The descendants of Tubal first come to our notice in the inscriptions of Tiglath-pileser I, king of Assyria in about 1100 BC, referring to the Tabali who originally settled an area (Tabal) adjacent to that of Tegarama. Their descendants were subsequently recorded by Josephus as the Thobelites, later known as the Iberes. Their land, covering what is now the (former Soviet) state of GEORGIA, was called by the Romans Iberia, and whose capital to this day bears the patriarch’s name as Tbilisi. From here, having crossed the Caucasus mountains, this people migrated due north-east, giving their tribal name to the Tobol River, and hence to the famous city of Tobolsk.
Tubal (TBL) is commonly identified with the Russian city of Tobol’sk. Although this is allowable linguistically, it is not the best hermeneutically. Ezekiel knew nothing of Tobol’sk (or Moscow or Germany, for that matter); it did not exist. He was, however, well acquainted with Tabal (TBL) of Eastern Asia Minor (and Gimarrai and Mushki) of central and western Asia Minor).
- See also Gogarene in Georgia, at Brit-Am.
It seems likely that Tubal refers to east Asia Minor and the Caucasus region.
Featured Image: Flag of Georgia [Wikimedia Commons]