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I don't feel comfortable with the English translations describing Nimrod as a "hunter", and certainly find the ISV's "fearless hunter in defiance of the LORD" to be bizarre. I'm wondering if the translators missed the forest for the trees.
The context seems to suggest that Nimrod became the world's first superpower. In verse 9 he is described as "the first fearless leader" ISV or "a mighty warrior" NIV and several others have "a mighty one". My question is, instead of Nimrod being a great hunter of animals, properly understood might he be a "hunter of men" in some sense of being a ruthless aggressor and predator and an exploiter of men?
To my mind the passage would cohere much better than embedding a reference to sporting prowess between two descriptions of his "Alexander the Great" type of ambitions and acquisitions.
And lastly, was it the "hunting of men" that he did that led to God's concern that "nothing will be impossible" to the organized humans?
This answer addresses OP's questions in two phases, starting with the translation question, then moving on to the matter of Nimrod as "hunter". Although it is an unusual translation -- at least among modern "public" English versions of the Bible -- it represents the common understanding of Genesis It is only the equivalence of the prepositions in bold that is of immediate interest.
The Hebrew has liphneynormally translated "before" but cf. But it also carries or can a sense of "opposite", as in "opposition" in a hostile manner. And this is where things start off for the ISV's "defiance" rendering. Pieter van der Horst traces the understanding of Nimrod from the Hellenistic period, following both Jewish and Christian lines of interpretation through to the early medieval period in K. For this reason it is not ineptly said, 'a giant before enantion God,' which is clearly in opposition to the Deity.
For the impious man is none other than the enemy and foe who stands against God. On the Christian side, a similar line l1c signal design options f9 followed by Augustine City of God Some interpreters have misunderstood this phrase, being deceived by an ambiguity in the Greek and consequently l1c signal design options f9 it as "before the Lord" instead of "against the Lord.
It is in the latter sense that we must take it in the description of Nimrod; that giant was "a hunter against the Lord. Thus he, with his subject peoples, began to erect a tower against the Lord, which symbolizes his impious pride. That trajectory of intepretation, at any rate, is the likely source of the ISV's translation. I note that Peter Flint is on the translation committee and a well-known Scrolls scholar who would likely be familiar with this material.
The one responsible for the "base" Genesis translation is George Giacumakisl1c signal design options f9 doctoral work was on Akkadianalthough one scholarly review was inclined to treat it with reservation. No matter who was responsible for this ISV rendering, it is defensible from the Hebrew: For the former, we return to the article drawn on abovebut now in the first half, Karel van der Toorn's investigation of Mesopotamian antecedents and models l1c signal design options f9 the biblical Nimrod.
He considers and rejects some possibilities, before putting forward Ninurta as a good option. As vdToorn notes on p.
Judging by the mythological exploits of Ninurta, then, there is every reason to call him a "mighty hunter. And this goes back to the mid-second millennium BC cf. Brillpp. Visitors to the British Museum can still see the palace reliefs of his hunting exploits ; a couple examples will give the flavour:. There is ample reason, then, for thinking that the "hunting" connected with Nimrod is animal hunting, this being a sign of royal prowess in the ancient Near East. This moves us to the final step along the way, the connection to the "Tower of Babel" l1c signal design options f9 follows in Genesis As noted above, Philo had a negative perception of Nimrod, and this entailed a connection to the Babel incident, since the toponyms used were seen to be best forex indicator software If that city was the beginning of Nimrod's kingdom, he cannot but have been l1c signal design options f9 of its builders.
In ancient tradition, Nimrod was seen as a mighty figure, hostile to the Lord. Going even further back, the "royal huntsman" tradition provides a plausible cultural backdrop for this enigmatic figure in Genesis That same tradition also connected him with the act of hubris in Genesis Modern interpreters provide different evaluations see l1c signal design options f9but I believe the discussion above sheds some light on OP's interests.
The Targums place Nimrod very blatantly "in defiance of the Lord. Nimrod - Of this person little is known, as he is not mentioned except here and in 1 Chronicles 1: He is called a mighty hunter before the Lord; and from Genesis Though the words are not definite, it is very likely he was a very bad man. Nimrod began to be a mighty man in sin, a murderer of innocent men, and a rebel before the Lord.
The Jerusalem Targum says: Hence it is likely that Nimrod, having acquired power, used it in tyranny and oppression; and by l1c signal design options f9 and violence founded that domination which was the first distinguished by the name of a kingdom on the face of the earth. How many kingdoms have been founded in the same way, in various ages and nations from that time to the present!
From the Nimrods of the earth, God deliver the world! John Gill has a fascinating write-up in his commentary for verse 8 that equates Nimrod with Bacchus, and that Nimrod was the first to form an official government:. 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: F9 History of the World, B.
See the Universal History, vol. F13 Pirke Eliezer, c. John Gill continues in his commentary for verse 9 to surmise that Nimrod perhaps got his start with hunting animals that annoyed certain settlements, which he might have used to gain a following and influence over the inhabitants of the land.
Gill also quotes the Targums and Septuagint for the idea that Nimrod was in l1c signal design options f9 to the Lord:. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord Which might be literally true; for, from the time of the flood to his days, wild beasts might increase very much, and greatly annoy men l1c signal design options f9 dwelt very likely for the most part in tents scattered up and down in divers places: An Arabic writer F15of some authority in the eastern parts, says, that by hunting he got food sufficient for the builders of Babel, while they were employed therein; and Aben Ezra interprets it in his favour, that he built altars, and the creatures he took in hunting he offered them on them a burnt offering to God.
But neither of these is probable; however, it may be observed, that in this way by hunting he arrived to the power and dominion over men he afterwards had; for not only he ingratiated himself into their favour by hunting down and destroying the wild beasts which molested them, but by these means he might gather together a large number l1c signal design options f9 young men, strong and robust, to join him in hunting; whereby they were inured to l1c signal design options f9, and trained up to military exercises, and were taught the way of destroying men as well as beasts; and by whose help and assistance he might arrive to the government he had over men; and hunting, according to Aristotle F16is a part of the military art, which is to be used l1c signal design options f9 on beasts, and on such men who are made to be ruled, but are not willing; and it appears, from Xenophon F17that the kings of Persia were fitted for war and government by hunting, and which is still reckoned in many countries a part of royal education.
Cedrenus F18 says, that the Assyrians deified Nebrod, or Nimrod, and placed him among the constellations of l1c signal design options f9, and called him Orion; the same first discovered the art of hunting, therefore they joined to Orion the star called the dog star.
However, besides his being in a literal sense an hunter, he was in a figurative sense one, a tyrannical ruler and governor of men.
L1c signal design options f9 Targum of Jonathan is. The Septuagint render it, "against the Lord"; he intended, as Jarchi's note is, to provoke him to his face:. This was a proverb used in the times of Moses, as it is common now with us to call a hunter Nimrod. F18 Apud Abrami Pharum, l. Gedaliah, Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. Nimrod was definitely a very capable man; for though he was a hunter, Genesis L1c signal design options f9 and prowess in hunting were often considered good qualities for proving yourself, with even David using this to convince King Saul to let him fight Goliath:.
While David was not actively hunting the lion and the bear and only killed them in defense of his sheep, his victories over these animals proved his worth to the king to l1c signal design options f9 him to do battle with men. In the same way, Nimrod perhaps used his prowess with hunting animals to win over the confidence of the people of his day, eventually allowing him to become the ruler of his own kingdom.
Babel is the same as Babylon, and Babylon is most often portrayed in Scripture as being opposed to the true God and L1c signal design options f9 people. So it is not too much of a conjecture and a conjecture it certainly is to imagine that Nimrod's life best binary options no deposit bonus 2018 top offers at safe brokers have been lived in opposition to the Lord, or in defiance of the Lord.
In any case, we find that Assyrian and L1c signal design options f9 legends depict their own kings as great hunters. Perhaps the earliest civilisations expected kings to be good at hunting quarry.
Lewis Spence Myths and Legends of Babylonia l1c signal design options f9 Assyriapage 49 says Nimrod also figures in Babylonian legend as a mighty hunter, and there appear to have been other similarities between the biblical and Babylonian hero.
Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professors, theologians, and those interested in exegetical analysis of biblical texts. Join them; it only takes a minute: Here's how it works: Anybody can ask a question Anybody can answer The best answers are voted up and rise to the top. Visitors to the British Museum can still see the palace reliefs of his hunting exploits ; a couple examples will give the flavour: Further Reading There is much more on Nimrod, of course, but I note these two for the curious: I'll revisit when I'm not so rushed because it probably qualifies as an answer.
While all of this is extremely important and relevant information I still find myself unable to penetrate the l1c signal design options f9 of the text. Had he forbidden hunting? The passage reads like a train wreck to me. I try to picture the "forest" rather than focusing on one tree at a time and it doesn't make sense to me in any translation I've seen. Any ideas on the story being told? WoundedEgo The Nimrod text is, as you note, l1c signal design options f9 to the point of obscurity.
All one has is speculation, either disciplined by historical and linguistic data, or more tangential and imaginative -- as in much commentary, ancient and modern.
There is no evidence l1c signal design options f9 these comment questions: But that didn't stop ancients and moderns! For lack of a more [personally] gratifying answer at the moment I'm going to mark your answer as an answer but with reservations since I still don't really understand the text.
John Gill has a fascinating write-up in his commentary for verse 8 that equates Nimrod with Bacchus, and that Nimrod was the first to form an official government: Gill also quotes the Targums and Septuagint for the idea that Nimrod was in opposition to the Lord: The Targum of Jonathan is; "he was a powerful rebel before the Lord;" and that of Jerusalem, "he was powerful in hunting in sin before the Lord," and another Jewish writer F19 says, he was called a mighty hunter, because he was all his days taking provinces by force, and spoiling others of their substance; and that he was "before the Lord", truly so, and he seeing and taking notice of it, openly and publicly, and without fear of him, and in a bold and impudent manner, in despite of him, see Genesis 6: The Septuagint render it, "against the Lord"; he intended, as Jarchi's note is, to provoke him to his face: