by Kristen C. Strocchia
“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
Now we come to a rather notorious descendant of Ham–Nimrod. Besides the biblical accounts, there are extra-biblical literatures and histories that chronicle his exploits in no less than twelve languages–including English and Muslim accounts.
Still, as with many aspects of the Bible, modern atheistic scholars denounce the existence of any such person. Obviously, if they can erase the man from history, then they can also erase everything attributed to him and his descendants.
However, the Bible does not speak favorably of Nimrod. Yes, it tells us that he was skilled with bow and arrow as both warrior and huntsman. But the phrase before the Lord in the original language basically connotes in God’s face or in direct opposition/defiance towards God. This understanding is critical since one of Nimrod’s many kingdom centers was Babylon in Shinar. A city which plays a very central role in the rest of biblical and world history.
According to the secular historian Flavius Josephus, Nimrod persuaded people to believe in their own ability to provide for themselves and to make themselves happy. He told them that anything they could accomplish and enjoy in life came from themselves, and that if they depended on or worshipped God it was a sign of cowardice.
Josephus goes on to say that people weren’t so easily persuaded. Instead, Nimrod gradually turned his governance into tyranny, making the people constantly dependent on his power rather than God’s or–ironically–their own.
Whenever someone stands in opposition to God, their promises are empty. Nimrod couldn’t actually ensure that people would be able to provide for themselves in every circumstance or that their pursuit of happiness would actually result in joy. He was just a hot head with a big mouth that people followed, some willfully others forcibly.
Nimrod himself was in no way fit to stand in the place of Creator God before the people. He could hunt, but he couldn’t provide for everyone all the time. He could fight, but he couldn’t protect everyone or ensure peace at all times, he couldn’t make everyone happy all the time, and he certainly do anything that God could do. So it’s amazing that so many people bought into his empty claims and willingly turned their back on the loving, One True God.
Is there a Nimrod in your life? Maybe even a Nimrod figure in media or school? Someone who peddles the belief that you don’t need to listen to anyone but yourself to be happy? Ask God for discernment to see the Nimrod spirit in the world today and to prepare you to take a stand against it.