firm, a descendant of Cush, the son of Ham. He was the first who claimed to be a "mighty one in the earth." Babel was the beginning of his kingdom, which he gradually enlarged ( Genesis 10:8-10 ). The "land of Nimrod" ( Micah 5:6 ) is a designation of Assyria or of Shinar, which is a part of it.
rebellion (but probably an unknown Assyrian word)
(rebellion; or the valiant ), a son of Cush and grandson of Ham. The events of his life are recorded in ( Genesis 10:8 ) ff., from which we learn (1) that he was a Cushite; (2) that he established an empire in Shinar (the classical Babylonia) the chief towns being Babel, Erech, Accad and Calneh; and (3) that he extended this empire northward along the course of the Tigris over Assyria, where he founded a second group of capitals, Nineveh, Rehoboth, Calah and Resen.
nim'-rod (nimrodh; Nebrod):
A descendant of Ham, mentioned in "the generations of the sons of Noah" (Genesis 10; compare 1 Chronicles 1:10) as a son of Cush. He established his kingdom "in the land of Shinar," including the cities "Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh" (Genesis 10:10), of which only Babel, or Babylon, and Erech, or Uruk, have been identified with certainty. "The land of Shinar" is the old name for Southern Babylonia, afterward called Chaldea ('erets kasdim), and was probably more extensive in territory than the Sumer of the inscriptions in the ancient royal title, "King of Shumer and Accad," since Accad is included here in Shinar. Nimrod, like other great kings of Mesopotamian lands, was a mighty hunter, possibly the mightiest and the prototype of them all, since to his name had attached itself the proverb: "Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before Yahweh" (Genesis 10:9). In the primitive days of Mesopotamia, as also in Palestine, wild animals were so numerous that they became a menace to life and property (Exodus 23:29; Leviticus 26:22); therefore the king as benefactor and protector of his people hunted these wild beasts. The early conquest of the cities of Babylonia, or their federation into one great kingdom, is here ascribed to Nimrod. Whether the founding and colonization of Assyria (Genesis 10:11) are to be ascribed to Nimrod will be determined by the exegesis of the text. English Versions of the Bible reads: "Out of that land he (i.e. Nimrod) went forth into Assyria, and builded Nineveh," etc., this translation assigning the rise of Assyria to Nimrod, and apparently being sustained by Micah 5:5,6 (compare J. M. P. Smith, "Micah," ICC, in the place cited.); but American Revised Version, margin renders: "Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh," which translation is more accurate exegetically and not in conflict with Micah 5:6, if in the latter "land of Nimrod" be understood, not as parallel with, but as supplemental to, Assyria, and therefore as Babylon (compare commentaries of Cheyne, Pusey, S. Clark, in the place cited.).
Nimrod has not been identified with any mythical hero or historic king of the inscriptions. Some have sought identification with Gilgamesh, the flood hero of Babylonia (Skinner, Driver, Delitzsch); others with a later Kassite king (Haupt, Hilprecht), which is quite unlikely; but the most admissible correspondence is with Marduk, chief god of Babylon, probably its historic founder, just as Asshur, the god of Assyria, appears in verse 11 as the founder of the Assyrian empire (Wellhausen, Price, Sayce). Lack of identification, however, does not necessarily indicate mythical origin of the name.
See ASTRONOMY, sec. II, 11; BABYLONIA AND ASSYRIA, RELIGION OF, IV, 7; MERODACH; ORION.
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