Who are Gog Magog in today's world

Milchemet Gog Umagog

According to our sages, the Messiah, that shimmering king figure of the future, will gather the Jewish people together, rebuild the temple in Jerusalem and bring about universal peace. However, this venture should meet violent resistance at the beginning.

With reference to prophetic passages in the Tanakh, the Talmudic tradition teaches that the Messiah has to fight great battles in which the house of Israel and the righteous of the peoples will win over an idolatrous antihero and his hosts who want to destroy the people of Israel.

This enemy king is called "Gog" in the Tanach. The name of his people in turn is "Magog" (Jecheskel 38,2). The resulting war is called by our sages "Milchemet Gog u-Magog", "The war of Gogs and Magogs". He is supposed to usher in the messianic era: “And you (Gog) will march against my people Israel like a cloud to cover the earth, at the end of days it will be when I will lead you against my country, so that the peoples will recognize me by being sanctified in you before their eyes, Gog! "(38:16)

Tradition Gog is considered not only as Prince Magog, but also as the leader of a large crowd (38.2). However, tradition has no clear answer to the question of which people it actually is. The Malbim, one of the greatest Tanachexegetes of the 19th century, states: “But today we don't know (anymore) who it is, except for the fact ... that they are of the sons of Jefets and uncircumcised and that they In fact, according to the Torah, the people of Magog - like all other peoples - are said to descend from a grandson of Noah after the flood: Magog is a son of Jefet, who in turn is one of the is the three sons of Noah, "from whom the peoples were divided on earth" (Genesis 10:32).

Our wise men interpreted Magog as Scythians and Teutons (Gen Rabba 37a) and as Goths (Jeruschalmi Megila 1,9). All of these have in common that they were "barbaric" peoples far from the Mediterranean area who were considered dangerous. Our wise men say about the Teutons on the Roman border: "If they got out, they would destroy the whole world" (Megila 6b). The medieval scholar Saadja Gaon, on the other hand, considered Magog to be a Turkic people in Central Asia (to Genesis 10: 2).

Shoah Today there are rabbis who want to see World War II and the Shoah as the war of Gogs and Magogs. The role of Gog is taken by the most natural candidate, the "leader of perdition." This idea finds resonance in the tradition that the pre-Messianic era was accompanied by great hardships (Sanhedrin 88b).

But ultimately the word Maimonides ’, the Rambam, should apply. He recommends not to occupy oneself too extensively with the details of the messianic time, as this does not lead to love or fear of God (Hilchot Melachim 12: 5). The precise elaboration of end-time ideas always played a minor role in the Jewish tradition. Isaiah 64: 3 says: “But from eternity it was not heard, nor was it heard; an eye did not see it. "