Togarmah (TGRM) presents only a little more difficulty. Togarmah was a descendant of Noah through Japheth then Gomer (Gen.10:1-3). He is know to Assyrian records as Tilgarimmu (TLGRM). The inserted "L" is not uncommon and, more than likely, was silent. Tilgarimmu was a city state in Eastern Anatolia (Asia Minor, modern Turkey),
more specifically, as Ryrie states, "the southeastern part of Turkey near the Syrian border." This identification is generally acknowledged by all.Gomer
Gomer (GMR) has often been mistaken to refer to Germany because of a supposed similarity of linguistic construction. This position has two serious errors. One is that the "R" and "M" are reversed. Ezekiel wrote of GMR not GRM. The reversal is unwarranted linguistically. Furthermore, this similarity and inversion is based upon a comparison of Ezekiel's GMR with a modern English (from Latin) designation for Deutschland. Clearly, the similarity is only superficial. These two errors rule out, absolutely, any possible identification of Gomer with Germany.
However, GMR is well known to the ancient world as Gimarrai (GMR) ofnorth central Asia Minor (Cappadocia).
These people are also known as the Cimmerians (KMR, note the change in gutturals from "G" to "C"). This seems to be the simplest, most obvious interpretation.Rosh
The identification of Rosh (RŠ) presents some difficulty. Some understand it to be a proper noun referring to Russia rather than as a simple noun or adjective, "head" or "chief" (KJV), which is its normal meaning.
Although this interpretation may be allowable on grammatical grounds, it suffers from several problems. The first is that there is absolutely no place on earth known by this name, Rosh. Of all the occurrences of Meshech and Tubal (MŠK and TBL) in Biblical and non-Biblical writings, they are never associated with a place called Rosh, as the translation "prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal
" would suggest.
There are linguistic problems here as well. As Unger admits, "Linguistic evidence for the equation [of Rosh with Russia] is confessedly only presumptive." The first problem is that the similarity is in sound only, not in consonantal configuration. Notice it is Rosh (RŠ) not Rus (RS). Furthermore, the problem encountered earlier, the supposed similarity is based on a comparison with a much more modern word. The term "Russia" comes from a late eleventh-century A.D. Viking word "Rus" (RS; again notice the difference in consonants). Reading modern words and spellings into ancient Semitic terminology is to ignore all known linguistic norms.
Since there is no place named Rosh associated with Meshech or Tubal, and since the attempted equation of it with modern Russia is obviously fallacious, it is easiest to understand both "chief" (rosh) and "prince" as related appositionally and used in reference to Meshech and Tubal: "chief prince of Meshech and Tubal" (KJV). This is also the reading of the Targum, Aquila, and the Vulgate.Meshech
Meshech (MŠK) is often mistaken for the Modern Russian city of Moscow, capitol and largest city of the Soviet Union. Again, this identification, as even Ryrie admits, is unfounded also. The problems are similar to those associated with the identification of Gomer with Germany. First of all, the Š is changed to S. This again is unwarranted linguistically. Furthermore, the similarity is based upon a comparison of MŠK with the English designation Moscow; the Russian word is Moskva (MSKV) and is less similar still.
However, Mushki (MŠK) of central and western Asia Minor, known in the classics (Homer, etc.) as Phrygia, fits very well
. These people were well known to Ezekiel, and this seems clearly the easier interpretation.Tubal
Tubal (TBL) is commonly identified with the Russian city of Tobol'sk. Although this is allowable linguistically, it is not the best hermeneutically. Ezekiel knew nothing of Tobol'sk (or Moscow or Germany, for that matter); it did not exist. He was, however, well acquainted with Tabal (TBL) of Eastern Asia Minor (and Gimarrai and Mushki) of central and western Asia Minor).
Granted, God could have revealed Tobol'sk (and Moscow and Germany) to the ancient prophet, but to assume so when Tabal was well known to him is unjustified apart from Biblical warrant. If a man in New York, for example, speaks of Manhattan, he would not want anyone to assume that he is speaking of a Manhattan, Kansas; much less would he want anyone to interpret his words as referring to a Manhattan somewhere else in the world of which he is unaware! Similarly, to assume a place unknown to the prophet (Tobol'sk) when clear options are available is both hermeneutically and exegetically untenable. Tabal is clearly to be preferred.http://www.biblicalstudies.com/bstudy/e ... zekiel.htm