“He was a mighty hunter before the Lord” Genesis 10:9
Nimrod was a earthy, natural man with the strength and disposition of a tyrant. Comparable in strength and force to God, but of the moral character of the unregenrate; no regard for the moral/spiritual well being of others, or for the God of creation and redemption. Nimrod pursued the things of the world (I John 2:15) and ultimately incurred God’s judgment. Nonetheless, in His patience and love, God did not bring Nimrod and his cadre of rebels into everlasting judgment at this time. His love for mankind is longsuffering. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
“…before the Lord” Genesis 10:9b Nimrod was brazen in his disobedience. The Hebrew lif nei (derived from paw na – meaning to turn to face) translates into “the face”. Before (in the face) of God, Nimrod was a mighty hunter. His rebellion was open before man and before God. Gathering other rebels together, Nimrod solidified himself as the ruler king.
The descendants of Noah spread out only after God’s judgment. They formed family states that were individual civilizations with their own language and social order. The world was being settled and developed as God had commanded in Genesis 1:28 and Genesis 9:1.
“And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.“ Genesis 11:1.
While sinners may be obedient in performance of “good works” the underlying basis of those good works is a glorification of self, or the glorification of a false god. While pursuing their material best interest of survival after the flood, mankind obeyed what God had commanded Adam and Eve, and then later Noah to be “fruitful, multiple, replenish and subdue”. None did it for God’s glory. Two generations after the flood, the people in Shinar were following Nimrod who would choose self in pursuing material interest. After the judgment, which is presented in Genesis 11, but in time happens before 10, the individuals spread out and carry the Babylonian ways with them.
The basic constitution of man understands property (material stuff of production), ingenuity (the intelligence to apply property to production) and labor (the energy to produce) are the prerequisites for “fruitful, multiple, replenish and subdue”. Because of sin, man now produces in order to survive. As man produces, he becomes specialized in an activity and passes that down to others. “And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.” Genesis 4:20-22. Nimrod would corrupt the godly use of specialization to build a rebellious kingdom.
The specialization of labor allows for more production. As production increases, the supply of a good increases and then trade naturally follows. Genesis 12 gives the account of Abraham traveling to Egypt, because of the famine in Caanan, to secure food. This would be done either through conquest or trade. God had condemned mankind for the earth was “filled with violence” Genesis 5:6. Abram in Hebrew is exalted lifted father of many. He was God’s choice and his character represented that. His sin would manifest itself, as it does in all of us, but the direction of his life was that of peace and benevolence. In contrast, Nimrod the might hunter would use whatever means to bring about his kingdom. Trade, or violent taking, were options he could pursue. With no moral compass to direct him, he would do whatever to succeed.
This is Babylonianism. The perversion of God’s word to accomplish man’s desired ends. It is with us today and it is increasing in its intensity.
Nimrod in his position of leader/tyrant would use his abilities to challenge God’s authority