Bible study

Nimrod and the ‘Gate of God’

Nimrod and the ‘Gate of God’

If you come from a Judaeo-Christian background, then you might be familiar with the story of Babel because you were probably taught about it as a child. If you are unfamiliar with the biblical account, it tells of the time when everyone on earth all spoke the same language but God confused the languages. Why? Because there was a king who was trying to build a tower to reach heaven, where God lives. This ambitious and over-reaching endeavor was displeasing and as a punishment, God confused the languages of the people. This lack of communication prevented the laborers from working together and completing the building project. The unfinished structure is often referred to as the tower of Babel and symbolizes human pride and rebellion. The entire account of this event is all of nine (9) verses. You can read it in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 11, verses 1 through 9.

If you believe that Babel existed, it might interest you to know that the king who angered God was named Nimrod and he is actually credited with building four (4) cities. Children aren’t usually taught a lesson about the other three (3) cities. Based on the scane information available, there’s not really a lot to teach or tell. Below are some quick facts about these historical places; and a few remarks about Nimrod.

Tower of Babel

Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1526/1530–1569) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

* * *


” … The name is thought to derive from bav-il or bav-ilim which, in the Akkadian language of the time, meant ‘Gate of God’ or `Gate of the Gods’ and `Babylon’ coming from Greek. The city owes its fame (or infamy) to the many references the Bible makes to it; all of which are unfavourable. In the Book of Genesis, chapter 11, Babylon is featured in the story of The Tower of Babel and the Hebrews claimed the city was named for the confusion which ensued after God caused the people to begin speaking in different languages so they would not be able to complete their great tower to the heavens (the Hebrew word bavel means `confusion’). …”

(Quote source:  Joshua J. Mark; published on 28 April 2011 found at Ancient History Encyclopedia)


Situated between Ur and Babylon on the Euphrates River. Called different names by different nations or kingdoms. Assyrians and Babylonias called this city Uruk. Arabs called it Warka. Greeks and Romans called it Orchoe.


The exact location of this ancient city is unknown, but it is believed to be about nine (9) miles from modern Baghdad. Mention is made of this place in Sumerian writings.


Location? Unknown.

There really isn’t much else known about these four cities. They are named in the Bible and in non-biblical documents or records. Archaeolgical findings offer next to nothing by way of further explanation or verification or proof!

* * *

About that king. What was his name?


Scholars are in disagreement as to the identity of Nimrod. Some say he was Sargon the Great. Others say he was an Assyrian king, Tukulti-Ninurta I. Others speculate that he could have been Amenophis III, an Egyptian leader. Yet another group believe that he was Merodach-Baladan, a man who insisted on being king of Babylon, however he never achieved his ambition.

The biblical record identifies Nimrod as the son of Cush, the grandson of Ham, and the great grandson of Noah. He is described as “mighty” in two instances: “a mighty one on the earth” and “the mighty hunter before the Lord”. Furthermore, the Bible account states: “And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.”  Shinar, the land of Southern Mesopotamia, became known as Babylonia.

{NOTE: Ardent student of the Bible. To call myself a scholar would be a stretch. If you know of additional information on this topic, please feel free to leave comments. Would love to continue this study.}

 The Oxford Guide to People & Places of the Bible The Oxford Guide to People & Places of the Bible

The Oxford Guide to People & Places of the Bible





Suggested Books and Literature:




A Hellenistic Eden

A Hellenistic Eden: One Ancient King’s Attempt to Create the Perfect City on Earth

Sixteen hundred years before Sir Thomas More wrote Utopia, describing a near-ideal society, a Hellenistic king attempted to create his own real-life paradise. The monarch? Aristonicus, also known as Eumenes III, Roman-supported ruler of the city of Pergamum/Pergamon in Asia Minor. The utopia he wanted to build? Heliopolis (meaning “Sun City” in Greek).

Post previously published Feb 29, 2016. 1st update.

Skip to toolbar