|Genesis 11 |
1 Now the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelled there.
3 And they said to one another, "Come, let us make brick and burn them thoroughly." Then they had brick for stone, and tar for mortar.
4 And they said, "Come, let us build us a city and a tower whose top may reach to the heavens; and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth."1
5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men built.
6 And the LORD said, "Behold, they are one people and they all have one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will be able to do; now nothing that they have imagined will be impossible for them to do.2
7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another's speech."
8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from there upon the face of all the earth, and they stopped building the city.
9 Therefore the name of it is called Babel — because the LORD confused the language of all the earth there; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
10 These are the generations of Shem: Shem was a 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.
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 a 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.
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 Iscah.
30 But Sarai was barren; she had no child.
31 And Terah took Abram his son, Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldees into the land of Canaan; but when they came to Haran, they dwelt there.
32 And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years. And Terah died in Haran.
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1 Let us build us a city and a tower whose top may reach to the heavens; and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth. This was in the city of Nimrod, and Nimrod was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah. Ham lived through the flood that wiped every man off the face of the earth except Noah and his family; yet his grandson, who was very familiar with the fury and power of God, deliberately sets to thwart God. This is THE classic example of how quickly man can turn away from the fear of God, respecting his ways, and pursue a rebellious life in severe conflict with God. This fast devolution happened time and time again and again with the judges and kings of Israel, rotating from godly rulers who destroyed the pagan temples, prostitutes, false prophets, and idol worship, only to have all the evil practices again appear throughout Israel after another generation or two. Why? Because the carnal mind of man is enmity with God and cannot stay obedient to God; and so it happened in Christianity also, beginning even when the Apostles were alive.
Conflict with God 1: Rather than think of a building "whose top may reach the physical heavens," think of a temple "whose top may reach us to the spiritual heavens." The only spiritual heaven they could reach would be the Kingdom of Hell, for demon worship, which many ancient cultures practiced. George Fox described the Kingdom of Hell as being stretched out over the physical earth; he then described the Kingdom of Heaven as being stretched out over the Kingdom of Hell. Verse 6, nothing that they have imagined will be impossible for them to do clearly suggests the use of demonic powers.
The ruins of an immense Babylonian ziggurat, or stepped pyramid, have been found near this fabled location and the romantic notion is that these remains are all that is left of the Tower Of Babel. Archaeologists examining the remains of the city of Babylon have found what appears to be the foundation of the tower: a square of earthen embankments some 300 feet on each side. The tower's most splendid incarnation was probably under King Nebuchadnezzar II who lived from 605-562 BC. The King rebuilt the tower to stand an estimated 295 feet high, which is considerably lower than many of the Middle East's mountains; and the mountains obviously did not meet the heavens. According to an inscription made by the King, the tower was constructed of "baked brick enameled in brilliant blue." The terraces of the tower may have also been planted with flowers and trees.
Conflict with God 2: To wish to make a name for themselves is the extension of pride, which is the love of the world and is enmity to God. To wish to make a name for oneself is to seek one's own glory, and is contrary to wishing to be a servant of God, and a part of his body; contrary to someone wishing to be under his guidance, counsel, and energizing spirit.
Conflict with God 3: God had told man to be fruitful and spread over the whole earth. These men were trying to do the opposite; they said: lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth. When man is somewhat isolated from his neighbors, with his own land, growing his own food, he is far more conscious and dependent on He who provides the rain, who provides the sunshine, who has created life; far closer to God, than the city dweller who is distracted by food, drink, women, entertainment, games, pleasures, etc. God had told men to cover the whole earth, not to collect in cities. This was Nimrod's city. Gen 10:10. He was not favored by the Lord because he ran ahead; he hunted in front of the Lord. He didn't follow, he ran ahead.
2 Behold, they are one people and they all have one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will be able to do; now nothing that they have imagined will be impossible for them to do. "Babel": the Hebrew form of the name "Babylon"; the native name, Bab-ili, means "gate of the gods." The Hebrew word balil, "be confused," has a similar sound. Apparently the name referred originally only to a certain part of the city, the district near the gate that led to the temple area. The tower was not just a skyscraper that served as a cultural icon. It was evidently a temple for astrological worship; perhaps why they called their city Bab-ilani, "gate of the gods;" the gods, obviously being demons and the worship of them. God condemns astrology not only because its assumptions are false, (the heavenly bodies are not gods whose activities influence human events), but also because it is ultimately occultism and demonic. We know that the magicians of Egypt displayed remarkable powers, even though they were quickly superceded by God's power and miracles; therefore we can believe it very likely these men were bordering on even greater power than the magicians of Egypt.
Conflict with God 4: With demonic worship, God's concern is not that they will progress beyond his knowledge, but that they will progress in rebellion and evil to such an extent that the human race would degenerate to a level like the days before Noah, Gen 6:5-6, or worse. So God intervenes to prevent this from happening again.
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