Christianity and the Martial Arts - Nimrod
Genesis 10:6-12; (6) And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan. (7) And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtecha: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan. (8) And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. (9) He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord. (10) And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. (11) Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calash, (12) And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.
When last we looked at martial arts, we presented Tubalcain, a descendent of Cain, as the first named martial artist in the Bible. He was a blacksmith. His father was a fighting man.
Our position was that Tubalcain’s profession made him familiar with weapons. A proper artisan would not only make a product, but test it for usability and durability.
Tubalcain’s family made him familiar fighting. His father, Lamech, was a fighter as indicated, there is no indication he was familiar with the proper use or design of weapons. He was just a brawler.
Taking these issues of time, location, people, etc., into consideration, we theorize and believe Tubalcain practiced martial arts to a certain degree, giving him the label of a martial artist.
From there on, the things of Earth took a down turn and continued to the point where God said enough is enough, Genesis 6:5-7. That brought on the Great Flood.
From Tubalcain to the Flood, no person is mentioned by name that is associated with the martial arts. The reference to "mighty men" in Genesis 6:4 could, and probably does, relate to warriors, but none are named.
Eight people came through the Flood. We know a little about Noah and nothing about his family’s activities.
Of the other seven, we only know the names of the sons of Noah. They were Shem, Ham and Japheth. Neither Noah’s nor the son’s wives were named, but of these the earth was repopulated.
These eight people retained all the past knowledge available to them, within their individual capacity to do so. With the exception of tidbits about Noah, again, we know absolutely nothing about their families, background, schooling or ability to retain and reinstitute this knowledge.
We do know that one of the first things the family did, upon settling in the new Earth, was to set up a vineyard and get drunk. Now we can’t say this was a purposeful thing on Noah’s part as "fermentation" may not have been an issue in the old Earth.
There were many changes in the new Earth; man now ate meat, animals no longer cohabited entirely, man and animals of prey were at odds, other animals were afraid of man, to name a few of the changes.
But, along with certain knowledge, some old attitudes seemed to have survived also. It would seem that one of them was the teaching of respect for others, especially elders, Genesis 4:23-24.
Note the young did not show proper respect for the elderly and aged, Genesis 9:21, a major problem of society today. This issue, at its extent, will become an item which the Law of Moses would settle by death by stoning. But sooner, it will relate to the expressed attitude of Nimrod.
There is a sanctity that God has placed upon man which, at its heart, is the respect for the older, wiser and/or knowledgeable people of society, as well as God. Isaiah will address this as a prophecy, Isaiah 3:4, indicating approaching judgement to any society that leaves this rule.
Respect was missing in the family of Ham. He, himself, who did nothing to "cover" his fathers’ dignity, Genesis 9:22. A son of Ham was Canaan. Canaan and his descendants were cursed by Noah, Genesis 9:24, as it appears he was the leading cause for the drunkenness.
We are not told what happened to bring on this curse, but we see many years have past since the Flood as Noah has grandsons. It is possible this Canaan discovered fermentation and its effects, and plied it on his grandfather without expressing the effects. For whatever reason, he was cursed.
And that brings us back to Nimrod. He was a grandson of Ham through another son, Cush, Genesis 10:6-8. And here we see the continuing degradation. Nimrod not only disregarded propriety, as did his grandfather and uncle, but he also disdained God.
Remember, the Earth is now being replenished, but the people doing it are from the other side of the Flood, and the only one on that side in which God "found grace," (propriety if you will) was Noah, Genesis 9:17. It makes one wonder about the background of the sons and unnamed wives.
There is no mention of the lineage of Cain since Genesis 4:24, but neither is there is no indication that the family was "wiped out" during that age. That family was still alive. And as we consider the actions of Ham and his progeny down to Nimrod, it would seem possible that the wife of Ham may have been from the family of Cain. But that is another study.
Genesis 10:9, He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.
Nimrod was a hunter. Tradition and mythology make him the same person as Orion, hunter. Orion’s two most notable weapons were the bow and arrow, and the club and shield. Certain reliefs of Nimrod show these same weapons. So we have the hunter and his weapons.
Next, he was "before the Lord." This does not mean he stood in obedience to the Lord. On the contrary, the context of the Hebrew wording means he impudent, had no use for God. This is brought out further in his actions in Genesis 10:10 and further in Genesis 11.
Last, who or what die he "hunt?" We may rightly assume his was a hunter of wild animals. But, the word mighty translates to "warrior." Nimrod was also the father of the Assyrian Empire which was founded upon the conquest of other nations. Note in Genesis 10:10, it does not say he built these cities. He did not build any cities until Gensis 10:11.
Nimrod was a conqueror. He appears to have been skilled in martial arts. But he used his skills against man and in opposition to God. He is the first named martial artist in the "new" world. However, he was not a proper martial artist as his skills were used for personal gain.