(Ezek. 38:2, 3; 39:1) is rendered "chief" in the Authorized
Version. It is left untranslated as a proper name in the Revised
Version. Some have supposed that the Russians are here meant, as
one of the three Scythian tribes of whom Magog was the prince.
They invaded the land of Judah in the days of Josiah. Herodotus,
the Greek historian, says: "For twenty-eight years the Scythians
ruled over Asia, and things were turned upside down by their
violence and contempt." (See BETHSHEAN ¯T0000568.)
The Scythians consisted of "all the pastoral tribes who dwelt to
the north of the Black Sea and the Caspian, and were scattered
far away toward the east. Of this vast country but little was
anciently known. Its modern representative is Russia, which, to
a great extent, includes the same territories." They were the
descendants of Japheth (Gen. 9:27). It appears that in apostolic
times there were some of this people that embraced Christianity
drawing out, the sixth son of Japheth (Gen. 10:2), the founder
of a tribe (1 Chr. 1:5; Ezek. 27:13; 38:2,3). They were in all
probability the Moschi, a people inhabiting the Moschian
Mountains, between the Black and the Caspian Seas. In Ps. 120:5
the name occurs as simply a synonym for foreigners or
barbarians. "During the ascendency of the Babylonians and
Persians in Western Asia, the Moschi were subdued; but it seems
probable that a large number of them crossed the Caucasus range
and spread over the northern steppes, mingling with the
Scythians. There they became known as Muscovs, and gave that
name to the Russian nation and its ancient capital by which they
are still generally known throughout the East"
house of security or rest, a city which belonged to Manasseh (1
Chr. 7:29), on the west of Jordan. The bodies of Saul and his
sons were fastened to its walls. In Solomon's time it gave its
name to a district (1 Kings 4:12). The name is found in an
abridged form, Bethshan, in 1 Sam. 31:10, 12 and 2 Sam. 21:12.
It is on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus, about 5 miles from
the Jordan, and 14 from the south end of the Lake of Gennesaret.
After the Captivity it was called Scythopolis, i.e., "the city
of the Scythians," who about B.C. 640 came down from the steppes
of Southern Russia and settled in different places in Syria. It
is now called Beisan.
ten cities=deka, ten, and polis, a city, a district on the east
and south-east of the Sea of Galilee containing "ten cities,"
which were chiefly inhabited by Greeks. It included a portion of
Bashan and Gilead, and is mentioned three times in the New
Testament (Matt. 4:25; Mark 5:20; 7:31). These cities were
Scythopolis, i.e., "city of the Scythians", (ancient Bethshean,
the only one of the ten cities on the west of Jordan), Hippos,
Gadara, Pella (to which the Christians fled just before the
destruction of Jerusalem), Philadelphia (ancient Rabbath-ammon),
Gerasa, Dion, Canatha, Raphana, and Damascus. When the Romans
conquered Syria (B.C. 65) they rebuilt, and endowed with certain
privileges, these "ten cities," and the province connected with
them they called "Decapolis."
complete; vanishing. (1.) The daughter of Diblaim, who (probably
in vision only) became the wife of Hosea (1:3).
(2.) The eldest son of Japheth, and father of Ashkenaz,
Riphath, and Togarmah (Gen. 10:2, 3), whose descendants formed
the principal branch of the population of South-eastern Europe.
He is generally regarded as the ancestor of the Celtae and the
Cimmerii, who in early times settled to the north of the Black
Sea, and gave their name to the Crimea, the ancient Chersonesus
Taurica. Traces of their presence are found in the names
Cimmerian Bosphorus, Cimmerian Isthmus, etc. In the seventh
century B.C. they were driven out of their original seat by the
Scythians, and overran western Asia Minor, whence they were
afterwards expelled. They subsequently reappear in the times of
the Romans as the Cimbri of the north and west of Europe, whence
they crossed to the British Isles, where their descendants are
still found in the Gaels and Cymry. Thus the whole Celtic race
may be regarded as descended from Gomer.
(Gr. diaspora, "scattered," James 1:1; 1 Pet. 1:1) of the Jews.
At various times, and from the operation of divers causes, the
Jews were separated and scattered into foreign countries "to the
outmost parts of heaven" (Deut. 30:4).
(1.) Many were dispersed over Assyria, Media, Babylonia, and
Persia, descendants of those who had been transported thither by
the Exile. The ten tribes, after existing as a separate kingdom
for two hundred and fifty-five years, were carried captive (B.C.
721) by Shalmaneser (or Sargon), king of Assyria. They never
returned to their own land as a distinct people, although many
individuals from among these tribes, there can be no doubt,
joined with the bands that returned from Babylon on the
proclamation of Cyrus.
(2.) Many Jews migrated to Egypt and took up their abode
there. This migration began in the days of Solomon (2 Kings
18:21, 24; Isa. 30:7). Alexander the Great placed a large number
of Jews in Alexandria, which he had founded, and conferred on
them equal rights with the Egyptians. Ptolemy Philadelphus, it
is said, caused the Jewish Scriptures to be translated into
Greek (the work began B.C. 284), for the use of the Alexandrian
Jews. The Jews in Egypt continued for many ages to exercise a
powerful influence on the public interests of that country. From
Egypt they spread along the coast of Africa to Cyrene (Acts
2:10) and to Ethiopia (8:27).
(3.) After the time of Seleucus Nicator (B.C. 280), one of the
captains of Alexander the Great, large numbers of Jews migrated
into Syria, where they enjoyed equal rights with the
Macedonians. From Syria they found their way into Asia Minor.
Antiochus the Great, king of Syria and Asia, removed 3,000
families of Jews from Mesopotamia and Babylonia, and planted
them in Phrygia and Lydia.
(4.) From Asia Minor many Jews moved into Greece and
Macedonia, chiefly for purposes of commerce. In the apostles'
time they were found in considerable numbers in all the
From the time of Pompey the Great (B.C. 63) numbers of Jews
from Israel and Greece went to Rome, where they had a
separate quarter of the city assigned to them. Here they enjoyed
Thus were the Jews everywhere scattered abroad. This, in the
overruling providence of God, ultimately contributed in a great
degree toward opening the way for the spread of the gospel into
Dispersion, from the plain of Shinar. This was occasioned by
the confusion of tongues at Babel (Gen. 11:9). They were
scattered abroad "every one after his tongue, after their
families, in their nations" (Gen. 10:5, 20,31).
The tenth chapter of Genesis gives us an account of the
principal nations of the earth in their migrations from the
plain of Shinar, which was their common residence after the
Flood. In general, it may be said that the descendants of
Japheth were scattered over the north, those of Shem over the
central regions, and those of Ham over the extreme south. The
following table shows how the different families were dispersed:
| - Japheth
| - Gomer
| Cimmerians, Armenians
| - Magog
| Caucasians, Scythians
| - Madal
| Medes and Persian tribes
| - Javan
| - Elishah
| - Tarshish
| Etruscans, Romans
| - Chittim
| Cyprians, Macedonians
| - Dodanim
| - Tubal
| Tibareni, Tartars
| - Mechech
| Moschi, Muscovites
| - Tiras
| - Shem
| - Elam
| Persian tribes
| - Asshur
| - Arphaxad
| - Abraham
| - Isaac
| - Jacob
| - Esau
| - Ishmael
| Mingled with Arab tribes
| - Lud
| - Aram
| - Ham
| - Cush
| - Mizrain
| - Phut
| Lybians, Mauritanians
| - Canaan
| Canaanites, Phoenicians