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Genesis 11

11
People tried to build a tall building called Babel
1You know, at first everyone talked the same language. 2And as people moved from place to place in the east, they got to some flat country in Babylonia, and they stayed there. 3-4Then they said to each other, “Look, we can make bricks here. So come on, let’s do that. We will bake them properly so that they are good strong bricks, and we will use them to build a city here. So come on, let’s build a big tall building in that city. It will be so tall that it will go right up into the sky.” You see, they had bricks and tar instead of stones and cement. And they said, “If we do that, everyone will think we are smart. Then we will not go and live all over the earth, but we will stay together right here.”
God made people talk in different languages
5So the people started to build a city and a really tall building, and God came down to look at those things. 6He said, “These people can all talk to each other in the same language, so they can do anything they want. If they keep on going this way, nothing will stop them from doing anything. 7Come on, let’s go down to these people, and we will make them talk in different languages. Then they will not understand each other, and they will be all mixed up. They will not work things out with each other, so they will not keep on building this city.”
8So God made all the people talk in different languages. None of them could understand anything the other people were saying. So they stopped building their big city. 9They all left that city and went to live in lots of different places, all over the world. That’s how God got people to be in different tribes all over the world. And they called that city Babel. That means mixed up. They gave it that name because God mixed up their languages at that time.
The story of Shem’s family
10This is the story about Shem’s family.
Shem was 100 years old when he had a son called Arfaxad. That was 2 years after the big flood. 11Shem lived for 500 years after he had Arfaxad, and he had more sons and daughters.
12Arfaxad was 35 years old when he had a son called Shelah. 13Arfaxad lived for 403 years after he had Shelah, and he had more sons and daughters.#Genesis 10:24; Luke 3:35-36
14Shelah was 30 years old when he had a son called Eber. 15Shelah lived for 403 years after he had Eber, and he had more sons and daughters.
16Eber was 34 years old when he had a son called Peleg. 17Eber lived for 430 years after he had Peleg, and he had more sons and daughters.
18Peleg was 30 years old when he had a son called Reyu. 19Peleg lived for 209 years after he had Reyu, and he had more sons and daughters.
20Reyu was 32 years old when he had a son called Serug. 21Reyu lived for 207 years after he had Serug, and he had more sons and daughters.
22Serug was 30 years old when he had a son called Nahor. 23Serug lived for 200 years after he had Nahor, and he had more sons and daughters.
24Nahor was 29 years old when he had a son called Terah. 25Nahor lived for 119 years after he had Terah, and he had more sons and daughters.
26Terah had 3 sons after he was 70 years old. Their names were Abram, Nahor and Haran.
The story of Terah’s family
27This is the story about Terah’s family. Terah had 3 sons, called Abram, and Nahor, and Haran.
Haran had a son called Lot. 28-29And he also had 2 daughters called Milcah and Iscah. After that, Haran died, while his father, Terah, was still alive. He died in Ur, in Chaldia country, the place where he was born.
Nahor, Haran’s brother, married Milcah. And Abram married a woman called Sarai, 30but Abram and Sarai didn’t have any kids. Sarai just couldn’t have a baby.
31Then Terah went away from Ur, in Chaldia country, and he took some of his family with him. They were his son Abram, and Abram’s wife Sarai, and his grand-son Lot. They all left Ur, and they started to go to the country called Canaan. But they stopped half-way, at a place called Haran, and they stayed there.
32Terah lived until he was 205 years old. Then he died there in Haran.

Genesis 11

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.