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August 14, 2022

What Is the Meaning of the Bible Story of King Nimrod, his Astrologists, and his Decree to Kill all Newborn Sons?

What Is the Meaning of the Bible Story of King Nimrod, his Astrologists, and his Decree to Kill all Newborn Sons?

What Is King Nimrod?

At the time of Babylon, a king named Nimrod (your ego) reigned within you. You followed him faithfully, trusted him, and worshipped only him.

The Nimrod inside you refers to the natural, fairly developed egoism that wishes for, and can achieve, anything: “Everyone knew that his arm, aimed at a deer’s heart, never missed its target.”

If you remember, your entire life and all your intentions were focused exclusively on yourself. “What does it do for me” was the principle you lived by. All of your relations with others essentially came down to this.

“Nimrod” was always your essence. He didn’t take anyone into account but himself: “Woe was he who dared to question that Nimrod was a self-made god.”

What Are King Nimrod’s Astrologists, and What Is the Boy they Warned King Nimrod About?

In the Midrash it says, “One day Nimrod’s astrologists approached the throne reverently and prostrated before the king. ‘Oh, great lord,’ they proclaimed, ‘We come with news of great peril which threatens your rule. The stars foresee that a boy will soon be born in your kingdom who shall deny your divinity and shall defeat you.’”

Nimrod’s astrologists are your own fear, which exists within the ego itself. The fear is that something may shake your foundation, your Nimrod. This fear is always driving your ego to worry about its fulfillment and prosperity, seeking more stuff, bigger stuff, newer stuff. And yet, this perpetual drive to fulfill yourself ultimately brings you to a point where a “boy is born” inside you that will one day defeat Nimrod.

Who is this boy who will be born inside you? It is the budding of the next degree. It arises from that same Nimrod, from your “I,” which suddenly begins to understand that being a Nimrod is nothing but misery. All of a sudden you realize that your life is far from cloudless, since you’re always concerned: concerned with building yourself on the ruin of others, with protecting your “I” from attacks, and with staying on top, on your throne.

At the same time, you cannot destroy everyone who threatens you. Otherwise, whom will you dominate?

“Nimrod” is in power, demanding to always be worshipped. “Do whatever it takes to make others respect you,” your ego keeps murmuring.

You cannot destroy your environment. You cannot erase their “I.” And even if you could, you wouldn’t, because then you’d have no one to rule over.

It follows that your Nimrod is incredibly dependent on other people. He must support them, pay them, nurture them, and at the same time, oppress them.

Indeed, the ego rises precisely when it oppresses others.

Hence, the next degree of the ego’s (Nimrod’s) development in you is when it begins to recognize its own dependence, vulnerability, and fragility.

This process is called “the recognition of evil in Nimrod.” It is when you finally get the feeling that your freedom is somehow restricted.

You are dependent on everybody else.

You must always build a pyramid around you, but in a way that always keeps you on top. You need to have the respect of your children, wife, relatives, co-workers, passengers on the bus or other means of public transportation, even your neighbor’s dog barking at you. But how long can you keep up with this game?!

 

Why Did King Nimrod Want to put all Newborn Sons to Death?

Nimrod turned to his ministers. “What protective measures do you suggest?” The answer came quickly, “Issue a decree to have all newborn boys put to death!”

The word Ben (boy in hebrew) comes from the word Mevin—“understanding” or “attainment.” Attainment of what? The new degree. And that is what Nimrod fears so much. That is what poses a threat to his power. To protect itself, the ego must eradicate attainment, allegorically expressed in killing newborn boys.

“We need to make sure that only girls are left alive.” Girls, daughters, the feminine part in you, is the personification of the desire to receive. This is why your Nimrod is so fond of the notion of women giving birth to girls. In other words, the more new desires appear in you, the more they will add to Nimrod’s glory and add to his growing authority and dominion—and that’s something Nimrod has no problem with.

The girls (desires) and boys (ways of fulfilling them) that are born within us pertain to a new degree. In Kabbalah, it is called the degree of Bina within us. Bina is the degree of bestowal, love, and mercy. Through this process we learn that at this degree we can feel infinitely more pleasure. In fact, we can feel infinity itself.

Listen to your inner Nimrod. It is telling you, “Fine, I’m willing to bestow. I will do it, but only because it will give me pleasure.” “I will feel good,” Nimrod thinks to himself, “I will use this part of Bina that’s in me, this degree of bestowal and infinite pleasures, but I will use it for my own benefit. I will bestow, sure, but only because it serves my interests!”

This is called “using the spark of love,” the Creator’s spark, which exists in all of us, but for our own benefit. This is what “killing the sons” means, receiving the entire Light— all of the tremendous energy of an ascent—for the sake of your own satisfaction.

The Secrets of the Eternal Book“What Is the Meaning of the Bible Story of King Nimrod, his Astrologists, and his Decree to Kill all Newborn Sons?” is based on the book, The Secrets of the Eternal Book: The Meaning of the Stories of the Pentateuch by Semion Vinokur.

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