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Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; that is why it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the LORD.” The first centers of his kingdom were Babylon, Uruk, Akkad and Kalneh, in Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria, where he built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah and Resen, which is between Nineveh and Calah—which is the great city.
Genesis 10:8-12

Putting the pieces of Nimrod together, we see a better picture:

  • Nimrod Bar-Cush (נִמְרוֹד). His name is taken from the Hebrew verb form for “let us revolt” – marad. Others interpret the name as “The Rebel”, because an “n” is added before the “m” in marad, making it an infinitive construct. This paints him as a type/representative/system of rebellion against God. Although we cannot say that it is exactly where his name was derived from, it cannot be ignored. Names have a particular significance in the Bible. His actions show a particular slant against God’s word. While God’s command was to scatter people and populate the world (Genesis 1:28, 9:1), Nimrod was gathering people in one place to build his kingdom (Genesis 11:4).
  • What was particularly interesting is in the way the Bible handles his introduction. Nimrod was not described as a person who was, but a person who became or began to be (Genesis 10:8; 1 Chronicles 1:10). This adds to the theory that Nimrod is a person representative of a unified and systematic rebellion against God.
  • Although he is described as a “mighty warrior”, the implication of the Hebrew word is a powerful tyrant. It could be said that Nimrod was exceptionally powerful/mighty; The Hebrew word for “mighty one” is used 4 times in the Old Testament to describe men with exceptional strength/ability (Genesis 6:4, I Samuel 17:5, I Chronicles 11:26-47). Some also say that he was a hunter not of animals but of men, but there is no evidence of such a claim. The Hebrew word for hunter is also used to describe Esau (Genesis 25:27-28) – a hunter of animals. It is not difficult to see how he acquired that title when we consider that he conquered a multitude of cities and built a number of other cities; he was the creator of the world’s first empire and was the first ever human king.
  • Babylon, the city which he founded was the first account of a concerted and unified effort from men to defy God. God recognised this unified effort in saying “Behold, they are one people” (Genesis 11:6). The goal for building the Tower of Babel is simple and purely God defying – to “make a name for ourselves” (Genesis 11:4). God’s response was to scatter them (Genesis 11:8-9). Such a difference from the story of Moses (Genesis 12:2).

Babylon was started as a kingdom built with man in the center. It’s prize building, the Tower of Babel, was built to be a trophy of the kingdom’s exploits. It was a celebration of the power of man apart from God. Hundreds of years later, we see that it hasn’t changed a single bit (Daniel 4:29-30). The king as a representative and head of the kingdom articulated exactly what the people of Babel might have said if the tower was ever completed.

“Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”
King Nebuchadnezzar

Nimrod was talented and strong, but chose to build his own kingdom. In the end, his trophy tower was stripped and his kingdom was scattered (Genesis 11:5-9). Nebuchadnezzar was successful, but chose to attribute all the success to himself. He had to be taken from his kingdom and humbled (Daniel 4:31-37). Many of us are talented as Nimrod and successful as Nebuchadnezzar was.

Now, whose kingdom are we building with all our talent? And who do we attribute our success to?

More reading (with a pinch of salt):
http://www.buzzardhut.net/index/htm/Babylon/Nimrod.htm
http://www.christiananswers.net/dictionary/nimrod.html

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