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According to Jewish legend, Nimrod was a powerful king of a land called Shinar, who built a great tower to challenge God's authority. The only direct mention of Nimrod in the Bible calls him "a mighty hunter before the Lord." He supposedly acquired immense strength by wearing animal skins that Adam and Eve had received from the Hebrew god Yahweh. The clothing gave Nimrod power over all animals and made him invincible in combat.

invincible too powerful to be conquered

Although people worshiped Nimrod as a god, he wished for even greater glory. He had his subjects build the Tower of Babel from which he could attack heaven. However, Yahweh blocked Nimrod's plans by causing the people to speak different languages so they could not understand one another. Disputes arose among the people, dividing them and destroying Nimrod's power. Some scholars have related this story to a earlier myth that tells how the civilization of Sumer* came to an end when the god Enki created many different languages among the Sumerians.

See also Babel, Tower of; Semitic Mythology.

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