Genesis 10:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 10:9, NIV: "He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; that is why it is said, 'Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the LORD.'"

Genesis 10:9, ESV: "He was a mighty hunter before the LORD. Therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD.”"

Genesis 10:9, KJV: "He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD."

Genesis 10:9, NASB: "He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, 'Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD.'"

Genesis 10:9, NLT: "Since he was the greatest hunter in the world, his name became proverbial. People would say, 'This man is like Nimrod, the greatest hunter in the world.'"

Genesis 10:9, CSB: "He was a powerful hunter in the sight of the LORD. That is why it is said, "Like Nimrod, a powerful hunter in the sight of the LORD.""

What does Genesis 10:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The previous verse began an aside in chapter 10's table of nations. It introduces Nimrod, a famous "mighty man" or "champion." Here, Nimrod is described as a mighty hunter before the Lord. Some scholars suggest that perhaps Nimrod is associated with the kings of Mesopotamia or Assyria, who valued hunting as a greatly honored skill. It's unlikely that the phrase "before the Lord" means that Nimrod was faithful to the true God. It's more likely to mean that Nimrod was famous on the earth, where everything is before the Lord. In fact, some scholars believe that Nimrod's skill in hunting might have led him to skill in battle, and built the basis for his success. His name is similar to the Hebrew word for "rebellion," and traditionally he was considered a dictator and tyrant. The nation-states founded by Nimrod, including Nineveh, Assyria, and Babel, will become some of Israel's chief enemies.

Nimrod was so famous for his hunting skill that being like Nimrod, "a mighty hunter before the Lord," became a common saying in the world. In the modern English-speaking world, the term "nimrod" is used as an insult, mostly to someone's intelligence. This is due to a series of sarcastic references in the 1920s and 1930s, which mocked an inept hunter as "Nimrod," replacing the reputation of that name with almost the exact opposite!