Genesis 11: The Tower of Babylon; The Generations to Abram

stack of bricks tower  Hebrew-English Text

I. Summary

The people of Babylon build a tower and Yahweh confuses the languages of the earth to prevent their unity. The generations from Shem to Abram are enumerated. Abram’s father Terah dies in Haran on his way to Canaan.

II. Photo

The tower of Babylon is built: “And they said to one another, ‘Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.’ And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar.” (v. 3)

III. Select Verses

1-9: Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as they migrated from the east, they came upon a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” The LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which mortals had built. And the LORD said, “Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore it was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

27-32: Now these are the descendants of Terah. Terah was the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran was the father of Lot. Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans. Abram and Nahor took wives; the name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah. She was the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and Iscah. Now Sarai was barren; she had no child. Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife, and they went out together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan; but when they came to Haran, they settled there. The days of Terah were two hundred five years; and Terah died in Haran.

IV. Outline

1-9. The tower of Babylon

    1. Introduction: there was only one language

    2-4. The easterners decide to build a city and tower for glory

    5-7. Yahweh feels threatened and decides to confuse their language 

    8. The people disperse and abandon the city

    9. Etymology: Babylon is named for the confusion (Heb. *) that Yahweh caused

10-. The generations and genealogy of Shem

    10-11. Shem: 600 years

    12-13. Arpachshad: 438 years

    14-15. Shelah:433 years

    16-17. Eber: 464 years

    18-19. Peleg: 239 years

    20-21. Reu: 239 years

    22-23. Serug: 230 years

    24-25. Nahor: 148 years

    26-32. Terah: 205 years

        26. Terah's sons: Abram, Nahor, and Haran

        27. Terah's sons and grandson Lot

        28. Haran died in Ur

        29. Abram and Nahor took wives, Sarai and Milcah daughter of Haran

        30. Sarai was barren

        31. Terah, Abram, Sarai, and Lot settle in Haran on their way to Canaan

        32. Terah dies in Haran at the age of 205

V. Comment

No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used

(see “Commentaries” page)

Photo copied from http:// ehp.niehs.nih .gov/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/ehp.121-a242.g009 .png