Spend any time on the internet (especially Christian sites) and you’re bound to run into a pile of PaleoBabble about Nimrod, a character mentioned only in Genesis 10:8-9; 1 Chron. 1:10 (repeats Genesis 10:8); and Micah 5:6 (reference to the “land of Nimrod”). Here are Genesis 10:8-9 (Tanakh):
Cush also begot Nimrod, who was the first man of might on earth. He was a mighty hunter by the grace of the Lord; hence the saying, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter by the grace of the Lord.”
Not much information here. And yet the internet tells us that Nimrod was one of the nephilim giants of Genesis 6, that he built Babylon with divine technology (the Tower of Babylon was really a time travel portal/stargate), and (perhaps) that he got technological knowledge from those ever-helpful extraterrestrials. All that from these verses?!
Well, not exactly. Those who put forth this silliness invariably depend on ancient (non-biblical) tradition concerning Nimrod. Putting it generously, tradition in such cases = “sucking it out of one’s thumb.” It’s PaleoBabble.
I thought toward this end that I’d post an old 1990 Harvard Theological Review article entitled “Nimrod Before and After the Bible.” The authors are Karel van der Toorn and P. W. van der Horst, both of them expert in Mesopotamian and biblical languages. Granted, the linguistic discussions will likely be too dense fo rmost readers, but the value of this article is getting a brief glimpse of where the nonsensical material about Nimrod comes from, and the very real academic “data obstacles” to the nonsense.