A Child of Babel (Shinar Book 1)

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yug-hair.ru/includes/zithromax-azithromycin-geschaeft-online-versand.php The already decayed Great Ziggurat of Babylon was finally destroyed by Alexander the Great in an attempt to rebuild it. He managed to move the tiles of the tower to another location, but his death stopped the reconstruction. Isaac Asimov speculated that the authors of Genesis —9 were inspired by the existence of an apparently incomplete ziggurat at Babylon, and by the phonological similarity between Babylonian Bab-ilu , meaning "gate of God", and the Hebrew word balal , meaning "mixed", "confused", or "confounded".

The Book of Jubilees contains one of the most detailed accounts found anywhere of the Tower. And they began to build, and in the fourth week they made brick with fire, and the bricks served them for stone, and the clay with which they cemented them together was asphalt which comes out of the sea, and out of the fountains of water in the land of Shinar.

And they built it: forty and three years were they building it; its breadth was bricks, and the height [of a brick] was the third of one; its height amounted to cubits and 2 palms, and [the extent of one wall was] thirteen stades [and of the other thirty stades]. Jubilees —21, Charles' translation. In Pseudo-Philo , the direction for the building is ascribed not only to Nimrod, who is made prince of the Hamites , but also to Joktan , as prince of the Semites , and to Phenech son of Dodanim , as prince of the Japhetites.

Twelve men are arrested for refusing to bring bricks, including Abraham , Lot , Nahor , and several sons of Joktan. However, Joktan finally saves the twelve from the wrath of the other two princes. He wrote that it was Nimrod who had the tower built and that Nimrod was a tyrant who tried to turn the people away from God. In this account, God confused the people rather than destroying them because annihilation with a Flood hadn't taught them to be godly. Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of God.

He was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah, a bold man, and of great strength of hand. He persuaded them not to ascribe it to God as if it were through his means they were happy, but to believe that it was their own courage which procured that happiness. He also gradually changed the government into tyranny , seeing no other way of turning men from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence on his power Now the multitude were very ready to follow the determination of Nimrod and to esteem it a piece of cowardice to submit to God; and they built a tower, neither sparing any pains, nor being in any degree negligent about the work: and, by reason of the multitude of hands employed in it, it grew very high, sooner than any one could expect; but the thickness of it was so great, and it was so strongly built, that thereby its great height seemed, upon the view, to be less than it really was.

It was built of burnt brick, cemented together with mortar, made of bitumen , that it might not be liable to admit water. When God saw that they acted so madly, he did not resolve to destroy them utterly, since they were not grown wiser by the destruction of the former sinners [in the Flood]; but he caused a tumult among them, by producing in them diverse languages, and causing that, through the multitude of those languages, they should not be able to understand one another. The place wherein they built the tower is now called Babylon , because of the confusion of that language which they readily understood before; for the Hebrews mean by the word Babel , confusion.

The Sibyl also makes mention of this tower, and of the confusion of the language, when she says thus"When all men were of one language, some of them built a high tower, as if they would thereby ascend up to heaven; but the gods sent storms of wind and overthrew the tower, and gave everyone a peculiar language; and for this reason it was that the city was called Babylon.

Third Apocalypse of Baruch or 3 Baruch, c. In the account, Baruch is first taken in a vision to see the resting place of the souls of "those who built the tower of strife against God, and the Lord banished them. Those who gave counsel to build the tower, for they whom thou seest drove forth multitudes of both men and women, to make bricks; among whom, a woman making bricks was not allowed to be released in the hour of child-birth, but brought forth while she was making bricks, and carried her child in her apron, and continued to make bricks.

And the Lord appeared to them and confused their speech, when they had built the tower to the height of four hundred and sixty-three cubits. And they took a gimlet , and sought to pierce the heavens, saying, Let us see whether the heaven is made of clay, or of brass, or of iron. When God saw this He did not permit them, but smote them with blindness and confusion of speech, and rendered them as thou seest.

Greek Apocalypse of Baruch, —8. Rabbinic literature offers many different accounts of other causes for building the Tower of Babel, and of the intentions of its builders. According to one midrash the builders of the Tower, called "the generation of secession" in the Jewish sources, said: "God has no right to choose the upper world for Himself, and to leave the lower world to us; therefore we will build us a tower, with an idol on the top holding a sword, so that it may appear as if it intended to war with God" Gen.

Buber, Noah, xxvii. The building of the Tower was meant to bid defiance not only to God, but also to Abraham , who exhorted the builders to reverence. The passage mentions that the builders spoke sharp words against God, saying that once every 1, years, heaven tottered so that the water poured down upon the earth, therefore they would support it by columns that there might not be another deluge Gen. Some among that generation even wanted to war against God in heaven Talmud Sanhedrin a. They were encouraged in this undertaking by the notion that arrows that they shot into the sky fell back dripping with blood, so that the people really believed that they could wage war against the inhabitants of the heavens Sefer ha-Yashar , Chapter — According to Josephus and Midrash Pirke R.

According to another midrashic account, one third of the Tower builders were punished by being transformed into semi-demonic creatures and banished into three parallel dimensions, inhabited now by their descendants. Although not mentioned by name, the Quran has a story with similarities to the biblical story of the Tower of Babel, although set in the Egypt of Moses: Pharaoh asks Haman to build him a stone or clay tower so that he can mount up to heaven and confront the God of Moses.

Another story in Sura 2 mentions the name of Babil , but tells of when the two angels Harut and Marut taught magic to some people in Babylon and warned them that magic is a sin and that their teaching them magic is a test of faith. In the History of the Prophets and Kings by the 9th-century Muslim theologian al-Tabari , a fuller version is given: Nimrod has the tower built in Babil, God destroys it, and the language of mankind, formerly Syriac , is then confused into 72 languages.

Another Muslim historian of the 13th century, Abu al-Fida relates the same story, adding that the patriarch Eber an ancestor of Abraham was allowed to keep the original tongue, Hebrew in this case, because he would not partake in the building. Although variations similar to the biblical narrative of the Tower of Babel exist within Islamic tradition, the central theme of God separating humankind on the basis of language is alien to Islam according to the author Yahiya Emerick.

In Islamic belief, he argues, God created nations to know each other and not to be separated. In the Book of Mormon , a man named Jared and his family ask God that their language not be confounded at the time of the Tower of Babel. Because of their prayers, God preserves their language and leads them to the Valley of Nimrod.

From there, they travel across the sea to the Americas. The confusion of tongues confusio linguarum is the origin myth for the fragmentation of human languages described in the Book of Genesis —9, as a result of the construction of the Tower of Babel. Genesis claims that prior to the event, humanity spoke a single language. This has sometimes been interpreted as being in contradiction to the earlier Genesis ,. During the Middle Ages, the Hebrew language was widely considered the language used by God to address Adam in Paradise , and by Adam as lawgiver the Adamic language by various Jewish, Christian, and Muslim scholastics.

Dante in the Divina commedia implies however that the language of Paradise was different from later Hebrew by saying that Adam addressed God as I rather than El. Before the acceptance of the Indo-European language family , these languages were considered to be " Japhetite " by some authors e. Beginning in Renaissance Europe, priority over Hebrew was claimed for the alleged Japhetic languages, which were supposedly never corrupted because their speakers had not participated in the construction of the Tower of Babel.

The Swedish physician Andreas Kempe wrote a satirical tract in , where he made fun of the contest between the European nationalists to claim their native tongue as the Adamic language. Caricaturing the attempts by the Swede Olaus Rudbeck to pronounce Swedish the original language of mankind, Kempe wrote a scathing parody where Adam spoke Danish , God spoke Swedish , and the serpent French. The primacy of Hebrew was still defended by some authors until the emergence of modern linguistics in the second half of the 18th century, e.

Historical linguistics has long wrestled with the idea of a single original language. In the Middle Ages, and down to the 17th century, attempts were made to identify a living descendant of the Adamic language. The literal belief that the world's linguistic variety originated with the tower of Babel is pseudolinguistics , and is contrary to the known facts about the origin and history of languages.

In the Biblical introduction of the Tower of Babel account, in Genesis , it is said that everyone on Earth spoke the same language, but this is inconsistent with the Biblical description of the post-Noahic world described in Genesis , where it is said that the descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japheth gave rise to different nations, each with their own language.

There have also been a number of traditions around the world that describe a divine confusion of the one original language into several, albeit without any tower. The Estonian myth of "the Cooking of Languages" [42] has also been compared. There are several mediaeval historiographic accounts that attempt to make an enumeration of the languages scattered at the Tower of Babel.

Because a count of all the descendants of Noah listed by name in chapter 10 of Genesis LXX provides 15 names for Japheth's descendants, 30 for Ham's, and 27 for Shem's, these figures became established as the 72 languages resulting from the confusion at Babel—although the exact listing of these languages changed over time. The LXX Bible has two additional names, Elisa and Cainan, not found in the Masoretic text of this chapter, so early rabbinic traditions, such as the Mishna , speak instead of "70 languages". Some of the earliest sources for 72 sometimes 73 languages are the 2nd-century Christian writers Clement of Alexandria Stromata I, 21 and Hippolytus of Rome On the Psalms 9 ; it is repeated in the Syriac book Cave of Treasures c.

Augustine 's The City of God The chronicles attributed to Hippolytus c. Isidore of Seville in his Etymologiae c. This listing was to prove quite influential on later accounts that made the Lombards and Franks themselves into descendants of eponymous grandsons of Japheth, e. Other sources that mention 72 or 70 languages scattered from Babel are the Old Irish poem Cu cen mathair by Luccreth moccu Chiara c.

Villani adds that it "was begun years after the Flood, and there were 2, years from the beginning of the world to the confusion of the Tower of Babel. And we find that they were years working at it; and men lived long in those times". According to the Gesta Hunnorum et Hungarorum , however, the project was begun only years following the Deluge.

The tradition of 72 languages persisted into later times. The Book of Genesis does not mention how tall the tower was. The Third Apocalypse of Baruch mentions that the 'tower of strife' reached a height of cubits, or Gregory of Tours writing c. Its wall, made of baked brick cemented with pitch, is fifty cubits wide, two hundred high, and four hundred and seventy stades in circumference. A stade contains five agripennes. Twenty-five gates are situated on each side, which make in all one hundred.

The doors of these gates, which are of wonderful size, are cast in bronze. The same historian tells many other tales of this city, and says: 'Although such was the glory of its building still it was conquered and destroyed. A typical medieval account is given by Giovanni Villani : He relates that "it measured eighty miles [ km] round, and it was already 4, paces high, or 5.

Interpreting the Babel narrative

The 17th-century historian Verstegan provides yet another figure — quoting Isidore, he says that the tower was 5, paces high, or 7. He also quotes unnamed authors who say that the spiral path was so wide that it contained lodgings for workers and animals, and other authors who claim that the path was wide enough to have fields for growing grain for the animals used in the construction.

Gordon considers the height of the Tower of Babel. Elementary arithmetic shows that a tower with parallel walls could have been built to a height of 2. However, by making the walls taper towards the top they Escher depicts a more stylized geometrical structure in his woodcut representing the story. Fritz Lang 's film Metropolis , in a flashback, plays upon themes of lack of communication between the designers of the tower and the workers who are constructing it.

The short scene states how the words used to glorify the tower's construction by its designers took on totally different, oppressive meanings to the workers. This led to its destruction as they rose up against the designers because of the insufferable working conditions. The appearance of the tower was modeled after Brueghel's painting. The political philosopher Michael Oakeshott surveyed historic variations of the Tower of Babel in different cultures [46] and produced a modern retelling of his own in his book, On History. He attributes this behaviour to fascination with novelty, persistent dissatisfaction, greed, and lack of self-reflection.

Byatt 's novel Babel Tower is about the question "whether language can be shared, or, if that turns out to be illusory, how individuals, in talking to each other, fail to understand each other". Science fiction writer Ted Chiang wrote a story called "Tower of Babylon" that imagined a miner's climbing the tower all the way to the top where he meets the vault of heaven. Both the original and the rebuilt tower resembles the painting Tower of Babel by artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 25 June This article is about the Biblical story.

For other uses, see Tower of Babel disambiguation. Mythical tower described in the Book of Genesis. See also: Comparative mythology and Mythical origins of language. Main article: Etemenanki. This article is about the origin myth. For the film, see The Confusion of Tongues. Further information: Origin of language and Mythical origins of language. Bible portal Book of Mormon portal Judaism portal Quran portal. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 22 December The Jewish Study Bible. Hebrew Myths: The Book of Genesis. No, we need "dear old God," but let's keep him under control.

Do not let him get out of his place. It is the tower of Babel all over again. Stedman, Waco Books, The four sons of Ham are relatively easy to trace in history. Cush is associated with the peoples of Southern Arabia and Ethiopia. Ethiopians still trace their ancestry back to Cush. Put is associated with Lydia, on the west of Egypt in North Africa. Canaan centered largely in and around Palestine, though the Canaanites later became much more widespread. The account zooms in on an individual named Nimrod, who is called a great hunter.

He is a rather mysterious figure of great importance in ancient history. He is the founder of both Babylon and Nineveh, the two great cities of antiquity which became, ultimately, enemies of Israel. The prominent thing that is said about him here is that he was a mighty man, a mighty hunter before the Lord. Now, it was the work of kings in those ancient days to be hunters. This was a time when civilization was sparse and wild animals were a constant threat to the people. Kings, having nothing much else to do, organized hunting parties and acted as the protectors of their people by killing wild animals.

Nimrod evidently gained a great reputation as such a hunter, but he was more than a hunter of wild animals. The Jewish Talmud helps us here, for it says that he was "a hunter of the souls of men. We are told here that he was "the first mighty man on earth," i.

The Tower of Babel - Bible Story

That phrase, "mighty man," takes us back to Genesis 6 where, in that strange story of the invasion of the "sons of God" into the human race, there resulted a race of giants called Nephilim. We are told that "these were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown. These also appear later on in the Canaanite tribes. We have found this suggestive line of thought running through the Scriptural account up to this point.

Nimrod apparently was one of these "mighty men," and therefore introduced a perverted, degraded form of religion into the world. It began at Babylon, spread to Nineveh, and can be traced in history as it subsequently spread throughout the whole of the earth. Thus, in this man Nimrod, we have the seed of idolatry and false religion coming in again after the flood. If you drop the first consonant of Nimrod's name and take the others M, R, D you will have the basic root of the god of Babylon, whose name was Marduk, and whom most scholars identify with Nimrod.

In the Babylonian religion, Nimrod or Marduk held a unique place. His wife was Semiramis. In Cairo, Egypt, the Semiramis Hotel is named after this woman. Marduk and Semiramis were the ancient god and goddess of Babylon. They had a son whom Semiramis claimed was virgin-born, and they founded the mother and child cult. This was the central character of the religion of ancient Babylon, the worship of a mother and child, supposedly virgin-born.

You can see in this a clever attempt on the part of Satan to anticipate the genuine virgin birth and thus to cast disrepute upon the story when the Lord Jesus would later be born into history. Map of ancient Babylon Unger. This ancient Babylonian cult of the mother and child spread to other parts of the earth. You will find it in the Egyptian religion as Isis and Osiris. The same cult prevails in various other localities. It appears in the Old Testament in Jeremiah where the Israelites are warned against offering sacrifices to "the Queen of Heaven. The cult has also crept into Christianity and forms the basis for the Mariolatry that has prevailed in the Roman Catholic Church, where the Mother and Child are worshiped as joint redeemers.

Alexander Hislop, an authoritative writer in this field, has written a book called "The Two Babylons," which should be of great interest if you desire to pursue this further. This idolatrous religion culminates at last in the Bible in the book of Revelation. There, a "great harlot" appears, whose name is "Mystery Babylon the Great," the originator of all the harlotries and false religions of earth.

The essence of Babylonianism, as we understand from Scripture, is the attempt to gain earthly honor by means of religious authority. That is Babylonianism, and it has pervaded Christian churches, Hindu temples, Buddhist shrines, and Mohammedan mosques. Everywhere it is the element that marks falseness in religion-the attempt to gain earthly power and prestige by means of religious authority.

That is what Nimrod began and what God will ultimately destroy, as we read in the book of Revelation. Stedman, Word Books There is an interesting feature of Moses' treatments of these descendants of Ham that is at once recognizable to one who reads this chapter. It is the parenthesis that fills verses It comes in the middle of the table of nations and, in a sense, interrupts it. These verses deal, not with the general movements of peoples and nations, but with one particular descendant of Cush, Nimrod, who is said to have been the founder of the first world empire.

Here is the first place in the Bible where the word "kingdom" occurs. Significantly, it is used, not of God's kingdom as it is later , but of this first rival kingdom of Nimrod. This matter was obviously of great importance to Moses, for a related parenthesis occurs in the first nine verses of chapter 11, in the story of the tower of Babel. What is so significant about Nimrod? The fact that he established cities and built a kingdom is important, of course. But there is much more that can be said. Nimrod was the first person to become a "mighty" man.

Our text calls attention to this by using the adjective "mighty" three times in describing him: "Nimrod The adjective also occurs in a similar way in 1 Chronicles Why is this emphasized? Is it good or bad? A little thought will show that it is bad. The empire of Babylon under Nimrod was an affront both to God and man, an affront to God in that it sought to do without God Gen. Martin Luther was on the right track when he suggested that this is the way the word "hunter" should be interpreted.

This is not talking about Nimrod's ability to hunt wild game. He was not a hunter of animals. He was a hunter of men--a warrior. It was through his ability to fight and kill and rule ruthlessly that his kingdom of Euphrates valley city states was consolidated. One commentator renders this paragraph: "Cush begat Nimrod; he began to be a mighty despot in the land. He was an arrogant tyrant, defiant before the face of the Lord; wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod, the mighty despot, haughty before the face of the Lord.

These make up one great City. Barnhouse, The Invisible War. Here we have a great city. But it is great, not as Jerusalem is great as God's city , but great in its defiance of God. This is man's city, the secular city. It is of man, by man, and for man's glory.

The later Babylon of Nebuchadnezzar is the clearest biblical illustration of these elements. It is about Nebuchadnezzar, who embodies the secular city, and God, who operates through Daniel and his friends. The key to the Book of Daniel is in the opening verses which say that after Nebuchadnezzar had besieged and conquered Jerusalem though it was "the Lord [who] gave Jehoaikim.

This was Nebuchadnezzar's way of saying that his gods were stronger than Jehovah. And so it seemed! God had certainly permitted Nebuchadnezzar to triumph over his own people in punishment for their sins. One evening Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that involved a great image. It was of gold, silver, brass, and iron. The head was of gold. This represented the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar and was God's way of acknowledging that Babylon was indeed magnificent.

But, as God went on to point out, Babylon would be succeeded by another kingdom represented by the silver arms and chest of the figure, that kingdom by another represented by the figure's brass middle portions, and then that by a kingdom represented by the legs of iron. It was only at the end of this period that the eternal kingdom of God in Christ would come and overthrow all others, grow and fill the earth. In this vision God was telling Nebuchadnezzar that he was not as important as he thought he was and that it was God Himself who rules history.

In the next chapter Nebuchadnezzar sets up a gold statue on the plain of Dura. On the surface this seems to be only the foolish gesture of a vain monarch who insists that the statue be worshiped as a symbol of the unity of the empire. However, when the story is read with the vision of the statue of chapter 2 in view, one realizes that the later episode actually shows Nebuchadnezzar rebelling against God's decree.

God had said, "Your kingdom will be succeeded by other kingdoms, kingdoms of silver, brass and iron. It will all be of gold, for it will represent me and my descendants forever. It also explains the violent reaction of the secular mind to Christian claims today. It is not just a question of the Christian God versus other gods, each one presumably thinking that his or her god is the true one. It is the rebellion of man against God, period. God is He to whom we are responsible. But fallen men and women do not want to be responsible to anyone. They want to rule themselves.

They want to exclude God from His own universe. One day, a or more after the earlier incident, Nebuchadnezzar was walking on the roof of his palace in Babylon and he looked out over the city. He was impressed with its magnificence. Judging himself to be responsible for this, he took to himself the glory that should have been given to God, saying, "Is not the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power for the glory of my majesty? It was a claim that the earthly city been constructed by man and for man's glory.

In one sense this was true. Nebuchadnezzar had constructed the city, and his conquests had brought it to great architectural splendor. Again, he had undoubtedly constructed it for his glory, Nimrod had constructed the first Babylon for his glory. What both had forgotten is that ultimately it is God who in the affairs of men and that the achievements of a secular ruler are made possible only through the common gifts of God to humanity.

So God promises to bring the secular city down. Nebuchadnezzar had judged himself superior to those around him because of his political achievements, so superior that he had no need of God. God speaks to show how mistaken Nebuchadnezzar was. God says, "This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you.

Legends of Old Testament Characters/Chapter 23

You will be driven away from people and will live the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for until you acknowledge that the Most is sovereign over the kingdoms of and gives them to anyone he pleases" Dan. The judgment is to effect immediately. Nebuchadnezzar's mind goes from him, and he is driven from the city.

The text says, "He was driven away from people and ate grass like cattle. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird" v. Eventually Babylon itself fell, never to rise again. It is interesting that in this particular branch of Ham's family we have a reversal probably deliberate of God's judgment on Canaan for Ham's sin in ridiculing Noah.

God had pronounced a curse on Canaan through Noah, saying, "Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers" Gen. But so far as we know, in these early days God did not put this prophecy into effect by subjecting Canaan, his descendants, his brothers, or any of their descendants to Shem or Japheth. This happened later through Israel's invasion of the Promised Land, but it did not happen in these early days. Instead, it is the brother of Canaan, Cush, and his descendants who determine to enslave the others. I say this may be deliberate, for I can imagine Nimrod to have thought in this manner.

He may have said, "I don't know about the others, but I regard this matter of the curse of God on Canaan as a major disgrace on my family, one that needs to be erased. Did God say that my uncle Canaan would be a slave? I'll fight that judgment. I'll never be a slave! What's more, I'll be the exact opposite. I'll be so strong that others will become slaves to me. Instead of 'slave,' I'll make them say, 'Here comes Nimrod, the mightiest man on earth. This is the normal reaction of the human spirit when faced with God's curse. It says, "I'll defy it.

I'll take care of my own problems. But God's decrees are not overturned this way. God's curse is not successfully defied. There is only one Way we can escape God's curse, and that is at the point where God takes the curse on Himself. There is no reason why He should do this. But He does. He comes in the person of Jesus Christ "taking the very nature of a servant Christ [a slave], being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross!

Thus "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us" Gal. And what happens? Having thus subjected Himself, He is given a name that is "above every name" Phil. That is our pattern: to come to Christ where the curse of God against sin is poured out, to be clothed in His righteousness, and then to learn that path of humble service to others within the human family which is the true and only road to real greatness The Tower of Babel.

The tenth and eleventh chapters of Genesis are composed of genealogies of nations and peoples designed to link the story of Noah and the Flood, which fills chapters 6 through 9, with the story of Abraham and his descendants, which fills the remainder of the book. The genealogies begin with Noah's three sons-Shem, Ham, and Japheth-and move eventually to Terah from whom Abraham is born. At two points there are parentheses dealing with the founding of the first world empire under Nimrod. The first parenthesis is The second is These two go together.

The first tells of Nimrod's exploits. The second does not mention Nimrod but speaks rather of an attempt to build the city of Babylon, a central feature of which was to be a great tower. On the surface these seem to be accounts of two quite separate incidents. But this is not the case. The second does indeed tell of the founding of Babylon, but we learn from the first that Babylon was the initial city of Nimrod's city-building empire. Moreover, as we study them we see that the founding of Babylon and the building of the tower of Babel in chapter 11 are an elaboration of the earlier narrative.

In the first we have an emphasis on Nimrod--what he was like, what he did, what his goals were. In the second we have a treatment of the same theme but from the perspective of the people who worked with him. In each case there is a desire to build a civilization without God. The account of the building of Babylon begins by saying that the world had one common language as would be expected due to the people's common descent from Noah and since part of the world's people moved eastward, some settled on the plain of Shinar or Babylonia. So far, so good. God had told the descendants of Noah to "increase in number and fill the earth" Gen.

The settlement of Shinar could be construed as a partial fulfillment of that command. Yet as we read we find that the goal of this particular settlement was not to fulfill God's command but to defy it. From the beginning, Babylon's goal was to resist any further scattering of the peoples over the earth and instead to create a city where the achievements of a united and integrated people would be centralized. The Bible reports this desire as an invitation to "come" together to work on this great project.

It is the first important "come" of the story. Then they said, 'Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth"' Gen. Three things are involved in this invitation: 1 a vision for the city, 2 a desire for a name or reputation, and 3 a plan for a new religion.

The plan for a city does not need to be examined at length; we have already discussed it in our study of Nimrod. The important point is that it was not God's city, as Jerusalem was. It was man's city, the secular city. As such it was constructed man for man's glory. The last of these desires--to construct a place for man's glory--is involved in the word "name": Come, let us This reputation was to be earned by man apart from God.

It was to be his alone. We cannot forget that one characteristic of the God of the Bible is that He names people. He gives them names symbolic of what He is going to do with them or make of them. God named Adam Gen. In each case, the names point to what God has done or will yet do. The people of Babylon wanted none of this. They wanted to establish their own reputation and eliminate God entirely.

Thus far in our study of Babylon the one element that has been missing is religion. But that is where the famed tower of Babel comes in, in my judgment. I say "in my judgment," but I must add that most commentators sense this truth, even though they interpret the tower in different ways. Luther says that the words "reaches to the heavens" should not be applied to the height alone but rather should be seen as denoting "that this was to be a place of worship. Candlish says, "The building of the tower 'unto heaven' had undoubtedly a religions meaning.

Morris writes that in his desire to build a great empire Nimrod realized that the people needed a religious motivation strong enough to overcome their knowledge that God had commanded them to scatter abroad on the earth. He feels that the tower satisfied that need and was therefore "dedicated to heaven and its angelic host. Let me tell you what I think the tower means. First, it should be regarded as having a religious end because the Bible traces all false religions to Babylon and this is the only element in the description of early Babylon that can have this meaning.

We would expect something like this from the nature of Babylon and its culture and from what is told us of all cultures that turn away from God. Romans says that when people reject the knowledge of God they inevitably turn to false gods, making them like "mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles" Rom.

The citizens of Babylon had rejected the knowledge of the true God. Therefore, we should expect the creation of a false religion as part of their dubious cultural achievements.

Again, the Bible speaks of "mystery Babylon," that is, of the reality symbolized by the earthly city, saying that it is "the mother of prostitutes and of the abominations of the earth" Rev. This refers, as do the ideas of prostitution and abomination throughout the Bible, to false religion. There is evidence that this was the case historically. Morris notes, "The essential identity of the various gods and goddesses of Rome, Greece, India, Egypt, and other nations with the original pantheon of the Babylonians is well established.

Second, there is the description of the tower. Most of our translations speak of a tower that should "reach" to the heavens, but it is hard to think that even these people could have been foolish enough to suppose that they could do this literally. Or even if they did, it is hard to think of them as being foolish enough to build their tower on the plain of Shinar, that is, almost at sea level, when they could equally well have built it on the top of a nearby mountain and thus have begun with a few thousand feet head start.

Actually, this is probably not at all what was involved. In the Hebrew text the words "to reach" do not occur. The text speaks of the top of the tower as "in," "on," "with," or "by" the heavens all four being possible translations of the one Hebrew preposition. This could mean that the top was dedicated to the heavens as a place of worship the view of Morris or even that it had a representation of the heavens a zodiac upon it.

I think this last possibility is the real meaning, for the reason that astrology, which focuses on a study of the zodiac, originated in Babylon. Turn to any book on astrology and you will find that it was the Chaldeans another name for the inhabitants of Babylon who first developed the zodiac by dividing the sky into sections and giving meanings to each on the basis of the stars that are found there. A person's destiny is said to be determined by whatever section or "sign" he is born under. From Babylon, astrology passed to the empire of ancient Egypt where it mingled with the native animism and polytheism of the Nile.

The pyramids were constructed with certain mathematical relationships to the stars. The Sphinx has astrological significance. It has the head of a woman, symbolizing Virgo, the virgin, and the body of a lion, symbolizing Leo. Virgo is the first sign of the zodiac, Leo the last. So the Sphinx which incidentally means "joining" in Greek is the meeting point of the zodiac, indicating that the Egyptian priests believed the starting point of the earth in relation to the zodiac lay in Egypt, on the banks of the Nile.

By the time the Jews left Egypt for Canaan, astrology had infected the population there. Hence, some of the strictest warnings in the Bible against astrology date from this period Lev. Still later, astrology entered the religious life of Rome. The interesting thing about these biblical denunciations of astrology is that astrology is identified with demonism or Satanism in the sense that Satan and his hosts were actually being worshiped in the guise of the signs or planets.

This is the reason for the Bible's denunciation of these practices.


Are we to think, then, that Satan was entirely absent from the original attempt build a civilization without God? Was sent from the formation of this first biblical religion? I don't think so. If as, then the religion of the tower actually a satanic attempt to direct worship of the human race to himself those former angels who, having rebelled against God, were now already demons. No doubt, as Morris suggests, "This project was originally presented to people in the guise of true spirit.

The tower in its lofty grandeur d symbolize the might and majesty of the true God of heaven. A great temple at its apex would provide a center and an altar where men could offer their sacrifices and worship God. The signs of zodiac would be emblazoned on the ornate ceiling and walls of the temple, signifying the great story of creation and redemption, as told by the antediluvian patriarchs.

Satan was. Thus, the forms of religion became increasingly debased, the worship of the devil and his became more noticeable. Satan is a great corrupter, so it is even possible that this system of religion was version of an earlier, true revelation heavens of God's plan of redemption has been suggested seriously and considerable evidence that the formations of stars were originally named by God or the godly patriarchs as a reminder of godly things, perhaps to the point of forecasting the coming of the great Deliverer who would crush the head of Satan.

The time when the Lord Jesus Christ was to crush Satan's head was still far off, but in the meantime God was going to crush this first attempt at Satanism. He was not going to do it with flood or fire or some other fierce manifestation of His invincible wrath. He was going to do it in an entirely unlooked-for manner. Instead of destruction, God performed a miracle in the minds and vocal cords of the builders. He confused their language so that now, instead of speaking together and working together, their words brought confusion and an inevitable because it was divinely appointed scattering of these people over the earth.

There are several interesting features of this part of the story. The first is a second use of the word "come. Come, let us build ourselves a city" vv. But now God uses the word as He assembles His heavenly council and moves to confuse their language: "Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other" v. It is a way of saying that God always has the last word. We can assemble our councils; but God will assemble His council, and the decree of God's council will prevail.

It follows that those who choose to go their own way will always end up frustrated. The prize so earnestly sought after becomes a bubble that bursts at the first touch. The fruit of desire becomes like ashes in the mouth. We may chafe against this, but it will always be this way because we live in God's world, not our own, and because God has determined to make bitter anything that is prized above Himself.

The second interesting feature of this part of the story is that God came down to see the tower the men of Babylon were building. This is an anthropomorphism, that is, God being described as if He were a man. We are not to think that God actually had to get off the throne of the universe and come down to earth to determine what the builders were doing. All things are known to God always. But it is not a "crude anthropomorphism," as some have chosen to call it. It is used with effect. Here were men attempting to build a great tower. The top was to reach to the heavens. It was to be so great that it and the religion and defiance of God it represented would make a reputation for these citizens of Shinar.

There it stood, lofty in its unequaled grandeur. But when God wants to look at it He comes down. He has to stoop low to see this puny extravagance. It is always thus. When you stand on the ground and look up at the great pyramids of Egypt they seem immense. But when you fly over them in an airplane, even at a low altitude, they seem like pimples on the surface of the earth.

But from the air they look like miniature dominoes. The Eiffel Tower is a mere protuberance. So also with our intellectual or spiritual achievements. The greatest is nothing compared to the immensity of the universe, not to mention the universe's Creator. The only truly significant accomplishments are God's sometimes in and through us , for only these partake of the nature of God and endure forever, as God does. We have seen two different uses of the word "come" in this story.

The first was spoken by man to man against God. The second was spoken by God to God another early intimation of the Trinity against man. It would not be right to end without noting that the Bible also knows. God says, "Come now, let us reason together--Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be as wool" Isa. Jesus says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" Matt. What is the result when we who hear God's invitation come to Him?

It is just as He says! Our sins are washed away. Our burdens are lifted. Our spiritual thirst is quenched. Moreover, the effects of the curse are overturned and the proper desires of the human heart are provided for, not by man in rebellion against God, to be sure, but by the gracious and forgiving God Himself from whom all truly good gifts come. The curse was the confusion of languages, but God brings blessing from the curse. He gives understanding in spite of the language barrier and even promises Pentecost is an earnest of the fulfillment that the nations will worship together, presumably in one voice and with full understanding of each other.

The Babylonians wanted a city. Their city could not stand. But God provides His people with a city with foundations that will endure forever. Nimrod's people wanted a name. But to those who stand with God and who overcome, God promises: "Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches" Rev. As far as the great proliferation of different languages among men is concerned, the Biblical account is the only satisfactory explanation. If all men came from one ancestral population, as most evolutionary anthropologists believe today, they originally all spoke the same language. As long as they lived together, or continued to communicate with one another, it would have been impossible for the wide differences in human languages to have evolved.

Therefore, if anthropologists insist on an evolutionary explanation for the different languages, then they must likewise postulate extremely long periods of isolation and inbreeding for the different tribes, practically as long as the history of man himself. This in turn means that each of the major language groups must be identical with a major racial group. Therefore, each "race" must have had a long evolutionary history, and it is natural to assume that some races have evolved more than others. This natural association of racism with evolutionary philosophy is quite significant and has been the pseudoscientific basis of a wide range of racist political and religious philosophies that have wrought untold harm and misery over the years.

On the other hand, it does seem obvious that all the different nations, tribes, and languages among men do have a common origin in the not-too-distant past. People of all nations are all freely interfertile and of essentially equal intelligence and potential educability. Even the "aborigines" of Australia are quite capable of acquiring Ph. Even though their languages are widely different from each other, all can be analyzed in terms of the science of linguistics, and all can be learned by men of other languages, thus demonstrating an original common nature and origin.

There is really only one kind of man-namely mankind! In actuality there is only one race among men--the human race. The source of the different languages cannot be explained in terms of evolution, though the various dialects and similar languages within the basic groups are no doubt attributable to gradual diversification from a common source tongue.

  • Tower of Babel;
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But the major groups are so fundamentally different from each other as to defy explanation in any naturalistic framework. Only the Bible provides an adequate explanation. Originally, after the great Flood, "the whole earth was of one language and one speech" Gen. Because of man's united rebellion against God, however, refusing to scatter throughout the world as He had commanded, and concentrating instead in the vicinity of the original Babylon, "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" Gen.

Presumably about seventy families were involved in this dispersion, as suggested by the enumeration of seventy original national groups and tongues in the so-called Table of Nations in Genesis These were represented originally by perhaps a thousand or so individuals, divided into three main ancestral family bodies, the Japhethetic, Hamitic, and Semitic. The rebellion at Babel was not some impossible undertaking, such as attempting to reach heaven with a man-made tower, as one might infer from the King James translation of Genesis The words "may reach" are not in the original; the correct sense of the passage apparently connotes the erection of a great temple-tower dedicated to the worship of the "host of heaven," uniting all mankind in worshiping and serving the creature rather than the Creator Rom.

The most effective way of halting this blasphemy and of enforcing God's command to fill the earth was that of confounding their languages. If people could not communicate with each other, they could hardly cooperate with each other. This primeval confusion of tongues emphasizes what modern man often fails to realize: the real divisions among men are not racial or physical or geographic, but linguistic. When men could no longer understand each other, there was finally no alternative for them but to separate from each other. If anyone is inclined to question this explanation of the origin of the major differences among languages, then let him offer a naturalistic explanation that better accounts for all the facts.

No one has done so yet. Obviously a miracle was involved, but the gravity of the rebellion warranted God's special intervention. Although the major language groups are so different from each other as to make it inconceivable that they could have evolved from a common ancestral language group except, as noted above, by such a long period of racial segregation as to cause the corresponding races to evolve to different levels themselves , the very fact that all the languages can be evaluated by common principles of linguistics, and that people can manage to learn other languages than their own, implies an original common cause for all of them.

Noam Chomsky, who is one of the world's foremost linguists, is convinced that languages, though completely different on the surface, reflect an underlying commonality related to the fundamental uniqueness of man himself. Gunther Stent, professor of molecular biology at the University of California Berkeley , has summarized Chomsky's concepts as follows:.

Chomsky holds that the grammar of a language is a system of transformational rules that determines a certain pairing of sound and meaning. It consists of a syntactic component, a semantic component, and a phonological component. The surface structure contains the information relevant to the phonological component, whereas the deep structure contains the information relevant to the semantic component, and the syntactic component pairs surface and deep structures.

Hence, it is merely the phonological component that has become greatly differentiated during the course of human history, or at least since the construction Tower of Babel. No doubt the Tower of Babel is merely a figure of speech to Stent as well as to Chomsky, but the figure is appropriate precisely because the miraculous confusion of tongues at Babel does provide the only meaningful explanation for the phenomena of human languages. Thus the "phonological component" of speech or its surface form is the corpus of sounds associated with various meanings, through which people of a particular tribe actually communicate with each other.

Each phonology is different from the phonology of another tribe so that one group cannot understand the other group. Nevertheless at the "semantic" level, the deep structure, the "universal grammar" the inner man! It was the phonologies or surface forms of languages, that were supernaturally confused at Babel, so that even though all still had the same basic logic and understanding of experience, they could no longer work together and, thus, finally they could no longer stay together, simply because they could no longer talk together.

It is significant that traditions similar to the Babel story exist in various other ancient nations and even in primitive tribes. Although not as frequently encountered as traditions of the great Flood, many tribes do have a tradition of a former age when all people spoke the same language until the languages were confused as a judgment of the gods. Thus there is good reason to accept the Biblical record of the confusion of tongues at Babel as the true account of the origin of the different major language groups of the world.

Evolutionists certainly have no better answer, and the only reason why modern scientists tend to reject it is because it was miraculous. To say that it would have been impossible, however, is not only to deny God's omnipotence but also to assert that scientists know much more about the nature of language than they do.

Genesis 11

Before the Exodus is an analysis of the earliest books of the Hebrew Bible not as 1 Before The Exodus Chapter 2 The Still-Standing Tower of Babel I. .. of the Great Tower in the land of Shinar began, and Nimrod, the son of Kush, fed the. The Book of Jubilees, R.H. Charles, tr. at dynipalo.tk The Tower of Babel and the Confusion of Tongues (x. ; cf. Gen. xi. ). And in the three.

No one yet adequately understands the brain and its control of human speech. Therefore, no one understands what manner of physiologic changes in the brain and central nervous system would be necessary to cause different groups of people to associate different sounds with any given concept. Perhaps future research will throw light on this phenomenon but, in the meantime, there is no better explanation than that it was God who did "there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech" Gen.

Some Very Compelling Evidence the Tower of Babel Was Real

Isaac Mozeson and Mr. Joshua Ben to be published in the U. Genesis 11 and The Tower of Babel episode B. Naturally, it is the last place that historical linguists will look for answers to the mysteries of the existence and dispersion of human language. The Millennium Bible: Genesis, An Unpublished Translation and Commentary , renders Genesis thusly [non-textual treatment in brackets]: [No mere chronology, the Bible has completed the theme of Noah's progeny and now gets to the how and why they got scattered throughout the globe:] "At first, the whole habitable earth [from Edenic AReTZ] had its one divinely programmed computing language -- [Edenic, best demonstrated in Biblical Hebrew roots] with a unique and economical vocabulary -- [so, despite their numbers and racial diversity, all people were on the same page]".

In the familiar K. If you can hear those echoes of Eden in the English words, it's all the more amazing that "scholars" or "scientists" could not or would not hear them all this time. Fitting the historical movement of this chapter, most people first accepted the existence of The Tower of Babel and its ramifications of an involved Creator , then modern linguists rejected it as a myth.