GOMER, the biblical name of a race appearing in the table of nations (Gen. x. 2), as the "eldest son" of Japheth and the "father" of Ashkenaz, Riphath and Togarmah; and in Ezek. xxxviii. 6 as a companion of "the house of Togarmah in the uttermost parts of the north," and an ally of Gog; both Gomer and Togarmah being credited with "hordes," 1 E.V., i.e. " bands" or "armies." The "sons" of Gomer are probably tribes of north-east Asia Minor and Armenia, and Gomer is identified with the Cimmerians. These are referred to in cuneiform inscriptions under the Assyrian name gimmira (gimirrai) as raiding Asia Minor from the north and north-east of the Black 1 p Agaph, a word peculiar to Ezekiel, Clarendon Press Heb. Lex. Sea, and overrunning Lydia in the 7th century B. C. (see CIMMERII, SCYTHIA, LYDIA). They do not seem to have made any permanent settlements, unless some such are indicated by the fact that the Armenians called Cappadocia Gamir. It is, however, suggested that this name is borrowed from the Old Testament.' The name Gomer (Gomer bath Diblaim) was also borne by the unfaithful wife of Hosea, whom he pardoned and took back (Hosea i. 3). Hosea uses these incidents as symbolic of the sin, punishment and redemption of Israel, but there is no need to regard Gomer as a purely imaginary person. (W. H. BE.)
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