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Genesis 11

11
The Tower of Babylon
1The whole earth had the same language and vocabulary. 2As people migrated from the east,#11:2 Or migrated eastward they found a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there.#Gn 10:10; 14:1; Dn 1:2 3They said to each other, “Come, let’s make oven-fired bricks.” (They used brick for stone and asphalt#Gn 14:10; Ex 2:3 for mortar.) 4And they said, “Come, let’s build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky.#Dt 1:28; 9:1; Ps 107:26 Let’s make a name for ourselves; otherwise, we will be scattered throughout the earth.”
5Then the Lord came down#Gn 18:21; Ex 3:8; 19:11,18,20 to look over the city and the tower that the humans#11:5 Or the descendants of Adam were building. 6The Lord said, “If they have begun to do this as one people all having the same language, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7Come, let’s go down there and confuse their language so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” 8So from there the Lord scattered them throughout the earth,#Gn 11:4; Ps 92:9; Lk 1:51 and they stopped building the city. 9Therefore it is called Babylon,#11:9 Hb Babel#11:9 In Hb, the name for “Babylon,” babel sounds like the word for “confuse,” balal.#Gn 10:10 for there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth, and from there the Lord scattered them throughout the earth.
From Shem to Abram
10These are the family records#Gn 2:4; 11:27 of Shem. Shem lived 100 years and fathered Arpachshad two years after the flood. 11After he fathered Arpachshad, Shem lived 500 years and fathered other sons and daughters. 12Arpachshad lived 35 years#11:12–13 LXX reads years and fathered Cainan. 13 After he fathered Cainan, Arpachshad lived 430 years and fathered other sons and daughters, and he died. Cainan lived 130 years and fathered Shelah. After he fathered Shelah, Cainan lived 330 years and fathered other sons and daughters, and he died; Gn 10:24; Lk 3:35–36 and fathered Shelah. 13After he fathered Shelah, Arpachshad lived 403 years and fathered other sons and daughters. 14Shelah lived 30 years and fathered Eber. 15After he fathered Eber, Shelah lived 403 years and fathered other sons and daughters. 16Eber lived 34 years and fathered Peleg. 17After he fathered Peleg, Eber lived 430 years and fathered other sons and daughters. 18Peleg lived 30 years and fathered Reu. 19After he fathered Reu, Peleg lived 209 years and fathered other sons and daughters. 20Reu lived 32 years and fathered Serug. 21After he fathered Serug, Reu lived 207 years and fathered other sons and daughters. 22Serug lived 30 years and fathered Nahor. 23After he fathered Nahor, Serug lived 200 years and fathered other sons and daughters. 24Nahor lived 29 years and fathered Terah.#Jos 24:2 25After he fathered Terah, Nahor lived 119 years and fathered other sons and daughters. 26Terah lived 70 years and fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
27These are the family records of Terah. Terah fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran, and Haran fathered Lot. 28Haran died in his native land, in Ur of the Chaldeans, during his father Terah’s lifetime. 29Abram and Nahor took wives: Abram’s wife was named Sarai,#Gn 17:15; 20:12 and Nahor’s wife was named Milcah.#Gn 22:20,23; 24:15 She was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milcah and Iscah. 30Sarai was unable to conceive;#Gn 25:21; 29:31; Ex 23:26; Jdg 13:2–3; 1Sm 2:5; Jb 24:21; Is 54:1; Lk 1:36; 23:29; Gl 4:27; Heb 11:11 she did not have a child.
31Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot (Haran’s son), and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife, and they set out together from Ur of the Chaldeans#Gn 15:7; Neh 9:7; Ac 7:4 to go to the land of Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there. 32Terah lived 205 years and died in Haran.
11
Universal Language, Babel, Confusion
1Now the whole earth #Lit was one lip.spoke one language and used the same words (vocabulary). 2And as people journeyed eastward, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and they settled there. 3They said one to another, “Come, let us make bricks and fire them thoroughly [in a kiln, to harden and strengthen them].” So they used brick for stone [as building material], and they used tar (bitumen, asphalt) for mortar. 4They said, “Come, let us build a city for ourselves, and a tower whose top will reach into the heavens, and let us make a [famous] name for ourselves, so that we will not be scattered [into separate groups] and be dispersed over the surface of the entire earth [as the Lord instructed].” 5Now the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one [unified] people, and they all have the same language. This is only the beginning of what they will do [in rebellion against Me], and now no evil thing they imagine they can do will be impossible for them. 7Come, let Us (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) go down and there confuse and mix up their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” 8So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the surface of the entire earth; and they stopped building the city. 9Therefore the name of the city was #The word “Babel” is similar to the word “confuse” (Heb balal), but not identical.Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the entire earth; and from that place the Lord scattered and dispersed them over the surface of all the earth.
Descendants of Shem
10These are the records of the generations of Shem [from whom Abraham descended]. Shem was a hundred years old when he became the father of Arpachshad, two years after the flood. 11And Shem lived five hundred years after Arpachshad was born, and he had other sons and daughters.
12When Arpachshad had lived thirty-five years, he became the father of Shelah. 13Arpachshad lived four hundred and three years after Shelah was born, and he had other sons and daughters.
14When Shelah had lived thirty years, he became the father of Eber. 15Shelah lived four hundred and three years after Eber was born, and he had other sons and daughters.
16When Eber had lived thirty-four years, he became the father of Peleg. 17And Eber lived four hundred and thirty years after Peleg was born, and he had other sons and daughters.
18When Peleg had lived thirty years, he became the father of Reu. 19And Peleg lived two hundred and nine years after Reu was born, and he had other sons and daughters.
20When Reu had lived thirty-two years, he became the father of Serug. 21And Reu lived two hundred and seven years after Serug was born, and he had other sons and daughters.
22When Serug had lived thirty years, he became the father of Nahor. 23And Serug lived two hundred years after Nahor was born, and he had other sons and daughters.
24When Nahor had lived twenty-nine years, he became the father of Terah. 25And Nahor lived a hundred and nineteen years after Terah was born, and he had other sons and daughters.
26After Terah had lived seventy years, he became the father of #Abram (Abraham) is mentioned first because of his importance, not his birth order.Abram and Nahor and Haran [his firstborn].
27Now these are the records of the descendants of Terah. Terah was the father of Abram (Abraham), Nahor, and Haran; and Haran was the father of Lot. 28Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his birth, in #Abram’s home town was Ur of the Chaldeans. As the result of extensive archeological excavations there in 1922-34, a great deal is known about Abram’s background. The house of the average middle-class person had from ten to twenty rooms and measured forty to fifty-two feet; the lower floor was for servants, the upper floor for the family, with five rooms for their use; additionally, there was a guest chamber and a lavatory reserved for visitors, and a private chapel. A school was found and what the students studied was shown by the clay tablets discovered there. In the days of Abram the pupils had reading, writing, and arithmetic as today. They learned the multiplication and division tables and even worked at square and cube roots. A bill of lading of about 2040 b.c. (about the era in which Abram is believed to have lived) showed that the commerce of that time was far-reaching. Even the name “Abraham” has been found on the excavated clay tablets.Ur of the Chaldeans. 29Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai (later called Sarah), and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah and Iscah. 30But Sarai was barren; she did not have a child.
31Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went out together to go from Ur of the Chaldeans into the land of Canaan; but when they came to Haran [about five hundred and fifty miles northwest of Ur], they settled there. 32Terah lived two hundred and five years; and Terah died in Haran.