant; in which sense the Amalekite name Ageg or Agog, the Heb. name Gog, and the Phoen. Agog in the story of Ogyges, may be taken. In
Genesis 14, Symmachus has taken גּוֹי, Goy, i.e., heathen, for גּוֹג, Gog, and therefore translates it by "Scythians." — Fürst. Heb. Lex. s.v.
1. Son of Shemaiah, and father of Shimei, and one of the descendants (apparently great-great-grandson) of Reuben (1Ch 5:4). B.C. post 1856. Most copies of the Sept., however, reads, very different names here.
2. In Ezekiel Gog is
(1.) the name of a mixed race dwelling in the extreme north, comprehended by the Greeks under the name of the Scythians; thence transferred
(2.) to the center and representative of their race, i.e. their king (Eze 38:23). Gog comes forth from the distant north (Eze 38:15; Eze 39:2), the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal (apparently also of Siras), with his army of cavalry (Eze 38:15), marching against the people of Israel, where he is miraculously encountered (Eze 38:17-23) and annihilated (Eze 39:1-8). In the later tradition which sprang fronm Ezekiel's description, Gog along with Magog represents the mnixed population of the north, the Scythians, Caucasians, etc.
(3.) Gog is the name of the country of the people Gog, i.e. of the Scythians, but this only in the somewhat modified language of the Apocalyptic seer (Re 20:8, Γώγ, together with Μαγώγ), as it has become a geographical name in Arabic likewise; and this corresponds with the assertions of other Oriental authors, in whose traditions this people occupy an important place, as the name of a country (see D'Herbelot, Bibl. Or. page 528).
Interpreters have given very different explanations of the terms Gog and Magoag; but they have generally understood them as symbolical expressions for the heathen nations of Asia, or more particularly for the Scythians, a vague knowledge of whom seems to have reached the Jews in Palestine about that period. Thus Josephus (Ant. 1:6, 3) has dropped the Hebrew word Magog, and rendered it by Σκύθαι; and so does Jerome, while Suidas renders it by Πέρασι — a difference that matters but little in the main question, since Σκύθαι, in the ancient authors, is but a collective name far the northern but partially-known tribes (Cellarius, Notit. 2:753 sq.); and, indeed, as such a collective name, Mageg seems also to indicate in the Hebrew the tribes about the Caucasian mountains (comp. Jerome on Ezekiel ibid.). Bochart (Phal. 3:13) supports the opinion of Josephus, though by but very precarious etymologies. According to Reinegge (Descrip., of the Caucasus, 2:79), some of the Caucasian people call their mountains Coy, and the highest northern points Magog. The Arabians are of opinion that the descendants of Gog and Magog inhabit the northern parts of Asia, beyond the Tartars and Sciavonians, and they put Yajuj and Majuj always in conjunction, thereby indicating the extreme points of north and northeast of Asia (Bayer, in Comment. Acad. Petrop. 1). Nor are there wanting interpreters who understand by the Gag of Revelations the anti- Christ, and by the Gog of Ezekiel the Goths, who invaded the Roman empire in the 5th century of the Christian aera. (See Danderstad, Gog et Magog, Lips. 1663; Zeitschr. f. wissensch. Theol. 1862, page 111.) In the Apocalypse these names appear to symbolize some future barbarian or infidel enemy that is to arise against Christianity (Stuart's Comment. ad loc.). SEE MAGOG.