Me’shech, (Hebrews Me'shek, מֶשֶׁך, a drawing out, as in Psalms 136:6; or possession, as in Job 28:18; Sept. Μοσόχ,Vulg. Mosoch; a pronunciation which the Samaritan codex also exhibits, מוֹשׁוֹך; but in Ezekiel 38:2-3; 39:1, Sept. v. r. Μοσόκ and Μεσόχ ; in Ezekiel 27:1, τὰ παρατείνοντα; in Psalms 120:5, Sept. ἐμακρύνθη, Vulg. polongatus est, AuthVers. “Mesech”), the sixth son of Japheth, BC. cir. 2500 (Genesis 10:2), and founder of a tribe mentioned among his descendants (1 Chronicles 1:5), and later (Ezekiel 27:13) as engaged in traffic with Tyre, in connection with Gog (Ezekiel 38:2-3; 39:1). In nearly every instance they are coupled with Tubal or the Tibareni as neighbors (Genesis 10:2; Ezekiel 27:13; 32:26; 38:2-3; 39:1: so also Herodotus, 3:94; 7:78; comp. Hengstenberg, Moses, p. 206; Wilkinson, i,, 378 sq.); and from one passage at least (Ezekiel 32:26) they appear to have lived near Assyria and Elymais. They are without doubt the same with the Moschi (Bochart, Phaleg, 3:12), a barbarous people of Asia, inhabiting what were known as the Moschian Mountains (Ptol. v. 6,1; 13, 5), between the Black and Caspian seas (Strabo, 11:344, 378, 498 sq. i Pliny, 6:11), in the later Iberia (comp. Josephus, Ant. 1:6,1), who are named by ancient authors as forming a single department of the Persian empire under a separate jurisdiction with the Tibarenians (Herod. 3:94; 7:78). In confirmation of the trade alluded to in Ezekiel 27:13, Reineggs remarks (Beschreib. des Caucas. 1:6; 2:61) that the Moschian Mountains contain rich copper-mines, and this region has always been noted for the. export of slaves, especially females, whose beauty usually commands a ready market for the Turkish harems (see Rosenmiller, Alterth. I, 1:248 sq.). In Psalms 120:5, the name occurs in connection with Kedar as a synonyme for foreigners or barbarians (Michaelis, Suppl. p. 1569), like the modern phrase “Turks and Hottentots.” — Winer, 2:86. The same name. but in a plural form, appears. according to some, in Isaiah 66:19 (משׁכֵי קֶשֶׁת, Sept. Μοσόχ,Vulg. tendentes sagittam, Auth. Vers. “that draw the bow”), but it there is rather an appellation of the archers (comp. Jeremiah 46:9); also, but with still less probability, in Jeremiah v. 8 (מִשׁכַּים, Sept. θηλυμανῖς,Vulg. emissarii, AuthVers. “fed”). “The Colchian tribes, the Chalybes more especially, were skilled in working metals, and hence arose the trade in the ‘vessels of brass’ with Tyre; nor is it at all improbable that slaves were largely exported thence as now from the neighboring district of Georgia. Although the Moschi were a comparatively unimportant race in classical times, they had previously been one of the most powerful nations of Western Asia. The Assyrian monarchs were engaged in frequent wars with them, and it is not improbable that they had occupied the whole of the district afterwards named Cappadocia. In the Assyrian inscriptions the name ‘appears under the form of Muskai: a somewhat similar name, Mashoash, appears in an Egyptian inscription which commemorates the achievements of the third Rameses (Wilkinson, Anc. Eg. 1:398, Abridg.). The subsequent history of Meshech is unknown; Knobel’s attempt to connect them with the Ligurians (Volkertaf. p. 119, etc.) is devoid of all solid ground.” “The names of the Moschians and Tybarenians are also joined frequently on the Assyrian inscriptions (Rawlinson’s Herodotus, 1:651; comp. Pliny, 6:4). The primitive seat of the Moschi appears to have been among the Caucasus Mountains, on the south-eastern shores of the Black Sea, immediately north of Armenia (Strabo, xi, p. 498 sq.); and, according to Strabo, a part of the great chain or group of mountains took their name (xi, p. 521). The Moschi were, however, a wild and warlike race, and extended their depredations and conquests far beyond the confines of their native hills. Cappadocia appears to have been, at least in part, occupied by them (Josephus, Ant. 1:6, 1), and probably from them its capital city took its name Mazaka (Strabo, xii, p. 538; Rawlinson’s

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Author: McClintock and Strong Cyclopedia

Keywords: Meshech

Bible reference(s): 1 Chronicles 1:5, Ezekiel 27:1, Ezekiel 32:26, Ezekiel 38:2, Ezekiel 39:1, Genesis 10:2, Isaiah 66:19, Jeremiah 46:9, Job 28:18, Psalms 120:5, Psalms 136:6

Source: John McClintock and James Strong, Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature.

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