Genesis Fiction: Noach
Tower of Egotism
Nimrod jumped the steps of The Tower three at a time, with powerful, energetic strides. He stood at the top of The Tower just as the first rays of sunrise shone on it. The entire populace for miles around saw his large, muscular frame capping the monstrously imposing structure. He ushered in the new day and formalized his status as King and God.
Nimrod’s priests offered conventional sacrifices and libations. He strode to a room below the top of The Tower Nimrod where he consumed a sumptuous breakfast with a savage appetite. Satiated and surveying his empire, Nimrod allowed his lieutenants to report on activity and issues of the day.
“Your Majesty,” Mebtah, his Chief Lieutenant reported, “all the workgroups are falling behind on the scheduled milestones. I have personally investigated each group and witnessed that their productivity has indeed deteriorated. My concern is that their efforts will deteriorate further and we may not complete the full structure of The Tower before the autumn rains.”
“This is highly disturbing,” Nimrod stated in a menacing voice, “what do you propose?”
“My conclusion, your Majesty,” Mebtah continued unperturbed, “is that we permit the requested weekly day of rest. Let me provide an example. This brick,” Mebtah held out in his right hand a solid and attractive looking brick, “was produced early in our construction. I took the liberty of keeping it as a model for future construction. However, this brick,” and now Mebtah held out his left hand, demonstrating an ugly, ill-shaped and frail looking piece, “this brick, was produced yesterday.”
“I see. And how will a day of rest solve this problem? I would think it would delay us further.” The King asked, the frown on his ruddy face growing.
“Yes, your Majesty,” Mebtah replied, “a day of rest does seem at first to go against reason. However, I believe that the main cause for the poor effort is that we are pushing the workers too hard. If they have a chance to recuperate on a consistent basis, I am certain we shall see an improvement in productivity.”
“What happens if you are wrong, Mebtah?”
“I am not. But even if I were, we would at most lose a day of work, your Majesty.”
“And what solutions could we try then?”
“We would need some way to work them harder, motivate them further.”
Nimrod sat pensively for a few minutes, looking at Mebtah, looking at the distance, looking at the workers doing their tasks up and down The Tower and on the ground below.
He stood up suddenly, like an animal about to pounce on his prey, having arrived at a brilliant solution.
“Mebtah, I cannot take the chance that you are wrong.”
“I understand your Majesty.”
“We must complete The Tower before the rains.”
“I agree completely.”
“To show softness at this critical time would have a negative effect on morale.”
“Um, perhaps, your Majesty.”
“Mebtah, you have been a loyal and dedicated Lieutenant.” Nimrod stated with an ironic grimace on his face.
“Yes, your Majesty.” Mebtah was suddenly confused, not following his lieges’ thinking as he usually did.
“You would give your life at my command without hesitation.” Nimrod asked, his grin getting broader.
“Why of course, your Majesty.” Mebtah replied slowly, feeling as if a trap had been sprung on him, but still not seeing its contours.
“Then you will understand what I am about to do.”
And without further delay, Nimrod vigorously grabbed the tall but thin Mebtah. Nimrod held on to the belt by Mebtah’s waist and the garment by the shoulder and hoisted Mebtah over his head. To Nimrod, Mebtah was as light as a puppet in a child’s hands. Nimrod then climbed with Mebtah to the top of The Tower. Mebtah his eyes wild and confused held on tightly to the bricks in either hand, almost in a death-grip.
At the top of The Tower, with Mebtah over his head, Nimrod called out in a booming voice.
“Heed the words of your ruler!”
“The man I hold in my hands is Mebtah, my loyal Chief Lieutenant.”
“He feels that we cannot complete our Tower in time.”
“He is wrong, and his lack of faith is offensive to the Gods.”
“This is what happens to those that do not work hard, or do not obey the Gods.”
Nimrod with great flourish and drama proceeded to throw Mebtah from the roof of the tower. The eyes of every single worker were on Mebtah’s body. The descent seemed to take forever, however the resounding, sickening thud occurred all too quickly.
Within moments, the workers started scurrying like ants, back to their tasks with renewed vigor and energy.
Nimrod nonchalantly turned to two of his other lieutenants and said:
“Make sure to bring up Mebtah’s two bricks for me.”
They raced down, each eager to get the bricks first.
* * * * * * *
From Genesis 10:8-10:
“And Cush begot Nimrod. He was the first to be a mighty man on earth. He was a mighty hunter before God; therefore it is said: ‘Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before God.’ The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh in the land of Shinar.”
From Tractate Chulin 89a:
“God gave greatness to Nimrod, yet he said, ‘Let us build us a city and a tower with its top in the heavens.’ (Genesis 11:4) “