Be honest: You probably (usually) skip over the genealogies that are in Scripture.
Don’t be ashamed of it; they’re long, detailed, and usually involve a lot of names. I don’t blame you for jumping over them, but I will tell you that they deserve at least a cursory read through.
And an honest study, just like every other part of the Bible.
When you take the time to read through them, you see mentions like you find in Genesis 10:9, which says that Nimrod was a “powerful hunter in the sight of the Lord.”
Then, the Text reiterates this statement, apparently because his fame was so great that it became a general saying: “That is why it is said, ‘Like Nimrod, a powerful hunter in the sight of the Lord.’”
So, even though you may not know anything else about Nimrod, you know one thing: The guy was an amazing hunter.
Nimrod Was a Hunter
I live in Texas, so I know a lot of Nimrods.
Every Fall, when deer season opens up, we lose several members who trek all over the country for their various hunts. The ones that stay local usually show up to services with bags under their eyes because they’ve been out shooting stuff since 4 AM.
Honestly, I don’t even care what they look like. They voluntarily left the deer stand to come worship with the saints. I’ll take that any day of the week.
But outside of simple bragging rights, why is this note about Nimrod even in Scripture?
I can’t and won’t pretend to know everything about the Bible, but I do know that sometimes these passages exist to show a shift in the world that was noteworthy.
Before this day, there is virtually no mention of hunting in the Bible.
Did it take place? Probably. God did tell Adam to have dominion over the land, after all. But in a world where it seemed like most people lived a primarily pastoral life, Nimrod’s prowess as a hunter was notable.
You see these same types of “historical notes” in this genealogy.
In Peleg’s day, the earth was divided (Genesis 10:25).
Canaan fathered the Canaanite clans that eventually dominated most of the (eventual) promised land (Genesis 10:15-19).
Japtheth’s kids eventually settled into different lands with diferrent languages (Genesis 10:2-5).
If you were a Jew wondering about the spread of humanity over the earth, Genesis 10 provides a ton of useful info to digest.
Nimrod was a King
Along those lines, Genesis 10:10 also states that Nimrod had a kingdom of his own. It started with Babylon, which is a very important place in Scripture, and eventually spread to Ninevah and Calah.
This actually brings up another footnote about Nimrod. Whereas most manuscripts translate the verse as saying Nimrod was a “hunter,” others state that he was a “warrior” or a “giant.” If so, it’s no wonder how he was able to kill so many animals and expand his empire.
The next time you think about skipping over a genealogy, remember Nimrod and give it a quick read through. You might be surprised at what you learn.