[b-hebrew] b-hebrew Digest, Nimrod?

Rolf Furuli furuli at online.no
Tue Mar 25 03:56:19 EDT 2008

Dear Isaac,

Etymology is tricky business, and we cannot be certain about the 
origin and meaning of old names. However, there is one way to connect 
the name Nimrod with that of Marduk  (Merodak)- but again, this is 
just one possibility.

The Akkadian cuneiform signs were adopted from the Sumerians, and 
each sign could be used as a logogram (representing one word) or it 
could be used as a syllable. The Akkadian name Marduk was written 
with the Sumerian signs AMAR and UD. The Sumerian genitive marker 
occurring at the end of a word is ak.  We may therefore get the word 
AMAR.UD.ak, and if the last "a" was assimilated by the previous "u", 
we would get AMAR.UD.uk, which could have been the basis for the name 
Marduk (a middle vowel in Akkadian often is lost).

If we go back to logograms representing Marduk, namely, AMAR.UD we 
have most of the name Nimrod, namely m-r-u-d. When foreign names are 
written in the Tanakh, they are adopted to the Hebrew stock of 
phonemes, and the writer of Gen 10:9-10 could have added an "n" to 
the Sumerian/Akkadian word, thus depicting the first  ruler of Babel 
as a rebel (the word can be viewed as a Niphal participle of MRD). 
Interestingly, both Marduk and Nimrod are said to be the 
founder/first ruler of Babel. But we should keep in mind that there 
are several other possible explanations of the name Nimrod.

Best regards,

Rolf Furuli
University of Oslo

>Is not the name NIMROD a variant of the names MRODAK [see Isaiah 39:1 
>and notice that BAL)ADAN is possibly BA(AL-)ADAN], MORDKAY [or 
>MARDKAY of Esther 2:5] and the present day names of MURAD, MORDUK and 
>MARZUK? I can hardly see MORDKAY as meaning 'the rebel'.
>Isaac Fried, Boston University
>On Mar 24, 2008, at 4:23 PM, thebodyofjesusthenazoraion at juno.com wrote:
>>  First, what does the name Nimrod mean? It comes from the Hebrew 
>>  verb marad, meaning "rebel." Adding an "n" before the "m" it 
>>  becomes an infinitive construct, "Nimrod." (see Kautzsch 1910: 137 
>>  2b, also BDB 1962: 597). The meaning then is "The Rebel." Thus 
>>  "Nimrod" may not be the character's name at all. It is more likely 
>>  a derisive term of a type, a representative, of a system that is 
>>  epitomized in rebellion against the Creator, the one true God. 
>>  Rebellion began soon after the Flood as civilizations were 
>>  restored. At that time this person became very prominent.
>>  go to
>>  http://www.christiananswers.net/dictionary/nimrod.html
>>  My question is, is this true?
>>  Eva Ritsema
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