Agag, Haman the Agagite, Gog, Magog, Gag — What binds them all together? (Podcast) ).
Gag in Hebrew is roof.
“I lie awake; I have become like a bird on the roof (Gag)” (Psalm 102:8; 102:7, in some English translations).
Agag was king of Amalek. The latter, throughout the Bible, serves as epitome for the disconnect between the Heaven and the Earth (Genesis 1:1). Therefore, the Israelites are explicitly commanded, in no ambiguous terms:
“Remember what Amalek had done to you on the way, when you came out of Egypt…you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under the sky; thou shall not forget” (Deuteronomy 25:17,19).
The Bible tells us about king Saul, and what he did to Agag, king of Amalek:
“He took Agag king of Amalek alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the sword” (1 Samuel 15:8).
Haman, a central figure in the Book of Esther, was the first historic figure to conceive and then attempt to implement a “Final Solution” on the Jewish people (during the reign of the Persian Empire, as expounded in detail in the Book of Esther). Haman was a descendent of Agag, namely, of Amalek seed:
“Esther again pleaded with the king, falling at his feet and weeping. She begged him to put an end to the evil plan of Haman the Agagite, which he devised against the Jews” (Esther 8:3).
Gog and Magog are well-known names, central to Ezekiel’s prophecy of End-Time final war:
“Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him” (Ezekiel 38:2).
What binds together all these names?
Answer: The double appearance of a single letter of the Hebrew Alphabet, the third letter, Gimel (corresponding to the English g).
In Biblical Hebrew, as well as in modern Hebrew, a double appearance of Gimel forms the Hebrew word Gag (written with two Gimels, גג). This combination has a single meaning — “Roof”.
The roof is that part of a house, which protects its residents from harm that may befall them from the sky.
In biblical terms, the roof attains a much wider meaning, indeed a gigantic symbolic significance:
As a roof of a house disconnects earth from sky, the biblical “Roof” symbolizes disconnect between “The Heaven” and “The Earth”, as these are alluded to in the first verse of Genesis:
“In the beginning Elohim created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).
The most concrete biblical allusion to this interpretation is given by the command, given to the Israelites, to build booths (Sukot) during the Feast of Tabernacles:
“You shall dwell in booths for seven days; All native-born Israelites are to live in booths so that your descendants will know that I made the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 23:42).
There is no solid protective roof for the booths, where the Feast of Tabernacles is celebrated. Traditionally, the roof must be made from natural elements that have grown from the ground. Most people use either palm fronds or bamboo with wooden beams as support. The roof also must be thick enough to provide significant shade, but thin enough to let the stars shine through.
Why does the Sukkah not have a solid roof? What does this signify?
The answer is simple: Lack of solid roof signifies complete faith in Divine Providence, in Divine protection against harm that may befall us. Conversely, relying on the symbolic “physical roof” as protection, perhaps sole protection, signifies a deep faith that “The Earth” (Genesis 1:1) is all that there is. There is no heaven. There is no God.
The roof of a house generates a disconnect from the sky. Symbolically, sitting in the booth during the Feast of Tabernacles, while removing the roof, signifies faith in Divine protection that would protect against any harm (from the sky or otherwise). And more generally, complete faith in the connection between “the heaven” and “the earth”.
Amalek embodies the opposite: There is no heaven, no system of Divine justice, no God. There is only “the earth” (the observable physical reality, ruled by law of nature). Everything else, which looks random, is indeed random. There is no Divine Providence.
Agag, Haman the Agagite, Gog, Magog — they all represent the Amalekite philosophy of life: “No God, no heaven, all is coincidental”. The biblical concept of “Roof” symbolizes exclusive reliance on our own ability (and capability) to understand nature, rule nature, and construct the needed “Roof” that would protect us.
“Roof”, consistently throughout the Bible, is an integral part of names of historic figures, past (Agag) or future (Gog), and of names of lands (like the mysterious Magog), which represent a philosophy diagonally opposite to that of the Bible, a philosophy central to current Western Civilization (see here) — the Amalekite philosophy of life.
Surprisingly and unexpectedly, all these names include the Hebrew “Gag” (Roof).
And how will the future Gog and Magog war end?
Quote from prophet Zechariah:
“And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations, which have come against Jerusalem, shall go up, every single year, to bow before the King, the Lord of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles” (Zechariah 14:16).
Personal confession: Amazing!!
The Israelites, on their way to the promised land, committed two major sins, both being testimony to lack of faith in Divine protection:
- The sin of the Golden Calf (in Hebrew, sin of the Egel);
- The sin of the spies (sin of the Meraglim).
Both sins are considered, in Jewish tradition, to have fateful consequences to Jewish history.
The first sin caused Moses to smash the first tablets with the Ten Commandments. This required of Moses going up Mount Sinai to receive the tablets the second time.
The second sin occurred, in Jewish tradition, on the ninth of the month of Av. In Jewish tradition, this was the date when the two temples in Jerusalem had been destroyed. Other catastrophes in Jewish history are also known to occur on that same date.
Surprisingly, Hebrew names of both sins have, as their middle letter, the second most rare letter in biblical Hebrew, the letter Gimel.
With these two sins, combined, the Israelites, on their way to the promised land, formed their own particular version of GAG (“Roof”).
2 replies on “Agag, Haman the Agagite, Gog, Magog, Gag — What binds them all together?”
This is indeed amazing!! As I was reading it, understanding the simplicity meanings unfolds so elegantly by observing such a phenomenon and Lashon Hakodesh made me profoundly pounder about this. Also note that on Sukot we have the Maftir of the war of Gog and Magog, specifically Sukot!
I thought about the repetition of Gimel a few times in past years in the above words except for Roof/Gag but I was wondering what it is all about… As Gimel is very rare in the biblical (0.69%, 2nd in rarity only to Teit with 0.59%) and so seeing 2 of those letters in the same word was interesting to me.
Also note that 2 Gimel letters, where Gimel is the 3rd letter in the Alef Beit has a numerical value of 6. Indeed this is a continuation of what you so adequately explained in your post ! As Amalek believes in matter only where matter has 6 sides, and 6 days of creation, no Shabbat for Amalek! Shabbat is 7, it has the inner central point of the 6 sided matter!! But Amalek refuses to see it and looks only at the klippot where he belongs and so he is obsessed with 6… Many people noticed it with the number 666 which, as seen in code of creation part 2, indeed is part of Klippot, the surrounding matter of the 3D shape of the first verse. It is a profound issue, we cannot go in depth here.
Thank you for a great post!
Hatshuva, Thank you for the comment and the appreciative words. Indeed, your observation that the Hebrew letter Gimel (double of which forms the Hebrew “Roof”), that this letter is the second most rare in biblical Hebrew (Leshon Hakodesh), personally stunned me. It strengthened my deep conviction, that you probably share, that every little detail in the Bible is well thought out, not a single word is arbitrarily selected, all names are deeply meaningful. We are blessed to have the Bible as a source of learning what reality (past, present, future) is, and how to live our life, within that reality, the correct and the right way. Much blessing, Haim