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    GOMER

    Apart from his genealogical relation there is no further mention made of Gomer in the Scriptures except in Ezekiel 38:6. There “Gomer and all his bands” are spoken of in connection with Togarmah, as being “of the north quarters.” To say nothing here as to the age of the world when this applies-it being a prophecy and not history-this passage proves that the place of Gomer and all his bands must be found to the north of the land of Palestine. This being the limit of the Scripture narrative regarding Gomer and his bands, any further information must be gathered from other sources.POTE 252.1

    Amongst profane writers the first mention of the people of Gomer is by Homer, about 850 b. c., who says:-POTE 252.2

    “There in a lonely land, and gloomy cells, The dusky nation of Cimmeria dwells; The sun ne’er views the uncomfortable seats, When radiant he advances or retreats: Unhappy race! whom endless night invades, Clouds the dull air, and wraps them round in shades.”POTE 252.3

    -Odyssey, book xi, 15-20, Pope’s translation.POTE 252.4

    The Cimmerians here named are the people of Gomer only with a slight variation in the name-Gomerians, Cimmerians-and from 800 to 600 b. c. this people under the name of Cimmerii, Gimiri, or Gomerin, played no inconsiderable part in the affairs of Western Asia. The land of darkness spoken of by Homer as the country of the Cimmerians was the northern coast of the Black Sea. There also is where Æschylus, about b. c. 500, placed Cimmeria. And Herodotus, b. c. 484-424, says: “The land which is now inhabited by the Scyths was formerly the country of the Cimmerians;” and that “the mart of the Borysthenites ... is situated in the very center of the whole sea-coast of Scythia.” The Borysthenites were the people who lived about the River Borysthenes, and the ancient Borysthenes is the modern Dnieper that flows southward through Russia and empties into the Black Sea just west of the Crimea.POTE 253.1

    The Cimmerians possessed the whole northern coast of the Black Sea and the country of the Ukraine, that is, the country watered by the River Dnieper and its tributaries. But in 650-600 b. c. the Scythians, who covered the vast region above the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian Sea, poured down upon the Cimmerians, and dispossessed them of their country. The main body of the Cimmerians moved toward the west, where we shall find them again after a while, while a small section moved down through the Caucasus Mountains into Asia Minor, and inflicted upon its people and provinces the like desolations that had come upon themselves and their own country by the Scythians. Many a predatory raid their race had made before in company with the Thracian tribes, but this was a perfect torrent of desolation.POTE 253.2

    “The Cimmerian invaders carried ruin and devastation over all the fairest regions of Lower Asia. Paphlagonia, Bithynia, Ionia, Phrygia, even Cilicia, as well as Lydia, were plundered and laid waste; in Phrygia, Midas, the king, despairing of any effectual resistance, on the approach of the dreaded foe, is said to have committed suicide; in. Lydia, as we know from Herodotus, they took the capital city, all but the acropolis; in Ionia, they ravaged the valley of the Cayster, besieged Ephesus, and, according to some accounts, burnt the temple of Diana in its vicinity; after which they are thought to have proceeded southward into the plain of the Mæander, and to have sacked the city of Magnesia. One body, under a leader whom the Greeks called Lygdamis, even penetrated as far as Cilicia, and there sustained a terrible reverse at the hands of the hardy mountaineers.... Still the strength of the invaders was not broken by this defeat. It was only in the third generation that the Lydian princes were able to expel them from the territories under their dominion. Even then, it is a mistake to say that they were driven out of Asia.... The Cimmerians, long after the time of their expulsion from Lydia by Alyattes, maintained themselves in certain strongholds, as Antandrus, which, according to Aristotle, they occupied for a hundred years, and Sinope, where, Herodotus informs us, they made a permanent settlement. The history of Lydia during the time of their supremacy was almost a blank.”-Rawlinson’s Herodotus, appendix, to book i, essay i, section, 14.POTE 254.1

    Herodotus says that in his time-POTE 254.2

    “Scythia still retains traces of the Cimmerians; there are Cimmerian castles, and a Cimmerian ferry, also a tract called Cimmeria, and a Cimmerian Bosphorus.”-Id., book iv, chap. 12.POTE 254.3

    And in our day traces of them still remain in the name of the little peninsula that projects into the Black Sea on the north, the Crimea, and Crim Tartary, as well as in the Russian city Eski-Krim-Old Krim-“which marks the site of the ancient town of Cimmerium.” It is evident therefore that the country north of the Black Sea was the place of the Cimmerians, the people of Gomer, and the Crimea still bears testimony to the fact; Gomer, Gomerin, Gimiri, Cimmerii, Crimea.POTE 255.1

    The second named of the sons of Japheth isPOTE 255.2

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