The Allard Pierson archeological museum in Amsterdam is in a bind. Since February 7, it has exhibited “The Crimea, Gold and secrets from the Black Sea,” which it originally billed as “Spectacular archeological finds from the Ukraine.” Now it doesn’t know whether to return the precious gold artifacts to Russia or to Ukraine or to just stay out of it and hold on to the exhibition for the time being.
- Unintended consequence of Putin’s Crimea folly: Obama and Europe are closer together
- Putin calls Obama to discuss Ukraine resolution
- Obama urges Russia to pull back troops from Ukraine border
- Kerry arrives in Paris for meeting on Ukraine
- Somewhat Jewish, fully Russian: Crimea Karaites recall past glory
The reason this report caught my eye is that most of the “Gold and secrets” of Crimea come from the Scythians. Originally from what is today southern Iran, the Scythians were a horse riding tribe that inhabited much of today’s Georgia, Armenia and the southern parts of Ukraine and Russia for close to 1300 years, from the 7th century BC to the 4th century AD. The northern coast of the Black Sea was absolutely Scythian.
And what’s so special about the Scythians? Well, it turns out that Josephus Flavius, the turncoat Jewish historian who chronicled the Masada saga, had an interesting theory about the Scythians and the lands in which they lived. He concluded that their land was the Magog, as in Gog and Magog, as in the war of Gog and Magog, as in the biblical prelude to the End of Days.
Which is one of the many reasons why recent events in the Ukraine have created a buzz among legions of apocalypse-anticipating true believers. This could be the real thing, they tell themselves, the big time, the major leagues, not the end of the beginning, to quote Winston Churchill in reverse, but the beginning of the end. And it is Vladimir Putin, aka Gog, aka King of the North, who has set things in motion.
You only have to read Ezekiel chapters 38-39, the widely accepted handbook and screenplay for the upcoming decimation. According to traditional translations of verse 2 of Chapter 38, Gog is the “chief prince of Meshech and Tuval”, ancient kingdoms also near the Black Sea. But the term used for “chief prince” in Hebrew is “nesi rosh” (as in נשיא ראש משך ותבל): Nesi could also mean “ruler” or “president”, and some scholars believe that “rosh” is not an adjective, at all, but a noun denoting the name of yet another nation that will enter the fray. So Gog is the prince of Rosh, or the President of Rosh, or, with a little bit of help, the President of Russia.
“Therefore, mortal, prophesy, and say to Gog: Thus says the Lord God: On that day when my people Israel are living securely, you will rouse yourself and come from your place out of the remotest parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army;”.
And who will ride with Gog? Why Persia, of course, as specified in verse 5. And possibly Syria, though it hardly seems capable these days. And why will they all gang up on Israel? The Internet site “RemantReport explains: 1. To acquire more territory (Ezekiel 38:8). 2. To plunder Israel's wealth (38:12). (Israel’s newly-discovered vast reserves of natural in the Mediterranean, of course, CS). 3. To destroy the Jews (38:11, 16). And 4. To challenge the authority of the Antichrist who will temporarily be Israel's ally due to a treaty mentioned in Daniel 9:27 “That ruler will have a firm agreement with many people for seven years.”
Of course, if Gog is Putin, then we all know who the natural candidate for the Antichrist is. But let’s put that aside for now. In any case, there is a nuclear confrontation (“I will start a fire in the land of Magog and along all the seacoasts where people live undisturbed, and everyone will know that I am the Lord) and then a massive seven-month cleanup and a mass burial, somewhere in Jordan, it seems.
If you’re a Christian, the fun is just beginning: An army of “200 million” men will come from the East, according the Book of Revelations, and there’s only one country that can raise such an army. Then, in quick succession but in a sequence that is disputed by scholars, the End Times really get going: Armageddon, Desolation, Tribulation, Rapture, Redemption, the Second Coming - the works.
Jews, by the way, make do with just the war of Gog and Magog, after which messianic days are here and “swords are beaten into ploughshares” etc. Nonetheless, Christians aren’t the only ones who are getting excited about the standoff in Eastern Europe. According to a report catching fire over the weekend in the haredi press in Israel, the Gaon Rabbi Moshe Shternbuch told his disciples this week that the times of the Messiah are upon us. And who is the source for his amazing analysis? None other than one of the top Jewish sages of all time, the Vilna Gaon himself, the Gra, “the genius of Vilnius”, the famously harsh critic of Hasidic Judaism.
According to said Shternbuch, he is privy to a closely guarded secret handed down from the 18th Century Vilna Gaon through generations of revered rabbis: “When you hear that the Russians have captured the city of Crimea, you should know that the times of the Messiah have started, that his steps are being heard. And when you hear that the Russians have reached the city of Constantinople (today’s Istanbul), you should put on your Shabbat clothes and don’t take them off, because it means that the Messiah is about to come any minute.”
I don’t know if Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan knows about Russian designs on Istanbul, but if I were you, I would take your Shabbat clothes to the cleaners, just in case.
Finally, from Moshiach.com: The husband tells the wife, "The Rabbi said that soon we will no longer suffer from the Cossacks, the Messiah is about to come and take us all to Israel." The wife thinks for a while and says, "Tell the Messiah to leave us alone. Let him take the Cossacks to Israel!"