And Cush begat Nimrod
Besides the other five sons before mentioned; and probably this was his youngest son, being mentioned last; or however he is reserved to this place, because more was to be spoken of him than of any of the rest. Sir Walter Raleigh F9 thinks that Nimrod was begotten by Cush after his other children were become fathers, and of a later time than some of his grandchildren and nephews: and indeed the sons of Raamah, the fourth son of Cush, are taken notice of before him: however, the Arabic writers F11 must be wrong, who make him to be the son of Canaan, whereas it is so clear and express from hence that he was the son of Cush. In the Greek version he is called Nebrod, and by Josephus, Nebrodes, which is a name of Bacchus; and indeed Nimrod is the same with the Bacchus of the Heathens, for Bacchus is no other than Barchus, the son of Cush; and Jacchus, which is another of his names in Jah of Cush, or the god the son of Cush; and it is with respect to his original name Nebrod, or Nebrodes, that Bacchus is represented as clothed with the skin of (nebriv) , "nebris", or a young hind, as were also his priests; and so in his name Nimrod there may be an allusion to (armn) , "Nimra", which, in the Chaldee language, signifies a tiger, and which kind of creatures, with others, he might hunt; tigers drew in the chariot of Bacchus, and he was sometimes clothed with the skin of one; though the name of Nimrod is usually derived from (drm) , "to rebel", because he was a rebel against God, as is generally said; and because, as Jarchi observes, he caused all the world to rebel against God, by the advice he gave to the generation of the division, or confusion of languages, the builders of Babel: he seems to be the same with Belus, the founder of Babel and of the Babylonian empire, whom Diodorus Siculus F12 confounds with Ninus his son:
he began to be a mighty man in the earth:
that is, he was the first that formed a plan of government, and brought men into subjection to it; and so the Jews F13 make him to be the first king after God; for of the ten kings they speak of in the world, God is the first, and Nimrod the second; and so the Arabic writers F14 say, he was the first of the kings that were in the land of Babylon; and that, seeing the figure of a crown in the heaven, he got a golden one made like it, and put it on his head; hence it was commonly reported, that the crown descended to him from heaven; for this refers not to his gigantic stature, as if he was a giant, as the Septuagint render it; or a strong robust man, as Onkelos; nor to his moral character, as the Targum of Jonathan, which is,
``he began to be mighty in sin, and to rebel before the Lord in the earth;''but to his civil character, as a ruler and governor: he was the first that reduced bodies of people and various cities into one form of government, and became the head of them; either by force and usurpation, or it may be with the consent of the people, through his persuasion of them, and on account of the mighty and heroic actions done by him.
F9 History of the World, B. 1. ch. 10. sect. 1. p. 109.
F11 Elmacinus, p. 29. apud Hottinger. Smegma, p. 270. See the Universal History, vol. 1. p. 276.
F12 Bibliothec. l. 2. p. 90.
F13 Pirke Eliezer, c. 11.
F14 Elmacinus, p. 29. Patricides, p. 16. apud Hottinger. Smegma, p. 271, 272. Abulpharag. Hist. Dynast. p. 18.