|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:8-14 Nimrod was a great man in his day; he began to be mighty in the earth, Those before him were content to be upon the same level with their neighbours, and though every man bare rule in his own house, yet no man pretended any further. Nimrod was resolved to lord it over his neighbours. The spirit of the giants before the flood, who became mighty men, and men of renown, Ge 6:4, revived in him. Nimrod was a great hunter. Hunting then was the method of preventing the hurtful increase of wild beasts. This required great courage and address, and thus gave an opportunity for Nimrod to command others, and gradually attached a number of men to one leader. From such a beginning, it is likely, that Nimrod began to rule, and to force others to submit. He invaded his neighbours' rights and properties, and persecuted innocent men; endeavouring to make all his own by force and violence. He carried on his oppressions and violence in defiance of God himself. Nimrod was a great ruler. Some way or other, by arts or arms, he got into power, and so founded a monarchy, which was the terror of the mighty, and bid fair to rule all the world. Nimrod was a great builder. Observe in Nimrod the nature of ambition. It is boundless; much would have more, and still cries, Give, give. It is restless; Nimrod, when he had four cities under his command, could not be content till he had four more. It is expensive; Nimrod will rather be at the charge of rearing cities, than not have the honour of ruling them. It is daring, and will stick at nothing. Nimrod's name signifies rebellion; tyrants to men are rebels to God. The days are coming, when conquerors will no longer be spoken of with praise, as in man's partial histories, but be branded with infamy, as in the impartial records of the Bible.
Verse 12. - And Resen, i.e. Nimrod, between Kalah Shergat and Kouyunjik (Kalisch); but if Calah be Nimroud, then Rosen may be Selamiyeh, a village about half way, between Nineveh and Calah, i.e. Kouyunjik and Nimroud, ut supra (Layard). The same. Rosen (Kalisch), which will suit if it was Nimroud, whose remains cover a parallelogram about 1800 feet in length and 900 feet in breadth; but others apply it to Nineveh with the other towns as forming one large composite city (Knobel, Keil, Lange, Wordsworth). Is a great city. With this the record of Nimrod s achievements closes. It is generally supposed that Nimrod flourished either before or about the time of the building of the tower of Babel; but Prof. Chwolsen of St. Petersburg, in his 'Ueber die Ueberreste der Altbabylon-ischen Literatur,' brings the dynasty of Nimrod down as late as , relying principally on the evidence of an original work composed by Qut ami, a native Babylonian, and translated by Ibnwa hachijah, a descendant of the Chaldaeans, and assigned by Chwolsen to one of the earlier periods of Babylonian history, in which is mentioned the name of Nemrod, or Nemroda, as the founder of a Canaanite dynasty which ruled at Babylon (vide an excellent paper on this subject in Turner's 'Biblical and Oriental Studies,' Edin., A. and C. Black, 1876). Perhaps the hardest difficulty to explain in connection with the ordinary date assigned to Nimrod is the fact that in Genesis 14, which speaks of the reigning monarchs in the Euphrates valley, there is no account taken of Nineveh and its king - a circumstance which has been supposed to import that the founding of the capital of Assyria could not have been anterior to the days of Abraham. But early Babylonian texts confirm what Genesis 14. seems to imply - the fact of an Elamite conquest of Babylonia, B.C. 2280, by Kudur-nanhundi (Kudurlagamar, the Chederlaomer of Genesis), who carried off an image of the goddess Nana from the city Erech (vide 'Assyrian Discoveries,' Genesis 12; 'Records of the Past,' vol. 3.), so that this difficulty may be held to have disappeared before the light of archaeological discovery. But at whatever period Nimrod flourished, the Biblical narrative would lead us to anticipate a commingling of Hamitic and Shemitic tongues in the Euphrates valley, which existing monuments confirm (cf. 'Records of the Past,' vol. 3. p. 3).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Resen, between Nineveh and Calah,.... This was another city built by Ashur, situated between those two cities mentioned: the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem call it Talsar, or Thalassar, see Isaiah 37:12 The conjecture of Bochart (b) is more probable, that it is the Larissa of Xenophon, situated on the Tigris; though Junius thinks it is either Bassora, or Belcina, which Ptolemy (c) places on the Tigris, near Nineveh:
the same is a great city: which Jarchi interprets of Nineveh, called a great city, and was indeed one, being sixty miles in circumference, Jonah 1:2 but the construction of the words carries it to Resen, which might be the greatest city when first built; and, if understood of Larissa, was a great city, the walls of it being one hundred feet high, and the breadth twenty five, and the compass of it eight miles. Benjamin of Tudela says (d), that in his time Resen was called Gehidagan, and was a great city, in which were 5000 Israelites; but according to Schmidt, this refers to all the cities in a coalition, Nineveh, Rehoboth, Calah, and Resen, which all made that great city Nineveh; or were a Tetrapolis, as Tripoli was anciently three cities, built by the joint interest of the Aradians, Sidonians, and Tyrians, as Diodorus Siculus (e) relates.
(b) Phaleg. l. 4. c. 23. (c) Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 5. c. 19.) (d) Itinerarium, p. 75. (e) Bibliothec. l. 16. p. 439.
Genesis 10:12 Parallel Commentaries
Genesis 10:12 NIV
Genesis 10:12 NLT
Genesis 10:12 ESV
Genesis 10:12 NASB
Genesis 10:12 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible