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Gog and Magog

giants, london, guildhall, albion and assyria

GOG AND MA'GOG. Names occurring sev eral times in the Bible. Gog is mentioned in Ezek. xxxviii. 16-18, and also xxxix. 1 in connec tion with Meshech and Tubal. Magog appears (Gen. x. 2 and I. Chron. i. 5) as a son of Japheth, and in the Hebrew text of Ezek. xxxix. 6, where the Greek version reads Gog. It has been con jectured that in this passage and in Gen. x. 2 Magog is a scribal error for Gog, or, according to others, Magog in the latter passage is mis written for Gomer. The association of Gog with Meshech and Tubal, the location of which can be determined from the Assyrian in scriptions, points to some part of Armenia as the district intended by Gog. Various at tempts have been made to explain the name. By some Gog has been connected with Gagu, a ruler of a land Sakhi, to the north of Assyria, who is mentioned by Ashurbanipal, and who has been regarded by some as identical with Gyges, King of Lydia, although all such conjectures are futile. We must rest content with the fact that in the Old Testament Gog is the name of a north ern region. In view of the terror inspired by the approach of the northern hordes, roughly known as the Scythians, and who eventually brought about the destruction of the powerful Assyrian Empire (see ASSYRIA ), Gog, in association with Magog, became a general designation for a pow erful and wicked opponent, and in the later apoc alyptic writings becomes one of the terms de scriptive of Antichrist (cf. Rev. xx. 8). The uprising of Gog and Magog against the kingdom of Christ and their destruction by God Himself is the precursor of the millennium. In the Koran Gog and Magog represent a barbarous people of Central Asia in the days of Dhu-l-Qarnain (Alex ander the Great). They are also represented as

appearing in the last days.

Gog and Magog are the names popularly given to the two wooden statues of giants preserved in the Guildhall at London. According to the story, the living prototypes of these figures were found in Britain by Brute, son of of Troy, who invaded Albion and founded London three thousand years ago. Albion at this period was inhabited by a race of giants, the descendants of the thirty-three infamous daughters of the Em peror Diocletian, who, having murdered all their husbands, were sent to sea in a ship, and were happy enough to, reach Albion. Cohabiting with demons, they gave birth to the giants, whom the Trojans finally conquered, leading the last two survivors prisoners to London, where they were chained to the gates of a palace on the site of the Guildhall and kept as porters. When they died, their effigies were set up in their place. This is Caxton's account; but there is another, which represents one of the giants as Gogmagog, and the other as a British giant who killed him, named Corineus. The two giants have been the pride of London from time immemorial. On London Bridge they welcomed Henry V. in 1415; in 1558 they stood by Temple Bar, when Eliza beth passed through the city gate. The old giants were burned in the great fire, and the new ones were constructed in 1708. They are fourteen feet high, and occupy suitable pedestals in the Guildhall. The ancient effigies, which were made of wicker-work and carried through the streets in the Lord Mayor's shows, and copies of the present giants were in the show of 1837.