2. A people or a land usually mentioned along with Meshech, the name of another of Japheth’s sons. Tubal, along with Javan and Meshech, engaged in trading with Tyre, dealing in slaves and copper articles. (Eze 27:13) In Ezekiel’s dirge over Egypt, Tubal was included among the “uncircumcised” ones with whom the Egyptians would lie in Sheol, because of the terror they had wrought. (Eze 32:26, 27) The people of Tubal also are included among those uniting with “Gog of the land of Magog” who is called “the head chieftain of Meshech and Tubal” and who comes storming out of “the remotest parts of the north” in a fierce attack against Jehovah’s people. (Eze 38:2, 3; 39:1, 2; see GOG No. 2.) In another prophecy, Jehovah foretells that he will send envoys to proclaim his glory to Tubal, Javan, and other lands.—Isa 66:19.
Tubal thus lay to the N of Israel but not so distant as to be out of commercial contact with Tyre in Phoenicia. Most scholars consider the name to refer to the same people as the Tabali of Assyrian inscriptions, where Tabali and Musku (evidently Meshech) are mentioned together. (Ancient Near Eastern Texts, edited by J. Pritchard, 1974, p. 284) Some centuries later, Herodotus (III, 94) also listed them together as the Tibareni and the Moschi. On this basis the land of Tubal is considered to have been situated (at least in Assyrian times) to the NE of Cilicia in eastern Asia Minor. The existence of copper mines in this region coincides with the Bible account.