“North quarters” refers to the northern provinces of Turkey
Gog and Magog is Turkey not Russia!
By Craig C. White
Almost every modern day Bible prophecy teacher says that Gog and Magog in Ezekiel chapter 38 refers to Russia. Ezekiel chapter 38 describes an end time invasion into Israel. They say that Russia will lead Iran, Sudan, and Libya into Israel. Very unfortunately these Bible prophecy buffs are wrong. They use the following verse to conclude that the term “north quarters” identifies the nation that is located furthest to the north of Israel. But hold on just a minute. The term “north quarters” is used elsewhere in the Bible. It always refers to the northern part of a region. It does not refer to a far north nation that is outside of a particular region.
Ezekiel 38:6 Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.
For decades Bible prophecy teachers have exercised exegetical gymnastics to equate the name Togarmah to mean Russia. That is because they are trying to fit the text to their preconceived interpretations. When identifying nations and places the Bible is typically much more straightforward. Togarmah isn’t a nation to the far north of Israel. Instead Togarmah is a northern province inside of the borders of Turkey. Most Bible maps identify Magog, Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, and Togarmah as provinces located inside of the land that we call Turkey. All of these names are mentioned in Ezekiel chapter 38. Just for your information, the highest population density in Turkey is around Istanbul in the far northwestern region of Turkey. Ezekiel is saying that the people of northern Turkey will participate in this invasion into Israel.
The term “north quarters” is comprised of two Hebrew words. Tsaphon meaning northward or northern side and yerekah meaning to the rear of the border. These definitions are from the Strong Hebrew dictionary.
properly hidden, that is, dark; used only of the north as a quarter (gloomy and unknown): – north (-ern, side, -ward, wind).
properly the flank; but used only figuratively, the rear or recess: – border, coast, part, quarter, side.
Outside of the book of Ezekiel the words tsaphon and yerekah are used together only twice more in the Bible. In Psalm 48:2 and also in Isaiah 14:13 tsaphon and yerekah refer to the north side of Mount Zion. In Psalm 48:2 the phrase “the sides of the north” are the same two Hebrew words that are translated as “north quarters” in Ezekiel 38:6. In Psalm 48:2 below “the sides of the north” identify the north side of Mount Zion in Jerusalem. From there you can view all of the city of Old Jerusalem.
Psalm 48:2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.
The north quarters of Mount Zion are within the boundaries of Mount Zion. They are not identifying a far distant northern land. The phrase “the sides of the north” is used in the same way in Isaiah 14:13.
Here is a side note. The two words Hebrew words tsaphon and yerekah are also used in Jeremiah 6:22 but they are not used together. Jeremiah 6:22 does describe a north country. The Hebrew word erets is translated as country in Jeremiah 6:22. The Hebrew word erets very specially means land, or nation, or country. For example, the official Hebrew name for the nation of Israel is Eretz Yisrael meaning the land of Israel. So you can see that the Hebrew language could have very specifically identified Togarmah in Ezekiel 38:6 as a nation but it did not!
Jeremiah 6:22 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth.
Jeremiah chapter 6 describes the same invasion into Jerusalem and Judea as does Matthew chapter 24. This is the time of Jerusalem’s great tribulation (Matthew 24:21). I won’t take the time to prove it here but Turkey is the northern nation that attacks Jerusalem and Judea to begin their terrible time of trouble.
So the “north quarters” in Ezekiel 38:6 refer to the northern provinces inside of the borders of Turkey. The term “north quarters” never refers to Russia. Turkey is the nation that will lead Iran, Sudan, and Libya into Israel. By the way all of these nations are fighting inside of Syria today! After Turkey conquers Syria and destroys Damascus then Turkey will lead the armies that are fighting in Syria into Israel. Ezekiel chapter 39 describes another Turkish led invasion into Israel. It is the same as the battle of Armageddon. The ancient Assyrian invasions into northern Israel in 734 BC and the separate invasion into southern Israel in 701 BC are models for these two Turkish led end time invasions. It is very likely that after Turkey destroys Damascus that then they will lead an invasion into the Golan Heights. In the news lately there has been a world wide effort to take the Golan Heights away from Israel. Over the past couple of years Israel has already been forced to defend the Golan Heights from Iran and Libya in southern Syria.
In Ezekiel 38:6 “north quarters” refers to the northern provinces of Turkey. In the Bible “north quarters” never once refers to a far northern nation beyond the borders of the previously identified nation.