Genesis 10:3
And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.
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(3) Gomer has three main divisions:—

1. Ashkenaz, a region in the neighbourhood of Armenia (Jeremiah 51:27), whence, following the course of Japhethite migration, the race seems to have wandered into Germany. The derivations are all most uncertain; but the Jews call the Germans Ashkenazites, and are probably right.

2. Riphath, in 1Chronicles 1:6, is called Diphath (see Dodanim, below). Riphath is probably right, and the, inhabitants of the Riphæan Mountains (the Carpathians?) are the people meant. They were Celts.

3. Togarmah. Certainly Armenia.

10:1-7 This chapter shows concerning the three sons of Noah, that of them was the whole earth overspread. No nation but that of the Jews can be sure from which of these seventy it has come. The lists of names of fathers and sons were preserved of the Jews alone, for the sake of the Messiah. Many learned men, however, have, with some probability, shown which of the nations of the earth descended from each of the sons of Noah To the posterity of Japheth were allotted the isles of the gentiles; probably, the island of Britain among the rest. All places beyond the sea from Judea are called isles, Jer 25:22. That promise, Isa 42:4, The isles shall wait for his law, speaks of the conversion of the gentiles to the faith of Christ.Gomer has three sons, who are the founders of as many nations.

(8) Ashkenaz is supposed to have lain south of the Euxine, and to be traceable in its original name ἄξενος axenos, and in the Ascanius and Ascania of Bithynia, perhaps in Scandinavia. Part of the nation may have migrated to Germany, which is called Ashkenaz by the Jews, and where the word Sachsen (Saxon) occurs. It perhaps contains the root of the name Asia.

(9) Riphath seems to have travelled north, and left his name in the Rhipaean mountains. Josephus, however, places him in Paphlagonia, where the name Tobata occurs (Diphath) 1 Chronicles 1:6.

(10) Togarmah is said to have been settled in Armenia. By a tradition in Moses Chorenensis, Haik, the ancestor of the Armenians, is the son of Thorgom, the son of Gomer. At all events, the Black Sea might convey colonies from Gomer to Asia Minor and Armenia.


Ge 10:1-32. Genealogies.

1. sons of Noah—The historian has not arranged this catalogue according to seniority of birth; for the account begins with the descendants of Japheth, and the line of Ham is given before that of Shem though he is expressly said to be the youngest or younger son of Noah; and Shem was the elder brother of Japheth (Ge 10:21), the true rendering of that passage.

generations, &c.—the narrative of the settlement of nations existing in the time of Moses, perhaps only the principal ones; for though the list comprises the sons of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, all their descendants are not enumerated. Those descendants, with one or two exceptions, are described by names indicative of tribes and nations and ending in the Hebrew im, or the English "-ite."

Ashkenaz, whose seed possessed Pontus and Bithynia, and the neighbouring parts, from whom they took the names of the lake and haven called Ascanius, and the sea called Axenus, or Euxinus.

Riphath is called Diphath, 1 Chronicles 1:6; the letters Daleth and Resh being oft interchanged, as we shall see in other instances. His posterity dwelled in or near Pontus and Bithynia, where Mela and Pliny and Solinus place the Riphaei, or Riphaces, and the Paphlagonians, who were anciently called Piphataei.

Togarmah, whose posterity are joined with Gomer’s; see Ezekiel 27:14, Ezekiel 38:6; and were, as some think, the Phrygians and Galatians, and of them the Gauls and Germans; or, as others, the Armenians, and of them the Turks.

And the sons of Gomer,.... Who was the first of the sons of Japheth, three of whose sons are mentioned, and they are as follow:

Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah; the first of these seated himself in the lesser Asia, in Pontus and Bithynia, where were some traces of his name in the river Ascanius, and in the Ascanian lake or bay; and also in the lesser Phrygia or Troas, where was a city called Ascania, and where were the Ascanian isles (x), and the Euxine Pontus, or Axeine (y), as it was first called, which is the sea that separates Asia and Europe, and is no other than a corruption of the sea of Ashkenaz. It seems to have been near Armenia, by its being mentioned along with Minni or Armenia, in Jeremiah 51:27. Germany is by the Jews commonly called Ashkenaz; perhaps some of the posterity of Ashkenaz in Asia might pass into Europe, and Germany might be a colony of them; so Mr. Broughton (z) observes of the sons of Gomer, that they first took their seat in Asia, and then came north and west into Muscovy and Germany. The next son of Gomer was Riphath. Josephus (a) says, that the Riphathaeans which came from him are the Paphlagonians, a people of Asia Minor, near Pontus, so that he settled near his brother Ashkenaz; perhaps his posterity are the Arimphaei of Pliny (b), and the Riphaeans of Mela (c), who inhabited near the Riphaean mountains, which might have their name from this son of Gomer, who in 1 Chronicles 1:6 is called Diphath, the letters and being very similar. His third son is called Togarmah, who had his seat in the north of Judea, see Ezekiel 38:6 his posterity are the Phrygians, according to Josephus (d); but some place them in Galatia and Cappadocia; and Strabo (e) makes mention of a people called Trocmi, on the borders of Pontus and Cappadocia; and Cicero (f) of the Trogmi or Trogini, who may have their name from hence; for the Greek interpreters always call him Torgama or Thorgana. The Jews make the Turks to be the posterity of Togarmah. Elias Levita says (g), there are some that say that Togarmah is the land of Turkey; and Benjamin of Tudela (h) calls a Turkish sultan king of the Togarmans, that is, the Turks; and among the ten families of Togarmah, which Josephus ben Gorion (i) speaks of, the Turks are one; and perhaps this notion may not be amiss, since the company of Togarmah is mentioned with Gog, or the Turk; see Gill on Ezekiel 38:6. The Armenians pretend to be the descendants of Togarmah, who, with them, is the son of Tiras, the son of Gomer, by his son Haik, from whom they and their country, from all antiquity, have bore the name of Haik (k).

(x) Strabo Geograph. l. 12. p. 387, 388. & l. 14. p. 468. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 4. 12. & 5. 30, 31, 32. (y) Vid. Orphei Argonautic, ver. 84. (z) See his Works, p. 2, 58. (a) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.) (b) Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 2.((c) De Situ Orbis, l. 1. c. 2.((d) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.) (e) Geograph. l. 4. p. 130. & l. 12. p. 390. (f) De Divinatione, l. 2.((g) In Tishbi, p. 259. (h) ltinerarium, p. 27, 54. (i) Hist. Heb. l. 1. c. 1. p. 3.((k) See the Universal History, vol. 1. p. 377.

And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.
3. Ashkenaz] Mentioned in Jeremiah 51:27 along with Ararat; and now generally identified with the region of Armenia. It is worth noticing that the mediaeval Jews explained this name as denoting Germany. Thus the Ashkenazim are the German Jews.

Riphath] In 1 Chronicles 1:6 the name appears as “Diphath.” The letters, R (ר) and D (ד), are very similar in Hebrew. Cf. “Dodanim” for “Rodanim,” Genesis 10:4. Josephus identified “Riphath” with the Paphlagonians. The name is now unknown.

Togarmah] Mentioned also in Ezekiel 27:14, with Javan, Tubal and Meshech; and in Ezekiel 38:6, with Gomer, and generally identified with the western part of Armenia. Cf. 1 Chronicles 1:6.

Verse 3. - And the sons of Gomer; Ash-kenaz. Axenus, the ancient name of the Euxine, is supposed to favor Phrygia and Bithynia as the locality possessed by Aske-naz (Bochart); Iskus; equivalent to Ask, Ascanios, the oldest son of the Germanic Mannus, to point out Germany as his abode (Jewish commentators); but Jeremiah 51:27 seems to indicate the region between the Euxine and the Caspian. Kalisch, following Josephus, identifies the name with the ancient town Rhagae, one day's journey to the south of the Caspian. Murphy and Peele, on the authority of Diodorus Siculus, believe the Germans may have been a colony of the Ashkenians. And Riphath. Diphath (1 Chronicles 1:6) - the Paphlagonians (Josephus); more generally the tribes about the Riphaean mountains, on the north of the Caspian (Knobel, Kalisch, Clericus, Rosenmüller, Murphy, ' Speaker's Commentary'); but both are uncertain (Keil). And Togarmah. Mentioned again in Ezekiel 27:14; Ezekiel 38:6; the Phrygians (Josephus), the Cappadocians (Bochart), the Armenians (Michaelis, Gesenius, Rosenmüller), the Taurians, inhabiting the Crimea (Kalisch). The tradition preserved by Moses Chorensis, that the ancestor of the Armenians was the son of Thorgom, the son of Comer, is commonly regarded as deciding the question. Genesis 10:3Descendants of Gomer. Ashkenaz: according to the old Jewish explanation, the Germani; according to Knobel, the family of Asi, which is favoured by the German legend of Mannus, and his three sons, Iscus (Ask, Ἀσκάνιος), Ingus, and Hermino. Kiepert, however, and Bochart decide, on geographical grounds, in favour of the Ascanians in Northern Phrygia. Riphath: in Knobel's opinion the Celts, part of whom, according to Plutarch, crossed the ὄρη Ῥίπαια, Montes Rhipaei, towards the Northern Ocean to the furthest limits of Europe; but Josephus, whom Kiepert follows, supposed Ῥιβάθης to be Paphlagonia. Both of these are very uncertain. Togarmah is the name of the Armenians, who are still called the house of Thorgom or Torkomatsi.
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