Nimrod and Ashur
I always wondered what happened to the leaders of the Tower of Babel project. Did their followers rise up and kill them for coming up with their disastrous idea? Were the people too busy dealing with their new realities to spend time dealing with Nimrod, considered by many Sages to have been the project leader?
Perhaps they rejoiced over their new world. After all, many of us tremble over the United Nations approach. We can visit some private ranches in Montana to find people who would war against the Tower of Babel approach. Most science fiction novels that include a World Governmental body as part of their story describe them as authoritarian and corrupt.
The verse describes Nimrod as thriving even after the Tower story. He became the heavyweight champion of the world. He had a television series on the Discovery channel: Hunter: The Adventures of the World’s Greatest Hunter. The Sages depict Esau as growing up on the series, which heavily influenced his career choices.
Nimrod did not seem to suffer from his critical error in attempting to build the Tower. He remains known as an individual. The verse does not describe him as contributing very much good to the world. I suspect that his series was cancelled after only a few years.
There was another leader, a contemporary of Nimrod’s, who rejected the Tower project as an act of rebellion against God. His name was Ashur. The verse does not mention his having a television program or winning any championships. The Torah does list the four major cities that he constructed, including the famous Nineveh of the Jonah story.
Nimrod had his fifteen minutes of fame as a star and champion. There are no DVDs of any of his shows or movies. He holds none of Guinness’ hunting records. He does not even get any credit as the father of diversity. In a time of differences, people celebrate the individual. They were on the cusp of a unified world government, but when the project crashed, with some help from God, they reveled in their differences. Nimrod was a star – temporarily.
Ashur founded four major civilizations and his influence stretched for generations. He did not see the world as Man against God. He did not believe that all of humanity shared a resentment of God, nor did he feel that such hatred was necessary to flower and flourish. He appreciated and honored differences and established different societies and cultures.
The debate between Nimrod and Ashur continue. We argue over diversity, the role of the individual in society, the relationship between God and human beings, the function of government, and the United Nations. We would do well to recall these two important Biblical characters.
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