1179. Wherefore it was said, As Nimrod mighty in hunting before Jehovah. That this signifies that, because so many were persuaded, such a form of speech became proverbial and that it further signifies that such a religion easily captivates the minds of men, may be seen from all that has been said, and from the very sense of the letter. Moreover, as in ancient times they gave names to actual things, they gave this name to this worship, saying that "Nimrod"-that is, this worship-"was mighty in hunting," that is, was one that captivates the minds of men. It is said "before Jehovah," because they who were in such worship called faith separated "Jehovah," or "the man Jehovah," as is evident from what has been said before (n. 340) concerning Cain, by whom in like manner there is signified faith separated from charity. But the difference between "Cain" and "Ham" is that the former was in the celestial church which had perception, and the latter in the spiritual church which had no perception; and therefore the former was more heinous than the latter. In ancient times such were called "mighty," as in Isaiah:
All the glory of Kedar shall be consumed, and the residue of the number, the bows of the mighty men of the sons of Kedar shall be diminished (Isa. 21:16-17).
And in Hosea:
Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity, ye have eaten the fruit of a lie, for thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men (Hos. 10:13);
and in other places. They called themselves "men" [viri], and "mighty," from faith; for there is a term in the original language which expresses the idea of might and at the same time of a man [vir], which term in the Word is predicated of faith, and that in both senses.