THE DEATH OF NIMROD

THE DEBATE OVER THE LIFE OF NIMROD IS SETTLED IN PART BY LOOKING AT THE VARIATIONS IN THE ACCOUNTS REGARDING HIS DEATH.  REMEMBER: THE BIBLE ONLY MENTIONS THE NAME OF NIMROD IN 4 PLACES (TWICE IN GENESIS, ONCE IN 1 CHRONICLES AND ONCE IN MICAH). 3 OF THE 4 VERSES ARE ESSENTIALLY THE SAME. THEREFORE, THE BIBLE SAYS VERY LITTLE. ONLY THAT HE BECAME A MIGHTY ONE IN THE EARTH AND THAT HE CONQUERED FOUR CITIES AND BUILT FOUR OTHERS.  EVERYTHING ELSE ABOUT NIMROD IS LEGEND.

[Speaking of Legend, the featured picture is of Gilgamesh and the death of his hybrid friend, Enkidu, from the Epic of Gilgamesh. Nimrod is the historical connection to the legendary Gilgamesh).

In Rebooting the Bible, Part 2, I do my best to sort out and point out the contradictions. When corroborated by the work of Egyptologist David Rohl, some semblance of reality comes into focus.

Most of the misinformation comes from two untrustworthy sources: Alexander Hislop’s The Two Babylons and The Book of Jasher.

Getting it right, and demonstrating why these two sources get the facts so wrong comes into focus by being mindful of the authentic biblical chronology from the Septuagint. In other words, the source of the legends come from Hislop and Jasher. And their misinformation comes from the false chronology of the corrupted Old Testament chronology in the Masoretic Text. With these points as our anchor, we can stay on course.

Rebooting the Bible: Parts 1 and 2, both now in large format. Available for a special bundle price at www.faith-happens.com/store

The Death of Nimrod

What can we say regarding Nimrod’s death? Quite a lot. Author Steven Merrill who wrote a historical fiction book on the life of Nimrod provides a summary here. However, he also is ignorant of the true biblical chronology attempting “to make the MT timeline work.” To clarify the citation below, square brackets [ ] are mine – other parentheses types ( ) { } are Freeman’s.

Nowhere is it suggested Nimrod enjoyed the longevity of his uncle Shem (600 years). Shelab, son of Arphaxad was a contemporary of Nimrod.  Both were born at approximately the same time. [The Septuagint chronology tells us that Shelah was born in 3093 B.C. and died in 2660, per my calculations]. Shelah lived 403 years [alternatively 433 years both in the Masoretic Text as well as in the LXX], making it conceivable (that) Nimrod could have lived to the time period of Abraham [which I dispute – it’s way off], provided his life did not end prematurely [which it did according to all legendary accounts]. However, Peleg was born when Shelah (his grandfather) was 64 years old [actually, I calculate 264 years, which reflects at least 200 years of error, due to the 100 years subtracted from Shelah’s age – by the rabbis in the Second Century, when Eber was born – and 100 years from Eber’s age when Peleg was “begotten”]. Peleg lived to the age of 209 years [On the contrary, he lived to 339 years in the LXX] … If Nimrod lived to the end of Peleg’s life, he would have been approximately 273 years old (209 {the age of Peleg at his death} + 64 {age of Shelah and Nimrod at Peleg’s birth} = 273 years). [However, as I stated Peleg actually lived to be 339 years old].[1]

Was Nimrod the Rebel Leader at the Tower of Babel? Or Was It His Father, Cush?

My LXX chronogenealogy table (created for RTB-1 and reproduced in this book), corrects these mistaken ages. The 200-year reduction in the age of Peleg’s grandfather’s (i.e., Shelah) is due to the rabbinical corruption in the MT, which subtracted 100 years from each Patriarch’s age at the time when their “child of promise” (in the Messianic line) was born. The rabbis subtracted 100-years 13 times, plus one 50-year subtraction, for 1,350 years deleted from the LXX chronology. Another 36 years is missing due to two relatively minor clerical variances, one for Methuselah and one for Lamech. I mention the circumstances surrounding these errors in RTB-1 and earlier in this book.

In the citation above, Freeman supposes that Abraham and Nimrod would have been contemporaries (an assumption arising from the corrupted Masoretic chronology that he, and almost every Fundamentalist and Evangelical, wrongly follow). The LXX chronology, however, has Abraham’s birth circa 2200 B.C. (my calculation is 2228 B.C.) Therefore, there is a gap of approximately 600 years from the death of Nimrod until the birth of Abraham.  There is even a gap of almost 450 years from Nimrod’s death to Abraham’s father’s birth (i.e., Terah) in 2258 B.C. Indeed, even if we argue that Nimrod was born later (and most have his birth 200 years earlier so he can lead the rebels at Babel), we still have a gap of at least 300 years. Ergo: Nimrod and Abraham were not contemporaries. I refer the reader back to the chart earlier and reprinted below for the convenience of the reader, which illustrates the “compression of the MT chronology” for the post-Diluvian Patriarchs.

Anticipating confusion over this matter, allow me to step through the analysis another way in hopes that it might clarify things.  The correct chronology shows that Shelah was born in 3093 B.C. If Nimrod was the youngest son of Cush (which many scholars believe was the case since Genesis mentions Nimrod last among Cush’s six sons), Nimrod’s birth took place circa 3100 B.C., plus or minus 50 years. Given that the next four patriarchs lived, 433, 404, 339, and 339 years respectively, we can bracket what a typical lifespan was early in the third century B.C., that is, between 339 to 433 years. (Note: Akiba’s rabbis did not alter the length of life for all 21 patriarchs – only their age when they “brought forth” the next generation in the Messianic line.) Given the ages of Nimrod’s contemporaries, it seems likely that he would also have lived about 400 years(assuming he died a natural death. However, we see Lamech’s life reduced to 777 years before the Flood of Noah. Could it have been due to his transgressions of murder and pride (bragging to his two wives that he murdered a man who had assaulted him)? Therefore, Lamech lived a 20% shorter life than his antediluvian contemporaries since they lived 950 years. (Enoch was the exception who lived to 365 years before “God took him,” i.e., “harpazo’ed” or raptured him).

Thus, Nimrod died during Peleg’s lifetime (Peleg, our hero in Chapter 3 of RTB Part 2, lived to be 339 years). If we speculate that Nimrod died circa 2700 B.C. (Peleg was born in 2829 and died in 2490 B.C.), Nimrod’s life may have been considerably shorter due to his rebellious nature. Consequently, it appears Peleg outlived Nimrod by 200+ years.

A COPPER BUST OF NIMROD

Merrill continues on this topic relying upon questionable “history,” as Hislop tells it, concerning the facts of Nimrod/ Osiris/ Horus’ death. His path remains speculative, feeding off of Egyptian and Babylonian mythology. Additionally, it relies upon the premise that Shem lived until Nimrod’s day, which is barely possible. Here the fictitious Book of Jasher account adds unwarranted detail. According to the LXX (per my calculations), Shem lived until 2858 B.C.  Nimrod’s life might have been cut short if Shem executed him, but only if Nimrod’s life was about 150 years in total. Despite this challenging flop, Hislop was on the right track in comparing the historical Nimrod with the mythical Osiris/Orion:

The identity of Nimrod, however, and the Egyptian Osiris, having been established, we have thereby light as to Nimrod’s death. Osiris met with a violent death, and that violent death of Osiris was the central theme of the whole idolatry of Egypt. If Osiris was Nimrod, as we have seen, that violent death which the Egyptians so pathetically deplored in their annual festivals was just the death of Nimrod. The accounts in regard to the death of the god worshipped in the several mysteries of the different countries are all to the same effect. A statement of Plato seems to show, that in his day the Egyptian Osiris was regarded as identical with Tammuz; and Tammuz is well known to have been the same as Adonis, the famous HUNTSMAN, for whose death Venus is fabled to have made such bitter lamentations.[2]

The legend, though, is that Shem instigated not one but two tribunals that convicted Nimrod of great sins and sentenced him to an ignoble if not barbaric death.

The Egyptians say, that the grand enemy of their god [Shem or Hercules, whom Hislop identifies are one and the same] overcame him [Osiris/Nimrod], not by open violence, but that, having entered into a conspiracy with seventy-two of the leading men of Egypt, he got him into his power, put him to death, and then cut his dead body into pieces, and sent the different parts to so many different cities throughout the country. The real meaning of this statement will appear, if we glance at the judicial institutions of Egypt. Seventy-two was just the number of the judges, both civil and sacred, who, according to Egyptian law, were required to determine what was to be the punishment of one guilty of so high an offence as that of Osiris, supposing this to have become a matter of judicial inquiry. In determining such a case, there were necessarily two tribunals concerned. First, there were the ordinary judges, who had power of life and death, and who amounted to thirty, then there was, over and above, a tribunal consisting of forty-two judges, who, if Osiris was condemned to die, had to determine whether his body should be buried…

As burial was refused him, both tribunals would necessarily be (convened); and thus, there would be exactly seventy-two persons, under Typho the president, to condemn Osiris to die and to be cut in pieces. What, then, does the statement account to, in regard to the conspiracy, but just to this, that the great opponent [Shem] of the idolatrous system which Osiris introduced had so convinced these judges of the enormity of the offence which he had committed, that they gave up the offender to an awful death, and to ignominy after it, as a terror to any who might afterwards tread in his steps. The cutting of the dead body in pieces, and sending the dismembered parts among the different cities, is paralleled, and its object explained, by what we read in the Bible of the cutting of the dead body of the Levite’s concubine in pieces (Judges 19:29), and sending one of the parts to each of the twelve tribes of Israel.[3]

Of course, then there is the fantastic conclusion of the myth. Osiris’ sister, Isis, reassembles the body parts – minus one essential part necessary for impregnation.  She resurrects Osiris (in some accounts) and/or impregnates herself with a prosthetic penis in another. We know the phallus as the Obelisk, enabling her birth to Horus through an ingenious form of artificial insemination from a stone phallus (no mean trick). Of course, as with Gilgamesh, we might venture that the only reliable truth about the death of Nimrod is just that he did undoubtedly die – and that his death was probably not desirable.

NIMROD AND SARGON I – Were They One and the Same?

What we must realize about Hislop’s presentation is that he treats specific statements about the mythological figures (in this case, Osiris/Isis/Horus) as historically based, and he assumes that each took place in the life of Nimrod and his supposed consort. The reality is that the myths grew and evolved over hundreds, indeed almost two millennia. For starters, we can’t even say that Nimrod died abruptly.  We simply don’t know.

However, the Book of Jasher offers a different version of how Nimrod died.  It asserts that Esau, not Shem, killed Nimrod. And this means that Nimrod must have lived for 1,000 years (something post-diluvian patriarchs did not do), since the twins Esau and Jacob were born circa 2068 B.C. We read that Esau’s hunting (for he was also a great hunter as was Nimrod), enabled Esau to happen upon an unsuspecting Nimrod out in the “bush” when Nimrod meandered some distance away from his two bodyguards. Esau slew Nimrod with a sword (cutting off his head), slew his two guardians, and then hastily returned to his brother Jacob, begging for some savory stew since it would be his last meal (for he had slain the King of the World) – or so the tale goes. And this last point is well taken: You might be willing to sell your birthright for one big bowl of stew on the condition you were confident that your death was fast-approaching. Jasher tells us Nimrod’s mighty men were, indeed, fast approaching.

Nimrod and the Book of Jasher

The final topic in this post addresses the stories told about Nimrod and his interactions with biblical figures like Terah, Abraham, and Esau. First, what is the Book of Jasher? Secondly, what stories does it tell about Nimrod and his relationships with these biblical heroes? What we find in the Book of Jasher are stories intended to “fill in the gaps” of what the Bible doesn’t tell us. It is both medieval and modern myth-making. The evidence strongly indicates that The Book of Jasher isn’t the same Jasher mentioned in the Old Testament. It was a medieval composition developed for profit, written around the time Gutenberg invented the printing press.  Just like today, the believing masses then were hungry to learn about matters which the Bible mentions lightly.[17]

Here, I will not go into a literary critique of the book. Rather I only identify the unbiblical chronology such stories presuppose.  Simply put, if the MT chronology isn’t correct, the authenticity of these stories crumbles. Likewise, the stories from the Book of Jasher reinforce the Masoretic Text and its faulty chronology more than any other book.  The only exception might be Hislop’s Two Babylons, which seeks to “connect-the-dots” from global myths and affix them to Nimrod, Semiramis, and Horus, which, as I have shown, are either wholly mythological or build upon missing data that the Bible never supplies in the first place.

So, what are the accounts in the Book of Jasper involving Nimrod? There are several which we will analyze. Once again, we will see strong evidence that the supposed history of Nimrod told in this account, by itself, invalidates the chronology of the Masoretic Text.

In Chapter 9 of Jasher, the author places Nimrod and the Tower of Babel in the time of Abraham.

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. And all the princes of Nimrod and his great men took counsel together; Phut, Mitzaim, 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 order that the evil of our enemies may cease from us, that we may reign mightily over them, and that we may not become scattered over the ear on account of their wars.” 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. 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.

We see from this passage that the king overseeing the building of the Tower of Babel was, according to Jasher, King Nimrod who conspired with his uncles (Phut, Mitzaim, and Canaan) along with his father Cush, to “BUILD OURSELVES A CITY AND IN IT A STRONG TOWER, AND ITS TOP REACHING HEAVEN…” Without any doubt, Jasher makes Nimrod the Emperor at the time the Tower of Babel event takes place. We are not told how this happened, but we are told in Jasher when it happened – 1656 A.M. (not B.C. but anno mundi).  The passage also tells us that the Tower was built for defense against others outside of the sons of Ham (the descendants of Shem and Japheth), “in order that the evil of our enemies may cease from us, that we may reign mightily over them.” Thus, not all the peoples gathered at Babel, according to the Book of Jasher, just the Hamites.

Here, we also must stop and explain the dating method of the Book of Jasher which is also consistent with the rabbinic (Jewish) calendar that sets the today’s year (2020) as 5780 A.M. Make a note (to avoid confusion) that all dates in Jasher are from “anno mundi” (“the year of the world”). Author Ken Johnson tells us, “All the dates in the book of Jasher date from Creation to the Jewish people entering into the Promised Land. It only covers the first 2,516 years of human history.”[18] And he also points out that due to the alterations made circa 160-169 A.D. to create the Jewish calendar (aka Seder Olam Rabbah), an adjustment of at least 168 years is necessary. However, he dismisses this fact as outside the scope of his study, although it should have given him a clue that the rabbis were able and willing to make other significant alterations as well, i.e., like the chronogenealogy of Genesis 5 and 11. Since Dr. Johnson, a fine man, doesn’t agree that rabbis corrupted Genesis 5 and 11 (in which they also deleted 1,386 years in the Second Century A.D.), these additional 168 years don’t come into play concerning the timing of the early B.C dates.[19] This position results from Johnson’s adherence to the Masoretic Text (MT). He explicitly asserts that the Septuagint is full of gross errors (without pointing out any particulars). In other words, he accepts the chronology of the King James Version and Bishop Ussher’s dating of creation at 4004 B.C. Given this premise, the Tower event occurs 1,998 years after Creation – 2006 B.C.,[20] while the Flood occurred 1656 years after Creation. This assumption places the Flood of Noah at 2348 B.C. As we have already seen, Jasher compresses more than a millennium of history into roughly 200 years since Nimrod and Abraham are purportedly contemporaries with the Tower event occurring during the life of Abraham.

So when did Babel take place? In Jasher 10:35, we have the date fixed, when it says, “And in the second year after the tower…” According to the Jasher date, it is 1998 A.M. The Book of Jasher establishes the Tower Event almost exactly two thousand years after the creation of the world (and Adam). The symmetry of 2000 years intrigues, but is inconsequential. However, the Jewish calendar shortens the time by another 250 years from Ussher’s dating, indicating the Tower event occurred in 1757 B.C. Time is growing shorter, so to speak.

So, let’s jump to Jasher, Chapter 11, “And Nimrod, son of Cush, was still in the land of Shinar (Mesopotamia), and he reigned over it and dwelt there, and he built cities in the land of Shinar.” Nimrod builds the cities of Babel, Erech, Eched, and Calnah (per Jasher). These are the cities of Babylon, Erech (Uruk), Accad (Akkad), and Caneh. The Bible does not expressly say he built these cities (he created the northern cities, Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir, Calah, and Resen – Genesis 10:8-12). Instead, the Bible says his kingdom “began in these southern cities” (implying he had conquered them, but not built them).

And when Nimrod had built these cities in the land of Shinar, he placed in them the remainder of his people, his princes, and his mighty men that were left in his kingdom. And Nimrod dwelt in Babel, and he there renewed his reign over the rest of his subjects, and he reigned securely, and the subjects of princes of Nimrod called his name Amraphel, saying that at the tower his princes and men fell through his means. [i.e., he got blamed.]

We should also note that Jasher 11:1 indicates that Nimrod son of Cush “was still in the land of Shinar, and he reigned over it and dwelt there, and he built cities in the land of Shinar.” Jasher omits the probable fact that Nimrod’s career began in the land of his father (Cush/Kush, i.e., Ethiopia) and may well have been Narmer/Menes, the first Pharaoh. Since Cush conspired with his brothers and son to build the Tower of Babel, it appears that Cush never settles in Ethiopia, and in Jasher, the Kushites never conquer Egypt. Perhaps the author of Jasher is too anxious to get to his yarn about Abraham, Nimrod, and Terah, for he does elaborate on this account, uncharacteristic of his other tales.

Therefore, the lengthy eleventh Chapter of Jasher “drills down” into the story of Nimrod, Terah (the father of Abraham), and Abraham. Two years after the Tower of Babel (1998 A.M. plus two years or 2000 A.M./2004 B.C.), Abraham is already 50 years old (verse 13), and departs from living with Noah to visit his father.[21] (Surprisingly, Noah also remains alive in Abraham’s day according to Jasher and the MT chronology upon which the timing of Jasher’s story relies.)

There is far too much of the tale of Jasher regarding the confrontation between Nimrod and Abraham to do more than provide a quick recap, but here’s the gist of it: Terah is the right-hand man of Nimrod and keeps 12 wooden idols in his home, holding them in the highest esteem. Abraham breaks up the idols and then begins to teach him a lesson demonstrating that these wooden idols had no power. With the lesson complete, Terah is furious at Abraham and goes to Nimrod, asking the king to apprehend his son and judge him. When Abraham appears before Nimrod, Abraham then witnesses to Nimrod about the true God in heaven. However, Nimrod rejects his witness, puts him in prison, and then creates a fiery pit. He throws Abraham in the flames along with his brother Haran. Although his brother was inclined to go along with Abraham, he wouldn’t stand up to their father nor Nimrod. Once in the fire, his brother is consumed and turned into ashes. Abraham survives with flying colors, spending three days and nights in the fire. (Here we see shades of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the Book of Daniel, and a foreshadowing of the three days the Messiah spends in the “underworld” of Hades proclaiming victory to the “Watcher” captives there – 1 Peter 3:19.[22]) After Abraham escapes death by fire without so much as a blister, he is released to his father’s house, and “from that day forward Abram inclined the hearts of the sons of men to serve the Lord.” (Jasher 11:42-43) Two years later, Nimrod decides that he must kill Abraham (now 52) after he dreams that Abraham’s descendants will destroy him and his kingdom. Abraham flees to the house of Shem. (Shem is still alive too as he lived 500 years after the Flood according to the chronology of both the MT and LXX). At issue is not Shem’s longevity, but when Nimrod and Abraham were born relative to Shem. The LXX’s chronology has Shem passing away about 600 years before Abraham is born. The MT states they were contemporaries).

In 2013 AM (1991 B.C.), Jasher relates that Nimrod (remember his nickname was Amraphel, according to those who despised him for his failure at Babel) came against Chedorlaomer king of Elam since Chedorlaomer caused the cities of Nimrod to rebel against him. At their battle, Jasher says Nimrod loses 600,000 soldiers, and his son Mardon falls. (Note: 600,000 deaths would be a fantastic number since it would have reduced the world’s population about 30-40% in just one battle). The book tells us Nimrod fled and was then under the sovereign reign of Chedorlaomer (“for a long time,” Jasher 13:15-16). Nimrod appears again in Chapter 16 as one of the kings Chedorlaomer marshals to plunder the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Chedorlaomer calls on Nimrod (king of Shinar), Tidal (king of Goyim), and Arioch (king of Elasar) to join him. Besides booty, the four kings capture Lot, Abraham’s nephew. Abraham learns this through his servant Unic who had escaped from the battle (Unic is recorded in Jasher – perhaps a play on the word eunuch, while the servant remains nameless in the Genesis account). Abraham and his small contingent of 318 men massacre everyone except the four kings. Finally, we learn each king returns “down his own road.”

To confirm the pertinent facts, the Genesis account says,

In those days Amraphel king of Shinar, Aroch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim went to war against Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). (Genesis 14:1, ESV)

Here we learn where and why the author of Jasher acquires the name Amraphel. Thinking he sidestepped a possible anachronism (which others less talented might have stumbled over), the author picks up on the name Amraphel and ties it back to the person of Nimrod. Why? Because Amraphel is the king of Shinar (remember, we are still only 17 years removed from the Tower of Babel incident, so Shinar must have had the same king!).  But does this make good sense? The truth is the Scripture doesn’t connect Amraphel and Nimrod: While Jasher’s account purportedly happened at 2021 AM (1983 B.C.) supposedly involving Nimrod alias Amraphel, archeology and the Bible demand that Nimrod passed from the scene at least 700 years earlier. (Now, if you aren’t suspicious yet that we have a fraudulent Book of Jasher, just wait.)

We need to follow what Jasher records as the manner of Nimrod’s death, as briefly depicted earlier. Here we have the extended, “Director’s Cut” of the account: Abraham brings forth his son Isaac, and Isaac – his twin sons, Jacob and Esau. Jasher’s storytelling has two great hunters, Esau and Nimrod, meet. This encounter takes place 102 years after Nimrod and his three kingly comrades (whom Abraham had defeated), and who then raced home their separate ways. By this time, many of the notable patriarchs had died, and so also Abraham, who lived “to a good old age” of 175 – Genesis 25:7-8 as promised by Yahweh.[23] Surprisingly, Nimrod is still alive after Abraham is dead. And yet, finally, the fate of Nimrod catches up with him. The year is 2123 AM (1881 B.C., according to the author of the Book of Jasher). Esau is out hunting not long after the death of Abraham.

And Nimrod king of Babel, the same was Amraphel [Jasher seems stuck on this point], also frequently went with his mighty men to hunt in the field, and to walk about with his men in the cool of the day [a not so obscure allusion to Genesis 2]. And Nimrod was observing Esau all the days, for a jealousy was formed in the heart of Nimrod against Esau all the days.

Esau knew that Nimrod had it in for him. So, he decided to act. “Esau concealed himself for Nimrod, and he lurked for him in the wilderness” (Jasher 27:6). “And Nimrod and two of his men that were with him came to the place where they were, when Esau started suddenly from his lurking-place, and drew his sword, and hastened and ran to Nimrod and cut off his head.” (27:7) Next, Esau fought a desperate fight with the two companions of Nimrod (I venture these were his bodyguards) and smote them with his sword.

This fight causes quite a commotion. The remainder of Nimrod’s contingent heard the cries from a distance and “ran to know the cause of it” (27:9) “Esau took the valuable garments of Nimrod, which Nimrod’s father had bequeathed to Nimrod, and with which Nimrod prevailed over the whole land, and he ran and concealed them in his house.” (27:10) This garment was allegedly the leopard skins that Yahweh had fashioned for Adam and Eve, which held power for its wearer to rule the world. (Obviously, they had lost their magical ability and let Nimrod down several times during his final 120 years, since he was no longer Emperor. We could say, they stunk for more than one reason). So, Jasher tells us Nimrod died at 250 years old. By Esau’s murderous act, the descendants of Shem sent Nimrod to rest eternally with “his fathers.” Only then were the people under Nimrod’s reign – “the peoples of the land” – dispersed.  And for the first time, Shem’s lineage ascends to be masters over Ham’s descendants. For Jasher, the curse of Noah is fulfilled only 117 years after Noah’s death (2006 A.M. to 2123 A.M). In the Septuagint, we see Noah’s curse realized many hundreds of years later.

Conclusion

The death of Nimrod is a dramatic event. Hislop’s account of it links to the Egyptian myth of Osiris and Isis in which the evil brother Set (supposedly Shem), kills Osiris and distributes his body, cut into 72 pieces, to all corners of Egypt’s kingdom. In contrast, the Book of Jasher places the death of Nimrod, not at the feet of Shem but the feet of Esau, since he murdered Nimrod (as it was premeditated).[24] The Bible doesn’t indicate any of these things. It doesn’t tell us how old Nimrod was when he died. It doesn’t tell us where he died. It doesn’t say how he died. Nimrod simply passes from the scene after building the cities in Mesopotamia in what is today’s Iraq. The immigration of Cush and his descendants to Ethiopia (the Kushites) and on to Egypt (in their presumed war with the descendants of Mizraim as depicted by archeologist David Rohl) Archeology, and the circumstantial evidence derived from the “division of the nations” strongly hints that this is how the immigration (dispersion) transpired – the names of the lands that have come down to us today, something we will look at closely in the next Chapter.

Consequently, we know that Nimrod must have died at some point, but the silence of scripture may say more than if it had accounted for his end. Perhaps this lack of closure on Nimrod’s influence tells us that the nature of Nimrod – his lust to build an empire and to plot against Shem’s descendants – continues through history until it filters down to the final empire builder, the Antichrist, of whom Nimrod was the first antitype. If this is the implication of the story of Nimrod, then in a sense, Nimrod doesn’t die at all.  He appears as the ongoing enemy of Yahweh’s people, seeking to enslave them again through others until he returns as “the Assyrian” who enters into the land of Israel. Isaiah 14:25, “I will crush the Assyrian in my land; on my mountains I will trample him down…” Isaiah 30:31: “For the voice of the Lord shall the Assyrian be beaten down, as he strikes with the rod.”

My final thoughts: The Book of Jasher tells us a grand story based on selected facts communicated in the authoritative words of the Bible. However, the story is at best historical fiction. And yet, it provides us an invaluable service for it points out the contradictions that the chronology of the Masoretic Text entails. It asserts the Tower of Babel happens when Nimrod is already king in the land of Sumer/Akkad. Nimrod appears as a contemporary of Abraham. Abraham spends decades with Noah to learn the ways of God. Likewise, he later hides out with Shem when Nimrod pursues him. And Nimrod lives past the death of Abraham. Nimrod is killed by someone of the same generation that would, only a few years later, enter into Egypt; namely, Jacob, Esau’s brother, who supposedly killed Nimrod. Jacob and his 11 sons (along with their wives and children), at Joseph’s behest, move to safety in Egypt.  Jasher sees these characters (separated by a thousand years), in the same compressed story arc, all living within the timespan of Nimrod’s lifetime (only 250 years) if Nimrod died as Jasher and the MT purport.  Heck, God promised Abraham that he would have a long life – But evil Nimrod outlives him by 75 years. ‘Nuff said?

In effect, this chapter should illustrate to the reader how the various accounts of Nimrod reveal incontrovertible evidence that the chronology of the King James Bible and Bishop James Ussher is hopelessly unable to conform to the findings of archeology and are self-contradictory and conflict with other passages of the Bible. For Hislop and the author of the Book of Jasher, Nimrod lives hundreds of years past Sargon I (who reigned from 2334 B.C to 2279 B.C). The Nimrod of Jasher, the KJV, and the Masoretic Text, lives into Egypt’s XII (Twelfth) Dynasty and to Amenemhet I. Likewise, Nimrod lives half a millennium past Gilgamesh who was the mythological protagonist based on Nimrod (who logically had to precede him).

However, if we follow history as laid out by the Septuagint, all of these characters are appropriately spaced. Noah and Shem are long dead before the time of Abraham. And Nimrod and Abraham never meet because they were likely born 700-900 years apart.  Even the long ages of the Patriarchs are unable to bridge these long gaps.

In effect, the story of Nimrod serves as a most compelling reason why Protestants who base their Old Testament on the Masoretic Text should reverse that decision made 450 years ago when the reformers Luther and Calvin translated the Old Testament text from the Hebrew following the path of Jerome and his Vulgate (rather than from the Greek Septuagint as advised by St. Augustine). This point isn’t declaring that the Greek Old Testament should be used solely or entirely in every passage while avoiding the Hebrew. Instead, as I’ve indicated in RTB-1 and its companion volume, A Biography of the Christian Bible, the point is that we must consider both versions with an awareness of the illicit changes made in the Hebrew that sought to invalidate Jesus’ fulfillment of passages supporting His “candidacy” for Messiah.

Choosing only the Hebrew text and deciding that it was exclusively the text for the Christian Church (by Protestants), ignored that the fact that someone changed the Scripture as noted by the Church Fathers as early as A.D. 160 by Justin Martyr. This choice led to the creation of the Geneva Bible (1560) and the King James Bible (1611), who based their Old Testaments on the Masoretic Text and its enormously mistaken chronology.  And the downstream impact of that decision should be acknowledged by the Young Earth Creationists. They remain dedicated to preserving the testimony of the Masoretic Text and its chronology, apparently oblivious to the fact that it forces them to ignore the empirical findings of archeology, most Egyptology, and the artifacts our scientists dig up daily in the land of the Bible.

If these well-meaning and devoted followers of Yahweh and his Son Jesus Christ would reconsider the chronology of the Septuagint and question the timeline of the Masoretic Text, many contradictions would simply disappear. This move would better serve the Gospel of Jesus Christ since ridiculous dates and times inherent in the MT would no longer operate as the true testimony of Scripture. We would see these unwarranted speculations for the partisan inventions they are.

NOTES

[1] Freeman, op. cit. p. 332-333. I do not cite Freeman to embarrass him. I only point out that if one does not have the correct biblical chronology as a guide, one makes colossal mistakes that influences your exegesis, especially in understanding Genesis 1-11.

[2] Hislop, op. cit., p. 48. Recall in Jeremiah, Judean women lamented for Tammuz and the Judean and Assyrian calendar named one of its months Tammuz. So, we witness this influence in apostate Judea circa 620 B.C. Wikipedia tells us its naming was in honor of the Assyro-Babylonian god Tammuz.

[3] Ibid., p. 52.

[4] Hislop, op. cit., p. 30.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Stuckey, Johanna H. “Queen of Heaven and Earth: Inanna-Ishtar of Mesopotamia.” Goddesses in World Culture: Vol. 2, Eastern Mediterranean and Europe. Ed Patricia Monaghan Praeger, 2011.

[7] Penglase, Charles. Greek Myths and Mesopotamia: Parallels and Influence in the Homeric Hymns and Hesiod. New York: Routledge. 1994.p. 15.

[8] Ibid., p. 31.

[9] Ibid., p. 32.

[10] Black, Jeremy, and Green, Anthony. Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia: An Illustrated Dictionary, Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press, (1992), p. 108-109.

[11] Foryan, G. Edward. Legendary Mysterious Great Queen of Assyria: A Commentary. P. 1. Retrieved from www.ldolphin.org/Nimrod.html.

[12] Ibid., p. 2.

[13] Ibid.

[14] A city this big would be impossible to hide from archeology, especially since many edifices well-known in the region have been discovered which are a far-sight smaller than this mythical edifice.

[15] Ibid. p. 3.

[16] There is a helpful article on Wikipedia about Inanna and Ishtar with a reference to Hislop’s role (from his 1853 book) where he argued that Easter comes from Ishtar (they do sound the same).  Check it out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inanna#cite_note-FOOTNOTECollins1994110-20.

[17] Have you noticed that many authors have published a version of The Book of Enoch? And how many readers have purchased them? Pseudepigrapha has become a best seller.

[18] Johnson, Ken. The Book of Jasher: A New Annotated Edition. Biblefacts Edition. (2013) Kindle Edition, p. 8-9. Quotations from Jasher are from this version.

[19] This is because the 168 years (some say 165 and some 191) come after the Babylonian empire, due to eliminating about six kings in the Persian line of kings (from roughly 539 B.C. to 330 B.C., ending with conquest of the Persian empire by Alexander the Great and the beginning of the Greek empire. I explain the significance of these adjustments (corruptions) made by the Rabbis in RTB-1.

[20] The Jewish Calendar doesn’t agree perfectly with the Ussher/KJV date. It asserts that the creation transpired in 3761 B.C. per the Julian dating system (we use the Gregorian calendar which also corrects the Julian date according to the formula of 365.2422 days annually). Therefore, these dates are approximate. The Jewish date would place the Tower event at 1757 B.C. if the Jasher dating is correct.  This is about 1,250 years different than what archeology, augmented by Septuagint chronology, indicates. Using the Flood date of 1656 AM, the Jewish Calendar would tell us that the date of the Flood is 2105 B.C., just after the time of Sargon I according to scientific archeology. For the King James Version and Bishop Ussher, the Flood of Noah occurs in 2348 B.C. My calculation based on a variety of factors is that the date is almost exactly 1000 years earlier – 3358 B.C.

[21] A quick reminder that I hold Nimrod died at least 500 years before Abraham was born, which is what the chronology of the Septuagint tells us. And my calculation of the MT chronology has Noah dying the year Abraham was born. This is not what Jasher holds to be true.

[22] If Jasher were the book referenced in the Bible, it wouldn’t be likely that these facts would have been included in the story.  Their presence easily infers the author knew of Daniel and Jesus. However, the authentic Book of Jasher was written before the time of Samuel (who wrote Judges and his histories), where the true Jasher is mentioned when Samuel, the author of these biblical books, cites Jasher in two instances – Joshua 10:13; 2 Samuel 1:18. But Samuel lived 500 years before Daniel and 1,000 years before Jesus. And the actual Jasher had to have been written beforehand for Samuel to reference it. Ergo, our Jasher (what we reference) is written at least 1,000 years after the true Jasher.

[23] However, we must underscore that Abraham’s age of 175 was not so good compared to Shem (602) and Noah (950) who were contemporaries to Abraham, at least according to the highly compressed chronology of the Masoretic Text and this Book of Jasher upon which this tale is based.

[24] It appears clear that Hislop had the Book of Jasher at his disposal since much of his study seems to rely upon Jasher. However, Hislop wants to tie Nimrod and his consort to the mythology of Egypt, Greece, Rome, India, and China.  While we might dispute the timing of Mesopotamia’s archeological dating because we are less familiar with it than we are of Egypt’s, it is important to remember that Osiris and Isis precede Nimrod’s death (1881 B.C. in Jasher) by many hundreds of years. The dating of the Hieroglyphs vouchsafes this.  If true, then Nimrod could not have been the source of the Egyptian pantheon as Hislop declares and Shem could not have been the executioner of Nimrod. Otherwise, not only do we have to compress biblical history by 1,000 years, we also have to do the same with the history of Egypt. But both falsified histories require Nimrod lived nearly 1,000 years after the archeological dates associated with the myths. The Masoretic Text, the King James Bible, and Jasher assert Nimrod died at the beginning of the second millennium B.C., while archeology hints the source of the Egyptian and Mesopotamian myths were established 1,000 years earlier than at the time of Jasher’s and Hislop’s Nimrod. As my thesis states, the LXX chronology fits the timing suggested by Egyptology very well. The MT version, not so much.