Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Nimrod was the Afro-Asiatic Kingdom Builder Sargon the Great


This tribal group living in the Andaman Islands (India) migrated from East Africa. Their ancestors are believed to have migrated from Africa between 50,000 and 70,000 years ago. Another Kushite migration took place later. See Clyde A. Winters' The Kushite Spread of Haplogroup R1*-M173 from Africa to Eurasia, here: http://maxwellsci.com/print/crjbs/v2-294-299.pd Current Research Journal of Biological Sciences 2(5): 294-299, 2010 ISSN: 2041-0778 © Maxwell Scientific Organization, 2010

Alice C. Linsley


Before Alexander the Great there was Nimrod or Sargon the Great! That's what Genesis tells us.

Nimrod, "a mighty hunter before the Lord" was the son of Kush, acccording to Genesis 10:8. The term "mighty hunter" is related to the Hausa term for lead hunter - sarkin maharba. The name Nim-rwd tells us about the extent of his rule.  It means "waters of the earth" and reflects the ancient Afro-Asiatic riverine civilization which I have termed "the Afro-Asiatic Dominion."  It was indeed as expansive as Nimrod's name suggests. Nimrod does not mean "we will rebel" as the rabbis would have us believe.

Nimrod's brother was Ramah who assumed rule over his father's territory in Arabia (the area of Dedan-Ramah).  Nimrod left Kush's territory for the Tigrus-Euphrates River Valley where he established his kingdom and built cities. The ruling lines of Ramah and Nimrod continued to intermarry, following the pattern of the ruler-priests, but the geographical distance was to be felt in the way that Arabic (Dedan-Ramah) and Aramaic (Haran-Ur) developed.

We first meet Abraham in the region of Haran and Ur because he is a descendant of Nimrod.

Nimrod is important in understanding the relationship between Abraham's family and his patrilineal cousins back in Arabia.  He is also an important clue in piecing together the migration of peoples from Africa to India. (Remember Dr. Lalji Singh's samples from 46 Onge in India? His research reveals that this tribal group living at the eastern edge of the Bay of Bengal came originally from Africa.

Kush is an older name for the region that extended from Egypt, Sudan, Nubia to the Horn of Africa and along the eastern side of the Red Sea. The oldest known agricultural tradition in Africa is traced to this region and dates to about 3800 B.C.

Nimrod's cultural context was more African than Mesopotamian/Asiatic. Bible commentators assign Nimrod to a Mesopotamian cultural context because they generally do not recognize that Abraham's people were ethnically Kushite and spoke languages much older than Hebrew.  They argue that the name Nimrod comes from the Semitic root מרד (MRD) meaning "to rebel". Jeff Benner maintains that the ancient Semitic root MRD (marad) is the origin of our words MaRauDer and MuRDer. However, the name is more closely related to the Hausa word for hunter, which is maharba (MRB). Hausa is in the same language family as Egyptian, Arabic, Hebrew and the Akkadian of Nimrod's empire. This take on the name stresses the hunter-warrior nature of this great kingdom builder.  Compare the word nahshirkan (hunter) which appears in the Targum with the Hausa word for lead hunter sarkin maharba. But the actual name  Nim-rwd means "Waters of the Earth." It expresses the idea of universal rule such as is ascribed to God in Psalm 104.

Nimrod's cultural context is Afro-Asiatic and he is connected to the Mesopotamian city of Calah (Akkadian 'Kalhu'). This was the northern point of his territory, consistent with the practice of Afro-Asiatic chiefs who established territories on a north-south axis from the Atlantic coast of modern Nigeria all the way to India. Nimrod apparently left a legacy in Mesopotamia where there were 2 major rivers: the Tigris and the Euphrates.

Afro-Asiatic chiefs controlled the waterways and established their settlements on a north-south axis. Nimrod's territory extended along the Tigris River between Calah and probably Ashur. (Likewise, Cain's territory extended between Kano and Nok, Terah's between Ur and Haran, and Abraham's between Hebron and Beersheba.)

Nimrod may not be the true name of this builder of cities (Gen. 10:8-11), but there is sufficient reason to believe that he did live. Calah on the Tigris River is the present city of Nimrud. There also is a city southwest of Babylon named Birs Nimrwd. Nimrwd's name appears on tablets found in Palestine also. In 1876, George Smith wrote that, "Nearly thirteen hundred years before the Christian era, one of the Egyptian poems likens a hero to the Assyrian chief, Kazartu, a great hunter...and it has already been suggested that the reference here is to the fame of Nimrod. A little later in the period BC 1100 to 800, we have in Egypt many persons named after Nimrod, showing a knowledge of the mighty hunter there." (Chaldean Genesis p. 313)

Actually, the words nim and rwd have an Egyptian-Kushite origin.  A great Kushite ruler Nim-lot controlled the waterways between Ar-vad on the Mediterranean and Sidon on the Red Sea. Abraham's nephew, Lot, was kin to the great Nimlot, as is attested by Deuteronomy 2:9 where we read that God gave Ar to Lot's decendants the Moabites. The ancient 3-clan confederation of Ar included the island kingdom of Arvad and the Arkites (Gen. 10:15-18).  The name Ar is frequently found in the Bible in reference to important biblical figures and places: Wadi Ar-nun (originally Ar-nxn, meaning Ar of Onn); Ar-abah, Ar-abia; Ar-am; Ar-pachshad, Ar-amaic; Ar-sames, the satrap, Arod and Areli.

The Arvadites had close Egyptian ties and paid tribute to the Kushite Pharaohs for protection. The Kushite Pharaoh Tahar-ko called the land of Canaan and Syria “Khor” which is a compound of K for Kush and Hor for Horus. (Kash, Kwash, Akwanski and Kush are cognates referring to the First People, who were considered deified ancestors.)  In 2010, the 4400 year old tomb of a Kushite priest was found at Giza. The tomb belongs to a priest named Rwd-Ka (Ruler of the Sphere) and dates to the 5th Dynasty, between 2465 and 2323 B.C. He is recognized as a very high ranking ruler-priest.

The older Kushitic root of the names Arkite and Arvadite is AR and its origin is likely Proto-Saharan. Among the Igbo of Nigeria, the scribe clans were called Ar or Aro. The word Ar-ab means “father is scribe.” The earliest known writing originated in Canaan among the coastline peoples of the Red Sea and Phoenicia. The oldest Arabic texts were found in the region of Dedan. The Arabic word for throne is aarsh and related to the scribal function attached to rulers.
These references from antiquity testify to the Kushite expansion out of Africa. This expansion was driven by the unique marriage and ascendency pattern of Abraham's Kushite people.  Each Kushite ruler had two wives. The first wife was a half-sister (as was Sarah to Abraham) and the second was a patrilineal cousin or niece (as was Keturah to Abraham).  The firstborn son of the sister wife ascended to the throne of his biological father, so Isaac was Abraham's heir. The firstborn son of the cousin/niece wife ascended to the throne of his maternal grandfather, after whom he was named. So Joktan, Abraham's firstborn by Keturah, ascended to the throne of Joktan the Elder, Keturah's father. All other sons were given gifts and sent away to establish territories of their own with God's help.

Nimrod was apparently a sent-away son because his brother Ramah inherited Kush's territory in southern Canaan, northern Arabia. Other sent-away sons who became great were Kain, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and David.


Related reading:  Who were the Kushites?; Abraham's Nephews and Niece; Peleg: Time of Division; The Migration of Abraham's Ancestors

6 comments:

Gevara Brikha said...

where does the book of Genesis state that Nimrud was cities builder? thanks, Gevara

Alice Linsley said...

Gevara, You can read about Nimrod and his territory and cities in Genesis 10.

Anonymous said...

Sargon I according to Asyriologist is( biblical Nimrud). Akkadians were one of clan of Joktanite clan and also descent from Kushite Rama. Keturah concubine of Abraham was his daughter.

Alice Linsley said...

Yes, I believe that Nimrud of the Bible is probably Sar-gon I. Both "sar" and "gon" are African words meaning king or ruler. So Sargon means something like "kings of kings."

Abraham's cousin wife, Keturah, could not have been a literal daughter of Nimrud as she lived at least 8 generations after Nimrud. Her father's name was Yaqtan (Joktan).

peter said...

Akkadians were descendants of Joktanite Hebrew?

Alice Linsley said...

Peter, Akkad was an important city of Nimrod's kingdom in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley. Akkadian script is named for this location. This script predates Joktan. Look at the diagram above.