Go'mer (Heb. id. גֹּמֶר, vanishing, or perh. heat, i.e., passion; Sept. Γαμέρ and Γομέρ or Γόμερ), the name of a man and of a race descended from him, also of a woman.
1. The eldest son of Japheth (B.C. post 2514), son of Noah, and father of Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah (Ge 10:2), whose descendants seem to have formed a great branch of the south-eastern population of Europe (Ge 10:3; compare 1Ch 1:5). In the Scriptures, however, the people named Gomer (mentioned along with Togarmah in the armies of Magog, Eze 38:6) imply rather an obscure and but vaguely-known nation of the barbarous north (Rosenmüller, Alterth. I, 1:235 sq.). The Jerusalem Targum renders Ge 10:3 by אפריקי, African; Arab. תרך, Turk. Bochart (Phaleg, 3:81) identifies the name, on etymological grounds, with Phrygia (from גמר, to consume, and φρυγία,
from φρύγειν, to roast); Phrygia being, according to ancient testimony, a χώρα εὐεκπύρωτος, and part of it bearing the name of κατακεκαυμένη, or burnt (Strabo, 13:628; Diod. 3:138). But to this it seems a fatal objection that the Phrygians formed only a branch of the Togarmians (Josephus, Ant. 1:6, 1; Jerome, Quaest. in Genesis 10:3), and therefore cannot be regarded as the stem whence the Togarmians themselves sprang. The same objection applies to the suggestion that Gomer is the German race (Talm. Yoma, 10 a); for this comes under Ashkenaz; a branch of Gomer. Wahl (Asien, 1:274) compared Gamir, the ancient name for Cappadocia, and Kalisch (Comm. in Gen.) seeks to identify it with the Chomari, a nation in Bactriana, noticed by Ptolemy (6:11, § 6). Most of the interpreters take Gomer to be the ancestor of the Celtae, and more especially of the Cimmerii, Κιμμἐριοι (Herodotus, 1:6, 5, 103), who were already known in the time of Homer (Odyss. 11:14). To judge from the ancient historians (Herodotus, Strabo, Plutarch, etc.), they had in early times settled to the north of the Black Sea, and gave their name to the Crimea (from the Arab. krim, by transposition from the Heb.), the ancient Chersonesus Taurica, where they left traces of their presence in the ancient names, Cimmerian. posporus, Cimmerian Isthmus, Mount Cimmerium, the district Cimmeria, and particularly the Cimmerian walls (Herod. 4:12, 45, 100; AEsch. Prom. Vinct. 729), and in the modern name Crimea. They forsook this abode under the pressure of the Scythian tribes, and during the early part of the 7th century B.C. they poured over the western part of Asia Minor, committing immense devastation, and defying for more than half a century the power of the Lydian kings. They were finally expelled by Alyattes, with the exception of a few who settled at Sinope and Antandrus. It was about the same period that Ezekiel noticed them as acting in conjunction with Armenia (Togarmah) and Magog (Scythia). The connection between Gomer and Armenia is supported by the tradition, preserved by Moses of Chorene (1:11), that Gamir was the ancestor of the Haichian kings of the latter country. After the expulsion of the Cimmerians from Asia Minor their name disappears in its original form; but there can be little reasonable doubt that both the name and the people are to be recognized in the Cimbri of the north of Europe, described by the classical writers sometimes as a German, sometimes as a Celtic race. The preponderance of authority is in favor of the latter (Sallust, Jug. 114; Florus, 3:3; Appian, De Reb. Ill. 4; Bell. Civili. 1:29; 4:2; Diodor. 5:32; 14:114; Plutarch, Cam. 15; Mar. 25, 27; Dion. Cass. 44:42; Justin, 24:8; 38:3, 4); and the probability is that the Cimbri were Celtic, and of the same tribe as the Cymry of Britain (Prichard, Eastern Origin of the Celtic Nations, by Latham, page 142; Latham, Germania of Tacitus, Epilegom. page 165 sq.). By the ancients the Cimsnermi and the (Cimbri were held to be one people; the abodes of the latter were fixed durinag the Roman empire in the north and west of Europe, particularly in the Cimbaic Chersonese (Denmark), on the coast between the Elbae and Rhine, and in Belgium, thence they had crossed to Britain, and occupied at one period the whole of the British isles, but were ultimately driven back to the western and northern districts, which their descendants will occupy in two great divisions, the Gael in Ireland and Scotland, the Cymry in Wales. The latter name preserves a greater similarity to the original Gomer than either of the classical forms, the consonants being identical. The link to connect "Cymry" with "Cimbri" is furnished by the forms Cambria and Cumber- land. The whole Celtic race may therefore be regarded as descended from Gomer, and thus the opinion of Josephus (Ant. 1:6, 1), that the Galatians were sprung from him, may be reconciled with the view propounded (Michaelis, Supplem. page 335 sq.). From the place Gomer occupies in the roll of nations in Genesis, it may be presumed that the people descended from his was one of the oldest, and this woaed fall in with the half-mythic character of the Cimmerii as they appear in Homer It is plain also from Eze 38:6 that the race of Gomer was regarded by the Hebrews as living to the far north of Palestine, and this accords exactly with the site assigned to the Cimmerii by Herodotus, wcho places them on the Caucasus, and represents them as skirting the Euxine and coming down on Asia Minor by way of Colchis, and across the river Halys. If the Cimmerii and the Cimbri are identified, and the latter be regarded as a Celtic- speaking people, the statement of Jerome that the Galatme spoke a hamegmeage not greatly differingg from that of the Treveri (Proleg. Lib. 2, ad Ep. ad Galatas) may have an important bearing an the subject of the migrations of the original Gomerian stock. SEE ETHNOLOGY.
2. The name of the daughter of Diblaim, a harlot who became the wife or concubine (according to some, in vision only) of the prophet Hosea (Ho 1:3). B.C. cir. 725.