Nimrod the Great Hunter and Nimrod the jerk

Genesis 10:32-11:9

These are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem Ham, and Japheth..

Now the whole earth had one language and so they used the same words and they could all talk to each other easily. As as men migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar in the land of Babylonia. Shinar is probably Shumir, Babylonia or Southern Mesopotamia and extends to the Persian Gulf.

It was built by Ham’s grandson Nimrod, son of Cush, who became a mighty a hunter and as a leader of people because he realized that the land about Shinar was great for making bricks.  It’s dirt held together well, and it’s bricks were sturdier than most, obviously construction work ran in this family’s veins, and Nimrod had Noah’s knack for development.  Perhaps the first suburb should have been named after him instead of Wild Bill Levitt, but that’s another story.

Nimrod is also known as a great hunter, and many are compared to Nimrod in his hunting abilities, perhaps this too came from Noah who hunted down all the species of animals for his Ark.  But alas, while Noah was humble and used his talents for the glory of God, Nimrod was proud and overly ambitious, and in slang his name will also appear as a “jerk” or “fool”.

The following story is why ….

 Nimrod was developing  several cities like Ninevah (modern day Mosul Iraq) and Babylon (the  Greek form of the Hebrew Babel)  in the land of Shinar (Iraq).  He encouraged the idea that everyone should get together,  and said “let us make bricks, and harden them with fire” which was unique to Babylon because bricks were used instead of stone.  Also instead of placing the stones in rows and needing stone cutters for the correct angles,  bricks could be glued together with bitumen tar,” [a natural occurring organic by-product of decomposed organic matter i.e. grass, weeds,  and trees] much like mortar is used together, but as the bitumen was natural it was easier to find and less costly to procure.  { Being naturally abundant, bitumen has been used for the past 40,000 years as a building material.}

So now that Nimrod has an abundance of bricks, and manpower, he thought even larger and began to envision that they could ” build ourselves a city, with a  tower (most likely a ziggurat or stepped pyramid) with its top reaching into the heavens, and in that way make us famous” and  ” we can be remembered forever and not be scattered nameless upon the face of the whole earth.”

Of course you can see the problems immediately.  This does sound rather boastful, not to mention pretentious, and the LORD came down to see the city and the new tower, which the sons of men had built.   He was not happy.

So the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; and nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and bring confusion to their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.”

So the LORD scattered them all over the face of all the earth, and they stopped building the city. Therefore its name was Babel (Hebrew literally “a confusion of speech”) , because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and then the LORD scattered them all over the face of all the earth, and Nimrod the great hunter became Nimrod the fool…and so it goes.