8And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.
Nimrod – The founder of Babylon and Assyria. Two nations that would really cause trouble later on for Israel. Nimrod’s name means “rebel” and he was a prototype of the ultimate rebel – the Anti-Christ, who some believe will be based out of the revised Roman Empire or the European Union.
The Anti-Christ will seek to create a one-world government and usher in a one-world religion. Many believe that Nimrod began this religion.
The Anti-Christ will be a charismatic leader. He will be very, very persuasive and he will become mighty, or powerful. Nimrod amazed and confounded people.
9He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.
Some believe that this should say – “A mighty hunter against the Lord” or “in the face of the Lord” as in rebelliousness or mocking
Meaning that Nimrod hunted more than animals, he hunted the souls of man. Nimrod became a leader in apostasy, developer of a great religious system later to become known as the Babylonian religious system or the “mystery Babylon”.
Notes from the church fathers:
Fallen angels taught men the use of magical incantations that would force demons to obey man. After the flood Ham the son of Noah unhappily discovered this and taught it to his sons. This became ingrained into the Egyptians, Persians, and Babylonians. Ham died shortly after the fall of the Tower of Babel. Nimrod, called Ninus by the Greeks, was handed this knowledge and by it caused men to go away from the worship of god and go into diverse and erratic superstitions and began to be governed by the signs in the stars and motions of the planets.
Taken from Recognitions of Clement 4.26-29.
Here is some information from the book “The Two Babylons”
‘The Two Babylon’s, was written by the late Reverend Alexander Hislop in pamphlet form in Edinburgh in 1853, greatly expanded 5 years later and has since appeared in many editions in both Great Britain and the United States. This book is considered by many Christians to be a classic in apologetics.’
‘See how a religion that was started by Nimrod and his wife spread to various regions, taking on different names, but keeping the same pagan rituals and trappings. These same rituals embody the Catholic church of today.’
Many have taught that Semiramus was the wife of Nimrod and Tammuz was said to be their son, as was chronicled in the Two (2) Babylon’s by Alexander Hislop.
Hislop identified Nimrod with the Mesopotamian ruler Ninus. Based on this supposed connection, and on selected readings of the older legends, he created a new image of Nimrod as a central part of his theory that the Roman Catholic Church grew from Babylonian paganism. A summary of his ideas follows:
According to ancient Egyptian and Babylonian traditions, his mother was Semiramis; sometimes Semiramis is referred to as the mother of Nimrod, and sometimes as his wife, leading to the belief that Nimrod married his mother. Also according to these traditions, Semiramis, who rose to greatness because of her son, was presented with a difficulty when her son died, so instead she pronounced him to be a god, so that she herself would become a goddess.
One story says that after Nimrod was killed, Semiramis claimed that an evergreen tree sprouted from a tree stump, which she said indicated the entry of new life into the deceased Nimrod; every year on the anniversary of Nimrod’s birth (December 25) they would leave gifts at this evergreen tree. This is presented by some as a possible explanation the origin of the Christmas tree.
Even though Semiramis claimed to be a virgin she had another son, named Tammuz, who she said was the reincarnation of Nimrod. She became known as the “Virgin Mother”, “Holy Mother” and the “Queen of Heaven” and was symbolized by the Moon. So began the worship of Semiramis and the child-god, and the whole paraphernalia of the Babylonian religious system.
After the decline of Babylon, the religion was transported to Egypt where the people worshipped Isis and her son Osiris (otherwise known as Horus). The same mother and child deities appeared in Pagan Rome as Fortuna and Jupiter, and in Greece as Ceres, the Great Mother, with the babe at her breast, or as Irene, the goddess of Peace, with the boy Plutus in her arms.
2. Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of God. He was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah, a bold man, and of great strength of hand. He persuaded them not to ascribe it to God, as if it was through his means they were happy, but to believe that it was their own courage which procured that happiness. He also gradually changed the government into tyranny, seeing no other way of turning men from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence on his power. He also said he would be revenged on God, if he should have a mind to drown the world again; for that he would build a tower too high for the waters to be able to reach! and that he would avenge himself on God for destroying their forefathers !
(Antiquities of the Jews, Book 1 Chapter 4, Josephus)
1 And Nimrod son of Cush was still in the land of Shinar, and he reigned over it and dwelt there, and he built cities in the land of Shinar.
2 And these are the names of the four cities which he built, and he called their names after the occurrences that happened to them in the building of the tower.
3 And he called the first Babel, saying, Because the Lord there confounded the language of the whole earth; and the name of the second he called Erech, because from there God dispersed them.
4 And the third he called Eched, saying there was a great battle at that place; and the fourth he called Calnah, because his princes and mighty men were consumed there, and they vexed the Lord, they rebelled and transgressed against him.
5 And when Nimrod had built these cities in the land of Shinar, he placed in them the remainder of his people, his princes and his mighty men that were left in his kingdom.
6 And Nimrod dwelt in Babel, and he there renewed his reign over the rest of his subjects, and he reigned securely, and the subjects and princes of Nimrod called his name Amraphel, saying that at the tower his princes and men fell through his means.
7 And notwithstanding this, Nimrod did not return to the Lord, and he continued in wickedness and teaching wickedness to the sons of men; and Mardon, his son, was worse than his father, and continued to add to the abominations of his father.
8 And he caused the sons of men to sin, therefore it is said, From the wicked goeth forth wickedness
(Book of Jasher)
The first among the leaders of the corrupt men was Nimrod. His father Cush had married his mother at an advanced age, and Nimrod, the offspring of this belated union, was particularly dear to him as the son of his old age. He gave him the clothes made of skins with which God had furnished Adam and Eve at the time of their leaving Paradise. Cush himself had gained possession of them through Ham. From Adam and Eve they had descended to Enoch, and from him to Methuselah, and to Noah, and the last had taken them with him into the ark. When the inmates of the ark were about to leave their refuge, Ham stole the garments and kept them concealed, finally passing them on to his first-born son Cush. Cush in turn hid them for many years. When his son Nimrod reached his twentieth year, he gave them to him. These garments had a wonderful property. He who wore them was both invincible and irresistible. The beasts and birds of the woods fell down before Nimrod as soon as they caught sight of him arrayed in them, and he was equally victorious in his combats with men. The source of his unconquerable strength was not known to them. They attributed it to his personal prowess, and therefore they appointed him king over themselves. This was done after a conflict between the descendants of Cush and the descendants of Japheth, from which Nimrod emerged triumphant, having routed the enemy utterly with the assistance of a handful of warriors. He chose Shinar as his capital. Thence he extended his dominion farther and farther, until he rose by cunning and force to be the sole ruler of the whole world. the first mortal to hold universal sway, as the ninth ruler to possess the same power will be the Messiah.
His impiousness kept pace with his growing power. Since the flood there had been no such sinner as Nimrod. He fashioned idols of wood and stone, and paid worship to them. But not satisfied to lead a godless life himself, he did all he could to tempt his subjects into evil ways, wherein he was aided and abetted by his son Mardon. This son of his outstripped his father in iniquity. It was their time and their life that gave rise to the proverb, “Out of the wicked cometh forth wickedness.”
The great success that attended all of Nimrod’s undertakings produced a sinister effect. Men no longer trusted in God, but rather in their own prowess and ability, an attitude to which Nimrod tried to convert the whole world. Therefore people said, “Since the creation of the world there has been none like Nimrod, a mighty hunter of men and beasts, and a sinner before God.”
And not all this sufficed unto Nimrod’s evil desire. Not enough that he turned men away from God, he did all he could to make them pay Divine honors unto himself. He set himself up as a god, and made a seat for himself in imitation of the seat of God. It was a tower built out of a round rock, and on it he placed a throne of cedar wood, upon which arose, one above the other, four thrones, of iron, copper, silver, and gold. Crowning all, upon the golden throne, lay a precious stone, round in shape and gigantic in size. This served him as a seat, and as he sate upon it, all nations came and paid him Divine homage.
(The Legends of the Jews, Louis Ginzberg, 1909)
Nimrod was said to be Ninus and later Baal?
Some writers claim that Nimrod was slain by Shem his great-uncle, because of his unrighteousness. Others say he was beheaded by Esau the son of Abraham.
10And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
11Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,
Babel means “Gateway to God” but it will mean “Confusion” very quickly and we will see the birth of the Babylonian Empire.
Nimrod also founded the Assyrian Empire as well. Nineveh was its’ capitol.
Both Babylon and Assyria would cause great trouble for Israel later on.
Assyria carried away the 10 tribes of Israel into captivity in 722 B.C.
The Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem 130 years later in 586 B.C.