35 Facts About Nimrod


Nimrod is a biblical figure mentioned in the Book of Genesis and Books of Chronicles.

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Nimrod has not been attested in any historic, non-biblical registers, records or king lists, including those of Mesopotamia itself.

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Nimrod is described as the son of Cush, grandson of Ham, and great-grandson of Noah; and as "a mighty one in the earth" and "a mighty hunter before the Lord".

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In Jewish and Christian tradition, Nimrod is considered the leader of those who built the Tower of Babel in the land of Shinar, although the Bible never actually states this.

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Nimrod's kingdom included the cities of Babel, Erech, Akkad, and perhaps Calneh, in Shinar.

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Nimrod was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah, a bold man, and of great strength of hand.

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Nimrod persuaded them not to ascribe it to God, as if it were through his means they were happy, but to believe that it was their own courage which procured that happiness.

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Nimrod 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.

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Nimrod 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 reach.

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In Pseudo-Philo, Nimrod is made leader of the Hamites, while Joktan as leader of the Semites, and Fenech as leader of the Japhethites, are associated with the building of the Tower.

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An early Arabic work known as Kitab al-Magall or the Book of Rolls states that Nimrod built the towns of Hadaniun, Ellasar, Seleucia, Ctesiphon, Ruhin, Atrapatene, Telalan, and others, that he began his reign as king over earth when Reu was 163, and that he reigned for 69 years, building Nisibis, Raha and Harran when Peleg was 50.

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Nimrod called upon Sasan the weaver and commanded him to make him a crown like it, which he set jewels on and wore.

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However, Ephrem the Syrian relates a contradictory view, that Nimrod was righteous and opposed the builders of the Tower.

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Similarly, Targum Pseudo-Jonathan mentions a Jewish tradition that Nimrod left Shinar in southern Mesopotamia and fled to Assyria in northern Mesopotamia, because he refused to take part in building the Tower—for which God rewarded him with the four cities in Assyria, to substitute for the ones in Babel.

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The 10th-century Muslim historian Masudi recounts a legend making the Nimrod who built the tower to be the son of Mash, the son of Aram, son of Shem, adding that he reigned 500 years over the Nabateans.

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Father and sons were, all three of them, prodigious hunters, but Nimrod especially is the archetypal, consummate, legendary hunter and archer.

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In some versions, such as Flavius Josephus, Nimrod is a man who sets his will against that of God.

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In some versions, Nimrod has his subjects gather wood for four whole years, so as to burn Abraham in the biggest bonfire the world had ever seen.

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When Nimrod appears at the head of enormous armies, Abraham produces an army of gnats which destroys Nimrod's army.

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In some versions, Nimrod repents and accepts God, offering numerous sacrifices that God rejects.

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Still other versions have Nimrod persisting in his rebellion against God, or resuming it.

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Nimrod is thus given attributes of two archetypal cruel and persecuting kings – Nebuchadnezzar and Pharaoh.

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The commentaries on this Surah offer a wide variety of embellishments of this narrative, one of which by Ibn Kathir, a 14th-century scholar, adding that Nimrod showed his rule over life and death by killing a prisoner and freeing another.

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Whether or not conceived as having ultimately repented, Nimrod remained in Jewish and Islamic tradition an emblematic evil person, an archetype of an idolater and a tyrannical king.

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Nimrod is mentioned by name in several places in the Baha'i scriptures, including the Kitab-i-Iqan, the primary theological work of the Baha'i Faith.

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Nimrod is mentioned in one of the earliest writings of the Bab.

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Story of Abraham's confrontation with Nimrod did not remain within the confines of learned writings and religious treatises, but conspicuously influenced popular culture.

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At this point some commentaries add new narratives like Nimrod bringing forth two men, who were sentenced to death previously.

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Nimrod mentioned how Dr Kraeling was now inclined to connect Nimrod historically with Lugal-Banda, a mythological Sumerian king mentioned in Poebel, Historical Texts, 1914, whose seat was at the city Marad.

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Alexander Hislop, in his tract The Two Babylons, identified Nimrod with Ninus, who according to Greek mythology was a Mesopotamian king and husband of Queen Semiramis, with a whole host of deities throughout the Mediterranean world, and with the Persian Zoroaster.

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Nimrod claimed that the Catholic Church was a millennia-old secret conspiracy, founded by Semiramis and Nimrod to propagate the pagan religion of ancient Babylon.

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George Rawlinson believed Nimrod was Belus, based on the fact Babylonian and Assyrian inscriptions bear the names Bel-Nibru.

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Biblical Nimrod, then, is not a total counterpart of any one historical character.

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Nimrod is rather the later composite Hebrew equivalent of the Sargonid dynasty: the first, mighty king to rule after the flood.

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Nickname 'Nimrod' was used mockingly in 1914 by Robert Tressell in The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists.

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