Summary: Nimrod, the son of Cush, was king of the Mesopotamian city of Babel and
is also credited with building the city of Erech (B:25:1-2). According to scripture,
Nimrod “walked pridefully in the midst of abominations” (B:25:4).
The captain of king Nimrod’s guard was a man named Terah, who was the father of Abram
— later referred to as Abraham (B:26:17). When Abram challenged his father regarding
the worship of idols made of wood and stone, Terah had his son arrested and taken
before the king, for it was against the law to bring shame upon the gods of the land
(B:25:14-51). When Abram would not apologize for questioning the power of Nimrod’s
gods, the king ordered Abram to be imprisoned and sentenced to death in ten days
Three days later, Nimrod’s wife, fell gravely ill (B:25:21). Despite the efforts
of Nimrod’s wise men and magicians, Queen Veshanu could not be made well. The king’s
wise men determined that ten virgins would need to be sacrificed to the gods of Babel
in order to help the queen. That evening Nimrod had a dream during which the voice
of God spoke to Nimrod, imploring him to seek the help of Abram, who was held in
the king’s prison, rather than sacrificing the innocent to gods of wood and stone
The next morning, Abram was brought before the king who told him all the Lord had
said, and imploring Abram to heal his wife. Abram proclaimed that after three days
Queen Veshanu would be healed (B:26:39-40). When the queen was healed, Nimrod was
very grateful and gave to Abraham many of his finest cattle, sheep and camels, along
with valuable frankincense and myrrh (B:26:40-49). However, the king’s gratitude
was short lived, for after Abraham spoke to Nimrod concerning the true nature of
God, the king became fearful that God would bring shame upon him before all the people
and commanded that Abraham should depart from the lands of Babel (B:26:48-68).
After Abraham had left the city, Nimrod commissioned Abraham’s father,Terah, to find
and kill his son for fear that Abraham would ‘complain to God against the king of
Babel’ (B:26:70-74). When Terah found Abraham in the land of Haran, he did not kill
him, but continued to dwell with his son and learn the ways of God (B:27:1-4).
Consider how the children of men are made to worship gods fashioned of wood and stone.
For they have made their gods like unto themselves; that even as they are filled
with anger, so then is the god of their understanding made angry also.
As they are filled with hate and loathing, so then have they fashioned god; as they
are made subject unto wrath and vengeance, so have they made subject unto like passions
the god of their understanding, that in nowise might the god of their creation rise
above their own image and likeness.
Surely the god of their hands have they made most jealous, that he might follow hard
after the ways of men.
For this cause did Nimrod, king of Babel, seek to kill the friend of God, lest the
inhabitants of the land follow after the God of Abraham, and the gods of Nimrod would
have no claim upon the people.”