In my last post I made the comment that I can trace my family back to Gomer. I have had four e-mails, from people who didn't wish to make comments in the comments section of the blog, asking me to explain the significance of this comment. To encourage comments in their proper place I will not answer those e-mails but will explain the significance of Gomer here!
If a pub quiz question was asked According to be Bible who is the nearest common ancestor of all people? Most teams would answer Adam, but they would be wrong! In Chapter 6 of the book of Genesis every man woman and child is wiped off the face of the earth apart from Noah, his wife and kids. So we are all, most recently, descended from Noah - not Adam!
And this is where Gomer comes in. Noah had three named boys, Ham, Shem and Japheth, and tribal names for the old world are based on myths about the descent of Noah. Notably in recent current affairs the protagonists in Gaza are called Hamas, being the descendant of Ham. Those who don't like what the the Jews are doing are called anti-semitic - people who don't like the descendants of Shem.
Japheph had a son called Gomer, and Gomer's descendants are called Gomri, or to use the modern spelling Cymru - the Welsh word for Wales! And yes I can find old genealogies that prove that I am descended from Gomer!
The descent from Gomer myth also leads to two other myths that are still heard today. One being that Welsh is the oldest spoken language in Europe and the other being that Welsh is the language of Heaven.
Hebrew is, obviously, the language of Heaven, and being the language used by Adam and Eve the oldest language in the world. But before the Ben-Yehuda led revival in the last century, the language of Shem had died out as a spoken language centuries ago.
The descendants of Ham had turned Muslim - there was no way that any good Christian could accept that THEY spoke the language of Heaven.
So we are left with the descent of Japheph and the Gomeri. William Salesbury, the earliest Welsh author proved a relationship between Welsh and Hebrew, which showed that Welsh was the nearest spoken language still in existence to that spoken by Adam and Eve and that Welsh was both the oldest spoken language and the nearest spoken language to the language of Heaven.
People like Mathew Arnold subsequently used Darwin to debunk the heavenly antecedents of the Welsh language, and to make the continuation of the use of the language unpopular in the 19th century, which is one of the reasons why I have never warmed to Darwinism - despite the fact that I have a closer family connection to Charles Darwin than I have to Gomer ap Japheth
So now you know! Please make comments in the comments section in future. The e-mail address is there for legal reasons and not for private debates!!!