Noahide Law/Nimrod

 

Jesus

 

Almost all scholars accept that the first six chapters of Genesis were written by Moses as a summation of events.  Detailed accounts can be found in other texts such as Josephus, and The Book of Jasher.  Further, historians note that some biblical stories are related to earlier myths described by more ancient people but with some important differences.  These differences are in part given to identify attributes of the later Jewish people, or root development as a people.  For instance, in the story of Adam and Eve, Eve is not tempted by being bequeathed eternal life, she is tempted by the notion of wisdom and status.  By the time of the writing of the Eve story, it must be assumed the Jewish people already understood the eternality of the soul, thus the attempt to secure the eternal wisdom to live that eternal life became the higher prize.

The ‘Branches of Knowledge’ were given to Adam, through Seth and eventually passed down to Enoch.  With the new life beginning after the flood, a part of the understanding was written formily and expanded for Noah.  The wisdom passed down through the Righteous Remnant, Noah, is represented in Noahide Law.  The basic ethos and principles of Noahide Law are intended to maintain a sustainable world, a set of moral and ethical standards not religiously based.* Noahide law deals with the spirit of matters in life and is intended as a universal moral code.

*Chabad.org

It is foundational that a single God unites all things, cares for and oversees His creation, and translates into all forms and presented before all beings.  The story of Adam and Eve speaks to this oversight and concern.  Within God’s translation, the oneness of purpose stands out.  All existence has a purpose, unified into a greater overall purpose, and provided for our observation and experience as souls.  All creations are thus inherently meaningful or would not have been created.  Purpose directs us to individual development and extends to functional harmony within the All.   Each soul, therefore, is inherently meaningful and purposed, and thus has a destiny.  Each soul is accessible, or known, through his demonstrations (function).  Each soul is also known through his thoughts and his motives, and is intended through the harmony of the greater oneness to reach clarity and understanding.

 

Through the Hamite lineage, a breakdown in consciousness has interfered with man-to-man and man-to-God relationships, and thus God to man.  The Caanites have been cursed by Noah due to the indiscretions of Ham, and it is Nimrod who will take vengeance upon his brothers for this curse.  This vengeance will soon overwhelm the families of Japheth: Jasher 7.34, “And when Nimrod was forty years old, at that time there was a war between his brethren and the children of Japheth, so that they were in the power of their enemies. (35) And Nimrod went forth and assembled all the sons of Cush and their families, about four hundred and sixty men, and he hired also from some of his friends and acquaintances about eighty men… (37) And all of the men were about five hundred, and they fought against their enemies, and subdued them…”

The denial of God’s caring nature, and not understanding the kingdom within, Nimrod birthed the desire to reject God instead of embrace Him.  Once again the belief in the many gods emerged, each assigned to his or her duties, and along with this belief traveled the disintegration of oneness. These gods and their interrelationships are closely connected to astrological rationale (Seth & Enosh).  Much as we see in Noah’s time, the forces of nature that could be touched, seen, or observed become the focus of worship themselves.  Man’s cruelty, murder, theft, and adultery (Gn. 6. 1-13) further destroyed unification.  Human nature twisted sex from unification into orgies of sexual lust.  Lack of humility, and contriteness—self-centered, self-empowered, not God-centered, nor God-empowered—left man struggling with false gods and man-determined pathways.  Useless rituals attributed to outer performance left man vacant, with the substance of inner meaning lost.

 

The Noahide laws were intended as a moral and ethical blueprint for man as he begins again.  The reunification of Heaven to Earth, man’s sandals resown for a firm foundation, the rise of wisdom instead of heathen ritual, and consideration as an omnibus constructive attitude—love—bind Heaven and the restored Earth.  This single unifying love force, the passion of God, awaits.

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NOAHIDE LAW

 

The First Law pronounces the Oneness of God who cares for us and wishes that we care for the Earth, this reunification of Heaven to Earth, and understanding the God-gift of creating the universe and the birth (creation) of us as souls.  Life and light-giving, this we cherish, in part the principle but certainly its intimate relationship from us to Him and from Him to us.  Specifically, the worship of false gods (paganism) or the use of idolatry within a specific religion is anathema.

The Second Law follows after the first, that recriminations (anger), regardless of circumstance, should not be expressed toward God (blasphemy).  No matter how difficult, the circumstance points toward learning from the experience and refining the wisdom choice.  Responsibility toward God’s values and God Himself is one greater expression of ourselves and indicates soul growth.  Responsibility toward God’s values gives man his growth, else the world becomes blameless.  Without conscience, any behavior can be justified, law becomes meaningless, and order becomes confusion, then chaos.  Much like the Garden story, freedom to choose must contrast to wisdom, and whether the choice leans toward obedience or rebellion.

The Third Law, made in God’s image man shall not murder man.  If man is understood as a universe unto himself, the precious creation of God, then murder destroys the universe as a symbol of All.  The imperative is to promote life, which in total is God’s creation, thus contributing to oneness or wholeness within God’s creation.  A moral and legal imperative must be established against murder (Cain V: Aftermath).

The Fourth Law, do not be cruel to animals—they share this world with you and have a spirit that animates them.  More directly, do not eat live animals.  Likewise, avoid harm to the land, which is commensurate with not injuring animals.  Gratitude should be predominant; use but not exploitation.  The Spirit abides in everything, and respect for this reality demonstrates itself through responsible overseership, first assigned to Adam.  Proper overseership designates godly honor.

The Fifth Law is do not steal, and further, benefits you may receive should not be at an unfair cost to another—equity in dealing with others is paramount.  Whatever items are stolen, this action extracts from the initial moral, ethical, and faithful acquisition of the one who previously owned it.  All moral premises are robbed, not just the possession stolen.  The very attributes that make good soul qualities and individuality are removed with the stolen article.  Another form of theft is gossip, which will soon turn to slander and grieve the spirit, for it robs both the perpetrator and the victim of his good name.

 

The Sixth Law deals with sex, primarily expositing masculine and feminine polarity, wherein each share and learns from the other and is meant to be complimentary, and supportive.  Rightly understood, the natural act is raised into a spiritual act, thus a holy union.  Thus specifically, adultery is prohibited.  An added commentary is the caution that only humans can devolve themselves below the animals.

 

The Seventh Law provides for a common justice and judgment among all men.  Courts should be established for the equality of the poor or weak.  Justice should be a reserve for all, at times against men themselves and at times against the vicissitudes of circumstance.

These laws represent eternal values, first given to Adam but of necessity then given to Noah, representing New Earth, the second opportunity for man to progress.  As Jesus gave us the final interpretation of the Law and the Prophets, expounded the virtues of the Way, and initiated the common man into uncommon understanding, in its time Noahide law also reached a zenith for mankind.

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After a few generations, we arrive at Genesis, Chapter 11: “The whole earth used the same language, the same words.  (2) It came about that as they traveled from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shin’ar and lived there.  (3) They said to one another, ‘Come, let us make bricks and bake them in the fire’.  So they had bricks for building- stone and clay for mortar.*  (4) Then they said, ‘Come, let’s build ourselves a city with a tower that has its top reaching up into heaven so that we can make a name for ourselves and not be scattered all over the earth.”**

*Fire-kilned bricks were not the same as previous Canaanite stone building structures, which would reach perhaps two stories.
 **From the Complete Jewish Study Bible, with the use of the word ‘plain’ as opposed to ‘valley’, or flood plain located in the lower nexus of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, thought to be near Babylon.  Also, “scattered,” to maintain or preserve their understanding related to the Zodiac and the movement of constellations.  Establishment of a new (pagan) religion.

A new technology is employed, but to what ends?  Fired bricks are now a known technology, and most historians conclude that ziggurats have already peppered the landscape and were probably used for religious and communal meetings or celebrations.  The ziggurat would not be intended as a grand exercise to make a name for the people who built such structures, but more likely used for pagan rituals and were much smaller in size.  The gods themselves are perceived as outside of man and above.  Making a ‘name for ourselves’, man proposes himself as reaching up into heaven, a kind of hubris, instead of receiving God’s hand reaching down to him.  Much of the world has returned to grasping instead of receiving.

The building of the ziggurat is the first biblical representation of the people of Ham.  Hamites continue after their rude patriarch, Ham. It is not certain what sin Ham committed against his father, Noah, but it is determined there is something fundamentally wrong with Ham and is passed generationally to the people now overseen by Nimrod.  Countering this heritage, Shem is the progenitor of the Semitic peoples.  Abraham is in the lineage of Shem, as is Jesus.   The curse of Noah upon the Canaanite tribes becoming slaves to the lineage of Shem—Gen. 9.25, “Cursed be Canaan, he will be a servant of servants to his brothers.”—produces animosity between the family of Ham and the families of Shem and Japeth.

It may not be the technology that is such a problem, but the attitude and motive behind its use. Much like Cain, whose progeny begin to develop the modern world, it is not the development so much as the use it is put to.  The advent of what is recognized as a Bedouin culture is attributed to Jabel and is content in its beginnings.  Later we find roving tribes of Bedouin raiding caravans, enslaving and snatching women and wealth.  Tubal-Cain becomes an ironmonger and a militarist.

Under Nimrod’s leadership, we see a people entering a land not before explored or well known to them.  They determine that there should be no more scattering of their people.  Consolidation of power then occurs, and in no way replicates God’s plan that the people slowly spread out across the land.  The city-state takes on magnitude, nor shall its people continue to expand forthrightly, but it is supposed that other people shall come to them in that they have made a name for themselves.  None of these considerations seem to have godly intent, they are the configurations of men.

The intent to build the ziggurat becomes a statement of rebellion against God’s plan, and that man’s power and notoriety shall become known among all peoples, for who else has built such a ziggurat?  This self-attribution leaves no room for the god of the Semite peoples we later see and resound with Abraham. Instead, it fits neatly within pagan notions.  The ziggurat becomes a religious refuge of paganism, for its structure is made waterproof should God send another flood.  The leadership and priests knew about God, so they attributed God in knowledge but disdain Him in their hearts and by their actions.  The movement of God toward the people as well as the movement of God amongst His people is blunted.

In some ways, we see a repeat of the Adam and Eve story—not accepting the whole of the good, but grasping for other fruit, with the promise or belief that ‘I’ will become great, the burgeoning ‘I’ that captures us all and has now captured the Hamite people.  Nimrod himself bears the responsibility for this hubris, for history tells us that lawless and cruel mankind has already returned to wicked ways, and we see them in the proliferation of the many gods and the ravaging of monotheism.  There is no mention of meeting with God on top of the ziggurat, only to the heavens do they reach.  God is not mentioned in Gen. 11.1-4, only assumed to be the case by the casual reader.

The facts indicate a completely different story and society, that the name of the Lord was known only by the few, certainly among Hamites, and that Nimrod knew of Him but was not of Him.

“In that year, according to tradition, knowledge of the Lord was scarce among men, and certain forces in the Near East wished to keep things that way.  Stories collected in medieval times, later published under the title Ma’a-sei Avraham Avinu (“Deeds of Abraham Our Father”), recall his birth as being marked by a star rising in the east, consuming other stars.  At this fearful wonder, priests at the court of the Mesopotamian tyrant, Nimrod, prophesied that a child was to be born whose descendants would seize the spiritual future of mankind, condemning the old gods to the ashes, to be replaced by the One God.  Nimrod trembled at this.  Almost alone among his contemporaries, who were ignorant of the Almighty, he knew God and hated Him.  The Bible itself mentions Nimrod only in passing, noting that he was “a mighty hunter before the Lord,” which the Oral Torah understands to mean that he hunted men’s souls, seeking to turn them away from God.  So Nimrod, advised by Satan, literally hunted Abraham.  The future patriarch was born in a cave suffused with supernatural light, and God sent the angel Gabriel to protect him, causing a black cloud to hide the child from his enemies.  The boy was called Abraham.”*

*David Klinghoffer, 2003. The Discovery of God, Three Leaves Press, Doubleday, p. 1-2. Highly recommended, and considered a classic.

Upon the Earth, a counterforce to God has erupted.  Spite, revenge, vindictiveness, lust for power without regard to any Godly standard, and a willingness to bend all things his way, Nimrod captures the minds of the people.  The size of the ziggurat will require many thousands of men and years of work.  As each day passes, the influence of the ziggurat’s construction, the hypnotic trance, becomes more a part of daily life.  The whole of society is largely pressed toward this labor, whether feeding the men who are not otherwise productive, whether the ethos of the people bound by the ‘progress’ of the building program, all of the city-state is consumed by the building of the ziggurat, not counting other building required for the city-state to function.

 

 

 

 

NIMROD

 

Nimrod is the son of Cush.  Nimrod’s heritage casts a dark suspicion upon him, in that he is the grandson of Ham, Ham being the son who profaned his father, Noah.  Nimrod appears in the Bible as the king of Shinar and who ruled over much of Mesopotamia. “…they journeyed from the east [not the south], that they found a plain in the land of Shinar” Gn. 11.2.  “And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar,” Gn. 10.10.  He gained his ascendency by conquering (see Cain IV), not directly by heritage or the peaceful settlement of land.  Much like his grandfather, Ham, he is far afield in his excesses, and abusing his neighbors.

 

Empire of Nimrod

Nimrod, the ‘Mighty Hunter’ is despised within scripture.  He is considered a hunter of men’s souls, a heritage handed down through the tainted soul nature of Ham.  His strength developed into prowess, but not through or by God.  Therefore, he is considered unholy in his nature and his acts.  His biblical name identifies with the Cain heritage.  “He [Nimrod] gradually turned the government into a tyranny, seeing no other way of turning men from the fear [reverence] of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence upon his power,” Josephus, Ant. 1.4.2* (Bk. 1, Ch. 4, ¶ 2)

*Nimrod: from Heb. Marad, to rebel; also, “we will rebel”, or “Come, let us rebel.”

 

Essentially, in the building of the massive ziggurat, Nimrod is proposing the first public works program and this is the method Nimrod uses to organize and focus the population.  And they said, “Come, let us build a city, and a tower with its top to the sky, and make a name for ourselves; else we shall be scattered all over the world,” Gn. 11.4.  “Top to the sky,” is inferred as with a zodiac on the top, referring to more ancient temple projects in Egypt and depicting the zodiac as the central understanding and focus of worship, the encasement of the earth by the planets and the stars, suborning God himself.  The phrase, “else we be scattered all over the world” infers a possible fear of God rooted in the past and/or that they perceived themselves as facing many enemies, probably monotheists, in the heritage of Shem and Japheth.

Nimrod focused on coercing the people, to unify them under his banner through the building of the ziggurat.  By building the tower he unifies the people under his authority.  His attempt to reach the heavens, and thus the gods, is vain, a rude attempt to covet the gods he worships, to build his way into their kingdom.  His ziggurat remains only a symbol directed at himself, and a guarantee to his people that they may seek safety should God send another flood.  Even so, a primary lesson still carries weight, that without God there is no intrinsic power to unify; the unification proposed by Nimrod becomes nothing more than an intellectual construct, which in this case comes fromNimrod’s connivance and hatred of God.

Often the intellectual construct pushes and ‘forces the ground’, as in the example with Cain, and lacks graceful connotations, as through this forcing, impure motives often come into play.  Nimrod went on to conquer Assyrian lands well north of Babylonian regions.  He suppressed any godly notions of devout or peaceful people and forced them under his rule.  In Nimrod’s view, enemies seemed to be on all sides, and the Earth once again became worn-torn.

 

Due to his unrighteous assumptions of power, Nimrod always feared Shem and the sons of Shem (Gn. 10.21-31).  It is Shem’s lineage through Terah that Abraham becomes born. Forced to leave Ur due to Abraham’s belief in one almighty God, Terah and his family leave Ur and settle in Haran.  Abraham’s belief in the one God also explains why later generations concerning the four kings from the north (Gn. 14.5-7) raided extensively around Sodom, Gomorrah, Zohar, Zeboiim, and Admah (Gn. 14.1-2), as well as the cities themselves.  Even after some generations, this ongoing war had not ended.  The kingly descendants of Nimrod were looking to eradicate the most notable figure in the family of Shem, Abraham.*  When Abraham was not found, they were glad to take Lot as a captive.  Nimrod is described as sly and deceitful, and because he is a descendant of Ham is cursed (named) by Noah as a family of “servants of servants” (Gn. 9.25-27).

*ibid, Klinghoffer, gives a good account of this search; also Chabad.org.

 

Amid Nimrod’s building program, the people essentially renamed themselves the ‘earthly powerful’, representing the many gods they supported.  Nimrod encouraged defiance to God and then garnered the envy of other men, and it is under this influence the people followed.  They were trying to outwit God.* After their imaginations, they entered into a kind of unreality.  They undertook the building of the ziggurat in their name and to attribute self, dismissing God.  The construction of the ziggurat entails an act of rebellion.

*They built the ziggurat to escape another flood if sent again by God. Fire-kilned bricks cemented with pitch or asphalt are waterproof.

 

Book of Jasher

Chapter Nine

 

19 And Abram said unto himself Surely these are not gods that made the earth and all mankind, but these are the servants of God, and Abram remained in the house of Noah and there knew the Lord and his ways and he served the Lord all the days of his life, and all that generation forgot the Lord, and served other gods of wood and stone, and rebelled all their days.

20 And king Nimrod reigned securely, and all the earth was under his control, and all the earth was of one tongue and words of union.

21 And all the princes of Nimrod and his great men took counsel together; Phut, Mitzraim, Cush and Canaan with their families, and they said to each other, Come let us build ourselves a city and in it a strong tower, and its top reaching heaven, and we will make ourselves famed, so that we may reign upon the whole world, in so thate evil of our enemies may cease from us, that we may reign mightily over them, and that we may not become scattered over the earth on account of their wars.

Many clans came to the site of the ziggurat and once there attempted to establish not only an earthly kingdom but a spiritual kingdom overseen by their pagan gods.  Being of the family of Ham, they hated God, for they had been cursed by God through Noah.  There seems no doubt that the family of Ham had many enemies, for those who surrounded them were monotheists, the families of Shem and Japheth.

22 And they all went before the king, and they told the king these words, and the king agreed with them in this affair, and he did so.

23 And all the families assembled consisting of about six hundred thousand men, and they went to seek an extensive piece of ground to build the city and the tower, and they sought in the whole earth and they found none like one valley at the east* of the land of Shinar, about two days’ walk, and they journeyed there and they dwelt there.

*”at the east” does not indicate from which direction the Hamites traveled.  However, “east” is usually given a negative connotation, as “in the land of Nod east of Eden.”

24 And they began to make bricks and burn fires to build the city* and the tower that they had imagined to complete.

*The whole city had to be built, not just the tower.

25 And the building of the tower was unto them a transgression and a sin, and they began to build it, and whilst they were building against the Lord God of heaven, they imagined in their hearts to war against him and to ascend into heaven.

26 And all these people and all the families divided themselves in three parts;* the first said We will ascend into heaven and fight against him; the second said, We will ascend to heaven and place our own gods there and serve them; and the third part said, We will ascend to heaven and smite him with bows and spears; and God knew all their works and all their evil thoughts, and he saw the city and the tower which they were building.

*”Divided themselves in three parts,” equates to highly organized, implying serious intent.  “…ascend into heaven,” the building of the ziggurat itself proclaiming their rebellion, as well as “…fight against him.”  “…place our own gods there,” replaces God with man’s vision or pagan gods (astrological).  “…and serve them,” completing the rebellion.  “…will ascend to heaven and smite him,” secures the rebellion, but clearly does not understand that the true conversion must come from within—by contrast, outward spectacle, outward ritual, outward declarations, all by man’s hands.

27 And when they were building they built themselves a great city and a very high and strong tower; and on account of its height the mortar and bricks did not reach the builders in their ascent to it, until those who went up had completed a full year,* and after that, they reached to the builders and gave them the mortar and the bricks; thus was it done daily.

*”…completed a full year, and after that…done daily,” denotes a massive commitment.

28 And behold these ascended and others descended the whole day; and if a brick should fall from their hands and get broken, they would all weep over it, and if a man fell and died, none of them would look at him.

29 And the Lord knew their thoughts, and it came to pass when they were building they cast the arrows toward the heavens, and all the arrows fell upon them filled with blood,* and when they saw them they said to each other, Surely we have slain all those that are in heaven.

*This reference to blood seems symbolic, “We will ascend into heaven and smite him with bows and spears,” although they may have launched arrows as an insult to God, indicating great vitriol.

30 For this was from the Lord in order to cause them to err, and in order; to destroy them from off the face of the ground.

31 And they built the tower and the city, and they did this thing daily until many days and years were elapsed.

32 And God said to the seventy angels who stood foremost before him, to those who were near to him, saying, Come let us descend and confuse their tongues [babel=Heb. confusion], that one man shall not understand the language of his neighbor, and they did so unto them.

33 And from that day following, they forgot each man his neighbor’s tongue, and they could not understand to speak in one tongue, and when the builder took from the hands of his neighbor lime or stone which he did not order, the builder would cast it away and throw it upon his neighbor, that he would die.

34 And they did so many days, and they killed many of them in this manner.

35 And the Lord smote the three divisions that were there, and he punished them according to their works and designs;* those who said, We will ascend to heaven and serve our gods, became like apes and elephants [animals]; and those who said, We will smite the heaven with arrows, the Lord killed them, one man through the hand of his neighbor; and the third division of those who said, We will ascend to heaven and fight against him, the Lord scattered them throughout the earth.

*”…punished them according to their works and designs,” proposes the Law of Rectitude, according to actions and intent (motive).  Instead of becoming more unified they become scattered, depleted, and weakened.

36 And those who were left amongst them, when they knew and understood the evil which was coming upon them, they forsook the building, and they also became scattered upon the face of the whole earth.

37 And they ceased building the city and the tower; therefore he called that place Babel, for there the Lord confounded the Language of the whole earth; behold it was at the east of the land of Shinar.

38 And as to the tower which the sons of men built, the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up one third part thereof, and a fire also descended from heaven and burned

Illustration for the “Turris Babel” by Athanasius Kircher, 1679. Found in the collection of the University Library Heidelberg. Creator: Decker, Coenraet (1650-1685). (Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images via Getty Images)

another third, and the other third is left to this day, and it is of that part which was aloft, and its circumference is three days’ walk.*

*”…circumference is three days walk,” may indicate three stations of doctrine for the whole of the ziggurat.  In other words, a whole new religion was being created.  The first two levels would introduce the new theology, with the top being the final worship area, probably sourcing Egyptian roots.  This comment is speculative but does indicate the labor and intensity of the Hamite commitment.

39 And many of the sons of men died in that tower, a people without number.

 

Many historical theories surround Nimrod.  One most popular is that Nimrod is borrowed from the Gilgamesh legend. Another is that Nimrod or Gilgamesh is actually Sargon. Both Gilgamesh and Nimrod are considered men of great size, which indicates the perversion of the human race by the fallen angels, later referred to in the Anakites and Raphaim, as well as Og of Bashan.

However, the more critical issue within biblical recounting deals with the moral and spiritual history of what would later become the Israelites.  Early chapters in the Hebrew Bible seek to anchor a narrative consistent with later Judaic principles and illustrations of biblical truth or sound spiritual reasoning.  Thus, Nimrod, even if transposed from Gilgamesh, becomes more important to the spiritual narrative than specific historical accuracy.  However, biblical as well as many historical scholars accredit the Nimrod narrative.

In conclusion, the ‘return of evil’, the worship of pantheons of gods, whether named after planets, constellations, or nature, is presented within the rebellion but not a lack of knowledge of God—it is conducted with motive and intent.  In contrast, we have Noah’s two sons, Shem and Japheth, whose belief and faith during these early times remain rooted in monotheism.  Ham’s pagan legacy indicates a return to a past perhaps more comfortable, visible, and recognizable, than the spirit which moves like the wind, unseen, but whose works can be observed.  Tangible gods are bound by their tangibility, the unseen God of One is unbounded, and remains the Creator of All, in All, and that includes us.

 

 

 

 

God Bless!

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