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Ashkenaz, Ashkenas

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ASHKENAZ, ASHKENAS ăsh’ kə năz (אַשְׁכֲּנַ֥ז), KJV ASHCHENAZ (1 Chron 1:6). A son of Gomer and great grandson of Noah (Gen 10:3). He was the eponymous ancestor of a people mentioned by Jeremiah in association with Ararat and Minni (Jer. 51:27). Probably Ashkenaz is to be identified with the Scythians, a people who, in the time of Jeremiah, had settled near Lake Urmia in the region of Ararat (Urartu). The Assyrian texts mention a tribe called the Ashkuza, who, allied with the Manneans (the Minni of Jer 51:27), fought against the Assyrians. The Scythians were a crude and warlike people who contributed to the unrest of the Assyrian empire. Their conquest of the Cimmerians (Gomer) is cited by Herodotus (IV, 11, 12). Their name became a synonym for Barbarian.

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