My Stand on The Mystery of Rosh


russian_tank Is Russia ever literally mentioned in the bible?

This is a question I have been asking for a while now.  But all we seem to be getting is the same convoluted information.

Everyone points to Ezekiel 38-39 and says “see right there.. Russia.”

Well to be honest I see  Meshech ,Tubal, Persia, Ethiopia, Libya, Gomer, Togarmah.

These are all real places, in fact Meshech ,Tubal, Gomer, Togarmah are all found in Turkey.

Persia is modern day Iran.

Ethiopia is still the same as well as Libya.

But Russia is not named literally.

So why literally name all the other countries involved and then allegorically name Russia?

When you ask the scholars you get something like this…

Ras = Rosh which = Russia because the “T” in Tiras really needs to be dropped off to form Ras so that they can become part of the Table of Nations found in Genesis 10; THEN migrate all the way from the Balkans then to the North of the Black Sea  and then to the Caucasus Mountains. WHICH.. after moving there, they then move to form Russia, Moscow and Tobol’sk which is north of the Balkans area.


As we know, many people state that they believe this idea, but to date I still can’t find Russia in the scriptures and they can’t clearly show me it either.

I believe that this all falls under “assumed knowledge.”


I believe that the idea of Russia being  told for over 150+ years has now become doctrine. Everyone “assumes” that Russia is in the bible, but no one can clearly point to it.

Like the story of the king who had no clothes, everyone sees Russia when she is clearly not there.

So again we ask, where did the whole Russia idea originate from?

Well I believe I have found the possible smoking gun in where the idea of Russia originates.

So where did we get the idea of Rosh / Russia that has been taught all these years?

The Koran.

So let me get this straight Ray – from LeHaye, to Billionton, to Scofield and Fausset, all of us over the years have been quoting an idea based in the Koran.?


I can see your face and it’s disbelief right now. It looks the same way mine did when doing this investigative work.

I remember saying to myself “The Koran? No way, it can’t be. ”

Like you sitting there right now, I did not want to believe it, but I found when digging in the old books what appears to be the solid evidence proving it to be true.

And you know what? It has been right in front of us all these years but no one clearly saw it.

But more on that later.

Way back in the “olden days” the early 1800s…1825 to be exact. There was a man named Joseph Freiherr (Barron) Von Hammer-Purgstall, who was a Austrian orientalist. He was also seen as one of the “jet setters” of his time.

von_hammerJet-setter ok, but what is an orientalist?

Someone who likes and studies the Orient, Middle East, Asia, ect. It was a popular thing to do back then when you  were of royalty and or wealthy.

For fifty years Hammer-Purgstall’s primary drive in life was to find an original manuscript of 1001 Arabian Nights so that he could share it with the world. It was one of those “celebrity facts” that everyone in Europe and the Middle East knew.

If Esquire or Star gossip mags were around back then, they would follow Von Hammer’s travels in trying to find 1001 Arabian Nights.

While on his travels, Von Hammer also made it his business to write books on things he saw, and things he discovered about the area.

Von Hammer wrote and published numerous books he translated from Arabic, Persian and Turkish authors. They were hastily written papers on oriental history, institutions, manners, literature food and culture.

See, we have to remember that the Middle East held a “romantic” idea in many people’s minds. It was artful, mysterious, with completely different ways and customs.

We have to also remember that there was no such thing as the internet and news of faraway lands took time to be written. But, if you were an author that could “crank out ” books about the Middle East, then you became a popular author as well as popular person with “celebrity” status.

So to put it bluntly, Von Hammer appeared to be one of the leading “pulp fiction” authors of his time and his books were always on the “best sellers” list.

I  guess to put it in modern times, his work was a step above those harlequin novels and gossip magazines you see at the cash register checkout line.

Moving forward…

One of the books he wrote was called “Sur Les Origines Russes” which was published in 1825. In this book he claimed that he discovered the origins of Russia. This was big news.

But come to find out, his “discoveries” were based on just one verse of the Koran.

See Von Hammer found this one line in the Koran and built an entire book around the idea. But due to his somewhat less that resourceful research, it caused him to have many critics of his rather footloose work.

In fact Von Hammer was severely criticized by Friedrich Christian Diez (1794-1876), who, in his book Unfug und Betrug (1815), devoted nearly 600 pages of abusive criticism to Von Hammer.

Are you getting the picture here?

We have a pulp fiction jet-setting Barron who likes to crank out books on the Middle East. It does not matter if they are true or not, the people back in Europe are eating them up. They dream of being  sheiks in the desert, riding the spice caravans, genies in bottles, camels, kus-kus and things like that.

Von Hammer wrote about it and he made a good living doing it too.

I am not saying that he was a bad guy, in no way. My research shows that Von Hammer had the ability to speak ten languages, traveled the world, and had great connections.  But his problem was poorly researched and hugely speculative points in his work. See it is that lack of research and holding to the truth that was his down fall scientifically and scholarly.

But why should he care, his books were primarily for “mental entertainment” based merely on grains of truth, if one could put it that way. If you think about it, he must have spun some pretty good tails in his books to pay for all those trips to the Middle East .

While conducting my own journey in finding the truth, I came across a humorous but serious letter published in “The Asiatic Journal” dated January 1825. It is kind of hard to read because of the writing style being verbose and colorful.

Let me help in setting the stage here…

This letter was written by a “Turkish Philosopher” from Jaffa, who also dealt in tobacco and pipes. He is writing to the editor of The Asiatic Journal because he is upset over work he discovered where Von Hammer is making his claims about the origins of the Russian people.

How did he discover this?

While wrapping up soap.

The Asiatic Journal and Monthly

During this time the Pasha was not receiving the monies due from the taxes, so out of his infinitesimal wisdom he brought in a tons of alkaline and ordered all the merchants to start making soap. See in his thinking lots of soap means lots of sales which means a lot of tax money for the Pasha.  I tell you this because if you have a lot of soap, you will need to be package it.

This is where we pick up with our Turkish Philosopher  in his letter to the editor published in The Asiatic Journal…

Going one day to a printing office in order to get some waste paper in which to wrap up his genuine Jaffa soap, he received a mass of printed sheets upon which to his great joy he discovered Arabic Persian and Turkish characters together with French and other European tongues a smattering of which he had acquired.

He took these sheets home to his shop and found them to be a learned work entitled Sur les Origines Russe Extraits de Manuscripts Orientaux par MJ de Hammer, St Petersburg 1827. (On the Origins Russians – Excerpts from Oriental Manuscripts)

Upon slightly looking through the work, he conceived that it was a continuation of the Arabian Nights and he invited his neighbours to come and listen to the tales which he proposed to translate verbally.

Upon more attentive examination however, he was mortified to find that it was an historical work: historical tales, he remarks, are far less amusing than others.

And can you guess my dear Editor what is intended to be shewn in this history which I bought to wrap round my Jaffa soap?

The most honourable most learned most profound most fertile M de Hammer cream of the ulemas of Vienna and ornament of Namcheh writers, wishes to convince the world that our prophet make mention of the Russians in the Koran; that he has discovered proofs in oriental writers that the Russians formerly inhabited Great Bucharia and that the Cossacs of the Don existed in the tenth century !

And upon what think you does M de Hammer build these curious conjectures?

Upon а verse in the Koran which refers to certain Asshab-ar- Ras or the people of Ras.

But no one had ever before imagined that Asshab-ar- Ras could refer lo the Russians, who, whilst our good prophet was rightly prohibiting his disciple from drinking the bad wine of the Hedjaz, quaffed at their ease in total ignorance of him, the excellent beer of Scandinavia. Ebn Kathir, one of our theologians has written a long chapter upon this passage of the Koran in which I confess I cannot discover a grain of common sense.

My late father had abundant reason to dislike imams with their tedious verbiage and to refuse to let them have tobacco without the money down for truly all that Ebn Kalhir in his parade of frivolous erudition has written upon the meaning of the phrase Asshab-ar- Ras is not worth ten drachms of Latakia tobacco.

Yet M de Hammer who quotes this whole chapter Ebn Kathir has printed the Arabic text with a sort of a French translation and he attaches as much importance to and seems to believe as firmly in all the pious reveries of this superstitious doctor as if he had been promised for it a place in the paradise of Mahomet.

The Turkish Marchand-Philosophe then proceeds to criticize the translations of M Von Hammer from the oriental tongues and it must be confessed that he has established some proofs of gross negligence if not of ignorance.

It would be inconvenient to detail the various instances alleged ïn this letter we shall select one or two as examples of the rest.

In the first place the letter writer has shewn by various instances that M Von Hammer has misunderstood participles and mere parts of speech for proper names and has consequently called into existence nations which have only a “grammatical origin.”

Of such nations you will find so large a number in M de Hammer’s book that you may make of them an empire more powerful than that of Austria.

Наvе you ever heard of such nations as these the Tamlessans, the Anjars, the Shefnans, the Burghaz, the Esroussiyas,  the Ssafers, the Ssakars, the Ashans, the Gharams, the Kbolekhs, the Muharikas, the Birkets?

All these people derive their birth from the pen of the learned M de Hammer in exactly the same manner as the respectable Ikiliars which signifies free will, opinion, M Von Hammer makes а proper name and the brave gerundive nation of the Munfeshas.

Take for example the country of Birket (or the basin): I will lay you a wager that you will not guess in a thousand trials what country it is although it is well known to you. It a Russia my dear Editor Efiendi!

This is the way in which M de Hammer translates a passage from the geography of Ahulfeda: “Okek is the boundary of the саmр of the king of the Tartars of the country of Birket, which docs not extend further.” Yet his majesty the king of Hama has condescended to say in a manner perfectly intelligible to those who know his language; “the encampments of the great horde of the Tartar sovereign of the empire of Bergueh-khan extend as far as Oukek, but they do not go beyond that point.”

I need not remind you that Bergueh was one of the successors of the famous Batu, the conqueror of Russia; but Hammer has confounded the name of this Mongol Khan with the Arabic word birket, which signifies lake, pool, or basin, of which he has made his wonderful “country of Birket.”

M.Von Hammer, it appears, has erected his hypothesis as to the Asiatic origin of the Russian nation upon a passage in Masoudi. Our philosopher gives M.Von Hammer’s translation, and compares it with his own, “made according to the manner in which the Arabic tongue and eastern geography are understood at Jaffa.”

Certainly the discrepancy is not a little astonishing. The term in Masoudi, which Hammer considers to mean Russians, is plainly shewn to signify no such thing; and the Turkish philosopher maintains that such a critic and such a geographer as Hammer might deduce the origin of the Russians from the moon.

This lively and critical letter concludes in the following serious manner:

But I have written to much already, my dear Editor Effendi, about a work which at Jaffa will infallibly be treated as it deserves. I shall think I have fulfilled my object if my observations shall inspire you and your readers with a proper distrust of the translations which the learned Austrian orientalist pretends to make of Arabic, Persian, and Turkish texts, and with which he is continually inundating the literature of several European nations. Such rhapsodies ought to excite the indignations of every lover of science, because they embarrass the progress of oriental studies, upon which they throw an unfavorable light, by making people believe that the writings of the best authors are tissues of absurdities and nonsense; and because they, moreover, propagate errors, by imposing upon the good-nature of your laborious compilers, who adopt without suspicion these wretched versions, and the false data which result there from, and incorporate them in their works.

To make the literary world acquainted with the intrinsic value of this sort of materials, which it is incessantly loaded with, under titles at once pompous and mysterious, is, in my opinion, to render a service to science.

In other words, by exposing Von Hammer, it is the writer’s desire to expose him for the “pulp fiction” writer he really is.  It is the hopes that the true scholarly world will disregard his work regarding Russia and his other fabled findings.

Are you beginning to understand who Von Hammer is and what he wrote?

Enter Gesenius

wilhelm geseniusIt is here where we pick up the Christian Lexicographer Wilhelm Gesenius, professor of Theology at the University of Halle in Prussia. It is he who played the key role in propagating the whole Russia paradigm.

You see, it is his Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon originally published in German in 1827 and then later published in English in 1846 where we are able to point the finger.

In this work we see that Gesenius makes “Rosh” not only a proper noun, but he is also professing that the word / translation for the Rosh is in fact Russia.

See the word for Rosh in the Hebrew occurs in the Authorized King James 598 times throughout the OT; and it is always translated as a title.

  • head 349
  • chief 91
  • top 73
  • beginning 14
  • company 12
  • captain 10
  • sum 9
  • first 6
  • principal 5
  • chapiters 4
  • rulers 2

Nowhere is Rosh referenced as a land, an area, people or tribe.

So where did Gesenius get this idea of Rosh?

Yep, you guessed it, Von Hammer.

gesinius---hebrew-lexiconIn fact you can see here in the 1846 printing that Gesenius gives Von Hammer the credit in his Lexicon for Russia being Rosh as he “discovered” it “ in the Koran.”

In fact, to this day you can go to any Gesenius Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon and still find the reference to the Koran and Von Hammer. This has been right in front of our noses all this time.

Please, google it yourself and see.

Is it beginning to make sense here?

All these years, we have been teaching an idea which has turned into a doctrine which is based from the Koran and not scripture.

But more than that I have to ask, is Gesenius truly checking his sources, or is he merely propagating an idea?

I could easily see how he might be propagating the idea, you see, Gesenius was not a historian.

In his definition, Gesenius cites Byzantine era writer Fosslan as a source of historical significance but goes no further. Just a quick blurb and he is done with it.

Gesenius does not  give any real ancient sources to which he can anchor the Rosh / Russia claim. Again, just the blurb and it is over and he is done with.

You can clearly see that he doesn’t even reference the Septuagint (LXX) which where the Rosh idea is clearly shown.

In many other instances of his lexicon you can see where he clearly references the Septuagint. So why not here? Rosh is in the Septuagint, so why did Gesenius not  reference at least so called “ancient” document?

Folks, this is the very document that many modern scholars point to when they refer to when the point to a Rosh / Russia scenario.

What I believe is that Gesenius was propagating an idea and not something based on scriptural fact.

Think about it logically for a moment.

This is the country Russia we are talking about here.

They (Russia) are the supposed be “THE” invaders of Israel and all we have is a short blurb from Gesenius  with really no details except his dogmatic statement being “Undoubtedly the Russians?

This is rather uncharacteristic of the famed lexicographer.

Where is his proof that Rosh is “Undoubtedly the Russians?

This point magnifies the fact that Gesenius leveraged the idea from  the very popular writer, world traveler Von Hammer.

Gesenius is impressive and a great man of God, but it must be remembered that Gesenius was a great lexicographer and grammarian, not an authority on ancient history. He is making some rather out of character moves in this statement regarding Rosh.

Think about this for a moment, Gesenius is a man of detail, he is a lexicographer, and the details are his job. So why is he lacking the details on one of the scriptures most well known players in the last days?

aram---geseniusFor example, here is what he has to say about Syria or Aram.

As you can see Gesenius goes into great detail about the word Aram/Syria quoting verses, places, examples, ect.

Compare that to Rosh and Russia’s definition and it seems to be lacking in the detail Gesenius was known for.

Again it is this sort of evidence that points to that possibility that Gesenius was more influenced by Von Hammers work, than originating the idea himself or that of the earlier 10th century Fosslan.

To give Gesenius credence, why would he question Von Hammer?  Von Hammer was a well known orientalist, world traveler and an Austrian Barron who personally worked for the Austrian embassy in Constantinople.   The guy had some good credentials.

But there is more that could have influenced him in point blank naming Rosh as Russia.

You see Russia was in the news… a lot.

In fact 90% of the news about Russia was not good.


As a major European power, Russia could not escape the wars involving revolutionary and Napoleonic France. Czar Pau became an adamant opponent of France, and Russia joined Britain and Austria in a war against France. Russian troops under one of Russia’s most famous generals, Aleksandr Suvorov, performed brilliantly in Italy and Switzerland. Paul, however, reversed himself and abandoned his allies. This reversal, coupled with increasingly arbitrary domestic policies, sparked a coup, and in March 1801 Czar Paul was assassinated.

  • 1812 Napoleon Invades Russia, Russia wins due to the winter
  • Russian -Turkish War 1828-1829
  • Russian-Murid War 1834-1859
  • Russian Conquest of the Syr River Basin 1849-1854
  • The Crimean War with Russia, England, France 1853-1856 (this was a biggie)
  • Russian-Kokandian War 1864-1865
  • Russian-Bukharan War 1865-1868
  • Russian Conquest of Tashkent 1865
  • Russian-Khivan War 1873
  • Russian-Turkish War 1877-1878 (another major war)
  • Anglo-Russian Crisis 1877-1878
  • Russian Siege of Geok Tepe 1879-1881
  • Russian Conquest of Merv 1884
  • Russian-Afghan War 1885

Then there was the Jewish Pogroms in Russia 1903

An estimated 50,000 Russian Jews were murdered in a series of massive pogroms that began at Kishinev, Bessarabia (Moldova). The attacks, encouraged by the Russian government, did not appreciably moderate popular unrest and the onset of the 1905 revolution; instead, they strengthened the growing revolutionary movement, while also greatly multiplying emigration to America and spurring the development of Zionism. Souce –

As you can see, just about every 5 -10 years Russia was either invading someone, at war or in conquest of some area, people or nation. They are the bad guys of Europe and they are constantly wreaking havoc on the masses.

A Mistake That Dropped Through The Cracks?

On the 23rd of October, 1842, Gesenius died at the age of fifty-seven. His manuscripts, papers, research, etc., were entrusted to his friend, Prof. Rodiger, in order that he might complete the work of Gesenius.

A great amount of detail was given to make sure the works of Gesenius was properly given his rightly due.

Here is what the preface of Gesenius “ Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon says…

“This translation was conducted on the following plan : Each root was taken as it stands in the “Thesaurus,” and the ” Lexicon Manuale” was compared with it; such corrections or additions being made as seemed needful : the root and derivatives were at once translated, every Scripture reference being verified, and, when needful, corrected. A faithful adherence to this plan must insure, it is manifest, not only correctness in the work, but also much of the value of the “Thesaurus,” in addition to the “Lexicon Manuale “
Source – Gesenius’ Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon Preface  – S.P.T. – SOME, February 24th, 1846.

So we can clearly see that the trustees of Gesenius’ work held him in very high regard and respect. Out of that I can see that they did not want to deviate from Gesenius’ words, findings or details. Couple this reverence with what Russia was doing in the world and one can see how the “Rosh” definition was not questioned by the trustees.

Finally we come to the smoking gun that Von Hammer based his analysis on, the very crux of this “discovery.”

Ere the days of these (Meccans) the people of Noah, and the men of Rass2 and Themoud.  Koran – Sura Qaf 50:12




I personally do not speak Arabic, nor have a copy of the Koran. So I asked my friend, Walid Shoebat, who happens to speak Arabic and was a former Muslim to make sure this is in fact correct.

Here is Walid’s comments…

walid-shoebat-dirThe Quranic reference is from Sura Qaf 50:12 which is more of Quranic fiction then a reference to Russia.

Ibn Jarir stated that the dwellers of Ar-Rass were the people of one of Thamud’s villages. Allah sent a prophet to them called Huzlah Ibn Safwan.

They denied and killed him, so Allah destroyed them. Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Al-Hassan narrated: “The dwellers of Ar-Rass had a well sufficing them and their land. They also had a just and good-hearted king. When he died, they were much grieved for him.

After four days Satan took his form and said: ‘I was not dead, but I kept absent from you to see your reaction.’ They were very joyful. He commanded them to set up a curtain between him and then and told them that he would never die. A great number of them believed him and were fascinated with and worshipped him.

Then Allah sent them a prophet telling them that it was Satan who was addressing them from behind the curtain. He forbade them to worship him and commanded them to worship only Allah and no partner with Him.

In spite of that, they killed their prophet and threw his body into a well. Therefore, Allah destroyed them and their homes.”

But how did Von Hammer make the connection?

He dropped the “T” from Tiras found in the Table of Nations that is referenced in Genisis 10:2.

Von Hammer notes that the earliest form of recorded Semitic language they had the tendency to drop or change an initial “T” sound in a name; specially if the initial “T” was followed by an “r” sound.

This was not a conclusive finding nor a “norm” in grammatical studies. It was purely a speculation on that part of Von Hammer.

He figured that If you drop the initial “T” from Tiras you are left with “ras” and that provided the “proof” he needed to write his treatise “Sur Les Origines Russes.”

If one continues on with this form of mental gymnastics and word play it makes complete “logical sense” to Von Hammer and the others that Ras or Rass as found in the Koran is the very same thing spoken about in Ezekiel 38:2 which has the Hebrew word “Rosh.”

Von Hammer’s conclusion was naturally they must be the same people.

What has taken place is our Turkish philosopher’s worst dreams came true.

The western world latched on to sloppy work of Von Hammer through the respected work of Wilhelm Gesenius.

Because Gesenius’s work is so respected, this has been passed down for the last 150+ years through many of the great bible prophecy teachers and theologians.

Because it has been taught for over 150+ years and is backed by Gesenius, the idea of Rosh / Russia is now a cemented doctrine of Christendom.

No one ever thought that Gesenius might not check his resources, but it appears that he did just that and did not conduct his due diligence.

Today Russia being Gog /Magog has become what we call in the modern vernacular as the “gospel” truth.

Von Hammer’s error to lives on.

And it all originates from the lie we call the Koran.


By Ray Gano