Being an adherent of the “Russian” view of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39, I would like to give my reasons for accepting the rendering of the Hebrew word “Rosh” of ch. 38:2 and 39:1 as a proper name. It is quite true that Jerome, in his Latin Version of the 3rd century A.D. translates that word by “capitis” (“chief”). But, as Dr. [John] Thomas remarks,¹ Jerome did not feel authorised to reject altogether the idea that it was a proper name; and therefore he inserts, after “capitis,” the bracketed words (“sive Rosh”), “or perhaps Rosh”.
It is also true that the word “Rosh” is a noun signifying “beginning,” “head,” “chief” and is translated by this latter word about 90 times. But, when used as an adjective, it is normally preceded by the definite article, as in the phrase “Ha cohen ha rosh”; literally, “The priest, the chief (one).” This is the ordinary Hebrew construction and occurs very frequently.² If, therefore, we assume that the thought in Ezekiel’s mind was “Chief prince of Meshech and Tubal,” we should naturally expect the original to run as follows: —“Nisi ha rosh meshech wa tubal” —“Prince, the chief (one) of Meshech and Tubal.”
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Author: Philip Wale
Keywords: Gogian, Gogian host, Gogian invader, Gogue Magog, Gog, Gogue, Magog, Magogue, Gog and Magog, Meshech and Tubal, Meshech, Tubal, Russia, Soviet Union, Rosh, The Prince of Rosh, Soviet
Bible reference(s): Genesis 46:21, Eze 38, Eze 39
Source: “The Prince of Rosh,” The Testimony, Vol. 7, No. 84, December 1937, p. 431. Used with permission.
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