Madai, Tubal and Meschech

by Craig White, e-mail:

In the book of Revelation, a great horde of peoples is recorded, collectively called the "Kings of the East". The Greek is "Anatoles heliou" literally translated as "rising sun" composed of two hundred million troops seen invading Europe and the Middle East. Who will compose these eastern and northern armies also referred to in Daniel chapter 11?

Isaiah's Warning

The prophet Isaiah also referred to them: "The noise of a multitude of mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of Nations gathered together: the Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle...Behold, I will stir up the Medes, against them [the Chaldeans]...." (Is 13:4, 17). "Go up, O Elam: besiege, O Media; all the sighing thereof, have I made to cease...'Babylon is fallen, is fallen'..." (Is 21:2, 9).

Jeremiah also predicted the downfall of modern Babylon at the hands of these northern forces:

"For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great Nations from the North country...Behold, a people shall come from the North, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up, from the coasts of the earth. They shall hold the bow and the lance : they are cruel, and will not show mercy: their voice shall roar like the sea, and they shall ride upon horses..." (Jer. 50:9, 41-42).

"...the Lord hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes : for his device is against Babylon... together against her the kingdoms of Ararat [Georgia, Armenia between the Black and Caspian Seas in Russia], Minni [anciently the northern frontier of the Medes] and Aschkenaz [the descendants of Gomer in south-east Asia]...." (Jer. 51:11, 27).

We know that initially Russia will be a firm ally with German-led Europe. Ezekiel equates Babylon/Chaldea with Tyre; the peoples of Tyre are in southern Italy and Sicily, but symbolically it applies to the coming tremendously prosperous National European Socialist Empire. God warns the soon-to-arise modern Babylon/Chaldea/ Tyre/Europe "...I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations..." (Ezekiel 28:7).

Thus Russia and her Asiatic allies will have a terrible falling-out with Europe. After this great battle between Europe and Russia, Christ will return and restore peace to this troubled planet, slowly, but surely, extending His righteous rule across the entire globe.

So, dear reader, where may we find Meschech, Tubal and Madai today? The only way we can understand the prophecies for our time is if we are able to locate these nations mentioned in God's Word.

The Modern Descendants of Madai

The peoples of Madai first dwelt in North-west Iran, being called the Medes along with Medan. Their capital was Hagmatana (Persian) or Agbatana in Greek. They were called Ma-da-ai, in the Assyrian inscriptions and became associated and linked up with the Medanites who invaded their territory from the west. Thus the names Madai and Medes were used interchangeably, but the Medanites formed the ruling class.

After the defeat of the Scythians in 584 BC, a colony of Medes was established along the Don River. They thus moved north of the Black Sea and into Scythia

The Greeks called them the Sauro-Matae and they spoke the Scythian tongue which was much like that of the peoples of Persia and were also known as Surmatai or Syrmatai. It would appear that many Elamites, who dwelt adjacent to the Madai in Iran, probably migrated with them into south-eastern Europe [see Is.21:2].

Many ancient writers refer to them. Strabo mentions the Matiani or Matieni as does Herodotus and Pliny. Ammianus Marcellinus speaks of the Sauro-matians dwelling near the Hister (modern Danube). We also know that the Sea of Azov was anciently known as Maeotis Palus; on its shores dwelt the Maioti or Maiotiki.

The Sarmatian dagger and sword used by these people were exactly like that of the Medes. Researcher, Sulimirski, maintains that "the Sarmatians were...closely akin to the ancient Medes, Parthians and Persians."

Rostovtzeff wrote that "the Scythian kingdom—a formation almost completely Iranian, a northern counter-part of the kingdom of Darius and Xerxes...the Sarmatians, whose Iranian nationality is not disputed".

Herodotus wrote that the Medes were beginning to settle in the Ukraine even in his time. He maintained that there was a people who "dress in the Median fashion" and who "claim to be colonists from Media" that "live north of Thrace...beyond the Danube". Pliny noted that "Next come the two mouths of the river Don, where the inhabitants are the Sarmatae, said to be descended from the Medes".

Professor Lundman says that the peoples of Russia, today, around the Black Sea and the Don are "perhaps...vestiges of the descendants of the Irano-Scythian tribes who inhabited southern Russia in ancient times".

Who lives today along the Don, in southern Russia? The Ukrainians! They are also known as the Ruthenians and Little Russians. They comprise the second largest racial group in Russia after the Great Russians consisting of some 50 millions.

The Ukrainians near southern Poland and east Czechoslovakia are more brachycephalic than the others. Those in the north, the Volhynians, are shorter and are related to the White Russians or Byelorussians as we have seen in chapter two. The Ukrainians living to the south and east are taller, but their hair and eyes are darker. Their head forms are virtually identical to that of the Volhynians and blondes are not uncommon, while their eyes are generally a light brown .Finally, Herodotus associates them with Meschech and Tubal: "the Matienians, the Moschi, Tibereni...".

We should, perhaps, also realise, that before the advent of Gorbachev and then Yeltsin as Russian Presidents, the previous ruthless Communist bosses Chernenko, Brezhnev and Khrushchev were all Ukrainians and not Russian (Stalin was a Georgian and Lenin's father was probably a Tartar, although his mother was German).

Where is Tubal?

In discussing Tubal, Gesenius noted that Tubal was founder of the Tiberani, "a nation of Asia Minor dwelling by the Euxine Sea to the West of the Moschi." He concluded that there should be no doubt that Tubal and Meschech comprise the modern Russian people.

The people of Tubal were variously known as Tubla, Tabal or Tabali by the Assyrians who refer to them as giving tribute of "great horses" to Ashurbanipal; Tiberani or Tibarenoi by the Greeks; and Thobelites by Josephus. They were always identified with the Moschi in Asia Minor. The Septuagint version translates "Meschech and Moschi" as "Mosoch and Thobel".

Where could they be located today?

After the Hittite Empire fell (c 1200 BC), the Tabali moved into the territory vacated by the Hittites, establishing twenty-one city-states. A region of their territory became known as Subartu. The Tabali of Toboli migrated over the Caucasus like so many others before and after them. Once in southern Russia, they became identified with the Muschovites and Sarmatians, establishing themselves for a time along the River Volga.

Bohn, the editor of Marco Polo's Travels, has this to say : "The Bolgar, Bulgar, or Bulghar, here spoken of is the name of a town and extensive district in Tartary, lying to the eastward of the Volga, and now inhabited by the Bashkirs, sometimes distinguished from the Bulgaria on the Danube, by the appellation of the Greater Bulgaria."

It appears therefore that "Volga" and "Bulga"are one and the same; they appear to be identical with the root form of the name Tubal! Huxley agrees that the name Volga evolved into Bulgaria.

Tubal thus split into two like so many families: one branch migrated northwards, the other westwards. The group which moved into the Balkan Peninsula became known as the Bulgarians, mingling with the Sarmatians and adopting their particular Slavic language and customs.

There was a city called Bulghar on the River Volga, near the River Kiama in the land of the Bulghars also known as Bulgaria! Interestingly, a leader of the Khazar armies which filled the void left by the Toboli after migrating out of southern Russia, was called Balkan.

On the Volga today, all that is left of the once great city of Bolgara which Marco Polo mentions in his first chapter, is a little village. For a time it became the seat of Mongol rule in the thirteenth century.

The mountain range of Hoemus was changed to the Balkans in south-eastern Europe after the Toboli settled there. The name recalls the Balkan hills and Balkan Bay alongside the Caspian Sea where Tubal once settled. Perhaps the name Toplitza in Bulgaria is a derivative of Tobol.

The second syllable of the word "Bulgaria" is of central Asiatic origin being found in the name of Kash-ghar in the plateau of Pamir, where some of Tubal once lived. The Bulghars conquered the native Slavs in that land. To this day there are two types in Bulgaria: a tall, dark-haired type; and a shorter, fairer type, descendants of the other Slavs.

The other branch of the Toboli migrated northwards, perhaps giving their name to Lake Bataton Balta and the Baltic Sea. Today, they are settled north-east of Moscow around Tobolsk. There is also the tribe of Tubalai who live on the banks of the Tuba River and although they speak Turkic, are perhaps Samoyed. They may have acquired their name from Tubal.

A place-name alongside the Volga was known as Siberia. Today, Siberia is in northern Russia where the Toboloskis migrated. The name originated in the Subartu district of ancient Tubal in Asia Minor.

Another mutated branch of Tubal may be the Basques who dwell on the border of Spain and France. Basques is the form of the Latin Vasco. The French province of Gascogne or Guascogne is named after them. Also, the mountain range seperating France and Germany is called the Vosges, anciently called the Wasgen Forest of the Basques—this signifies their migration into the area after the Flood. Roger Collins, in his excellent work, The Basques, states that Basque historian, Esteban de Garibay published four volumes of his Compendino Historial de las Chronicas (Antwerp AD 1571) in which he claimed to trace their origins:

"He took up the notion, already popular with other Spanish antiquarians, that the Iberian peninsula had been populated by the descendants of Tubal, one of the sons of Japhet the son of Noah. However, he gave this legend a distinctive twist in making the Basque regions... the principal focus of Tubal's activity and he 'proved' this thesis by claiming affinity between various Basque place-names and those in the Bible that were associated with Armenia, where the ark had come to rest...".

Collins then proceeds to give the similarities in place-names and so forth. Garibay may be correct, but further investigation is required.


The descendants of Meschech were well-known to the people of the Middle East centuries after the great and terrible flood of Noah.

The Assyrians knew them as the Mushku, the Greeks as the Moskhi and by others as Musku, Muskaaia, Moshi and Moska. Herodotus, a well-known ancient historian, calls them Moschi and Tibarenoi. And the ancient capital of Cappadocia was Mazaca.

While in Asia Minor they were inseparable from the Toboli. They were the "natural " or hereditary enemies of the Assyrians and were largely the cause of the Assyrians losing power over other peoples from time to time.

They migrated with Tubal up to the Black Sea and into the Russian plains. Dr. Gesenius wrote, in the nineteenth century, that Meschech became the Moschi, a very barbaric people. They dwelt, he said, in the Moschian Mountains. The Moschian Mountains were the connecting chain between the Caucasus and Anti Taurus Mountains. The Scofield Reference Bible says that the "reference to Meschech and Tubal (Moscow and Tobolosk) is a clear mark of identification". Strabo claimed that here was a district named "Moschice", a very barbaric people, while Lempriere stated in his dictionary that the Moschi were a people to the west of the Caspian Sea.

Expert Milner explains : "The territory first occupied by Meschech after their descent from the table-lands of Pamir was the plain at present peopled by the Turcomans, between the Oxus and the Caspian... The whole district within five hundred miles of Moscow seems to be saturated with the name of Meschech".

He then refers the reader to Steiler's German Hand Atlas to prove his point by referring to the following place-names: Moscow; the Moskva River; the Novo-Mosc-owsk on a tributary of the Dnieper; Mosch-Aisk near Borodino;Mosch-ok between Moscow and Nijini Novogorod; Mosch-arki stood on a tributary of the Volga River; Misch-etski stood between Moskow and the Tula; Mischiritschi on the border with the Ukraine; Mesch-a, a branch of the Dwina River; Mesch-Tschowsk near Tula; Mesch-Tschenskaia on the border with the Ukraine and Meschk-uze near Riga! It should also be noted that the Finns of Russia are divided into two tribes, Erses and Moskshes.

Russian Claims of Ethnic Origins

No doubt, the Great Russians occupying the thousands of square kilometres around Moscow descend from their ancient forefather, Meschech. The city of Moscow is spelt Moskva by the Russians themselves and it stood in the midst of a Russian state once known as Muscovy. The whole of Russia, in fact, was known as Muskovi for a long time even until the time of Ivan the Terrible.

The Peoples of Moschi were renowned as being a cruel race anciently: "woe is me that I sojourn in Mesech". The term quoted here is from the Bible, being used as we use the term "Vandal", "Hun" of "Philistine" today, as being typical of cruelty and mercilessness.

It has long been generally understood by many Russian academics that much of their population is descended from a branch of the Scythians. A famous Russian poet, Alexander Blok, for example, noted such in one of his poems, The Scythians. Also, Russian historian Alekseyev, in his work, In Search Of Our Ancestors, writes that the Russians are a branch of the Scythians.

There we have it—as plain as daylight! The peoples of Madai, Tubal and Meschech may be found in western Russia. They are a very tough, hardened people, best to be left alone and not interfered or tangled with.

However, scores of various groups fall within the borders of modern-day Russia, although dominated by Meschech. They include 16 autonomous republics, 5 autonomous regions, 10 national districts, 6 territories and 49 regions. They include ethnic entities such as the Komi, Karella, Chuvash, Bashkirias, Tuvas, Yakutias, Jews, Ossetias and so forth. The list is virtually endless. These people are destined to more-or-less stay together and attempt to forge an empire out of the rubble of the mess left behind by the Communists. It will be an enormously powerful empire, with huge manpower and natural resources and with technological assistance from Germany. It seems that Russia will hearken back to the days of the Tsars and appoint someone who can be seen to be a symbol of unity, and who would once again ignite the imaginations of these tribes and peoples. He would have ancient roots and therefore a 'right' to champion their cause for a better lifestyle and religious liberty. As a royal he would be the mystical union between the present and the past, the people and their God, embodying the soul of the nation and representing them on the international stage.

Finally, dear reader, expect a far different looking Russia in the years ahead. Prophecy seems to indicate that the Baltic states will be joined with Europe and the Ukraine may gain some form of semi-independence. While the Great Russians will initially be partners of Europe, they will eventually have a terrible falling out with them which will lead to the most horrible conflict in human history.

Suggested Reading

Collins, R. (1986) The Basques. Basil Blackwell, Oxford.

Coon, C. (1948) Races of Europe. Macmillan, New York, USA.

Milner, W. (1941) The Russian Chapters of Ezekiel. Destiny Publishers, Mass., USA. 2nd edition.

Yamauhci, E. (1982) Foes from the Northern Frontier. Baker Book House, Michigan, USA.

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