The Tower of Babel
Gen 11:1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
They were all of the language that God gave to Adam. Languages are God given. They may have variations and new words, but the origins were with God, to communicate with him and with one another.
Gen 11:2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.
Those who settled in the plain of Shinar were from Ham. This is modern day Iraq.
Gen 10:8 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.
Gen 10:9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.
Gen 10:10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
Gen 11:3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar.
The people of Ham were creative, they had no rocks to build with, so they fashioned the first bricks from the red clay. They cured them in the sun and then fired them for hardness. They had no natural cement so they used slime, or tar to use as mortar. This was used by Noah to seal the ark and was also waterproof.
Gen 11:4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
This verse says a lot about the hearts of mankind. They wanted to build a city, a place for all to be where everything was together and convenient, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the earth. The body and soul desires others around them, and the convenient things, the arts and the pleasures of the flesh.
Let us make a tower, whose top may reach heaven: and let us make us a name. They wanted to seek spiritual things, using astronomy and the occult. They also wanted to make a name for themselves. This is the world's thinking, self, making self god.
Gen 11:5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
They made towers, called ziggurats, which were built in a circular fashion with an ascending staircase that terminated in a shrine at the top, around which were written the signs of the zodiac. Now they were building a tower that would reach into the heavens, a religious place that was waterproof, above any flood waters. Had they forgotten that God had told them to go forth and inhabit the earth and that there would be no flood? They settled in one place, with technology and unity, making a name for themselves. Religion was always about self glory, acting as if they represented God; bringing God into the picture by mans ways. Don't call us God, we'll call you. You stay off to the side while we do our religious things.
Gen 11:6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
Unity is a powerful thing for good or for evil. It seems that they were interested in themselves and science and astrology and had left the true God out. This sounds familiar doesn't it? Man's wisdom and ideas instead of seeking and obeying God. What did he actually purpose or propose to do? The final answer is, to glorify himself, to be the center of things, to be the master of the universe, to be God. The LORD knows that man is incapable of this; he is a creature. He is a dependent being; he always was, and always will be. The people were one and they had one universal language, and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
Mat 17:20 ... If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Luke 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
God will not for long allow man to be supreme.
Remember King Herod?
Acts 12:21 And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them.
Acts 12:22 And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.
Acts 12:23 And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.
Also God cast down king Nebuchadnezzar.
Dan 4:30 The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?
Dan 4:31 While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.
Dan 4:32 And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
Dan 4:33 The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws.
Dan 4:34 And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:
Dan 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
Dan 4:36 At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.
Dan 4:37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.
James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
James 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Gen 11:7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
God has been shown to be the maker of heaven and earth, the One concerned about the minutest details of creation, the Omnipotent, Omniscient God who knows everything, sees everything and is all-powerful. He is not afraid of man, he is concerned for them and their future. Technology and a sinful heart away from God can bring destruction as in our own time; high tech enough to destroy nations, but little worship of the true God. God is called to bless when we are in trouble, but mostly ignored.
Let us, the plural of God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Also the angels of God. Let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. Suddenly they were unable to understand one another. Their words had no meaning for God changed their languages.
God does not want unity of the peoples and nations, he knew this was a problem with the sin nature. Yet, the world will end with nations in unity under the beast, and then destruction.
Rev 13:4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
Rev 13:5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
Rev 13:6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
Rev 13:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Rev 13:9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.
God wants unity of those of His Spirit. In Jesus Christ we are one.
Psa 133:1 A Song of degrees of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Mal 2:10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?
Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Gen 11:8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
The LORD scattered them, as was the original plan. They dwelled in caves and in woven shelters. The eskimos use the spiral building technology to construct their igloos from blocks of ice. Many peoples still are scattered with many languages. They had built a city so they would not be scattered and God came down and scattered them because they were all in one place against his will.
1 Pet 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
1 Pet 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
When you no longer depend on anything in you, then God is ready to give you everything he possesses: That is the basic message of the Christian faith.
Gen 11:9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
Babel means: gate of God, a related Hebrew word: balal, means confusion.The children of Ham have the most languages. There is confusion between them. Some scholars believe that Hebrew is the closest language to the original language from Adam to Noah.
One of the rabbinical commentaries speaks of the languages:
The sacred tongue, Hebrew, was spoken by all till the generation of the Confusion of Tongues, for the world was created with the sacred tongue; but now each of the 70 angels took one nation and instructed it in a new language; but God instructed Israel in the Hebrew tongue. An Internet search showed that there are over 7000 languages and dialects. Among the one hundred islands occupied by the Melanesian race, there are no less than two hundred languages, differing from each other as much as Dutch and German. Among the North American Indians, each tribe had a separate language.
The whole account of what happened at Babel with its anti-God dictator, its organized rebellion against God, and its direct distrust of God's promise shows man hasn't gotten any better since the flood. Time, progress, government, and organization have made man better off, but not better.(Guzik)
Gen 11:10-25 From Shem to the father of Abraham
Gen 11:10 These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood:
Gen 11:11 And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.
Gen 11:12 And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah:
Gen 11:13 And Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.
Gen 11:14 And Salah lived thirty years, and begat Eber:
Gen 11:15 And Salah lived after he begat Eber four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.
Gen 11:16 And Eber lived four and thirty years, and begat Peleg:
Gen 11:17 And Eber lived after he begat Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters.
Gen 11:18 And Peleg lived thirty years, and begat Reu:
Gen 11:19 And Peleg lived after he begat Reu two hundred and nine years, and begat sons and daughters.
Gen 11:20 And Reu lived two and thirty years, and begat Serug:
Gen 11:21 And Reu lived after he begat Serug two hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters.
Gen 11:22 And Serug lived thirty years, and begat Nahor:
Gen 11:23 And Serug lived after he begat Nahor two hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.
Gen 11:24 And Nahor lived nine and twenty years, and begat Terah:
Gen 11:25 And Nahor lived after he begat Terah an hundred and nineteen years, and begat sons and daughters.
Gen 11:26 And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
Abram had two brothers.
Gen 11:27 Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.
Lot was Abrams nephew.
Gen 11:28 And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.
Lots father died in Ur.
Gen 11:29 And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.
Gen 11:30 But Sarai was barren; she had no child.
This is important, Sarai and Abram could have no children, naturally.
Gen 11:31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.
Terah, the father of Abram was on his way to Canaan. Along with him was his grandson Lot, Abrams nephew, Abram's wife Sarai, his half sister and his wife; they came to the city of Haran.
Terah means delay.
There are thousands today who have left Ur and come to Haran and settled down there, who will die there. The word Haran means "parched," and it is indeed a parched and barren place to live. Many, like Terah, have left the world and its ways; they have joined a church. They have got religion. They live moral lives, while they sing the songs of Zion and go through the outward motions of faith. But they will never go farther than Haran. They are dying there; they are religious, but not born again. What a parched experience that is.
Gen 11:32 And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.
Abram's father Terah died in Haran at he age of two hundred five. No longer were people living 900 years, but they still were living longer than what God limited man's life span; to one hundred twenty years, after the flood.
Genesis 1 Table of Contents