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The Last Days Duncan Heaster  
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DIGRESSION 1 (cont.):

The Significance Of The Georgia - Russia Conflict In Bible Prophecy

The well known Bible prophecy of Ezekiel 38:1-4 describes a latter day invasion of Israel by a group of nations, amongst whom would be a "chief prince" who would have power over (or 'cause to ascend') Meshech and Tubal. "Some modern Georgian... claim descent from Tubal and Meshech; a Georgian historian, Ivane Javakhishvili, considered Tabal, Tubal, Jabal and Jubal to be ancient Georgian tribal designations" (1). The words 'Tbilisi' and 'Tubal' share the same consonants- t'b'l'. There's a fascinating piece of research which explains how the word 'Tubal' developed through the phases tabar-tibar-tibar-tibilisi' (2). Further, Gen. 4:22 speaks of Tubal as "an instructor of those who work in brass and iron" and Ez. 27:13 states that Tubal traded in brass. The Institute of Metallurgy in the Georgian Technical University and Georgian Academy of Sciences is one of Georgia's few academic claims to fame to this day. Their museum features the earliest known samples of tinned bronze (3). The following quote not only underlines Georgia's association with metallurgy, but demonstrates her role in spreading the technology of metallurgy, as required by the Gen. 4:22 reference to Tubal being "an instructor of those who work in brass and iron":

"The ancient Greek and Roman authors would also refer to Colchis (the homeland of the Golden Fleece) as a country abundant with gold. What the so-called “barbarian” Colchis then created with this mined ore is really astonishing. In fact, if Georgia can boast a significant contribution to the world’s culture that would probably be its legacy of unique masterpieces of goldsmith and jewelry out of which some date back as early as the 8th century B.C. Many archeological sites throughout Georgia and recent archeological research find all new evidences and proof that the Georgians were among the first to start processing metal. Therefore, they would recognize high qualities of precious metals as early as the 4th millennium B.C. It is even mentioned in the Bible that the chief of the Iberians- one of the Kartveli tribes –Tubal-cain, was “a smith who forged bronze and iron tools.” By the beginning of the 3rd millennium B.C the technology of smelting and working metals had reached such a high level, that various alloys of bronze were known and the complicated technique of cire perdue was already used-to say nothing of soldering, cold and hot forgery, chasing and other know-how...The development of gold mining and processing techniques gave birth to a new profession of goldsmith" (4).

And Georgia's metallurgy wasn't only limited to gold and brass: "The Manganese Industry in Georgia (Manganese of Chiatura) had very great importance for European Metallurgy (about 70% of the manganese industry of the world in 1920s-1940s)" (5). "Archeological excavations have proved the existence of large centers of metallurgy in Georgia. The art of metal-working was developed and perfected during many centuries" (6). Even today, Georgia is characterized by a reliance upon metallurgy: "Metallurgy and the manufacture of machinery are the chief industries" (7).

There seems little doubt, then, that Biblical Tubal has some reference to Tbilisi and Georgia. The question is, in what sense will this area be part of a latter day invasion of Israel? If the "chief prince" of the invasion is seen as Russia, then it would follow that we should expect Russia to take full control of Georgia. For the country lies strategically right in the path of a Russia-Israel assault route. I have elsewhere discussed the pros and cons of identifying the leader of the invasion as Russia (8). The current situation between Russia and Georgia would therefore give much encouragement to those who see things from this perspective. However, there's another possibility. The Islamic world has been strangely supportive of Georgia in its conflict with Russia- and the reason is because the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline runs through Georgia. This is vital for the export of oil from the Islamic oil producing states to Europe. They want control of that pipeline, and would wish to control Georgia to that end. Those who see the final invasion of Israel as coming from an Islamic-dominated oil cartel of Middle Eastern and Asia oil-producing states- who would fit in well with a Babylon or Assyria redivivus- will also be eager to see in Georgia's instability a sign that the stage is being set for the invasion of Israel which Ezekiel prophesied.


Many commentators have previously claimed the Siberian town of Tobolsk as the equivalent of 'Tubal'. On one hand this could be viewed as an opportunistic association of vaguely similar names- and it's tempting to simply derive 'Tobolsk' from the river Tobol upon which it stands. The connections between Georgia / Tbilisi and Biblical 'Tubal' are far more solid. On the other hand, there is evidence that there was major emigration of the 'Tubals' into Siberia. I have documented elsewhere the evidence from archaeological remains of burial mounds in Siberia that the Scyths and Caucasian groups emigrated deep into Siberia and settled there, especially in the 6th and 7th centuries AD (9). They tended to follow the major rivers in their emigration path- hence their burial mounds are generally found close to rivers. This would explain why the Tubals would have given their name to the river Tobol. This approach would account for the connection between Tubal / Tbilisi / Georgia, and a Siberian city of the same name. The same argument can hold true for the Mushki / Moschoi, also from the Caucasus originally, who emigrated north and settled around Moscow, hence giving their name to the town which later became the capital of Russia (10).

The question is, of course, ultimately personal: are we personally ready for the return of Christ to earth which Israel's final invasion will lead up to?




(3) - 86k





(8) Duncan Heaster, The Identity Of Rosh

(9) ibid