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Meshech

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Meshech (Hebrew: משך, Mēshạḵ; "drawing out") was the sixth son of Japheth, according to Genesis 10:2 .

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Descendants

Y-Chromosomal Haplogroup C7 (C-V20)

The descendants of Meshech were well-known to the people of the Middle East centuries after the flood of Noah.

The Assyrians knew them as the Mushki, the Greeks as the Moskhi and by others as Mushku, Musku, Muskaaia, Moshi and Moska. Herodotus, a well-known ancient historian, identifies the descendants of Meshech and Tubal as the Moschi and Tibarenoi who lived in central and eastern Anatolia between the 11th and 6th centuries BC. Josephus also identified the descendants of Meshech as the Cappadocian Mosocheni (or Moschoi) and their ancient capital as Mazaca.[1] While in Asia Minor they were inseparable from the Toboli.[2] 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. Wilhelm Gesenius wrote, in the 19th century, that Meshech became the Moschi, a very barbaric people. The peoples of Moschi were renowned as being a cruel race anciently: "woe is me that I sojourn in Meshech."[3] 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. They dwelt, he said, in the Moschian Mountains.[4] The Moschian Mountains were the connecting chain between the Caucasus and Anti-Taurus Mountains, where, according to Strabo, there was also a district called Moschice[5] inhabited by a very barbarous 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 Meshech 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 Meshech.[6]

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 Novomoscovsk on a tributary of the Dnieper; Moschaisk near Borodino; Moschok between Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod; Moscharki stood on a tributary of the Volga River; Mischetski stood between Moscow and the Tula; Mischiritschi on the border with Ukraine; Mescha, a branch of the Dvina River; Meschtschovsk near Tula; Meschtschenskaia on the border with the Ukraine and Meschkuze near Riga, Latvia. It should also be noted that the Finns of Russia are divided into two tribes, Erses and Moskshes.[7]

The ancient city of Mtskheta, near Tbilisi, is believed by Georgian experts to be the former capital of the Mushki state. People in what is now a region of of southern Georgia continued to favor a variant of the old Mushki name, and today call themselves Meskhs and their region Meskheti. They speak a dialect of Georgian called Meskhuri, which among Georgia's regional dialects is relatively close to official Georgian. The town of Mtskheta is not in today's Meskheti region, but lies about 100 km to its northeast, in the Kartli region. The majority of the modern Geogian population of the Meskheti region of southern Georgia, are descendents of the original ancient tribes.

Beginning from the 16th century, some European scholars proposed the idea that the Muscovites had stemmed from Meshech. Sir Walter Ralegh (c. 1616) attributes this opinion to Philipp Melanchthon (1497–1560) and to Benito Arias Montano (1571), and it was also followed later by Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758). Moreover, according to a legend first appearing in the Kievan Synopsis (1674),[8] Moscow (Moskva) was founded by King Mosokh (i.e., Meshech) son of Japheth, and was named for him and his wife, Kva. In this legend, they are also said to have had a son, Ya, and daughter, Vuza, who gave their names to the nearby Yauza river.[9]

See Also

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References

  1. Josephus, Antiquities 1.6.1.
  2. Douglas 1972:811
  3. Psalm 120:5
  4. Gesenius, W (1872) Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament. Crocker & Brewster, Boston: pp. 534, 626, 955, 1121
  5. Smith, WG & Fuller, JM (2004) Encyclopaedic Dictionary of the Bible. Vol. 5. Concept Publishing Company: p. 335
  6. Milner, W (1886) Russia Japhet: Ch. 9
  7. Bloch, A (1913) "Origin and Evolution of the Blond Europeans", Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institute for 1912. Washington DC: p. 615
  8. «История российская» В. Н. Татищев (Russian)
  9. The First Records of Moscow

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