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Nimrod is arguably one of the most important people in the Old Testament, but there is very little said about him in scripture. However, what is said changes the entire course of human history, mostly because of where he was from. Nimrod was the son of Cush, the grandson of Ham, and the great grandson of Noah.
The Cushite Origin of Nimrod
Being a son of Cush, Nimrod himself would be classified as a Cushite. According to both scripture and history, Cushites were known for their black skin.
- Kuwsh (Strong’s #3568): Probably of foreign origin; Cush (or Ethiopia), the name of a son of Ham, and of his territory; also of an Israelite — Chush, Cush, Ethiopia.
“For of the four sons of Ham, time has not at all hurt the name of Cush; for the Ethiopians, over whom he reigned, are even at this day, both by themselves and by all men in Asia, called Cushites.” – Josephus, Antiquities of The Jews
The ancient area known as Cush, encompassed both modern day Sudan and Ethiopia. The following map shows the African territory that the Bible refers to as Cush.
It was in this area that Nimrod was born, and would eventually depart from to establish the following important “Middle Eastern” Biblical cities:
These places were located in Shinar, the area currently known as Iraq. As we can see on the following map, Shinar is very close to Africa.
For those that believe the Bible is the inspired word of God, there is no question that major portions of the Middle East were established by dark skinned Africans. Another rarely made connection to Nimrod is Abraham. Abraham lived in Ur, which was located in Babylon, and fell under the rule of Nimrod. It is out of Nimrod’s kingdom that Abraham was chosen by God.
The Reign of Nimrod
According to scripture, Nimrod became a mighty hunter before the Lord, but there are scholars that point out that both tradition and the Hebrew word “before” indicates he hunted in defiance of the Lord.
“And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.” – Genesis 10:8-9
As part of this defiance, it is believed that Nimrod was a hunter of humans. While this may be tradition, the story is not found in scripture. Unfortunately, there is no way to verify if there is any truth to this claim.
The Lineage of Nimrod
The Bible does not tell us whether or not Nimrod had any children, but there are stories and legends floating around. Chances are that he did have children because he was a leader. Powerful leaders usually had multiple women and multiple children.
One such belief is that Nimrod had a wife named Semiramis and a son named Tammuz. Although Semiramis does not appear in scripture, Tammuz does, but is not linked to Nimrod.
“Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD’S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.” – Ezekiel 8:14
Tammuz worship often included the erection and decoration of a tree, which passed on into modern culture as the Christmas Tree. It is believed that Nimrod, Semiramis, and Tammuz were all worshiped as gods in ancient times.