Genesis 11: The Tower of Babel

What are the benefits of speaking one language?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Genesis 11:1 The entire world spoke one language and dialect.
King James
Genesis 11:1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

Why would building a great city keep people from being scattered?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Genesis 11:2–4 As the people migrated eastward, they settled in the Babylonian territory. They said to one another, “Let’s make bricks and bake them hard.” Bricks were used instead of stone, with tar for mortar. “Come,” they said. “Let’s build a city with a tower that reaches high into the sky. By making ourselves great, we won’t be scattered across the earth.”
King James
Genesis 11:2–4 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. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. 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.

To whom was the Lord talking when he looked down and saw the construction?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Genesis 11:5 The Lord looked down to see the city and tower the people were building.
King James
Genesis 11:5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.

Why did God think the unified effort of the people was a problem?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Genesis 11:6 “Look at what the people are doing because they are united with one language,” the Lord said. “Nothing will keep them from doing anything they imagine.”
King James
Genesis 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.

What did God do to confuse people’s language? On the day that happened, how did people react?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Genesis 11:7 Come, let’s go down and confuse their language so they won’t understand one another.
King James
Genesis 11:7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

Why couldn’t people overcome their communication difficulties?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Genesis 11:8–9 Because of God’s action, the people quit building the city and were scattered across the earth. The place is called Babel because the Lord made babble of their language and scattered them abroad.
King James
Genesis 11:8–9 So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. 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.

What makes family histories important?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Genesis 11:10–25 Here is the lineage of Shem. Two years after the flood, Shem was 100 years old when his son Arphaxad was born. After Arphaxad, Shem lived another 500 years and had other sons and daughters.
Arphaxad was 530 years old when his son Salah was born. After Salah, Arphaxad lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters.
Salah was 30 years old when his son Eber was born. After Eber, Salah lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters.
Eber was 34 years old when his son Peleg was born. After Peleg, Eber lived 430 years and had other sons and daughters.
Peleg was 30 years old when his son Reu was born. After Reu, Peleg lived 209 years and had other sons and daughters.
Reu was 230 years old when his son Serug was born. After Serug, Reu lived 207 years and had other sons and daughters.
Serug was 30 years old when his son Nahor was born. After Nahor, Serug lived 200 years and had other sons and daughters.
Nahor was 29 years old when his son Terah was born. After Terah, Nahor lived 119 years and had other sons and daughters.
King James
Genesis 11:10–25 These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood: And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah: And Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters. And Salah lived thirty years, and begat Eber: And Salah lived after he begat Eber four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters. And Eber lived four and thirty years, and begat Peleg: And Eber lived after he begat Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters. And Peleg lived thirty years, and begat Reu: And Peleg lived after he begat Reu two hundred and nine years, and begat sons and daughters. And Reu lived two and thirty years, and begat Serug: And Reu lived after he begat Serug two hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters. And Serug lived thirty years, and begat Nahor: And Serug lived after he begat Nahor two hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. And Nahor lived nine and twenty years, and begat Terah: And Nahor lived after he begat Terah an hundred and nineteen years, and begat sons and daughters.

Why did Terah leave Ur ?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Genesis 11:26–32 Terah was 70 years old when his sons Abram, Nahor, and Haran were born.
Here is the Terah’s lineage: Terah’s sons were Abram, Nahor, and Haran, Lot’s father. While his father, Terah, was still alive, Haran died where he was born, in Ur of the Chaldeans. Abram married Sarai, and Nahor married Milcah, who was Haran’s daughter and Iskah’s sister. Sarai was childless.
Terah left Ur of the Chaldeans for the land of Canaan with his son Abram, his daughter-in-law Sarai, and his grandson Lot, son of Haran. They settled in Haran.
Terah was 205 years old when he died in Haran.
Acts 7:2 “Fellow Jews and respected elders, listen to me,” Stephen said. “Our glorious God appeared to our ancestor Abraham while he was in Mesopotamia, before he settled in Haran.
Hebrews 11:8 By faith, Abraham left his homeland when God called him to go to another place, which would become his inheritance from the Lord. But at the time he left, he didn’t know where he was going or how he would get there.
King James
Genesis 11:26–32 And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot. And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees. 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. But Sarai was barren; she had no child. 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. And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.
Acts 7:2 And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran,
Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.