I recently came across a unique thread in the Scriptures, one in which I had read several times, but the wording in a different version struck me as odd. In the KJV, the wording describing Yishma’el(Ishmael), son of Avraham(Abraham), says that he became an”archer.” So, following that thread, this study will briefly examine the archer/hunter connection and the identity of the men and their spirit.
(8) Kush became the father of Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one on the earth.
(9) He was a mighty hunter before Yahweh, therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before Yahweh.”
– In verse eight, the genealogy of Nimrod is first established in ordered to understand not only his lineage but the spirit in which he is descendant and any generational curses which he may fall. Kush, the father of Nimrod, is the son of Ham. Ham was the first born of Noach (Noah). The sons of Noach were able to populate a world devastated by the Great flood and ruled over an area decided by lots. Nimrod’s kingdom was centered around the famed city of Baḇel, and was one of the first to encorporate his rule into a Deity rule (like the Pharoah’s and kings of old). He was also the one who commissioned the building of the famed Tower of Babel.
– In verse nine, we see that he was a mighty hunter before Yahweh. the word hunter comes from H6718 tsayidציד meaning “hunting, game hunted, chase,. stronghold,” it is literally the picture of “someone laying in wait to ambush another.” That is the spirit of Nimrod, he uses cunning, skill and deception to accomplish his goals in the face of Yahweh (i.e. the Tower of Babel).
– Also essential to understanding Nimrod, we need to understand his name. H5248 Nimrod נמרדmeans “rebellion” and it is also found in the heart of the name in the hebrew word H4784 marah מרה which means “bitter and/or rebellious.”
– Nimrod became caught up with His own legend and sought esteem and honor for himself, rather than for Yahweh. When he acheived fame and esteem from the peoples he subjugated, they worshiped him. In turn, he rallied the people to build the Tower of Babel to take over the heavens from Yahweh and be like elohim and the sons of elohim (euphemism for “messengers or angels”) themselves. That is why Yahweh confused the tongues of mankind, so that they would no longer to be able to communicate to accomplished their hearts evil desire.
Beresheit (Genesis) 21:20 – Yahweh was with the boy, and he grew. He lived in the wilderness, and became as he grew up, an archer.
– The reference to archer has 2 connections here:
1.) H7235 rabahרבה which means primarily to “be or become great, be or become many, be or become much, be or become numerous, multiply(of people, animals, things)” and secondarily “to shoot”
– it is derived from H7232 rabab/ravav רבב which means “to shoot” and H7228 rab/rav רבwhich means “archer.”
2.) H7199 qashshath קשּׁתwhich means “bowman, archer.”
– it is derived from H7198 qeshethקשׁת in the sense of “bending a bow for shooting”
– Yishma’el (Ishmael) is the son of the bondwoman Hagar, handmaid of Sarah, and Father Avraham (Abraham). He is the first born of Avraham, and yet, Yahweh chose Yitsḥaq (Issac), the second born and son of the free-woman, as the heir of the covenant. Yahweh declared the character of Yishma’el from before his birth, it that stays with his offspring to this day: Beresheit (Genesis) 16:12 – “And he is to be a wild man, his hand against every one and every one’s hand against him, and dwell over against all his brothers.” He and “his seed” will stand against the “Seed of Elohim/seed of the covenant,” and thus, against the Children of Yisra’el.
Beresheit (Genesis) 25:27: And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; while Yaʽaqov̱ was a complete man, dwelling in tents.
– Here we see the picture of Esau, a man of the field, who was a “cunning hunter” or in Hebrew – “Yada tsayid.” Now the Hebrew word tsayid we presented in the discussion of Nimrod, it means someone who lies in wait to ambush its pray. New to the phrase is the word yada:
– H3045 yada ידעwhich means “to know or ascertain by sight or observation.” In the sense of the hunter theme presented here, one who learns by keen observation and stalking.
– Esau came into contention with Ya’aqov (Jacob) due to the selling of His (Esau’s) birthright for a pot of lentil stew and the loss of His blessing. In Beresheit (Genesis) 27, Ribqah (Rebekah) informs Ya’aqov about Yitsḥaq‘s (Issac) blessing for Esau, and instructs Ya’aqov on how to get the blessing to fulfill the words of the Yahweh to her:
Beresheit (Genesis) 25:23: And יהוה said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples shall be separated from your body. And one people shall be stronger than the other, and the older serve the younger.”
– After losing both birthright and blessing, Esau vows to kill Ya’aqov, and thus, the “seed of Elohim.”
In these few instance where the concept of a “hunter” or “archer” is presented, it is placed in an evil and insidious light. The title of “hunter/archer” is one rife with deception, manipulation, and death. I hope this brief study challenges you to not only to look into the scriptures for content, but to pay close attention to the words themselves and their meanings. There is, oftentimes, a much more interesting picture once you scrape away the surface layers to get to the heart of the matter. Yahweh bless and keep you.