In 1 John 2:18, the Bible warns that there will be many antichrists, before the final one shows at the end of the age. But, perhaps the first reference to an antichrist is found centuries earlier in the first few chapters of Genesis.
After the flood, God commanded Noah and his family to spread out and fill the earth. Instead Noah’s descendants congregated in the valley of Mesopotamia. At this point, they were still one language (Genesis 11:1).
The driving force behind this was a man named Nimrod. The word “Nimrod” literally means “we shall rebel.” The name itself sets the stage for what follows.
“Now Cush became the father of Nimrod; he became a mighty one on earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore it is said ‘Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the Lord.’ And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Errech and Accad and Caineh, in the land of Shinar. From this land he went forth and into Assyria, and built Nineveh and Rehoboth-Ir and Caleh.” (Genesis 10:8-10 NASV)
In these verses, we have the first Biblical reference to a Kingdom. Nimrod, Noah’s great grandson, was the earth’s first king. He is also described as a “mighty one” (Heb. gibbor). This is a curious word because integral in its meaning is the idea of “powerful warrior.” The word also indicated higher social standing (see Gen 6:4; Ruth 2:1; 1 Sam 9:11; 11 Kings 15:20).
However, according to respected commentators Keil and Delitzsch, there is more going on in Genesis 10:8-10 than can be determined from an initial read of these verses.
While a few consider Nimrod a man of God, nothing could be further from the truth. Keil and Delitzsch say the Hebrew implies Nimrod was a “hunter of men.”
“Nimrod the Hunter became a tyrant, a powerful hunter of men. This course of life gave occasion to the proverb, ‘like a mighty hunter against the Lord,’ which immortalized not his skill in hunting beasts, but the success of hunting men in the establishment of an imperial kingdom of tyranny and power.” — Keil and Delitzsch
Further they say the phrase “before the Lord” should be interpreted as Nimrod flaunting his murderous ways before God. This is exactly how the root of this word is used in Job 15:25:
“Because he had stretched out his hand against God, and conducts himself arrogantly against the Almighty.”
The word “hunted” even implies a more sinister evil — Nimrod may have eaten the men he killed.
Nimrod was a violent despot — the world’s first Hitler or Stalin. Through his utter brutality, he forced people under his thumb. Any who resisted were hunted down and slaughtered. Fear and intimidation were the law in Nimrod’s day.
The satanic connection
The writer of Genesis clearly connects Nimrod’s reign with what happened in Genesis 6. In this chapter we read how the sons of god married the daughters of men. That marriage has proven controversial. There are basically two camps. One suggests the godly line of Seth was marrying the ungodly line of Cain.
However, another group believes this was in fact fallen angels marrying female women. It is my contention — based on the book of Jude — the sons of god were none other than fallen angels.
Nimrod’s connection with Genesis 6 and the satanic realm is seen in two ways.
First the term “mighty one” used to describe Nimrod is the same Hebrew word used in Genesis 6:4 to describe the offspring of the marriages between the fallen angels and women. These individuals were the leaders in Genesis 6, as Nimrod was in Genesis 10. Being separated by only four chapters, the writer clearly wants us to see the connection.
Though I don’t believe Nimrod was the offspring of an angelic-human relationship, the writer of Genesis is communicating the demonic contributed to Nimrod’s rise to power.
Secondly, we read in Genesis 6:11, Noah’s days were filled with violence. Much of this violence I believe was sourced in the satanic intermingling with the people of the day. Nimrod was clearly cut from the same cloth.
The writer of Genesis was showing the “sons of God” — the satanic realm — was behind Nimrod’s rise to dominance. Through Nimrod, Satan was attempting to form the first one-world government.
Nimrod and Babel
In Genesis 10:8, Babel was listed as the start of Nimrod’s kingdom. He was behind the tower’s construction. As the man responsible for building Babel, what happens in Genesis 11 (the Babel account) is directly connected to Nimrod. Yes, we have another horrid chapter break.
“And they said, ‘Come let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach to heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name; lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the earth.'” (Genesis 11:4 NASV)
The key to understanding this verse is first determining who “they” are? Is this a reference to the 30,000 people who probably made up this group or was “they” Nimrod and his band of despots who were terrorizing and dominating early civilization?
Based on Keil and Delitzsch’s interpretation of chapter 10, “they” is undoubtedly Nimrod and his family.
Tyrants, such as Nicolae Ceaușescu in Romania or Saddam Hussein in Iraq, incorporated family, relatives and close friends into the ruling hierarchy.
Nimrod also desired to make a name for himself by constructing monuments. It’s a characteristic displayed by many despots. The Ceausecu’s razed city blocks in old Bucharest to construct their Palace of the People. At that time it was one of the largest government buildings in the world, second only to the Pentagon. Today it holds trade shows.
Because of this move towards a one-world government, God purposefully drove a wedge into Satan’s plans. The Lord broke humanity apart by instituing language along family lines.
It was the creation of nations that has been the biggest hindrance to the formation of the antichrist reign.
With his power dissipated, Nimrod’s family moved northward and founded Nineveh and eventually Assyria.
The world’s first attempt to set up an antichrist was stopped.
More in this series:
- The place where Satan lives? Pt 1
- Uncovering the throne of Satan, Pt 2
- The world’s first antichrist?
- Was Karl Marx and the rise of communism inspired by Satan?