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GOMER (gō'mĕr, Heb. gōmer, possibly meaning God accomplishes it or completion)

Gomer was the oldest son of Japheth (Gen.10.2-Gen.10.3; 1Chr.1.5-1Chr.1.6) and the father/ancestor of a people (Ezek.38.6). The latter are probably to be equated with the Indo-European tribes, the Cimmerians (Gimirrai) of classical history who settled in Cappadocia.Gomer was the wife of the prophet Hosea, and the daughter of Diblaim (Hos.1.3). She bore Jezreel, Lo-Ruhamah, and Lo-Ammi. God used the unfaithfulness of Gomer in her marriage to illustrate the unfaithfulness of Israel in their covenant relationship to himself. See also BOOK OF HOSEA.

GOMER gō’ mər (גֹּ֣מֶר, meaning perhaps completion, perfection). Son of Japheth; wife of Hosea. 1. Son of Japheth and grandson of Noah (Gen 10:2, 3). Father of Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. His offspring are prob. the Cimmerians (Akkad. gimmirrai, Gr. Κιμμέριοι). Gomer (the Cimmerians) is mentioned in Ezekiel 38:6 as supporting an attack on Israel that will fail because the Lord is defending His people. (Some feel that “men of Gamad,” Ezek 27:11, is copyist’s error for Gomer.) The Cimmerians were forced out of S Russia by the Scythians and crossed over the Caucasus into Asia Minor at the end of the 8th cent. b.c. In the following cent., they fought the Assyrians, conquered Urartu, then subdued Phrygia and Lydia, and fought Gr. cities on the W coast.

2. Wife of Hosea, an 8th-cent. prophet in Israel during the reign of Jeroboam II. Daughter of Diblaim (Hos 1:3). The Lord asked Hosea to marry a harlot. He married Gomer and by her had children to whom were given illustrative, or symbolic, names. The marriage to a harlot pictured the Lord’s marriage to His people who had gone astray into idolatry. Some moralists have questioned the propriety of Hosea marrying a harlot and have proposed the possibility that she was pure at the time of her marriage, but that both the Lord and Hosea knew that she would fall into sin. Hosea is later told to marry again, “an adulteress” (3:1); some feel that this is the same woman after she had left Hosea, being bought again and asked to abstain from harlotry. Whether or not this is Gomer, it illustrates that though God’s people sin the Lord loves His people and wants them to return to Him, but to refrain from sin. Some feel that these are not actual marriages but simply illustrations.


N. Snaith, Mercy and Sacrifice (1953), 27-38; The Cambridge Ancient History, III (1960); G. A. F. Knight, Hosea (1960), 27-29, 40-65; J. M. Ward, Hosea (1966), 3-71.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

Given in Ge 10:2 f; 1Ch 1:5 f as a son of Japheth. The name evidently designates the people called Gimirra by the Assyrians, Kimmerians by the Greeks. They were a barbaric horde of Aryans who in the 7th century BC left their abode in what is now Southern Russia and poured. through the Caucasus into Western Asia, causing serious trouble to the Assyrians and other nations. One division moved eastward toward Media, another westward, where they conquered Cappadocia and made it their special abode. They fought also in other parts of Asia Minor, conquering some portions. The Armenian name for Cappadocia, Gamir, has come from this people. In Eze 38:6 Gomer is mentioned as one of the northern nations.

Wife of Hosea. Hosea married Gomer according to Divine appointment, and this was the beginning of God’s word to him (Ho 1:3; 3:1-4). She was to be a wife of whoredom and they were to have children of whoredom. This need not mean that at the time of marriage she was thus depraved, but she had the evil taint in her blood, had inherited immoral instincts. These soon manifested themselves, and the unfaithful, depraved wife of the prophet went deeper into sin. She seems to have left him and become the slave of her paramour (Ho 3:1). Hosea is now commanded by Yahweh to buy her back, paying the price of the ordinary slave. The prophet keeps her in confinement and without a husband for some time. This experience of the prophet was typical of Israel’s unfaithfulness, of Israel’s exile, and of God bringing her back after the punishment of the exile.

See Hosea.

J. J. Reeve.