Who is Nimrod?

Who is Nimrod? (Genesis 10:8-9)

Lamb of God
Lamb of God

By Frank L. HoffmanScripture Reference:

  • Genesis 10:8-9

Perhaps the best way to answer the question “Who is Nimrod”? is also to address the question “What is a nimrod?” (yes, with a small ‘n’).

In Genesis 10:8-9, we are told who the Biblical Nimrod was:

8. Now Cush became the father of Nimrod; he became a mighty one on the earth.

9. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD.”

If we look previously in the Bible, we will also learn that Nimrod is the grandson of Ham and the great-grandson of Noah.

For years we have heard hunters refer to themselves as Nimrods, and from the above Bible verses we can see why, but at the same time we chuckle for we realize that they really don’t know what they are actually calling themselves.

While the dictionary confirms that Nimrod or nimrod can be used to describe a mighty hunter, a word study reveals that nimrod also has come to refer to people who are tyrants, who are stupid, who are idiots, or who are jerks.

None of this takes away from the fact that hunters can also be very cunning in their approach to killing, and as we shall see, leading other human beings astray.  This could also be because the Hebrew word “to rebel” is so similar to the name, Nimrod.

But in order to get a better understanding of who Nimrod was, let’s take a look at what Rashi, an 11th century Jewish commentator says about him.

In reference to “a mighty one” (verse 8), Rashi writes: “To cause the whole world to rebel against the Holy One (Blessed be He) with the counsel of the generations of the division of mankind.” See Chapter 11, which we will do shortly.

In reference to verse 9, Rashi writes: “He [Nimrod] captures the minds of men with his mouth, and leads them to rebel against the Omnipresent.  He intends to provoke Him in His presence. Concerning every person who acts wickedly with insolence, who knows his Master and yet intends to rebel against Him, it is said, ‘This man is like Nimrod a mighty hunter’.”

The reference to Chapter 11 refers to the fact that the Jewish sages consider Nimrod to be the one who enticed the people to build the tower of Babel, which led to the divisions of the human race.

Unlike sacrifices, which were part of the concessions God allowed to help bring the people back to Him by limiting their wanton killing and by creating extreme remorse in the sinner for causing an innocent animal to die, hunting was considered to be for pleasure and not part of the concession.

In order to take the life of another living being, a person must harden their heart and not have empathy for that being; and to do so for pleasure is to be a sociopath, which explains why the Jewish sages considered hunters to be wicked.

Therefore our conclusion is: don’t be a Nimrod!

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4 thoughts on “Who is Nimrod?

  1. Excellent! Jacobs brother, Esau, was also a hunter and God said He “hated” him from the time he was conceived. Interesting. I’m not sure any other hunters are mentioned in the Scriptures, seems as though it is not a “sport” that God looks favorably upon.

    1. Thank you, These are the two that are primarily mentioned in the Bible, and God definitely doesn’t like hunters or hunting.

  2. Thanks for the ecological formation!

    I never thought of this before—but makes sense.

    Because I have an ancestoral Jewish soul being a Jewish convert to Christianity, I have always had this deep seeded contempt for hunting.

    In fact, that was the first animal issue I worked on, speaking out against hunting for population control in suburban parks in my own community.

    Even when I visited modern day Irsael—this anti-hunting mentality still marks Irsaeli wildlife management policy. Because Irsael does not have a hunting culture and is virtually illegal like in America, when you visit an Irsael National Park like Ein Gedi National Park it is like stepping into the Peaceable Kingdom in Isaiah 11. Irsael also doesn’t have problems with invasive/overpopulated animals either.

    I talk more about this in my book “Have Mercy On Me, An Ecological Sinner: How The God Of The Bible Helped Me Rise Above Compassion Fatigue and Not Give-up On The Ecological Struggle” (Amazon, 2012).

    Thanks for sharing this!

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