Gomer (גֹּמֶר, Standard Hebrew Gómer, Tiberian Hebrew Gōmer, pronounced [ɡoˈmer]) is the eldest son of Japheth (and therefore of the Japhetic line), and father of Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah, according to the "Table of Nations" in the Hebrew Bible. (Genesis 10).

The eponymous Gomer, "standing for the whole family," as the compilers of the Jewish Encyclopedia expressed it, is also mentioned in Book of Ezekiel 38:6 as the ally of Gog, the chief of the land of Magog.

In Islamic folklore, the Persian historian Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari (c. 915) recounts a Persian tradition that Gomer lived to the age of 1000, noting that this record equalled that of Nimrod, but was unsurpassed by anyone else mentioned in the Torah.[1]

Traditional identifications

Josephus placed this legendary Gomer and the "Gomerites" in Anatolian Galatia: "For Gomer founded those whom the Greeks now call Galatians, but were then called Gomerites)."[2] Galatia in fact takes its name from the ancient Gauls (Celts) who settled there. However, the later Christian writer Hippolytus of Rome in c. 234 assigned Gomer as the ancestor of the Cappadocians, neighbours of the Galatians.[3]

The Hebrew name Gomer is accepted by most historians to refer to the Cimmerians (Akkadian Gimirru, "complete"), who dwelt on the Eurasian Steppes[4] and attacked Assyria in the late 7th century BC. The Assyrians called them Gimmerai ; the Cimmerian king Teushpa was defeated by Assarhadon of Assyria sometime between 681 and 668 BC.[5] In his 1716 book Drych y Prif Oesoedd, Welsh antiquary Theophilus Evans posited that the Welsh people were descended from the Cimmerians and from Gomer;[6] this was followed by a number of later writers of the 18th and 19th centuries. The argument was based on the fact that the Welsh are called Cymry in the Welsh language (Cymraeg) and the assumption that this was derived from "Cimmerians".[6][7] This etymology is considered false by modern Celtic linguists, who follow the etymology proposed by Johann Kaspar Zeuss in 1853, which derives Cymry from the Brythonic word *Combrogos ("fellow countryman").[7][8][9] The name Gomer (as in the pen-name of 19th century editor and author Joseph Harris, for instance) and its (modern) Welsh derivatives, such as Gomeraeg (as an alternative name for the Welsh language)[10] became fashionable for a time in Wales, but the Gomerian theory itself has long since been discredited as an antiquarian hypothesis with no historical or linguistic validity.[11]

According to tractate Yoma, in the Talmud, Gomer is identified as the ancestor of the Gomermians, modern Germans.

Gomer's descendants

Three sons of Gomer are mentioned in Genesis 10, namely

Some have identified the children of Ashkenaz with the Scythians (Assyrian Ishkuza). However, in Hebrew the word Askhenaz designates the region of middle Europe now known as Germany. [12] It has been conjectured that the term in the original Hebrew was Ashkuz, but that it became Ashkenaz when the Hebrew letter waw was accidentally miscopied as the similar-looking letter nun at some early stage of the transmission. Irish Genealogy traces itself to Ibath, son of Gomer (thought to be a form of Riphath).

Ancient Armenian and Georgian chronicles lists Togarmah as the ancestor of both people who originally inhabited the land between two Back and Caspian Seas and between two inaccessible mountains, Mount Elbrus and Mount Ararat respectively. [13] [14]

According to Khazar records, Togarmah is regarded as the ancestor of the Turkic-speaking peoples.[15]

In Hosea

Gomer is also the name of the adulterous wife of the prophet Hosea, mentioned in the Hebrew Bible's Book of Hosea. Some analysts[who?] have suggested that this marriage is really a figurative or prophetic reference to a union between the "lost tribes of Israel" with the above-mentioned people of Gomer, following the Assyrian deportation.

The relationship between Hosea and Gomer has been posited to be a parallel to the relationship between God and Israel. Even though Gomer runs away from Hosea and sleeps with another man, he loves her anyway and forgives her. Likewise, even though the people of Israel worshiped other gods, God continued to love them and did not abandon his covenant with them.


  1. Tabari, Prophets and Patriarchs (Vol. 2 of History of the Prophets and Kings)
  2. Antiquities of the Jews, I:6.
  3. Chronica, 57.
  4. eg., see Cambridge Ancient History Vol. II pt. 2, p. 425
  5. Barry Cunliffe (ed.), The Oxford History of Prehistoric Europe (Oxford University Press, 1994), pp. 381–382.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Lloyd, p. 191
  7. 7.0 7.1 University of Wales Dictionary, vol. II, p. 1485, Gomeriad. The editors note the false etymology.
  8. Lloyd, p. 192
  9. University of Wales Dictionary, vol. I, page 770.
  10. University of Wales Dictionary, vol. II, p. 1485.
  11. See, for instance: Piggot, pp. 132, 172.
  12. Encyclopedia Britannica, "Ashkenaz" etymology. This interpretation is reinforced by the terminology of "Ashkenazi Jews" identified with Germany, as meaning Jews who live among the Ashkenazi.
  13. The Georgian Chronicles by Leonti Mroveli
  14. "The History of Armenia" by Moses of Chorene
  15. Pritsak O. & Golb. N: Khazarian Hebrew Documents of the Tenth Century, Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1982.


  • Lloyd, John Edward (1912). A History of Wales from the Earliest Times to the Edwardian Conquest.
  • Piggot, Stuart (1968). The Druids Thames and Hudson:London.
  • University of Wales Dictionary, vol. II.
  • Ruthven, Jon (2003, rev. 2009). The Prophecy That Is Shaping History: New Research on Ezekiel's Vision of the End. Fairfax, VA: Xulon Press, 2003. [1]. A major study on the historical geography of Gomer, Rosh, Meshech, Tubal and the other northern nations listed in Ezekiel 38-39 and elsewhere.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Gomer. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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