The tower in Babel
1At this time, everyone who lived on the earth spoke one language. They used the same words. 2People moved to the east. They reached a large flat piece of land called Shinar. They stayed there to live. 3They said to each other, ‘We should make bricks and cook them until they are hard.’ These people used bricks instead of stones to build houses. They used tar to hold the bricks together, instead of cement. #11:3 Tar is black and sticky. It becomes soft when it is hot and hard when it is cold. Cement is a material that many people use today to fix stones and bricks together in buildings.
4They said, ‘Let us build a city to live in. We should also build a very tall tower. The tower will go up into the heavens. Then we will always be famous. If we do that, we will not have to separate and go to live in different places on the earth.’
5But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower. He saw that the people had started to build them. 6The Lord said, ‘Because they all speak the same language, they are able to do this. If they can do this together, they may decide to do whatever they want. 7Now we must go down to them. We must make their language become confused. Then they will not be able to understand each other.’
8So the Lord separated the people from one another. They went to live in different lands all over the earth. They stopped building the city for themselves. 9That is why people called the city Babel. #11:9 ‘Babel’ is like the word for ‘confused’. It was because the Lord confused all the people of the world and he gave them different languages to speak. From that time, the Lord separated the people from each other so that they lived in different places all over the earth.
10This is the report about Shem and his family.
Two years after the deep water went away from the earth, Shem was 100 years old. He became the father of Arphaxad. 11After Arphaxad was born, Shem lived for 500 years. He had other sons and daughters.
12When Arphaxad was 35 years old, he became the father of Shelah. 13After Shelah was born, Arphaxad lived for 403 years. He had other sons and daughters.
14When Shelah was 30 years old, he became the father of Eber. 15After Eber was born, Shelah lived for 403 years. He had other sons and daughters.
16When Eber was 34 years old, he became the father of Peleg. 17After Peleg was born, Eber lived for 430 years. He had other sons and daughters.
18When Peleg was 30 years old, he became the father of Reu. 19After Reu was born, Peleg lived for 209 years. He had other sons and daughters.
20When Reu was 32 years old, he became the father of Serug. 21After Serug was born, Reu lived for 207 years. He had other sons and daughters.
22When Serug was 30 years old, he became the father of Nahor. 23After Nahor was born, Serug lived for 200 years. He had other sons and daughters.
24When Nahor was 29 years old, he became the father of Terah. 25After Terah was born, Nahor lived for 119 years. He had other sons and daughters.
26After Terah was 70 years old, he became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran.
27This is the report about Terah and his family.
Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. Haran became the father of Lot. 28While Terah was still alive, his son, Haran, died. Haran died in Ur, the land of the Chaldeans. That was where Haran had been born.
29Abram married Sarai. Nahor married Milcah. Milcah was Haran's daughter. Haran was the father of Milcah and Iscah. 30Sarai could not give birth to children. She did not have any children.
31Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot. (Lot was Haran's son.) Terah also took Abram's wife Sarai. They all left Ur, the land of the Chaldeans. They began to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they stayed there. 32Terah lived for 205 years. Then he died in Haran.