Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 9.djvu/41

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ⅩⅧ, 92-99.
the chapter of the cave.

stand speech. They said, ‘ O Dhu ʼl Qarnâin ! verily, Yâgûg and Mâgûg[1] are doing evil in the land. Shall we then pay thee tribute, on condition that thou set between us and them a rampart ?’ He said, ‘ What my Lord hath established me in is better ; so help me with strength, and I will set between you and them a barrier.

95 ‘ Bring me pigs of iron until they fill up the space between the two mountain sides.’ Said he, ‘ Blow until it makes it a fire.’ Said he, ‘ Bring me, that I may pour over it, molten brass[2].’

So they[3] could not scale it, and they could not tunnel it.

Said he, ‘ This is a mercy from my Lord ; but when the promise of my Lord comes to pass, He will make it as dust, for the promise of my Lord is true.’

And we left some of them to surge on that day[4] over others, and the trumpet will be blown, and we will gather them together.

  1. Gog and Magog. The people referred to appear to be tribes of the Turkomans, and the rampart itself has been identified with some ancient fortifications extending from the west coast of the Caspian to the Pontus Euxinus. The word translated mountains is the same as that translated rampart a little further on. I have, in rendering it mountains, followed the Mohammedan commentators, whose view is borne out by the subsequent mention of mountain sides.
  2. The process here described for repressing the incursions of Gog and Magog is the building of a wall of pig iron across the opening between the two mountains, fusing this into a compact mass of metal, and strengthening it by pouring molten brass over the whole.
  3. Gog and Magog.
  4. On the day of judgment, or, as some think, a little before it.