Genesis 11 commentary

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Genesis 11 (English-KJV)

1 " And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech."

Every human on the earth at this time spoke the same language. All people shared the same skin color, and there was no division among men by race (color) or language.

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."

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 morter."

This again reaffirms the idea that men could build great structures from the very beginning of time.

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."

The reason for building a tower may have been that they thought a tower reaching into the "heaven" (sky) would protect them from another flood. Had they listened to God's word they would have known of his promise never to send another global flood. They also disobeyed God's instruction to spread out and fill the earth, choosing instead to fill one region.

The words "may reach" in verse 4 are italicized. This means they were not in the original.

When you remove them, the verse takes on a new meaning.

"let us build us a city and a tower, whose top unto heaven" may mean that the tower itself was built to worship stellar objects and/or angelic beings. Both being clearly forbidden.

"This was not an innocent, scientifically naive, primitive effort to reach the highest heavens!" (Babel by John Whitcomb, AIG online article) but a "blasphemous effort to dismiss forever" God and his commandments.

Instead we see one of many attempts by Satan to corrupt the entire population into rejecting God. The fewer people there are in the world, the easier this would be to accomplish. So his 2 best attempts are at the creation, when there are only 2 people, and post flood when the earths population was very small.

Their intentions were also in direct contrast to Gods command to spread and fill the earth. They instead decided to stay there "lest we be scattered" (v4).

5 " And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded."

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."

7 " Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech."

8 " So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city."

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."

The origin of different languages

The bible tells us clearly that languages did not evolve separately in different places around the world. In fact Linguistic research supports the Biblical account (The Tower of Babel account affirmed by linguistics by K.J. Duursma, TJ 16(3), 2002).

The work of Dr McIntosh also reveals that the Chinese language tells us much about Babel (Genesis, Babel & the Chinese Language (DVD) by Dr Andy McIntosh)

Where did all the Races come from?

"I have a question about Adam and Eve, I picture them as being white people, but how come there is so many different races of human beings if there were only Adam and Eve to start of with?"
From Clare M. 9/10/01

No where in the bible does it tell us what color Adam and Eve were. I wondered the same thing as a child. I would often wonder "If God created Adam and Eve, then what color were they? And where did all the other "colors" of people come from?"

There are some racist people who think that Gods "chosen people" are the white man. There have been people who have taught that the "black man is of the devil", possibly a fallen angel.

These beliefs couldn't be further from the truth.

Did you know that some racist people back in the 1800's claimed that "the black man did not have a soul". - This is terrible and untrue, but it helped them to justify slavery.

What does the Bible say about slavery? (coming soon)

God created all men equally.

God's "favors" the people who diligently seek his face and serve Him. It is not based on color. Nor is interracial marriage forbidden. God forbids marriage between believers and non believers. Not between people of different complexions.

Cain's mark and race

There is another view that the different races originated back when Cain received a "mark" after he had killed his brother. Cain was somehow changed into another "cursed" race. - There is no biblical basis for this belief.

While yet another view is that God created Adam and Eve, they were both white. They were the first man and woman. But then God created another couple of another race, and yet another.. etc. They were all commanded to "replenish" the earth, and to multiply.

-None of the above are Biblical or Scientific.

There is only one "race" - and that is the human race. The various tones of color are due to the pigmentation of melanin in our skin.

Adam and Eve were the same color. I don't know if they were white, brown, or yellow... and it doesn't really matter.

Any children Adam and Eve had, would also be that color.

But when you separate a group of people, and are limited to those genes, some physical traits become more apparent. These traits are then passed on to their offspring.

I believe this happened at the time of the Tower of Babel.

Because of mans wickedness, God confused their languages after the flood of Noah.

Small groups of people with the same language would stay together, build colonies, and procreate.

Over time the differences in physical appearance would be more prominent, and their skin would appear as different shades or colors.

"From these original peoples, far less genetically deteriorated than us, came all the "races" of mankind (Gen. 9:7, Num. 36:1-13)."
taken from pg 101 of: "Buried Alive - the startling truth about Neanderthal man" by Dr. Jack Cuozzo

Did you know that the Australian Aborigines were brutally murdered and their bones sold to museums because Americans thought they were the "Missing link"?

Its a shame what some people have done because of racism.

Ota Benga The man in the zoo
Ota Benga, or Otabenga, was an African "Bushman" who lived in what is now Zaire. He was captured in a raid on his village and his family was killed. Samuel Phillips Verner (from South Carolina) was looking for pygmies to be exhibited in the St. Louis Exposition of 1904. Ota was to help build an authentic looking native African village.

Verner went bankrupt in 1906 and Ota was turned over to the Guardian Trust Company who seized Verner's collections.

Ota was then taken to the Bronx Zoo where he was put on display as evidence of Evolution. Ota was forced to live in the primate house and share his quarters with an Orangutan.

Later Ota was released, but the effect this had on him is horrible, as Ota took his own life in 1916.

Does Evolution encourage Racism?

There are many people who teach that racism is a direct result of being taught evolution. But the truth is, racism existed before evolution was ever taught.

I am not going to pretend that Evolution is the cause of Racism - it isn't. Though unfortunately some people have misapplied this theory to justify their behavior.

Here are a few quotes from a Prominent Evolutionist:

"In order to be convinced of this important result, it is above all things necessary to study and compare the mental life of wild savages and of children. At the lowest stage of human mental development are the Australians, some tribes of the Polynesians, and the Bushmen, Hottentots, and some of the Negro tribes." "In many of these languages there are numerals only for one, two, and three: no Australian language counts beyond four. Very many wild tribes can count no further than ten or twenty, whereas some very clever dogs have been made to count up to forty and even beyond sixty."
Ernst Haeckel, "The History of Creation", pp. 362, 363 (AIG)

"If one must draw a sharp boundary between them, it has to be drawn between the most highly developed and civilized man on the one hand, and the rudest savages on the other, and the latter have to be classed with the animals."
Ernst Haeckel, "The History of Creation", p. 365 (AIG)

"Thus, for example, a great English traveler, who lived for a considerable time on the west coast of Africa, says: "I consider the negro to be a lower species of man, and cannot make up my mind to look upon him as 'a man and a brother,' for the gorilla would then also have to be admitted into the family.""
Ernst Haeckel, "The History of Creation", p. 365 (AIG)

The Bible teaches that Racism is wrong.

God loves all men equally:

Job 34:19 (KJV)
“How much less to him that accepteth not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor? for they all are the work of his hands“

10 " These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood:"

11 " And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters."

12 " And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah:"

13 " And Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters."

14 " And Salah lived thirty years, and begat Eber:"

15 " And Salah lived after he begat Eber four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters."


For notes on Peleg see my commentary on Genesis 10:25

16 " And Eber lived four and thirty years, and begat Peleg:"

17 " And Eber lived after he begat Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters."

18 " And Peleg lived thirty years, and begat Reu:"

19 " And Peleg lived after he begat Reu two hundred and nine years, and begat sons and daughters."

20 " And Reu lived two and thirty years, and begat Serug: "

21 " And Reu lived after he begat Serug two hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters. "

22 " And Serug lived thirty years, and begat Nahor: "

23 " And Serug lived after he begat Nahor two hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. "

24 " And Nahor lived nine and twenty years, and begat Terah: "

25 " And Nahor lived after he begat Terah an hundred and nineteen years, and begat sons and daughters. "

26 " And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran."

27 " Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot."

28 " And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees."

Abram and Sarai (Abraham and Sarah)

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."

30 " But Sarai was barren; she had no child."

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."

32 " And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran."

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