19/04/2017

The Orthodox Nationalist: Defending the Khazar Thesis of the Origin of Modern Jewry – TON 041817

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Dr Matthew Raphael Johnson tackles the Khazar question in this week’s episode of The Orthodox Nationalist.

The Khazar Khanate which filled the power vacuum left by the death of Attila the Hun was one of the most violent, unpredictable and wealthy of the early medieval empires  but it is rarely mentioned in history books unless they are on Russia specifically. It is impossible to defend the empire, so gentile authors, living in fear of the Jews, will often avoid the issue entirely.

The economy was a mix of nomad pastoral life as well as their staple, taxing trade on the lower Volga and Dnieper coming into the Black Sea. Fishing and agriculture should not be under estimated, but mercantile trade – or its taxation – was the mainstay of the economy.1

The Khazars were the main slave dealers to the Islamic market. Raids into Slavic territories were meant to capture slaves to then sell further south. Even after the destruction of the empire, their system lived on in the Volga Bulgars and the Turkic tribes used by Jews to continually raid into Russia

By the 880s, Khazar control over  the Dnieper from Kiev, where they collected tribute from the Slavs, began to weaken substantially. Oleg of Novgorod took control from Askold and Dir and hence laid the foundation for our modern idea of the “Kievan-Rus.” Southern raiding of the Rus was even permitted by the Khazars, but only if they turned over 50% of the take with their Jewish betters. It served both their interests because it permitted the Muslim Arabs and the Rus to fight each other, leaving the Khazars as well-off middlemen now safe from attack. 

As Kiev grew in strength, its leadership attacked the Khanate more than once. Oleg was defeated in 941. Soon after, the Khazars shut down passage through the Volga to the Sea. The reasons for this are that the Byzantines and the Rus were finding common ground against the Khazars, they knew that all out war was coming. Even local tribes such as the Pechenegs were slowly being brought into the Byzantine orbit. It might have been that the system of extortion was finally catching up with these predators. Oleg's successor, Svyatoslav I (d. 972), took It'll in 968 and the city was razed to the ground.

The identity of Gog and Magog are of the utmost importance for Christians in these times, if in fact, these are the final days. Gog and Magog, the nations which Satan will gather together to battle, are scattered all over “to the four corners of the earth.” In the Old Testament, these peoples are mentioned in Ezekiel 38. Gog is the ancient Semitic word for the “Mountain of Darkness.” It refers to a people, a militant force rather than a person. “Prince” is also not necessarily a person but can also be the ideology of a group. It is the “leader” and the “molder” of a group of people and is hence its prince.  Magog also refers to a “mountain” or a militant camp. The term “maghoph” is a pejorative referring to the worshipers of Ashtoreth. The “worshipers of the moon.”

Up until the Crimean War, “Gog and Magog” were associated with the Khazar empire, or the “Red Jews.” St. Abo of Tbilisi claimed that the Khazars were wild “sons of Magog” who did not have any religion, although they “recognized the existence of a single God.” Gog and Magog, in the eschatology of the Apocalypse, were a warlike people, enemies of the “people of God,” who, in the last days, would unleash a universal war. 

The Qur'an says that the people of Gog and Magog are belligerent and ruthless, attacking other countries and destroying all life. The Georgian and Armenian chronicles of the time universally see the Khazars as Gog and Magog, “wild men with horrible faces and the manners of wild beasts, feeding on blood.”

1.Heinrich von Neustadt (1300), who Koestler refers to wrote about the Khazars who were terrifying the people as being of Gog and Magog. BN Zakhoder writes in his Caspian Collection on Eastern Europe that the early medieval church universally considered the Khazars Gog and Magog.

Presented by Matt Johnson


The Orthodox Nationalist: Defending the Khazar Thesis of the Origin of Modern Jewry – TON 041817




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