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Nimrod, also know as Ninus (Greek: Νινος)[1][2], or Alorus (Greek: ἀλορος)[3][4] is noted as the founder of the city of Nineveh[5] builder of the Tower of Babel[6] and frequently the alleged founder of Babylon subject to a matter of technicalities[7]. He was the first recorded king of the Assyrians[8][9][10] whose "kingdom" engulfed Babel, Erech, Accad, Calneh and the land of Sinar[11] (which was otherwise known as the land of Nimrod)[12][13], all of Asia Minor to Istanbul, Egypt, Arabia, Armenia, north of Georgia and into southern Russia as far as the Don river which pours into the Sea of Azov, Media (north Iran), Persia (South Eastern Iran), parts of Pakistahn and Afghanistan, [14] and Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan[15] over which he allegedly reigned for 52 years[Citation Needed]. It was he who was the first to form men into armies, practice military arts and form an empire by subjugation.[16] He was also the inventor of a system of governmental law[17], currency & taxes[18][19].

He (Alorus) is noted by Berossus (as per Alexander Hislop's noted logic) to have been the first to claim that he ruled by Divine Right as being instructed by "the God" (Greek: ó θεος); while he ruled with the title of "the Shepherd".

It can also be noted that Nimrod plays a significant role in rabbinic literature[12] and the religion of Freemasonry.

Ethnicity & Family

As a Cushite, his father Cush was the son of Ham, who was the son of the legendary Noah[20]. As such he is only the second generation born after the flood.

Also as a Cushite (which became sytematically translated thereafter as the Ethiopians as in Easter 1:1 ), his skin colour was probably quite dark; for the Hebrew כּוּשׁ, koosh, directly translates as 'black'.[21]

Considering that his wife Semiramis hailed from the realms of the city of Ashkelon,[Citation Needed] it remains probable that she was a Canaanite and was therefore probably similarly toned as being consistent with the colouring of the Hamitic races.

Their son was Ninyas.[22]

the Warrior & Hunter

Skilled in the martial arts and "being warlike by nature"[23], his name became synonymous with the mighty hunter, even "before the Lord"[24]. But as to the generally accepted reading of Genesis 10:9 , "גבר ציד לפני יהוה", ḡibbōr-ṣayiḏ lip̄nê Yahweh could literally be read to say: "in the face of Yahweh" as "in opposition to the Lord"; for such is the rendering of the 1st century AD authors Philo and Yochanan be Zakai. This is further testified to by the general Judeo-Christian cultural feeling regarding Nimrod.

Of this nature he was the first recorded person to practice crucifixion.[25]

Again, as a noted hunter, he thereby became the author of all 'horn-hooded dress' as a display of his power and authority.

Founding of Babylon

It is a common belief that Nimrod was the founder of the city of Babylon. While the Genesis account does not mention that Nimrod was the founder of the city and tower, Josephus as representing Hebrew folk lore, specifically states that he founded the Tower of Babel.[26]

Meanwhile Diodorus, as does Justin, states that Nimrod's wife Semiramis founded the city and built its walls after Nimrod's death.[27][28]

Yet Genesis' heavily simplified account recorded in Genesis 11:4 , simply states that these two events were synonymous.

These accounts can be easily harmonized by simply acknowledging Diodorus' timeline but inserting the initiation of the Tower of Babel after Nimrod's conquest of Bactra, but before his death (as necessitated by Josephus). For it can also be assumed that all great projects need accommodation for construction crews. Assuming that the tower (according to Genesis 11), was undoubtedly meant to be much larger and higher than it ended up being, the disaster of Divine intervention resulted in an incomplete job and dispersed the construction staff. Therefore it can be concluded that Semiramis obtained new construction crews, repurposed and retrofitted the Tower of Babel into the Temple of Marduk and started formalizing the existing builders huts into an actual city with walls, bridges, commercial zones, government buildings and residences. Therefore it can be synonymously said that both Nimrod founded the city of Babylon and that Semiramis completed it; while the biblical account simplifies this history into one understandable assertion.


He was allegedly buried under a massive artificial mound outside the city wall of Nineveh which supposedly survived the city's destruction.[29]

Nimrod as seen by different sources

from Ctesias' Persica

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from Diodorus' Bibliotheca Historica

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from Berossus' Babylonika

While a natural reading can easily deuce that the recorded name of Alorus is Nimrod (See Alexander Hislop's Two Babylons concise etymological bridge[Citation Needed]). But because Berossus claims that this was before the Deluge some caution must be exercised; this is furthermore true becuase of his claim that Alorus' reign was for 36,000 years.

"So much concerning the wisdom of the Chaldeans.
"It is said that the first king of the country was Alorus, who gave out a report that he was appointed by God to be Shepherd of the people: he reigned ten sari: no a sarus is esteemed to be three thousand six hundred years; a neros six hundred; and a sossus sixty.
"After him Alaparus reigned three sari:"
(taken from the public domain, I.P. Cory Esq., The Ancient Fragments, William Pickering, 1873)

from Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews

1. Now the sons of Noah were three, Shem and Japhet, and Ham, born one hundred years before the deluge.2 These first of all descended from the mountains into the plains, and fixed their habitation there; and persuaded others, who were greatly afraid of the lower grounds on account of the flood, and so were very loth to come down from the higher places, to venture to follow their examples. Now the plain, in which they first dwelt, was called Shinar. God also commanded them to send colonies abroad, for the through peopling of the earth; that they might not raise seditions among themselves, but might cultivate a great part of the earth, and enjoy its fruits after a plentiful manner. But they were so ill instructed, that they did not obey God. For which reason they fell into calamities, and were made sensible by experience of what sin they had been guilty of. For when they flourished with a numerous youth, God admonished them again to send out colonies. But they imagining the prosperity they enjoyed was not derived from the favour of God, but supposing that their own power was the proper cause of the plentiful condition they were in, did not obey him. Nay they added to this their disobedience to the divine will, the suspicion that they were therefore ordered to send out separate colonies, that, being divided asunder, they might the more easily be oppressed.

2. Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of God. He was the grand-son of Ham, the son of Noah: a bold man, and of great strength of hand. He persuaded them not to ascribe it to God, as if it was through his means that they were happy; but to believe that it was their own courage which procured that happiness. He also gradually changed the government into tyranny; seeing no other way of turning men from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence on his own power. He also said, “He would be revenged on God, if he should have a mind to drown the world again: for that he would build a Tower too high for the waters to be able to reach; and that he would avenge himself on God for destroying their fore-fathers.”

3. [About An. 2520] Now the multitude were very ready to follow the determination of Nimrod, and to esteem it a piece of cowardice to submit to God: and they built a Tower; neither sparing any pains, nor being in any degree negligent about the work. And, by reason of the multitude of hands employed in it, it grew very high, sooner than any one could expect. But the thickness of it was so great, and it was so strongly built, that thereby its great height seemed, upon the view, to be less than it really was. It was built of burnt brick, cemented together with morter, made of bitumen; that it might not be liable to admit water. When God saw that they acted so madly, he did not resolve to destroy them utterly; since they were not grown wiser by the destruction of the former sinners: but he caused a tumult among them, by producing in them diverse languages; and causing, that through the multitude of those languages, they should not be able to understand one another. The place wherein they built the Tower is now called Babylon: because of the confusion of that language which they readily understood before: for the Hebrews mean by the word Babel, Confusion. The Sibyll also makes mention of this tower, (21) and of the confusion of the language when she says thus: “When all men were of one language, some of them built an high tower, as if they would thereby ascend up to heaven. But the Gods sent storms of wind, and overthrew the tower, and gave every one his peculiar language. And for this reason it was that the city was called Babylon.” But as to the plan of Shinar, in the country of Babylonia, Hestiæus mentions it, when he says thus, “Such of the Priests as were saved took the sacred vessels of Jupiter Enyalius, and came to Shinar of Babylonia.”

(excerpt taken from the public domain, translation by William Whiston, 1737)

from Justin's History of the World

"At first, the government of nations and countries was lodged in the hands of kings, who were advanced to the height of royal majesty, not by popular ambition, but on account of the merit they had acquired with the good, by their experienced moderation. Then people were not ruled by standing laws:the will of the prince was the sole law; and it being then the custom of princes, not to enlarge, but to defend their dominions; every one's kingdom was bounded within the limits of his own country, Ninus, king of the Assyrians, was the first who, out of a hitherto unknown desire of empire, broke through this ancient, and as it were hereditary usage. He it was that first made war upon his neighbours, and by war he conquer'd the nations, too ignorant in military arts to oppose him, as far as the frontier of Libya. 'Tis true, Sesosris king of Egypt and Tanaus king of Scythia, the former of whom pieced as far as Pontus, and the latter as Egypt, are much more ancient; but their wars fell upon distant, not neiggbouring countries; nor did they seek dominion for themselves, but glory for their people; and, satisfy'd with victory, they declined the government of their conquests. Ninus, by taking and keeping possession of whatever he had subdued firm and stable; wherefore, so soon as he had subdued on neighbour, marching more powerfully against others, with the accession of those new forces, he made every victory the instrument of a new one, 'till he had overrun all the nations of the east. His last war was with Zorastres king of the Bactrians, who is said to have invented the magick arts, and to have very carefully studied [30] the origin of the world, and the motions of the stars. Having killed him, he himself died soon after leaving behind him his son Ninyas, in the state of childhood, and his wife Semiranis."

(excerpt taken from the public domain, translation by Oxford University, 1742)

from Eusebius' Chronogrophy

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in the Rabbinic Literature

Nimrod is considered the prototype of a rebellious people, his name being interpreted as "he who made all the people rebellious against God"[12] He is identified with Cush and with Amraphel, the name of the latter being interpreted as "he whose words are dark".[12] As he was the first hunter he was consequently the first who introduced the eating of meat by man.[12] He was also the first to make war on other peoples.[12]

His Feats as a Hunter

Nimrod was not wicked in his youth.[12] On the contrary, when a young man he used to sacrifice to God the animals which he caught while hunting.[12] His great success in hunting was because he wore the coats of skin which God made for Adam and Eve.[12] These coats were handed down from father to son, and thus came into the possession of Noah, who took them with him into the ark, whence they were stolen by Ham.[12] The latter gave them to his son Cush, who in turn gave them to Nimrod, and when the animals saw the latter clad in them, they crouched before him so that he had no difficulty in catching them.[12] The people, however, thought that these feats were due to his extraordinary strength, so that they made him their king.[12]

Nimrod is made king

According to another account, when Nimrod was eighteen years old, war broke out between the Hamites, his kinsmen, and the Japhethites.[12] The latter were at first victorious, but Nimrod, at the head of a small army of Cushites, attacked and defeated them, after which he was made king over all the people on earth, appointing Terah his minister.[12] It was then, elated by so much glory, that Nimrod changed his behavior toward God and became the most flagrant idolater.[12] When informed of Abraham's birth he requested Terah to sell him the new-born child in order that he might kill it.[12] Terah hid Abraham and in his stead brought to Nimrod the child of a slave, which Nimrod dashed to pieces.[12]

Nimrod is generally considered to have been the one who suggested building the Tower of Babel and who directed its construction.[12] According to the Talmud, God said: "I made Nimrod great; but he built a tower in order that he might rebel against Me".[12] The tower is called by the Rabbis "the house of Nimrod," and is considered as a house of idolatry which the owners abandoned in time of peace; consequently Jews may make use of it.[12] After the builders of the tower were dispersed Nimrod remained in Shinar, where he reestablished his kingdom.[12] According to the "Sefer ha-Yashar", he at this time acquired the name "Amraphel" in allusion to the fall of his princes during the dispersion.[12] According to the Targum of pseudo-Jonathan, however, Nimrod had left Babylonia before the building of the tower, and had gone to Assyria, where he built four other cities, namely, Nineveh, Rehobot, Calah, and Resen.[12]

in Islamic Literature

By the Muslims Nimrod is considered as the supreme example of the tyrant ("al-jabbar"). There is some confusion among Arabian historians as to Nimrod's genealogy. According to one authority he was the son of Mash the son of Aram, and consequently a Semite; he built the Tower of Babel and also a bridge over the Euphrates, and reigned five hundred years over the Nabatæans, his kinsmen. But the general opinion is that he was a Hamite, son of Canaan the son of Cush, or son of Cush the son of Canaan (Tabari gives both); that he was born at the time of Reu, and was the first to establish fire-worship. Another legend is to the effect that there were two Nimrods: the first was the son of Cush; the second was the well-known tyrant and contemporary of Abraham; he was the son of Canaan and therefore a great-grandson of the first Nimrod. According to Mas'udi, Nimrod was the first Babylonian king, and during a reign of sixty years he dug many canals in Iraq.

Nimrod and Abraham

The author of the "Ta'rikh Muntaḥab" (quoted by D'Herbelot in his "Bibliothèque Orientale") identifies Nimrod with Daḥḥak (the Persian Zoḥak), the first Persian king after the Flood. But Al-Kharizmi, identifies him with Kai Kaos, the second king of the second Persian dynasty. Nimrod reigned where Baghdad is now situated, and at first he reigned with justice; but Satan perverted him, and then he began to persecute all the worshipers of God. His chief vizier was Azar (Terah), the father of Abraham; and the midrashic legends of Abraham's birth in which Nimrod is mentioned, as well as those concerning Nimrod's persecution of Abraham—whom he cast into a furnace—are copied by the Mohammedans which some changes from Rabbinic Literature.

Nimrod is referred to in the Koran (xxi. 68-69). When Nimrod saw Abraham come unharmed from the furnace, he said to him: "Thou hast a powerful God; I wish to offer Him hospitality." Abraham told him that his God needed nobody's hospitality. Nevertheless, Nimrod ordered thousands of horned and small cattle brought, and fowl and fish, and sacrificed them all to God; but God did not accept them. Humiliated, Nimrod shut himself in his palace and allowed no one to approach him. According to another tradition, Nimrod challenged Abraham, when the latter came out of the furnace, to fight with him. Nimrod gathered a considerable army and on the appointed day was surprised to find Abraham alone. Asked where his army was, Abraham pointed to a swarm of gnats, which routed Nimrod's troops (see, however, below). Nimrod assembled his ministers and informed them of his intention to ascend into the heavens and strike down Abraham's God. His ministers having told him that it would be difficult to accomplish such a journey, the heavens being very high, Nimrod conceived the idea of building a high tower, by means of which he might accomplish his purpose (comp. Sanh. 109a). After many years had been spent in the construction of the tower, Nimrod ascended to its top, but he was greatly surprised to find that the heavens were still as remote from him as when he was on the ground. He was still more mortified on the following day, when the tower collapsed with such a noise that the people fainted with terror, those that recovered losing their speech (an allusion to the confusion of tongues).

Undaunted by this failure, Nimrod planned another way to reach the heavens. He had a large chest made with an opening in the top and another in the bottom. At the four corners of the chest stakes were fixed, with a piece of flesh on each point. Then four large vultures, or, according to another source, four eagles, previously fed upon flesh, were attached to the stakes below the meat. Accompanied by one of his most faithful viziers, Nimrod entered the chest, and the four great birds soared up in the air carrying the chest with them. The vizier opened alternately the upper and lower doors of the chest in order that by looking in both directions he might know whether or not he was approaching heaven. When they were so high up that they could see nothing in either direction Nimrod took his bow and shot arrows into the sky. Gabriel thereupon sent the arrows back stained with blood, so that Nimrod was convinced that he had avenged himself upon Abraham's God. After wandering in the air for a certain length of time Nimrod descended, and the chest crashed upon the ground with such violencethat the mountains trembled and the angels thought an order from God had descended upon the earth. This event is alluded to in the Koran (xiv. 47): "The machinations and the contrivances of the impious cause the mountains to tremble." Nimrod himself was not hurt by the fall.

After these adventures Nimrod continued to reign wickedly. Four hundred years later an angel in the form of a man appeared to him and exhorted him to repent, but Nimrod declared that he himself was sole ruler and challenged God to fight with him. Nimrod asked for a delay of three days, during which he gathered a considerable army; but this was exterminated by swarms of gnats. One of these insects is said to have entered Nimrod's nose, reached the chambers of his brain, and gnawed at it. To allay the pain Nimrod ordered some one to strike with a hammer upon an anvil, in order that the noise might cause the gnat to cease gnawing. Nimrod died after forty years' suffering.


  1. Ctesias, Persica
  2. Justin, History of the World,1.1
  3. Berossus the Chaldean, Babylonika
  4. Hislop, Alexander, Two Babylons, p.72, quoting Bunsen's Egypt, notes ἀλορος to be Ninyus by noting through logic and etymology that Ninyas is Berossus' Ala-PAR-us. By elimination, that makes Alorus Nimrod.
  5. Diodorus Siculus, Biblotheca Historica, 2.3.1
  6. Josephus, Antiquities, 4.2
  7. see Semiramis
  8. Eusebius, Chronogrophy, p.28
  9. Diodorus, Bibliotheca Historica, 2.1.4 (quoting Ctesias Persica)
  10. Justin, History of the World,1.1
  11. Genesis 10:10
  12. 12.00 12.01 12.02 12.03 12.04 12.05 12.06 12.07 12.08 12.09 12.10 12.11 12.12 12.13 12.14 12.15 12.16 12.17 12.18 12.19 12.20 12.21 12.22 Jewish Encyclopedia's article on Nimrod
  13. Eusebius, Chronogrophy, p.29
  14. Diodorus Siculus, Biblotheca Historica, 2.2.1
  15. Diodorus Siculus, Biblotheca Historica, 2.5.3-2.6.8
  16. Justin, History of the World,1.1
  17. Justin, History of the World,1.1
  18. Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews
  19. Diodorus, Bibliotheca Historica, 2.1.7 (quoting Ctesias Persica)
  20. Genesis 10:8
  22. recorded as Ninyas & Semiramis, as per Justin's History of the World, 1.1
  23. Diodorus Siculus, Biblotheca Historica, 2.1.4
  24. Genesis 10:9
  25. Diodorus Siculus, Biblotheca Historica, 2.1.10
  26. Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 1.4.2
  27. Diodorus Siculus, Biblotheca Historica, 2.7.2
  28. Justin, History of the World, 1.2
  29. Diodorus Siculus, Biblotheca Historica, 2.7.1-2
  30. Here Justin confounds Zorastres the king of the Bactrians with Zorastres the magician, who lived many generations after him.