TJ Steadman on the rise and fall and rise of Nimrod aka Enmerkar, Giant, Nephil, Repha, Assyrian, Rahab, Leviathan, 2 of 5

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You can find all of my articles regarding TJ Steadman here.

TJ Steadman claims that “the tree of Ezekiel 31 is the great ‘cosmic tree,’” unsure what he is quoting there, “found in ancient cosmology” which seems to be what he was quoting there, “as the connection point between the realms of heaven, earth and underworld” so that “This was Nimrod’s representation of himself as the channel by which man had access to divine power.”

You can find all of my articles regarding TJ Steadman here.

TJ Steadman claims that “the tree of Ezekiel 31 is the great ‘cosmic tree,’” unsure what he is quoting there, “found in ancient cosmology” which seems to be what he was quoting there, “as the connection point between the realms of heaven, earth and underworld” so that “This was Nimrod’s representation of himself as the channel by which man had access to divine power.”
Now, whether or not we can correlate a Tower the stated purpose of which was to “make a name for ourselves” must be or can be interpreted via other ANE literature, we have no indication that Nimrod channeled divine power.

He specifies that “this metaphor, Nimrod, his great tower, and the cosmic tree” are about “a king drawing power from the underworld.”
To buttress this, he refers us to “Daniel 4 and its description of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream” about a tree but it states nothing about channeling divine power from the underworld or anywhere else—TJ Steadman seems to read such a concept from trees deriving sustenance from the ground via roots.

In any case, this is what we are contextually told about Nimrod, “Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar” (Gen 10:8-10).
Thus, biblically, Nimrod was a regular guy, a hunter, who became mighty—period.
Yet, TJ Steadman has it that “The Biblical text says that Nimrod ‘began’ to be a mighty one. The Hebrew phrase chagal is used. This word is rendered ‘began’ many times” fair enough, “What Nimrod did specifically when he ‘began’ to be a mighty one is not revealed in detail (by the grace of God, thankfully!)” but he does not stop at this fact but goes on to argue that “but we can reasonably deduce a few things about what happened” because “The actual term used here for ‘mighty one’ is gibbowr (from which we get gibborim [masculine plural], the same term first used in Genesis 6:4 to describe the Nephilim, among its other uses in Scripture)” at which point we may reply “So what?”

He continues directly with “It is used three times in the Genesis 10 passage in reference to Nimrod; typically, in Hebrew thought such insistent repetition is intended to indicate the extreme or superlative nature of the condition. The term denotes strength, power, influence, tyranny, dominance and the like” indeed, such as in telling us the record of a regular guy who became might, established kingdoms, etc. which is quite a feat on its own.

Yet, for some that is not enough for some people.

TJ Steadman goes on to write, “It is also used to refer to giants. The Septuagint prefers that rendering here.” Now, an ongoing problem with TJ Steadman’s authorship is that at this point we know not if by “giants” he means something unusual about height, if so does he mean inches taller than average or feet or entire body lengths and if so how many more or any given one or does he mean Nephilim or Rephaim or what?
Well, I am emphasizing that as a general concern. I realize he is referring to Nephilim in this case (even though it is best to not refer to them as giants for more than one reason).
So, gibbor is used to refer to Nephilim and Nimrod so, what of it? They are both being referred to as mighty, so what? TJ Steadman is noting that they are both referred to as gigantes or gigas but again, so what?
In fact, this is a good time to example why rendering more than one word with only one word is problematic. The LXX render Nephilim and also gibborim and also Rephaim all as gigantes/gigas which only causes problems. For example, Gen 6:4 notes that Nephilim became gibborim, Nephilim became mighty, so that LXX has it that Gigantes became gigantes which is nonsensical, circular, and one does not need to become something that one is already.

In any case, to TJ Steadman, that Nimrod “began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD…the mighty hunter before the LORD” means that there is a “strong implication of the text is that Nimrod had initiated something that made him both corrupted and defiled; an abomination of sorts, and also very powerful” so that someone who did that which he did “before the LORD…before the LORD” was actually “corrupted and defiled; an abomination,” go figure.
Granted, I am granting that any one of us can do thing before the LORD, as in His name, pleasing to Him, etc. and end up botching things up—such as creating a Tower that the LORD then destroys. But the issue is to be very careful about what we are told, what we are not told, and what we make of such.

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My well gone through copy of Steadman’s book

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